Hello everyone. We are glad to see you here with us again, and by C I mean know that you are listening to us, because this is not a two way video communication. That's how we roll. This is Make it Kick Ass. I'm Isaac and I'm joined with Nessa. Nessa's back.
Hi everyone, and we are here with some follow up thoughts on our interview with Breanne Dyck from Visionary CEO Academy. I had a really interesting conversation with her in the last episode, so if you did not listen to it yet, you may want to head back first and give it a gander, because we're basically just going to be following up on a lot of the stuff that we talked about, so that's a helpful thing to do. So in that episode, unfortunately, Nessa wasn't able to join us, so it's just Breanne and I. Nessa, I'm curious, like you listened to the recording how one thing that stood out for me was like kind of launching into how Breanne teaches and finding that she teaches better live and in person than in other ways. Kind of fascinating to me. What stood out about that to you and what was kind of your takeaway out?::
Yeah, so I think, just in general, Breanne is like a fascinating person and the way that she thinks, like I just love the way that her mind works. So it was great to be able to have that conversation or, you know, for you to have it and for me to listen to it, but I thought it was really interesting. She touches on talking about the differences in energy and first of all, for people that know Breanne, that's just funny because she's not like a who energy type of person. You know what I mean. Like that's not a word in her vocabulary usually, but she talked about how people, when they read her, like via text, that that they pick up like she's kind of like intimidating and that yet in on camera or in person, like she brings a different energy, a different vibe, like they feel more comfortable around her.::
I have noticed this in seeing her present she there is, there's like this energy that she brings to the camera which is kind of this like unabashed, nerdy, operational stuff, and I think that just doesn't come through in writing, and I've had people tell me in the past that my own writing can come across a little cold and diplomatic, and so I always have to work to like pull it out of the analytical and juice it up a little bit right. And so I totally resonate with, with the way she shifted her presentation style to be able to, you know, provide something that's a little more engaging. And for me, another thing that stood out around this was her talk about the differences between a polished presentation versus an imperfect one. This video course that she put together and like spent all this time scripting and like making this perfect thing and engagement, was just rock bottom. Yet these live trainings that she does, they're a little imperfect. Sometimes the tech doesn't work quite right. It it's I mean honestly, it adds a human element to it right, it creates a deeper connection.::
I loved when she brought that up because that also shows the gap between what people say they want and then what they actually want. I know there's a lot of like common knowledge out there of like everybody has a video course, and she kind of brought that up that there was like this time where, like everybody had to have like a super polished thing but the reality is like, yeah, people don't watch that, people don't watch the videos, like that's just how it is. And the difference between the super polished, perfect, like you know, well done, beautiful slides, all of this thing versus just showing up and doing the thing like that just speaks to humans needing a human experience. You know, we connect better with people who just show up and do the thing and they're themselves OK.::
I want to dig into this a little bit more because I'm thinking about this this term. Overproducing, yeah, and we are known for very well produced events, right, like high polish great AV, good tech, things like that. How do we balance our desire for good production and creating a top notch experience with that human element?::
Because I think the work that we do allows people to show up and be human Right.
When we work with people I'm thinking about when we work with speakers we never we don't have like rules about how they should do their hair, how they should do their makeup, how they should do their clothes which I know other people do have, and that's like a whole problematic, like whole thing we could talk about. But what we focus on is making sure that people can hear, people can see, like see the person, see the slides, see you know whatever they're presenting, that they can be heard, that there is captions, right, so people can read the captions, like we focus on creating that space, the lighting and all that good stuff, so that they can show up and be who they are and bring what they're going to bring to the table, right, and I think that's that's the difference where, whereas with an over produced thing, you will have someone invite a speaker and then tell the speaker what they need to say and what, what the goals are and what they're supposed to like teach or whatever. And we don't do that and I don't, I never want to do that.::
Yeah, I think you know we are literally giving people a platform, creating a platform for these speakers to present from stage, and in doing so, the work that we do is about providing access to those speakers through, you know, being able to let them communicate as good as possible to meet people where they are, as far as their access needs are concerned, whether that's captions or interpretation or whatnot and the production value that we put into it helps.
It essentially enables the speakers to present their context Right. Right. The idea like we don't want to, you know, like if we're doing a conference for a hundred people, for example, around some really important cause, we're not going to like have like walk on music and like fancy lights changing and like make it a disco, right, Right, that doesn't fit within the context of what we're doing. So we want to find the right match for that kind of stuff. Other events are is the wrong word but are more attuned to that kind of a production value because they have different goals, right, and so it's about identifying the context of what the event needs to do to be able to showcase those messages and get people the audience in the room to understand the context of the speaker and what they're trying to share, and the event tag and the production value around it contributes to that.::
And there's two things there with what you've brought up. So first of all, there is the audience expectation, because and I always use this example of Tony Robbins people that want to see Tony Robbins have an expectation of what Tony Robbins is and people that want to be the next Tony Robbins they imitate that, that look that presentation, like that whole thing with the lights and the sounds and all that stuff. Like the people that go to that expect that. So if they go there and they don't get what they're expecting in that presentation, like that's a failure, right, because you're not delivering what they want. There's other people like me, like I'm not impressed by that, if anything that like disengages me. You know what I mean. Like this whole it comes across as fake and just you know I hate it.
