124 Giovanni Marsico on Building Your Tribe

On today’s episode of Steal the Show, we’re talking about building a community of raving fans.

Giovanni Marsico is the founder of the Archangel Summit, an annual gathering of mission-driven entrepreneurs, leaders, and professionals who want to do well by doing good. He shares with us his vision for creating transformational experiences on stage and behind the scenes.

 

How You Can Steal the Show

  • The 4 things you need to create a memorable experience. 
  • The throughline that connects his Archangel community no matter which level they’re working in. 
  • How he chooses keynotes speakers for his events. 
  • What you should invest in (and it’s not necessarily marketing). 
  • The question you should ask to best uplevel your performance. 
  • The secret to building and growing a tribe.  
  • The million little things that have to happen to pull off large events. 
  • Why your focus should be creating transformation, not Facebook ads. 
  • The dirty little secret about overnight success. 

Follow Gio on Instagram or like him on Facebook.  And discover how to attend the 2020 Archangel Summit here.

 

If you enjoyed this show, you may also want to hear:

Episode 119: Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin on how to get people to talk about you

Episode 117: Giovanni Marsico on how to fill an event

Episode 087: Nancy Duarte on how to create and deliver epic performances

Michael:
For years, my team ran big annual, multi-day events. We’re talking hundreds of people, some of the best Q noters, performers, an opening act, a VIP dinner, swag, free lunches, a tattoo station, and even an interactive art piece. But then we built our own theater and now we host more intimate events at Heroic Public Speaking HQ. For us, bigger wasn’t necessarily better, but there’s a lot of excitement in big, big theater, big speakers, and big challenges.

Michael:
So I love talking to others that run big events to see how they do it. Like Gio, for instance, Giovanni Marsico believes that each of us has the power to change the world. So he created Archangel, a community of mission driven entrepreneurs, leaders and professionals who joined forces to do well by doing good. And right after this conversation, he hosted his Archangel Summit, which had featured speakers, including Seth Goden, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Simon Sinek. Gio shares, how he built his community and lays out a vision for creating transformational experiences on stage and off. Here’s Gio. Hey Gio.

Giovanni:
Hi Michael.

Michael:
So listen, the fourth annual Archangel Summit is coming up in just a couple of weeks in October 18th and 19th, I believe.

Giovanni:
Yes.

Michael:
In Toronto. Of course, it’s just where you do it. So this is a fantastic time for us to talk about running events, putting on your own events. And even if listeners are not interested in putting on their own events, I think they’ll learn a lot about how to interact with event planners and event organizers as a speaker at these events because it’s important that they understand what it takes to put on an event if they want to be part of an event. Agreed?

Giovanni:
Absolutely.

Michael:
So I love that we’re doing it now also because you’re in the throws of it and this is a many thousands of people will be there, it’s a huge venue, it is a massive production and you do it with a small group of people. So how are you feeling right now, Gio?

Giovanni:
I am in this weird zone of giddy and excited. I’m usually really calm and people think it’s weird that even on the date of the event I’m very peaceful and calm and that’s part of my DNA. But this year, because of the production we’re creating and the show aspect and the entertainment and the aesthetic and the design and the visuals and all these crazy things we’re doing I’m just really excited to unleash the production.

Michael:
Well, you’re doing things at your conference that we typically do not see conferences do. You are really creating a show an experience with production value that is much more significant than conferences that would have similar budgets or similar size audiences.

Giovanni:
Right. And we started off that way too, where in our first year in 2016, it was a stage with really incredible speakers and an audience in a theater and it worked. And I realized to be really unique and standout and remarkable I had to infuse more of my other super powers, which was experienced design and creating a show. And I love movies, I love superheroes and I thought, how can we create storyline and how do we actually make people feel like they’re being shipped to an extraordinary world for a day? As if you’re sitting in a movie theater or in a Broadway show or in an experience that makes you feel lost, where the speakers are still incredible sharing valuable wisdom, not pitching and selling, but really just sharing their stuff. But then they’re almost like every speaker’s a chapter of a story and there’s a climax to the story and you end the event feeling like, wow, what just happened?

Michael:
Ah, I love it. Well that’s of course after my own heart, I just love that. But look, running an event is not for the faint of heart, so we know that. We ran HBS live for several years and then we run multiple trainings every single month here at HQ. And we have a max of 75 people here at HQ and when we did HBS live we maxed out to about 550 people, but you do about 3000 or so people.

