Hey there, bold leaders. Welcome to another episode of the Bold Money Revolution Podcast. Today, I am honored to be talking with my dear friend and colleague, Tricia Brouk. Now, this episode was recorded number of months ago. 2020 being as it may, things went off the rails and this podcast never made it to the airwaves until now. We took some time off this year from podcasting, we rebranded the podcast, and now we are able to share this episode with Tricia and it is divine timing because Tricia has written a book. And it is available to be ordered as we speak. And the book that Tricia wrote is called The Influential Voice: Saying What You Mean for Lasting Legacy. It’s a compilation of stories, personal and historical, that remind us of the power of our voice along with practical techniques for how to use your voice on stage and off in a way that will be most effective.
She has some really amazing endorsements from heavy hitters in the world of speaking, but also social justice, and she has a endorsement here from Alexander Vidman, retired Lieutenant Colonel. And if you remember, he’s been in the news lately because he’s been a whistleblower. And he says, “The Influential Voice is a supportive guide for those whose powerful truths need to be shared with the world. In this inspiring collection of personal and historical accounts, Tricia reminds us of the responsibility that comes with using our voice to elevate humanity.”
Now, you can purchase this book by going to theinfluentialvoicebook.com, and if you submit your receipt, you will also receive complimentary chapter one, a companion recorded masterclass on mission, purpose, and values, along with a free ticket to The Art Of The Big Talk, stepping into the red circle, virtual masterclass. I am so honored to be supporting Tricia and the sale of her book. So, listen to this episode and if you really get down with what Tricia’s saying, or you find this topic interesting that she’s writing about, please, please go buy this book. I know that you will not regret it. Tricia has been a dear friend and a mentor to me as well.
Tara Newman: Hey, bold leaders, welcome to another episode of the Bold Leadership Revolution Podcast. I’m your host, Tara Newman, and today I’m really excited to have a guest with us. We don’t have guests often, but I have my good friend, Tricia Brouk with us. I met Tricia probably, oh gosh, over two years ago at this point. Tricia is a speaking coach extraordinaire, and when I say she’s a speaking coach, it kind of doesn’t even do her full range of skillset justice. She’s a director, a producer. She has a really vast range of expertise.
And the way I’ve worked with Tricia, just so everybody knows, is I signed up for one of Tricia’s programs to help me overcome my fear of public speaking. She’s like laughing at me because I say Tricia got me to stand on a stage in front of people and have words coming out of my mouth instead of freezing or vomiting on the stage. That is no small feat Tricia and you did it.
Tricia Brouk: Thank you. I am so glad that you didn’t freeze or vomit. And Tara, you were incredibly captivating and I’m just so thankful to be on your show. I know that you don’t have guests very often, and I love your podcast, and I love Brave, and I love you. And being able to just have a conversation like this as if we were having tea is something that I really been looking forward to.
Tara Newman: Let’s tell people, let’s give them the official Tricia Brouk rundown. What do you do?
Tricia Brouk: The official rundown? I am a director, writer, producer. I live in New York City. I’m literally on 55th & 9th Avenue looking out at the Alvin Ailey Dance Studios where normally I get to watch the dancers all day long from my office. Clearly, we are in shelter in mode right now, so there are no dancers. I’ve been working in film, television, and theater for over three decades. And a short three years ago, Petra Kolber asked me to direct her TEDx and I said yes because it was like a one-woman show.
There’s script analysis, there’s blocking and choreography, there’s intention-based direction and we did it. It was super fun and that’s all I thought about it. And then she came back and planted a seed, which I watered, and it sprouted into The Big Talk, which is my art of public speaking mentorship, where I support speakers just like I support actors in being able to communicate authentically with intention, with articulation. We do script analysis, and it has been so rewarding because I get to work with people like you.
I love my actors, Tara, but when you’re in the room with a bunch of actors, it’s all about them. When you’re in the room with a bunch of leaders, it’s all about the message. And that was so inspiring. I get to support people who have really important messages and stories to share with the world.
Tara Newman: I feel like I just want to jump in here and say that, so Tricia’s program that I was in, what do you call the program?
Tricia Brouk: The Speaker Salon. It’s like-
Tara Newman: The Speaker Salon.
Tricia Brouk: … an incubator for speakers.
