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Join Susan Sly in this dynamic episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, featuring renowned public speaking expert and bestselling author Terri Sjodin. With over two decades of experience electrifying audiences and consulting for top corporations, CEOs, and Members of the U.S. Congress, Terri brings her sassy, fresh, and insightful expertise directly to you.

In this episode, explore the powerful strategies from Terri’ Sjodin’s latest book, “Presentation Ready: Improve Your Sales Presentation Outcomes and Avoid the Twelve Most Common Mistakes.” Learn how these tactics can help entrepreneurs avoid common pitfalls, crafting polished and persuasive pitches that resonate deeply with any audience.

Discover how Terri redefines persuasive pitching with Monroe’s Motivated Sequence, providing listeners with a transformative step-by-step framework to revolutionize their presentation skills.

Learn how to empower yourself and enhance your presentation delivery with Terri’s practical and actionable advice. Her exercises, like video scrimmages, are designed to refine your approach and boost your confidence. Whether engaging key clients or pitching to investors, these strategies are practical tools that can be applied in any speaking scenario.

This episode is a masterclass in speaking, selling, and succeeding. Whether you’re preparing for your next big pitch or looking to revitalize your business strategies, Susan and Terri provide the insights and inspiration you need to succeed. Don’t forget to grab a copy of Terri’s transformative book—it might just change the way you speak, sell, and succeed.


Topics Covered In This Episode

  • Entrepreneurship, sales, and pitching with a guest speaker.
  • Common sales presentation mistakes and their impact on success.
  • Crafting a persuasive pitch for investors.
  • Common entrepreneurial mistakes and how to avoid them through structured messaging and connection.
  • Persuasive messaging and authenticity in public speaking.
  • Public speaking skills, presentation delivery, and self-awareness in business settings.
  • Improving public speaking skills through self-awareness and solution-focused strategies.

About Terri Sjodin

Terri Sjodin is the principal and founder of Sjodin Communications, a public speaking, sales training, and consulting firm. For over 25 years she has served as a speaker and consultant for Fortune 500 companies, industry associations, academic conferences, CEOs, and members of Congress. Sjodin was inducted into the National Speakers Association CPAE (Council of Peers Award for Excellence) Speakers Halls of Fame, a lifetime award for speaking excellence and professionalism.  Terri is a New York Times bestselling author, an award-winning speaker, a popular LinkedIn Learning Instructor, and a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows throughout the country, appearing on The Today Show, Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC, and many industry podcasts.


Connect With Terri

LinkedIn @terrisjodin
Terri’s Book


About Susan Sly

Susan Sly is the maven behind Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. An award-winning AI entrepreneur and MIT Sloan alumna, Susan has carved out a niche at the forefront of the AI revolution, earning accolades as a top AI innovator in 2023 and a key figure in real-time AI advancements for 2024. With a storied career that blends rigorous academic insight with astute market strategies, Susan has emerged as a formidable founder, a discerning angel investor, sought after speaker, and a venerated voice in the business world. Her insights have graced platforms from CNN to CNBC and been quoted in leading publications like Forbes and MarketWatch. At the helm of the Raw and Real Entrepreneurship podcast, Susan delivers unvarnished wisdom and strategies, empowering aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned business veterans alike to navigate the challenges of the entrepreneurial landscape with confidence. Dive deep into the essence of success with Susan Sly, and redefine your entrepreneurial journey.

Connect With Susan

LinkedIn @susansly

Listen to Previous Episodes

Read Full Transcript

This transcript has been generated using AI technology. There may be minor errors or discrepancies in the text as it follows a natural conversational flow.