Giovanni:
Yep.

Michael:
Correct. So the scale is much bigger. So large events with big name speakers and thousands of attendees. How do you find the balance between the entertainment value and the educational value?

Giovanni:
Awesome question. I think to create a memorable experience the elements you need are and I learned this from there’s a book called Experience Economy that I read.

Michael:
Yeah. Great book.

Giovanni:
I think a great book 15 years ago, but he talks about education, escapism, aesthetic and entertainment and having a blend of those things. Education is always the first most important thing, but when you evoke emotion, it actually creates a memory and it allows the audience and the attendees to retain what they’ve learned better.

Giovanni:
So education’s first. And we always try to find the most aligned speakers who have the wisdom, have the frameworks, the expertise, and the amazing stories. And who are amazing performers, I know that’s important to you. Who can share their wisdom and then everything else becomes a layer on top of that to help the audience get more engaged because it’s largely a group of entrepreneurs who most of us have something that starts with the letter A, whether it’s ADD or autism or Asperger’s or whatever. So our attention spans are often shorter or smaller, and I want to keep the audience engaged for eight hours, and we do it. And that’s what the extra stuff.

Michael:
So, you’ve had over the past number of years, Seth Goden, Liz Gilbert, or actually Liz this year, right?

Giovanni:
Right.

Michael:
Todd Herman is this year, Brendan Bouchard was last year, Gary Vaynerchuk I think the year before. Danielle LaPorte’s, Simon Sinek, Gretchen Rubin, Lewis Howes, Akon. So how do you choose which speakers? Because there are dozens if not hundreds of really effective speakers who have name recognition that would be draws for your event and would do a great job. So how do you choose?

Giovanni:
It’s an algorithm. So let me share. I started off by having a theme for the experience and the theme lasts the entire year. And then I start thinking about the entire storyline for the story.

Michael:
So wait, hold on back up. So the theme that you choose for the conference you’re choosing actually that theme for the whole year-

Giovanni:
Correct.

Michael:
And that theme is playing out in the other programming that you offer for the Archangel community.

Giovanni:
Right. And now I’m starting to think even multi-year. I love comic books and I love superheroes. And I love what Marvel did with the MCU, like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, how they had whatever it was, 22 movies, and they’re all themed and they’re all like, like part one, part two, part three, even though one is Iron Man, the other one’s Captain America where all of the stories are interlaced. So I’m trying to think now for the next few years. What could that look like? Where all of the years stories are interlaced.

Michael:
That’s fascinating. Just for full disclosure for the audience, I’m part of your Archangel Council. You also have have Archangel Masters and then a number of different types of program for entrepreneurs at different levels of development. And I think that’s a really interesting concept that you have this theme that it is not just specific to the event but is integrated into all of the programming throughout the year and that influences the culture of all of the programming and creates a consistent connection between members in the different programming even though they may not see each other a lot because they’re not in the exact same programs. They certainly are connecting around the mission of Archangel, but they’re also focused on the same theme throughout the year. How do you find that your attendees at summit and of course your other programming experience that together?

Giovanni:
Well, I think that’s the magic of the whole thing where everyone in the community, no matter what level you’re at have the through line of being the same because we’re all driven by impact and mission and creating transformation and change and helping people and serving people. But then we’ve noticed that in the bigger or larger community, there’s people at different levels. So some people may be starting out, some people may be way more down the path entrepreneurially with respect to the team size and the revenue size and what they’ve built.

Giovanni:
So people need different things at different milestones. And that’s what the individual groups and programs like Council, Masters, MBA Academy that are for. But then the live experiences become like the family reunions where we all get to come together. And I feel like it’s a big cliché, I love Spider Man, but then there’s that saying in the Spider-Man comics, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Giovanni:
In our community, the more successful you are, I feel the more responsibility you have to gift it forward and help the people behind you on your path to get further down. So that as a collective, we’re all making massive exponential change together.

Michael:
So the Council supports the Masters, the Masters supports the MBA program, the MBA program supports summit members, et cetera.

Giovanni:
And then we all get to come together.

Michael:
So let’s go back to talk a little bit more about your selection process for the speakers. You said, “Well, I’ve got a theme each year.” So are you trying to find speakers who speak on a topic that is related to the theme?

