Catch Richard Mulholland on the #PirateBroadcast™
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Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns 0:18
It's beautiful day for the #PirateBroadcast™. And we're here sharing #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. I love that you're here and all the appreciation. And thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We're gonna be talking to Richard Mulholland about some things that are very important right now is it's going to be presentations and why you need to update your presentations. And right now, in this day and age, online presentations are the key to your survival in a lot of ways. And, Richard, thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for sharing some of the gifts that you bring to the table in the pirate community. And how you doing?
Richard Mulholland 1:02
Doing fantastic, thanks for asking me. Really stoked to be here and for the opportunity to share some ideas. So that's amazing.
Russ Johns 1:09
You know, we were talking before the show, and we covered a lot of ground, I think before the show and this year alone kind of level sets the presentation arena, because previously last year there was a lot of live events, a lot of stage presentations, a lot of large board meetings, I'm sure a lot of public gatherings, networking events. And so the landscape has changed a little bit, and you've been in the business a long time. So coming into 2020, where everybody stopped doing the live events, let's work backwards, let's talk about what's going on right now. And the presentations and how they've developed this year for your business, because you've had to adapt in this year as well. Talk a little bit about that. And what's taking place right now for you.
Richard Mulholland 2:07
Okay, so, to jump back briefly. In March, our business was decimated. Every event was canceled or revenue went to zero. But I realized quite quickly that I wasn't struggling with it. Yeah, COVID virus problem I was struggling with people are canceling their events problem. And I couldn't understand why you would cancel your events. Because in my mind, people needed focused leadership more in March this year than they needed it in March, any of the other years that I've had a business. So the first idea that we had to go to war with was why you can't see your event, cancel your gathering, but don't cancel your event and your learning and your leadership that you should be doing. And so that's what we went out with. But of course, people were uncomfortable because they're uncomfortable with presenting online. This is the first level of the playing field, you may not have had as much big stage experience as some of the other big speakers out there. But all of a sudden, that's not holding them in any good stead, the biggest speaker in the world that Malcolm Gladwell is and Simon cynics and all of those people all we're back to being amateurs at presenting to this little camera there. Now, it turns out that a YouTuber was more equipped to deliver a good presentation this way. Then the world's top speakers, a YouTuber had the cameras, the gear, the lighting, everything set up to deliver amazing online presentations. But the experts didn't. So this was an incredible opportunity for us to sit up and say, Hey, we'll help you to it. I always say that stop force law says any area that lacks an expert, whoever puts their hand up first becomes it. And that's exactly what happened. There's no experts were like, hey, pick us. And we became those de facto experts to people in our community. And so that was my first major launch.
Russ Johns 3:50
Yeah, I love that you said that. And in the fact that, you know, that's another way of framing. How you can be an expert is, you know, when it's a level playing field, anybody that puts their hand up and says, hey, I'm going to take the lead in this. I'm going to learn a little bit more quicker than the next person can really stand out in the crowd. And you've been doing this for well over 20 years. Right?
Richard Mulholland 4:17
Yeah. I mean, I'm 46 now. I started the business when I was 22. And Russ, to what you said there about the level playing field, that living thing, field has always existed somewhere in your industry. There's some way if you look at your industry and write down all the different categories, there's like a big funnel. At the top of the funnel might be marketing, but then you go down, down, down, down, down, and eventually you'll find an area where nobody's put your hand up, or a few people have put their hand up and nobody owns it. That's where you put your flag. That's where you go out there and start sharing your ideas at the top of the funnel, you know, social media expert, Ah, then you can throw a stone and hit somebody who does what you do. But the further down you come, there's always that opportunity. So yeah, so that that's been a big deal.
