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Nonprofit Radio for February 12, 2024: Overcome Your Fear Of Public Speaking


Laurie KrauzOvercome Your Fear Of Public Speaking

We’d rather face death or the dentist. We’d rather talk about money or sex, than have to speak to an audience. Even a small one. Laurie Krauz can help you overcome your anxiety around talking in public, with her preparation strategies. She’s a presentation skills coach, who Tony worked with for years. They’ve got good stories about how difficult he was, and how she helped him. This originally aired May 24, 2021.


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Welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. And I finally got my mic situation resolved. This is the new mic that I’ve been waiting for. So over the past couple of shows, the recent ones that we had last recorded, I was sounding a little wonky different mics. This is the one it’s settled. I hope you like the way it sounds and I’m glad you’re with us. I’d bear the pain of iliotibial band syndrome. If you irritated me with the idea that you missed this week’s show. Here’s our associate producer, Kate with what’s on the menu? Hey, Tony, I hope folks are hungry this week. It’s overcome your fear of public speaking. We’d rather face death or the dentist. We’d rather talk about money or sex than have to speak to an audience. Even a small one. Laurie Krause can help you overcome your anxiety around talking in public with her preparation strategies. She’s a presentation skills coach who I worked with for years. We’ve got good stories about how difficult I was and how she helped me. This originally aired May 24th, 2021 on Tony’s Take two. Let’s connect. We sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity. Donor box. Fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org here is overcoming your fear of public speaking. What a pleasure to welcome back after really too long a hiatus, Laurie Kraus to nonprofit radio. Having worked in both the corporate and entertainment industries, Laurie brings great skill from a remarkably eclectic educational and professional background to her work as a public speaking presentation and interview skills coach. She’s a professional entertainer and has helped men and women from all over the world and all walks of life achieve their own personal and professional styles while developing their ability to offer dynamic compelling presentations. She’s also helped AmeriCorps, Sony BMG BBC. Television, John Jay College of Criminal Justice Martinetti Planned giving advisors Aptly named and the Mary J Blige Foundation for the Advancement of Women. Now you’ll find Laurie Krauss on linkedin. Hello, Laurie. Welcome back. Hello, Tony. It’s always great to talk to you. It’s a pleasure. It’s a job. I’m getting my, my uh synesthesia is kicking in. I just got chill because I know we’re gonna have a valuable fun time together. I don’t know how long it’s gonna be. But uh and there, it won’t be a problem with us having to live through those uncomfortable silences. That’s what should work. Oh, no. No. No, not at all. Uh, absolutely. Right. You know, I have my, uh, as you’ve, uh, trained me through the years, I have my, uh, glass of warm water and I have my, you have yours. Yes. Yes, I have my Grether, my tin of Grether pastilles. Uh, no, non sugar. I like the sugar free variety for, uh, for potential throats. And I’m feeling a little throaty today so I took a prophylactic. Actually, I took a uh yeah, it’s, you know, it’s that allergy time of year and actually we can start with a little bit of that tip is I’ve really been struggling with allergies this year. It’s very weird because I don’t usually. And so that idea of having something like whatever it is you would use a halls or, you know, I like cola ready because coughing, begets, coughing. And so tip number one have something like that ready before you’re not gonna be able to leave the room or leave the screen or leave the microphone and go get something. Have your, have your aids within arms within arms reach or when we get back to face, to face presentations on the, on the second shelf of the podium. Uh Well, I don’t like podiums somewhere near you have a little table with a little water. Ok. But we’re getting, we’re getting ahead. We’re getting ahead. Don’t be an anarchist stop. Uh This is, it’s Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio, not Laurie Krauss. I’m so scared right now, you’re merely the guest. I’m merely the guest. Yes, I’m brutal to my guest. All right. All right, I’m ready. I’m ready. So I have a formal, I, yes, I prepared a formal question for you. So you are a jazz singer? Mhm. Uh Which I have firsthand knowledge of because I’ve paid to see you perform. So I know this for a fact. It’s not rumor or innuendo. Um How does singing and maybe jazz singing, especially inform your public speaking coaching. That’s now, I, I wanna say that’s a great question. But I also want to say a little caveat about saying to an interviewer. That’s a great question. That will be the last time I say that because a lot of times people say that because they’re buying time to answer. And so, so if you, as the interviewee keep saying, that’s a great question, Tony. It, it just sounds like you’re b sing the interviewer. I don’t get too many, but it is a great question. Thank you. I don’t get too many guests complimenting my questions. Actually, it’s a rarity. So thank you. Thank you. However, obsequious it may be or in your case, not hesitating at all, but thank you for that. So, so having said that what’s interesting about it to me is that uh public speaking is an improvisation when you get and you know this uh when you get really good at it, you are not afraid of punting. You are not afraid of moving to some other thing that if I leave my script, I’m, I’m doomed because I have practiced this and I am going to do exactly this and that’s what makes for boring speakers. A great speaker is simply having a conversation with their audience. The audience just isn’t actually verbally responding. And so, you know, I always say to people, you, you think you need to be fancy, you don’t go and look at Ted talks, go on youtube and Google, great uh uh presentations for college graduations. You will find that your favorite speakers are not using big words, they’re not using fancy paragraphs, they are simply talking and that’s what makes a great speaker. So as a jazz singer, first of all, there’s some technical things like you learn to breathe and speakers don’t get that speaking is a physical act and that you really actually need to be warmed up. Uh We’re recording this early today so I can’t not speak or move before I come to sit down and have a conversation with you. I won’t have enough breath, I won’t have enough energy. And that’s what a singer learns to warm up. A singer learns to practice out loud. You cannot think your song, you have to actually practice it. But it’s the same for athletes. I often say that becoming a great speaker, we can borrow from disciplines like performance, art and sports because in both of those activities. People know that they need to have a plan, they need to practice and they need to practice physically and in the case of a singer out loud and in the case of a jazz singer, you learn, you know, there’s a joke in jazz, there’s no mistakes in jazz when you’re scatting or something like that. It’s how you resolve the phrase. So if you think you’ve hit a note that actually isn’t a good note, it’s only not a good note depending on how you finish the phrase. Same thing with a speaker. It doesn’t have to be a perfect speech. You can really mess up, you can really be awful in points. But if you are really clear about your message and passionate about your message, it can be messy and you can still get the job done. Uh There’s a lot I love in there. Uh The, the one that stands out the most is the uh the graduation speakers. There are so many that are just so simple down to earth compelling. Uh I, I think of Steve Jobs at uh I’m pretty sure it was Stanford and I forget what year it was. But he tells the story of when he was in co why he dropped out of college. But, but how learning fonts in a, in a calligraphy course that he was auditing. He wasn’t even, he wasn’t even a student at the time. I think he was just dropping in but, you know, there was no security on college campuses then he, like, dropped in and, but that informed fonts on the Mac, that’s how we got away from whatever times. New Roman that, that, uh, that IBM had at the time, you know, that. So they’re just, you know, down to earth, um, Will Ferrell has a very good one. But anyway, the, the graduation speakers are, people always think they need to sound smart and, and you, you actually sound more intelligent when you have a real comfort level with what it is you’re saying and why you’re saying it, I, I often say to people when I’m teaching workshops, if you and the people listening to this will have the benefit of it. How many fancy words am I gonna use here and look at that last sentence. If you saw that in writing, you wouldn’t publish that in an article, you wouldn’t publish. How many fancy words am I gonna use here? You would say it more fancy in the article, but a speech is not an article, a speech is a conversation. And so I have to put words in my mouth, literally, I have to put words in my mouth that my mouth is comfortable saying literally the anatomy of Laurie’s mouth, my lips, my tongue, my jaw need to be comfortable saying what I’m saying so often with a client when they say something I’ll say now, is that something you would say to friends if you were hanging out at dinner, having a drink, would you say it that way? And I’m not being funny here. I’m asking that because a speech should not be the time when you practice new vocabulary or new phrase and paragraph structure. You should be making it easy for your mouth to do what it does. You think about an athlete, an athlete play? I, I was just watching tennis. So I, I’m an avid tenor tennis in my brain. I’m a brilliant tennis player, but in reality, I’m a much better tennis watcher than I am player. And I’m fascinated by what is similar about tennis. In public speaking. I was just watching Rafael Nadal. He’s playing his game. He’s not trying to do what his opponent is doing. His job is to do what he does best as a tennis player. And that’s the speaker’s job, put stuff in your mouth that your mouth is used to saying. And you will be a good speaker. Well, you said earlier it’s a conversation with the audience. It’s just that they’re not active participants. So we get to the Q and A section which happens to be my favorite. Tony is one of my very and I mean, this very few clients that enjoys the Q and A section. People are usually terrified by that and that is impro that is jazz improv. Yeah, I love it. I love, I love doing the Q and a well, yeah, we’ve so um to be a good uh to, to stay in line with the lessons that I had learned have uh have learned, had learned, learned from you through the years. Um It’s been years since we worked together. But, but you were in my formative speaking years when I was scared and pretentious and thought I needed big words and I didn’t understand it was a conversation. It’s a so uh you always urge that we, we, we guide the audience like I’m, I’m responsible for the audience. The audience is counting on me to take them through a, a journey. And uh I, I within the requisite time not to go over time, not to be rushed in the last five minutes because I realized that I’ve got 20 minutes left of material and now the audience feels screwed because I’m blowing through the second half of my slides in the last five minutes of an, of an hour long presentation is that, you know, so the audience is counting on you. So as a guide path, I always, and I’m gonna, I’m gonna do it now. Um I would say here’s where we’re headed. That’s my agenda slide. Somebody else might call it agenda. I say here’s where we’re headed. So here’s where, here’s where you and I are headed. Uh Talk about the goal of your speaking research, write, practice the last hour, the last five minutes, the last one minute in the post, post, post performance. So that’s where, that’s where we’re headed. What about goals? Goal goal? That’s, I wanna, I wanna back up just a little bit now. Goals what? Oh, you know, I thought you were gonna disapprove of my uh where we’re headed slide. No, no, no, no, I want to. There was a lot in that and I, I wanna um keep it very simple for a moment. What happens a lot of times is you get an email and you’ve been asked to speak and in the email, the subject line gives you the title of whatever it is they’re looking for you to talk about. And what most people do is they then write a presentation about what was in the re line. You know what, what the subject line said. And the, what I think everyone needs to understand about developing a presentation is that when, in my opinion, when you speak publicly, whether it’s one on 11 on two or one on 20,000, whether it’s a job interview, whether it’s a commencement address or whether it’s what most people are doing, which is giving presentations. Well, not now, but in conference rooms or on zoom or to, you know, groups of 15 to 20. And sometimes more than that, whenever you do that, you are opening your mouth to speak because you are trying to move the listener. And this is what you were talking about, about taking care of the audience and what it is, they, they sort of have an expectation from you. That’s this. You are trying to move them from their point. A on your topic. That was that subject line to your point. B this is not a passive thing of just shooting the poop about something you are trying to motivate and energize the listener to change their mind to come over to your side about your point. That is why you’re talking. Never forget that. Ever. Ever. It will inform all the things you’ve just talked about. Like, what’s the goal? So you say goal, I, I call it core message. Ask not what your country can do for you. Yes, we can things like that. What is it? That is gonna be the motivating theme of my presentation. If I want to get people to contribute money to my organization, if I want to get people to vote for me, that’s, that’s the easiest one to use as an example. If in a commencement speech, what’s your core message there? I work every single year with commencement speakers and everyone thinks they just need to talk, tell their life story. No, you’re supposed to take that crowd of 8000 people. And I like to think of it as a science fiction movie. When you’re done speaking, they’re gonna go running screaming to the exit to take an action. What action do you want them to take in the case of a commencement speech, you want them to go out there and take a risk or you, you, you know, you need to get much more specific than that. But in the case, it, it, you want people to do something, you want them to reach in their pocket. This is not commencement. Now, in the case of wanting money from the listeners for your organization, you want the people to leave that room. This is the simplest one to explain, reach into their pocket, rip out a lot of bills and shove it in your hand on their way out the door. People need to get that specific about what their goal is. And the core message is the theme that runs through your speech that informs the writing of the speech. That is how you get the people to change their minds and to sign up for whatever it is you’re wanting from them. So that would be the, that your goal is in every presentation