Join us today for Part 3 of the Interview with Mike Acker, author of Speak With No Fear...

This is Part 3 of the interview I had with speaker, coach, and author Mike Acker.   

In today’s interview with Mike Acker, I ask Mike to share with you why his book “Speak with No Fear” is a different speaking book.  Mike also shares with you some of his tips from that book on how to speak better without fear.  Mike also shares his definition of leadership as well.

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 1066: Develop Your Influence - Interview with Coach and Author of Speak with Confidence Mike Acker – Part 3

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on episode 1000 in 66 of the inspired stewardship podcast.

[00:00:07] Mike Acker: I'm Mike Acker. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to respond well to life is key.

[00:00:21] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the inspired stewardship podcast with my friend, Scott.

[00:00:29] Scott Maderer: So

[00:00:30] Mike Acker: some leadership is going to be bigger. If you think about leadership, not as a yes or no on or

[00:00:35] Scott Maderer: off button. I

[00:00:36] Mike Acker: don't really think about leadership as maybe 10 levels. And you say, yeah, at basic influence, which is probably going to be mutual influence, or if you like.

[00:00:46] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures [00:01:00] for your true calling in the inspired stewardship podcast. We'll learn to invest in yourself, invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:12] In today's interview with Mike Acker, I asked Mike to share with you why his book speak with no fear is a different kind of speaking book. Mike also shares with you some of his tips from that book on how you can actually speak better without fear. And Mike shares his definition of leadership as well.

[00:01:33] One reason I like to bring you great interviews. Like the one you're going to hear today is because of the power in learning from. Another great way to learn from others is through reading books. But if you're like most people today, you find it hard to find the time to sit down and read. And that's why today's podcast is brought to you by audible.

[00:01:54] Go to inspired stewardship.com/audible to sign up and you can get a [00:02:00] 30 day free trial. There's over 180,000 titles to choose from. And instead of reading, you can listen your way to learn from some of the greatest minds out there. That's inspired stewardship.com/audible to get your free trial and listen to great books the same way you're listening to this podcast.

[00:02:21] Mike Acker is an executive and communication coach, a keynote speaker and the Arthur of four books, including the best-selling speak with no fear, which has appeared on numerous book list, even getting designated as the number one book on overcoming fear of speaking on forums.com. Mike passionately code.

[00:02:42] Business professionals to lead and speak with confidence in presentations, he entertains and inspires audiences using stories of growing up as the son to drug smugglers, who later turned missionaries. He retails and relates lessons learned on [00:03:00] how to overcome insecurity and exclusion and across cultural setting.

[00:03:05] And he unpacks the path from employee to manager. Mike also enjoys rock climbing, wake surfing, skiing church, building Legos with his son and going on dates with his wife. Taylor, Mike believes in the power of prayer, exercise, journaling, and real community to counter the stresses of everyday life. Welcome to the show, Mike.

[00:03:28] Mike Acker: Great to be here. I'm looking forward to talking with you or the next couple of weeks.

[00:03:32] Scott Maderer: Mike we've talked about over the last couple of weeks the word leadership, we talked a little bit about being a leader and how you've grown as a leader yourself for some of the experiences you've had. But I always like to ask the question of how would you define leadership?

[00:03:50] Because over the years, I've discovered that we often define that word differently. So how do you actually define the

[00:03:56] Mike Acker: word leadership? So I'm going to borrow from one of my [00:04:00] virtual mentors. Last time we talked about virtual mentors. And so I've repeated this so many times. I feel like it's mine, but it's not a leadership is influence nothing more, nothing less.

[00:04:11] John Maxwell. And ultimately it's influence. And if you have influence on someone, you have a sort of a type of leadership. So my, my son has some soccer coaches and some baseball coaches, and they have influence on him. Now they're not raising him. They're not teaching them how to read. They're not teaching him spiritual things.

[00:04:33] And then he has a Sunday school teacher, and then he has. School teacher and then he has some friends and some of his friends are older than him. And so they're all influencing. And so there's leadership. So some leadership is going to be bigger if you think about leadership, not as a yes or no on or off button, I'd really think about leadership as maybe 10 levels.