Russ Johns 4:58
And that's why niching down is so important, you know, it's so counterproductive. It's so incredibly counterproductive to think, well, if I only do this, how many opportunities am I missing? And it's just the opposite. It's like, if I only do this, only the people that want this will start showing up in my world. And you've been able to do a storytelling to presentation for a long time. And, and I love, I love the idea of sharing a story in a presentation. And I love the idea of developing that story into an outcome that everybody gets to the point where the only conclusion is moving forward to the next step. And so I've seen some great presentations in my day. And and I just really appreciate the storytelling aspect of it. And so maybe you could walk through a little bit of how we need to think about that in today's age, and, and developing our skills for what is taking place right now, Richard?
Richard Mulholland 6:07
Right. Okay. So this is amazing, you did three leaps there, that are three big parts of what I want to talk to you about in terms of the storytelling aspect, it was the storytelling, the what you took away from it in the first few steps, and it's because a lot of people miss that when it comes to stories, and I'm gonna hang, Russ, here as well, the other opportunity that's happened with this year, and that is geography, that the geography landscape has changed as well. And we'll come back to that, if we remember. But I'll tell you, when it comes to storytelling, yeah. When it comes back to storytelling, what people mess up all the time is they think that their story matters, unless you are a motivational speaker, like you, you climbed Everest with one leg carrying your sister, right. If that was your story, then that's amazing, then tell your story. But if you run a wealth management company, and you have got some really, really impressive clients. That's not what I need to hear from you. I don't need to hear how you started your business. And what you fought through. What I want to know is how can I take your wealth management knowledge out of your head? And how can you make me better? The line we always say is it's cool because it's not about you, you're not the hero, right? The champion is in the chair, the sage is on the stage, the sage's job is to help the champion defeat their dragon. That's all you're trying to do. That's the only job of your presentation. The one other job you have is to help them see their dragon in the first place. So that's where they got to get to. Now, when it comes to storytelling, the problem with most people is they think by just telling a cool story, an interesting story, that they're doing their job well. But you have two jobs here you have you as a as a paid public speaker, for example, I have two jobs. I have to perform, like I got to deliver a good performance and make people enjoy themselves. But I've also got to inform. So I've got to actually get across some messaging that they can use to change the way they think. Now most stories tend to be just that...good stories. And at the end of it you're thinking like, good story, bro. Like why would you tell me this? Yeah, what's your point? It's actually this. My one book, storyteller originally was actually called good story, bro. Because it's not about a story, that the metaphor I always use for this is I used to have this dog called Murphy, he was a boxer. So well trained, super obedient, would do everything that I told him to do. But wouldn't take medicine. I could try anything, that dog would not take a pill, it doesn't matter how brilliant he is, I would say Murphy sit and put it down in his mouth, and he would spit it out. But of course, we're smarter than dogs. So we've learned if you take a pill, and you put it in some peanut butter, and you put it down on the floor, the dog will run to lick it all up and eat it before he knows what's happened is delivered the pill. Yeah, that's the job of stories in your presentation. Your job of stories is not to deliver peanut butter is to pack the packaging and a delivery mechanism for the pill. A lot if you deliver. If you deliver a presentation, that's just a story. You deliver the sugary sweet experience for your audience that they forget like a sugar rush that they forget the second it wears off. That's most motivational speakers. You get feel Oh yeah, I can do everything. And then you drive out of the conference center, and some guy cuts you off in traffic. And then it's over, then it's that. On the flip side, if you're too sciency and too much about the data, and you try and just deliver the pill. It's too much for your audience to take it and they go to absorb it. So what you've got to do on storytelling is get the right ratio of peanut butter to pill, package those things together. And that's what point storytelling matters. But it's actually not...storytelling is not the goal. Its story is a Trojan horse for packaging something else. So the rise of storytelling in the public mind as a cool concept has actually done damage to activating audiences because we're now all out there trying to tell cool stories instead of trying to deliver payloads. So it was a very long answer, but I feel strongly about this one.
Russ Johns 10:00
Well, the moral of this story is don't forget your peanut butter
Richard Mulholland 10:05
Or your pill. Remember.