to move people from their point A on your topic to your point B and you do that through your core message. It’s time for a break. Open up new cashless in person donation opportunities with donor box live kiosk. The smart way to accept cashless donations. Anywhere, anytime picture this a cash free on site giving solution that effortlessly collects donations from credit cards, debit cards and digital wallets. No team member required. Plus your donation data is automatically synced with your donor box account, no manual data entry or errors make giving a breeze and focus on what matters your cause. Try donor box live kiosk and revolutionize the way you collect donations in 2024. Visit donor box.org to learn more. Now, back to overcoming your fear of public speaking. I don’t even necessarily say the core message. You’re saying that you’re not, you, you’re, you’re just hitting it from so many different. There’s a, there’s something in trial. Look, II, I spent only two years as a lawyer because I hated it very, very unpleasant way to make a lot of money. But I remember more from law. I learned more, much more in law school and I learned as an attorney for two years and when I was in my trial practice courses in a Temple law school. Now, the Beasley School of Law, like, like Mrs Beasley, the old doll on a family of Mrs Beasley don’t trash Mrs Bealey. But it’s not, she doesn’t deserve to have a law school named after her. Some wealthy donor, trial attorney in Philadelphia does so. But uh so I still say it’s Temple University School of Law. Just Temple. Not, no, not the Beasley School. So you have this, you have what you want people to believe, you, the people, the jury and you get at it like that’s in the circle, that’s the circle in the middle. And then you have all these spokes like evidence, their witnesses their words, their story, you know, whatever it is, you’re to inform that or to get to that core message, but you never really say the core message until in trial. You don’t say it until the closing, the closing argument. That’s why it’s the opening statement, but it’s the closing argument. That’s when you coalesce all those spokes into that hub of the core message in only in your closing argument and, and it’s a natural progression if you’ve done it. Right. So, yeah, so you’re not really speaking your core message, you’re, you’re hinting it, you’re cajoling it. Uh, I don’t know, you, you’ll, you’ll be more articulate about what you’re doing around it. Did you? I, I’m not articulate at all. I just talk. Um, so I’m sorry to interrupt, but you’ve been talking longer about talking than I have so articulate. I actually, often when I’m teaching, you know, the only way I can demonstrate a core message is to use one that existed that people know where those come from, those come from politics. So, one of my favorite examples is where they didn’t say the core message in politics. When Bill Clinton was running the first time in the war room, you know, where they plot and plan everything on the wall. There was a sign that said it’s the economy stupid. Now, Bill Clinton never went and said in an interview. Well, it’s the economy stupid from James Carville. Right. Exactly. It was from James Carville who stars in that documentary, The War Room. Which is that right? That’s right. And that’s exactly, that’s exactly what that was. Clinton never said that. He never said it, but it was the core message. So that any time he was asked a question, no matter whether it was about education or buses or human beings, he brought it back to the economy. So he did what we hear all the time in politics. But what speakers who are trying to get funding for something don’t get politicians that win, stay on message. And that means the core message. Now, sometimes a regular person can have a core message that they do say out loud throughout their speech. But they don’t have to, it like you said, it, it informs everything that you put together for your presentation so that I often say to people. It’s kind of like the Sophie’s choice of your speech. Something may be a really interesting thing to say. But if it doesn’t serve the master and the master is the core message. If it doesn’t serve the master, it’s gonna be in some other speech someday. Not this one. Because another thing that’s really important for speakers to understand. And again, politicians who win, get this. In fact, your audience is only gonna retain between two and 15% of what you say. And yet because speakers are afraid of not having enough to say or sounding stupid, they flood their speeches with data. And so no one’s listening. And if they are, they’re not retaining, if you want to move, people, motivate them, ignite them to move from their point A on your topic to your point B, you need to target their heart and their solar plexus, not their brain. And I have about 400 million examples over the years with clients that I have wrestled to the ground. About this. One of my favorites was a client who was an OBGYN who was gonna be giving a presentation to a room filled with OBGYN. And I said to her, you need to dumb this down. You’re gonna bore the heck out of them. And she’s like, no offense, but you’re not a physician. You don’t get this. And I said I do get better. You blew up better. I did. Don’t you dare say that to me? Yeah. So, um, she was bloodied. She was actually a long term client. So I was able to say stuff to her and I convinced her that I actually was right. And I, I often say we wrestled to the ground. I finally got her to come to my side. Her presentation was so fabulous and so not database but more it, it was, uh, it was on sexually transmitted diseases. And so there’s a whole storyline of who’s coming into the emergency room with this. What’s their life like, you know, tell their story and infuse it with the data and she killed it. She hard to say about a doctor. But um she just, it is the hardest thing I have to get people to do is to let go of what they perceive to be. Makes a human being sound smart when they talk, it’s not data. It’s a command of the subject matter and a passion for what you’re saying. And you get that passion from a core message that you believe really strongly in. It goes to the heart and not the brain. Correct. Let’s put together. Uh There’s a bunch of stuff we, we could talk about frustration. We’ll work that in. Uh There were times when I was sure you were going to throw me out of your apartment and I think you were on the, I’m sure you were on the verge of it. You, you, if we hadn’t been working together for a long time, years ago, you, you might have no, I never would. You know what that’s as a coach, you know, think about this as a coach in sports that goes on all the time. And athletes are used to that as a, a teacher in the performing arts that goes on all the time because the creative process is very frustrating and we all, we have blocks about that and we have, we, we hit walls about that. And so whenever I work with someone who comes from the performing arts, I don’t actually have the same learning curve of having my client become more comfortable with the discomfort and the the electricity that goes on between student and teacher and in sports, they know it part it the creative process, the the process of becoming a great athlete and be being a team player. These are very, very frustrating things. It’s almost recorded. But out of frustration comes breakthroughs, activity, understanding recognition of, of where, where I need to go that I didn’t understand before my frustration. And I have the same thing I remember one time my musical director, we decided to, my, my nephew was getting married and I wanted to, he asked me to sing at his wedding and I was adamant that I wasn’t gonna sing Sunrise sunset, that I wanted to write something. So my musical director Darryl gave me a piece of music that he had and I wrote lyrics and I went back and forth a bit with him and he’s done a lot of writing. So he’s a good coach for this and the middle of the song, what we call the bridge he had some issues with. And I thought he was wrong. I was done. This is good. It is good. I am dying and I left that, I left that rehearsal because I knew he knew more than me about this. I left that rehearsal furious and also committed to at least trying. I’ll just look at it and of course it, he was right. And through my frustration, I was able to come up with something that what I had written wasn’t ready yet. And that’s the creative process. It is very hard for me personally. When I see when I have to allow a client to leave. Therapists do this all the time, allow a client to leave, not feeling happy, not feeling good, feeling incomplete and frustrated because I know that’s part of this freaking process if you’re doing it right. It is. It is. But it leads to breakthroughs. Absolutely. I, I saw it a dozen times working with you and, and, and since and since and your goal at the time. I’m sorry to interrupt. Well, I’m not really sorry to hear about your goal at the time. I will never forget because most of the time my clients are business people who want the skill set of presentation skills to not be in their way at work. Your goal was loftier. You wanted to be really great at it. You wanted to have your own radio show someday. And so your, your proof of what the process that you did, what you put into it. I just simply led the horse to water. Oh Thank you. But yeah, it was a uh it was a frustrating journey to the, to the trough but not, not, not like every session. But uh but there is, yeah, there’s the, there’s the time but I, I freaking this is done. I’ve, I’ve, I’ve worked on this enough. It’s, it’s ready. You’re supposed to just tell me, uh, you hit it, you hit it right on and you nailed it. No notes, no corrections, improvements, no suggestions. You nailed it. Ok. We’re done five minutes. That’s what I was expecting. You know, there’s like, never a time if you have a director for something, there is never a time where they don’t see room for growth. It’s so frustrating, especially if you’re a person who is more emotional and sensitive and I certainly am that I would love there to be one time where you’re told everything is perfect. The unfortunate truth and, and public speaking is a performance art in a performance art. If you’ve been perfect, you have failed. You can, it’s supposed to be imperfect. You know, think about when you’re talking to your friends. If you were perfect, talking to your friends, you would be boring. Yeah, they wouldn’t go to the bar with you. No, that’s exactly right when you start going to bars again. Yeah, they wouldn’t, they wouldn’t have a night out with you because you bore them to shit right there. Isn’t that you think they want to hear? Right. There’s not enough alcohol to dull the senses from your, uh, pretentious over the top speech. Um, look, I have to, uh, I’m in charge of the audience here so I have to move us. I have to move us on and we’re gonna, we’re gonna, uh, put a couple of things together, research and writing. OK. Research and writing. What’s your, can we coalesce those? Let me just say one thing about forcing to finish everything. Um, if you’re focused on crossing all the Ts and dotting all the I’s, and this interview is a great example, then they’re not gonna remember everything we’re talking about. Anyway, you gotta, you gotta work with Laurie Kraus. I mean that, you know, we can only, I can make you a great, I can’t make you a great speaker on nonprofit radio, but Laurie Kraus can. So you just, there we go. We’re done. It’s like talking to when I interview authors about their books. I mean, I, we can’t romp through every page. We hit the highlights, you gotta buy the damn book and I’m happy to get through whatever. But when you’re, but for the audience in your presentation, try and leave a lot of breathing room. You’re more scared about having not enough and you should be more scared about having too much because you want to, you want to motivate the people to move from their point A to your point B your goal is not to cross every T and dot Every I, they’re not gonna remember anyway. All right. So research and writing. Is that what you asked me? Yes, please. I know they’re distinct, they’re distinct processes. That’s OK. You’re, you’re an improvisation, you’re anser. So go with it. I’m actually preparing a, um webinar for a new group. And just before we started, I was sitting down because I had asked the person who’s contracting my services to give me who are the people I’m going to be talking to. You know, I, I wanna know the demographics. I wanna know what they do. Now, this is a group that comes from the same organization. So they work for the same place. But he sent me a whole bunch of stuff about um the organization’s mission and all. That’s great. I love it, but I don’t know who I’m talking to. Still, there are 12 people, I’m told, who are they? How old are they? I don’t want to ever be surprised. I want to know that everything I’m preparing to say is targeted for the right people. I, I don’t want all of a sudden think I’m talking to a bunch of 50 year olds and show up and they’re all 23. That would be an absolute disaster for when you’re trying to motivate people. And I’m saying this over and over again because this is the point I’m trying to motivate them. And in this case, I’m coaching them on public speaking, I’m trying to motivate them to throw spaghetti at the wall and try the stuff I’m talking about. So I wanna make sure I’m talking to the people who are in front of me. So research involves getting to know who your audience is, even if you think, you know, get to know them more specifically, the best speeches are specific. Most people talk above the topic instead of in it and through it, like Steve Jobs talking about fonts that’s in it. That’s something specific that my brain and heart, I’ve had experiences with fonts that we all can latch on to. So what’s my audience gonna latch on to my best guess is to try and get to know them a little bit before I start writing my speech, where is it gonna be? Is it a webinar? Is it in person? These are gonna require very different things from me? Is it a big room? A little room? And is, am I required to stand at a podium? Am I gonna be amplified? You want to get a sense of what all the different elements are of the presentation is so that you can relax and feel comfortable in the environment and with the people in front of you and start convincing them. So once you do all that research, then you sit down and you ask yourself. So this is the topic. The topic is my organization because of the pandemic is, has just bled all our money we need. And a lot of times people in the nonprofit area want to say support, I say call it as it is, we need you. It’s funny because when I work in the for profit environment, those people have no problem saying we need your money. But yeah, yeah. But man, in the most wonderful organizations in the world, it’s like pulling teeth to get people to say I need you to volunteer to help out on Thursdays and I need you to bring 10 people with you. You can’t, OK? Can you bring two or I need you can you, can you, when you leave here, can you put a $5 bill in that bin? You know, it really can be very specific. And so once you’ve done all your research and you know what your topic is, then you start working on that core message, that underlying theme that’s gonna run through your presentation, that will allow you to move those people to your point B and then when you have that core message, this is how much work this is, then you sit down and you start writing