On today’s episode of Steal the Show, we’re talking about the neuroscience of fandom and how speakers can use it to connect with audiences and build a following.

David Meerman Scott is the author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR, with more than 400,000 copies sold in English and available in 29 languages. His newest book, Fanocracy, co-written with his daughter Reiko, is about turning fans into customers and customers into fans.

How You Can Steal the Show

  • Receive the advice David gave himself in college that turned out to be crucial to his career. 
  • Figure out the right number of speaking engagements per year. 
  • Find out the thing that terrifies him most about speaking. (Hint: it has nothing to do with being on stage.) 
  • Determine if you’re delivering the best possible speech for the event. 
  • Learn why people become fans and how to keep them coming back for more. 
  • Unpack the neuroscience behind fandom and how speakers can use it to connect with audiences and build a following. 
  • Discover the real power of the speaker-audience member selfie. 
  • Uncover what David wishes he could tell his younger self back when he was first practicing his speaking craft.

Watch David’s NSA talk here. You can purchase a copy of David and Raiko’s new book, Fanocracy, here.

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

Episode 126 Scott Stratten on Harnessing Your Personality for Fun and Profit

Episode 125: Simon T. Bailey on Quitting Your Full-Time Job to be a Pro Speaker

Episode 124: Giovanni Marsico on Building Your Tribe

Michael: (00:05)
If you’ve ever wondered how come some speakers and authors have so many raving fans? The answer might be found in neuroscience. David Meerman Scott, who sold over 400,000 copies of The New Rules of Marketing and PR, explains how to turn fans into customers and customers into fans using techniques backed by neuroscience. He recently published Fanocracy and created a free HubSpot Academy course to go along with it. And this episode of Steal the Show, David shows speakers how to connect with audiences, build a following and book more speaking gigs.

Michael: (00:46)

David: (00:47)

Michael: (00:49)
How are ya?

David: (00:49)
I’m doing great, thanks. How are you?

Michael: (00:52)
I’m fantastic. We were just chatting before we turn on the recorder and I was just saying how much I love doing these episodes. You get one of them because I often get to talk to old friends who I don’t actually get to see that much or talk to at length. But here I get a full hour with you.

David: (01:12)
I know. It’s awesome, isn’t it? Because the last time we connected in person was at NSA. And I remember distinctly you were saving your voice cause you were about to go on and you’re looking at me and you, and you pointed your voice and then you said, no, you know, you shook your head like I can’t talk right now. And it was hysterical because I’m like, Mike, I want to talk to you.

Michael: (01:35)
My kids were very, very happy when I do that. They’re very, very pleased. I’m not really talking much right now cause I get to, I get to go a day without a lesson from dad, you know? So listen, let’s start with just an outline of your career as a speaker because I want to get a sense of what you’re focusing on now, how often you’re speaking, what kind of environments you’re in and and how that’s changed over time.

David: (02:09)
When I was in college, my father said to me over the dinner table one time, “You have to learn how to speak in public. It’s going to be one of the most important things that you do for your career.” And I looked at him like, I’m freaking scared of speaking. What are you talking about? I don’t want to do that. And my gosh, was he right. So I first started speaking,u25 years ago, I actually founded a Toastmasters club in Tokyo, Japan with my friends. And we started, I started learning how to speak at Toastmasters was doing some speaking with the companies that I had worked with. And it wasn’t until about 2007 when the new rules of marketing and PR first came out that I got a boatload of inquiries around. And please come and speak at our conferences.

David: (03:02)
I had been on my own for about two years for about five years by that point. And so when just it went crazy when you have a bestselling book and, and I was speaking all over the world and I was loving it and I started to think of it as my art. I think of it as my craft. I think of it as my happy place being on a stage and I look back at what my dad said that, you know, you should learn how to do this, it’s going to be really important. I don’t know if he was like, like, like looking at the tea leaves in some crazy way or not, but he was absolutely right and I was so glad I got the foundations of five years at Toastmasters so that when things started to take off, I really felt started to feel comfortable on stages and, and doing my art. And that was 13 years ago. And I’ve been been on that journey now for 13 years.

Michael: (03:54)
And how many gigs are you doing a year at this point?

David: (03:58)
Something like 30 or 40. As a typical year. And that’s, that’s a good amount for me. I, we have one daughter, she’s out of, out of the house now. My wife and I both work from home and that is the right amount of travel for me. And I’m fortunate that I can pick and choose and we’d all love international gigs and I’ll often bring her with me, you know, recently we were a couple of weeks ago, we are in Carta Haina Columbia for an engagement. And I, we just love that we love traveling the world together and and so I will pick and choose based on when I can get somewhere interesting and I can take my wife. It’s, it’s a wonderful way to go about it.

David: (04:44)
I love that you said that that number is the right number for you and that you love the international gigs and that’s, that’s specific to you. And it’s how, I mean, this is, suppose this is a rhetorical question, but would you like you to elaborate on it a bit? But how important is it for each individual to determine what is best for them rather than, you know, again, having some idea of what they are supposed to be doing in order to, you know, increase their status or you know, gets, you know, just extraordinary financial returns from, you know, how do you look, you’re a, you’re a deadhead, right? You’re a philosophical guy. You’re not a guy who, you know, only thinks about the, you know, financial return on the work you’re doing. So how important is it and how do you think people would be well served by thinking about the different choices they make in this particular field?

David: (05:51)
I think it’s absolutely critical, and I’ve had a number of discussions with people this, and it’s interesting how people who are thoughtful have made choices for themselves, about about what is the right amount of speaking for them. I’ve, I’ve spoken with some people who do a hundred gigs a year or some people do more than a hundred gigs a year. And that I’m just don’t want to be running around like that. I’d prefer to be able to if I go somewhere interesting to take four or five days or even a week to enjoy that particular place I want to be able to be at my home and relax and go to sleep at a decent hour. And all of those things are really, really important to me. And then the other thing that’s important to me is that at this stage in my life, I feel like I’m just now entering the final third of my life.

David: (06:46)
And the first third of my life I characterize as the learning phase. The second third of my life I considered the accumulation phase. And the third stage of my life, which I’m in right now is the giving back phase. And that’s what I think about all the time. So I do quite a few pro bono free, whatever you want to call them, speaking engagements. I’m very heavily involved with an organization called geo Versiti and we own a 12,000 acre nature preserve in Panama. And I’m, you know, not only am I speaking for free, I’m actually paying my airfare to go and speak at their events, to, to to, to give back to the world. I’m now frequently speaking, I don’t include these in the 30 to 40 number and also speaking at universities and so on pro bono basis. So those sorts of things to me are important.

