Because I Have it all Together, and Other Lies I Want You to Believe About Me

Making A Living as a Creative

I was interviewed by Canvas Rebel regarding my journey of becoming a motivational speaker and making a full time living as a creative. Some of the original article is below.

The full article can be found here: https://canvasrebel.com/meet-stacy-pederson/

(There’s is much prettier. 🙂 )

 

We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Stacy Pederson. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Stacy below.

Stacy, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Are you able to earn a full-time living from your creative work? If so, can you walk us through your journey and how you made it happen?

Earning a living has been a slow steady process I started over thirty years ago. I discovered I was a, “Creative” by winning essays for local competitions as a child. I even one a real life lamb! I went to college on a full ride talent grant to study theatre. I then made money here and there with acting gigs and teaching acting. I stumbled into doing stand up comedy, and since my comedy was “clean”, I learned there was a market for it. Events, churches and companies began hiring me. Next, I almost died a bunch. (Long story.) People continued hiring me as a comedian, but asked me to also share my story. This is how I fell into being a speaker. I have always excelled at the creative side, it was the business side I lacked. The reality, for me anyway, is if you want to make money as a creative, you have to learn to run the business side. The reason? A creative hustle without sales, is a hobby. I wish I had done that from day one. Taken the time to understand and learn what is required to get events, make sales, even be professional in certain settings.

 

Stacy, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?

I loved acting and writing. I stumbled into stand up comedy as an accident. However, nothing has been as personally fulfilling to me as being a motivational speaker. I’m able to share my story of struggle, illness and loss in a funny way, that helps shed light on mental health and bring hope to others. One of the main reasons I have done well as a speaker is my creative, humorous side. Being able to speak in an entertaining and fun way sets me a part from most professional speakers.

 

We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.

I unexpectedly got sick twelve years ago. I went through several bouts of illness, surgery, not being able to walk, etc. I eventually lost almost everything. I was diagnosed with PTSD from almost dying so much and went through about one and half years of dark depression. Through that time, I realized the value of hope. Hope is the one thing that can get us through the next ten minutes, hour or day. The wonderful thing about hope is that it is free to give. Hope can come as a smile to stranger, a compliment, a kind word – anything that shows the other person they matter. For me, when things were so desperately hard, I figured I was alive for a reason still, so I might as well do the best with it. I had hope that all the struggle was for a reason. It was.

 

Rest of the article is here: https://canvasrebel.com/meet-stacy-pederson/

 

 

Motivational Speaking: My Morning Routine When Speaking

 

Above is a video that gives an overview of my morning routine for when I do motivational speaking for out of state events.

I have different routines I’ve developed over time to help get me prepared for a speaking event. One for later in the day events, night events, in-state, out of -state etc.

If you are new speaker or performer who is starting to travel you will develop your own over time.

I remember googling and trying to find ANYTHING that could give me an idea of what to do when I first started traveling as a motivational speaker. I found NOTHING. That’s why I made this first video for you.

If you’d like more videos on motivational speaking, performing (behind the scenes), then you can watch the video here and subscribe to my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/StacyPederson

Kindly, Stacy P.

Stacy is a Funny Motivational Keynote Speaker who has almost died a bunch. You can read more about her here.

Colorado top female keynote inspirational motivational speakers

How to Improve Your Speaking on Camera With These 4 Tips

You thought you did pretty good when you were speaking and THEN you watched yourself back….

And now you’re googling because you hated everything you saw in your video. I’m glad you stumbled onto this blog post, because I totally understand how you feel.

Hate Seeing Yourself Speaking on Camera

First, good job for making a decision to get better instead of folding up the ‘ol laptop and quitting. Second, there is a LOT that can be worked on but for this blog post we are only focusing on 4 things.

(When you get to # 4, you’ll see why.)

So – quiet on the set – let’s get started.

 

1. It’s normal to hate watching yourself on camera.

how look better when speaking on camera

Even famous actors hate themselves on camera. (Think Joaquin Phoenix storming out of an interview because they showed a clip of him. He refuses to watch himself.)

