311 The Secret to Networking – Felicia Slattery

Felicia Slattery's Story and Learn How to Network for Entrepreneurs

  • The Secret to Networking
  • Kill The Elevator Speech and Wow Others
  • How to Introduce Yourself at Network Meetings
  • What’s 10 Times Better than Elevator Speech

Listen to ReLaunch Show on iPhone or Android App

More about our featured guest Felicia Slattery

Felicia Slattery, M.A., M.Ad.Ed., is on a mission to help business owners and entrepreneurs create meaningful connections through effective communication. She is a #1 best-selling author of Kill the Elevator Speech and 21 Ways to Make Money Speaking, an internationally-acclaimed professional speaker, and the creator of the trademarked Signature Speech™ system. She works with experts, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and celebrities around the world to help them write and deliver speeches and content that communicates with people on a human level and gets results.


Full Transcript

[00:02] Joel: Welcome to today's show. Your dose of inspiring stories, fresh ideas, and practical solutions to help you relaunch, and become known in your niche. And if you are a daily listener, welcome back to the show. And if you are new here, just know that you are among friends, and this is what you can expect: Unique insights, aha moments, and actionable information, from self-made successes, as they share their come-from-behind victories, and the things that they've done, and the things that they're doing, that are helping them to be seen as the authority, and the go-to person. And today's show is brought to you by My Virtual Sales Force, and myvirtualsalesforce.com, that is the place to go. And if you have a small business, or are starting one, they are your go-to team for your outbound sales and marketing needs. A little bit more about My Virtual Sales Force a little bit later on in the show.

[01:07] Joel: And joining us on today's show, the author of “21 Ways to Make Money Speaking”, and her latest book, it's red-hot, and was a number one best seller, it's called “Kill the Elevator Speech”. Felicia Slattery is on the show, and this lady is on a mission to help entrepreneurs and business owners create meaningful connections through effective communication. Felicia, welcome to ReLaunch. Good to have you.

[01:36] Felicia Slattery: Thanks Joel. Hi Pei.

[01:38] Pei: Hi, I thought it was so funny when Joel announced the title of your book. He had to pause after the “Kill”…

[01:46] Joel: Kill…

[01:47] Pei: “The Elevator Speech”.

[laughter] [01:49] Felicia Slattery: Well, it's funny I probably would never myself come up with a title with the word “kill” in it. People who know me, and they're like, “Really?” I was like “Yeah, but it's a good title.”

[laughter] [02:02] Joel: Well, thanks for being on the show today. This show, Felicia, it's highly practical, because it's all about the relaunch, how you did it, and it's also about becoming known in your niche. Again, how you did it. We're gonna get into that, and a whole lot more, in today's show. But first, let's talk relaunch. And you know, Felicia, we've all experienced numerous launches and relaunches throughout our lives. And I generally ask our guests to zero in on the relaunch that has been the most transformational for them, and then we just unfold the story from there. And we'll do that with you here in just a few minutes. But first, I like to start the show of with a little bit of quick take away gold. And Felicia, you work with entrepreneurs, CEOs, celebrities, all over the world, helping them write and deliver speeches that reach a deep level, and get the results that they're after. So, let me just ask you this. In your experience, what would you say is the most common pushback, or that reflex that just kind of gets conditioned with people? The most common pushback or reflex when it comes to creating and engaging in real conversations.

[03:22] Felicia Slattery: I think… That's actually the reason I wrote the “Kill the Elevator Speech” book, because the pushback that I get, is people want to have a formula. They wanna have something that they can memorize, that they can practice, that they can deliver. And that's just not how it's done. You don't connect with people with a memorized script. You connect with people in the moment, on an emotional level, where you're meeting them where they are, and they're meeting you where you are. And that's why I'm on the mission to kill the elevator speech, because that does the exact opposite of creating an authentic connection. It actually, in many cases, pushes somebody away. It puts a wall of this memorized, I call it “verbal vomit” up, between you and the other person.

[04:15] Joel: Okay, so let me jump in. So, why is it that some people just feel the need to just spew, if you will, what they know and what they've recited, and what they've rehearsed. Is that just a part of the conditioning, that with the best of intentions happened at some point, or is it something else?