David: (07:39)
But I do recognize that, that that may not be right for other people depending on where they are in their career arc, where they are in in their family situation. And so on. But I feel like, you know, you mentioned the grateful dead. If the grateful dead is, is doing a show I don’t want to be like, Oh shoot, I’ve got an engagement. I can’t go, you know, I want to go, I want to go in here and be with my friends. I’ve been to 75 grateful dead concerts. I actually went to six grateful dead concerts in 2019. It’s my, it’s one of my things and it’s really important to me. And being with my, my wife and my daughter really important to me. And being with my friends are really important to me. And you know, you know, you only totally cliche Michael, but you only on this earth once. And for me a hundred gigs isn’t right, but I absolutely recognize that it is right for some people.

David: (08:37)
You know, one of the, a lot of us are who, a lot of us entrepreneurs are strivers, you know, we, we, we often have big visions and we want to realize these visions and, and, you know, we’re, we’re, some of us are motivated by the same things and some of us are motivated by different things, but scarcity is often a really powerful motivator. And what, what it does to us is it seems like, it makes us think we never have enough. Or you know, 30 gigs isn’t just not enough. And, and so I wonder what your sort of path has been like around this concept of enough because there are really are not clear goalposts for many entrepreneurs, especially in our space because it’s all made up. It’s, it’s really, I mean, we’ve been making it, you know, you and I started in early two thousands and we were probably second generation into this business as it exists today. I think that’s probably right. Yeah. Yeah. So I’d say like, you know, Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar, they were first generation. We came in a second generation. And then the Tim Ferris generation I think is third generation. And now there’s a fourth generation that I’ve seen come on the scene. But but what about, how do you decide what’s enough?

David: (10:13)
Well, for me, what’s so important is I don’t think of a work life balance. A lot of people talk about work life balance. I don’t think of that at all. I think that everything I do is fun and enjoyable. And if it’s not, I don’t make that a part of my work. And so for me, the idea of the right amount of gigs is terribly important because money is just one aspect of it. And I’m, I also try to figure out are there ways that I can make money in different ways that still includes speaking. And I’ll give you an example cause you mentioned Tony Robbins. I speak at all of Tony Robbins’ business mastery events in the U S and some international ones as well. I’ve done London and Australia with Tony. 2,500 people come to the U S events. And in the early parts of when we were working together, I’ve been doing this now for five years.

David: (11:19)
He paid my speaking fee and then he, he said to me, David, let’s figure out a way to partner to do something more to give back to the business mastery community. So what we ended up doing was co-creating an online learning program called new marketing mastery that we offer back of the room after Tony Robbins events. After I get off the space off the stage. And I don’t know about you, Michael, but I, for a long time I was, I was as a sort of negative to the idea of selling something when you got off the stage. I felt like it was, you know, it wasn’t really becoming of a public speaker and I just didn’t really like it. And, but Tony and that and his community taught me that, that many times people want to learn more after you’ve educated them and enlightened them on a particular topic.

David: (12:12)
Most people are fine with just having the speech and learning, but some people want to know more and it’s not, it’s not a problem. It’s not wrong to offer something as a way for them to to learn more about the subject you’re teaching. And it took me, it took me a couple of years to, to come around to that with Tony’s help and Tony’s the help of Tony’s people. So we offer this online learning program. It’s 65 videos, 25 infographics in a workbook. And it has some optional coaching with me that people might want to do. But you know, we’re, we’re grossing a lot of money with this online learning program that we saw after the events. And people come up to me all the time, they email me all the time, thank you for doing this because I’m able to learn this.

David: (13:02)
And so what that allowed me to do, you know, you mentioned entre that we’re all entrepreneurs and we are, what that allowed me to do is not think as much about the money aspect because you know, I’ll, I’ll grows 10 times my normal speaking fee at an event like that. And of course it’s, you know, expenses and other things involved. But you know, there’s, there’s other ways to make money rather than constantly getting on an airplane. And if you think of your life as a whole, rather than compartmentalize the business part and the personal part, which is the way I think of my life, then you come to different conclusions about what the right amount of getting on an airplane is. But, but I have one more thing that I constantly think about. I actually had this discussion with Seth Goden at one time.

David: (13:55)
I have this really weird nagging feeling that every speech I deliver will be my last. I just feel like, Oh my God, I can’t believe that people pay me to do the thing I love. I can’t believe that, you know, that I get these invitations to travel to cool places and, and, and, and, you know, be on a stage in my happy place for an hour, an hour and a half. It’s fantastic. I can’t, I, and every time I get an invitation, I know who, you know, this is another invitation. I think it’s my last, I, do you ever feel like that? I mean, I don’t know. It’s just,

David: (14:31)
It’s not uncommon. I think that I’ve, I think I’ve heard that from most of the people that are working regularly in this business, and not all of them, but I’ve heard that often, and I’ve heard that from actors. A very, very famous actors will say this. I, I, every time I get a movie, I think gonna be my last movie because as soon as you wrap you know principal photography, you’re just out there either waiting or hustling or you know, taking meetings until the next thing comes along. And you don’t know, it could be two days, it could be two months, and sometimes for something really good to come along, it could be two years.

David: (15:13)
Right? And, and with, with us, with speaking, you know, I look at my calendar and say, Oh, I’ve got 10 things booked. Like, Oh my God, I’ve got like nothing at the tail end of 2020. What in the world am I going to do? I’m never going to work again. So, so for me, I have to force myself into that balance of, okay, I need, I, you know, I want to do say 30 or 40 a year. Great. but I don’t want to just Willy nilly accept everything that comes my way because I want to choose the ones that I think will give me the most pleasure, that I think will give back most to the, to the universe. And it’s kind of an airy fairy idea. I know, but but where can I give back more to the universe and have more fun doing it? And so that’s how I tend to pick and choose. But at the same time thinking, Oh my gosh, I probably should do this because I don’t have anything booked in December of 2020 yet.

David: (16:09)
Yeah, sure. So what it, let me, I want to go back to something you mentioned. You were talking about working with Tony at his events. You said that it took a while for you to get more comfortable making offers from the stage. And I really, really, really resonate with that. I, you know, when I started speaking I just started speaking to help pick up clients individually. You know, I, I didn’t before I had a book or any of that kind of stuff, and I was doing small things for six, seven people at the JCC. And so it never felt like I was making a speech and then pitching something. It would just come up in conversation. And after the speech, I mean, after the the little talk that I gave, and I’d just generally pick up clients because the, the solutions that I was bringing to the problems or challenges that they were facing were relevant.

David: (17:06)
And so they would, they’d raise it, Hey, could we keep talking about this? And I would say, of course. And so I usually pick up business that way. And then just like you when my first book came out and did well, I started getting offers to come and speak and people said they would pay me, pay me how cool. That’s incredible. So so that’s when the real professional side started and I felt so honored for, to be there and to be paid to be there. Then I wouldn’t dream of pitching something at the end of it. Right. And you know, I come, my parents were academics. They’re very conservative. When it comes to those kinds of things. My father won’t even accept a drug sample from a drug rep. He’s a psychiatrist. He says, if I take one sample, just one, even one pill, and I prescribe that medication to a patient, how does that patient know that I’m actually giving them the medicine that they need rather than the one that I’m incentivized to give?