Susan Sly, Terri Sjodin

Susan Sly 00:00
Hey there, Susan here. And I'm so excited that you've tuned into the show today, you know, this show is really and truly my life's work. And the vision is to empower and inspire a million entrepreneurs every single week to going for their dreams, taking action on their goals, and not playing small. And if you're listening to this right now, maybe you need to hear my words today. And you are playing small and you are sitting there going, I need to start a business, I'm thinking of starting the business. I know so many people like that, then just get started. And starting doesn't necessarily mean that you're out there selling your product and service right away. It can mean doing the research, creating your plan of action, surrounding yourself with the right people, getting that foundation in place. And that's what we're going to talk about today. My amazing guest is a long, longtime friend. And it was really what we spoke about in the show in terms of this getting ready to get ready versus doing your research and taking those necessary steps in the show. We're also going to talk about how you can improve your pitch. Whether you're pitching to investors, you're pitching to potential customers, whether you're pitching your idea in front of a small audience or a big one. That's what we're going to talk about and the 12 mistakes that people make. So my guest today is an amazing, amazing human being and I'm gonna read her bio. She is the principal and founder of Sjodin Communications, which is a public speaking sales training and consulting firm. For over 30 years she has served as a speaker and consultant for Fortune 500 companies, industry associations, academic conferences, CEOs and members of Congress. She was inducted into the National Speakers Association Council Peers Award for Excellence speakers Hall of Fame, a lifetime award for speaking excellence and professionalism. She's a New York Times best selling author and award winning and highly paid speaker, a popular LinkedIn trainer, and a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows. She's appeared on The Today Show Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC, and many industry podcasts. And we had the privilege to sit down on this episode, and really do a deep dive into how we can all improve as entrepreneurs in terms of getting more sales, getting more investors, and just really putting ourselves out there and being presentation ready. So my guest today is the amazing, amazing Terry Sjodin. And don't forget, at the end of the show, I am going to be doing this week startup journal and I have a lot of things to share. So stay tuned. And let's get started with this episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. This is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, the show that brings the no nonsense truth of what is required to start, grow and scale your business. I am your host, Susan Sly. Hey, what is up, raw and real entrepreneurs wherever you are in the world, I hope you are having an amazing day. And yeah, once again, when my friends are on the show, I'm like, stop, we have to stop talking because we like are having this great conversation of like what we need to share with the world. And Terri and I were having an incredible dialogue around her work, what she's doing, the research, the you know, what's happening with her in terms of LinkedIn learning. I'm like, Girl, we have to stop, because we need to be talking about this in the show. But before we jump into all of that, first and foremost, Terri, welcome to the show. It's so exciting to have you here and to share our dialogue with the world. We should be drinking wine, though.

Terri Sjodin 03:53
Yes, thank you, Susan, for having me. It's an honor to be back with you. And I'm just so incredibly impressed with what you've been manifesting and putting together so you know, yeah, us.

Susan Sly 04:03
Well, yeah, yeah US! Yeah, it's like it's reaching this age and stage in our lives. It's like, you know, Scarlett O'Hara, frankly, I just don't give a damn. And, you know, like, just going for it with a passion and likewise, like when you wrote Scrappy, and I loved that because it was like, you know, it's really this. I felt it was almost like a manifesto and for some people, you know, permission base to Hey, like, let's get scrappy. Let's get out there. Let's really go and and take a stand and take action in terms of what it is we want. And here you are, with your latest Opus, which we'll talk about in a minute. And before we do, I want everyone to know so, Terri is, as I said in the intro, a very indemand highly paid keynote speaker. She is an incredible author, she is, you know, this person who is out there making change. And what a lot of people don't realize is to be a paid speaker. And to be an author, you are a business owner, as an entrepreneur. So Terri, I want to jump in right there, like, what is it people don't know about the entrepreneurial side of the speaking business that, you know, you want to share? Take us in.

Terri Sjodin 05:26
Oh, my gosh, well, so I've been a full time professional speaker now for almost 30 years. And, you know, I, I'm a speech geek, I'm sure we'll talk about this later. But I competed in speech and debate in high school and in college. So there's a through line on the significance of public speaking and persuasive presentation skills in my life. But in 1990, I was promoting other speakers, legends, Brian Tracy, Barb Schwartz, and others. And I always knew, I would say to myself, gosh, someday I would love to be a speaker. But I think the best way to do that is to cut your teeth by promoting somebody else and really learning the business side. Everyone wants the gig, nobody understands that there is a huge monster machine that goes behind that, to get you those presentation opportunities to get those platform opportunities. And what you have to do to not only build that platform, but sustain it over time, you really have to change and morph yourself much like Madonna reinvents herself, or the Rolling Stones puts out multiple albums. You really have that same burden as a speaker, if you want to have a long term career. So my emphasis was always yes, I knew that was something I wanted to do. But I wanted to build the foundation of the business so that I could have a long term career.

Susan Sly 06:46
Mm hmm. And the I love that you said that, because it's the this metamorphosis, and so many people are, they're a little nervous about it. I just had Jeffrey Hayzlett on the show. And I know, you know, Jeffrey, and we were talking about this constant reinvention. I mean, here's this guy, you know, CMO of Kodak, and he leaves and then he's like, in the mainstream media, and you know, author and all of these things. And it just is this constant evolution. What do you want to say, since this is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, there are a lot of people listening, who are looking for the courage to actually start their business, and they're terrified Terri, of what people are going to think.