Giovanni:
Well, yes, kind of. So the theme is the overarching storyline. And then we think what are the different chapters and what is the transformation we want to create for the attendees and who are the experts in these individual milestones that help them get to the transformation. And then part of that algorithm is feedback of people in the community itself. So I always like to ask especially once you’ve been to the event, who would you like to see speak at upcoming events? And we have that interactivity. So we’re serving people based on what they want and looking for patterns there.

Giovanni:
And then I’m also there are certain speakers who have massive platforms and people recognize their names. And for different segments of the audience because our audience is very diverse and it’s 50, 50 men and women. So if I said Liz Gilbert some of the men listening may think who is that? And every woman is like, “Oh my God, I can’t wait to see her.” And if I say Seth Goden it skews a bit more on the business growth marketing side versus personal growth.

Giovanni:
And so we try to create programming and agenda that is balanced between masculine and feminine, between business growth and personal growth between high energy, low energy, calm, all these different things. And then the hardest job is the actual agenda to say who goes first, who goes next and who was last. And there’s science we’ve developed even for that. Which is part of the thing I love the most, is the figuring out what does that storyline look like

Michael:
In 2018 I had you on the show talking about how to fill an event. And so for folks who want to get deeper into that, they can check out that episode. In terms of the planning what lessons have you learned over the years based on the mistakes that you’ve made or almost made, and what did they teach you that has allowed you to build such a successful event today?

Giovanni:
I find so, so many things fascinating. One is what people want with respect to delivery on stage. So as an example, at the big event, at summit the audience loves keynotes or people coming on stage and doing a talk. And as an example, in 2017, we had Simon Sinek who wrote, Start with Why and he’s an amazing author, even more amazing speaker. One of my favorite speakers personally and a couple of weeks before the event, he called me and said, listen, “Hey, I would really love to do an interview. Can you interview me?” And I said, “Yeah, sure.” And his interview answers were like 12 out of 10, every single one. And then we did a bit of Q&A with the audience and I was blown away at how good he is at that. And then the feedback on the interview was amazing.

Giovanni:
But then we also had people saying, why didn’t he do a talk? And we had complaints about it. And I thought, wow, that’s so fascinating. And I’ve noticed that in our community when people are more established with their business, they don’t want keynote talks, they only want like fireside chat interview style going deep interactive with the audience stuff.

Giovanni:
So it’s understanding the psychology of the audience and what they want. The other thing in terms of mistakes or things that I had changed. In the first couple of years we did Q&A with audience members, open Q&A just go over to the mic and ask a question and it was hit or miss. Even if I preempted the audience to say, don’t ask selfish questions, whatever it was, and you’d always get the, well, can you be my mentor or can you invest in my business? It’s like, oh, come on. Or people instead of asking a question spending five minutes making a statement.

Michael:
If they start with in my experience, generally doesn’t end in a question.

Giovanni:
So we don’t do that anymore and I think it’s really ups the experience value for everybody. And I’m constantly experimenting too. So this year we’re experimenting with a bunch of stuff that is a surprise, but we’ll see what happens. It might be incredible and we’ll keep doing it and it may not work as well as I thought and then we won’t do it again.

Michael:
What’s one thing this year that makes you the most nervous? Something that you’re trying, that you haven’t done before?

Giovanni:
I don’t really get nervous.

Michael:
Okay, let me reframe the question. If you were a regular person, what would make you nervous about what you’re trying this year that you haven’t tried before?

Giovanni:
I think this episode will probably air after the event, so I could probably share a bit of stuff. The opening sequence is very important to me. I think you have to open with a bang and shock and all people a bit and surprise and delight them. So this year we’re experimenting with something called 3D projection mapping. And our entire front of the room will be a 170 foot screen with 3D projection mapping onto the screen, that creates like immersive elements in the room. And I will be in a costume interacting with the screen. It’s not something I’ve ever done before.

Michael:
Wow.

Giovanni:
So that’s like the thing that I’m probably, if I was a normal person, I’d be anxious because I have no idea what was going to happen.

Michael:
I want to ask, but I can’t even imagine how much is that costing. You don’t have to tell me, of course, but I imagine it’s not chump change.