Tara Newman: It’s an incubator. So what it is though is, it’s very experience-based and she brings you into this cute, wonderful little theater in Manhattan where you actually feel like you’re somebody who’s worth being on stage. It’s the whole experience, it’s not just that I got to speak, it was the whole experience. For six weeks, it’s a very short period of time, it was probably one of the most intense development experiences of my life because it was so short.
I love when people work like this because it requires you to be so direct and so on point to make the biggest amount of change in the shortest amount of time. It’s truly a high-performance container. We developed our talk by standing on stage and talking. So we would just stand on stage and Tricia would start, maybe ask us a question, and we would talk and we would record it. And then we would go back and we would look at our recording, and we would then write from what we spoke.
That really worked for me because I write like I speak. It took me a really long time to beat that corporate and academic writing style out of me, but then once I did, you connect so much better with people when you do that, and when you tell a story. And so not only did I learn how to stand on a stage and open my mouth and have words come out without passing out and vomiting, which was a real fear at the time, but I learned how to be a better writer.
And so there are so many competencies that as a leader you develop when you go through this type of training. What are some of those competencies Tricia that you think really gets developed in leaders when they go through your program?
Tricia Brouk: They learn by observation, and that’s the biggest takeaway. The getting up on stage is secondary in my opinion. The room full of 15 speakers watching each other go up on stage and hearing the feedback and the direction from me, and then being able to provide specific, and I mean, specific feedback for each of their fellow speakers, that kind of growth is exponential. You’re getting on stage, so you’re literally flexing the speaker muscle. You’re working through those nerves, you can’t hide. Everybody gets stage time every single week.
And you are also learning about your physicality as a leader. If you are wandering around that space, people are watching you wander around the space instead of standing still or consciously moving. So your physicality, your writing and your speaking are all being tested simultaneously, and that is why there’s such rapid growth in terms of leadership.
Tara Newman: I remember that first day standing on stage where I had to… Because you’re performing. Tricia just doesn’t teach you how to speak, she teaches you how to perform your talk. And in her program, I think it’s just so fascinating how this program works, so that’s why I’m just talking about the program for a little bit for a hot second, and then we’ll get into what we’re actually going to talk about. But you come away with this TED-style talk. It’s about nine… We had about seven to nine minutes of a talk that we needed to create.
And we had to memorize it because Tricia takes nothing less than memorization. There’s no note cards or anything like that. So in six weeks, it’s very intense, you’ve created this talk and you’ve memorized it, and you have the ability to perform it, which looks like more than wandering around the stage, doing weird things with your hands and speaking. And it’s very… It’s not easy to walk and talk, and to make very specific and intentional points with your body movement.
I wanted to just clarify some of these competencies because they’re real and they’re powerful. So thank you one for that experience. Thank you two for coming here and talking to us. Right now, as we’re having this conversation, we’re in the middle of the COVID-19, this global pandemic that is shifting and changing all of our lives, and our businesses, and how we show up. We’re about eight weeks in in New York from when they went on pause or shelter in, however you want to call that.
And as someone who is training speakers to get out, go to events, stand on stages, what does this look like right now for those of us who want to be speakers?
Tricia Brouk: It looks like community building and relationship building. I just booked three speakers this week for a networking event that happens every Tuesday and Thursday. They’re looking for speakers. You are one of them, and the importance of understanding that communication, sharing ideas, stepping into the role of leader that you’re meant to be is not going away, it’s just being adjusted in terms of how the delivery happens. So we have to continue showing up with a clear message. We have to continue working on the art of public speaking, because whether you’re sitting across from the screen with somebody or you’re standing on a stage that mastery of performance is still required.
And what I am so excited about is that all of the speakers I work with are still stepping into that role so fully. They’re not taking for granted, “Oh, it’s a zoom call, I can show up half-assed.” No, absolutely not. You’re going to show up as the speaker that you are meant to be, and that I have taught you to be, and that you know you can be. So nothing has changed, we’re just not going to events right now.
Tara Newman: I love that. I love that approach and how you’re looking at it from that perspective. And I’m actually a big believer right now that this is a great time to start honing skills, looking at your skills from a different perspective. There’s a lot of growth and business development that can be happening right now. So if you’re someone who wants to speak or is a speaker, what would it look like for you right now to be further developing and honing your craft and your skills.