Terri Sjodin 07:27
Well, they wouldn't be terrified if you do your homework first. So it makes perfect sense. If you say, for example, I want to build this business, and you've worked in the industry. I mean, Susan, you are such a brilliant example, you wanted to expand and explore the significance of AI. So you didn't just wake up and say, I'm going to open an AI business, you went back to school, you went to MIT, you cultivated an education and a background and credibility and you partnered with people so that when you make that launch, people really say something more like, Well, that makes perfect sense. And so I think not not that you're going to ever alleviate the fear because of course, you're you're flying solo. But when you've built a strong platform of knowledge, and and you've cultivated a database of contacts, and then you do the work, it's easier to rest on your confidence of your capabilities. Because you've done that work.

Susan Sly 08:25
That's huge. Like doing, doing the research and not just saying, Yes, this is something I want to do. So I'm going to sit on my lily pad, and I'm gonna manifest, I'm just gonna sit like this, I'm just gonna manifest it. There's the research and the work and being very deliberate and intentional, which is always what you are. So with Presentation Ready, I kind of felt like knowing you all these years, this is like, a book you gave birth to, because it was kind of like, despite everything else that you were working on, it was kind of like floating it over here in the background. So what was it that finally, you know, like, it's like anything that when were creatives, right, what was that, that that moment? They were like, That's it? I have to write this?

Terri Sjodin 09:13
Yeah. So Presentation Ready is really the book I, in my heart that I've always wanted to do. So I'm very excited about it. I think it's the best thing I've ever personally done. And so the goal of this book was to help people to build and deliver more polished and persuasive presentations, whether they sell a product, a service or a cause. So it's very intentional about helping people who have a message that needs to drive conversion. So for the entrepreneurs, the solopreneurs, the people that are on this call, if you want to build your business, one of the first places you can start to make a significant difference is in your messaging and the way that you speak to a specific topic. So did you craft a persuasive message? Did you live delivered in a way that was creative and savvy and then did you speak in your own authentic voice so that the listener can hear not only your passion for the work, but they can connect with you as a result of that. So case, creativity and delivery. So with that in mind, and I'll take you back in time since we're linking decades of relationship, but back in the day, I wrote a book called Sales Speak, which addressed the nine biggest sales presentation mistakes that people make. So fast forward 20 years, it made sense to revisit that content and say, Are these still benign mistakes? And if so, why? And if not, why not? Did anything fall off? Did anything need to be added to the list? And so to cut to the chase, I conducted a really deep dive research study in cooperation with 2 PhDs and graduate students and students from my mom, Alma Mater, San Diego State University, to ask this question, does making a sales presentation mistake matter? Does it cost you a win or a deal or an opportunity? And in that first phase of the study, over 2500 participants, from multiple generations selling multiple different types of products, services and causes. The answer overwhelmingly was yes. And that nine mistakes morphed to 12 mistakes. So then we said, wow, okay, thank you for sharing and being so transparent and telling us what you think those mistakes are? What are they? And so we heard all kinds of things. And we had all these incredible confessions from people who said, Well, if I was honest, and I look back, you know, I think this, this, and this cost me, we then went to the listeners, and we got their observations. So maybe somebody comes in, they present, and they didn't take action. And we said, Why, why did you say no to that opportunity, or yes to this opportunity. So the dual perspectives in the book, in addition to identifying the mistakes really helped us to surface some very tactical and practical solution steps for the readers. Well, that was lovely, as you know, until right, because we launched that research study report on May 5 of 2020. And it was amazing for two whole weeks, the pandemic hit, and we had to pivot to a virtual environment. So we decided to launch a phase two. And phase two was almost a complete year of doing the same research but strictly in virtual environments. And then the third and final year, which was post pandemic, included in person, virtual and hybrid presentations, assessing do these 12 Mistakes still play out? And then what are the solution steps. So all of that led to the proposal that we submitted to LinkedIn. That's how the LinkedIn course came together. That LinkedIn course, that script then led me to my new literary agent, my new literary agent helped me to get the deal with McGraw Hill. We fired that out ever so quickly. And you know, now I just did an interview with Forbes day before yesterday, Fast Company's done two excerpts, like things are growing. We're heading to New York next week. It's amazing. I can, I'm grateful and honored and and again, super excited to share this material with people because I think it will make a difference in their lives, whether they're a small business owner or on a larger scale corporation or association.

Susan Sly 10:26
There's, there's no question Terri. And I'm like, you know, I want to pause here for a moment because when people are listening, or they're watching on YouTube, or wherever you're ingesting the content, the research study was 5000 people, five years. Terri's been a speaker for 30 years. The book like I like when Terri sent me the book, which I have right here. I'm like, dang, girl, you got McGraw Hill, LinkedIn, you know, this isn't like, Terri threw up some slides on LinkedIn, she went into the LinkedIn studios, she was sending us photos, like, I was so freaking proud of my friend and sister from another mister. But I want everyone to understand this is years and years and years of work. And one of the entrepreneurial traps is to look at someone's success. And compare it to, you know, your few months in entrepreneurship or even a few years. This is 30 years. And to get to this point where it's like Forbes and Fast Company, and you know, all of the things that Terri's doing. So, Terri, I want to you know, which of the mistakes just on a personal level is the most painful one for you to observe and why?