Giovanni:
No. We invest heavily into production because what I’ve discovered is that the more, and this is a Seth Goden thing, so it’s very [inaudible 00:17:25] as he’s speaking, but the more you invest in remarkability, the the less you can invest in marketing. Because people naturally want to talk about you. So we’ve put a lot of our marketing budget into the show.

Michael:
I remember Seth talking once about how sometimes, folks will try to make everything remarkable, which very difficult to do. So you end up watering yourself down rather than focusing on a few key elements that you can make truly remarkable that people will talk about. And then the other things you do, you do well but you don’t need to go overboard so to speak. I don’t know, I’m just making this up, but one aspect of the registration process might be simply focused on lean, clean quick efficient move people through, boom. So they may talk about, “Oh, it’s really great registration process.” But they’re not telling a whole story at dinner about the registration process. But there are no issues there. There are no pit moments.

Michael:
But then you’re focusing on the opening and creating such a remarkable experience that the next week whenever they bump into people or see people that weren’t at the event, they’re talking about that opening. Do you take that approach where you focus on specific areas to make really remarkable and while making sure that all other areas are efficient or effective enough so there are no pit moments, but it allows you to put your energy into the really big ones?

Giovanni:
1000%. To me the most important elements are opening the closing and then the flow in between. And with respect to the pit moments, it’s getting client and attendee feedback after the event which we’ve done every year to say, what could we do better and say, okay, now in these specific elements, how do we engineer an even better experience. But even with the registration, with 3000 people, registration can be a pain and lineups can be long. So like last year we had circus performers performing in the lineups to create a distraction and create-

Michael:
I remember that. Yeah.

Giovanni:
And that’s always trying to up-level and improve every element of the experience.

Michael:
If you bumped into somebody who you didn’t know who was an attendee at the event what would you hope they would say about it?

Giovanni:
Wow, you’re awesome. I would hope that they had a giant smile and I’m assuming is after the event.

Michael:
Yeah.

Giovanni:
Well, I can actually share feedback I’ve received like this where people have said it’s changed their life. One story, I had a woman who told me that she couldn’t afford to come and a friend of her bought her ticket for her and then she came and because of the speakers and it was just a shift of paradigm to make her realize that she was valuable and she was going through a lot of mindset challenges. And she went from not being able to afford to come to the year after doing 250,000 in revenue in her business the year after, like doubling that again.

Giovanni:
Those are my favorite stories of transformation where people are feeling isolated and alone. And the biggest thing I want people to come out of is to say, “I found my tribe. I found my family.” And that’s my favorite thing that people say. I feel like I finally belong, I feel like I’m finally in a room where people get me.

Michael:
Yeah. I feel that. When I think about mission and purpose of Archangel it seems to me that you put extraordinary focus on that community piece. And so that you’re making your choice through that lens and that’s driven by leadership. You can’t not care about community and then build community, doesn’t work. Because you think, I know it’s important, they say I should, I don’t really care, but it just doesn’t work. And so you live and breathe it. And so one aspect of the community is your team at Archangel who run the organization and of course this event. And I’m wondering how you manage the workload because you have a pretty lean team.

Giovanni:
Yes.

Michael:
But you produce numerous events throughout the year and a 3000 person event with massive production value. And I’ve seen folks in the event space run into financial trouble because their team builds to such a degree meaning there are so many people because they staff up for these events and then if they don’t have other offerings that they’re making throughout the year, they end up too top heavy, and it’s problematic. But you’ve been able to keep it really lean. So how do you do that? A, how do you manage the workload so people don’t burn out? Because when you do these big events, you have these incredibly intense periods of time and then downtime and then up and down and up and down.

Michael:
And then secondly, do you staff up for the event itself? If so, how do you do it? And if you’re staffing up for an event, how do you ensure that all of these people who are working that event really do live and breathe the core values of Archangel?

Giovanni:
You are really good at asking awesome questions, Michael.

Michael:
Thank you.

Giovanni:
We have six full time people which is tiny probably compared to other comparable-

Michael:
Oh, that’s tiny compared to most event companies, yeah. And you’re much more than an event production company. You’re a coaching and training organization. You just focus on events as a one of the ways to drive the community and the development of the people in the community.