[04:38] Pei: Is that some traditional training, maybe?

[04:41] Joel: Right.

[04:42] Felicia Slattery: Well, it's one of those things, where, when we get into business for ourselves, whether we're launching or relaunching, we hear the advise, if you're gonna go to a business meeting of any kind, if you're gonna go to an event, don't even bother going without two things, you need a business card, and you need an elevator speech. And if you don't have either one of those, don't bother. So, like that's kind of the conventional wisdom, and so people just think, “Well, I guess I need that.” And the truth is, they don't need either really, but you really don't need an elevator speech, and a business card is probably a nice way that you can stay in touch with people. But if you have a phone and they have a phone, you could say, “Hey, I'll connect with you on LinkedIn right now.” So, you don't really need either. And the elevator speech really does… It distances people, and so that's where the pushback really comes from.

[05:31] Joel: I appreciate you sharing that. And you know what, you're absolutely right. You don't need an elevator speech. You can actually kill it, as you said in the title of your book, because if you think when you're meeting someone for the first time, and you ask them what they do, or whatever, you see those eyes roll back in the head, searching through their… Doing a mental Google search, trying to remember, “Okay, what am I supposed to say now and what are the magic words?” And…

[06:00] Pei: And what's interesting is, when you hear elevator speech, you know it's an elevator speech.

[06:06] Felicia Slattery: Right.

[06:09] Pei: Yeah, that's the part you're like, “oh okay.”

[06:10] Felicia Slattery: Right. That's the verbal vomit part, and the thing is people who are doing the elevator speech to you, they don't… They're not meaning to do something that's…

[06:21] Joel: Right. Right. Of course.

[06:23] Felicia Slattery: Not pleasant, right? But here's what happens is anyone who's ever been told an elevator speech, they don't know what to ask because we're looking to find a way to connect with someone, and so the business equivalent of “Hi, how are you?” When you see somebody you haven't seen in a little while is, “So what do you do?” It's because they don't know another way to open up a conversation, and so I like to share with people open up a conversation in a different way, ask a different question, because then the person who does have the elevator speech ready to go, you totally bypass that trigger question that “What do you do” because when someone says, “What do you do,” then they go, “Oh good, this is my elevator speech. I'm gonna respond.”

[laughter] [07:07] Joel: They pull it out of that mental file cabinet. It's like “here it is, here it is”.

[07:10] Felicia Slattery: Yeah, and if you don't hit the trigger then that switch doesn't get pulled, and then they answer the question that you asked instead of “Oh, I'm supposed to answer with my elevator speech.” And then that's where the relationship can really get off to a much better start.

[07:26] Joel: Go right ahead, Pei.

[07:26] Pei: Yeah, you go ahead, actually first.

[07:30] Joel: Well, I was just going to compliment Felicia on the response here, and it just kind of reminds me of our show, Pei, and gosh, we're nearing our 300th episode. By the time this show is released, we'll be past 300. And it is really easy for Pei and I to figure out really quickly which guests are being true and transparent and vulnerable and authentic like you are and which guests are just giving that same canned “I've told this same story, and I've hit these same points on the 20 shows I did before yours.” And as you can imagine, that doesn't add… Well, it doesn't add value to us as hosts, but it doesn't add value to our audience because it's words that they could recite in their sleep.

[08:21] Felicia Slattery: Yeah, thank you very much for that. That's actually why I'm so passionate about teaching people public speaking and communication because I call it “service from the stage,” and it doesn't matter if you're on a live stage with a audience staring at you or you're on a podcast like this. We're here to serve the people who are listening, right? And if we're not, you need to reexamine what you're doing.

[laughter] [08:47] Joel: Okay, so let's back up a little bit, and let's talk about Felicia's relaunch. Remind me and I've got shiny object syndrome, ADD, bipolar and many other things so someone remind me to revisit…

[09:02] Pei: I definitely will because when we… This show, as you know, Felicia, ReLaunch and Become Known in Your Niche, I think our audience do need to know, so if we know what we shouldn't do then we'll circle back later on with you. Maybe give us a couple of tips on what to do, but yes, indeed before that.