Unless you’re narcissistic, you don’t normally stare at yourself all day long every day to know what you actually look and sound like. You’re just walking around being you. When you see yourself on camera it’s a shock because you had no idea you look, sounded, or acted that way. And now you’re mortified. Don’t be.

I had an acting coach give me this wonderful advice that I still use to this day. Watch yourself five times. During those five times, stare at your nose, balk at your voice, etc. Get all the cringyness out of everything you see and don’t like about yourself.

THEN, when you’re sick of watching yourself, it’s time to now focus on the message.

Is the message you are conveying important?

Does it come across well? (Not you – the message.)

Is it helpful to someone who may watch it?

If the answer is, “yes” then it’s time to send it out into the world.

Ouch! ….But it’s the truth.

One of the key factors in speaking better on camera is nothing unique or new. It’s good old fashion practice. I know you would love to be perfect and polished the very first time you create a video or present virtually on camera. The truth is, you need to give yourself space and time to grow. This means risking being awkward or embarrassing.

Let’s just say, you are, in fact, truly horrible when speaking on camera. Then get focused, keep reading, practicing, learning and get help to get your first few videos off the ground.

 

 2. Don’t stare at yourself on the screen while speaking, stare THROUGH the camera lens.

speaking in camera virtual presentation tips

We get (or at least I get) distracted and want to stare at myself on Zoom or whatever platform I am speaking or recording on. I also stare at the people who are talking to me.

First, it’s ok to stare at the people talking to you on the screen.

Sounds ideal, however, if you’ve ever tried to take a group photo there’s always someone staring off into la la land. It’s not easy for your eyes to go back and forth and catch the lens. It’s also not easy to focus on one place for a long period of time.

I know it can be hard to suddenly stare at a lens, while speaking AND present well. It can be very jolting trying to keep your eyes focused on ONE thing while doing everything else your mind, body and voice are doing.

One thing I did to get outside of my head and stare at one place was to use sticky notes. I’d place a brightly colored sticky note on a kitchen cabinet, or my office wall. Then practice speaking/staring at it. When I was in the kitchen. I would also cook and clean. Why? If I had to stop and think, it meant I didn’t know my material well enough.

It simply takes practice to train your eyes not to roam all over the place or stare off to the side when you fall back into the thoughts. The more you “train” for it the easier it will become. I promise if you practice enough, you’ll eventually get to a place where you won’t ever think about it anymore.

3. If the fabric on your outfit looks like your Grandmother’s curtains, you probably shouldn’t wear it on camera.

wardrobe for better speaking on camera

The easier you make it for your audience to focus on you while speaking, the better and more apt they are to pay attention longer. If you are blending into a busy background, or your shirt looks like it belongs in the North Pole, you’re making it harder for audiences’ eyes to stay on you while you are speaking.

Think simple. Simple fabrics. Simple colors. Simple backgrounds. This makes YOU pop. This doesn’t mean “neutral” it means simple. You can wear a bright blue shirt, or a solid purple, etc. One color is best.

virtual speaking tips

Perhaps minus the crazy expression…..

I have a bright background and a bright outfit, but it’s only 2 colors. I also wear red lipstick even though it doesn’t match that great. It makes it easier for the audience to stare at me and pay attention.

-Plaid: No

-Birds, Bees and Blooms: No

-Loud patterns: Nope

-Shirts or hats with logos: Only if you have the companies permission

-Layers: Including scarves, jackets, hoodies – anything with lots of fabric: No

-Plunging necklines or open shirts: Please don’t.

-Neutrals: Maybe, but it has to stand out from your background

-All Black: Maybe, but not advised.

-Red: Maybe. but only if it’s your branding.

-Solid colors: Yep

-Simple fabrics: Yep

-Interesting necklines but not a lot of bling: Yep.

My biggest advice is to pay attention to commercials. You will almost always see very simple colors and plain shirts. They match the other actors or the set behind them in complimentary colors, not the same color. This helps you see their smile. (Commercials are all about the smile.)

