Discover how to present yourself better and communicate your strengths through your story.
Today's guest, Chris Zervas is a speaker, presentation expert, trainer and coach. He is the founder of chriszervas.com and author of "Bomb Proof Constructive Feedback: Sustaining Healthy Conversations At Work",
For more than 20 years, Chris has helped CEOs, impactful nonprofits, and Fortune 100 Companies, understand the power of relationship based leadership and communication to improve employee retention, increase productivity, and drive higher performance.
In today's episode, Chris unpacks the topic "Three Secrets to High Level Interviews"
Check out these episode highlights:
02:18 – Chris’s ideal client: “Everybody from college students seeking scholarships, to executives looking for a higher level in, say healthcare. Judges, moving from a seated judge to a Supreme Court of a state seat.…”
02:58 – His client's biggest challenge: “I think they face a challenge of Who am I Really?...”
05:37 – Chris’s #1 insight to help you: "I think the Steve Covey thing, Seek to understand before being understood...."
06:43 – What concept, book, program, or talk impacted you the most: "The biggest impact in my life, has been an understanding that "God sent His Son to die for Me. And that's really changed my understanding of me. It's changed my understanding of how to help other people...."
07:26 – Chris’s valuable free resource: "On chriszervas.com, there's a place to sign up for a newsletter. And we are frequently sending out some communication tips to help you communicate to yourself better..."
10:16 – Chris’s last thoughts: "The three secrets to help you with high level interviews are The Audience, The Power of Story and To really know Thyself...."
(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)
Narrator 0:00 Welcome to the Destiny Awakening Interviews, a podcast with Andrew wayfinder and his guests, bringing you powerful insights, inspiration and ways to break free, live life your way and make a difference in our changing and challenging world.
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:17 So hello everyone, and a very warm welcome to another edition of the Destiny Awakening Interviews. I'm Andrew Wayfinder Hryniewicz and I'm joined today by Chris Zervas, leadership and presentation expert, keynote speaker, author and coach.
And a very warm welcome to you, Chris, and where are you hanging out this evening?
Chris Zervas 0:39 Andrew, I am in the great state of Oklahoma, right in the middle of the United States. And we have sort of had this opening from winter.
And we had like minus 14 last week. And we are back to kind of normal 50s and 60s. So spring is springing here. It's great to be here.
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:58 That's great. Well, what I'd like to talk about tonight is both your work and your book. So Chris Zervas is the founder of chriszervas.com. Zervas with a Z.
And for more than 20 years, Chris has helped CEOs, impactful nonprofits, and Fortune 100 Companies, understand the power of relationship based leadership and communication to improve employee retention, increase productivity, and drive higher performance.
Author of "Bomb Proof Constructive Feedback: Sustaining Healthy Conversations At Work", Chris has worked with teams and leaders in the energy, government education, legal and finance, health, nonprofit, hospitality sectors, and many more.
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Chris is a Cherokee citizen, and lives in Oklahoma with his wife and five children. So thank you, Chris, for your time today. And the topic today is "Three Secrets to High Level Interviews".
Chris Zervas 2:00 Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
Andrew Hryniewicz 2:03 And Chris is going to unpack that idea for us in six questions. So the first question, Chris, is: Who is your ideal client? And what's the transformation you help them achieve?
Chris Zervas 2:18 Andrew, really, we've helped everybody from college students seeking scholarships, to executives looking for a higher level in, say healthcare... judges, moving from a seated judge to a Supreme Court of a state seat.
So, it's been a variety of people that are just looking for "Hey, I want to learn how to present myself powerfully before an audience".
Andrew Hryniewicz 2:50 Okay. And so question number two: What's the biggest challenge that they're typically facing in that scenario?
Chris Zervas 2:58 Well, I think they face a challenge of "Who am I Really?".
You know, people have the ability to express things that they've done pretty factually.
But for people to understand, "Hey, are there some real labels that I can attach to myself?" And build some story around that. To present themselves in a light that really makes a difference for them.
And I say story, Andrew, I think that's really a critical piece is that... audience's don't remember what we say so much.
They remember what they picture, what they imagine, what they feel. And empowering people to be able to communicate that--their strengths and story--is a really big deal.
Andrew Hryniewicz 3:46 Okay, so that actually, I think you've partially answered question number three: What's the number one insight you would share to help people who are concerned about how they present themselves?
Or how to be more, you know, to have more presence? Or more authority when they're speaking or going about their day?
Chris Zervas 4:07 Yeah, I can answer it on a different tack as well. We mentioned story, but I think the other thing is that it's really not about them. It's really about their audience.
And so, for example, we recently were working with some attorneys that were seeking some judgeships. And the commission that they were to appear before has a variety of people on it.
It has politicians on it. It has businessmen on it. And it has other attorneys on it. And so every one of those people has an interest in themselves. It's just the way that God wired us, is that we are first and foremost just interested in ourselves.
And for them to learn to communicate things pronoun centered, like "You want a judge who" will be ideal for business, that will rule fairly, that understands the small business man.
Or "You want a judge" to the politicians that will enforce the statutes that you write.