[00:04:54] And you say, yeah, at basic influence, which is probably going to be mutual influence, it could be level. [00:05:00] So my buddy, my son hangs out with some of his buddies. They're mutually influencing each other. They're mutually leading, but there's not a leader there. It's very lowercase L and then there's my wife and I, and we are definitely capital L high level of leadership.

[00:05:17] Number one is life the biggest influences on his life. But along that way, there's going to be all kinds of different people influencing. So think through your life, think through the people in your life and what level of leadership do you have? So Scott and I just meeting, just working together, we're going to now have some levels of influence.

[00:05:35] We talk, we share some ideas, so it maybe level one, but maybe it was some of the coaching clients that we have business or executive or something. Maybe we're a level four. Maybe we've been working with someone for a long time. We're level six. But we get up in front of people and people been watching us, people reading all 10 of my books.

[00:05:53] We'll get that person is going to feel like I'm a big leader in their lights. And I have people who follow my books and follow my readings and [00:06:00] follow my YouTube channel and so pretty high leader in their life. So it really depends on what level of influence you have, but really ultimately if you're influencing someone, you have at least some level of leadership in their lives.

[00:06:16] Scott Maderer: So we talked last week about all of the different books that you have out. And why would you say that speak with no fear is different from a lot of the other speaking books that are out there, because there are a lot of good speaking books out there. And I think you would agree, but what makes your approach a little.

[00:06:38] Yeah,

[00:06:38] Mike Acker: absolutely. When I wrote that book, it was the most requested topic of coaching that I was received. How do I overcome my nurses? How do I overcome my nurses? And we're talking about phenomenal people with extreme expertise and background education saying, how do I get over this topic right here?

[00:06:55] Over the course of time, I developed these different areas. And part of what I developed [00:07:00] these from was my own life. I looked at my own life. In fact, if you read, speak with no fear, especially the first edition it's got so many stories, the second edition that kind of cone down some, the stories, but there's so many stories about me because these strategies were found out the hard way.

[00:07:16] And so I put this out there. So the strategies created this after coaching wrote it, published it, it took off like crazy. I was actually quite astounded by how took off. I never thought it would have the level of success that it continues to have today. Every single day, people by the book, tens twenties, thirties of the book colleges have used it.

[00:07:38] And it's in the second edition. It's been translated into three different languages down or two. So Y I think that the real differentiator is that it is born out of personal. I've been there not, you need to go there. And so when you read it, you [00:08:00] go, oh, if Mike can do this, in fact, literally somebody on audible left his comment.

[00:08:05] I said, I don't know, like the book, but I guess one takeaway is if Mike can do this, And he's not that great, then I can't do that. Yeah, I'll take,

[00:08:16] Scott Maderer: I'll take that. I'll put that

[00:08:18] Mike Acker: cause I didn't start out. If you listened to one of the previous episodes, I talked about my speech impediment. As a kid, I talked about my overcoming an accent and learning to speak a different language and the difficulty I had for years, it didn't come natural to me.

[00:08:30] And then having to come back to United States and get re acculturated after seven years and having some miserable failures where I was extremely embarrassed. Getting to a spot where I've speaking to 6,000 people on a weekend, 8,000 people on a weekend, 3000 people in one setting in India, 3000 people in Skagit county.

[00:08:50] And all of a sudden this guy who is not Tony Robbins and didn't come out with just the perfect diction, perfect oration [00:09:00] was able to get to the spot which I've been able to get to. And so it's an invitation look, Hey, I get it. Me too. Okay, come with me. You don't have to feel like you're alone on this because I'm there.

[00:09:13] A lot of other books are more, this is what you do. And this is who I am. And this is who you can be. And even the upcoming book that will already have been released by the time of this speak with confidence, I really talked to people through a framework. That's very distinct. A lot of public speaking books tend to be the same.

[00:09:31] This is what you need to do. And so I've tried to shift away from just the mechanics of speaking. And there's definitely a place for that. There's lots of books on that to more of a, an encouragement, a coach, a person to person. I literally had people fly out to me just to talk about my book.

[00:09:50] Scott Maderer: Yeah. And I have a history of having speech therapy and also doing a bunch of public speaking and having a speech impediment.