and this is one of, there’s, I think only two times I ever use what is out there in the world of public speaking coaching because I don’t agree with most of it. But this one I agree with when you write your presentation, it’s what you were saying earlier, Tony, tell them what you’re gonna say, say it, tell them what you said. Keep it simple, develop a very simple road map roadmap is your outline. One of the reasons and there’s a couple of reasons for that. People are only gonna retain between two and 15% of what you say. And that’s a real statistic. And also when I’m talking, I know what I’m gonna say next. The listener doesn’t. So even the most simple concepts can get lost because the listeners like a nanosecond behind you, they don’t just have to hear the word, they have to evaluate it. So keep it simple. Everything needs to serve the master. So sit at your computer and you have your core message, you’ve done your research, just dump thought, don’t edit yourself, don’t judge yourself. Just dump thought. Put it away if you have time. Hopefully for a couple of days, bring it back up again and start looking for where there’s commonality where you can sort of see where your outline is gonna come from. You know, the headings. If you’re in, in my workshop, I teach research, write practice and then warm ups. And so I came up with that by doing exactly this process. I dumped thought and then first I thought I had six categories and then I went weaned it down to four, put everything in categories. Eventually, you’re gonna end up with bullets, bullet points. The only people who really use scripted stuff are commencement speakers and politicians. You don’t need to have when I, when you leave your speech, your goal shouldn’t be. Do I get an A for doing all my bullet points? Your goal should be, do I think I motivated those people? Do I think I moved those people. That’s your goal. So that’s sort of the cliff notes version of all that. What an improviser, you handle that. Uh You handled that uh deftly and adroitly. Thank you. Thank you very much. It’s time for Tony’s sake too. Thank you, Kate. I’d like to connect with you on linkedin. Uh because I’m interested in what you’re hosting about. I think that would maybe generate some uh show ideas. I’d like to see what you are thinking about what you’re sharing with the folks on your linkedin network. So please connect with me on linkedin. Send a request, I’m certain to accept it. Uh And if I get, if you don’t feel like connecting on linkedin, um just send me a post. Let me send me a link to a post. I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to connect. But you know, you might this Tony Martignetti and he’s overexposed, overexposed too much. I, I don’t need to be connected with the guy on linkedin uh plus every week. So uh one way or the other love to connect with you on linkedin. If not, send me, send me links to your, to your posts, I’d like to know what you’re writing about and sharing. And that’s, that, that’s Tony’s take two Kate. I love networking. Networking, net, networking. Yeah. It’s called networking. Why? My brain stopped. I had a joke about, oh, how I love networking with other people and meeting new people. But I don’t want to meet Tony Marnette, but then I forgot like what the word was and I second guessed myself. Oh, I ruined the joke. Anyway, we’ve got bountiful boob. But loads more time. Let’s go back to overcoming your fear of public speaking with. Laurie. Krause your practice practicing you, like you used to ask me to practice while I was doing jumping jacks, push ups, high voice, low voice, comic voice. Um Those are the ones, you know, I hope I retained more than 2 to 15% of what you taught me. No, that’s different though. Repetition though, over and over. It’s a different thing. Very interesting. What I retained when we were working together, was it, was it 2 to 15% or was it just 2%? But maybe that’s because I only retained, I, I retained on the low end. I forgot the 15% possibility at the high end. I think sometimes people remember too because it’s devastating news. Wait, I am killing myself here. I am doing my own research on what I want to include and I’m having to have energy and volume and personality and you’re gonna leave here remembering 2%. But yes, so I think people remember 2% because it’s just devastating. I didn’t, I didn’t remember the 15% possibility on the high end. All right. Uh A little about, a little about practice. You have, you have uh unusual ways. I at least I thought unusual ways of encouraging practice. It’s actually not all that unusual. There are other people who teach presentation skills who are former actors that use stuff like this. But the practice techniques all come from the world of the performing arts and from sports that the concept of it from sports, if you, what, what’s happening is practicing is so freaking boring. And so you want to just number one, make it more fun. And since you have to do it over and over again, doing things like dancing while you practice or singing, while you practice or pretending that you’re angry or punching or doing yoga while you practice, it just makes it less boring and you have to practice out loud. And the other thing that doing practice in those ways does is that what you’re trying to achieve in practicing is to become more conversational. And what is more conversational is having a more varied verbal and non verbal way of expressing yourself. Verbal is the sound nonverbal is body language and facial expression. And so instead of we’re going to work on your body language today, which I think only makes people self conscious by doing other activities. It distracts you and in the process of distracting you, it also ekes out other verbal and nonverbal behavior that despite yourself will become a part of the relaxation in your body that allows you to be more flavorful, verbally and non verbally when you speak it also will make you lose your place. And so the prac practicing in those kinds of ways also tricks you into forgetting where you are and having to find your way back again. That business of people getting freaked out because they can’t remember where they are. That’s, that has got to stop. I mean, you know, at my age that happens more and more, but I’m not freaked out about forgetting where I am because I know the goal is not perfection, perfect. And studies show audiences don’t care about, not only do they not care about perfection. They hate it in a speaker and they become suspicious of the speaker and the au authenticity. And man, is it important for you to be authentic? I just, I just saw an example of that. I won’t name the two guys um or the, the name of the training company, but I, I know it. Um and they did a webinar, somebody referred me to one of their webinars because it was about planned giving and she wanted me to see what they, what their theories are and the guys were trying to act like they was spontaneous. Oh, that’s a very good point that you just made Jimmy. 00, yes. I was thinking about that just the other day, Johnny. And it was like such bullshit. I, I couldn’t, I, I couldn’t what I, well, II I only agreed with about 10% of what they were saying anyway, so I didn’t watch the whole thing. But, but the two of them, they were both on the screen at the same time and, and they were trying to be improvisers. Uh, uh, it was, it was just awful. It was so disingenuous and that’s just so affected. I could tell that they’ve, they’ve done this. Oh, that’s a good point. I’ve never thought of that, Jimmy. I could tell that he said that in all the previous 40 webinars that he’s done at that exact moment. To Jimmy, you know, it was such nonsense, you know, and the thing is you need to know that your audiences, they are savvy people. You know, the whole reason people know body language, they know what they, they hear the tone that, that you’re describing is tone. You, you just know it’s false. And so the goal, that’s why it’s so important to put words in your mouth that your words are not only that you’re used to saying, but that you’re the anatomy of your head can get through them really easily that it is literally what, how you talk in conversation. And so when you practice your speech out loud and notice how I’m finding my way back to this when you practice your speech out loud and you do it in all these other ways, it is tricking you because you also will change some of your words as you’re doing it because it just doesn’t feel organic to you. And if it doesn’t feel organic to you, you trust me, your audiences are all over that. Something else you taught me small nugget. But I’ve, I’ve kept it and it’s helped me a bunch of times. Your audiences don’t know what you didn’t say. What you left out that you, you practiced it a dozen times and somehow you just left it out. Don’t beat yourself up. Nobody knows. Well, actually it’s not only I’m, and again, I’m so glad you’re bringing this up because I’ve talked about this in our chat today. But boy, are you putting the emphasis on the wrong Sabol? As my dad used to love to say, when you focus on, did you cross all your Ts and dot All all your I’s, which is my way of saying, did you say everything you had set out to say? If that is the litmus test that you’re looking at for how you did? It’s a fail. The litmus test is, did you motivate and move people? You know, I’m gonna leave this conversation and think of a million things we could have talked about, but I’m in it. I’m in the, I’m enjoying myself. It’s a fun back and forth and I’m excited about the things we’re saying. I’m excited about the points that we’re making and that’s the point of any presentation because you’re trying to motivate people. You’re not trying to get an a on a math test. If you have enough spokes pointing to that hub. That’s, that’s my metaphor of that core message. Then you left one or two out. It doesn’t matter. You had another dozen, you, you hit it so many other ways. It doesn’t matter. And, and usually I usually leave out your main points. You know, I, I actually want to strongly disagree with how you’re even saying that it does matter if that’s what you’re looking at. it does matter because it’s a fail to look at it that way. That’s how you’re evaluating yourself. Yes, it’s, it, not only it, if you are evaluating yourself by how many spokes you hit or that you missed a major point, you are missing the whole point of your presentation, which was to motivate people and you don’t know, you know, your main, main point might not even be the thing that motivates them. I mean, that’s my understanding. I’m fascinated by um the whole process of courtroom from, you know, your opening statement, all the other stuff to the closing argument that it, that lawyers will, they’ll be so surprised by a verdict because they thought they hit a nail on the head and they thought they saw those people agreeing with them because what they don’t get is there were other little things along the way that for whatever reason made more of a point, we don’t know what our audience is thinking so we can just to the best of our ability, pick something we are passionate about. Pick a core message. We are just absolutely all about pick things to say that we think are interesting and will interest the people that we think are in front of us. You know, there’s a lot of guess work here. There’s a lot of jazz to giving a presentation and trying to motivate people because you don’t know. You know, I, and, and when I’m teaching a workshop, I’m getting that information second hand about my audience. And so yy, you’re guessing, but your goal and how you should look back and think, how did I do is when people left my room, they were talking a lot, they were energized. They, I don’t know what they were saying, but there was a lot of energy in the room when they left. Then, you know, you did a great job, might not get what you want, but you did your job. I wanna shout you out for being uh again an excellent improviser the way you did your call back with uh opening statements and closing arguments, seeing what I said 15 minutes ago, whatever, whatever. Well, she brings it back. What? That’s actually, that’s a really important point. Stand up comedy. That’s a call back. And uh it’s a sign of somebody who’s paying attention and can synthesize what someone else said into what they want to say. And that’s why callbacks are so brilliant. It’s also important for people to remember and, and uh that listening tells your audience that you actually hear them and you are more likely to motivate people when they feel like you’re not just talking at them, but you hear them, you’re with them. We are one. And so it, it makes a person feel more important to you. So then they’re more likely to listen to you. We forget that listening is, it’s as important in speaking to listen. That’s why I love the Q and A because I get to listen and I get to focus on what, what’s on people’s minds and I can use their names. And now on the web, you can shout them out by city and state and, and, and if somebody says anonymous, I say, oh, I don’t, I don’t do anonymous questions. What’s next? You know, of course, I answer the anonymous question. But let’s jump to the last hour. It’s the last hour before I go on. What’s your, what’s your 50 tips, tricks and strategies for that last hour before my curtain? I just one of my favorite memories and something that I talk about a lot when I’m teaching is you and being at, I forget what convention center where I met you in a stairwell be right before you were gonna go on and I had you. But Marriott, Marquis Marriott, Marquis in New York City. It was an association of Fundraising Professionals. I was doing a seminar on Planned Giving right and this is what I tell my clients and this is what my client was doing, standing in a stairwell, punching or something like that. What, you know, and again, sports, performance, arts, if you go into a locker room, if you go in, which I’ve never been into an NFL locker room, but I’ve seen videos you’re gonna see people warming up, you’re gonna see big bruising linebackers meditating in a corner. That’s what they’re doing. They’re about to go on the field with one thing in mind, Maim and kill and they have their headphones on and they’re sitting in that like meditative thing. They’re breathing, they’re getting focused. This is what speakers need to do. If you go into a theater, most theaters before a show for a lot of them, the entire cast goes out on stage and they do warm ups together. And that, that’s for nonm musicals too. They want the cast to feel the same energy, but also people need to get their bodies warmed up. Speakers think they can just walk out and talk. I even in this conversation, I’m having to put out a lot of air. It’s a heightened energy of speaking. So you need to warm up, you need to warm up physically and emotionally. If you’re terrified, this is really important for you to do because it helps with nerves, meditation, helps with nerves, doing physical things. I have people all over the world going into bathroom stalls. All over the world, sitting down on the bowl and doing a breathing exercise in through the nose, out through the mouth, slow down your pulse rate, stand up and do some punching, do, do things that I often say there’s things you can do where you need to be completely silent and there’s things you can do at home before you leave where you can be making more noise to get yourself energized. You want to be careful not to strain your voice, but you want to, if you put on music and dance, go for a walk. If you do yoga, man, yoga is a great thing