Terri Sjodin 14:39
I love it. So I can confess I have personally made each one of the 12 mistakes at one point or another in my life. And you can feel it right you're like ah, and once you once you know what they are, you'll know when you make it and you're like, Oh shoot. Sometimes your body just takes over and it happens. So Oh. So can I point to just a couple of nuggets from the data research? So there were in the research, there were three mistakes that always rose to the top so that we call them the big three. And I think that we're all guilty of committing these. So the number three biggest mistake that most people self confessed is that they conclude at the end of a meeting or presentation, but they don't close. They don't have an ask. Hmm, the number two biggest mistake that people can fast is that they're far too informative in nature versus persuasive. And then number one mistake that people confess is that they wing it. And and so as we dig deeper, the simple answer on the winging it issue is, well, I didn't have time, like why do people wing it? They I didn't have time, I was just really busy or, or you know, what the the overconfident answer, I have been doing this for so long, I can do it in my sleep. And so in the range of those two things, the are the solution steps, because you have to take the time to really structure your message for every meeting, even if you only use an extemporaneous format format. And you, you kind of outline it, and so that you know that you're going to hit those talking points before you walk out the door. Because how many of us have walked out of a meeting and thought, oh, my gosh, I forgot to cover something. Because we didn't wing it. So for me, it just depends. And I think that if I'm winging it, it's because I fall under that busy category. I'll think, oh, my gosh, I've been doing this for so long. I could do it in my sleep. But it's that it's how these things tie together, the way you customize for that client, the stories or anecdotes you're going to use for that particular situation. And then reading the room. You know, sometimes people roll in hot, and you got to kind of take a beat and breathe, and then kind of feel the space, and then figure out what the cadence is going to be for that meeting. This is about the art of presenting. And then how do you really stand out so that they say, Oh, my gosh, Susan's different. Wow, you know what, the way I've heard this before, but the way Terri's saying it, it's really landing in my mind in a different way. And that's going to change the way that I want to partner with you and work with you. So you kind of get goosebumps. You'll feel it. We have those goosebump moments when you're really in alignment and connection.

Susan Sly 17:26
and I love that you mentioned the winging it because my I'm because it's Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. So I'm not even going to be nice about it. People wing it because they it's it's really their ego. And it's like you we will always prioritize what we think is important. So the day Terri and I are doing the show it is Jim's birthday. She was like he woke up to balloons and magic and everything. Because that is a priority. Terri is freaking busy. You are you know, Forbes, Fast Company, in New York, like all of it. We all have a lot of things on our plate, but we will prioritize the people and the situations. And I would say if you're so damn busy that you're winging your meetings, then you have too many meetings in your damn calendar, and you better fight back. The other thing I would say is a little techniques. So my, my Director of Communications, Abigail, she puts people's LinkedIns in my calendar, because some days I'll have. I don't like these days, Terri, but I'll have like eight meetings. And I want to know, and I want to find like Harvey Mackay has taught us McKay 66. I want to see like, who we know in common. I want to read take a minute and read what your last five posts have been on LinkedIn. Where can we get to that common ground? And and like the I'm always the question is, are you busy? Are you productive? Because your bank account will tell you? This is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. Okay, Terri, let me. Yeah,

Terri Sjodin 17:27
I love it.

Susan Sly 17:54
That we talk a lot on the show about pitching and raising money because a lot of our founders who come on the show, now have interviewed almost 400 founders. They're raising money, they're raising angel money, they're raising seed capital, A rounds, whatever they're raising. I want to speak specifically to pitching because this is sometimes you have five minutes to do a pitch. What advice would you give to that person? Like they've got five minutes to it's like Shark Tank, but you know, even less time?