[09:27] Joel: Okay, so we've all been through professional and personal relaunches, starts and stops, things that… Some things worked out the way we planned, and some things didn't and maybe they were blessings in disguise. We hear a lot of those stories on ReLaunch as well, but what do we need to zero in on today for you that has been the transformative relaunch if you will?

[09:53] Felicia Slattery: Well, I started my business in 2006, and I was going along quite swimmingly. In fact, you and I, before we started the replay or the recording here, we were talking about Michael Port, and Michael and I were speaking at an event, and that's when I got the idea for the book because in his book, “Book Yourself Solid,” and in his presentations, he says, “We should kill the elevator speech.” And I got this hallelujah, aha moment where the angels were singing. “Oh, that's the title of my next book!”

[10:27] Felicia Slattery: And so that happened, and then I called the publisher and through an interesting series of events, and they said, “Yes, we'd love to publish that book,” and I started working on the book. And then within a couple of months of that, I actually went into the hospital for pneumonia, and I was in the hospital for… And I was… At the time, I was 41. I stayed in the hospital a day longer than most people do. And they were like, “Yeah, you just have a pretty bad case of this. It doesn't seem like it's getting a ton better, but we're gonna send you home because there's nothing else we could do for you here, and we're gonna keeping giving you the meds, and we'll keep following up with x-rays.” So x-ray after x-ray, week after week, month after month, what looked like pneumonia was never resolving. They gave me a CT scan; that was inconclusive. Finally, by the end of the summer, they did what's called a bronchoscopy, which is a surgery to go take a look-see, and in that moment, it was discovered that I had lung cancer.

[11:34] Joel: Oh my gosh!

[11:35] Felicia Slattery: I'd never smoked a day in my life. I didn't live with people who smoked. I never worked in an environment with radon or asbestos or anything. There was absolutely no reason that I should have had lung cancer.

[11:49] Pei: So, when they diagnosed, how long did you have the symptoms already? By the time they finally…

[11:57] Felicia Slattery: It was April, and I was diagnosed in September.

[12:00] Pei: Oh wow.

[12:01] Felicia Slattery: And I had surgery the first week of October. I actually planned my surgery around my speaking schedule.

[chuckle] [12:08] Joel: Nice, nicely done. Well played, well played.

[12:09] Felicia Slattery: Thank you very much, yeah. I was feeling… I could breath deeply and feel like, “Oh, there's something in there, there's something”, I could feel that. But I wasn't in pain and I had plenty of energy and all of that. It was just this weird, “Oh, there's something in there”, feeling. And honestly, when I got the diagnosis, at that point it was a relief because of all the x-rays and the CT scans and the surgery.

[12:35] Joel: I can see that.

[12:36] Felicia Slattery: It was like, “Well, thank goodness, all right”. And then, if any of you know anyone or have ever been through the experience, you get on the “cancer train”, I call it, and they suddenly do all these tests to find out, has it spread and where is it, and what's the severity? And they do the staging and the whole thing. And then, you go and figure out what doctor you're gonna have and what hospital and does your insurance cover this or that or the other thing. So as far as I knew, I had lung cancer for about three weeks 'cause I was diagnosed and I got on the train and did all the tests and had the surgery. And I know we don't have a ton of time to tell it but I believe I had a personal miracle. Because during the years of building up my business I had built up about 30,000 fans, subscribers, social media folks, et cetera. And the night before I went into surgery I said, “Please, if you're the praying kind please pray, if you're the visualizing kind please visualize, if you are the energy kind, I need all the good vibes I can get, please send them my way.”

[13:34] Joel: Yeah, burn some candles if you got 'em.

[13:36] Felicia Slattery: Whatever, whatever, just whatever you got, I'll take it. And overnight, I had originally been diagnosed with one particular kind of lung cancer and the next day in surgery after I had sent out that request for prayers it changed to a very rare kind of lung cancer that it turned out Harvard University had done the study on this particular kind. Over 20 years there have only 12 cases and it never spread, it never came back, and nobody ever died. So that was the miracle that I got, yeah which was just amazing, amazing. So… But I couldn't speak and I'm a speaker.