to do or Pilates before you’re gonna speak because it loosening up your body, your entire body supports the sound that you’re gonna make. And so the hour before you want to get physical, you wanna breathe, get air moving through your body and then the moments before you wanna try and get you do something, you know, I always excuse myself when I’m teaching, I go to the restroom because usually the rooms filled with people were chit chatting beforehand and I need to get focused. I need to remember I’m about to perform. I’m gonna be speaking nonstop for however long. And so I go into a stall where I can get some privacy and then I always think of a boxer, that eye of the tiger where, where they’re going toward the ring. I’ve only seen this in movies where they’re going toward the ring and they just have this laser being focused. They’re about to be on. Is someone knocking on your door? No. You know what is happening is that there? And I could not believe. Of course we’ve all been through this though. I live in midtown and you know, there’s people vacated all over the place here. So the apartment upstairs for me has been vacant and they’ve chosen today to do whatever it is they’re doing there for the next tenant. If we can’t hide it, we flaunt it. People don’t hear it. You know, the Fedex guy knocking on your door. Well, Laurie lives in a doorman building so the Fedex guy would not get up to her building. Uh uh would not get to her apartment but not anymore. All things stop at the front door. Those guys may I do a shout out for the people that work in the front of buildings in Manhattan. They have been killing themselves. Shout out to everybody. We learned what an essential worker is. They work in our food stores, they deliver our mail. They are our doorman for those who live in doorman apartment buildings, of course police fire emts transit workers. Yeah, very few people who make over six figures a year are, are, are truly essential infrastructure. There are, there are lifelines. Yeah, they are. And uh you know, one of the guys in my building told me that and they have a union that he just got his vaccine. How is that? Even a thing? How is that? You know, I’m sorry. It’s May, it’s May 13th. They’re essential. And we learned, we learned who we really, we knew who we really rely on. How about the last five minutes? Five minutes? One minute is there? Uh, I don’t remember if there’s a difference. There’s not really too much of a difference for me. I check my, I look in the mirror to see if I have spinach in my teeth. Yes, there’s that one. Can we do five minutes in one minute together or are they too distinct? Um, you know, I’ve never really thought of it that way. I mean, there’s that, you know, I really think for that last five minutes, you’re, you’re definitely making sure you’re breathing. You definitely take a look in the mirror and make sure everything you don’t want to find out after that. You know, you’re whatever tie is in the wrong place or your sash was tied into the back of your pants that when you left bathroom and you didn’t know, uh, it’s really helpful if you know someone there to have them. Take a look at you before you go on because you know, someone you can trust but you really, you’re trying to circle the wagons around your passion because what, what does the job is having a passion about what you’re saying? And so you wanna just also, 08 o’clock the night before you are done. They please don’t be scribbling notes in the last hour or last five minutes. You’re saying even you’re saying even 12 hours or 1520 hours before. But I be scribbling at the last minute. My grandmother used to tell me because I was a really good student and I needed A’s. She would tell me that after eight o’clock the night right before a test, there’s nothing more you can learn, let it go and relax. And I say that it is such good advice. Your goal is not to be perfect. Your goal is to motivate people to be interested in what you’re saying. And that will help you to be interesting and let it go, let it go and the focus turns to the physical and emotional prep. And so five minutes before you need to find a way to exit the room. And if that means you can’t leave the room, you can sit in your um chair at the conference room table. If that’s where you are, sit up on your sit bones, you don’t wanna be leaning back, breathe, put your feet on the floor, breathe, no one’s gonna know what you’re doing. Your eyes can be open, breathe in, through your nose, out through your mouth and just see you can, you can do a visualization of yourself getting up there and just killing it. So that’s that mental prep that athletes really know how to do. Well, I love the visualization. Yeah, I see myself running through a tape as a, as a sprinter running or whatever marathoner running through the finish line tape and, and uh yeah, my hands are up and the crowd is cheering. The visualization. I actually, I’ll tell you a little secret. I have actually never told anybody this but when I teach group workshops and I do a breathing exercise and then I have people do a visualization, seeing themselves giving the presentation, they’re going to be giving that day in the workshop and watch and I’ll say watch yourself just get bigger and more and having fun. And I see on their faces they start smiling, they’re seeing it and their whole body language changes with their eyes closed and in their, you know, visualization and, and I know that person’s gonna have a better day that day because, because they’re doing that. But I love the look on their faces when that’s going on. How about post? You have savvy advice that has stayed with me through the years. I just finished walking off the stage, sitting down at the table. Maybe it is a table. Oh, that makes your post a little tougher. But you can excuse yourself. What’s your post advice? Yeah, I had to learn, I learned this myself from performing because people have this habit of thinking that they’re, for some reason, they have to tell you how you did. And if you’ve done your job as a speaker, remember, I’m telling you that you’re focusing on the heart and solar plexus of your listener and that you need to be really passionate about your core message and your topic. So you’ve gone to an emotional place yourself, you have laid yourself raw. That’s what actors and athletes do. And that’s what speakers who are doing a great job do. And so now you’re done and you’re still raw. So you’re, you know, you’re sensitive and all of a sudden people are coming over and they need a piece of you or they need to tell you something about how you did. So it’s good. Can I just interject or, or they are so excited? They’ve got questions for you, right? Six people lined up to ask you questions and you can’t take care of everybody at once and you’re aware of that too. And so, you know, you wanna say go back to that bathroom and have a couple of minutes on that bowl, but if you’re trying to get people to be involved in your organization or whatever your topic was in some way, you really can’t leave. So it’s good for you. If you can just, you know, you can be talking to people and you can be breathing, they’re gonna be talking, you’re gonna have time where you’re not talking. And so just try to breathe, just try that same in, through your nose out through your mouth. If you can get used to that sort of meditation breath, you can use it all the time. And, you know, it’s like you want, you can visualize your pulse rate coming down and just try. Those are ways to try and calm down. It’s ultimately, you kind of want to be able to almost disassociate from all the energy and the need for you. It’s like your mommy and all the Children are tugging at your dress. But, um, but the fact is if that’s what’s going on, you did a great job and you will get used to this after the speech thing and find your method over time. But the real comfort and relaxation is gonna happen when you get to leave the room. It’s a tough time alone. You gotta be alone. Yeah, I do. I do. Yeah. Even just a minute, a minute at the end of the hall, a bathroom, an empty bathroom will work. I love seeing when I’m, when I have to speak. I love seeing private bathrooms. I can, I can, I can close the latch and I know I can punch the air and I can, I can bring myself down after. But it’s even really literally just a minute or so. But I need, I see, I guess I, I perceive it a little differently. I if, if there’s people huddled around and asking questions and they’re all excited because I move them. I consider myself like still on stage. You are, I feel like I’m, I’m still performing. I have to be alert, listening as you stressed. Uh It’s, it’s, it’s extended Q and A which as I said is my favorite part. I love the Q and A. So it’s, it’s an extension of that. I consider myself still performing. And then ultimately, the crowd is gonna dwindle, you’re giving out your last card. Then I go and I retreat to a AAA private, a quiet corner or a private bathroom. Yeah, that, that actually is a real, really important thing that you just said and it’s more accurate, you are still performing. So the thing is that although if you’re doing a one on one and you feel the need to do the breathing great, but you’re, you’re right about that. The reality is you’re still performing. And so you need to still be in performing mode energy, which you most likely will be because you have the energy that’s still with you of having done that show. But uh I’m that way too though about even if I don’t need to use the restroom before I leave the building, I go use the restroom because I just need, there’s just something about solitude. You’ve really done your job as a performer and this is performing. You have given away yourself to yourself raw, you said, and so you need to get yourself back and just that moment. And quite honestly, it’s different for different people. And this is where people have to find their way. What are the things that I need to do when I’m done so that I can just relax and feel good and whatever. And, and right after is not at all the time to evaluate how you think you did. Uh right after you should just feel like you did, you, you showed up, you did your thing and that’s a win. There’s always room for growth, unfortunately. And fortunately, and you know, some things I might change for me the whole having to teach public speaking, you know how I teach to have to teach public speaking presentation skills in a webinar, which is a workshop that is highly interactive when I do it, that has been a very difficult adjustment for me. And uh but that’s what, that’s what you do. When you’re learning how to do presentations, it’s very difficult. And so when, when something like that’s thrown in the mix, who you said something that I wanna credit you for, you said, uh you let yourself raw. And when you and I were working together, I used to, I’m getting a little wispy now. I used to aspire to my Springsteen moments because I’ve been to dozens of his concerts, dozens scores of his concerts and even watching them on a video, you can just see the man even at 70 plus years old. He’s, he’s in a place that few people get to enjoy. I don’t even, you know, it’s spiritual, it’s, it’s professional. It, it’s, it’s just a, it’s just a special place and I used to aspire to those Springsteen moments and I have achieved them. And I would call you at the, after, when I was, after my solitude, after, after the performance, after the, the, the, the presentation, after the solitude, I would call you on my way or this was even before texting. And, uh, and I would say, II, I had a Springsteen moment. It was just, it was just such a feeling that I was, I was just cruising and everybody was cruising with me. They were following me as I was presenting and, uh, you know, that’s, you know, talk about, let yourself raw. I mean, those are, those are exhausting, fulfilling so gratify, I mean, beyond gratifying. Yeah. Uh You help me get there a lot, a lot. Well, you, I mean, Tony, you threw yourself into everything, but I want to say something more about that for the listeners who might be out there who are soft speakers and don’t, you know, I’m a big emotional person. I like to laugh big. I like to cry big. I like to be big. Uh But there’s a lot of people out there who are not like that and it, we’re not saying you need to be Springsteen or be really big to be a great speaker. You need to be authentic. You need to have something that you’re talking about, that you are passionate about in your way. And I remember uh where we met in the, the, the networking group, right? There was a woman in there who um every so often we would get to give a 10 minute presentation and she did everything wrong. Everything I tell people not to do, she had written something, she stood up, she read it, she never looked up and she was very soft spoken thing is she’s a great writer and it was incredible. It was so beautiful. So it was like those old Paine Webber. Now I’m aging myself commercials where that, when Payne Webber speaks, everybody listens. You were like her child for 10 minutes, not you. But one was like her child for 10 minutes. You hung on every word. She is the exception to the rule. She’s also a professional writer and editor. That’s right. 30 40 40 years of publishing experience. Exactly. But I use that as an example with my students all the time. These are all the things I’m saying we do. And there are people out there who don’t have big personalities, that’s who they are. That doesn’t mean they can’t be a great speaker. It just means that we have to find within them what their passion is on the topic and figure out ways that they can put words in their mouth to allow themselves to just enjoy saying what it is. They’re saying and people will listen if you’re authentic when she did that. Yeah, I remember that. Yeah, we went over time. I don’t know. I had a timer for some reason. We went over like 10 minutes. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter at all. Laurie Kraus Lauriekrauz. You’ll find her on linkedin. You just, if you wanna be better speaker, speak to her outstanding, she’s outstanding and you’ve been outstanding through the years. It, it’s always was a pleasure working with you. I may have you, you know, you’re motivating me. I may have you. Uh Well, I’m doing something today this afternoon. I’m doing a, a I call them quick shot 45 minute webinar. Maybe I’ll, I’ll have you. Uh I’ll, I’ll ask you to look at it. I would like, I’d like your notes after all these years. I’d like some notes. Wow, Tony. You know, I, I’m gonna do it. I have one at three o’clock. It’s 11 o’clock today. Three in four hours. I’m, I’m performing um doing a webinar on planned giving. I’m gonna, I’m gonna shoot you the video link and uh let’s, let’s talk about it. It’s, I love it. I love it. I love talking to you, Tony and I’m so pleased for what you’ve created here. It’s just amazing. You helped me create it. You did. You were there in my formative times next week. I’m working on Jay Frost. If you know Jay, tell him to get back to me, the guy owes me an email for Pete’s sake. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com work sponsored by donor box. Outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity. Donor box, fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor. Box.org. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate Martignetti. The show of social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty be with us next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for June 26, 2020: Improv For Culture And Creativity & Tech Policies