Terri Sjodin 19:34
I know, there's so much I can say about this topic. But you and I started talking about this when we before we jumped on the call. Even though the response on the research results said that the number one answer was winging it. I think that the number one most common mistake that people make is that they're overly informative versus persuasive. So when you're getting ready for your pitch meeting, you really want to allocate them a small significant amount of time to your top three most compelling arguments. What is it you want to prove or say? And so when I'm sitting and I'm working with someone I'm I begin with, let's storyboard your message. And so I use a formula. It's in the book. It's called Monroe's Motivated Sequence. I can't take credit for that. But he's no longer on the planet. So I'm great. I graciously share his message with you. But Monroe's suggested, if you really want to change the mind of a listener, in a logical clean way, no crazy, weird, manipulative closing tactics. Then again, we use this debate strategy in a selling environment called Monroe's Motivated Sequence to help people understand the unique nuances and differences between a talk that's informative versus persuasive. And in that five step process, which we're not going to go into deep dive today, but I'll do a shameless plug, I encourage you to pick up Presentation Ready. But in the book, he talks about the fact that there are five steps, the Attention Step, The Need Step, The Satisfaction Step, the Visualization Step and the Action step. Now, from a simplistic standpoint, we go of course, but it's the way we develop those, each of those steps that makes such a significant difference. So in the Attention Step, if you are coming to me, and you're like, Okay, let's work on our pitch, I will say, what are we going to say in that first 30 seconds or five seconds, we would take them five minutes, you divided into six components, right? Introduction, three body points, that conclusion and a close, you take the six components, you divided into the five minutes and you know, you've got a little bit over a minute, maybe a minute, 20 per component. So how would you open in your first minute and 20? That's going to give them what we would call an awakening or strike curiosity. It's not about a pithy quote or a statistic. It's how did you craft and awakening? Then when you go into The Need Step, it's why do they need you. And those are different arguments from the laundry list or grocery list that most people say like, we've been doing this for 30 years, we're number one in the industry, we've done this, we've done that, and we've done this, and we've done and it starts like a giant grocery list. That's not compelling. It's informative, it is not persuasive. So your needs step is about cultivating the what that means for the listener. The Satisfaction Step is where you give your evidence. Then the Visualization Step literally gets the listener to think about the future, they shouldn't be able to visualize the future, with themselves taking action on what you've just suggested, and that future state feels better than where they are today. And if they aren't feeling that the odds that they're going to move forward are probably pretty slim. If it feels neutral or benign, no sense of urgency, if it feels like oh, that sounds better. So that Visualization Step is often left out, but it's really one of the key components to drive a conversion of decision making. And then the action step is what do you want them to do as a result of that message? Is it an introduction? Is it the next meeting? Is it a referral? Is it to sign the agreement? And there's so many answers but but that's the first step is getting people when they're crafting a message to get out of the overly informative zone and into the persuasive zone?

Susan Sly 23:22
love that Terri. It's like, so concrete, there are steps and it's, it's crafting that key message. And the one of the things is that procrastination is a form perfection, right? And in that there's, there's no, there's no perfect. I mean, how many VCs have I pitched in my career? And not everyone's going to resonate with that message? You know, right now pitching thePause, my opening statement is, have you ever had hot flash? I have to know my audience and I said to you this there's there's someone who's very interested in investing and she has a woman led fund funding women led startups. And she I said to her I'm like, if I have to explain menopause, this is probably not the investment for somebody and we started laughing and then she's like,I had a hot flash last night. I only wear black now like that. I

Terri Sjodin 23:36

Susan Sly 23:37
Yeah. And it's it's like you say like, really, really know the audience and, and just be so clear. Now, Terri, the with the book, and we want everyone to read the book, because this is not. You can't just you know, whether it's sales, whether it's your pitch, whatever it is, you cannot just show up and not be prepared. So can you give an example of, you know, I guess, someone who's doing it well, and you can even take from media or whatever you want to take from. Again, Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, someone who's should maybe publicly read the book because they are not doing it well.

Terri Sjodin 25:05
Oh my gosh, well, that would open a can of worms. So I agree with you 100%. I really feel that everybody sells something, again, whether it's a product service or cause. Or when you're selling yourself in a job interview or for a promotion. You know, one of the big media opportunities that we're getting right now is that May kicks off interview month and graduations for kids that are transitioning, you know, from high school and from college into the job state. And, you know, unfortunately, in our research, we came across this negar where we somebody said, you know, well, how do I get the job? And one of the interview questions was, well, why should we hire you? And you're gonna, this is staggering. But they said, well, because they really need the job. And I'm like, that's, that's not why they're going to hire you. And so even a job interview is a persuasive message. And so what I want people to think about, is even and again, I'm not going to get into politics, but I think that debates on television, are an a national public job interview. And when we're watching somebody speaker present, we are looking at them through the lens of three things. So Aristotle called it Aristotle's rhetorical triangle. We want to look at that individual's ethos or ethics, we want to look at their pathos, which is their heart. And we want to look at their logos, logic. Ethos, logos, pathos, so your credibility as a speaker, and this is kind of in that second phase of the book, which is all about creativity. How do we drive connection? How, how do we really make the message work? So to answer your question, yes, initially, when you're crafting your message, you've got to get into the mindset of being persuasive. The second piece is, are you connecting and what your opening illustration were, you said, How many of you have had experienced a hot flash, that immediately is going to drive connection. So when I'm when I see somebody who has a message that's really landing, I watch for when the audience leans in, I look to see what little funny quips they want when it lands with the timing. And we all have our own personality and style. So you don't have to be like somebody else, the best you to be as you. So how do you make your personality and style stand out and and really help to authenticate and add your sizzle. So you are a perfect example of this. Because you're sassy, you're feisty, but you are rooted in hard work ethics, and you do your job, and you do the research. And that is an interesting brand. You know, nobody can be Susan Sly. And that's what I try to tell me like, you've got to be you. And that is part of that creating connection. And those are the things that we look for. So long answer is the X factor in creating a great presentation is when your best you, comes into that moment to deliver the best case and presentation for your message.