[00:09:58] And I actually think there's a [00:10:00] lot. Public speakers who have overcome something and then their own life it could be a speech impediment. It could be coming from a poor background, it could be other things. And I wonder why do you have any insight as to why there would be that relationship between a lot of folks that go out and become public speakers and some having some of those challenges and their, in their own past history.

[00:10:26] Mike Acker: I think there's a sense in, I hated how I felt before, whatever that before was. I hated how I felt before. And so I want to help people overcome that. Now there's also a time for I hated how I felt before. So I became awesome and I want to show people how awesome I am. So there are definitely people in that camp and I've met those people, but there's a lot of people who I didn't like what I had, I learned and I to share that with others.

[00:10:52] So I actually represent some different speakers and there's a lot of people who are on my speaking roster who have a before. [00:11:00] And then how they got so-called fixed or what they learned. And now I to share it with others, for example, Bart Berkey is fantastic communicator and he worked for years as an executive global recruiter for Ritz-Carlton.

[00:11:16] And so there's a before I didn't know how to do this. I didn't know the value of this. I learned the value of this, and now I want to share it with other people. Pamela Hawley. She went on a vacation when she was a kid and saw all the poverty in the world and she thought, man, those people could be my friends and I want to do something.

[00:11:34] So she's the problem. And then I have then since then something with the problems started universal. Dot org and she matches volunteers does some incredible work. And so she now wants to talk to people about that. So most of the time there's a sense of, I want to help people, but sometimes there are some people who just say I'm good.

[00:11:56] And I want people to see how

[00:11:57] Scott Maderer: good I am. Yeah. But that, [00:12:00] again

[00:12:00] If we're talking about this from the point of view of, it's not about you, you know what we talked about last week, they're usually it's, it is about them and and that has its own issues that usually come out at some point is the way I would put it. One of the pieces of advice that I've seen you give to people about speaking and other things I've seen you talk about.

[00:12:24] In your books and other venues is this idea of smile, pause and breathe. Can you talk a little bit about why you emphasize those three things?

[00:12:37] Mike Acker: Yeah, my gosh I could boil down some of my books down to those three words. So you don't want to read some books just smile, pause, and breathe. Those three things will actually help you get better in your communication period.

[00:12:51] They'll develop your influence. So why should you pause pauses, create a gap that's filled with the interest of the audience. This is also an speak [00:13:00] with confidence. My book that came out in December and pauses, what they do. Like you just heard me do that right there is. Instead of me saying I took a pause and so if you slow down.

[00:13:13] So your pauses or use your pauses, then you don't end up saying and in and or elongation and actually causes more subconscious interest than you might even think. Often. We're so rushed that we end up not actually speaking that fast. People think they speak fast. I literally time people and they think they're speaking fast, but really what they're doing is they're speaking with lots of.

[00:13:41] Garbage words, lots of ums and elongation. And then I'll ask him to speak the same thing again, and we'll work on slowing it down and adding in some pauses. Amazing the same amount of content. They say it better to say more intelligible and more [00:14:00] interesting. So if you can pause and I can go on and on about that, it's in the speaker will speak with confidence as well.

[00:14:05] It's one of my top skills I tell people to do. There's actually some interesting ways that we can use pasta. Another one kind of fun one, which is not really about pausing in a speech as possibly for a speech. There's been times where I've actually stepped on stage. And now Mike Akard people applaud. I walk up on stage and I breathe, smile and pause, and I'll do a long pause.

[00:14:27] I don't do this a lot. And you got to use this one sparing, but the long pause we'll pause. I'll look around at the audience, what I'm doing here on our zoom call. And then I will say some kind of one-liner. It's interesting. When you pause, people are just ready for you to speak, ready for you to go for it.

[00:14:45] Think about Terry crews and America's got talent. And the winner is like, who is it telling me? Tell me, tell him to tell him so pauses are so powerful. They do so much. The second one is to smile. Did you know that call centers [00:15:00] are told to smile and it's, as you can hear a smile, let me tell you how you can hear a smile.

[00:15:08] One of the things that smile does is it changes what's happening in your. And you throughout your life have watched people talk and smile and talk and not smile. So your mind, which is super smart, picks up and is able to differentiate on a very subconscious level, whether the person's happy with. We're not because he processed for so long.