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Krystal Ramseur & Graziella Jackson: Improv For Culture And Creativity
A performer and a board member from Washington Improv Theater teach us how improvisation can make your team more creative, confident, supportive and successful. They’re Krystal Ramseur and Graziella Jackson.






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[00:00:12.24] spk_0:
welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio

[00:02:01.54] spk_1:
big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be stricken with UV itis if I saw that you missed today’s show. Improv for Culture and Creativity. A performer and a board member from Washington Improv Theater Teach us how improvisation can make your team more creative, confident, supportive and successful. They’re Crystal Ramsar and got Cielo Jackson. That’s part of our 20 and TC coverage. Also. Tech policies Karen Graham and Dan Getman want to help your staff avoid scams, malware and inappropriate data handling. Might you have employees using personal phones or computers for work? You especially need to listen. Karen is with Tech Impact, and Dan is at manna. This is also part of our 20 and TC coverage on tony steak, too. Thank you were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers. Wegner-C.P.As dot com by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot CEO here is improve. Brilliant. Yes. This is the lackluster host that you’re stuck with. Here is improv for culture and creativity. Welcome

[00:02:52.34] spk_3:
to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 NTC 2020 non profit technology conference. You know, the conference had to be canceled, but, you know, we’re persevering. Virtually sponsored a 20 NTC by cougar math and software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for non profits? Tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial, I guess now are Crystal Ram sore. And Graciela Jackson Crystal is chief administrative officer at the National Council of Negro Women. Gretz Yella is partner and CEO at Echo and Co. Um, Also, Crystal is a teacher and performer and board member at Washington Improv Theater, which is most relevant to what we’re talking about today. And Graciela is a board member at UIT Washington and breath theater. Crystal Graciela, Welcome.

[00:02:56.54] spk_4:
Thank you. Glad to be here, but

[00:03:29.90] spk_3:
have you? I’m glad we could work this out. I’m glad you reach well and safe in our nation’s capital area. They were both in D C D c. Proper. Yeah. Yep. Your ah ntc topic is improv. Saves the non profit boosting culture and create team creativity. Um, that’s interesting, because I am on, uh, how does it do that? Oh, even though on, uh, even though I turned to my, uh, even though I’m on Eric’s airplane mode because zoom because we’re special way all the fatal started a few minutes early. That’s why

[00:03:36.28] spk_4:
it’s asking you to improvise. It’s very timely and relevant.

[00:03:46.04] spk_3:
Thank you. And I didn’t do a very good job Called out for what it was. I didn’t even, um so, Crystal, let’s start with you. What? Um why? How come, Ah, improvisation can help us out creatively. Effectively. Team building. What? What about it?

[00:03:57.70] spk_2:
Yeah, So I think one of the biggest things I love about improv is it really pushes you to stay present and stay in the moment. And because in what we’re working with right now and then creating together. So I think a lot of times in business or you’re in meetings and you’re having thoughts about ideas and people like, Well, we tried that idea last year, didn’t work, which was 10 years ago, didn’t work, or if we do that And the people are already thinking of reasons why we can’t do something but right. Improv focuses on No. We’re working with what we have right here in the present. And presently this is this is these are the parameters. Why couldn’t we try this? And the number one rule in improv is Yes. And so if we say yes, how do we then take that idea and continue to build something together? And I think when you just those principles right there make for better working community.

[00:04:58.88] spk_3:
Great yellow. There’s also a confidence building, right? You walk out on the improv stage. I’m taking the example of just two people. You know, their team exercising everything. But you walk out with just two people. One of you has an opening line, and you gotta build a sketch around it for the next 4 to 5 minutes around that fine. And the other part, neither. And the other person doesn’t know what that opening line even

[00:06:27.97] spk_4:
is. Yeah, I It’s interesting. I think there’s an incredible freedom that comes from what Crystal was saying. Presence. Because if you are able to, and I think what improv teaches you to do to just respond to what’s given to you in the moment and say, like, I don’t have to do this huge thing right now. I don’t have toe entertain this gigantic audience. All I have to do is take this thing that my partner contributed as a gift and build on it. You find yourself being able to create things with a lot more freedom with less, much less of the fear that comes from, like worrying about the benefit of your contribution or whether or not you have the perfect or the right answer. And I think one thing that I learned just in taking trainings on this and being a part of the board is you have to be as willing to abandon what you’ve contributed and contribute something new and just be constantly moving forward with creative ideas rather than getting stuck in the mindset of judging what you just created. So it’s kind of separating your creative brain from your critical brain and super important.

[00:06:29.38] spk_3:
That’s interesting that, yeah, you don’t have time to self censor. You’re you’re in front of an audience. You heard a line and you’re supposed to build on it.

[00:06:51.05] spk_4:
Yeah, and there’s something exciting about the active discovery like When you really invest in that thing that you’re building together, you’re probably going to find something that’s even more interesting and funny and entertaining and no crystal. You do this all the time and some of the exercises that you’ve lead, but it’s it’s sort of being willing to just keep going because you’re gonna build something bigger and more exciting and more powerful. If you just don’t stop yourself

[00:07:07.52] spk_3:
and crystal, you keep going. Regardless of what the audience reaction is, right, you don’t you don’t just walk off stage when lying. Number two, you know, didn’t get a huge laugh or wasn’t even supposed to get a laugh. And then you just walk off stage, Say off, you know, screw it.

[00:07:34.63] spk_2:
No. And you’re in this together with your scene partners. I think I love that like we’re out here. Wow, we made this choice to be aliens in the West. Didn’t you know what? That’s where we’re at? And we got to commit to this and we just commit harder to it right and see where it leads.

[00:08:04.28] spk_3:
Robe use that aliens and robots in a cornfield way have to build a robot family. The two of us. Yeah, just, you know, whatever. All right. So, uh, Crystal, were you gonna be doing exercises if you had had the opportunity to do the session? The usually so games or anything?

[00:08:07.00] spk_2:
Yep. Yeah. So we had a feeling good today, So we had a list of games. Really? Toe kind of show. Ah, little bit of intro into improv. Doing some? Yes. And, um What, Graciela has the list?

[00:08:21.55] spk_4:
Yeah. Yeah, I couldn’t pull it up. I think it started with it, I think,

[00:09:00.63] spk_3:
instead of instead of reading the list. Yeah. Never doing improbably, don’t just talk about what we’re gonna do, right? Sit around like a board, Actually, actually, do we actually dio not talk about? Wouldn’t it be funny if we did this? This would be fun to do that, and so we never do that. So how are we going, Teoh doing improv, the three of us that will, um, some kind of game that will bring home, of course, the lessons that we’re trying to learn in terms of culture, team building, confidence, creativity, efficiency. What are we gonna do? I’m putting you on the spot deliberately.

[00:09:35.34] spk_2:
I don’t want you want Can we plan the vacation? Yes. Like point of it was just telling us. So let’s do this. So I plan a vacation, and we’ll planet with the three of us will go. I can start and we go from me to Graciela to tony, and then we’ll just keep circling like that. So the way we’ll do it is we’re trying to plan a vacation for the three of us. The first line of the sentence when you respond to someone, has to be Yes. And and then you can pushing forward from there. Go. So, uh, wow. I’m so glad that were doing this vacation. I really think we need to go somewhere warm.

[00:09:47.04] spk_4:
Yes, and we need to go somewhere warm immediately.

[00:09:56.44] spk_3:
Yes, and we can. I mean, I’m already packed. Let’s, uh let’s go. I mean, I love the Caribbean of either. Have you been to the Caribbean?

[00:10:04.24] spk_2:
Yes. And I’ve decided I’m just gonna by all of us a new wardrobe while we’re there. So I don’t even aggressively not back. Didn’t even need to pack. Let’s go right now. And I say we have margaritas as soon as we get there.

[00:10:16.78] spk_4:
Yes. And after the margaritas will party a little bit, and then we’ll go snorkeling.

[00:10:23.59] spk_3:
Oh, yes. And, um, since I’m not bring any clothes now, I’m just gonna go snorkeling naked.

[00:10:29.64] spk_2:
Yes, and we’re gonna feel the water, and I bet will make friends with dolphins. Yes, and everybody

[00:10:37.67] spk_4:
will get excited about what we’re doing, and they’ll want to join as well.

[00:10:47.90] spk_3:
Oh, yes. And this party is just gonna get even bigger. Um, we Let’s invite more folks, not just the three of us.

[00:10:50.54] spk_2:
Yes. And let’s blast this to everyone that we’ve ever met and tell them Jump in the water with us. And let’s make this the new party. Yes. And let’s see if

[00:11:03.59] spk_4:
we can get a boat so we can take this party toe other islands.

[00:11:17.27] spk_3:
Oh, yes. And while we’re going between the islands, we could be fishing. There’s, like, weaken dive off the boat on our way to the other island. So the the boat is part of the is part of the

[00:11:20.44] spk_2:
fun. Perfect. There. We owe that. I love that activity.

[00:12:28.40] spk_1:
It’s time for a break. Wegner-C.P.As, I said a couple of weeks ago. This shit is hitting a fan fast. It’s still coming down at us. That’s Ah, that’s a mixed metaphor, really, because if it’s hitting the fan that’s not coming down, it’s being blown at us, Uh, coming fast, still raining down on us. It’s coming, blowing, it’s blowing on us. It’s hitting the fan and it’s still blowing on us. That’s better. Anyway, this shit is there. However, it got to us recovered in it. Wegner has a new free webinar on July 1st to explain the latest on paycheck protection program loan forgiveness. You know you need to apply for it. You don’t get it automatically now. What wegner explains to register goto wegner-C.P.As dot com Click Resource is now back to improv for culture and creativity with Crystal Ram sore, a gutsy Ella Jackson.

[00:12:43.74] spk_2:
What we do sometimes when we do it will start the activity bus, saying you first have to plan a vacation by doing no because, yeah, you say No, but and you do it that way or you say no, because and you try to plan a vacation and it’s so hard, right? Because every time you you threw out an idea like let’s get a boat, the person’s like No, because I’m scared of a boat. And so you realize you don’t do anything. You’re likely

[00:12:57.88] spk_3:
roller. The idea is becoming someone’s muller and harder to deal with. Uh, instead of broadening. Okay. Um right. So, crystal, what we learn from what we just did in a couple minutes

[00:13:09.84] spk_2:
when we learn, uh, what happens when we all, like, let ourselves be creative and have the wildest thought that we’ve ever had? Um, you know, if you just were in a meeting and we wanna figure out how we increase this sales numbers, what have Let’s just throw out the wildest thing we’ve ever thought And let’s play with it for a little bit and let’s not shut it down right away. Let’s play around with this idea and see what we can come up with together.

[00:13:39.24] spk_3:
Okay? That’s the other anything you want you want to add?