You can also see upscale solid color outfit ideas by watching a soap opera. Honestly, I don’t even know what still exists out there, but they usually have upscale solids on with simple jewelry. Basically, if you want to present better on camera spend all day in front of the tv watching soap operas. Just don’t skip the commercials.

 

4. DON’T BE BORING!!! Connect with your audience emotionally.

You may think they all are on pins and needles ready to hear your content, but they’re actually not. Sigh. I know….not what you wanted to hear.

The only way to keep your audience –  is to relate to your audience. How do you relate to your audience? You connect with them emotionally. How do you connect with your audience emotionally? Glad you asked. Move on to paragraph #2.

Stories, images, humor, questions, these are all a GREAT places to start.

I want you to think about your favorite movie. I am guessing that the movie made you “feel” something. Whether that was an adrenalin rush, punched you in the gut kind of “moving”, or left you feeling warm and fuzzy.

The content was also of interest to you. Whether it was a period piece, a war zone, or a balcony in New York with two lonely people. you liked the information and setting that came with it.

You already have your content.

How do you add emotional aspects to your videos or virtual presentations? It’s listed in a few sentences above. Stories, images, humor, questions, etc..

Here are some examples of openings that can get your audience connected with you. These are not “virtual” examples, but the concept is relevant:

Humor: This one is mine. The first 5 minutes as my opener. My audience was all women, and the event was billed as a, “Mom’s Night Out”.

This is important because your opener works amazing if you tailor it to who your audience is. I would not give this opener in a tech conference or a leadership training on grit.

https://youtu.be/0bp5C6fVvQs

Here is an example of the use of a questions to get your audience engaged. This is Simon Sinek’s  famous Ted talk that starts with a series of questions. The questions require the audience to draw up images and memory, which also draws out emotion. You will see this strategy used a lot in Ted Talks.

The use of Apple brings the apple image logo to mind. Martin Luther King, JR., draws up memories – which draws out emotion.

https://youtu.be/qp0HIF3SfI4

Here is the use of literal emotion within storytelling. This is Brene Brown’s infamous Ted Talk on vulnerability. Her opener starts with a story where she literally labels feelings out loud. This helps the audience emotionally connect, because they feel those feelings, too. It also makes her more relatable because she is expressing her humanness and showing her literal vulnerability.

https://youtu.be/X4Qm9cGRub0

Finally, images. Slides with data do very little for audience engagement and audience retention. The odds of them remembering those facts a few days after your virtual presentation is not high. However, if an emotional image is attached, the concept or fact is much more likely to stay in their minds.

Here are some examples of photos I use instead of stats or quotes. Each of them evokes an emotion with the image.

I use this image  sometimes as an opener for my Stress talk.

This image is used in regards to the scientific proof of the power of positive relationships. Rather than give stats, I show this. This is easier to remember and more powerful, emotionally, compared to numbers.

Don’t we all sometimes? This photo is used when I speak on difficult relationships, including those in the workplace. It puts a slightly humorous spin on a negative experience or emotion we all have felt or been through.

Overwhelm. Burnout. If the audience has felt the way this woman has in the picture, they are more apt to pay attention to the solutions, compared to me giving stats on workplace burnout and why it’s costing money.

This image points out the “elephant in the room”. When I talk about accepting change in the workplace or starting something new and positive in your life, the truth is most of us feel overwhelmed on where to start. This image gives “sight” to that feeling so we can talk about how to overcome it

Strong word of advice. Do NOT steal images off of google or any other website/platform, etc. Purchase the rights to use them or take photos yourself. These are all adobe photos I have purchased, or have done on my own. Be ethical in your business. It pays off in the long run…

Why have I camped out so much on #4 on connecting emotionally? Because if you go back to tip #1, it’s really not about you when it comes to presenting or speaking on camera. It’s not about your hair or your background – it’s about the heart of your message and conveying that to the people you are trying to help in the best way possible.

By improving your speaking techniques on camera, whether that’s for an online course, YouTube or a live virtual presentation,

Want more tips? Get your FREE “10 Easy Ways to Look Good and Feel Great on Camera”.