Susan Sly 28:08
That and that is so huge, right? And that the X Factor, it's like your best year and I want to address all people. I don't think debate should be optional. If you're going to run a country. No don't even get me. I'll start. I don't care. Again. It's Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, I'm just gonna say a debate shouldn't be optional. And it's it, you know, no, and, and there's an entrepreneurship too, is as you're very aware, Terri, the figurehead of the company. So when I think of say Nvidia and Jensen Wong, when Jensen does the opening keynote at Nvidia GTC, you know, he's charismatic, he's passionate. He makes sense. He's a visionary, that visionary CEO and so many people, if you're not comfortable in front of people, you maybe shouldn't be the CEO, because now more than ever, people are demanding transparency of who is leading that company. And so it that everybody needs to work on their presentation skills, because we're always presenting, we're always always presenting. And so I can't emphasize enough, everyone needs the book, like, the audience knows, they know that I'm just going to be direct, you need the book, because you're presenting something. If and I'm just going to also say, if you're not closing the number of sales you want, you need the book. If you're hiring people, you need the book, because not only are you presenting the vision of the company, but you need to see where they perhaps are falling short. And is that something that you know, is a gap that you're willing to work with? If you're raising money, you need the book. You just need the book.

Terri Sjodin 29:50
I love you so much. That is amazing. Well, and to your point about the six the significance of this specific skill set. So initially, the misnomers about the words public speaking is that people think it means you're speaking to a large group. But the size of the audience isn't the issue. Most of the significant presentations typically take place one on one or small group. But does that mean that your delivery skills are any less significant, heck now. And when you think of a strong leader, even if we go back to a classic illustration of a Steve Jobs. I mean, people noticed when he gave that a message, when he spoke, people would listen, you are the you are the vision, you're communicating. You're selling internally, you're trying to get people to take action on your leadership strategy. And the way that you speak makes such a significant difference, which is a fabulous segue into the last section on delivery. So the number one thing that people noticed about others. Was that when so we said, Okay, what did people self identify? And what people self identified was the three issues I gave you. But when we asked them, Okay, who better to judge salespeople than other salespeople? So when somebody's coming to you, pitching you selling to you, what did you notice? And there were two things that stood out. The first one was that that presenter was boring, boring, boring. Alright, so don't you think it's funny that most people self identify as being overly informative, but other people are boring. And it's because of that third person effect. We don't see ourselves the way other people see us. And then the second one, which I think was one of the most painful in the research, is that verbal missteps? Meaning everything from saying, I'm, like, you know, using too many industry acronyms, where nobody knows what you're talking about. Swearing, people that were close talkers, right, you're feeling spatial relationships. So all of those things fall under that last category, which is delivery, which is a whole other, you know, can of worms in terms of how do we assess decision makers?

Susan Sly 32:02
Terri, the the, it's so interesting about the self awareness and self actualization, right? And thinking like, oh, that person's being overly, and I've seen it firsthand when I've, you know, when, especially in technology, where you'll have an engineer going, Oh, that person is awful. And then they will the if you ask them about their product, then suddenly they're talking about Kubernetes. And they're talking about, like, you know, all of these different things, and to an audience that a doesn't care doesn't know, what they want to know is what is the result? And how does that benefit me, especially from the sales perspective, right? And so what is your final question for you is, what is your while while someone's waiting for their book to arrive? Right? What is your what is your best tip? What is your homework, go into Professor mode? What is What can someone do to work on right now? While they're listening to the show and going, Okay, I realized that I have been making these mistakes. So what should they do?