[14:17] Joel: I was gonna say, that's not good for business.

[14:20] Pei: Could you breath okay? ‘Cause that recovery you're talking about messing with a lung.

[14:27] Felicia Slattery: You're right. They took out… It was on my right lung, they removed the whole middle lobe of my right lung. Most people don't know this, I didn't. Your right lung has three lobes, the top, middle and bottom. So they removed the whole middle lobe which was the one that was affected and they shaved off a little of the bottom lobe. But within hours my lungs had both… Had fully inflated and to look at the x-ray you would never even know that they took anything out, it was amazing so the body has an amazing way to heal itself. So… But my brain was looking for that missing lobe and so the nerve connection obviously was severed but my brain didn't realize that. And so, about every three or four words I would speak and my brain would go, “Oop, we can't breathe… Cough”. And I would speak again, “Oop, we can't breathe… Cough.” ‘Cause again, my brain was looking for that missing lobe.

[15:17] Pei: Interesting, that's interesting knowledge there.

[15:19] Felicia Slattery: Yeah, yeah. So I could breathe but my brain didn't realize it. And so, it took about three months to go through the healing process, the physical process of all of that and I actually… You know what did it? My husband, always last… He's a personal trainer. It was cardio, doing cardiovascular exercise.

[15:38] Joel: What a typical trainer answer.

[15:39] Felicia Slattery: I know, right?

[15:42] Joel: Get on the elliptical, it'll fix everything.

[15:44] Felicia Slattery: It will be all better, sure enough that's what fixed it. So by January I was ready to start speaking again and that was my official relaunch.

[15:51] Joel: Oh wow. What a story.

[15:53] Felicia Slattery: It was a really cool experience to go through.

[15:56] Joel: Okay, so let me ask you this. During that period when you knew something was up and then you were starting to get some clues and indicators of what it might be, I wanna ask you what you learned about yourself. And then, I also wanna ask you… Maybe within that same answer you can also kind of fill us in on what you re-learned about Felicia and about your possibilities, about your potential and about the value that you have for yourself but also the value that you wanted to share with other people. And I wanna give you just a few seconds to kind of process that and we are going to take a short break, we are going to hear a little bit about our sponsors. It's myvirtualsalesforce.com and we will be right back with Felicia Slattery. Okay Felicia, back into the conversation. So what did you learn or re-learn about yourself, about your environment, about the people that cared about you? A lot of learning I would think, I wasn't there but I would think…

[17:09] Felicia Slattery: Oh my gosh, a ton, a ton. I think during the process I learned to compartmentalize things. So when it was time to go to the doctor, I went to the doctor, and it was time to work, then I did my work. When it was time to make dinner for the family, I made dinner for the family. And I learned not to worry about anything until there was something to worry about. So I didn't spend months and months thinking, “Oh my gosh, I might have cancer. Oh my gosh, it might be the worst thing”. The doctors kept saying, “Well, we're pretty sure it's not gonna be cancer because you have zero indications, there's no risk factors but we can't rule it out, so we're not sure”. Okay. Well, I didn't get a diagnosis for months and months so it was more of a pain in the neck than anything else. And so, I just learned…

[18:00] Joel: A pain somewhere for sures…

[18:01] Felicia Slattery: That's it, right?

[18:03] Pei: Wow. I love that 'cause I do remember now what you said reminded me… One of the experts on the show said, “Postpone that fear. We're okay now. So don't worry about it.” So have you always been that way or that's something you learned?

[18:24] Felicia Slattery: I grew up with a chronic worrier. My mom worries about everything all the time and so I think as a response to that my pendulum might have swung in the other direction where a lot of times, like, “Whatever, I don't care.” So it's possible that that may have been where it came from but I really as I've gotten older and I've done a lot of personal development, I can only imagine most of your guests and probably a lot of your audience is involved in personal development in one way, shape or form, and I think over the years of just learning how to process information and how I deal with information, just realizing that it's a waste of time, it's a waste of energy. And on a spiritual level it's actually a way to not trust that God's got this.