Michael: (18:05)

David: (18:06)
Right, right. So, so he, he’s very, very extreme on that. And so that’s the environment that I grew up on. So I was like you in that I was very uncomfortable with most of what I saw in that Pitchfest world because I felt it was very aggressive and didn’t offer a lot of value. And every speech was just designed to sell something rather than to actually deliver on a promise in the moment in the room. And and so I know you’re similar in that way. You know, you make a commitment, you’re going to deliver on that commitment. You are an over a deliverer of over value all the time. So I’m very interested and I think a lot of our listeners would be interested in what that process was like for you to, to, you know, to accept and to appreciate the fact that many people in the audience would be interested in more and get comfortable talking to them about it. So I’m interested in, in what that process was like.

David: (19:02)
Sure. So for me, it was totally focused on those Tony Robbins events because I felt as though there were no other typical speeches where it would make sense to sell something back of the room. And so I would you know, do, do these events that we all all of us end up doing, you know, an association or a corporate or whatnot. It just didn’t make any sense to try to sell something. But in the Tony Robbins environment there it is absolutely something that that people appreciate and expect. And and it works really, really well because the people who go to Tony Robbins events, the vast majority of them are spending their own money. Either they’re an entrepreneur, so they’re spending their, their company’s money or they go individually and the company that they work for isn’t paying or their, or their solo preneur of some sort.

David: (20:00)
And they’re really, really, really eager to learn the things that Tony and the people that Tony Hans selects are teaching. And the first so I, I, I’ve been doing that now for five years. The first two years I was, I was just getting a speaking fee and I would stick around and I would interact with people and I would find out what they were thinking, what their, what they, what they like and dislike about business mastery. And almost nobody said that, Oh, you know, I don’t like the fact that some of the presenters are trying to sell something. No, nobody was saying that. And I remember, I remember distinctly two things that brought home this idea that I, I need to rethink the way I think about selling back of the room. One of them was I, I delivered my presentation and this is before I was selling back of the room and it was probably the fifth or sixth time that I had done a business mastery event.

David: (20:53)
So I did a great job, you know, got a standing ovation, that cool stuff. And I was at the I went to the hotel bar and a bunch of people called me over and say, Oh wow, we loved your talk and we want to buy you a glass of wine. I’m like, cool, thanks. I’d love to, so it was chatting and another guy saw me and he walked over and goes, David, I don’t know what you’re selling, but here’s my credit card. I’m a buyer. And then I said, I said, I can, I know, can you imagine? And I said, I don’t have anything to sell. You can go to Amazon and buy one of my books. And he goes, what do you mean you don’t have anything to sell you? You’re killing me. I can’t believe that I hate you. Turned around and he walked away.

David: (21:37)
And then, and then, and then the second thing that happened was somebody from Tony’s organizations came and said, David, they love you. You get great reviews, but they’re all saying that they need to have ways that you help them to implement your ideas. So so that’s when I said, you know what, I need to rethink this. And Tony himself was very kind to help me to create an appropriate offer, an appropriate price point. And many of his people also helped. We had, we had a beta test, an event in Australia before we did it at the much bigger event here in the U S and and it went great. And I couldn’t go, I could not believe Michael, when I got up, when I was finishing up my talk and I said, my name is David Meerman, Scott, this has been new marketing mastery.

David: (22:29)
Thank you very much everyone. And I’d already done the pitch right? And I was thinking to myself, Oh my God, they’re going to hate this. And they stood up another standing ovation. Even though I was pitching, there were a hundred people running to the back of the room running to the back of the room cause they wanted it to be there first and with credit cards in hand. And I’m like, this is the right decision. And I, I’ve had a thousand people now who’ve gone through my program that I built with Tony and I get emails all the time. Thank you. You’ve helped my business. I’ve grown my business as a result. It’s been, it’s been truly remarkable. So I’ve changed my mind, but I still don’t sell back of the room and other events. It really has to be the right kind of event, the right kind of environment. There has to be an understanding that this is a valuable part of this event. And it’s not just we’re trying to take your money from you.

David: (23:29)
Yeah. You know, it, it, it, I feel that it sounds like you need two things. Number one, you need a market agreement and a social agreement in that that particular audience has a social agreement with a Tony and the organization that, that makes that kind of a sales offer at the end of his speech. Part of the experience. So everybody expects it. And when you expect something, then you tend to be more open to it. You wouldn’t go to something where and ha where, where are the expectations you have are in conflict with what you want. And generally, I mean generally you’re going to go to a place and the expectations you have are going to be in line with what you want. Otherwise you probably wouldn’t go and this is genuine and get general hours. And then there’s also the market agreement or contract you know, which is, you know, they’re, they’re, they’re getting access to these thought leaders and thought leaders then have the opportunity to say, here, here’s how you can get more access to me. So both of those exist in that space, right? Yeah. Yeah. So the expectations piece is a, is a critical piece. Cause if, you know, if you go to a one environment you go into a different environment and you know, you try to pitch something it, it could fall flat because the social agreement is very different.

David: (25:00)
I think that’s absolutely right. And the other thing I noticed is that part of that social agreement is that and I got a two hour time slot there. If, if you’re going to be onstage for two hours and in any environment where you’re selling back of the room, if you’re going to be on stage and are going to sell something in the last five minutes that you’re on that stage, you absolutely have to deliver to every single person in that room who is not going to buy from you. You have to make that speech so good that even people who aren’t going to buy something from you stand up and give you a standing ovation. You have to make that speech so great that people are compelled to go onto Twitter and say thank you for your talk. Make that speech so great that that everybody says that was worth two hours of my time because I don’t know if you’ve ever done this, but I sometimes mentally calculate the amount of time that I’m taking out of people’s brains.

David: (26:05)
If I’m on stage for two hours and there’s 2,500 people there, that’s 5,000 hours, 5,000 hours, Michael and, and I’m just doing the math right now. I’m divided by 24 208 days of people’s time, 24 hour days of people’s time. Just my being on the stage. And I say, I have to make this so freaking awesome that I, I have to give more back to this universe than I’m taking from this universe. And so what am I taking a few dollars at the end of my talk? What am I giving? I’m giving 208 people years of, of hopefully learning and perhaps some humor and, and, and perhaps even a little bit of joy to the people who are sitting through that talk. And that is a really important part of the social contract. You can’t just go up there and say, here’s my product, buy it now and, and, and have a few people then want to buy something and everybody else be either bored, bored to tears or, or, or feel like they need to leave or whatever. It’s so, so, so important that that speech has to live as a standalone. Even if people don’t buy something, you can’t. I a N I am dead set against the, the, the, some, some, and this doesn’t happen at Tony Robbins, but it does happen at some events where people say, I’m going to, I’m going to share with you how you can, I dunno whatever it is, get rich in real estate, but then they leave the secret at the end.

