528: Mastering Your Meetings | Caroline Goyder

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Caroline Goyder is an expert speaker and trainer with large organizations who specializes in helping leaders go from anxiety to authority. Our guest speaker for this episode has a warm, engaging, relaxed, and highly efficient style, and was named by Red magazine as one of Britain’s top coaches.

Caroline appeared on TEDx as a keynote speaker hosting “Surprising Secret to Speaking with Confidence,” which was streamed over 9 million times. Her latest book, Find Your Voice unpacks and develops the secrets for speaking with confidence explored in the hit TEDx talk.

In this episode of the Conquer Local Podcast, not only does Caroline speak about how to make an impact, but she shares with us the techniques she wrote about in her book.

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George: This is the Conquer Local Podcast, a show about billion-dollar sales leaders, marketers leading local economic growth, and entrepreneurs that have created their dream organizations. They wanna share their secrets, giving you the distilled version of their extraordinary feats. Our hope is with the tangible takeaways from each episode, you can rewire, rework and reimagine your business. I’m George Leith, and on this episode, we welcome Caroline Goyder. Caroline Goyder’s global reputation as a speaker and voice coach is built on her warm, engaging, relaxed, and highly practical style. Her TEDx on the surprising secret to speaking with confidence has been viewed 9 million times and rising. Her new book, “Find Your Voice” unpacks and develops the secrets for speaking with confidence explored in her hit TEDx talk. Caroline is a sought-after expert speaker and trainer by senior management within high-profile organizations, as well as private individuals. She speaks on YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Harvard business school alumni, the Henley Business School, School of Life, and London business forums. Her clients have included news anchors, reporters, actors, CEOs of FTSE 100 and 250 companies, a monarch, and TV magicians, among others. Caroline speaks at YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, the Harvard Business School, Henley Business School, and London business forums. Get ready folks. We are going to understand the master your meetings pyramid from Caroline Goyder, coming up next on the Conquer Local Podcast. Caroline, so excited to have you on the show. I went through your very impressive bio and background in the intro, but I’d love to hear from you your introduction to our listeners here at the Conquer Local podcast.

Caroline: George, you want the elevator pitch? It’s that I help leaders go from anxiety to authority under pressure. And actually, that’s a pretty good description of what I do. But the thing I think that is relevant is that I was the person who found this really difficult at first. Because when I got to drama school, having left Oxford Uni, they said to me, “You’ve got no resonance, you’ve got no presence, you’ve got no gravitas, you’re in your head,” and I had to unpick what it was that made someone a good speaker. And for anyone who’s sitting there going, “Oh my God, my boss has just told me I don’t have enough presence, charisma, gravitas, confidence,” it’s okay. I am the person who’s learned all of this stuff. I was terrible at first. And my whole life’s work without being too grand is about helping everybody find their presence, their gravitas, their impact, ’cause they can.

George: First, I was really excited. Now I’m just floored. I can’t wait for this episode, because I’m looking forward to learning some things from you as well. But let’s go back to what… You’re gonna help me go from, ’cause I have a lot of anxiety, so you’re gonna help me go from anxiety to?

Caroline: Authority, from panic to power.

George: I need this, this is awesome. Well, let’s go. So we see all that background. We have that great intro. You’ve got us, we’re hooked. Now let’s talk about mastering your meetings and this pyramid that you’ve designed because I got a feeling this is your secret sauce.

Caroline: So this baby, my new baby, the first two babies were Gravitas and Find Your Voice, which were books. This is my new digital course baby and it came out of the pandemic, as so much stuff has, right? Because I was getting asked by tech sales teams as it happens. And the big problem that was presenting was these young, brilliant salespeople who could not make an impact in their virtual meetings. Now of course, now we’re not just virtual anymore. People are traveling again. Meetings are face-to-face. The problem now is that people can’t make impact in a room anymore. So when I went away and thought, well, what is the two-hour training that I want to give a sales team when they need more impact when their boss says you’re not making enough impact in these meetings, you’re not getting traction. These are the four things that I teach people. They are my secret sauce and they do build one on top of the other, like a pyramid. Everything comes out of mindset, which is the first one. Then on top of that, you build confidence, which is your kind of physical embodied ability to own a room or a Zoom. Then you get to voice, which is your pace, it’s your power, it’s your music. And then at the top, there’s impact, which is your ability to really flex and adjust to tough questions, difficult people, which of course in the end is where the success is. But you gotta build the first three first.