Tricia Brouk: For sure you all have opportunities. And we’ve talked about this, Tara. Right now, it’s all about innovation and creativity. This global pandemic has given us a massive opportunity, and stepping into who you want to be getting your business organized. If you think your business is a business and it’s actually a hobby, fix it now, because people are going to come for you. People are going to want to tell these stories, and if they are telling them without technique, if they’re telling them without understanding how to be captivating.
If people are telling their story without understanding what good writing is and an arc and a through-line, the people who are studying the art and the performance techniques right now are going to rise to the top.
Tara Newman: Now it’s about going deep, deeper, and not wider is what I’m hearing you say. Then one thing that I really love about right now, you were talking about innovation and creativity, and that’s because the reason why this is happening is because there’s constraint. So when we have constraint, they say that necessity is the mother of all invention, that’s constraint. So when we have the constraints that are on us now, we have to be innovative and be creative. And one of the things that I’m working on at the moment is becoming a better writer and going deeper with my writing skills.
And I know that I have blind spots and there are things there that I can be working on. And I announced that actually to my email list today, and you responded and said, “Let’s talk about this on the podcast.” And I said, “Awesome. Let’s talk about this on the podcast,” because I think that people don’t realize what speaking is, and you can correct me if I’m wrong. I think people think that they can get up on a stage and wing it.
Tricia Brouk: Many people think that, Tara, you are not wrong.
Tara Newman: And that you can just riff and be entertaining and charismatic. And I think that being entertaining and charismatic is important as a speaker. And listen, I love a good riff, but I even write my podcast when I have solo shows because I want to make my point. I want to make my point clearly, I want to make an impact with what I’m saying, I want to have an intention for what the episode is about. And listen, like I said, I love a good riff, I love a good rant, but left to my own devices, I’m going to meander and I may not make a point. And then I’m just going to waste your time, and that’s not cool with me.
I care too much about my audience to not take that seriously. So right now, I’m working on my writing because I feel like all my speaking is going to start with writing and it helps you gain clarity. Let’s talk about telling better stories.
Tricia Brouk: Great. First, if you are going to tell a personal story, it’s really important that it is coming from a place of vulnerability, credibility, and relate-ability, and if it’s some traumatic story, some traumatic event that you’re healed from it. And I’ll give you an example. Sarah Montana applied to TEDxLincolnSquare with a written application about forgiveness. And her personal story was that her mother and brother were murdered on Christmas Eve.
I thought, how is this woman going to ever talk about this? I’m going to feel bad for her, I’m going to feel sorry for her. The audience is going to feel sorry for her, we’re all going to feel bad for ourselves. There’s no way this woman can get on a stage and talk about forgiveness and tell that story. And then I challenged myself, “I’m going to give her the opportunity to submit a video where she talks about this story,” because those were my limiting beliefs. And I did not want to impose them on her even though I was having them.
She submitted her video, and to this day, it’s one of the best video submissions I’ve ever received.
Tara Newman: Wow.
Tricia Brouk: Because she had healed from that traumatic experience and was sharing it in a way that inspired us to trust forgiveness is powerful, important, and possible. So when you’re sharing a story, be healed from it, understand why you’re sharing the story. It needs to be for service, not for the exploitation of anybody, and understanding the arc of a story will help you. Whether it’s a blog post, an email, a podcast episode, a novel. Really understanding the arc of a story.
And if we talk about arc in terms of the most obvious Cinderella, the arc of the story starts with exposition, moves into rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. That’s the classic story arc, and you can apply it to podcasts, speaking books, articles, emails. Exposition is how you’re going to paint the picture, you’re going to introduce the characters, where they live, the details. The story becomes clear, you’re painting a picture for us to get excited.
It’s the castle, it’s the ugly stepsisters, it’s the prince, it’s Cinderella, we’re painting a picture. And then you’re going to move into the rising action, and this is where the forward momentum happens and challenges and conflicts arrive. Cinderella can’t go to the ball. That’s a big challenge. Everybody’s going, everybody’s getting dressed up, it’s going to be amazing, she’s got to stay at home.
And then there’s the climax of the story, or of your podcast episode, or of your email, and that’s the tipping point where the tensions are at their highest and the most amazing things happen like the fairy godmother steps in and she makes the pumpkin into a beautiful vehicle. She’s got a gorgeous dress. And then we move into falling action, and that’s when we come to the other side of that climax, the clock strikes, midnight. Oh my goodness. And then we move into the resolution where everything gets wrapped up and the plot comes to an end.