David: (27:42)
I’m not going to tell you the secret you have to buy. I mean, that’s the worst. Yeah. I laugh only because it makes me uncomfortable. It’s frustrating. Know,

David: (27:52)
Well, and so, so I, I don’t do that. And it doesn’t happen in Tony Robbins world. It’s, it’s instead it’s, here’s everything I know. I’m going to tell you everything I know. If you want help implementing it. I also have opportunities for me to be able to help you implement it. And that’s a little bit of an extra fee. But otherwise I’m going to tell you everything I know I am not going to hold anything back. Here are

David: (28:14)
The secrets of course, for purely selfish reasons. I love everything you just said because what my translation of what you said is, is it’s the speech. It’s all about the speech. So no matter what your objective is for yourself, when you’re going into a speech where they’re getting paid on the front end or the back end or in a completely different way, the speech matters. And one of the reasons that the selling from the stage world I think gets a bad name is because often if you have two hours to give a speech, an hour and 45 is not considered. And folks go in and wing it for an hour and 45 and then the next 15 minutes they do the pitch. But they’ve worked on that 15 minutes for four months because they’re primarily focused on their objective and not necessarily thinking about the audience’s needs. Because even if you do very, very well on the pitch, you’re still going to have a larger percentage of the audience who does not buy whatever it is you’re pitching. So the experience that they have needs to be equally as transformational and important to to them as it is to the people who do buy from you.

David: (29:24)
I think that’s absolutely right. And what I noticed is I had this, I had a couple of people coach me and say, David, you know, you can make more money if you do these several different things. And I was saying to myself, but what if I did not say out loud, but I said, what if my primary goal is not to make more money around this? What if my primary goal is to have those 2,500 people in the room, whether they buy something or not walk away and say, that was that two hours was awesome. That two hours was transformational for me. And that’s the way I think about it. It’s totally the way I think about it. And you know, one person said to me, David, they love you. They love you, but your job is not to make them love you. Your job is to sell something.

David: (30:11)
And I’m like, well that’s not really the way I look at it. The way I look at it is that and I, I think it’s extremely important to give to every single person in that room. And, and what’s interesting is they give me what’s considered the best speaking slot of all. I’m the very first speaker outside speaker. So there’s Tony Robbins himself the whole time, first day. And, and I usually speak either the first day or second day, but I’m on, I’m on. I’m always the first outside speaker because they said they know. I always, I’m always gonna crush it.

Michael: (30:48)
And following Tony is not easy.

David: (30:50)
Tony Robbins, who many people believe is the number one public speaker in the universe is not easy. But the, the great thing of you, and you’ll totally appreciate this Michael, cause you teach this all the time. The great thing is we’ve got utterly different styles, completely different styles. And so nobody is thinking, Oh, I wish, you know, I wish Tony was back on stage because this guy’s no good. They think, Oh wow, this is different. I can listen to this for a couple hours. And cause I’m, I’m giving, I’m doing my own thing. I’m not trying to be a mini Tony Robbins. I’m trying to be my own. I’m, I’m practicing my own art and I used to be perfectly. I have sons. I do that nobody else does.

David: (31:41)
Well, I’ve seen a lot of people try to be Tony Robbins. And that is one of the hardest things that you could possibly ever do. You cannot be like somebody else. You know, it just doesn’t work. And artists has got to find their own voice. And one of the things that it sounds like Tony really gets is that audiences appreciate contrast and as effective as Tony is, and as magical as he is for so many people he knows I need to bring in different voices to, to speak to different issues of course, to help solve different problems with different solutions. But also because different people are going to connect with different audience members in different ways. And he wants to reach everybody I imagined. So he says, well, I’m going to bring in David to follow me because David is going to connect with people in ways that I, that are different than the way that, you know, I connect with people. So, so I think that’s really important. So I appreciate. Okay, so let’s talk a little bit about a fan ocracy your new book. You’ve been out promoting the book. And the premise from what I understand is that raving fans are your most powerful force for marketing. So how do you define fandom and what do you think speakers need to do to create their own fan? Ocracy

David: (33:05)
Great questions. Yeah. So we talked earlier about this book that I wrote called the new rules of marketing and PR, which was 2007 which launched me into the speaking world. And I was arguably the very first person to talk about what people now describe as social media marketing, or I call it the new rules of marketing. And I think that we’ve gone too far in that direction. There’s so much superficial online communications happening out there. You know, the polarized world that we’re living in. The idea that, that companies are just abusing their email lists or they’ll, people will, will connect with you on LinkedIn and then immediately try to sell you something and you don’t even know sometimes if you’re communicating with a robot online. So I figured that the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of superficial online communications at a time when all of us are hungry for true human connection.

David: (34:04)
And so I’ve spent the last five years researching this idea of why and how people become fans of something. And I know we talked earlier, I’ve just, I’ve seen 75 grateful dead concerts, you know, what’s up with that. And I, I co-wrote the book with my 26 year old daughter Reiko. And so when, when we first started to do the research, she was 21, she’s massively into Harry Potter, you know, and, and so we, we combined our our, our research to create this book. And what we, what we learned about fandom is if you take five years of research into basically one sentence is that fandom is about true human connection. So what does that mean for speakers? When does that mean for speakers? We’ve actually touched on some of that. You have to be honest, you have to be true. You have to be somebody who and this is something you’ve been teaching for a long time.

David: (35:09)
You have to be somebody who, who is pro, who practices their art in the way that they are most comfortable and that is best for them. And you, and you said earlier, you can’t copy Tony. You can’t copy anybody. You have to do it yourself. People become fans of that open openness, that honesty, that transparency. And it means, it means taking as much time as to meet personally with everybody who wants to meet you after the talk. It’s that human connection. It means going into social media at the first moment. You can, after you get off a stage and replying to every single person who connects with you on Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook or whatever, it doesn’t mean you have to accept their connection on LinkedIn, but you should reply to them. It means everybody who tweeted using the event hashtag while you were talking deserves a reply.