George: So when you were getting these requests from your community for this training and you were putting together the program, what’s the pain that we’re like, I can kinda see it, but I wanna understand was there one meeting where you’re like, there’s a lot of pain here and I have to figure it out, or was it a series of components that led you to realize you needed this?

Caroline: It was the repetitive pain that I was hearing from clients and it was the theme was we have these great people, but they just don’t make enough impact. And it seemed to be a question about younger people. I think all of us learn confidence through life. And I think it is for more junior salespeople who are going in front of those senior hard-bitten, I include myself, you know, the older ones, who are a bit tougher, a bit more cynical. How do you own a room when you’re a bit nervous and you’re new? And it was that pain was coming from clients. It was presenting in almost the same way over and over again. So I thought, well, A, this is a virtual training, which is how it started. But then I started to think, well, I can systematize this into a course, and then I can scale it. You know, I don’t have to be everywhere.

George: No, and I see that component of it. I guess what I was looking for was, was there one component or multiple components? But it seems like it’s more, there’s a group of individuals out there that need to learn a skill set to be able to execute in the world we live in today. And I’m glad that you brought up the fact that we’re back face to face, like breathing the same air, you know, probably social distance, but, there’s some of that happening as well. But this online component isn’t going away. It may not be 100% of what we’re doing anymore, but it is definitely a skill that needs to be learned. So, let’s go into the pyramid now. We have mindset, confidence, voice, and impact. And I’d love to learn from you around this idea of the base of the pyramid.

Caroline: So mindset, I mean, you know, I’ve done Sandler sales training and I know, in a lot of these sales training systems, mindset is big, right? I love the idea of parity as a mindset. Mindset for this piece in terms of the pain that was presenting is that people often visualize failure. If something’s gone wrong for someone, the classic reason that someone presents for not being able to do it is that they, every time they think about that scary meeting, they see themselves tripping over their words, saying the wrong thing, people judging them, people laughing at them in the worst case scenario. And that becomes this kind of disaster movie, which then becomes truth because the brain’s a predictive machine. If you fire a prediction, the brain’s quite good at doing it. And I think people know this at some level, but I think they apply it more to sports psychology. And I don’t know how often people apply it to something like a meeting, which can feel mundane, but it’s also life-changing when you land a big pitch, isn’t it?

George: I, 100% agree with that. And what I wanna understand on this base is it’s a little more than just, you know, we’re going to assume the sale and this is all gonna come true. It’s more about rolling with the punches that are inevitably gonna happen, is that the piece like maybe practicing ahead of time so that when you go into that meeting, it’s not like you’re being blindsided by it. Is it in the repetitions that you build the base?

Caroline: I think it’s… So when we get to confidence and voice, we get to repetition. I think the mindset piece is being so clear that you can do this believing because you can see it, that you are able to walk into that meeting and show up with parity and ownership and gravitas. That mindset then allows you to practice because what people do when they’re living the disaster movie is they don’t think about it until two minutes before they log in, or until they’re sitting in the car outside the offices, that they’re distracting themselves. And in this world, it is so easy to distract ourselves. You can watch sports on your phone. You can dial into slack, you know, whatever it is, mindset allows you to get better, ’cause it gives you the confidence to have a process. It gives you discipline. And so nothing else works without it.