And that doesn’t mean that there has to be happily ever after like in Cinderella. It doesn’t mean that, but it definitely means that everything gets wrapped up. And this is really just a classic story arc that you can apply to anything. So I’m excited to start getting more of your emails with you thinking about this in mind, Tara.
Tara Newman: No pressure.
Tricia Brouk: Not that they don’t have them already. The one you wrote this morning was pretty, solid in terms of story arc. I felt like I was going on a story journey with you.
Tara Newman: Okay, cool. What I want you to do is I want you to give me like… Let’s dig into that email. I know that people don’t have it in front of them, but what we’ll do is we will link it to the show notes of this podcast. And I would love to hear what you thought worked or what you thought didn’t work, so we can give people a real-life example.
Tricia Brouk: I need to pull it up, but what I loved is how you opened, which was, “There’s a lot of stuff going on right now. I’m going to be coming into your inbox more often. This is why I’m going to be coming into your inbox more often. I learned that I was a writer, so I’m going to hit that a little bit harder right now. I promise that it might be more than usual and I’m not going to say that I’m not going to sell you because I might.”
Tara Newman: That was the jist.
Tricia Brouk: So it was like painting the picture really clear, telling us why you were doing it, and that being consistent with something was important to you.
Tara Newman: Tell me the first stage of the story arc again.
Tricia Brouk: Painting the picture, exposition.
Tara Newman: Painting the picture. All right. So I was like, “Here’s what’s happening?”
Tricia Brouk: Yeah.
Tara Newman: We were starting to paint the picture.
All right. First things first, I think you need a good title for your emails. If we’re going to be talking about this in terms of email, in terms of story, because this was something that we worked on a lot in your program, in The Speaker Salon, was having a title that would captivate and capture people’s attention. I want to put that out there as well.
Tricia Brouk: Always, always need a good title. And if you’re doing a TED talk, you need a title that’s searchable. So many, many speakers want to poetic, slick, sexy title, and that’s all good-
Tara Newman: Oh, it’s interesting.
Tricia Brouk: … but it needs to be searchable. So save your sexy, slick, poetic title for a keynote.
Tara Newman: That’s cool. That’s a really great piece of feedback for everybody. So sometimes you have to be unsexy.
Tricia Brouk: Yes.
Tara Newman: All right.
Tricia Brouk: You opened this email by saying, “If you’ve been following me in this place, you’re going to know that I’ve been emailing more.” You’re painting the picture. One of the things you’re working on right now is to clearly communicate. So you’re painting the picture of what’s happening. Then you talk about rising action, which is the challenges or conflict. You want to honor your strengths and it’s time to write. You also say that you didn’t want to actually do everything your team asks you to do, and you weren’t sure if you could be consistent. So that’s the challenge.
Tara Newman: Okay. Yeah, interesting. What I was saying was that the reason why I’m in email more is because I’m not a social media rockstar. I’m a writer and having to say… I’ve been having a hard time finding the medium that helps me say what I have to say and say it in the way I want to say it. And I know that some people who are listening to those podcasts can completely resonate with not being able to find that medium for themselves and maybe getting stuck in a rabbit hole of shoulds. And so this is me claiming my strengths.
That was like that moment, this is me planting my stake in the ground and saying, “I’m unavailable for work that de-energizes me. I’m only here for the work that stabilizes me, and that is emailing more because I like to write.” And yet we had the conflict with the team because I had said that part of the story that I set up was that 18 months ago, I wanted to do this. I was actually depressed. It was February of 2019 and I had seasonal, effective blues going on.
And I wanted to be in more connection with people and really share and be more of a storyteller. I consider myself a storyteller, even though I don’t have any formal training in how to tell a story. And they said, “Okay, you need to have like X amount of weeks of this stuff written,” because I wanted to send a daily email and I was like, “No.” Conflict.
Tricia Brouk: Yeah, so that’s definitely the rising action and the conflict. And then you move into, “But here’s the thing. I can’t promise you’re going to get one every single day, but I can promise that I’m going to give you value, and it’s going to be as consistent as possible.” Because it’s important for community right now and it’s a weird time. That is like your fairy godmother moment.
