All leaders have to speak, yet not everyone is born with this skill. Juliet Clark takes some time to sit down and discuss how speakership is leadership with renowned speaker, presenter, and speaking coach Margaret Watts Romney. Margaret shares her insights on how effective leaders are also effective speakers and communicators. Juliet and Margaret talk about developing your skills in speaking and communication. Learn their tips on how to take your speaking skills to the next level.
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Margaret Watts Romney: The Fine Art Of Speaking And Leadership
We have another fabulous guest. I know you guys hear me say that every single time, but I mean it. They’re all fabulous. Before we get started, I want to remind you to go over and take our Promote, Profit, Publish Quiz. It’s at www.PromoteProfitPublishQuiz.com. Find out if you’re ready for that book. I know you wrote it and you’re getting ready to publish it, but did you take the time to build an audience? Did you take the time to figure out a launch date? How are you going to sell it? How are you going to incorporate it into your funnel, business, and all of those things that we never think about until the very last minute? We need to be thinking about it about a year out. Remember to go over and take the quiz. Go over and subscribe to us on YouTube, Superbrand Publishing. If you’re listening on a show, all of the videos are over there. You can see who these people are and if they’re credible or if I pick up homeless people and say, “Here, speak,” which I don’t.
Our guest is Margaret Watts Romney. She’s the Founder of MasterSpeaker Lab. A leadership speakers’ coaching company that teaches leaders how to hone their speaking skills on stage or screen, in groups or in conversations. As a presenter, performer and speaker, she is also well-known for over 100 TEDx speakers internationally and now coaches emerging leaders on how to boost their speaking skills on stage or screen to large audiences or individual conversations.
I love hearing that. Thank you so much for that warm welcome.
That warm welcome, you know we all write our own bios. I’m just kidding. If you guys didn’t know that, I’m telling you that that’s what happens. Anyway, the MasterSpeaker Lab, your whole premise behind it is very unique. Your tagline is, “Speakership is leadership.” Talk to us a little bit about that.
I started coaching TEDx speakers. I had been a performer. I was comfortable with the stage. When I started working with the speakers, they had this one chance, this one day. The audience was filled. They practiced. They had these ideas worth spreading. It came off beautifully as recorded and I realized all of them had so much more besides this beautiful gem of ten minutes of speaking. They were talking about these ideas in conversations, speaking in other venues, negotiating, leading their own teams, and getting clients. All of these arenas were subcategories of their talk. That’s when I realized, “If you are speaking, you are a leader.” Likewise, vice versa, all leaders have to speak. It’s not just on a stage and in a presentation. We have to know our values, where we’re leading, and where we want our audience to go, whether it’s on a stage, in a boardroom or in a crucial conversation.If you are speaking, you are a leader, and vice versa. All leaders have to speak; it’s not just on a stage and in a presentation. Click To Tweet
I used to give presentations when I was in advertising. You need to be very good at it, concise, and very persuasive. That’s a skill that you definitely learn. Most people aren’t born with it.
You had that. You went into these boardrooms. That repetition, you learned what works. You learned that in the boardroom. I’m sure all of that practice and thinking helped the rest of your speaking too. It helped you know what you were saying more. You could give sound bites and argue better because you knew your content so well. That crucible of the boardroom or the stage is a great place to hone your skills, but it’s not the end. You keep going. There is a conversation. There are questions. There is a solution finding that keeps happening afterwards.
One of the things that is impressive is you’ve set up a membership program for this. I don’t think many speaker coaches out there or presentation coaches have done something like you’ve done. Tell us how that came to be and guide us through it because it’s so unique and different.
I’d love to tell this story. Imagine it is March of 2020. We all know what that looked like. Pre-March of 2020, all of my business was about the stage. It was about presentations and polished performance. All of those went away, all the contracts. Everybody continued their contract, but they all ended. There wasn’t more coming in. I had bought a house. I was lying on the floor of my house, looking at the ceiling in March of 2020, and I was like, “What are you going to do, Margaret?” I don’t know about you, but for me, those days were hard to move. They were hard to get out of bed. They were so dysfunctional. I was like, “What is it I can do that will spring me out of bed? What do I love so much?”
What I realized is that I love even more than speaking on the stage and presentation is this deeper issue of leadership. Leaning into the model that I’d had for years of speakership is leadership. Let’s talk about speakership. Speakership is this conjunction point between those stage presentations and leadership. I started running groups because all we had were virtual groups. They were going well. People loved coming together and sharing their ideas. It was a place for them to continually practice, “Here’s a story that I’m working on. Here’s my origin story. Here’s my why. Here’s my elevator pitch. Here’s a segment I’m going to write for an op-ed. I’m having these troubles managing up to my board or managing down to my team.” We had this community around.