You can purchase my online course here: “How to Be Good on Camera: An Easy Guide to Looking Good & Feeling Great on Video”.

Stacy Pederson is a Funny Motivational Keynote Speaker who has almost died a bunch. StacyPederson.com  She is also the founder of BoringtoSoaringSpeeches.com.

5 Mistakes You’re Making When You Give A Speech

Network Marketing MLM funny motivational inspirational corporate conference speaker humorist stacy pederson

I stumbled into becoming a funny speaker by complete accident. I have learned A LOT along the way. What I learned-I actually already knew. Let me explain:

I have a degree in theatre. What I learned and even taught when it came to theatre/acting performance, audience, communication, messaging, etc., has translated perfectly to the speaking world. All the rules seem to hold true for either mode of communication-acting or speaking.

It’s taken making a whole lot of mistakes and performing a loooot of really tough gigs to finally embrace who I am. I’m a performer with a message.

 

I’ve done free speaking gigs, drove hours for almost no-paying gigs, done back alley gigs, comedy gigs, county fair gigs, festival gigs. My cars broke down. Someone slipped something in my drink the last comedy club I performed at. I’ve traveled 12 hours one way to have the company never pay me. Been snowed in, iced in, dust-stormed in. (I choked on-stage during the dust storm-literally. I coughed and gagged on the dirt so much, I had to walk off after only 8 minutes.) I’ve bombed on stage. I’ve killed it-and a whole lot of in-between.

Now that you know some of my creds-here’s some huge mistakes from an actor’s perspective, I see other speakers make on stage. I’ve done several of these myself.

 

  1. Not Thinking from the Audience’s Perspective

Continue reading “5 Mistakes You’re Making When You Give A Speech”

How to Deal With Stage Fright When Giving a Speech

Stage fright sucks. I know because I have it. Despite having a degree in theatre, performing stand-up comedy and giving countless speeches in front of ultimately 1,000’s, that dreaded feeling of knots in my stomach before taking the stage, still occurs.

  1. Know What it is You’re Afraid of.

Being able to pin-point exactly what terrifies you, can help give you a game plan to combat stage fright.

So…what is it specifically that scares the snot out of you about speaking in front of an audience???

-Forgetting your lines?

-Falling off the stage?

-The simple act of people staring at you?

-Feeling vulnerable?

Continue reading “How to Deal With Stage Fright When Giving a Speech”

Stop Being Your Own Worst Co-Worker/ Boss

Mama-Preneur

Have you ever worked with someone who consistently failed to complete her tasks for the week?

-She couldn’t find the time to get her email opt-in page completed?

-She was too busy to write the next chapter of her book?

-She was working too hard and completely forgot to put together her webinar presentation?

It wouldn’t take long before you sat her down for a serious talk about the future of your working relationship—and her business?

-Even worse- have you ever had a boss or co-worker who slept in and showed up shockingly late as if it were no big deal?

Continue reading “Stop Being Your Own Worst Co-Worker/ Boss”

If You Are Not Incorporating These Into Your Speech – You Are Losing Your Audience

To learn more speaking tips subscribe to Stacy’s blog or contact her directly.

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Video Transcript:

“Hi. My name is Stacy Pederson and I’m falling off my stool. Let me sit up straight. All right, that’s a fabulous intro. But my name is Stacy Pederson and I’m a funny speaker, a clean comedian, and acting and speech coach. Today, I want to share with you learning styles. What is learning styles? We all learn certain things different ways and how I discovered this was I used to teach children acting. I created curriculum for an acting school that I co-founded. Then I also was involved in children’s ministry for many years and I wrote a lot of the curriculum for that. I discovered that there’s really three specific learning styles of how we can take in information and retain it.

You’ve probably heard of it, but just in case you haven’t there’s auditory learners, which is listening, there is visual learners, which is seeing, and then there is kinesthetic learners, which is kind of a tactile, you have to move, you have to be doing something in order to retain information. So for you, if you recognize that you fidget a lot, that’s me, I’m very kinesthetic, if you have to write certain things down or you won’t remember even if you never looked at your notes again, or you got to move like pace in some way in order to retain information, you’re kinesthetic.