Russ Johns 10:10
When you're delivering your pills, don't forget your peanut butter. So come back to the geography piece, because we want to make sure that we bring that to the table and answer that question.
Richard Mulholland 10:22
So there's another unfair advantage you have now and it's another...in the past, for me, as a speaker in South Africa. So last year, I spoke in 26 countries on six continents. That meant that I was at home, in my home, in my house here, for seven days in a row only twice in the whole year. I have a family. I have a 17 year old and a 13 year old, that's not a great way to live your life. I can sell it to sound glamorous, but it's really not nice. And I promise you I'm not flying business class everywhere. There's a lot of Economy Class flights, squeezing in next to people. This year, all of a sudden, and even then, by the way, it's tricky because for somebody to book me to come and speak, say in Arizona, they've got to consider the cost of flying me, accommodating me, doing all of that work from halfway around the world, basically, to international flights here to London, London to the US. That's a lot of friction I'm adding for booking me as a speaker. Now that friction is gone. Now I am cheaper, more affordable, more accessible, and perhaps more glamorous than the speaker in Arizona. Because now I bring an accent, I bring different thinking. I'm a leader in my field, and I can deliver as well as the local presentation guy who's sitting over there. So all of a sudden those geographical handcuffs have been ripped off. But people aren't taking advantage. They're still appealing to the old customers, I am not reaching out to any of my old local customers. Because right now, I would rather be paid in dollars than paid in rents. I'd rather be paid internationally. And I'd rather build up, right now while we're in this period of time, there is a gold rush on webinars and online presentations. Why would I want to have the same impact and influence at the end of this than I did going in, especially because the future is hybrid?
Russ Johns 12:14
Well, it's a huge opportunity to expand your market to audiences that have never had an option or an opportunity to engage with you. And I think that's a lot of people, you know. I always seem to look on the bright side of things, and that the opportunity is in the challenge. It's always you have to think how to unpack the challenging pieces of what we're dealing with and discover where is the opportunity in this. And that's exactly what you're talking about is geography is no longer the investment, it's actually just your time that they can invest in, it's your expertise, it's your, you know, 20 plus years of experience in understanding about audience and packaging the pill in the peanut butter, and making sure that the message is delivered in a way that makes a difference, makes it matter. And so I think that's a lot of...that's a huge opportunity. And I don't think after everything changes in whatever the future is going to be, I don't think you need to go back to that. I mean, there's a lot of people that are creating businesses out of this.
Richard Mulholland 13:33
We're not going back to anything, we're going forward to something. So a set of permissions have been unlocked. The idea that, hey, I did an event in the future. So now imagine we're hosting a big event. In South Africa, Sun City is a big conference center up here in South Africa, I believe that's where you see as well. So some cities in Africa. And normally, there'd be a big local event, and I might be the local speaker, and then they may want to go to another local speaker. But now they think, well, you know, we could get Rene Braun. Because in the cost of getting a big, big name, local speaker, they could now get Rene Braun. So part of the talk could be live with a live audience and part of the talk could be online, and where the hybrid audience get the first level experience. So I think the future is going to be these mixed events where some people will be live in the room. Some people be watching online, some speakers will be delivering online, and some speakers will be live in the world. And of course, there'll be some events or just online or in person. But there is a massive, massive growth opportunity. And most people aren't taking it. This was your opportunity. This is like the invention of YouTube again, where the early youtubers became big and famous. What webinars are right now is what YouTube was back at the financial crisis. And the next stars are being created right now. And I just worry that so many people haven't put their hand up for it.