[00:15:30] What it sounds like for someone to smile or not smile when they talk, what happens is that your mouth is opening up. So if you don't smile, like I'm not going to smile right now. Now you're not going to be able to pick this up on a conscious level, most likely, but now I'm going to not smile. So here I am not smiling.

[00:15:47] And I'm talking to you. And so some of the. Some of the sound waves are not getting out because my mouth is not opening up as much now, more down. Yeah. And now I'm going to smile and I'm not going [00:16:00] to try to change anything else, except for now I'm smiling and you might be able to pick it up, but most likely you can't, but your mind can.

[00:16:06] So now there's sound waves that are getting out simply because I'm smiling. So you think about how your lips can change the sound when you whistle, what do you do? You move your lips. Yeah. And that causes that different sound. And so that's, what's happening when you're smiling and lose your lips differently.

[00:16:23] It also helps you do a whole bunch of other stuff. It releases neuropeptides into your system, causing you to feel happier. It makes you look more attractive, not our romantic sense, but ah, I want us to them as well as it actually makes you think other people are more attractive. So I have another book actually.

[00:16:37] It's going to be my 11th book coming out where I just talk about smiles, ad nauseum and so important, but the third one is breathing and. I was, sometimes I do go what other people are saying about speaking? So I did this about eight months ago or so, and someone said, don't take a deep breath before you speak.

[00:16:56] I thought what? That's weird, but [00:17:00] go ahead and do this right where you're driving or you're watching. Take a moment and take a deep breath. Everybody go ahead and take a deep breath.

[00:17:05] Okay. Now let me ask you a question. Did your shoulders go up or down? Because if your shoulders went up or down, You took a shallow deep breath, meaning you took a deep breath, reinflated your lungs at the top part, the bottom part, as a result of that, you're not going to speak naturally from your diaphragm.

[00:17:25] Now, if you think about your diaphragm, it's like a pump when you breathe in pump goes down. Yeah. And then when you breathe up, I wish you could see this. The pump goes back up. The more that you're able to use and engage the diaphragm, the more your vocal cords are going to be open to Volk box can be open.

[00:17:41] There's a whole bunch of things that happen when you use your diaphragm. So your breath, if you're using it a deep breath, not like a shallow breath is actually going to make your voice sound better. That's going to make you feel more peace. Think about yoga, breathing, yoga, and it's all about. The [00:18:00] breath into the belly, push the belly out, let go of the abs.

[00:18:03] Don't worry about core strength right now. Just take a deep breath in, breathe it back out. If you take a shallow breath into your chest cavity, like a lot of people probably did. See us can even sound different right there. And now, as I start talking with that shallow breath from here, you can even hear that my voice is a little bit more strict, restricted, and that's what this person said right here is all of a sudden, now your voice is actually tighter.

[00:18:27] And so it's actually not going to sound as good. You're not going to feel good because when you hyperventilate where you're breathing from your upper chest, And you're getting nervous and it has actual effect on your body. So take a deep breath from the inside. You're going to come across more authoritative, more clear, more powerful.

[00:18:45] So smile. Bri and poss

[00:18:51] Scott Maderer: And I think it's interesting because part of it is learning to breathe correctly to because there is, there's [00:19:00] a wrong way to breathe. That sounds silly because. What are you talking about? I breathing my entire life. It's yeah, but when you're going to do speaking, there's a wrong way to breathe,

[00:19:08] Mike Acker: too.

[00:19:08] And even in that, one of the things that we're taught so much is to hold our core tight and we want to suck it in. And so we walk around. If you're thinking about that, like I've just stuck to my gut in, and now I'm sitting up in the second, my gut in, and now all of a sudden I'm going to start breathing from my chest cavity instead of, and you can hear the difference can't you can hear the difference in my voice right now because I changed whatever.

[00:19:31] So when I'm speaking, I typically have a suit jacket on, which is nice. Yeah. I typically will wear some darker colors. I just let my belly go. Now I'm not extremely out of shape. And I think, but it's still, it's not as flattering as the second. Get in what you do for a picture and I'd take deep belly breaths.

[00:19:49] If you think about singers are going to stand up typically, and they're going to deep belly breath. And so they can use a full diaphragm to push it back up. [00:20:00] So check it out, try it out, look up some YouTube videos, sign up for coaching session with myself. We'll work on some breeds.