[19:14] Joel: I really love that. Okay, so talking about “Kill the Elevator Speech”, that's the name of the most recent book. This book is chock full of valuable information but you talk about the mistakes, seven mistakes, common mistakes that entrepreneurs make, so can you just jump in there and give us one or two and then we can build out the conversation from there.

[19:43] Pei: ‘Cause earlier, if you don't mind me jumping in, you said when somebody asks you, “So what do you do?” so instead of the elevator speech, give us a couple of tips how we can start a real connection conversation.

[20:00] Felicia Slattery: So let's start there 'cause I think that's probably effective and will be helpful to your listeners. So there's five words that you have to remember. Very easy. “How did you get started?” Those are the only five words. So what you're doing when you meet someone, and sometimes people wear a name badge when they go to meetings, networking meetings and things, that just makes it super easy because you can look at their name badge and you can see what their logo is and usually they say what they are or what they do right on there. And so you can say, “Oh, so, hey Joel. How did you get started with your ReLaunch podcast?” Presuming that the person doesn't know you or has never heard of you.

[20:43] Joel: Which is far from the truth.

[laughter] [20:46] Joel: I'm just saying.

[20:47] Felicia Slattery: ‘Cause of course everybody has already heard of you. But let's just pretend they've been under a rock. So they ask you that question and now you go, instantly, if somebody says to you, “How did you get started with your podcast?” usually what happens is in that moment when we're asked to remember when we started something just like when you ask people, “Tell us about your relaunch,” we smile, we remember back to a time where we were happy, where we were excited to get started with something. And now what's happening in that moment is there are positive feelings welling up in that person because you've asked this question which is far from the trigger question, “What do you do?” And you've asked them to remember a happy, positive time in their life. So number one, what's happening is they're associating you with a positive feeling in their body. That's how they're going to remember you.

[21:38] Pei: I love that.

[21:41] Felicia Slattery: The second thing that happens then is you are… And this is more of a subconscious thing, you're asking them, “Tell me a story about yourself” indicates “I care about you. I would like to hear more about you and who you are and what you're about.” That is a much deeper way to connect with someone that's appropriate… But that's a much better way to connect because why? Because people are not used to being asked what is important to them and I wanna know more about you on a little bit of a deeper level without saying, “Tell me your whole life's history” or “Tell me about your biggest childhood disappointment.” It's like we're not going there. We're just saying, “How did you get started?” And so all of these cool things are happening in that moment and you sidestep the “How did… ” Or not the “How did you get started?” You sidestep “What do you do?” question so that the people who do have an elevator speech ready and planned, they don't ever need to give it because you've asked a different question than the one they were prepared to answer. So you get a true and honest authentic communication from them, way different than it would have been if you had asked, “What do you do?”

[23:06] Joel: And what you're saying makes perfect sense and, Pei, we've actually experienced this when we've met people in person. ‘Cause we've interviewed many, many people and it's always a treat when we get to meet these people in person, and what we've heard over and over and over again is that people… Authors and speakers and what I like to refer to as A list type people, they do a lot of interviews throughout the day and, gosh, they remember being on our show because it's not the same answers to the questions. I remember when we went to… We were presenters at Podcast Movement 2014 and one of the keynoters was Chris Brogan, very big name in the online world. And we walked up to him and shook his hand along with many, many other people. And, I introduced myself. And then, he said, “You know, I do about 12 interviews a day. And I remember being on ReLaunch.”

[24:11] Pei: Right, he actually did a testimonial for our interview class, our online class.

[24:18] Joel: And, it was because we asked those questions that were not the standard questions that he's asked repeatedly. But, it was the questions that triggered something within him and created that positive feeling.

[24:32] Felicia Slattery: Yes. And, that's exactly right. I do a lot of interviews also.

[24:39] Joel: Sure, yeah.