David: (36:12)
I, as a live music fan, I frequently will, will post an event at concerts and you know, some, I like obscure bands as well. And sometimes I’ll post and the artists won’t reply. Almost never does the artist reply. And I’m like, dude, I have more freaking followers than you. Why don’t you reply to me? I, you’re, you’re playing the, I’m a rock star thing and I don’t think Michael, that we in what we do can play the rock star thing. I think we need to engage on a human level with every single person in the room who wants to engage with us. Whether that means being able to speak with everybody after you get off the stage or being present at the lunch or the dinner or the cocktail reception after you’ve gotten off the stage. You know, I, I’m not a fan of the, of the speak and run thing. You know, it’s another reason why we talked earlier. I do 30 or 40 gigs a year, not a hundred, because so many of our peers get off the stage, say thank you very much and immediately run to the airport. I don’t do that. I stick around for at least a full day at almost every single event I go to because I want the opportunity for people to have a private word. If they want to find me at the cocktail reception to find me at the lunch to find me at the break in between the next sessions,

David: (37:40)
You know you I’m sure you know, Joey Coleman, he wrote and never lose a customer. And he was on the podcast I think last season. And one of the things he was talking about was just that, that he goes early and stays and tries to go to as much of the conference as he can. And he attributes that to the reason that he’s been able to be a very successful booked out speaker without bureaus. He doesn’t, he doesn’t work with the bureaus. And he says he’d love for the bureaus to call them all the time, but he just never seem to develop those relationships with them. But he works all the time. Why? Because he gets referrals from the people at the event, which is where the best referrals are. Stateside leads are always going to be, you know, your best leads.

David: (38:31)
And then secondly, because he spent so much time developing relationships with the other speakers and the speakers prefer speakers. Yes, all the time. Because, you know, look, you go do these Tony Robbins events all the time, but if you go to say, a corporate event and do the keynote for that year, it’s, you know, even if they love you that it’s unlikely they’re going to have you to do the keynote next year. Exactly. Right. So what are you going to do? You say, listen, Hey, look, you’ve got to bring Joey in next year. But if you’re just, you know, as you said, speak and running and look, obviously sometimes with a busy schedule, you’ve got to get out of there. And sometimes you do. Sometimes you do. I’m not saying that it’s every single time, but, but how can you still create that same kind of interpersonal connection?

David: (39:16)
Even if you had to leave quickly after the speech? There’s always something more you can do. And I love how you said that, you know, speakers aren’t rock stars. I think the best rock stars aren’t rock stars. Exactly. And and we’re frankly probably just an overpaid vendor, maybe even the most overpaid vendor at the conference. So, so we should think like that rather than, well, you’re lucky to have me. We’re slightly less money than the cocktail. I mean, sorry then the coffee break though. Yeah, the coffee break is always going to be the most expensive. So here’s the thing,

David: (39:50)
The thing that I learned doing the research for this book my daughter Reiko who’s my coauthor, is a neuroscientist. She did a neuroscience degree at Columbia university and she’s currently in her final year of medical school. And in the middle of next year will transition to be an emergency room doctor doing her residency. And we specifically looked at the neuroscience aspects of fandom, what’s going on in our brain when we become fans of something. And it turns out that there is a really important concept around proximity where the closer you get to someone, the more powerful the human connection. And that’s hardwired into our DNA that’s hardwired into our brains because it’s a survival instinct when you get close to somebody who you trust and like, it’s a very positive human emotion because because you like that person. However, if you get close to someone who you don’t know, there can be a negative reaction.

David: (40:53)
And again, that’s hard wired into our brains. So you get into a crowded elevator, you always feel a little bit nervous. That’s your ancient brain kicking in, wondering if you have to fight or flight. So here’s where this becomes really interesting for speakers because there’s a neuroscientist named Edward T. Hall who identified the four levels of proximity, the first being public space, which is about 20 feet or further than social space from about four feet to two, that 20 feet and then personal space inside of four feet. There’s also intimate, intimate space, but we speakers won’t use that. And the idea here is that most speakers when they’re on their stage or in that public space 20 feet or further away from their audience, but that point, our ancient brains do not kick in and track people. We know they’re there, but it’s not, we’re not worried about them yet.

David: (41:50)
We’re not concerned about them yet. Inside of 20 feet, that’s when our brains kicking and saying, okay, is this person friendly or not? So as a speaker, the more you can put yourself into proximity of your audience, the the better those human connections become. So that means yes, the cocktail party afterwards. But it also means can you build that proximity into the talk itself? Can you go into the audience and in a natural way, not forced, get close to a few people physically within their personal space, which isn’t inside of about four feet. So I’ve figured out with the help of my buddy, Nick Morgan, who originally shared some of these ideas with me that the more you can build interesting ways of reaching people, you know, can you figure out a way to shake someone’s hand, put your arm on their shoulder, hand them a book ask a question and use a handheld Mike as you’re doing it.

David: (42:53)
All of those are ways to get within people’s personal space which is an incredibly powerful human connection that we all share. And that becomes something that we can build into our our presentation as speakers. There’s another aspect though that relates to mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are the part of our brain that fires. When we see someone, even a and our brain is firing as if we’re doing that action ourselves. So if I were to take a bite of a lemon, Oh my gosh, it’s incredibly powerful. My eyes closed, my mouth puckers up, my saliva starts to run when I take a bite of that lemon. But even me just talking about it, or if you had seen me take that bite of lemon, your brain tends to fire too. So what this means is that the more opportunities we speakers have to put ourselves in virtual proximity with our OD audience, the more powerful we can connect with them as and they can develop fan.

David: (43:55)
We can develop fans of those people. What does that mean? It means how can you use video and photographs in an interesting way? I’m cropped as if you’re four feet away. The humble selfie for example, is typically shot four feet away. It also means that when you’re close to someone on the stage, if it’s being broadcast on television, on the imag, on, on screen, and for the audience to see on the screens that people feel as if they’re in your personal space, even if you’re not, even if it’s someone that’s 50 rows away, they feel as though you’re them because their mirror neurons are kicking in. So there’s a number of different ways we speakers can use these concepts of neuroscience to be able to reach people in a human way that then our ancient brains kick in and say, wow, this guy Michael port, he’s really cool. This is why we believe we know personally, television and movie stars because of these mirror neurons kicking in.

David: (44:59)
That’s fascinating. I want to give two examples of how this plays out for folks. And the first is, is based on just doing the right thing. So you mentioned, you know, shaking someone’s hand, putting a hand on a shoulder et cetera. So, you know, Amy and I built HPS HQ and we’ve got 10,000 square feet here and, and we run all of our events out of here. So there are times when people come here for their first event. And of course they’ve seen us on line. They’ve listened to us or they listen to the podcasts, watch videos, read my books, et cetera. So they feel like they know us a bit, but we’ve never been in the same space. So Amy and I will always at eight o’clock when the doors open for an eight 30 start, we will be standing at the door to greet every single person who comes in.

David: (45:55)
And we will, we’ll stay there from eight to eight 30. And then as soon as eight 30 hits, we are on the stage and we, so we shake everybody’s hand about 50% of the people get a hug. And and it’s a really lovely way of making this connection. And for us, we weren’t doing it because we thought, Oh, well, psychologically, you know, this is, you know, the neuro neurons are going to fire above. We just thought, well, that’s the right thing to do. When someone comes to your home, you should greet them at the door so that they feel welcome. And the re, I mentioned this as an example because we get comments again and again and again of how much that one moment meant to people when they arrived. Because we’re always working to create safety first. Yes. If an audience or any individual that you are near doesn’t feel safe, they’re not going to hear you.