[00:14:17.63] spk_4:
Yeah, I think that it’s really, really important because I think we’re where organizations, especially non profit teams, get stuck most often because they’re in fast paced, scarce resource environments where you know every dollar you spend on idea is really important. I think that bringing this technique in and allowing yourself some space to say, Let’s just separate the created creation of ideas from the judging of ideas and the vetting ideas and try to get to a place where we are envisioning what’s possible because it’s counter to our culture and and has to be in some ways to be to do that. And so it just allows you toe get past. You know, the 1st 3 or four ideas which are always the ones that are more familiar, safer, probably more likely to be accepted and really set those aside and push yourselves to think in new ways about challenges It doesn’t. There’s no risk in spending the time coming up with ideas. And if you can use these tools to get everybody feeling comfortable on open and curious and creative, and you know you can design the collaboration really well and bring games into it, you end up with this whole inventory of possibilities that then you can take into a more critical process and evaluate and put things like metrics and objectives around them. But chances are people will feel more included in the process. They’ll forget that time is passing cause they’ll have fun. They’ll feel like the quality of their ideas is better, and they’ll feel like they accomplished something that then they can take and turn into something better.

[00:15:19.64] spk_3:
You go and you have some rules around this, right? Like, yeah, we’re not. We’re not judging. We’re not saying that idea sucks. No, it’s it’s, you know, sort of classic brainstorming. Yeah, it’s just the free flow of ideas.

[00:15:33.17] spk_4:
Yeah, the one that that Washington and profit teacher a Washington improv theater teaches us is definitely the concept of yes and that Krystle mentioned. There’s also the concept of Let go, and that’s about just removing your bias and your preconceived notions and the things you’re bringing into the room with. You just let go of all of those notice everything because probably the things that you’re ignoring also have possibility. And we’re so used to not letting go and then Onley noticing what’s important to us. And then I think the last one is used everything. It’s sort of whatever is brought into the room. See if you can apply it to something, even if it’s toe honing. You know your idea. Been proving your idea? I don’t know. Crystal, did I represent those well enough?

[00:16:18.21] spk_2:
Absolutely no, I think, especially when you talk about using everything. That’s the other part about that exercise that I like so much. It’s forcing you to listen to what the person before you just said. Really listen to what they say, because you have to build off of it. So instead of just you’re already thinking of your idea, you can’t think of it yet. You need to wait to hear what that other person says.

[00:16:53.94] spk_4:
Yeah, there’s, Ah, there’s, I think like when you think about what? How work is changing right now. In addition to needing to be open, more collaborative, more agile, getting things out the door faster with less resistance. A lot of that has to do with also being able to take a systems view of things. And if you’re not actually using these techniques and these approach to build an understanding of the scope of what you’re dealing with, so if you’re thinking about like social change or environmental change, the idea is you have tow, envision the system, and if you spend 30 minutes sort of saying this is important No, it’s not. This is important. No, it’s not versus Let’s spend the next hour identifying everything about this system that’s important. Then you can start to, you know, group those things and come up with plans around those things that’s incredibly helpful for strategic planning

[00:17:32.74] spk_3:
or just everything. Not everything that’s important. But everything that impacts. Yeah, that’s around this system. Outside influences, our own influences, our own biases, everything that impacts our work. Yeah, Neville, categorize what we have control over what we don’t What’s what’s significant? What’s thus significant?

[00:18:52.83] spk_4:
Yeah, way had this thing. This organization we’re working with is a large labour union, and they had were working with them on rethinking their Web presence, and they have more than 30,000 pieces of content across lots of websites. And our content strategist did an exercise Gina Marie condo, the Netflix show about just like taking everything out of your closet, putting it in a pile, going through it, cleaning it until you’re everything around you brings you joy. I’ve never seen it, but she created this exercise, which was more or less improv that didn’t get to Let’s talk about all of the content that you’re gonna be losing from this Web presence. Let’s spend time sort of improvising what it’s like to move out of a house. What do you do in what order? And she went through this really detailed activity where people built the experience of what it’s like to move a house, and then they designed that whole process in system. And then they basically compared that to what it’s like to cleanse 30,000 pieces of content. And people immediately understood the process because they are familiar with this challenge of needing to move your house if you’ve been through that before. And so they forgot that what they were doing was planning change management. All they did was Plant was like We’re planning something familiar to them and then borrowing from those concepts to accomplish this big, scary thing that nobody wanted to dio. So I think that’s the power of of this work and creativity and adapting the exercises to your space

[00:19:58.82] spk_3:
Crystal. Let’s talk some about, um, the team building. Like I was saying earlier, you know, you walk out on improv stage two of you. One of these got an opening line from, ah, word that an audience member throughout, and you’re you’re each counting on each other. Yes, and and follow all the other principles of bring everything in that you’ve got. And that’s not censoring yourself, etcetera. But you’re building on each other. It’s confidence building and team building s over the individual and for the team of two, or could be a bigger team. Talk some about that. How improv helps helps that way around team team cohesion.

[00:22:03.74] spk_2:
Yea, I think it also it helps. Trust is the other part of it as well that I think that builds. Um, one of the I worked with a group where we on organization and they’re one of the issues was they had a whole issue around hierarchy. They just hired a bunch of people and let go of a bunch of people. And a lot of people didn’t feel like their work really mattered or that their voice mattered. Um, and so they weren’t sharing their ideas and meetings, and they actually brought a group of improvisers to come and do a whole workshop and the all the exercises that we did, we’re focused on know everybody has a piece in what we’re doing, and it’s vital, and we need everyone to fully, um fully do their work, and then I need to fully accept what you’re giving me, right? So, yeah, if it were walking out on that stage is a blank stages. I always tell people there’s there’s nothing there. So if I say we’re aliens in Oklahoma and you’ve gotta agree that yes, we’re aliens. What does that mean? You know, we can build Bring that into this, um, you got agree where we are, and then part of it is the two of us that are on the stage. But then anyone else on the team, right? Whoever’s gonna edit that scene, whoever is gonna ah, wipe the scenes of them were out of their everybody. That is a part of this team, whether they’re on stage right now or not, are still a part of what’s happening and have a piece to play and how we do this. And I think that’s that same thing. When you talk about an organization, right, you have people that are clearly gonna be the ones to make that final decision. But so everyone has some role that they need to play. Um, in order for everyone to feel that value to and that. And a lot of the work that we do is building that trust that I know I could go out there and say something to you. And I know you’re gonna listen to me. You’re gonna pick it up, and we’re gonna build that together and not you’re gonna shoot my idea down and say we’re not aliens in Oklahoma were just two people stuck in North Carolina. You know what else

[00:22:19.64] spk_3:
can listen to do crystal? Maybe another exercise that they can practice? Oh, are you know, so that they can sort of see the benefits of reap the benefits of the improv principles. Uh, okay. You don’t have the benefit of actually doing the exercises. What else? Ah, what about some of the game folks can play to get some benefits? I get either Christmas or either one.

[00:23:38.94] spk_4:
Well, I can as crystal you’re thinking about some. I think they’re simple. Exercise weaken dio, I think Teoh address very common feelings. One is just feeling blocked or feeling blank when someone asks you a direct question. Because if you’re at all you know, if you don’t think that way, or if you don’t want to take center stage three of a fear of public speaking. The only way to overcome that is to practice, and you can practice in really small ways. So one thing we do with most organizations we go into and and run creative workshops are very simple word exercises where you have a group of people around the circle and you just say a word and you go around the circle on the person next to you says the first word that comes to mind. And it’s about listening and learning about yourself when you’re trying to anticipate what to say because you want to perform well versus really just being in the moment and offering a word. So if I were to say crystal, if Aiken borrow you for a minute and say, um, the word blue

[00:23:42.39] spk_2:
and I’m sorry and you want me to do

[00:23:44.09] spk_4:
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Does. And I’m putting you on the spot. Um, yeah, I just like to say the word first word that comes to mind I felt so yeah.

[00:23:56.64] spk_2:
Um, green,

[00:24:07.24] spk_4:
uh, read blood. Ah, Death church. Um, community.

[00:24:13.74] spk_2:
Ah, in breath. Fun. Uh, um rafts,

[00:24:55.98] spk_4:
um joy. Family well and so on and it’s It’s funny because even this exercise, the first time we do it with a group of people, let’s say more than five people. Everyone gets nervous and we’re not really doing anything. We’re just saying words that come to mind based on what somebody else said. So if you can just do that a couple times and talk about why is it you know, a little bit of self awareness? Why is it that we feel uncomfortable in the moment? What’s operating behind that is a that fear of contribution. It’s kind of the fight flight freeze impulse when you’re on the spot. So I think and there’s tons of these games available online to use as warm up activities or team building activities. I think we we may have or are gonna have some on our website, which is echo dot Co and, um, and it’s just really important to get in the habit of not just jumping into a meeting, but offering some of these activities to help get a sense of presence, a sense of what we call psychological safety, which is everybody feels like they are open to contribute at without embarrassment or without hanging criticism without judgment. Yeah, without judgment. That’s yeah.

[00:25:49.09] spk_3:
So there’s some resource. Is that eco E C h o dot co. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Um, that’s crystal you. It’s Ah, bookend. You opened up. Why don’t you just take us out with some final thoughts? Whatever you have, you want clothes

[00:26:26.52] spk_2:
final? That’s OK, so I do. But I do want to share one of my other favorite exercises since we were just talking about it. And I love this one because I taught improv with Children teaching probably people who have taken classes or have actually done a teaching profit, a homeless shelter as well. But my favorite exercise is panel of experts, and it’s so fun because anybody can contribute. And you immediately when we talk about building that trust, building that team, it’s you can have really as many people. But you know, at least three, maybe like 3 to 6.

[00:26:31.35] spk_3:
Let’s plan. All right, we got we’ll go a little bit longer. Like a

[00:26:31.66] spk_6:
minute and 1/2

[00:26:33.33] spk_3:
or so What?

[00:27:30.49] spk_2:
So so panel of experts, each of us, the three of us were doing like a Ted talk here where we have this audience and we pick and you can pick just a Monday ING thing anything. And then we’re gonna be the experts of that thing so we can go around in the same order that we did. And we’re just gonna be It’s as if we’re like I said, giving a Ted talk about whatever it is that we’re talking about. So because I’m just been looking at radio screen, I’m gonna say, um, we’ll talk about that bookshelf behind Graziella. So thank everyone for being here today. Um, we have built the perfect bookshelf for any office. This bookshelf, which was developed by, um, Dr Alvin Smith, um, really made it so it can fit in any area that you needed to fit. It actually adapts to the office to a closet to a bathroom. Really? Wherever you need this book shelf, it morphs into what you needed to be. Graziella, could you talk a little bit about the development of that? Yeah. Yeah.

[00:27:46.99] spk_4:
So you know, when we were conceiving of this perfect bookshelf, I think what we first asked was, you know, what is it that a bookshelf means to us through the journey of our life? You know, you start off as a young person, you are in your space. You’re looking at a blank wall, and that wall doesn’t mean anything to you. But if you fill it with something that can hold your treasures, your books, it facilitates the space of imagination and really opens up who you are as a person. So it really is more than a bookshelf. It’s a place for you to showcase the aspects of who you want to become through life and also your identity. So that’s kind of where we started. We want it to be exciting. We wanted people to say, That’s not a bookshelf. That’s me. And so that’s kind of what we wanted to bring to the creation of this. Tony, do you want to talk a little bit about kind of how you’ve seen people respond to this bookshelf?

[00:29:59.44] spk_3:
Well, I’m afraid we’re out of time. We Oh, no, I know that’s a violation. Um, yeah, we we brought this. You know, we brought this again as you were saying, Graziella to to be much more than just the physical object. And we’ve We’ve We’ve watched people interact with it. We’ve of course, we’ve surveyed them formally. We’ve actually been observing the way people use the bookshelf the way they interact with it. There’s the There’s the basket feature on the second shelf. That’s that’s pretty much open. That’s open. Anything you want it to be. You can put your junk in there. You can organize it carefully. Or you could put your knitting needles and and balls in there. We’ve seen that, too, of course. The top. We’ve seen people interacting, being more for organizational, since that’s the That’s the part that shows, even if it is in a closet like crystals, saying this could work in a closet as well as a wall. But if it isn’t a closet, you know the top shelf is what people see them first. So they we’ve seen people organized the top better. The middle has been more, um, more personal on. That’s been exciting to see how people have reacted to the different components that we engineered on a very personal, very personal creativity kind of levels.