If you need to see something visual like you’re listening to the radio and you have a really hard time paying attention, podcast, things like that, are not your thing you either need to read the book or you need to see the video. You need PowerPoint slides to be able to retain the message, then you’re visual. Then if you love listening to podcasts and anything that doesn’t require you to move, or you can totally track with a speaker without even really needing to see them, there’s a good chance you’re auditory. A lot of people make the mistake when they give speeches and really just focusing on the auditory with an occasional PowerPoint slide. I have a really hard time. I’m totally ADD, if I was gonna be honest.

So for me, I have such a hard time paying attention especially if it’s anything longer than 20 minutes. That’s the average attention span, really, is they it’s 20 minutes, but it’s actually shortening with each of the generation’s coming up younger and younger. So if you’re gonna be talking for 25, like a Ted Talk, or 60 or a 90-minute keynote or presentation, you’re gonna lose a lot of people in the room if you don’t switch up your learning styles. So do your PowerPoints help? Absolutely. PowerPoint slides can help as long as they’re not super boring and it’s just words on the screen reiterating what you just said. If your PowerPoint slides are nothing but bullet points it’s not helping. You’re gonna want to think outside that PowerPoint box and come up with something visual.

If that’s not something that comes easy to you then I recommend hiring someone or asking just someone that you work with or someone you know that’s a little more creative, that’s a little more in tuned to visual arts then I would ask their opinion and their help because something like a really powerful image can really stick in the minds of the visual learner. That’s something that they’ll walk away with, remembering that particular image and that’s how they’ll remember your takeaway point is because of the visual you gave them, not just words on a screen. That also comes into play if you should choose to use props.

Props are something that you have on the stage that you either hold in your hand, that would be called a personal prop, or that you can use to demonstrate a visual with that helps share the story, that helps bring home the point. Basically, to be used as a metaphor. That can help visual learners as well. For tactile learners, this is where group engagement can help where you have them break apart and discuss around their tables because they’re actually get to move a little bit. Taking notes, a lot of people don’t take notes anymore because they’re typing either on their phone or their iPad. But it actually requires the handwriting to be able to retain some of that. So this is just one of the things I’ve been using in one of my recent talks about …

One of my talks is that how to be happy when your life is a mess. One of the key elements of being happy when your life is a mess is something called flow. So what I did was I just came up with this think business card. As you can see, this is the back. Then when you flip it over it just says it’s always a good idea, which I think on this screen it’s gonna read backwards. But basically through this exercise that I tell them they have to write something down that is always a good idea for them to engage in when they’re struggling. So it would be like go for a hike or play a sport or you know, pull out a musical instrument. It’s always a good idea. But it’s the actual act of writing that helps those kinesthetic learners take the point home.

How I know this works is I just gave a speech … Well, I gave two speeches this week and both times I had a couple people come up to me and say, “Wow, that card,” and that’s what they talked about. That was their takeaway and how they were gonna keep it. I knew that they is a really good chance they were kinesthetic learners because they didn’t talk about any of the other stuff. They didn’t talk about the visuals, the logos, the images, or any of the other stuff. So that’s something that you’re always gonna want to incorporate is are you hitting those three learning styles. If you’re not and you’re just focusing on auditory then you’re losing 70% of the room sometimes. So you’re gonna really want to pay attention to that.

Again, my name is Stacy Pederson. You are welcome to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’d like to have more speaking tips if you are a sales presenter or an executive or you give speeches, deliver speeches, maybe even an author trying to get into the speaking circle. If you could follow me there or on my blog at stacypederson.com. If you’ve seen any of my other videos, you’ll hear me say, “That’s Pederson with a D.” P-E-D not Peterson. You could follow me there. I always have a link below because nobody can ever spell my name. So three learning styles, make sure you’re incorporating those. Thanks so much.

 

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