George: I know we’re asking you to take two hours and put it into 20 odd minutes here. So I, you know, I want to go deep, but you know, we could go very deep ’cause it’s a two-hour program, but here’s what I’m hearing. And I wanna make sure that I’m catching what you’re saying. The mindset is more around you better be in the right place, even when you’re practicing. So I like to use a golf analogy, although I’m not a golfer. So I’m out on the driving range and if every swing I’m going through on this is gonna go in the rough, this is gonna go in the rough. This isn’t even gonna go 100 yards. Then it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Caroline: Precisely, and the first thing for a speaker to understand is that, although speaking can seem natural or just something that you do, actually it needs the same discipline as golf. It’s a mind-body connection. And if you can visualize that A-game, you’re much more likely to show up with it in the real meeting. And it does start with how you think about something.

George: Well, I 100% agree, maybe even 1000% agree on this. And you’ve reminded me of the last couple of presentations I’ve been in over the last two weeks where maybe I didn’t have my mind right before I walked into the room. And I guess the reason I bring that up is I’m definitely not young. I’ve been doing it for a long time and some of these components, it’s great to be reminded of all the time because we have a tendency to get caught up in the moment. Now confidence, and I love in our show notes that we have here, it’s around your breathing, it’s around your body language, it’s around the thing that causes some of the greatest anxiety that I have because when I watch back a video of me delivering a presentation and my absolute atrocious posture comes in, I’m eroding confidence with the slouch. You know, I could see it when I’m watching the videos. Let’s talk about this component and how important it is in your pyramid.

Caroline: This is a really big one and you’re absolutely right, George, that most people don’t think about it. Now, if I go back to me bailing at this stuff in the beginning, I also had terrible posture, but there, I mean there’s loads of research from Amy Cuddy’s work on posture and confidence. You can go back to the Greeks and Romans who trained their orators and their athletes on the same field, science, art, and history tell us that if you hold yourself like a leader, people will assume that you have leadership qualities. Now everything that we have, I’m picking up my phone, I’m staring at a screen right now. Everything we have around us to work with takes our head forward off our spine and gives us this kind of text neck. Now that does two things. It makes us look a little bit squished and small, which isn’t great for exuding, gravitas and presence, but also because it cuts you off from your breath and it cuts you off from your nervous system, you lose your deep confidence. You lose the kind of nervous system level confidence, and that really can make things go quite badly if you’re not careful.

George: Well thank you for bringing that up because I know that tBone here, our sound engineer, he’s smiling because you’re basically giving a lesson in radio broadcasting that him and I have taken years ago, where you have to have that diaphragm and the breathing. But I have actually witnessed people that are great speakers and they’re about to go on stage and they get in their head and they probably have delivered that presentation flawlessly a million times. And you’re like, why are they so nervous? Why are they shaking? And it’s because we forget something that’s really important to be a human and that’s breathing. And then our body starts to think that we’re in peril and now everything is short of breath. Now we start to shake. And the entire delivery of that presentation is going to not build the confidence that we’re looking for from our audience.

Caroline: Oh my gosh, I hear this. I mean, if I had a dollar for every exec who told me that same story, I would be living in The Bahamas right now. And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because once that’s happened to you once, you start panicking about it happening again, the simple thing in that confidence module that people really need to understand, as you’ve said about diaphragmatic breathing is that voice is out-breath. All speech is out breath with a few exceptions in Xhosa and a little bit of Swedish, occasionally I’m told, but for most of us, we speak on the out-breath. So your pause is in-breath. Now for anybody in sales meetings. The thing to know is that if you rush your in breath if you grasp it, you know if I’m talking like this, “Hey, I’m Caroline, I’m so excited to be here, we’re gonna.” You know, and it’s coming in through my mouth that the body thinks is fight or flight breathing. That’s running away from someone’s scary breathing. So if you pull a mouth breath into your upper chest quickly in a meeting, you’re basically saying to your nervous system, get out of there, punch them or hide under the table. None of which, as we know, it’s gonna help you ace the meeting.

George: So then the voice piece, because I’ll tell you, producer, Colleen is over here smiling, and she’s got this red paddle that she waves whenever I’m doing what you were just referring to, which is speaking very fast and trying to get all the words out in a very short period of time. This not rushing when we’re speaking is a really important piece. Give yourself some time to think, give yourself some time to really land the things that you wanna land with the audience. I wanna hear from you though. You’re the expert on the voice component of the pyramid.