[00:30:01.10] spk_2:
Yes, sin tony, all of your pictures of your bookshelf.

[00:30:09.40] spk_3:
Alright, Alright. So what? We were out Not no, no censorship building on what others contribute. Taking everything in What? You’re an

[00:30:16.79] spk_2:
expert in it, right? So speaking with confidence about whatever the topic is so right, if we were just in a room, a topic, we could have picked anything. And we are experts on that topic. So you’re speaking with confidence and and still building this together. Mm.

[00:30:36.84] spk_3:
Okay. Okay. Um, let’s leave it there. Do we do about that? Except do we pull everything out that we can about that exercise? Because I don’t want to do it for fun

[00:30:43.96] spk_2:
thing. The only other thing

[00:30:46.57] spk_4:
I’ll say is just opportunities to replace competition with trust Trust in celebration. I think that’s kind of the name of the game. Really helps to just celebrate what people are bringing to the table and use that to inspire better thing.

[00:31:18.14] spk_3:
And that trust to each of you said no said I didn’t. I wasn’t on the wasn’t on the hot spot for this. But you know, each of you lead with lead the next person with a question, your confidence that the person is going to take it on and is not gonna object or or fumble or, you know, but But it carried further. Okay. Excellent. Thank you. very much crystal ramps or chief administrative officer. National Council of Negro Women got CEO Jackson partner and CEO of Echoing Co. And both deeply involved with with the Washington Improv Theater. Thanks so much for being with me. Thank you.

[00:31:38.02] spk_4:
Thank you, Thank you. Thanks for Stoke tony.

[00:31:38.61] spk_3:
Thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 NTC.

[00:33:10.18] spk_1:
We need to take a break. Cougar Mountain software, Their accounting product Denali is built for non profits from the ground up so that you get an application that supports the way you work that has the features you need and the exemplary support that understands you. They have a free 60 day trial on the listener landing page at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant non. Now it’s time for Tony’s take two. Thank you. Um, thanks for being with the show and staying with it through Corona virus and recession and protests against racism. Um, I’m I wanted to keep producing the show. I mean, there’s no there’s no stopping the show. The show has got to go on, but, uh, all the more I think, you know, just because things have been so tumultuous since what, roughly march 23rd or call it mid march. Um, so much confusion change, uh, you know, new routines. The show has got to continue. It has got to be some things that we just can rely on. They’re just gonna be there. And non profit radio is one of them. And so I insist that, uh, not that not that I was thinking about postponing are going on hiatus. But it’s just three assure that Ah, some things remain unchanged. Remained constant. You can count on them, and non profit radio was one of them. And thank you for being consistent, loyal listening audience. Actually, it’s uptick ta little bit. It did like in April and may, you

[00:33:30.85] spk_3:
know, more people spending a lot more time at home, right? Doing everything at home

[00:34:10.00] spk_1:
from exercise to maybe more podcasts. So, um, thank you. So I’m I’m glad and gratified that, uh, audience hasn’t declined. You haven’t gone anywhere. The show still has value for you. That’s very gratifying for me. I thank you for sticking with the show. Still listening, and I’m just glad that you’re still getting good information from it. So thank you. That is Tony’s. Take two. Now it’s time for tech policies with Karen Graham and Dan Getman.

[00:34:42.03] spk_3:
Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 and D. C. That’s the 2020 non profit Technology Conference were sponsored at 20 NTC by Cougar Mountain Software. With me now are Karen Graham and Dan Getman. Karen is director of education and outreach at Tech Impact, and Dan is senior manager of donor relations for manna. Karen Dan. Welcome back, Teoh. Tony-martignetti non profit radio. Well, for you, Karen. Dan. Welcome.

[00:34:48.37] spk_6:
Uh, thank you.

[00:35:32.51] spk_3:
Glad to know that you’re each well and safe Dan in Philadelphia. Karen in Minneapolis. Good to know. I’m glad we could work this out. Your conference topic is establishing tech policies to protect your non profit can. You and I have talked about tech policies in the past and and other things that are, uh, when you were with idea where we’re on the surface boring. And you were happy to call them that, but nonetheless important to your non profit. So would you mind doing the same? Explaining the the importance to what could sound like something very dull?

[00:36:08.17] spk_6:
Sure. Well, I mean, regardless of what kind of situation we’re in, we all know that there are good people that make bad choices. And so having some policy guidelines to help people to anything twice about those choices, um, should provide some guidance for them, as is helpful but also having some clear consequences, I guess, in place or responses when people do make bad choices. That’s also important to know how you’re going to respond If somebody makes a mistake now, especially, I think nonprofits are feeling this in the right. Now, as we’re recording, we’re in the midst of the Corona virus outbreak and ah, lot of dumb profits have gone to remote work. And so they are, I think, thanking their lucky stars or they’re good judgment if they already have developed really good policies for remote work and use of personal devices and things like that. And if they haven’t done that, they’re scrambling right now to try to figure it out.

[00:36:35.50] spk_3:
What are some of those bad choices that you’re talking about?

[00:36:54.98] spk_6:
01 of the things that comes to mind immediately is ah, a kind of choice that will lead to a security vulnerability. Um, you know, just say, sharing data that is his private that contains personally identifiable information with people that really don’t need to have that information, um, downloading it onto a home computer, things like that, Like those kinds of choices can really make an organization vulnerable to that data getting into the wrong hands, Um, or to like, passwords and system access getting into the wrong hands. And I mean, I’m sure we’ve all seen the consequences of that. Um, I have some data on that. They’re the average cost of a data breach, according to a 2019 survey was almost $4 million for a data breach and on profit. They’re just as vulnerable to that, if not more so. Ah, compared to therefore profit piers.

[00:38:00.59] spk_3:
Yeah. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Certainly we think about organizations in the health care’s our healthcare arena. But even outside health care, there are dates of birth, their credit card numbers. Um, other personally, you might have social security number for some reason. Um, it’s all that personally identifiable information. Oh,

[00:38:00.98] spk_6:
and all of that can compromise people’s privacy. And it also can make an organization really vulnerable to ransomware attacks where the hacker threatens to release that information to the public, or, um or misuse it in some way that can really destroy the organization’s reputation. You’re and be harmful to the people that they serve. So that’s something that that actually non profit are especially vulnerable to because of the kinds of information that they handle. And also because, unfortunately, many nonprofits have not invested in security to the level that they should.

[00:38:38.42] spk_3:
Yeah, all right, Dan, let’s bring you in your in your office. We hear a little background noise. That’s okay,

[00:38:44.71] spk_7:
all right,

[00:38:45.12] spk_3:
It’s not They’re not, I presume they’re not strangers walking through Karen’s home in Minneapolis. So it must be your office. That’s OK.

[00:38:54.15] spk_7:
That would be me. Yeah,

[00:39:05.63] spk_3:
that’s OK. Way have lives. It’s alright. It’s alright. Just, uh, letting people know Karen is secure. There’s nobody walking through her. Her family room, Dan. So manna has been working on ah, comprehensive tech policy or is finished. What? What’s your what’s manage role in in this?

[00:41:25.42] spk_7:
Sure. So, um, we put together ah, bunch of different policies last fall. Um, and I hesitate to say the word finished because they’re always evolving. We need to adapt what we do in the policies that reflect what we dio. Um as things change around us. Uh, for instance, um, we a lot of the policies that we instituted last fall were directed, uh or directly affected, I should say, are like the computers that we have here for years. We all used PCs and much the standard way that anybody else would, Um, And with the advent of cloud based systems like Azure and some other things that we work with tech impact to implement here, um, we were able to get on Ah, more secure, uh, server were able Teoh update a lot of the levels of encryption that we use all things going along with what Karen was talking about in response to not wanting to be vulnerable to attacks to ransom where, um, we deal with individuals who have really serious health concerns there, the client base to whom we deliver meals on a regular basis to and so we work with all kinds of personal information. We also have certainly as a non profit donors who have credit card information and other things that get stored within our systems. And so between medical records and all the things kept their in and credit card information for our donors, You know, we have a couple different avenues that, ah, potential threat, you know, might see if inviting. And so, um, as an organization that works with insurance companies, large insurance companies, we need to be as HIPPA compliant as any medical office would be. Doctor’s office, hospital system. Um and so we’ve gone through some work with, um, hip, a consultant. We’ve worked directly with Tech Impact, who also does our day to day tech support here to really, really develop well thought out policies as well as all the software sort of implementations that went along with it. So again, I hesitate to say that we’re finished because we’re always looking at ways to improve how tightened up weaken be, but, um, in terms of where we’re at today Ah, the large bulk of that was completed last fall.

[00:42:05.21] spk_3:
There’s something interesting you the director of our senior manager party. I just demoted you. Senior manager of donor relations. Not not I t, uh, that sound like the tech policy position at manner. But here you are.

[00:43:23.56] spk_7:
So it’s interesting. Yeah. Um, I think many non profit, uh, will probably understand. We use the phrase were a lot of hats, You know, that many nonprofits are smaller staffed. You know, we don’t have, uh, the budgetary capabilities Have an in house I t department. Um, and so for years, our office admin served in that role Still doesn’t in many cases, if your if your outlook isn’t working, if your internet’s down, that’s what you go to. But, um, as we were growing these contract relationships and learning that there were different levels of security that we could, you know, reach for, um we needed somebody in house who had both a cursory understanding of the tech side of things and also enough understanding and ability to work with our nutrition team Teoh, to sort of understand the HIPPA ramifications of it all. Um, and it just so happened that that role probably would have fallen to the office admin Who does does a lot of the other day to day stuff. However, uh, he went out on medical leave, and so I was sort of tasked with this being the next in line in terms of my, uh, computer savvy, I guess

[00:43:24.72] spk_4:
we can

[00:43:24.97] spk_7:
call it her.

[00:43:26.44] spk_2:

[00:43:27.10] spk_7:
yeah, sort of a non profit thing that you know, you have a skill set that you’re able to help with. It may not be the thing I’m trained in or went to school for by any means, but I understand it may be better than the next person. And so that’s how that kind of works out

[00:44:17.99] spk_1:
understand Time for our last break turn to communications relationships. The world runs on them. We all know this turn to is led by former journalists so that you get help building relationships with journalists. Those relationships will help you when you need to be heard so that people know you’re a thought leader in your field when there’s a time for you to be heard and to show your expertise. Turn to specializes in working with nonprofits. The red Turn hyphen two dot ceo We’ve got but loads more time for tech policies from 20 and TC. We

[00:44:33.13] spk_3:
could also consider good tech policy to be a part of donor relations. A part of stewardship. Actually, you’re part of what you’re doing. What I don’t mean you at manner. But part of what an organization is doing is protecting donor information from the can absolutely kinds of attacks that you and Karen both talking about So you could consider it on a new element of donor relations on goods

[00:44:49.79] spk_4:

[00:44:50.21] spk_7:
And and part of it came back to, you know, in the donor relations side of things I oversee, uh, our database R c r m Here, um, and so again, understanding those systems, um, knowing that we treat and I’ve always treated all information confidentially, we don’t share lists with people. We don’t sell our donors information to anyone, Certainly whenever that with any client information. But from my sort of day to day rolls perspective, you know, we treat all that data, um, the same with the same level of integrity that we would with our client data on the other side

[00:45:24.94] spk_2:

[00:45:25.01] spk_7:
the building. And so, um, yeah, I think that’s kind of where that come from.