Giovanni:
Correct. Our events serve our members. It creates an opportunity to meet in real life, which I think is always going to be important the more digital the world becomes. But in terms of [inaudible 00:23:55] I’ll give our friend Alex Charfen a plug because we hired him to help us understand how to build the team and how to scale. And now we have a dream team where everyone, even though there’s only six of us, we’re each in our zone of genius and we’re all true believers in the mission, which is the most important thing for us and that’s what Alex teaches. Culture fit first, talent and skill second.

Giovanni:
And it allows us to get charged up by doing the work that we do by staying in our lanes and having complete clarity around what everyone’s lane is and having momentum by being really efficient with our planning. We love meetings, we love getting together, we love talking about the goals and objectives and we’re hyper focused on what the annual planning mission goals are. And then breaking it down to the quarter, breaking down to the month and to the week and to the day so that we don’t get distracted. And we know where we’re heading, we know exactly where we’re going and what it takes to get there.

Giovanni:
And this is over the past year and before that it was way more chaotic because we didn’t have the framework and we didn’t have the choreography. So it was a lot more stressful and overwhelming and even I felt burned out a lot. So now we’re in a way better place.

Michael:
It’s interesting you’re doing, it seems to me this year, about five to 10 times more than you did last year.

Giovanni:
Right.

Michael:
In terms of events and programming, the size of the community, et cetera has been growing exponentially. But you’re saying you’re actually less stressed now and you’re fine. Have you found that you’ve created a more even flow, even though you have these events that typically would produce spikes in activity?

Giovanni:
Yeah, way more. Because we’re on like an 18 month planning cycle. So we have all of our dates for 2020 booked and we have four main events. All of the venues are booked and we’ve never been this far ahead and it’s really cool. We already have a few speakers for next year’s summit.

Michael:
That’s great.

Giovanni:
And that’s what helps even out the insanity so that it’s not like craziness right before an event. The project management of the individual milestones and tasks get laid out throughout the year and it makes life so much easier.

Michael:
Do you do any scenario planning in advance of the big event to take into consideration what problems may occur? Big ones. This is a small example, but at our last HBS live event FEMA decided to test an emergency alert system via cell phone where they sent everybody in America, literally every cell phone in America. They sent a text testing the emergency broadcast system and they scheduled it right in the middle of the event. So we knew it was coming because one of our event attendees had sent us an email, said, “Hey, by the way, did you notice that it, FEMA made an announcement. They’re going to test this thing right during the event. I thought you might want to know.” I said, “Thank you for telling us.”

Michael:
So we were able to plan in advance for this interruption. And so then I built it into the curriculum and made it a teaching moment. And it came off, look, it worked quite well because most people didn’t know this was happening it just it was surprising to them. So of course, because we’re teaching public speaking communication it’s perfect for us. But these things are going to happen and you won’t know about them, but are there things that you take into consideration and plan for in advance? It’s unlikely you’re going to have a big snow storm at this point, although it is Canada, so you never know.

Michael:
But you could have other issues, when you do an event of this scale, what happens if there’s some big security issue and all travel shuts down the day before the event or two days before the event? And I don’t want to raise your anxiety going into the event, but you know what I’m saying. There’s a lot of factors that have to line up in order to make an event like this work. So are there things that you plan for in advance? So if this happens, then we’ll do this. If this happens, then we’ll do this or do you take it as it comes?

Giovanni:
It’s a bit of both. I think you can over plan for things that won’t happen and we have insurances and different things. But I think it’s more important to plan for agility and plan for change and being able to adapt to things in the moment. Like we had a security challenge last year where one of our speakers had I’ll use the word stalker, that might not be the right word, but someone who was very, very, very excited to figure out how to meet the speaker to the point where they tried to get backstage and they tried to do all kinds of things and where the speaker felt nervous.

Giovanni:
So we were able to take care of it right away. It’s not something we thought of in this context before and then we adapted it and fixed it and now it became an opportunity to learn from to figure out how to get even better and even better every year. And some something fun we did. Whenever we have those moments, we actually incorporate them into our interview process. So we hired a full time event manager back in the summer who’s now managing all of our events and helping with planning and production and execution. And during the interview process we had I think eight people we interviewed in like the final round, we actually asked them, so here’s the scenario, you’re on the spot and there’s a stalker who’s trying to get to the speaker, what would you do?