Caroline: So voice builds on, we thought about mindset. We thought about the confidence in the body and the breath. The voice becomes much more tactical. It becomes much more about pause and power and presence and clarity. And when I was first hearing the pain from these salespeople, a lot of the pain was they don’t have enough vocal presence, they don’t have enough vocal energy, their voices are a bit flat, they’re not inspiring people. And I think in sales, voice is critical, isn’t it? A voice that has energy, a voice that shows passion and excitement about something is a voice that people wanna hear again. And again, the big problem for most of us is all the things we’ve talked about. We believe that we’re gonna fail, we stand badly, we chest breathe. That sets us up, but we’ve cleared that, we know how to deal with that. So the next thing is to start to play with the music of the voice. Most people sit at a laptop all day. They, you know, check emails, their checks slack. And as we do that, our nervous system is quite flat. If we were out there in meetings all day, talking to people, having fun, our voices would be more musical, but particularly if you are going onto a pitch on virtual and you’ve been sitting at a laptop all morning, simple way to warm up your voice, it’s so easy. Stand up, put some music on that you love, and sing. Probably not death metal, something with a bit of, you know, not too shouty, something with a bit of tone and music, sing along, get your voice warm. And if you can dance around the house, you know, this is not in the open plan office people. If you are in the open plan office, you might need to do it in the morning before you go to work or in the car even better. But if you spend two minutes singing and moving, your voice will be so much more fluid in the day. It will captivate people in a different way and you will have better results. I am happy to measure that.

George: I’m always drawn to the movie, Anchorman. When I think about this analogy and you know, Ron Burgundy is about to go on the news and you know, the whiskey and the smoking aside, which they used to do at the studios, the, you know, oh now brown cow, you know, warming up that voice, getting ready to, you know, psyching yourself up. And then I’m fast-forwarding to the Netflix show, “I am Not Your Guru”” by Tony Robbins. They were filming Tony backstage and he’s got the little trampoline and he’s jumping on it and he’s screaming backstage, and I’m like, I’ve been to see Tony Robbins live. And he actually practices what he preaches, because of the idea of you need to be in this positive mindset to be creative. So he gets you all fired up and plays loud music, and you jump around and maybe hug more people than I had liked when I was there live. But it did get you into the right mindset to be able to deliver. And my friend who I’ve known for a long time, our sound engineer, tBone, you know, I think he might have said to me, at one point, the whole world is a stage. And, you know, even if you’re in a little room delivering a voiceover for a commercial, you’re performing, and that’s a big part of your message here. If I’m reading it correctly.

Caroline: Yes, and it’s funny, ’cause people think about theater as something that you do and you become other. And I think all the world’s the stage means to me, exactly the Tony Robbins thing. Be more you, wake up your voice, wake up your body, wake up your breath, so that you can really fill out who you are. And that’s a lovely thing in life. And it’s basically just being more childlike. You know, kids do this brilliantly. It’s just that as adults, we get a bit smaller, we get a bit more serious.

George: Well, I’m jealous of my grandkids ’cause I thought I didn’t care. But those little buggers, they don’t care at all. And it’s because they’re learning and I love it. It’s be curious. And one of the things that I like to talk to salespeople about is be a student like what it was like when you love being a student, you ask lots of questions and you’re seeking to understand.

Caroline: I love that, I love that. Yeah, ’cause you’re listening in a different way. That’s, yeah, it’s brilliant.

George: So now impact and for those of you that are listening to this show, we’re building a pyramid here. So now we’re at the apex of Caroline’s pyramid around impact. And I know that when I reach the top of anything, it’s pretty exciting. So Caroline I’m setting this up for you. Let’s talk about impact.