They were going so beautifully. I was like, “Why is this working so well?” Part of it was my own background. I realized, “I’ve been running groups for years.” I watched ten TEDx cohorts through the whole process of developing their speaking. Years before that, in my first career as a musician, I had experiences every month. I ran summers and there were summer camps. There was something about people coming together, sharing, learning, and making it a safe space for everyone. They were like, “This is hard,” but then also celebrating, “Look what I did. This was amazing.” Having that group together to learn, celebrate and also build a habit. To build a new habit, you can’t do it in a two-day boot camp. You have to come back to it again and again.
I built these groups at an affordable price point for everybody so people can fund their own leadership development. They can come in and find a community. They can come in and have access to a library of resources that I’ve built and online mini-courses. They have access to training events we do every week. They have access to groups where they can get feedback. They can get one-on-one coaching because developing your speaking is a long-term process. The more you think of yourself as a leader, the more you think of yourself as a speaker, the more you own that part of your life, then the better you’re going to be. This is a marathon. It’s not a sprint.
I love that because there are a lot of people who are struggling to deliver all of this in this online format that we’re doing as well. It’s a higher level to step into to be more engaging. When the people on the other side have their little thing blocked out and they’re not listening, it can be tough. You have to be able to step up and do all of this at a different level when you’re online than even in person.
We all get used to that format. We all see what works. Juliet, I wish I could show you on the screen the comments people have. Every session that we end, we leave with either like, “What was your takeaway? What are three words that you’re leaving with?” The words that people are experiencing as they’re leaving these groups, connected, gratitude, curious, peace and confidence. This is where they’re getting it. They’re taking those feelings. They’re taking that juicy yumminess and using that to launch the rest of their speaking throughout their week. We can have a connection, feel authentic, and feel like we’re communicating our ideas on this online space if we do it in the right way, if we’re there and if we can show up. There’s a space that’s safe if there’s a facilitator who’s created the space where everyone knows they’re welcome, expected to show up, and going to get something out of it. They will be a little bit challenged and they’ll have successes along the way.
What kind of people are you working with inside of these groups? That’s one of the things when you were showing me that I was surprised. It’s all over the place.Speakership is this conjunction point between those stage presentations and leadership. Click To Tweet
That’s a question I get all the time like, “Who’s your niche market?” What I feel like I should say is, “My niche market is 27 to 33-year-old dentists who live in the Western states.” Something specific like that. The truth is they’re from all over and that’s one of the strengths. In some of my groups, we have landscape artists, doctors, MBA professionals, and writers but it’s that variety that people can get authentic, more real feedback from a wider audience because that’s who they’re trying to reach.
My nickname for who I do bring in, I cater to sudden leaders. These are leaders who probably didn’t run for student body officer every single year when they were young or ever. Now, here they are. They’re at quarter career, half career, or end of their career. All of a sudden, they’re like, “Everyone is looking at me. If I want to move forward, I need to open my mouth. I have a community that’s looking to me. I have a place I know I want to go. I know there’s an experience I want to give them. The way I do that is by opening my mouth.”
Whether it’s presentations, one-on-one conversations or leading meetings, we know that these messages from these sudden leaders have to be repeated over and over again. Our audiences need to hear the repetition. They need to feel confidence emanating from us. They need to know where we are taking them. They need to have that vision and inspiration of what comes next. All of that comes through speaking.
Where can we find your platform?
The best place to find everything about me is my name, MargaretWattsRomney.com. There, you can find more information about all these groups. Some of my people are interested in taking a deeper dive. Some of them want that thought partner or coaching for all of their leadership. There’s a page there talking about how I coach people. Even on the website for anyone, I have a Speakership Quiz where you can get information about where you are with your own speaking. I like to divide speaking. We only have three tools that we use with our audiences. Three tools that we have at our disposal to connect with people. We have our own mindset, content and delivery. The Speakership Quiz touches on all of those and gives you some deeper questions, “How are you? Where are you with this? What’s next for you?”
Where do we find that out?Developing your speaking is a long-term process. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Click To Tweet
You could go to SpeakershipQuiz.com. That’s a direct route.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us about this.
It’s my pleasure. Thank you so much, Juliet.
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- MasterSpeaker Lab
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About Margaret Romney
Margaret Watts Romney is the founder of MasterSpeaker Lab, a leadership speakers’ coaching company that teaches leaders how to hone their speaking skills: on stage or screen, in groups, or in conversations.
As a 20-plus-year presenter, performer, and speaker, she is well known for coaching over 100 TEDx speakers internationally, and now coaches emerging leaders on how to boost their speaking skills on stage or screen, to large audiences or individual conversations.
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