August 23, 2022

Let’s Talk About Stage Performance, Storytelling & All Things Speaking

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Let’s Talk About Stage Performance, Storytelling & All Things Speaking

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This week you’re getting TWO speaking coaches in one episode! For the first time EVER on the show, I’m sharing my mic with my “competitor” to bring you the most amazing conversation on all things speaking, storytelling and the five stage languages YOU must master to become magnetic on stage.

You’re going to be obsessed with today’s guest: speaking coach, storytelling and communication expert— Mike Ganino.  So whether you’re a first time-speaker or a seasoned speaker, this episode is going to make you laugh… and take ALL the notes. I’m advance— you’re so welcome 😉

Episode Highlights:

  • The ‘unexpected, but now it totally makes sense’ journey on how Mike became a speaking coach
  • Discover this big contributor to boring talks (and how to fix it) 
  • How to balance stories and facts in your content
  • The recipe for more powerful stories 
  • The Five Stage Languages to master to be more memorable and magnetic on stage

Episode Show Notes:


Speaking on Stage — How Mike Got There

(08:06) “It was really accidental for me. In my early 20s, I was in Chicago and I really wanted to get into theater. And so I was a flight attendant and I was doing improv and sketch and writing and acting in commercials while I wasn’t on a plane. I really, really wanted to keep following that path but I’m also type one diabetic, and so I always had to have a real job because I needed the benefits that came from that. I had to keep working in the restaurant industry. I stayed and got way more successful there than I was doing theater.

Years later, I sold the restaurant company and was ready to do the next thing. I started speaking and a client wanted me to come and coach their executive team on their speeches for an event because everyone remembers the stuff I told them. They remember the stories about my grandma working with her at Pizza Hut. They remembered all of these little pieces of it. 

So I quickly pivoted and started working almost exclusively with people on either their brand storytelling, helping them think about what they say in orientation, or what they say when they go out and speak at a conference. I worked with a lot of tech startup founders here in Los Angeles helping them figure out what their story was and how it would come out of their mouths, and that’s really how it all started.”

The big issue why your talk is boring when you speak on stage

(14:57) “The thing that I always think about is when we’re thinking of performance and being boring, often what’s boring is that we have no relationship with the words we’re saying. And when we’re saying them, we don’t really know what we are trying to achieve with it? 

What I find often happens and the reason that it comes across boring is because there’s no energy with the intention behind it. We don’t know what we’re trying to do to someone. It’s just words you memorized and now you’re here sharing it with your audience. That’s usually what I think is the big issue.”

What makes a story powerful on stage?

(18:07) “What I see a lot is people coming with either autobiographical things that they wrote down which don’t sound natural or real. So what I do is we trim it down, but explode it out as well. We don’t need to cover as much space but instead we cover less space and go deeper. 

(26:27) The crazy giant stories actually make you less relatable…The power of story is when you share some deep moment—a really small story that gets the audience to feel something that connects you versus just thinking you’re really cool.”

Blending stories and facts to create better experience for your audience when speaking on stage

(22:44) “You need to humanize the facts and the information you’re sharing because if it’s just the facts then you can just send the blog post and the data to your people.

What you need to do is bring them to life and give them some shape for them to understand how they fit into this transformational journey. They need that context of understanding where this fits into and what’s going on. You can either say the facts first and then tell your audience a time about how you learned it and what you  took away from it.”

Five Stage Languages you need to speak on stage

(38:35)These five stage languages regardless if you’re big or have rowdy energy or you’re calm and you don’t ever move on stage, these are available to all of us to whatever degree. This is how I think most people can find a way to be really effective in performance.”

  1. Verbal – fun alliterations and things which is different than when you write them
  2. Vocal – the five places you can play: Pause, Pitch, Pacing, Passion, Punch
  3. Physical – how can you play with their physicality
  4. Visual – how can you play with visually what they see
  5. Imaginative – how can you play with their imagination embedding little images on their head

About Mike Ganino:

Mike is the creator of The Mike Drop Method – a public speaking, storytelling, and performance coaching methodology. He is a storytelling + communication expert who hosts The Mike Drop Moment podcast. 

He’s been named a Top 10 Public Speaking Coach by Yahoo Finance, and California’s Best Speaking and Communication Coach by Corporate Vision Magazine. He is an author, former Executive Producer of TEDxCambridge and has been named a Top 30 Speaker by Global Guru. He’s a trained actor and coach from the World Famous Second City, Improv Olympics, and Upright Citizen’s Brigade. In addition to his track record as an executive in the hotel, restaurant, retail, and tech industries, Mike’s worked with organizations like the Disney, American Century Investments, American Marketing Association, and UCLA.

Connect with Mike via Website | Instagram

Checkout his podcast: Mic Drop Moment


Previous Episodes Mentioned:

How to Come Up with Good Stories Even if You Think You’re Boring

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