Terri Sjodin 33:10
So exactly what we're doing right now. We all have the gift of having access to video, whether it's in a zoom call, or using your video on your phone. And I would say, as uncomfortable as it may be, set up a mini scrimmage, where you have somebody who's in front of you, and you're pitching to them as if they were the client, that dream client or dream prospect, and you're trying to deliver your message to them, and get it on film. So that you can just sit in a quiet moment and watch the playback. And then in that reflection, as uncomfortable as it may be, you'll be able to look at your own presentation through the lens of the listener, it's one of the hardest things to do, but it's one of the most revealing things to do. Because you can say, Wow, did I address those talking points? In my case? Was it creative? Did I tell a story that people could relate to? And then how was my body language? How was my facial expressions? How did I sound, did how was my word selection. And when you look at those three things, just from that place of awareness, you're going to be able to start to make course corrections. But again, you know, the gift of the book is that it's just going to help you to get there faster, to give you the solution steps to fix those things. But I think as scary as it is, and trust me, I don't like it. I'm sure you don't either. I mean when somebody shows me a video of one of my presentations and I've been doing this for 30 years, I don't like it. I don't enjoy that experience to do how do you feel?

Susan Sly 34:41
Oh my gosh, no, I was just I was doing a keynote for the Silicon Valley Education Foundation on the future of women in AI. And I. Here's a here's a raw and real example. So I wanted to the the colors for the organization are lime green and purple. And I knew the executive Director and it was for such a great cause, right. And I knew the executive director was very fond of the color. So I ordered Terri, this lime green dress. And I thought, this is going to be fantastic. I'm keynoting, it's a great dress to wear on a stage. And I didn't even try it on before I took it to the event. And it was just not a dress that was flattering on the stage. So instead of me, like paying attention to what I was saying in the message and how it was landing, all I could look at when I looked at the playback video was, oh, my gosh, Susan, what kind of fashion diaster did you choose. And if I was distracted by it, I'm sure someone else was too, right. And so to your point, no, I don't. But that's how I dissect it. That's how I get better. And it's this constant and never ending improvement. Right. And I know you're exactly the same way.

Terri Sjodin 35:54
It's awful I and we know your voice sounds differently to you than it sounds to other people. But how many of us went into shock when we listen to the playback on our own outgoing voicemail message? You know, have you ever re recorded it over and over and over again until you feel like you get it? Right? Why? Because once we become aware of the way we speak, we want to fix it. But you know, it's just it's awful. So but I don't know any other short? I don't know that, to me, that's the fastest way to course correct, because awareness is the first step to course correcting. And so sometimes people ask me, gosh, Terri, why did you focus on the mistakes in the book. And that's because you can't fix what you don't recognize as a problem. So that's the whole emphasis behind Presentation Ready and trying to help people get where they want to go. This is not a gotcha book. This book is designed to help you to see what your peers, your fellow colleagues, when they've been presenting have struggled with, and then some solution steps to help you to get past it faster. And that. I mean, I have goosebumps just saying it to you like at my core. That's what I want to help people to do on the planet. This is what I love to do. And when they call me afterwards, and they say, I got the win, I got the deal. I got the job, I got the money. I got the funding, I got the speaking gig. I got it, I got it, I got it, then that's how I sleep at night. That's how I think that's my purposeful work on the planet. And that's when I get joy. So I can't wait to work on some of your stuff with you.

Susan Sly 37:22
And Terri, it's the end for everyone listening wherever you are in the world. Tarri, I've known Terri for a very long time. And Terri is the person that talks about the wins of the people that she is working with that she is speaking to the readers of her books. This is her life. When I when I opened up the book, I was like girl, this is your this is your life's Opus, I mean out of how you're going to top this with. Jack Canfield said, you know, when you when you write that book, that is your Opus when he wrote the Success Principles, he said, I didn't imagine that 10 years later, I would still be speaking on these. And when I when I read Presentation Ready, when I look at the 12 mistakes, and you said it, a pandemic didn't change 12 mistakes. In fact, you know it it amplified what was already there. We saw people who you know, didn't wear you know, they they showed up on screen didn't even realize they were on screen and they were dressed inappropriately, I won't even get into that. All of the different things that happened. And I I really believe in my heart that this is going to be transformative, not just for everyone who hears this message, but for the audience's that are on the receiving end of it. So Terri, thank you so much.

Terri Sjodin 38:42
Thank you for having me.

Susan Sly 38:43
Go get the book, wherever you buy books, just go and get it Presentation Ready. And you know what? Also, I'm going to do a big ask because very rarely do we sell anything on the show. I'm gonna say this. Buy multiple copies. If you're running a sales team, if you have a startup, if you have people who are representing your brand, buy copies for them to make it a weekly book club, just digest a mistake every week and work through it. So, Terri, that's my ask.