Giovanni:
And it was really telling in terms of who we hired based on what the responses was to that. Because most of them couldn’t figure out what to say. And Crystal who we did hire had an amazing answer, which I actually can’t remember at the time, but it was just like, yes. And it was really helpful to take those moments and turn them into opportunity for growth for us.

Michael:
You may have already been doing some of this, but it looks like you’re working to operationalize it a little bit more. And it’s something that we’re working on as well at present is how to expand our scholarship fund so that worthy humans who might not be able to afford the programming at present given their current situation, still would have a chance to do this work because there’s a scholarship opportunities for them. I believe in partial scholarships so that everybody’s got skin in the game.

Michael:
But we’re designing some processes so that alumni can help bring new people into the programming. Because often the alumni are in a very solid position financially. So what are you doing on that front? I saw you put a post about it. I didn’t read all of it. But I saw that you were talking about it and so I’m interested in what your thoughts on this topic are and what you’re working toward.

Giovanni:
We have a lot of people in our community that are either startups where they’re bootstrapping and all of their money goes into building a thing or their students. And those are the two people I want to help the most with this concept of a scholarship. And again, great power, great responsibility. I feel like the more established people in the community and I get people saying, I want to help, how can I help? So what we want to create is an opportunity where people with the means can essentially gift tickets to people who can’t.

Giovanni:
Because I think those people who can’t afford to come are the ones who would benefit sometimes the most. They may get a spark or just getting access to the wisdom and to the community and to the environment. It’s even a form of self care to come to an event like this to be in the energy of the room and to have a paradigm shift of what’s possible. And that’s why like this year, the theme is dreamer, the word dreamer, which is often used as a bad word or like a negative connotation I think it’s a good thing.

Giovanni:
I think all visionaries start off as dreamers and they get access to frameworks or wisdom or help to turn the dream into a reality. So that’s what we’re focusing on creating the scholarship program this year as a test. And that’s one of the tests and experiments I’m doing to see how it works and if it works really well, we’ll continue it.

Michael:
So let’s expand this line of conversation a little bit because you have a lot of brand evangelists. There are people out there who are actively and regularly talking about Archangel. So how have you, and how are you going to continue to operationalize the the spreading of the message? Look, one of your zone of genius is marketing. You’re absolutely a brilliant marketer. So I’m wondering how you are thinking about doing that because I can see a couple of things when you say, in the scholarship piece they can buy tickets and gift them to other people that they can do directly, if they know someone that they want to bring that’s easy to operationalize.

Michael:
But what if they’re not sure or if they just want to make the donations anonymously and then know that it goes to a worthy candidate. And then outside of the scholarship piece, how do you operationalize the spreading of the message so that attendees can help bring other attendees. So you get the right attendees in there and you’re not just always pulling people from Facebook ads or YouTube ads or something like that.

Giovanni:
Well, see here’s the funny thing we really don’t do ads. My philosophy is to start with clarity around who the tribe is and what the values are, what the beliefs are, what you stand for. And build organically that way to the point where someone in the community can recognize someone else who should be in the community. Like my favorite thing is when I’ll get an email intro or a social media kind of introduction to someone where the person who’s in the community says, Gio, you have to meet Lisa. Lisa is already in Archangel she doesn’t even know it. Because they get what it means.

Michael:
Oh, that’s great. That’s really cool.

Giovanni:
So the idea is to focus on the tribe first and build that way. I believe that paid advertising or publicity or anything that people think you have to do at the beginning of a business shouldn’t be at the beginning. You have to have the proof of concept first and build the community first and then use all of those tools to amplify your platform. And that’s where we’re at now. So that’s like phase two now.

Michael:
So say that again because I think it’s important. I want you to reiterate that for the audience.

Giovanni:
I have people coming up to me who are startups, who are starting a new thing and they’re like, well, how do I do Facebook ads? Or how do I get into specific publications? And my whole thing is all of that is so important, but it’s only important once you’ve built something. Built something that matters, where you’re actually creating transformation and you have community. And then you use those things to amplify what you’re doing, not just to make an announcement of what you’re doing at the beginning.