[24:39] Felicia Slattery: And, interviews that stand out are always the ones that someone asked different questions. That someone has taken a moment to figure out, instead of, “Send me your questions. And, we'll read them verbatim to you”, which a lot of folks do. And, it's okay that they do that. But, if you wanna raise it up a level and be like the ReLaunch Show people, take a second. Read the materials and figure out, what do you wanna know that's gonna help your listeners? What do you wanna know that's gonna help move a relationship forward? Because, that's really what's happening in any kind of question and answer situations, is your building a relationship.

[25:13] Joel: I love that.

[25:14] Pei: I'm holding this book right now. I cannot wait to read more.

[25:20] Joel: You stole it from my hand, by the way.

[25:20] Pei: Yeah. Just a couple of tips from Felicia is… Yeah, this is so important, 'cause people sometimes even intimidated by networking meetings or going out introducing themselves. So, this is gold.

[25:38] Felicia Slattery: Thank you. Thank you. And, one other thing that I just wanna add. Because people always say, “Well, if I don't do an elevator speech and somebody asks me what do I do, then what do I say?” And, the short answer is, two to four words. That's all you need. That's all people are gonna remember about you in terms of language. They're gonna remember the two to four words. You're a mortgage broker. Great, you're a mortgage broker. Are you a graphic designer? They're gonna remember graphic designer. Are you a real estate person? Are you a photographer? That's all. That's all they're gonna remember word wise. They're gonna remember… If they remember you at all, they'll remember the words and they're gonna remember how you feel.

[26:16] Pei: Right.

[26:16] Felicia Slattery: How you make them feel. So, the two to four words. And then, you tell any story about yourself that you wanna tell. You can say, “Oh, I'm a speaker and I teach people about putting together speeches for their businesses.” “Oh, cool.” “And, even interestingly, I was talking to,” and then I go in and I can tell a story. “You know what I'm really excited about right now? Is I'm in the middle of teaching a class… ” And, I'll maybe tell them about my class. Or, “I started this actually, I started speaking when I was seven in front of a bunch of people. And, who knew it will lead to this?” Because now, all of a sudden, I'm sharing them a little bit about of my history. And, it's gonna give them a place in their brain to say, “Oh, okay. So now, I know where to put her.” Instead of being one of these folks who's like, maybe an organization person who does, like a home organizer. Instead of saying, “Oh, I am a person who comes in and engineers time, so that that time and space are better than ever.” You know what I'm saying? These really crazy creative things that people say. Like, “What? Just tell me what you do, so I know.”

[laughter] [27:19] Pei: Yeah, yeah.

[27:20] Joel: Right.

[27:20] Pei: So, Felicia, if I never met you… And obviously, I do know you so much by now. And, in your bio, there's so many accomplishments and the books you wrote. So, if I never met you, what are the two to four words would you introduce me with?

[27:40] Felicia Slattery: So, I would say, “I am a speech coach for entrepreneurs.”

[27:45] Pei: Okay.

[27:46] Joel: Okay.

[27:46] Felicia Slattery: That's four words…

[27:47] Joel: That is quick and clean and easy to understand. And, when said to the right people, that will stimulate a conversation.

[27:57] Pei: I love that.

[27:58] Joel: People that are interested. Wonderful. Okay. Felicia Slattery, that is our guest today. “Kill the Elevator Speech”, is the name of the book that we're talking about. And of course, we're gonna have all of the social media hotspots and the places to go in the notes that accompany this podcast episode. And, it has been a pleasure to have you on. One way to become known in your niche is to kill…

[28:27] Pei: Ah…

[28:28] Joel: The elevator speech.

[laughter] [28:30] Pei: I needed to add some sound effect there.

[28:32] Felicia Slattery: I love the sound effect. That was great.

[28:35] Joel: And, connect form… Connect and form meaningful relationships by having meaningful conversations with other people. It's been a pleasure. Thanks so much for joining us on today's show. Bye-bye.

[28:50] Felicia Slattery: Thanks for having me.

[28:51] Joel: You're very welcome. Bye-bye.

Connect with Felicia on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and her website.

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Joel Boggess

Motivational Speaker | Podcast Host | Bestselling Author. I help entrepreneurs focus, build confidence, and drive success with interactive keynotes, workshops, and executive coaching. Together, we create possibilities that bring empowerment, meaning, and financial impact.

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