Today, public speaking strategist Jessica Rasdall is answering one of the biggest questions my clients face as they scale their business – how do we leverage speaking for our business growth?
Jessica Rasdall is a speaker, best-selling author and public speaking strategist. She’s also the host of the Speak to Scale Podcast – this is where I heard her wisdom first and I knew I had to have her on the show.
As business owners, CEOs and the visionaries of our companies, it’s important for us to identify our own growth roles as we make hires and build our teams. Often, for many of us this means we’re able to step into a more lucrative and visible role as the face of our company.
In doing so, speaking is one of the number one ways to accelerate our company’s growth, widen the net we cast for our visibility, and radiate the impact our business has on the world.
Jessica shares her deep and powerful message of how she overcome intense and turbulent personal challenges and she answers all the questions I could ever ask about how to discover our own message and share it with the world.
If you’re in a season where you’re scaling your business and stepping into a role of greater visibility, you need to tune in!
Listen to the episode now!
Jessica’s Journey Into Speaking
She works with anyone who wants to understand what their core messaging is and wants to get it out in front of the right people. She helps them leverage the stage and speaking to scale their business.
But it wasn’t always the case. Speaking wasn’t something she ever really wanted to do – she’s a hard core INFJ introvert and an enneagram 7.
When she was a college freshman, with the hopes and dreams of a typical student, she threw it all away by making the decision to get in the car with her best friend when they shouldn’t have… and the car crashed five minutes from her dorm room.
“Because of my decision, my best friend died in my passenger seat,” she said. “I went from worrying about what was I going to major in to this blood is on my hands and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
So, she faced 10-15 years in prison and had no idea where to go from here. When you go through something like that, she said, it just doesn’t feel real and it never goes away. But something within her told her there was a reason she was still here.
Nothing made sense, she said. None of it added up, but prom was coming up at her local highschool and something was telling her she needed to go speak to them and show them how real choices and consequences like this are.
Nothing happened that year – no incidents, no arrests, no deaths.
“There was a way for me to keep Laura’s memory alive,” she said. “There was a way for me to prevent other people from repeating my mistake. And something that could make me feel like there was purpose in this terrible thing I had done.”
In two years, she had spoken to over 15,000 young adults. She was then sentenced to four years in prison and two years probation, “which was how much time I was supposed to spend in college,” she said.
“This big curveball, this big twist, when I came home and it was time to rebuild, all of these roadblocks came in the way,” she said. “We want to put it all back together the way that it used to be, but it’s not possible. There’s going to be something chipped. We’ve been changed permanently. It was when I realized that I could make something new from these pieces, that it all started to click.”
How Do We Discover Our Own Stories?
The biggest mistake we make when working on stories is thinking it has to be a dramatic, traumatic story.
Most of us don’t have those kinds of stories, she said. And that’s a good thing! When we think about stories, our ego comes into things. We tend to look at the story from the perspective of, “what do I have to share that’s important?”
But Jessica wants us to flip that around because “the only story that matters is the one your audience needs to hear,” she said. “If we don’t start with the question of ‘what do they need from me,’ you’re going to tell the wrong story.”
What do they need to hear to help them obtain the required result?
It’s not about what story is most important to you, but what question is most important to your audience and what answer will help get them where they want to go?
How Do You Know If Speaking Is Right For You?
Speaking is not one size fits all, she said. Everyone can strengthen their speaking skillset, but not everyone needs to be on the stage.
The first step, she says is to strengthen your speaking skillset – everyone needs to be doing this!
Strengthening your speaking skillset helps you:
- Deepen your communication skills
- Effectively talk to your consumer
- Communicate the vision to your team and lead them into what’s coming
- Be the face of the company and drive the ship
Then, before stepping into speaking you have to ask the question – where does speaking fit into your life and business?
To understand this, Jessica Rasdall maps out three types of speaking:
- Tier One Speaking: Your goal is to build credibility. You’re in a season where you’re wanting to gain traction and brand awareness. What’s most important for you is for people to see you as a thought-leader in your industry. This includes guest podcasting, guest speaking, opportunities for exposure.
- Tier Two Speaking: Your goal is to speak to gain conversions. You have a product or service you want to connect with the right audience.
- Tier Three Speaking: Speaking is a source of revenue for your business.
Most of the frustration from speaking is not because your presentation isn’t great. It’s because you’re not leveraging it the way your business needs you to leverage it.
What else do we talk about in this episode?
- How do you know you’re meant for speaking? Jessica shares 5 signs you’ll make a great speaker!
- How can introverts step confidently into speaking? (woo hoo! Introverts unite!)
- How to develop your first talk for the stage!
Powerful Quotes from Jessica Rasdall
“When we start to shift our focus on the difference we’re making and less on how it’s being received, it becomes so much easier.”
“The only story that matters is the one your audience needs to hear. If we don’t start with the question of ‘what do they need from me,’ you’re going to tell the wrong story.”
“Most of the frustration from speaking is not because your presentation isn’t great. It’s because you’re not leveraging it the way your business needs you to leverage it.”
“You feel like you’re talking to everybody, but from the stage you only need to talk to one person. When you can focus on the one person you’re meant to impact, it’s so much more impactful.”
“If you’ve ever sat in the audience and thought, ‘I’m meant to be up there,’ you probably should!”