David: (46:52)
They can’t really hear the content until they feel safe with you. Now they may still feel provoked. That’s part of your job to maybe provoke them to get them thinking differently or feeling differently or acting differently, but they need to feel safe first and foremost. And so that creates a sense of safety. So if you think about as a, as a speaker, when you’re thinking about creating your performances, you think about what do I do before it, during it, after it to create more safety for the audience. And what would I do if I was just meeting somebody that I wanted to connect with rather than you know, what’s a, that I can use

David: (47:30)
To to get people to like me or pay attention to me? Cause the things that you’re talking about are things that people respond to because they’re the right things to do. They are the right things to do. And what’s so fascinating to me is that it has a basis in neuroscience and I’m in the book fan ocracy. We have a whole chapter on this concept and one of the most interesting examples that we talk about is a magician. His name is Steve Cohen and he goes by the tagline, the millionaire’s magician. I’ve read about him. He’s fab. Fantastic. He’s really an interesting, has it really interesting performance in a really upscale hotel in New York city. He wears a tuxedo. Everyone is encouraged to wear cocktail party attire. It’s held in on, on the weekends, in the evening. And it’s, you know, it’s, it’s as if you’re in going into a salon and in, in in Venice.

David: (48:28)
It’s really amazing. It’s a small, small venue, about 65 people I think is his audience. He’s done. He’s done 9,000 performances. I think the numbers is, he’s been doing it for decades. It’s a car. It’s a really cool show. But Steve told me that he actually makes a point of, of getting into the personal space or being next to every single member of that audience, not when they walk in, but during the performance itself. So he’s got the people in the front row. Obviously that’s easy. The people in the second row, he can lean over and be near them, but he invites people in the thirds and fourth rows. Sometimes, Hey, you know, Hey, would you guys like to come and watch me over my shoulder as I perform this card trick? Or who would like to share with me your wedding band?

David: (49:21)
And I’ll make it disappear. And he purposely, he purposely keeps in mind every single person in the audience because he wants to actually have an opportunity to be within my words, not his, but within four feet of every single person in the audience. And he told me that David, this technique has been fabulously effective for me. And when I look at my reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor and whatnot, everybody comments on how warm and engaging my presentations are and they are all, they are my fans now because of that. And so, you know, I, I’ve loved the fact that it’s have a basis in neuroscience. I really do. And once you know that and how it works, we, all of us speakers can be conscious, not in a manipulative way. It’s not like you’re using neuroscience to manipulate people, but rather be conscious that what you do naturally, you greet everyone at the door, which Steve Cohen does naturally which is of his 65 audience members get physically close to every single one of them. What I do naturally, which is jump, which is go into the audience once or twice during each presentation and have an opportunity to ask a couple of questions and, and hand somebody a microphone. Those things are fabulously powerful and we have opportunities as speakers to build that into the way we work.

David: (50:51)
That’s fascinating. Here’s the second example. So before I retired from traditional keynoting, I used to do a speech called the think big revolution. And at one point in the speech, I have them watch a video of a 60 minutes excerpt that focuses on a photographer in New York city who uses one of those old a camera that you have to put the, like the, the sheet over your hand. So use this an old time camera and he will find people on the street who do not know each other, who seem to come from completely different worlds and he’ll put them in very intimate poses and then he’ll take pictures of them. And they’re fascinating. They’re absolutely magical. Wow. And so I show the audience and, and they watch it and they laugh and they cry just from watching this clip for two and a half minutes.

David: (51:49)
Wow. So the net come out at the end and I say, okay, we’ll we’re going to do it. And there’s, I’d take a long pause cause there’s a confused what, what do you mean? Now mind you, this is about three quarters into the speech. I wouldn’t open with this because I w I w I wouldn’t have earned enough trust to be able to open a suit with something like this. But by the time I get three quarters of the way in they’re, they’re comfortable. And I, I keep just asking for just a little bit more, a little bit more, a little bit more. And so I say we’re going to do it, we’re going to take three minutes to get in the same poses that were in the video and we’re going to use our cameras to take pictures. They’re going to get in groups of five. I’m going to have a slide show of the poses are running on the screen. So you can refresh your memory and a simple as that.

David: (52:39)
And then what I do is I run into the audience and go jump into different, yeah, so what’s happening is they’re getting this kinesthetic physical experience with each other. They feel safe enough to do it at this point. They’re also taking pictures of themselves you know, just from a few feet away like you said. So they then will then share all those pictures online, which creates this really interesting experience for them. Then for the people who weren’t there. And I get to have a physical experience with them at the same time. And I, I’d never thought about it from a neuroscience perspective or a neurological perspective, but it sounds like what’s happening in there is in part a result of what you’re describing.

David: (53:29)
Yes. I think it is. And the other thing that’s interesting about a photograph like that is typically, and I’m imagining what it looks like, so I might get it, I may get it wrong, but I’m imagining that number one, people’s bodies and especially their heads are fairly close together. Like, probably, probably not only within four feet, but probably as close as two feet or even closer and sometimes are touching and some, okay. So sometimes they’re touching. Now that’s actually intimate space. The next level. And I always say to people, you know, you don’t want to do the intimate space thing because you know, you don’t want to be accused of doing something that people are uncomfortable with. But a photograph or posing for a selfie for with somebody is one of the few times that you actually can get into someone’s intimate space in a comfortable and safe environment.

David: (54:25)
Because number one, you’re by showing that you’re within a foot and a half of somebody. People think through those mirror neurons. Oh my gosh, there’s like, those are strong vibes going on here that I’m feeling as well. And number two, if you’re both looking at the camera, you’re aligned. You’re aligned because your, your heads are pointed in the same direction and you’re looking at the camera and you’re looking into the eyes of the people who are looking at you. All of those things are fabulously powerful. So you’ve naturally done some things with that exercise that that are, are really, really powerful from a, from a neuroscience perspective. And I just, I think geeky got in this stuff. I think it’s so interesting. It really is. You know, it’s like, why do you know, why do I, why have I been to 75 grateful dead concerts?

David: (55:17)
The answer is because my best friends go to the grateful dead concerts with me. The, I love the music, but we’re a tribe and you know, we go, go to these shows to go to, one of my best friends is Brian Halligan. He’s the CEO of a company called HubSpot. And I’ve probably been to, I don’t know, 50 live concerts with Brian, probably 25, grateful dead conscious over the years. And we love it and we don’t see each other that much outside of live music shows, but that stuffs that I’m a huge fan of the bands that I go to because I go to those concerts with people who I love and and that’s, I always wanted to know what’s going on in neuroscience perspective. Well, that’s it. What’s going on in neuroscience perspective is that once you trust somebody, once you’re in a safe environment with somebody like that, you no longer have that fight or flight instinct kicking in. Those are some of the most powerful emotional connections that we humans ever have in our life is with people who are close to us physically that we trust.