Caroline: So this maps into your idea of all the worlds of stage because the mindset, the confidence, and the voice are getting you ready to go on stage that’s Tony Robbin’s trampoline. Impact is walking through the door or logging into the meeting. I’m not gonna give you the whole course in this bite-size section, but the bit I think of impact that really makes a difference is to know whether you need to play strength or warmth. ‘Cause, what I was hearing a lot from salespeople is that either they don’t have enough credibility and that’s the one that comes up most or they’re not engaging people. Now, if you are someone who gets told you don’t have enough credibility, that probably means that in the terminology we’re gonna use, you are a dog, dog people are all about relationships. This is Michael Grinder’s brilliant model and it’s worth investigating him. Dog people are all about relationships and they will go in and talk a lot and they’ll smile a lot and they’ll nod a lot and they want to, you know, live life through relationship. But if you are talking to the CTO, who’s had six meetings today and a deal’s just fallen through and they don’t have time. You building relationship is gonna really go down like a cup of cold sick. I don’t know if that’s it an expression that is translates globally, but anyway. And so for those people, if you are a dog relationship person who needs to play tasks, go in and it doesn’t matter if they like you or not. Hunt for the same prey, what does that CTO need to hit on her or his KPIs and how can you help them with that? Go for the task. And if you really check how much time they’ve got and don’t run over, they will be a friend for life. So that’s the strength one. And there’s a really simple way to find it. If you take your palms down, your voice becomes more strength. It’s almost like magic. If you’re listening right now, just say the days of the week and push your palms down to the floor. It’s a bit mash, should we do it together?

George: Love it.

Both: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Caroline: So simple. And also keep your head still.

George: Oh, I failed at that, didn’t I.

Caroline: Well, you know, we’re chatting. There’s a bit of rapport anyway, ’cause we’re chatting away. But if you were in front of that, very senior audience, not nodding too much says, I trust myself, you might nod a little bit. You’re gonna match their nods, but, you keep your head quite still. So that’s one side of things. That’s the relationship person who needs more strength and they’re told you need more credibility. Some salespeople are told you’re not engaging them enough. Depends who you’re selling into. You’re a bit too serious, you’re flat. We think you need more charisma. That’s usually a cat high task analytical often in their heads, often a quite objective about life and they need to have more fun, I know. I say this as a cat, I say it with love. They need to be more playful. They need to be much more like you’re saying the listener. They need to go in and feel lighter and less task-focused and just focus on building relationships, asking loads of questions being as you say, really curious, and almost having a playful sense. nd a really quick way into that is palms up. So if we try this again, I know it’s a bit crazy. This time think of talking to an old friend, palms up gesture, and just say the days of the week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. There’s something about when we display our wrists, which is a very vulnerable part of the body. When we display our wrists as humans, the voice changes. I really don’t understand why I’d love to study it. But if I take my palms down, more credibility, if I take my palms up, more approachability, it’s so simple, it will change your life. If you are the person who is being told, you need more relationship, you need more engagement or you need more credibility.

George: Caroline, it’s amazing. The difference that those two very small tweaks make to the way that you’re articulating to the audience. I wonder and I’ve been reading into this over the last few minutes that we’ve been speaking. I don’t know if it’s, well, I just need this or I just need that. I think we need a little bit of both at all times. So I love the way that you put that into a balance and we need to be able to ebb and flow depending upon how we’re interacting with the audience. I’ve found

Caroline: So much.

George: During COVID. One of the most frustrating meetings to be on is with an organization that does not have a cameras on policy.

Caroline: Oh, don’t get me started.

George: How much business has organizations that did not have that policy in place? How much business have they lost over the last 30? Now we’re 36 months because all of that remote stuff is continuing. Maybe not at the volume it was before, but how do you interact if you can’t see.

Caroline: It’s gobsmacking it, I find it, again, I’m not sure if that’s a global expression, but it just, I cannot understand even internally why there’s a cameras off policy. I know in high introvert cultures, people don’t want cameras on all the time, but we need to see each other as much as we need to hear each other. And, oh my gosh, yeah, the amount of business that must have been lost by people who couldn’t see each other. Yeah, I think there’s a study there, isn’t there?