Terri Sjodin 39:16
Thank you, my friend really from just thank you. You're an amazing friend. I'm grateful for this opportunity. I hope that these insights will help everyone who's listening. I wish you all great happiness and continued success and just remember this one thing, please use your voice for good. That's all I'm asking. Use your voice for good.

Susan Sly 39:39
Use your voice I hope Amen to that sister. Well, Terri, thank you so much for being here and check it out. Check out Terri's LinkedIn learning course. And I would just say get the book, get the book get the book. If the show has been helpful, Terri and I would like a five star review and also share the show share the show and the tips with the people in your team because they can benefit as well. So with that, Terri, thanks again for being on Raw and Real Entrepreneurship and to everyone, God bless. Go rock your day. And I will see you in the next episode. Well, hopefully you enjoyed my interview with Terri and I would love to hear from you. So please definitely share the show we'd I would love a five star review, we have just migrated over to the C suite network. So definitely, we'd love to get you out there sharing and being an ambassador,the show would absolutely love that. And this week's startup journal is slightly different. And this is really for those of you who have aging parents, maybe have kids at home, and you're building a business. And so there's this constant, back and forth and concern and also with all of these different things that really can preoccupy our time. So in this week's show, I just got back from Canada, where I was cleaning out my father's house where he has lived for over four decades, and the man was a bit of a hoarder. I'm not going to kid you. There were old newspapers there, there were documents that should have been shredded, I did 12 boxes of shredding. And there are things, honestly, that I saw that perhaps as a child, I didn't really need to see, to be very candid. It was exhausting. And I'd love to say to you that, you know, it was such a privilege to get to do it. It was exhausting. It was dirty work. It was very, very long days. But it was necessary, and it needed to be done. And the hardest thing, especially in terms of founding a startup is that there's always when you're starting a new business, there's a massive degree of excitement. There's also a lot of questions, especially for you, as the founder and your team, they want to know certain things. And there I was doing this cleanout. And to be really candid, it was tough. And I had, you know, tried to schedule in some meetings in between all of it. And I think that the biggest realization for me was that even for the things that were necessary, and I did hire people, and I did get help to do it, there were certain things that I needed to decide. There were certain family artifacts that I need to decide, are we keeping that? Are we donating that? Or what are we doing, there were certain documents that only I should have been looking at, as we went through the process. And I think at the end of the day, the one of the pieces of revelation for me was that some times it is so important that we step back, and just say, these are my wins. And this is as good as it's gonna get today. And that's okay, because my best today is not necessarily indicative of my best on my best day. And that's what I really had to do. So it was taking that time at night and saying, okay, instead of beating myself up for, you know, these are the 12 hours that I was cleaning my dad's house as opposed to working on my business, what did I actually get done, and it was, at some points, it was scheduling a meeting, or it was responding to a Slack or a text, getting an answer, setting certain things up responding to some emails, signing some documents, and that was the best I could do. And the reason I want to share that with you is that some of you are going through some life challenges. Maybe it is a negative health report, maybe there's something going on financially, maybe it's in your your relationship, maybe again, it's aging parents, maybe a child is going a bit astray, or there's something going on with a close friend, whatever it is that's going on for you. I've learned that you have to give yourself permission to be able to say that my best day today does not dictate my best day on my best day. And there are going to be times when life is going to prioritize for you. And that's perfectly okay. If you can afford to get help to do things, then do it. If you can, you know, have some great friends to come in and support you then do it. And just know that the more you try and do things alone, the harder it's going to be and the harder you're going to be on yourself. So that's this week's journal. I love you guys to pieces, and I'm looking forward to seeing you in the next show. And in next week's journal, have an amazing, amazing day. And don't forget you can always write in give your feedback at And with that, God bless and I will see you next week. Hey, this is Susan and thanks so much for listening to this episode on Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. If this episode or any episode has been helpful to you, you've gotten at least one solid tip from myself or my guests. I would love it if you would leave a five star review wherever you listen to podcast. After you leave your review, go ahead and email Let us know where you left a review. And if I read your review on air, you could get a $50 amazon gift card and we would so appreciate it because reviews do help boost the show and get this message all over the world. If you're interested in any of the resources we discussed on the show, go to Susan That's where all the show notes live. And with that, go out there rock your day. God bless and I will see you in the next episode.

Susan Sly

Author Susan Sly

Susan Sly is considered a thought leader in AI, award winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker, best-selling author, and tech investor. Susan has been featured on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime, ABC Family, and quoted in Forbes Online, Marketwatch, Yahoo Finance, and more. She is the mother of four and has been working in human potential for over two decades.

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