Michael:
That’s beautiful. I want to put that in a context that the speakers who are listening will get and they’ll see how that applies to what they’re doing. Very often what we see is when somebody wants to be a keynoter they come in and they look at the market and they say, “How do I move the market?” What are the big keynoters doing to market themselves or do those things? And then they see the websites of these big keynoters and they go, “Oh, I gotta have a website, like that’s fantastic.” They’ve got images and videos, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Michael:
And then they realize, wait to get all those images and the video, I need a keynote so I can’t make the website. So, catch 22, and this just goes [inaudible 00:37:30] I’ll make the video. Well, okay, so I don’t have the key, you need the keynote to get the pictures. You need the keynote to get the video. You need the keynote to get the testimonials, you need the keynote to et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So you get in this loop and it can be pretty disheartening.

Michael:
And I think that the market tries to sell them more business advice. So if you just do these kinds of ads or you send these emails yada, yada and we rarely see that work. What we know works is building a speech that people want to see. Because you do it once you’re going to produce stateside leads, stateside leads close at a rate of probably 20 to one. Compared to any other type of lead who has not seen you speak. And once you do that one, you’re going to book more. You do one, you book two, you do those two, now you book four, you do those four, now your book eight and then you get this value from these compound gigs over time.

Giovanni:
Michael, you’ve just fired me up. Because this topic is so important to me. You can’t shortcut craft. And I think people are always trying to get this quick fix thing. Like how do I use technology or how do I do these things so that I don’t have to get really good at my thing? No. We need to go back to the old school, very old school craftsmanship or whatever the word is idea of putting in the effort to get really, really good at your thing.

Michael:
Build things that people really want. It sounds so obvious, but it’s not necessarily how everybody is focused on their work. But if you look at the people who are true thought leaders versus influencers, and I think those two things are different. This is something that Todd Herman and I were talking about at one point. Todd’s speaking there this year. The difference between a thought leader and an influencer. People who want to be on the main stage at events like yours they’re going to need to be thought leaders, visionaries, who are helping their audience change the way they think, feel, and act.

Michael:
An influencer may be popular, but it doesn’t mean that they can move people to think differently or feel differently or even act differently. And I know that sounds counterintuitive because the term influencer is used very often for these folks. But I think it’s very soft, it’s a soft term. You’ve got a lot of people following you on Instagram, you become an influencer, but can you really change the way these people think, feel and act. And if you can, then you might be in the thought leadership space.

Michael:
So this is Andrew Davis and I are working on a book right now a lot of our audience probably knows Andrew and we haven’t publicly talked about it much so I won’t go into it now, but this is a core philosophy of ours at Heroic Public Speaking, which is if you want to be truly remarkable because you can create transformational experiences for audiences, then we need to master the craft of content development, script writing and performance.

Giovanni:
Exactly.

Michael:
We can’t move the market by having a flashy website, killer copy and and a bunch of YouTube video ads.

Giovanni:
And there are people who are online professing those things. It’s like, oh, all you need is a to you use ads or all you need is a funnel, or all you need is these things and you’ll get magically business. But they don’t actually focus on the idea of creating transformation or building a thing on delivery. Let’s actually do something that makes change. Let’s actually focus on that first and then you have something to talk about.

Michael:
Yeah. Like this is one of the reasons that I find you to be a kindred spirit. I resonate with you on so many of these things. So look, let’s start to wrap this up. If you ask doctors, would you encourage your children to go into medicine at least in the US as much as 90% of doctors apparently from what I’ve been told would say no. Because medicine is not the field that it was when I went into it as a youngster. If somebody wants to get into event production, they have an interest to be in that line of work either as an event producer, like the woman who works for you or as an executive producer like yourself who in your case you’re the owner and an executive producer of these events, would you recommend that they go for it, that they pursue this and if so, why?

Giovanni:
I think the first answer is yes. If there’s an obsession with creating experience designer, there’s an obsession with transforming people through live experience. And if you love bringing people together and if you love creating connection. I love standup comedy and I love you know how they’ll have a Netflix special and people just assume, well, yeah, they just wrote this show and they did the show. It’s like, no, first they write the jokes, then they go to some tiny little club in New York or wherever they are and they rehearsed the jokes and some of them bomb and they take the good ones and they make a set and then eventually they make a show that they tour and then they have a Netflix special. And it’s like that amount of effort has to go into whatever you’re doing.

Giovanni:
So if someone wants to start events, you have to start by bringing five people together and then 10 and then 20 and then 50. You don’t start a giant event. People only see the growth of anything after the apex of the exponential curve. You know what I mean? They’re like, “Oh, it’s an overnight success.” But they don’t see the first 10 years of all the grueling work that has to go into that thing.