David: (56:18)
Yeah. And one other thing I just want to add about the exercise that I would do with them during that is because they are in groups of five. They had choice, they didn’t have to get into poses where they were touching each other. They could choose and some of them did and some of them didn’t. So I think they felt like they had control over that environment. And that’s very important.

David: (56:39)
Very, very, very, very important. Yeah. Cause you, you certainly don’t want to be involved in any kind of activity where people in, this is your word, where people feel unsafe.

David: (56:50)
Correct. And it’s one of the reasons we generally would say things like, you know, massage lines you know, for, for, you know, when you, everybody stands up and they turn to the right and massage the person shoulder in front of you, it’s generally not a good idea if these people don’t already have close intimate relationships cause you’ve got some random person rubbing you. Correct. in a way that is even if they’re not doing anything that would technically be inappropriate, might feel inappropriate and that doesn’t work. And so those are important things to balance that. And speaking of HubSpot, I also noticed that you have a fin ocracy course up at HubSpot Academy together. It’s another example of how you’re, you know, taking your IP and you’re distributing it in different ways. So what can you tell folks about that? Is it something that anybody now can go and see, you know, get on HubSpot or do you have to be a HubSpot customer?

David: (57:52)
No. Anybody can have access to to the fan ocracy course on HubSpot. They have this fabulous organization called HubSpot Academy where they provide all kinds of free learnings to people. The courses are all free. They have a tremendous amount of people who, who look at them, hundreds of thousands of people who download their core courses. So for me this has been a fabulous way to get the word out about my concept of fan ocracy is to work with HubSpot and my daughter as well, work with HubSpot to create this course to expand an hour to go through it. There’s videos, there’s infographics and we step people through three of the chapters. There’s a 14 chapters in the book and three of the chapters are part of this course. And I’m, and I’m just a massive fan of HubSpot and I’d been on their advisory board since 2007 I’m best friends with Brian Halligan, the CEO and I just love what they do. They get 25,000 people to come to their annual event called inbound every year. And the, they’re re the raving fans of HubSpot who go to that. Some, I’m a really, really big fan of doing that. So, you know, for me, there’s a couple of things here. Michael, number number one, the word fan ocracy so you may remember it. NSA. I did a talk on newsjacking. Yes. And

David: (59:17)
[Inaudible] man, I just mentioned that, that the concept of newsjacking is actually attributed to you in the Oxford English dictionary. How cool is that? It’s fabulously cool. Dictionary. So when I came up with the word newsjacking and [inaudible]

David: (59:36)
Started to use it, meaning the idea of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story by creating a blog post or tweet or shooting a video so you can get your expertise out into the marketplace and perhaps get quoted or perhaps get invited to speak. That’s what newsjacking is. When I developed the idea of newsjacking, a ton of people said to me, well, you should trademark it. You should assert your ownership over it. You should make sure that people have to come to you if they’re going to use that word. I said, no, I want this to be a word that everyone in the planet is going to use. And, and so I said, yeah, I wrote a book on newsjacking. Yeah, I have newsjacking.com but anyone who wants to can use this idea. If you want to write a book about it, great.

David: (01:00:20)
And some people have, if you want to create a a blog about it, you can, and some people have, you want to use the hashtag, please go ahead and do it. I’m not going to stick a lawyers on you. I’m going to do the exact opposite. I did the, and as you said, it’s now in the Oxford English dictionary and every day people are talking about it. And that’s incredibly cool. I did the same thing with this idea of Fenn ocracy, which is, I made up the word it’s, I own the URL, but I did not try to assert ownership over it. I want other people to talk about it. I want other people to use the word. And so few people in our world, the speaking and, and, and you know, we create IP. People want to put controls over their IP.

David: (01:01:05)
And that’s one reason, one reason why I thought it was so cool to work with HubSpot on this course. It’s a free course. Anybody who’s going to download and work on the HubSpot course is someone who may or may not buy the book, but that doesn’t matter. I want the ideas of fan ocracy to get out there. So that was incredibly powerful. The second idea was, you know, we never know as as authors, we never know what will be the sparks that will get our babies to the world. How I think of them as my babies, right, to get our babies into the world and I’m looking for any opportunities that will get the ideas out there. And I’m working with HubSpot Academy on this to me felt like a really good idea. And so I’m really happy that, that we’ve done that even though some people suggested to me that T really want to put out a free course on your ideas when you re you’re trying to sell books. And in my mind, yeah, because the more people are talking about the ideas of more people who will be interested in the book, the more people who will be interested in inviting me to speak on this topic.

David: (01:02:13)
I want to cover as our last primary topic a little bit more on newsjacking. But specifically about how speakers can use a newsjacking to create fresh content based on what’s actually happening in real time in the world. So do you have some suggestions on, on how folks could do that?

David: (01:02:36)
Absolutely. And it’s amazingly important for speakers and in fact, anyone who wants to learn a bit more about this. My NSA talk is available online. You could do David Meerman, Scott NSA. I think it’ll pop up. It’s I believe either YouTube or Vimeo.

David: (01:02:56)
You know what I’ll do, I’ll have my team search for it then put it in the show notes.

David: (01:03:01)
So yes, we have a fabulous opportunity because as news is breaking on, on the topic that you are an expert on, you have an opportunity to put your ideas into the marketplace of ideas at the time when everyone is looking for it. You know, when, when, if you’re, whatever you’re an expert, your expertise is, you should just be on the lookout for news stories that have something to do with that particular expertise and then put it, I’ll give you an example. In my own world I’m a real geek about the marketing aspects of the us presidential election and I’ve, I’ve been to candidate events for the last five cycles. I’ve, I’ve actually seen candidate events in New Hampshire in the 2020 presidential cycle, 22 candidates so far. I know, right? And I’ve actually asked each one of them a question, what are they a fan of? And I’m going to put that out as a video.

David: (01:04:05)
It feels like there’s so many, so many candidates, that’s like one, one, 100th of the number of candidates. And then every time somebody announces that they’re now a candidate and they, I don’t know, shoot, there’s no shooters. But I’ve, I’ve, I’ve had an [inaudible]

David: (01:04:21)
Opportunity to to see, you know, all the big ones. Bernie Sanders and, and and Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren and caramel Harris and Pete budaj judge and all those guys that I’ve had. I’m women. I’ve had an opportunity to see their speech, which I love as a student of public speaking. And then secondly, to ask each one of them a question and I ask them what they’re a fan of. But, so now we’re talking about newsjacking. As the candidates are trying to get votes, they’re marketing. And when I learn things about what the candidates are doing, I will then create a blog post and say you know, here’s what I’m seeing. And the whole world now is attuned to what’s going on with the U S presidential election. I had one of my biggest successes with this when Trump was elected on, on election day at [inaudible] and everyone, we all remember this on election day, everybody said that Hillary Clinton was going to win.