Or to other attorneys, "You want a judge who" will be somebody who moves dockets across their bench. So I think speaking to the needs of an audience is really important.
And we tend to begin every sentence with I, you know, but learning to make it about them is an important piece.
Andrew Hryniewicz 5:37 I think that's the Steve Covey thing, you know, seek to understand before being understood. I think it was St. Francis, who said it first.
Chris Zervas 5:49 That's a good one. St. Francis, of Assini. Is that the guy?
Andrew Hryniewicz 5:54 As yes, Assisi I think. Yeah,
Chris Zervas 5:58 Yeah. Very good.
Andrew Hryniewicz 5:59 Okay, So question number four: What concept, book, program, talk or even experience has had the greatest impact on you? And your development? Yeah.
Chris Zervas 6:14 Andrew, I would say, probably, you know, you talked about a "Wayfinder". And I would think, understanding, I talked about it before, understanding really our selfishness.
And for me, the probably the biggest impact in my life, frankly, has been an understanding that "God sent His Son to die for Me". And that's really changed my understanding of me.
It's changed my understanding of how to help other people. And that would probably be the biggest impact that's really unfolded in my world.
Andrew Hryniewicz 6:52 Okay, so the opening to spirituality and sense of connecting to something bigger.
Chris Zervas 7:01 Absolutely, that we're a small piece of this thing. And God is the orchestrator. And, you know, he sent Jesus to die for our messes and make us whole. So that would probably be, undoubtedly, the biggest thing, right? Yeah, yeah.
Andrew Hryniewicz 7:19 Okay great. So Chris, what's a free resource you'd like to share with the audience that will help them?
Chris Zervas 7:26 Well, on chriszervas.com, there's a place to sign up for a newsletter. And we are frequently, every few weeks coming up, we'll be sending out some communication tips to help you communicate to yourself better.
Understand your audiences, use the power of story to tell your story. So that would be a great place for resources that are ongoing, and not just a one time bit of info.
Andrew Hryniewicz 7:51 Okay, great. And then Question number six. Chris, what should I have asked you that I didn't?
Chris Zervas 7:56 You know, maybe what we talked about three secrets, Andrew, to help you with high level interviews. And we've kind of touched on two of them. And let me give you the third.
So the first was, it's really about our audience, and it's not about us. So who's my audience? What are their needs? And what do they want? should paint every answer that I get? It's not about me.
The second is that stories stick and facts bounce. So we talked briefly about the power of story. And story is incredible in the sense that, Andrew, if I was telling a story right now. And you had electrodes on your brain that match these, and these were neuro imaging, let's say.
The same part of my brain that's stimulated when I tell a story is the same part that would stimulate your brain when you hear it. So it's been used for generations to pass down, information history, religion, whatever it is, stories are powerful.
And the thing that we haven't talked about, the third key, is to really know thyself. And to be able to mine out some things that really are who I am. One tool that does that really well is strengths finders.
In our work, we help people kind of mine that story. So, as they tell a story, we can identify some things that they really are.
So typically interviews, for some of the things that we're working with, are really brief. I have 15 minutes before a commission.
So I don't want to have a laundry list of things that I am. I've got a few stories. I've got a few characteristics which identify me.
I plug those into a story, and I can answer really any kind of question with a story... and a characteristic about me... and interchange those things as needed.
Andrew Hryniewicz 9:51 Okay, so it's sort of like a kit of parts.
Chris Zervas 9:53 Correct? Absolutely. Andrew, very smart. Very smart.
Andrew Hryniewicz 9:57 Okay, that's perfect, Chris. Thank you so much for your time.
Chris Zervas 10:02 Absolutely. Well, buddy, thanks for having me on your program. It's great to be with you tonight and I appreciate it very much.
Narrator 10:10 Thanks for listening to the Destiny Awakening Interviews. If you have a friend who would benefit, please share, and subscribe to the show on iTunes and leave a review. We really appreciate it. And remember, always use your power for good
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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WHAT WE'RE ABOUT
For executives, professionals, leaders seeking careers and lives of fulfilment, purpose and impact.
Each week you get a short (7-9 min) chat with an expert in peak performance, optimal health, inner growth and real purpose.
The interviews are designed to help you do meaningful work, feel vital and alive again, and be respected and rewarded for your vision and values.
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‘Lead With Confidence’ Cristina Holloway, June 9
‘Executive Presence’ Nikki Williams, June 16
‘The Superstar Paradox’ Karen Eldad, June 23
‘Individuation’ Anthony Metten, June 30
Andrew Wayfinder is on a mission to make everyone's career and life more fulfilling, rewarding and meaningful in our changing, and challenging world.
Since 2011, he has used his unique background (architect, psycho-therapist, shamanic healer) to help 175+ executives and leaders (in corporate, creative, academic and scientific settings) create lives and careers they love.
Author of Free your Soul, founder of Destiny Awakening and the Wayfinder Path, Andrew has spoken at MindValley U, been on BBC Radio and interviewed in OmYoga Magazine.
Andrew lives in London, UK (where he enjoys cooking, cycling, art museums and galleries) and he works with clients in the US, Europe, UK and Asia.