Tara Newman: What comes after the fairy godmother moment?
Tricia Brouk: Be curious about what’s possible for you. So it’s almost like you’re inviting them to think about what’s next for them. And then the resolution is, “I’ve got this masterclass if you want to join me.”
Tara Newman: Yeah. So I went in to say, “Here’s what you need to know now. Here’s what you need to know.” And I was like, “I want them to come to my masterclass, but I also want to add value.” So I gave some words of wisdom and I said, “We’re in weird times, keep going, because all of you should keep going. I think Tricia is a fantastic example of keep going right now.” Because I know so many people are having a hard time putting one foot in front of the other.
Tricia is doing a fantastic job of showing people how to put one foot in front of the other. What are the things that we could be mastering now to help us speak better? What are the things that we could be working on to stay visible? How can we be visible in a time where maybe some events have been canceled in-person, but we can certainly be doing them from an online perspective? And so keep going, have the courage to leverage your strengths, because that’s the whole takeaway from that email.
Tricia Brouk: And something you did really beautifully with that email, as well as you’re clear in your point of view. It’s uniquely you, you’re not speaking in anyone else’s voice, and that’s something about storytelling and writing that’s equally as important and how you see the world, frankly. The coronavirus, COVID-19 the global pandemic, this is factually happening, period. It’s not good, it’s not bad. Your point of view is how you see the world. You can either choose to see it as bad or choose to see it as good.
So getting clear on who you are, how you speak, what your point of view is, is really important if you want to master the art of public speaking, be a better writer. And I’ll give you an example, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, she wrote the story through the point of view of Scout, the young daughter of Atticus Finch. If she had written that book through the eyes, through the point of view of the middle-aged white lawyer, we would not have the compassion and empathy for the story she was telling.
For anybody who doesn’t know the story of To Kill a Mockingbird, it’s about racism, it’s about lying, it’s about class, it’s about hard stuff. And she tells the story through Scout’s point of view. So it’s really, really important that you’re clear with what point of view you are telling a story through and it must be authentically yours.
Tara Newman: I have a question because I feel like I’m a bit of a natural storyteller. I think I grew up in a family that told stories. I can remember all my family events and holidays us all sitting around the table. At my house, you would hear the same stories over, and over, and over again. And my mom even starts in with some of these stories now, and when they’re about me in front of my kids, I roll my eyes because I’m like, “Don’t tell that story, not appropriate.” So I feel like I came from a family full of storytellers.
But I understand too, that not everybody’s comfortable with telling a story. I think that takes a little courage and I think that takes a little ability, some vulnerability. So what kind of advice would you have for people who either are like, “Oh, I’m not a storyteller,” or, “I’m scared to tell my story,” or, “It’s hard to be vulnerable.”? What are some of the things that you hear people saying to you, your clients, and what are some of the advice that you give?
Tricia Brouk: I hear that all the time, “My ideas aren’t good. Nobody cares what I think. I’m not interesting.” And the reality is if you reframe that and think about who you’re helping and why you’re helping them, then it stops being about you. “I’m not smart enough. My idea has been spoken about by a million other people, who cares what I think?” That is so about you. When you think about sharing your story in a way that can change and potentially save someone else’s life, then you get out of your own way. There are no new ideas, zero.
Tara Newman: My gosh, thank you. There are seriously, no new ideas.
Tricia Brouk: But your point of view will make it uniquely yours. And that is why I am so excited to be able to support future speakers, future storytellers who don’t even know that that’s where they’re going to be going after this global pandemic ends, because everybody will want to be talking about this, and that this is the same. What is different is the point of view with how they tell the story.
Tara Newman: Yes.
Tricia Brouk: If you don’t think your idea is valid, think about how you’re sharing that message in order to reach someone who needs to hear it. That is what I want the listeners to think about is reframe the, “Nobody cares what I think. I’m not interesting. My idea has been talked about by a million other people.” Maybe, but if you think about why you’re sharing your story, why you’re sharing your big idea, why you’re getting on a stage when you’re terrified.
If you’re clear that you mean to have global impact, if you’re clear that you want to help people, if you’re clear that you want to make a difference in the world and leave a lasting legacy behind, that is going to give you the clarity around sharing that message.