Russ Johns 14:55
Yeah. Well, I just finished my 300th episode of this this live stream, and I stream live to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And f you're not subscribed to my YouTube channel, go subscribe. Reckless plug. And I just really agree with what you're saying, because there's a huge opportunity and a lot of organizations are starting to...I produce shows for other organizations, and they're starting to get the idea that, hey, what was it, you said in the beginning? Cancel the gathering, but not the event. And I love that, because there's so many opportunities for you to connect and engage. I mean, look at us. 20 years ago, we would not have had the opportunity to really connect like this. Five years ago, we wouldn't be connecting like this. And it's really amazing to me, and I get so excited about this kind of technology and the opportunity to have conversations around the world with people and leaders and people that have amazing skills like yourself, Richard, so is it's just an honor and a privilege to make these connections for me, and introduce you to the pirate community. So thank you for being here. I appreciate it.
Richard Mulholland 16:22
My pleasure. And just one thing, what you said there as well, about, again, this year being an accelerator. I have a friend who runs a podcast for dads, it's dedicated, it's all just about dads. We were having lunch last week and he said to me, you know, one of the biggest things has changed this year, is two years ago, last year, even when he would invite somebody to be on their show, he wanted good quality audio. So he would send them microphones. And he would buy a microphone on Amazon and send it to them. And it was part of his little gift thing he would do, but ensure that he got much better quality audio, and he had to teach people like this is a software, you're going to use this how you do it. He says now he doesn't do that anymore. Because everybody has bought a bit, it's got a better camera, everyone's got a better microphone, it's got better lighting, everyone has done some work on their setup. So we now all have these mini studios available and ready to go. So actually, if you look, and I understand, and I want to be sensitive to the fact that I know people lost jobs and there were things, but I think when we look at the economic rollout effect of what was catalyzed in 2020, I think if you look back at 2020, it will have been seen as a catalyst for good and for growth and for progress. It'll be the fastest accelerated progress. It was like the technology was running away from us it was getting a fast forward. Now, we've all caught up with it. And that's so exciting. So 2021, or going forward, even if it's not the same, but better, but more ready for the future this year than we were in the last 5-10 years.
Russ Johns 17:55
Well, and a lot of organizations are going to say, well, we're operating just fine, we've caught up to our technology challenge. And now we're operating just fine. And we have a remote workforce. That is not necessarily coming to an office or not necessarily coming to a gathering at a location. And it's changing the way we're going to be thinking about business in the future. It has, there's no way around it, it just has to take place. So I'm ready and willing to look at the future and take the challenge and put my hand up and say I can help you get online and do some live events. So it's amazing. My business has grown this year. So I'm fortunate in that respect and continue to look forward to growth in the next year. I want to go back Richard and talk about because this is such a fascinating subject to me, you know, having somebody that does specifically what you do. When you're 20 what what was the possession in you? What possessed you in your mind to think about this is what you were going to do till you're 46? What was it that triggered that moment in your life that really kind of got you moving in this direction?
Richard Mulholland 19:23
Frustration and hatred. Okay, so here's the thing. I used to braid lights for bands. So I was a lighting designer and I was specifically an operator of moving lights. Now come winter in our country in South Africa, you didn't get any work. And the reason was that Africans just don't go out when it's cold, which is crazy. I was born in Scotland, right, you couldn't not go out because it's cold. Anyway, I started doing corporate work and I would go to these corporate...so if you've ever been to a conference at the back of the room, there's a technical crew, they're sitting in front of house, and they're sitting in their smart little black shirts behind that mixing desk, and they are dying in sight. Now it's easier for the guys today, because the guys today have YouTube or podcasts or PlayStations, or whatever the case may be switches so they can distract themselves. Back in my day, son. Right? When I started out, we had to listen to your terrible presentations. I had to sit in the back of the room, listening to people kill my soul. And my biggest frustration was it didn't matter how good the lighting was, it didn't matter how well...I programmed these lights, and they moved and you come running through the audience, high fiving people, you're all excited, everyone's cheering, going crazy. You get to the stage and hello, ladies, gentlemen, thank you very much. And it was dead. And it didn't matter how good I was. If you were good at presenting, it was good. If you were bad at presenting, it was terrible. And I realized that I was a cure for the wrong disease. It didn't matter. It wasn't about fixing the lighting, sound, a/v and staging. If one fixes the fancy stuff at events, people spent about 20 times more on the event room than they spend on the presenters. I see this every day, like decor and the big screen. I cannot understand the amount of effort spent on putting stuff on the big screen. fancy graphics, all exciting. And then the speaker stands up and goes hi, everybody, thank you so much. And they're terrible. It's ridiculous. Like we not leveling up this right thing. So I was like, no, this is this is terrible. And occasionally I'd see these presenters who were really good, and they would work. And I would start giving those little tips. And then I met this designer and started sending work his way. So like, I would go and sell the staging and I'm limited a bit and say, okay, cool. Well, here's some cool tips. And this guy can help you with your slides and on screen graphics. And before I knew it, we were six months old, and I had about five employees. And I thought, okay, this is a business, I should maybe do this for a living. So I didn't start...