Giovanni:
So if you are obsessed with it for sure, but you don’t start off at the end, you start off at the beginning by doing all the grueling things. And I think that applies to any industry or any profession or any way of creating a business or a career.

Michael:
That’s fantastic. I love it. Arcangelsummit.com is where people can get tickets for next event?

Giovanni:
Yeah.

Michael:
Is any other webpages that people can go to connect with you or learn more about our Archangel and the whole tribe?

Giovanni:
Well, that’s the funny thing. Because you mentioned how people think they need a website. We haven’t actually had an official website in the past six years. We haven’t really needed one.

Michael:
Just for the event.

Giovanni:
Right. We have landing pages for events, but we don’t really have an official website. Archangelacademy.com is will become the official website and maybe by the time people hear this, it’ll be more worked out. Until then-

Michael:
Can people who’ve never been to Archangel summit, can they join the Archangel Facebook Group?

Giovanni:
That’s probably the best place to start. It’s Archangel Community is the name of it. So facebook.com/archangelcommunity.

Michael:
Because that’s something that I would recommend folks do.

Giovanni:
For sure.

Michael:
Obviously there’s no cost to it. And they can get a sense of what the community is like and they’ll see immediately how inspired the community is and how supportive the community is and they might in fact find a home in there.

Giovanni:
We did a lot of programming that’s free for people in the community. We’ll do things called master labs where members of our masters and counsel and in groups share their wisdom in the group.

Michael:
I think I have one of those coming up.

Giovanni:
Yep. There’s a lot that we do.

Michael:
Okay, good. So that’s a place. And then if people want to reach out to you guys directly what’s the best way to do that?

Giovanni:
Facebook, Instagram are probably the two best. On Instagram. I’m at GiovanniMarsico126.

Michael:
Fantastic. Gio thank you so much. You’re good man. And I know this summit is just going to be the best one that the world has ever seen.

Giovanni:
Thank you so much Michael. Thanks for having me again.

Michael:
The end of each episode of Steal the Show we’re featuring a heroic public speaking alumni who is saving the world one speech at a time. This week we’re profiling a NASA astronaut, Steve Smith, who made the transformation from speaker to performer. Now Steve’s flown on for space shuttles and performed seven spacewalks even repairing the Hubble Telescope. But none of that prepped him for his first day at HPS grad.

Michael:
He’d already been on the speaking circuit and it was part of his job as an astronaut, but he wanted to go pro. So he signed up for HPS grad, listen to the audio book version of Steal the Show seven times, yes, seven times. That’s the pursuit of mastery. And then he booked his flight to New Jersey. But on his first day of class, he was devastated. Only then did he recognize what a professional speaker needs to be, a performer. But he’d never written his speeches. He didn’t block or stage, he didn’t warm up or rehearse then he didn’t use any kind of contrast, structural, emotional or delivery.

Michael:
But, there’s not a lot that can keep Steve Smith down for long, including gravity. So he set out to transform from a speaker to a performer. For months he put in the work studying and practicing performance skills. Soon he stopped looking at the floor when he was searching for words, he ditched his trademark, steady and serious scientist tone and added vocal contrast and he even changed his speakers wardrobe, always bringing his blue NASA jacket to his gigs.

Michael:
As a result, his speeches became more engaging, more interesting and more influential. Now he’s on the professional speaking circuit making a living on stages across the country. He was tapped by Chevrolet to introduce the 2020 Corvette at the Kennedy Space Center. Although I didn’t get an invitation for that, I’m going to have to talk to him. And he’s going to appear in movies and documentaries. His opportunities now include international speaking events as he’s been out of this world. I can’t resist, it’s too easy. So it makes sense that he’d appear across the globe. And most importantly, he says he’s having fun and now that he stopped speaking and started performing, he says that he takes the stage with confidence and joy every time. Now that is out of this world.

Michael:
Thanks for listening to Steal the Show I’m your host Michael Port. We record our episodes at Heroic Public Speaking HQ. Thanks for listening and learning how to be a performer in your spotlight moments. Make sure to reach out to us on Instagram and Facebook at Heroic Public Speaking and leave us a review on iTunes if you like the show. Until next time, keep thinking big about who you are and how you see the world. Bye for now.

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