George: There has to be because what I’m hearing from organizations is, you know, we’re down in revenue or we don’t have collaboration inside our organization. And all you have to do is go to one of the internal meetings and you got 62 people on zoom and none of them have their cameras on. You’re like we’re humans. We need that interaction. 70% of people are visual learners. There will be a book or multiple books that’ll be written about this, but this has really left us with a lot to think about. And I tried to set the stage off the top that I don’t care how good of a presenter you think you are. You can always get better and you can always remember things that maybe you’ve forgotten for various reasons. And you’ve given us a lot to think about today. Let’s go back to those four components of the pyramid again, mindset, confidence, voice, and impact. Caroline, I really appreciate your time and you joining us on the show. Now, if people want more Caroline, how can they reach out to you?

Caroline: So you can find me at www.carolinegoyder.com, G-O-Y-D-E-R. You can find me on Insta, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and the course Master Your Meetings is something that if you log onto my website, you will find a link to, it’s all over my social media as well. Anybody who drops me an email, we will give you a beta test, which is 10% of the price that it’s going to be when it launches.

George: Oh, that’s fantastic. Thank you for that offer. And we’ll put all of the links in the show notes. Caroline, thanks for joining us today. It’s been absolutely a pleasure having you on the Conquer Local Podcast.

Caroline: Thank you so much, George. I’ve had a blast, great chat.


George: Don’t you just love Caroline Goyder. Her elevator pitch kicked everything off on the right foot. Helping leaders go from anxiety to authority. And I think we could take leaders and put sales professionals in there. Presenters, leaders, everybody basically, because when we deliver a presentation, whether it be on the screen, face to face, or even on a phone call, we can embrace the anxiety and probably not have the outcome we’re looking for. Or we can take that anxiety and pivot it to authority. And I just love the way that she framed that to kick us off. Then we spend a lot of time in the pyramid. The base of the pyramid is mindset and Caroline reminded us of something. People, if they visualize something, that’s what they’re gonna get. So how much time do we spend visualizing the outcome that we’re looking for from the meeting? And if we think about what might happen and come up with a way to disregard the bad and to elevate the good, we are going to have a better outcome from that meeting, it’s all about mindset. Then confidence comes from body language and I love how Caroline went back to the Greeks and Romans, if we try and breathe in while speaking, and if we talk too quickly, our nervous system goes haywire. Our brain thinks that we’re in a fight or flight. And we go back to the way that we’re programmed. So understanding our breathing, understanding our body language, how are we seated? How are we articulating ourselves to the audience? It’s a really important component to make sure that when we deliver that message it’s delivered with confidence and then our voice and the tone, the tempo, the way that we’re using our voice to articulate the message that we’re getting across, like your voice is a tool. And if you use it properly, you can deliver proper energy levels and you can get to the point with the message that you’re trying to deliver. Plus if you do it properly, you can also do a good job of asking questions that will give you information from that audience. And then finally the apex of our pyramid is impact. And this is where producer Colleen gets to talk about dogs and cats, she loves this. Are you talking to a dog person or a cat person? Do you need more warmth or strength? And it really is that simple, dialing it down to those two components. If you’re dealing with somebody where you need to build authority and strength using that palms-down strategy, it’s amazing how easily that works. And then if you’re a bit too flat and you need to warm it up a little bit, just term your palms up and it brings warmth into the conversation and you have more of a chance of being that student and being curious and getting more information out of your audience. You can turn panic into power by deploying this pyramid that Caroline has taught us about today. And we’re gonna give you all of the links so you can get more information from Caroline. And she also has that beta offer on Mastering Your Meetings. If you like Caroline’s episode, let’s continue the conversation. Check out episode 500, Creating Confidence, Auditioning For The Role of Yourself with Heather Monahan, and episode 450, The Realistic Approach To Sustaining Your Unique Happiness with Gretchen Rubin. Please subscribe and leave us a review. And thanks for joining us this week on the Conquer Local Podcast. My name is George Leith. I’ll see you when I see you.

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