Russ Johns 22:08
The story of being your business, huh.
Richard Mulholland 22:13
And it was only driven...the biggest lie we've been served forever is that you're supposed to do what you love. A far more interesting lie is to do what you hate. Find something that you hate and fall in love with the idea of solving it.
Russ Johns 22:27
Yeah. That's a brilliant, brilliant statement that a lot of people miss it. And, you know, this idea of, and we could go down a whole nother rabbit hole with passion and the meaning of life and what you need to do and everything else. I mean, I've had so many different chapters in my life, it's crazy. And it's just, I appreciate all of the episodes and all of the changes and everything else. However, it's really, hats off to you, because that's a great story. I love the idea that you were solving your own pain, and helping people along the way. Which is really the essence of if we can do that, that's a good thing. It's just really a great opportunity to help a lot of people. So I want to come back to a lot of people that number one, they struggle with being on camera, which is another subject that would take a little while to unpack, however, building a story or crafting a story, what are some tactics that we can actually just share today, Richard, that to get somebody thinking about what they need to do and how they need to approach it? Or what they need to start with and how they can improve what they're doing right now?
Richard Mulholland 23:50
Okay, what I'm going to do is I'm going to share with you an action framework and framework that you can deliver, and you can utilize for building any presentation you want. Then I'm going to explain to you how you can work backwards through that framework, because that's how you prepare your story. So for us a presentation structure, what we refer to as our action framework, will go to four phases. And every phase is very, very simple. And if you follow these phases in order, when you're delivering a presentation, you'll be off to a good place. So step number one, you got to give your audience a reason to care. You have to buy your audience's attention before you can sell them anything, even ideas, even education, you've got it, you're still selling an idea to them. So step number one, you have to give your audience a reason to care. You have to do that. First you have to create curiosity in them or create some unanswered questions, create an itch that they want to scratch. Step number two, you've got to give your audience a reason to believe Why should they trust you? Most people jump straight in there. They're like, hi, I've got this many years of experience. So this next thing, but you don't want to start there. You first want to give them a reason to care and then say now, you care about this. topic, here's two or three facts that make you trust me as why I should be an authority to help you. Then step number three, you want to tell them what they need to know, this is your legacy list, three things that you need to know about such and such, five ways that you can change your, whatever the case may be. And then finally, the most important step that almost every presenter forgets is step number four, tell them what they need to do. You see your presentations job is to deliver a message to achieve a result. And if you do not tell your audience, explicitly, implicitly what they have to do when they get off that stage, they won't do anything. They'll just be entertained. They'll just have enjoyed it. And they'll be like, oh, that guy was really cool. What are you gonna do? Because it was....
Russ Johns 25:42
Like a ride in Disneyland say, that was a nice ride. Thanks.