David: (01:05:19)
You know, all of the pundants, all the polls, you know, all the commentators, CNN, everybody was saying Hillary Clinton was going to win. I had been researching Trump for a year and a half and had gone actually to, to Trump rallies. I mean, I knew how this guy did his marketing. And so when he won, I put out a blog post at three o’clock in the morning just after they announced that Trump won. I stayed up and I wrote the blog post and I said, the best marketer has been elected president. And because I had been doing the research about why I believe Trump was the best marketer. And because I’m a marketing guy who has books about marketing and I speak about marketing, it was absolutely in my wheelhouse. I put that out and the blog post essentially exploded because everyone was saying, Oh, well that’s why he won.

David: (01:06:12)
Those are the reasons why he won. And I ended up getting quoted in I, it was like something like a dozen different news outlets of being the guy who understands why Trump won when everybody else thought he was not going to win. And that actually led to speaking engagements where people reached out. I remember one in particular was the public affairs council in Washington D C reached out and he said, David, we love what you talked about with Trump’s marketing. We saw on your blog posts, would you please come in and give a talk in April when we’re have our annual meeting and you know, it’s like, damn right, I will. And how cool is it that the reason they found me is because I newsjack Donald Trump’s winning the election.

David: (01:07:01)
Did you think before he won that he was going to win? Or did you just understand what he had done from a marketing perspective because you’d been paying attention to it? And then were able to position it that way?

David: (01:07:15)
Both. The first time I said, this guy is winning was 18 months before the election. It was in the middle of 2015, 18 months before, I think it was August, 2015. I can get you that, the blog post as well. It was just before a M Emma’s 18 months before the election. And I said it was even, it was before any Republican primary city even happened. I said, Donald Trump is winning. I believe my headline was Donald Trump is winning the social media primaries or something like that. But, but what, what I identified was that Trump was the better marketer. And I said to myself, this is really interesting. This person has an opportunity to win because this person is doing a better job. I mean, and I would say to people, what’s Donald Trump’s marketing slogan or the whole planet would say, make great again. I said, okay, cool. What’s Hillary Clinton? Nobody knew Trump was the better marketer. And so I, I did know that he was a better marketer and I thought these, he’s got a real good chance of winning the Republican nomination. He did. I mean he’s got a real good chance of winning the presidency and he did. So I was prepared with my blog post to be able to write it in short notice.

David: (01:08:39)
Got it. So final question. I feel like a game show host, final question just to follow up, we speakers, everyone listening to this, we speakers have such an opportunity when there’s some a new story that’s breaking to create a real time blog post to create a real time video to tweet with an appropriate hashtag and the difference, Michael is real simple rather than us trying to get the world to pay attention to what we have to say. Newsjacking is us giving that information at the moment everyone is looking for it. That’s the difference and it’s fabulously powerful for speakers to do. It sounds like what you’re saying instead of a us trying to get attention for everybody else, we need to start paying better attention to what’s going on around us. That is relevant to the people we serve.

David: (01:09:30)
Exactly. Right, exactly right. And then in real time, like right now, this second drop, what you’re doing cause now is when people want your expertise, that’s, that’s your opportunity. It may come out, may come around once a month, once a quarter, you know, it’s not going to be all the time. But when it does your, your know, your, your heart starts to flutter in, your mind is, starts to clear and you’re like, Oh my gosh, this is my moment. That’s when you have to strike.

David: (01:09:58)
Nice. Last question. If you could travel back in time to the moments before you took the stage for the first time, what would you say to yourself?

David: (01:10:08)
Don’t be so freaking scared. Enjoy yourself. But you know, I think we all have to go through that, don’t we? Have you ever worked with a speaker, Michael, who wasn’t frightened to when they got on the stage in the early days?

David: (01:10:19)
Only a couple and there was something wrong with them. No. It’s like our friend Scott Stratten, like he does not have the gene. He just does never gets nervous before speaking. He’s an anomaly. He’s a unicorn. It’s not normal for most of us. I still get nervous.

David: (01:10:35)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean I, I get nervous in a good way, you know, [inaudible] we can learn to channel the nerves in a good way. But the first time I got on stage and I’m thinking specifically the first time that I had to give a speech at Toastmasters. I mean I was all the, all the symptoms. I was sweating. I was, I couldn’t think my arms were gripping the podium and it was, it was appalling. I kind of wish I had a video. And and I, I w I wish I could go back and just say, you know, chill dude. But I’m, but I’m so glad. I’m so glad that I did five years of Toastmasters, which got me to every, every single month I would at least do a, what they call torch masters in Toastmasters, a table topic, which is two minutes. So at least say something in a public setting once a month for five years. And that was, for me, that was a fabulous way to ground myself. And I was, I started as a young guy. I was 26 when I started doing that. So was for me that was really important and I kind of wish I could go back and say no to myself. My, my younger self, my 26 year old self, one day you’re going to make a living doing this. I would have said you’re freaking crazy when you’re talking about [inaudible].

David: (01:11:55)
It’s amazing. Well, you’ve done a tremendous job. I think you have a career that many people you know, can learn a tremendous amount from and you’ve done it I think with integrity in class over the years and for, and that, those are the two most important things, first and foremost in my book. So thank you for that. We’ve mentioned a number of different places where people can they can go to hugs HubSpot Academy and, and take the free fan ocracy course. Certainly they can pick up a copy of fan ocracy anywhere books are sold, I’m sure.

David: (01:12:29)
Yup. And my daughter and I read the audio books or if that’s your thing. There’s one audio book version. Yeah, it was really fun. We also have a site@fennocracy.com which has a ton of free information on it.

David: (01:12:43)
And look, I think your, your body of work is important for people to work through them. And I would suggest to too many folks to say, listen, take a quarter, take three months and read three of David’s books, read fin ocracy the new one. Read the new rules of marketing and PR because you have many additions. So you’ve got always have an updated, yeah,

David: (01:13:05)
It’s in the sixth edition now and the seventh is coming in mid 20, 20,

David: (01:13:10)
And then newsjacking. Yeah. Yeah. So those three books, if you really want to understand how how marketing works, period. And then how can you, how you can make it work for you in a way that you know is feels right for you. It’ll be a really good way to spend a one quarter of your learning is to work through one of those books each month.

David: (01:13:34)
Very kind of view. I think you know, being a speaker myself and being a I don’t really like the term, but I’ll use it anyway. Thought leader being somebody who makes their living with ideas. I do. I do think that part of our challenge is getting those ideas out into the marketplace and I’ve always been trying to focus on really interesting, easy to learn ways to get those ideas into the marketplace and things like newsjacking and things like building fans and things like using social media effectively are really, really great ways for people like us to get those ideas out there.

David: (01:14:12)
Fantastic. Thank you so much my friend. Have a great rest of the day.

Michael: (01:14:23)
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 @heroicpublicspeaking 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.