But the point is what matters is the audience. Like the Tony Robbins people, they love that shit so they should get it. You know what I mean, and so that also speaks to. So, first, the audience expectations, the audience needs, and second, I mentioned the actual like being on the stage, like we already have the speaker and how we're presenting them. But we also need to step back and look at the speaker selection process. So that is also how I feel like we don't. We don't overproduce, because we could just as easily go to like these speaker. What are they called these?::
Yeah, like they just have you know the website and like you just pick, pick a name and it's just this whole process and like that's easy, right, that that's that's a way of meeting that Tony Robbins expectation. Right, like these are people that they have a talk and they give that same talk at the 300 events that they do in a year right, and they do the same imagery, the same slides, everything right. So you know what you're getting there. That, to me, is overproduced, because that is literally like just buying a performance. You're not buying a human experience.
You're buying a thing that has been done a million times and has been polished like it's a product Correct, it's been polished to the max. Whereas what we do in our speaker selection process is we're not looking for the polished product, we are looking for the person and the experience and we ask ourselves, like who who can speak to this audience? Not what can they say? Because I've never, I've never approached the speaker selection process by by looking at what they're going to say first.
Right, like I just want the right person and then I trust that that person is going to bring to the table whatever that audience needs, like it is on them and it's not my place to to define that for them, and so that is another way where that we avoid that overproduction.::
Exactly. I think, if I can kind of distill this, I think the process that we go through, whether it's through speaker selection or through the actual production, is that we are trying to create an environment that is conducive and optimized to connection with the audience, to sharing the message, achieving the outcomes that we're designing. Anything that that goes so far as to distract that becomes the overproduction where it's either unnecessary or it's it's like way out there, like oh we, you know we have fireworks on stage, like that doesn't, that's not appropriate, right, and that doesn't help, it actually hinders. So I think that that's a that's a good segue into another thing that Brian talked about, about teaching itself, and I think this goes to speaking from stage. I think it goes it speaks to pun intended to teaching in a in a more structured environment.
She said teaching isn't about telling, it's about what the student understands. Yes, I love. I think a lot of speakers could take that lesson to heart, because you know, there's a lot of focus around storytelling from stage. There's a lot of focus on, you know, distilling this down into a compelling package. But if people aren't understanding you, people aren't actually taking in or receptive to what you're saying, you're not going to get your message across. They're not going to. They're not going to come out of it Understanding and and integrating that into their lives in the same way.::
Yeah, I am 100% anti jargon. Like you know, this is about me. I'm always talking about, like, how do we communicate it so that the most amount of people can understand what we're trying to say? I'm not trying to look smart, I'm trying to help the person that I'm speaking to.::
Yes, and that's a part of accessibility that I think not enough people think about, like it's so easy to say, you know, accessibility is captioning or accessibility is, you know, ada compliance, but it is about meeting people where they are, within the context of what they're bringing to the table.::
There's, you know, context again, right, yeah, that's what I'm saying, that's what I'm like beefs with the corporate world and academia, because one of the big parts of access and how they gate keep is through the use of language.::
And you know this whole quote unquote excellent communication skills, which I'm always going to be like no fuck that. If I can understand what you're saying, if anybody can understand what I'm saying, that is much better communication to me than if someone use the right quote unquote, the right words, the jargon, and you know like I will always argue about that, but so kind of dovetailing off of that. You guys ended the conversation talking about the yearly retreat and I know you explained this on the episode. So they're Brienne and Jill have been clients of ours and we've worked on their yearly retreat with them and I loved the conversation that you all had about the, the resource thing that we sent people.
So, I want to get your perspective because you I mean you had the conversation with her. I'm really curious about, like did what? What she brought, what she spoke about, didn't match like what you were thinking, because we've never actually had that conversation with her like on that level that you did on the episode.::
Yeah, it was funny to me Her describe it especially as we're, you know, eight months removed from the last retreat that we did with them. We've done to now the. You know we came out the the toolkit concept from the perspective of trying to create a shared experience that all these distributed people could have during the event and to bring some physicality to the thing. What I thought was interesting I don't I could be wrong, but I do not recall any of our conversations talking about the fun element of business and that these toolkit items were part of that. We talked like part of our pitch was about the multi-sensory thing, activating all five senses, you know, creating something that kind of tied into the program and the curriculum that they were trying to teach. But this fun element of business, that took me a little bit by surprise and maybe I just have bad recall, and we did have a conversation.::
No, but I no. No, that is so true, because we didn't. We never really had that direct conversation. But I think the way that we work, we implicitly work in that way because I don't understand why people think business automatically means no fun, like you can't have fun with it. And I think the way that you and I work, we always come with an attitude of having fun, bringing fun into it, bringing some sort of joy and some sort of energy, because there isn't a rule against it. But for some reason people don't associate fun with business. I don't know. So that was fantastic when that came up. I love that.::
Yeah, and to me like a lot of like in the corporate setting. A lot of like team building activities are centered around fun things, but it's usually like outings after hours and they're doing an escape room or acts throwing or whatever the trendy like team building thing is these days, or it'll be fun with quotes around it, right. And nobody actually wants to go to them.::
Correct and nobody's actually having fun.::
Right. Like the coworkers, would rather just go to a bar on their own and bitch about their bosses all that right Like yeah, absolutely.