Richard Mulholland 25:46
But it doesn't change your life. Now, this is what I get back to when you said earlier you said get them going on a journey. You've got to turn around and say, What is that one thing that your that you want them to do, as a result of you being here, as a result of you presenting, you've got to turn around and say, well, I want you to take one specific action, because of this presentation. And it's not the big action, it's the smallest action possible that they can do to start going in the right direction. Daniel said in the comments, tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them and tell them what you told them. And that is a great framework for presenting. You start off you explain it, I think it's slightly different though. It's tease them, tell them and then tell them to do it's those three things, but you want to tease them about what you're going to talk about, you want to give them the information. And then you want to give them those calls to action. And she mentioned as well, like, good job, Angie, if you're gonna plug you got to do it. But it is important, and there's two calls to action, there is your call to action that you want them to do for you. For example, I want you to subscribe to my YouTube channel. But there's the call to action, which is what I want you guys to do is to sit down and at the end of this just right now, while you're scribbling down, I want you to write down, if I was to deliver a talk, if I was invited to do a talk in the next two weeks, to my dream audience, one, who would that audience be? And two, what is the change I would want to make in them after I get off stage? And just start thinking about that idea. If you just wrote down those two sentences for now, yeah, you're well on your way to thinking hey, I actually do have something worth sharing, an idea with changing the world. Now, when it comes to writing that presentation, just work backwards through that list, just first of all turn around and say what do I want my audience to do as a result of me getting on stage, then turn around and say, What three things do I need to tell them? or five things do I need to tell them? That will equip them with the tools they need to do that. Then go to the beginning. Why should they care in the first place? Like why should they care enough to listen to me talk about this? And then finally just fill in the gap that says, and why should they trust me to tell them? That's the way I work through every single talk that I derive. I don't know if I can share a...we created a Trello board that's free that you can go to download if you want to. It's msng.wtf/trello and that Trello board has a video instruction. And each step, it's got a page from my book, Boredom Slayer, details on how to work through that. And it's got each page of each chapter on each section, and then a way for you to build a presentation. And that's the tool we use at our office to build presentations. It beats post it notes.
Russ Johns 28:32
I've used Trello many times. So how is the best way...how do you appreciate people reaching out to you.
Richard Mulholland 28:42
I think the easiest way that you can get in contact with me personally, if you go to getrich.af. So that's nice and easy. And that's one of those little kind of micro link farms that you can go to on your phone. And that links you to my Twitter, my YouTube, my Instagram, my personal website to have links to my books, my newsletter, and my YouTube channel, all of that there. So get registered, AF will take you there to take you to my personal site, which is richmulholland.com and then from a business side if you wanted to take maybe our speaker mentoring program or something like this. If you go to Ineedmissinglink.com, you'll find us there.
Russ Johns 29:18
Fantastic. Fantastic. Well, I just want to thank Danny for being here. Danny's my brother in law. He actually does presentations on a regular basis. He's in the sales and in the oil and gas industry. He's a very dynamic individual that loves to tell stories and tells great stories. Silverfox talks is here from Florida. Angie is here from Wisconsin and Hiett is here from Houston. And thank you so much everyone for being here. I really appreciate this. Richard, I know that your time is valuable and I'm humbled by the opportunity to bring you into the into the pirate community and share this out and it's going to be shared out again, I'll put up a post and a podcast, it's on a number of different platforms. So this message can get announced and shared again and again over and over again. So thank you so much for being here. I love the opportunity. And yes, Angie, I would love to have you subscribe to my YouTube channel. I'm working on expanding that a little bit and growing that channel as well. Putting some more content over there. And we're going to have the rest of the week is full of amazing individuals that are going to be joining us today. So Richard, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate you and I'll send you the links to the content afterwards, so you can enjoy it and share it out to your audience as well. So thanks again.
Richard Mulholland 30:54
Awesome. Thank you, Russ,
Russ Johns 30:56
thank you so much. Appreciate it. And as everyone knows, kindnesses, cool, smiles are free, and you enjoy the day. Take care, don't go away.
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