Tara Newman: That is incredibly true, and I’m glad that you put words to that because what I like to do is really normalize what people are feeling, because I don’t think that there are enough people that are willing to normalize some of the mindset, challenges, or beliefs, or fears that people have. And I think that’s so important for us to be able to move forward is to go, “Look, not everybody thinks this way. There are other people in the world who are afraid of the same thing, who see their ideas as invalid or thinking like why should I tell this story? It’s been told before?”
And I think it’s really important. There’s a really good example of this. I’m a big fan of Mike Michalowicz. He’s written the book Pumpkin Plan, Profit First. I’m about to become a Profit First certified professional. He’s written the book, Clockwork, he’s got a new book out and he will say, and if you read any of his books, it’s nothing new. Profit First is pretty much like the envelope budgeting system. It’s not a new thing. My dad taught me, your granny probably taught you that. And he’ll say his grandmother taught him that.
But it’s how he tells the story, it’s how he teaches it. It’s the analogies that he puts to it that makes it digestible for the people who resonate with his work. And there are probably a lot of people out there that don’t resonate with his work. He’s got a goofy sense of humor and maybe people don’t like goofy sense of humor, maybe they want to hear it from a different perspective. And that’s also the reason for everybody to go tell their stories because someone needs to hear it from you.
Tricia Brouk: Yes. Yes.
Tara Newman: There’s someone out there looking for themself in a leader, and that’s why you need to be out there and leap with this.
Tricia Brouk: Absolutely. And if you and I were to tell our COVID-19 stories back to back, they would sound very different based on-
Tara Newman: Totally.
Tricia Brouk: … who we are. And so I think you’re absolutely right, if you’re telling your story, the person who’s meant to hear it will.
Tara Newman: Yeah, for sure.
Tricia Brouk: And if you’re not telling your story, you are preventing them from having an opportunity to change or have their life be saved.
Tara Newman: And what I want people to hear too is like, you can find a medium that works for you. I just said this, Tricia and I were having a Zoom coffee together and I said to her, and I’m like, “I’m not going to stand on stage and speak like that right now. That was exhausting for me.” However, I really like being on panels, I can find ways to speak that are in other forms or fashions. And for me, I have a lot of bold things to say right now, like rip off your eyebrows bold, and I’m not comfortable saying those things and telling them in a Facebook live or Instagram stories, because it’s not my favorite medium.
But I can write those like a MoFo, and that’s what I plan on doing. So find your medium. And another really important thing that I’ve learned from Tricia, and I’m going to ask her to share, is what are all the different ways people can speak?
Tricia Brouk: Great question.
Tara Newman: Because I think people hear speaker and they’re like, “Oh, I got to do a TED talk.”
Tricia Brouk: It’s such a great question. If you are interested in sharing an important message so that you can have impact and you’re terrified of the idea of getting on stage by yourself, the first place to start is a panel because you don’t have to memorize anything. All you need to do is familiarize yourself with the moderator and the other guests, and then show up, ready to share your area of expertise. So listening, paying attention and sharing your area of expertise on a panel, it means you could do 50 panels in a year and have to do zero – well – minimal prep work. I always know who my moderator is, I always know who the other panelists are.
But what’s great about that is you’re up on stage with other people, so the sole focus is not on you, therefore, you can be nervous and ease into it and relax, and then be the star, and then shine in your own way. Doing podcasts, doing Facebook Lives, being a featured guest expert or speaker at networking events, virtual conferences, this is happening all over the place right now. And it’s happening so often right now that every networking event and conference I am connected with is asking me to submit speakers.
There’s so much of it right now, so this is an opportunity for you to practice, how to communicate across from a screen, how to articulate your thoughts. Because when this is over, they’re going to be stages that are going to be asking for speakers. And this is a great opportunity for you to get your 10,000 hours in.
Tara Newman: My whole strategy, I believe that the strategy is you, that was actually the name of the talk that I did on the stage at Tricia’s Speaker Salon, and my whole belief is that you just create something that works for you. For example, I started this podcast because I felt really awkward and weird about pitching people to be on their podcasts. I had taken a course, Selena Soo, and I don’t finish any courses, so I never finished her course. Because I got to this one point where she says, she’s talking about pitching yourself to the media and I’m freaking out. I feel like I have hives coming on. I want to not be okay.