Like, and so I think I think that there's part of what we do is acknowledge this human nature, that we want to have fun doing what we're doing, even if it's a work thing and there are different ways you can integrate fun into it. You know we will. We talked a little bit about this with Breanne, but we're going to interview Jordan Hales later this season about bringing dance and movement into into an event as a way to activate people and to change the energy and to add an element of fun. We have a conversation coming up with Gary Hirsch about improvisation and the way you can better engage with people by kind of pushing them a little bit out of their comfort zone and and getting them involved in things. I think, at the end of the day, like every single event that we have worked on has had an element of fun, I would say, with the exception of one client, which was not a great experience for us, because I don't know if you it was a bank.::
Yeah, I knew, I knew, yeah, you knew exactly. They didn't want any fun. Oh, absolutely not.::
There was no fun involved Like why why?::
are you so against this, like what's the problem?::
I think the best thing we did to incorporate fun into that was to like have a I think it was like an omelet station or something for the breakfast.::
That was a fun.::
That was like come on, people, anyway, do better banks. So the this fun is really important. It helps Ad levity, it helps create social connection points, it helps people let down their guard a little bit and become more vulnerable, and it it's. It's a human thing. We need it, like we. We crave fun connections at work, whether it's you know, chatting about what we did over the weekend or trying to, you know, go somewhere fun for lunch, right, or whatever that is right. We need more of that. We need more of that if we're going to continue to be more human, and I think that is, as the future of work shakes out and we start to reconcile this remote versus in person thing that's going to be more and more important to achieve.::
Right, and I will say in this, in this post pandemic world I'm so sick of saying post pandemic but now more than ever, to get people out and at events, there has to be fun. Yes, people are no longer willing to go to an event because I remember pre pandemic, especially like in corporate things, they'd be like well, you know, the company's going to pay for it, I'll go and whatever. And then you know, at night I'll go out and get drinks or whatever. But now, even if the company's paying for it, people are like OK, but I have to now deal with going to the airport, I have to deal with like gross germs of everybody you know, like all the places I have to do with all this shit to get to the event. I better have fun, I better want to be there, I better feel good about it. So I think fun is non-negotiable now.::
I agree wholeheartedly, like you, not to mention like I have to catch up on the work that I'm missing while I'm gone. Maybe it's going to go over a weekend. I'm going to miss time at home with my family or my friends, whatever that is Like. We have to give them some sort of benefit to bring out some joy, to bring out some excitement, and it's it's not. It's actually not that hard either, right Like it can be so simple.::
It's not. You know what the problem is? And the problem is the fear of offending people is what I think it is, because people can't imagine fun, and I'm talking about in the corporate sense, yeah, and when, when, when you bring up fun, they automatically think, oh my God, somebody's going to get ofended. But what if people don't like it? But what if people think this? What if people think that?
And it's just easier to not do it or to do fun in a very like childlike, dorky way than to invest at all, because it's the fear of I don't want to deal with the drama, I don't want to deal with people getting pissed at me because, you know, I brought a performer in and the performer said something spicy, for example. I think that's a good example of, you know, bringing fun in where people mess up. I've heard a lot about corporate events that will bring in a stand up comedian, but the stand up comedian will be someone who is used to doing like insult comedy, right, and then they showed up at the event and they were like, oh no, this is not the audience for this type of thing.::
And that's where you end up with OK, we tried it and we messed up, so we're never going to do that again.::
Right. I think this circles back to not just buying a product when you're looking for your entertainment, your performances, to paying attention to the context of the people that you're trying to create fun for. Yeah Right, what do they need? What do they like? What are their interests? If you don't know this, you need to ask them.::
What do they think is fun? Yes, like, not every community has the same definition of fun. There are communities that they love and insult comic. They love it, right. There are communities that love a drag queen. That is like sassy and brings in the spice. There's other people, like you know, if it's like a religious community, obviously their definition of fun is going to be different, right? So again, it's the context and doing your homework and looking at this group of people and saying, ok, what is fun for them? What can we bring in that can surprise and delight them and bring fun into the event?