[00:45:29.65] spk_1:

[00:46:16.42] spk_6:
well, I’ve been kind of listening to what Dan saying, and even what I said when we opened up here, where we’re focusing on technology policies to reduce the organization’s risk or, you know, to kind of like looking at it from the perspective of where the bad things that could happen And how do we present those, and I just want o make the point that that’s not all that policies air for right there. Also, to give people guidance on positive things, they can dio um, So at my organization, just today we were talking about social media policy, and that’s something I’m sure that Dan probably deals with two. I’m doing donor management and fundraising and communication. Um, you know, you don’t want to just wag your finger at your staff and say you can’t do this. You can’t do that. Especially when it comes to social media. You want to give them some tools and some permission to be able to do things that are positive and are gonna benefit the organization. So that’s always an important thing. To remember with policy is to find that balance between the things that are restricting people from doing things that are really gonna be harmful and the things that are empowering them to do things that are gonna be helpful.

[00:46:45.78] spk_3:
Karen, what do you see? Some sometimes or most commonly I should say, as the impetus for, uh, revising oh, are creating when they don’t exist. It all a new a new set of tech policies.

[00:47:02.07] spk_6:
Probably two things, and one, unfortunately, is something bad happens. And then somebody says, Oh, we should have had a policy about this. You can imagine how those scenarios play out. But the other thing is sometimes, um, change in staff or a staff member who has listened to a podcast or, um, they have attended a conference or somehow been exposed to thes ideas and realized Oh, shoot. My organization doesn’t have the right policies in place. We should probably pay attention to this.

[00:47:32.98] spk_3:
Okay. And, uh, since you’re the consultant, why don’t you get us into this process now? How do we begin what we need to think about who? The stakeholders? I need to be involved before we can actually start typing policy or thinking about policy.

[00:48:49.83] spk_6:
Yeah, I can. I can share a few things with you. Um, first, the, um, there are six basic types of policies that most organizations should have, and so acceptable use is one. And what that means is it’s a guide to the overall use of your networks and technology equipment. That’s acceptable use policy. Um, 2nd 1 is security, and that’s really about protecting your data and your systems from from security breaches. Um, 3rd 1 is bring your own device policy, which has considerations for employees using personal devices to do their work, whether they’re in the workplace. Or, um, right now, a lot of people are using personal devices that they have at home toe access, corporate data, so to speak, or things that are owned by the non profit. So those were the 1st 3 and then the 4th 1 is an incident response and disaster recovery policy or in a plan, that’s what you need to do if something goes wrong. Um, 5th 1 is remote work kind of other considerations for employees who are working outside the office. Um, and then the final one is about social media and digital communication guidelines for what you can and should do and what’s restricted there.

[00:49:06.82] spk_3:
Okay, All right. So those there are sort of framework for our policy, those six types and and who should be involved in the process of creating these

[00:49:36.27] spk_6:
Well, I think that’s a great question to ask Dan because he had some experience with involving the right people in the organization. But my advice would be, um, you know, there’s a saying that a lot of advocacy organizations are organizing groups used nothing about us without us. And I think that applies here. Um, as well. It’s If a policy is going to affect someone, then that person should probably have a chance to give some input in the policy. Otherwise, you’re going to run into a lot of problems with people not following the policy, just working around it. And then it’s not doing anybody any good.

[00:49:56.47] spk_3:
Yeah, because then it’s a policy that was foisted on on users rather than them being part of the collaborative team that develops it,

[00:50:04.93] spk_6:
right? So certainly an executive director of board of directors in a non profit has some responsibility for reviewing policies and making sure that the right things are in place. But that’s not enough. It also has to involve the people that are covered by the policy.

[00:50:18.46] spk_3:
Yeah, the end users. How about you, Dan View? Did you follow Karen’s advice? Were you ah, compliant client? Or were you not?

[00:51:38.86] spk_7:
I’d like to think so. Um, I I was involved from day one in terms of this stuff. Ah, And to Karen’s point. Yeah, we had everyone that almost every level in some capacity involved in this process are when we first sat down, uh, with some of Karen’s coworkers Attack impact. You know, we had in the room myself the head of our nutrition department, our CEO, uh, the head of our policy on my policy, I mean, uh, lawmaking policy, But ahead of our policy, uh, department and a ZX Well, a czar PR person, our office admin. So I mean, it was kind of deer point. We had somebody from every aspect of the organization who would be either affected by the policies being put in place or be the person who is actually implementing the policies themselves on dhe. Then we brought in, which was a tremendous helping to be, quite honestly, couldn’t have done it without them. We brought in an outside consultant whose work eyes in the field in our key, specifically in ah, tech security and has a lot of background again dealing with the folks that we work with being medical record based. Um they came from ah background with ah consultant work dealing with hip a related issues specifically, and so we have them come in and do ah full risk assessment to go side by side with the risk assessment that tech impact did. Um and we had a really nice look at, uh what what policies do we have? What policies do we need and what things are already in place? And where can we, you know, make some tweaks to get better? And so it really was very collaborative effort, both internally and in terms of the two external groups that

[00:52:18.51] spk_4:
we worked

[00:52:18.92] spk_7:
with. But we needed every voice in that room

[00:52:24.75] spk_3:
Any difficulty, Dan getting buy in from leadership t this for this project?

[00:53:03.47] spk_7:
So no, we’re fortunate, actually, that we have ah CEO who is one very progressive and and likes to be at the forefront of all aspects of, you know, our business. Eso that includes technology again. We’ve always we’ve been around 30 years, so dealing with our client records and the hip related issues. There has always been something that mattered to us. Um and so this was seen as an opportunity to improve upon efforts that were already making It was not seen internally as Hey, this is a bad thing in the world. We all got to go through this process to fix something. It was really more, um we’re doing a good job, but we can do better than what we’re doing, and we’re gonna strive to do better than what we’re doing. And so our CEO didn’t require any real pushing. She was actually the one pushing, pushing all of us.

[00:53:57.44] spk_3:
OK, OK, Karen, we don’t have time to dio in depth on all the six different policies that you that you mentioned. But since we’re in a time now, when a lot of people are using their own personal devices, why don’t we focus on that policy? The personal use of devices for work? What I you know, I defer to you. How do we like what questions should we be asking or what policies should we have in place? What’s the best way to approach that one?

[00:55:44.69] spk_6:
Sure. Um, here’s some some of the questions you could think about for that, um, one is, um usually, organizations start with who is allowed to use those devices and in the situation we find ourselves in right now, I think it’s almost everyone has allowed to use personal devices, but maybe not. I mean, maybe if you’re a non profit that is allowing people to work from home either indefinitely or just for a defined period of time. Maybe you want them to Onley be allowed to do their work on ah organization issued device. Maybe you will provide them with a laptop or a tablet or whatever it is to take home with them, and they’re only going to do it there. And then you know it’s important than to issue some guidelines that let them know your home computer is off limits for conducting your work. So that’s an example. But then it’s not just computers. What about their camera? You know, if they’re doing videoconferencing, if it doesn’t have a built in camera, can they use their own? Or do they have to get one from the organization? What about a headset? What about like all that extra stuff? And then, if they are using their own devices, what kind of support do you offer for that? If something breaks, you fix it. If they have a problem with their settings on the computer, are you responsible as an organization for helping them with that? Um, what about like antivirus software on their home computer. Are you now going to pay for the cost of that? Or are you gonna pay for the cost of their cellphone, which they’re now using to take calls? Because the office phone is being forwarded to their cell phone. So there’s a lot of a lot of different issues there. Um, 11 more thing that we find, especially with mobile devices, is like, What kind of encryption do you and require, um, and locks and authentication and, like different kinds of security measures that can be installed on a mobile device? Um, it’s not necessarily a case where more is better. You have to find the right balance between convenience and security there.

[00:56:11.33] spk_3:
What about use of other people’s use of the of that same equipment, you know, when they’re home? If is that a family laptop that the person is using for work and then night their kids do their homework on it? I

[00:57:01.27] spk_6:
mean, Well, yeah, I think that’s the reality for a lot of people right now. So, um, it’s I personally wouldn’t worry too much about ah criminal breaking into my home logging into my computer. Um, that has a weaker password at home than the computer that I used for work. Um, and you know, getting into my organizations, data or whatever. I just really don’t think the odds of that very high, but, um, but it’s more like, um, maybe through email, maybe my kids open a phishing email and they click on something. And then pretty soon, my computer’s infected on dhe. I’ve also got stuff stored on that computer that I don’t want to get into somebody else’s hands. So that’s where the vulnerability of shared devices probably is. Most important. I don’t know if you would agree with that, Dan, or if you’ve got through that with your organization

[00:57:11.55] spk_3:
damn before we before we. I do want to go to you immediately, Dan, but I want to make clear that we now know the password to Karen’s home computer is 12345

[00:59:56.18] spk_7:
Yeah, I think if the really important one and we did go through this in terms of a lot of the policies that we’re putting in place, we have ah mixed set of media for this organization, um, desktop and laptop, and for those with laptops taken, certainly take them out of the building, and so there’s no safeguards there needs to be in place. Um, but the one that we really found I don’t want to say a stumbling block, but it’s something that I think organisations should keep in mind when they’re when they’re thinking about this kind of stuff. So many of us now have smartphones, and they’re great and they can do all these different things. Um, the one thing that really got under a fair amount of people skin here was the restrictions that had to be put in place for, uh, one’s own mobile device. And specifically, what we dealt with was, uh in the case of our email client, um, outlook is great and can be controlled with a lot of the policies that we put in place with tech impact. However, uh, if you have an iPhone or an android and you do not have the outlook app if you just use the native mail app on your phone, um that is outside the scope and the control of a system like in June or Azure. And, uh so what we had issues with were people wanting Teoh, you know, use the app that they’ve been using for the last 10 years, Um, and having to switch to something that was considerably more restrictive. Um, and it’s one of those things that sort of the growing pains in this process. But ah was absolutely necessary for us to be ableto you know, rain in some of the control on the data that’s being used. Um, and to Karen’s point with, you know, kids clicking on an email, Um, you know, we have it set where, As an example, if I pull up an email on my phone, I can’t screenshot it. I can’t save whatever’s in it to my phone. I mean, we have everything as locked down beyond you can read it and reply to it, and that’s it. Um, but just just knowing that some of those those things they’re out there in terms of the restrictions in terms of the necessity to have them be protected. If I lost my phone and someone got into it, they could seemingly access information. I wouldn’t want people to see, you know, from a work standpoint. So I think those are things that we take for granted. Um, having these wonderful devices that we carry around every day, but they’re really, um they are portals to our jobs into our lives and security that needs to go with that is it can’t be understated. And that was definitely something that we hadn’t thought about quite honestly before.

[01:00:07.86] spk_4:
This all happened.

[01:00:16.07] spk_3:
Making compromises for company. Absolutely ization security. Karen, we’re gonna wrap up. Does this tech impact have any resource Is, um, better related to detect policies that that folks can access on the website?

[01:01:06.21] spk_6:
Of course, we dio with a lot. So I’m at Tech Impact out, or GE, we have a number of resource is about policies and security, which we’ve been touching on here, too, including free consultations for people who just have a question that they want to ask of a professional. You can request that on our website. Um so about that tech impact that or ge and then on ideal wear dot or ge, which is also a site that is heart of our organization. That’s a resource site. And so we have a policy workbook on there that will help you, like, step by step, develop each of the different policies that I mentioned earlier and also a number of other knowledge. Resource is, we’ve got a course right now to that. We just finished a live version of it and the recordings available at Ideal where DOT or GE, if people want to really take a deep dive into this

[01:01:20.01] spk_1:
outstanding thank you. And, uh, as former CEO of Idea where I know you’re well acquainted with the with the offerings there. That’s

[01:01:38.21] spk_3:
Karen Graham, director of education and outreach, a Tech Impact, and Dan Getman, senior manager of donor relations at Manna. Thanks to each of you for sharing thanks so much and, uh, and stay safe. And thanks to you for being with non profit radio coverage of 20 NTC

[01:02:21.65] spk_1:
next week. More from 20 NTC. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you, find it on tony-martignetti dot com were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for non profits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turned to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot ceo. Our

[01:03:00.45] spk_0:
creative producers Claire Meyer Huh Sam Liebowitz managed stream shows Social media is by serving Chavez. Mark Silverman is our Web guy on this Music is by Scots with me next week for non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great