And she’s, “Or you can just have your own podcast,” and like, “Ding, ding, ding, thanks for the course. Worth every penny, bye. Peace out. I’m going to go create my podcast now.”
Tricia Brouk: That’s awesome. It’s so true. The same thing happened when I was working in theater. Not enough shows were looking for female directors, I’ll just write my own show that I can direct and choreograph. Why are we waiting around for anybody to give us anything? Or why are we doing things the way other people think we should? Back to innovation and creativity. Speakers Who Dare was meant to be at a theater on March 24th and Broadway closed down on March 10th, I believe. And I had to figure out real quick, a new way of what was going to happen.
And if I had just followed suit and canceled or postponed, I was going to be eliminating 20 speakers and important messages that need to be heard right now. So it was an opportunity that I gave birth to something brand new.
Tara Newman: I have to say, I have to acknowledge you. What you did… Tricia used to be a TEDx producer. She has left the TEDx fold and she has created something in my opinion, that is way better than a TEDx. And it is like her theater background mixed with her speaking background and it becomes this highly engaged, highly entertaining, highly educational event. I don’t know what else to say. It’s not like a TEDx, you get dancers and you had singers, and you have MC, and then you have the speakers there, and it’s just an incredible experience. And so when Tricia’s back to hosting these in Manhattan I think everybody needs to go and see it.
So you were about to host this, this was going to be going on, I believe it was March 24th or around that date. And that is precisely when things were happening so quickly. We were getting new information every single day. And what looked like might’ve been possible one day started to look less likely and less likely, and then impossible within a matter of probably five days. And you shifted to having an audience full of people in a theater with 20 speakers to what? How did you approach this?
Tricia Brouk: I took away the audience, so we gave all the audience members a full refund and turned it into a six-camera live stream. So I was going to bring the speakers in, my crew in, it was going to be less than 50 people, still very much along the guidelines that we’ve been given at that time. And like you said, things happened rapidly in New York City. So it went from 50 to 10 and I thought, canceling or postponing doesn’t feel right in my heart. And it’s because the urgency of these diverse speakers sharing these diverse ideas needed to be put out into the world right now, when things felt completely chaotic and massively uncertain.
So it was my job to figure out how to do this in a way that protected all of the speakers along with the audience. So I removed the audience live stream, that’s no longer an option because I had speakers flying in from all over the world. So, okay, how do I do this? I’m going to… Hey, I’m a moviemaker, I make films. I’ll create a feature film. I’ll have each of the speakers shoot their talks in a unique way that I direct. So whether it’s having tea, whether it’s on the Ganges River, whether it’s on my leather sofa.
And I created these mini-movies with each talk and I edited it together and we live-streamed it on March 24th and it went to 18 countries. So we went from a 120-seat theater, 120-audience member to thousands and 18 countries. It was incredible. That’s why if I had thought, oh, I should just cancel like everybody else. I’ll just postpone to the fall like everybody else. No, I wanted to find my own way. And that’s something everybody can come away from this conversation is that you always find your own way. The strategy is you, Tara. That’s what you always share.
And in this moment I took a page from your book, the strategy is me, I can make this happen in my version. And it was so amazing and so successful. And those speakers were so uplifted because they were still producing and in purpose and giving in the world when we needed it more than ever.
Tara Newman: Amazing. I honestly was watching that with the popcorn, like “What’s she going to do next? What direction is she going to take? Every time, the whole way I was cheering for you because it was so incredible. But I want to wrap this, start wrapping this up and I want to just go back through some of the key takeaways that people can have as they listen to this. So what are some of your summary points, key takeaways?
Tricia Brouk: If you’re clear on your point of view, whether you’re speaking on a podcast from a stage or across the table at dinner, it will help you tremendously. Be clear with what your point of view is. Really important to understand story arc when you’re writing an email, when you’re writing a big talk, when you’re writing a blog post, or when you’re doing a podcast. Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution, this is classic story arc in terms of literature. You can apply it to pretty much anything.
And really understanding that right now is an opportunity for you to roll up your sleeves, get good at your craft because you are going to be called to big stages, and now is the time to get ready.
Tara Newman: Now’s the time. Thank you for coming on, Tricia, and sharing your expertise with us. Where can people find you?
Tricia Brouk: Thank you so much, Tara. You can find me at triciabrouk.com. I’m on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.
Tara Newman: Awesome. Thanks so much.
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