[00:20:06] Scott Maderer: So I'm the sound guy at my church.

[00:20:09] And so we run the AB team and we have. A lot of times we'll have a solo from the one of the choir members. We actually have the daughter of, one of our choir members is a professional opera singer and Hey, do you know, travels does the whole bit and every once in a while, she'll come in and do a guest solo.

[00:20:32] And it's amazing the difference because at the back of the room when the choir members are singing, it's turn it up, pump up the sound res make it sound richer. When she sings. It's turn it down, turn it out get she'll just blow everybody out of the room because Y she's singing in a completely different way.

[00:20:52] Physiologically. And so her voice is actually much richer, much stronger, much louder. [00:21:00] We're not having to do as much work on the back end to make sure that everyone can hear and understand what she's doing.

[00:21:08] Mike Acker: Absolutely. Absolutely. I would encourage everybody to take some analysis of your own speaking.

[00:21:15] Are you pausing? Are you smiled, engaging that, connecting with people through spouse and are you breathing and if not choose one of those and do some work for every single day in the mirror for two minutes.

[00:21:28] Scott Maderer: So that kind of leads us to the last question is somebody who's done a lot of speaking yourself and of course you've trained other speakers.

[00:21:36] Do you have any last tips that you'd like to share with people who are working on developing their influence through.

[00:21:44] Mike Acker: Yeah, absolutely. So actually did a YouTube video about this not too long ago. And I've talked about how to become a paid public speaker. So there's five different elements that you do and I'll walk through them pretty quick.

[00:21:54] But the first one is you can have an amazing story. Like Bethany Hamilton, she was surfing when she [00:22:00] was a teenager and Hawaii. Bitter arm off, she overcame it and now she has speaking. Now she didn't have any thing else that I'm going to talk to you about the other four different areas that you can build a platform for speaking, but she had an amazing story.

[00:22:15] It was so people quite literally hire her to come tell her story that they are. Yeah, but she's got an amazing story. I had a gentleman one time, I paid him money to come to speak to my church and had an amazing story as a story you sell. And if you've got an amazing story, then you can build your influence based on your story.

[00:22:35] Okay, second one, you can have a product. So what is it, your product that you have? Some people have a book and so they become a speaker from their book. Hey, I wrote this book, come have me speak. Maybe I have a story. Maybe I don't, but I have a book and my book teaches you about this. So think about Simon, really arguably the thing that really made him huge was his whole idea.

[00:22:59] It's [00:23:00] product, the book, any of this idea's intriguing when you got it out there on TEDx as well, those two or 10, and it just blew up. We had a product and other people have a product. For example, if you are the CEO of a company or you. One of my clients. He was a chiropractor for years, very successful. And so he had a product of a book that he wrote together and that merges in with the next one.

[00:23:24] Success. If you have observable success, now success is actually what you do daily. That leads you up to a final product. But if you have observable success, a moment of success, then people will pay you to come share that influence with them. So I have a book that has over 600 ratings. Not every book has over 600 ratings has been on forbes.com.

[00:23:45] It's been on other ones. And then I have 10 other books. I have products, I have some stories. So the more of these that you have together, the better, and I have observable success and the observable success, my book, or if you have Jeff [00:24:00] Bezos could get any public speaking opportunity he wants because he's got ridiculous success.

[00:24:05] He creates something called Amazon. So

[00:24:08] Scott Maderer: you got our observable president after they've left off. Yeah. Usually go talk pretty much anywhere they want to and command

[00:24:15] Mike Acker: a high fee. Yeah, exactly. I actually use that in my YouTube. When I talk about the, how to build a speaking one, just because you became the most powerful person in the United States for a while, the fourth one is by affiliation.

[00:24:31] So you think about some people like, think about a pastor at a church. They are an associate pastor gets up on stage and is speaking and is an social pastor at maybe life church or somewhere else. And they have some success there. They do some, a good job there. They're good stewards of their abilities.

[00:24:50] They get up before. And then another church says, Hey, we want to hire your associate pastor, your executive pastor as our pastor. And I see that he [00:25:00] was there. I see that she was there at your church and during a great growth time, we believe that she'd be a great candidate or John Maxwell or. Whoever else if you travel around with, for example, I think Jim Rowan got his start with another motivational speaker and he an opener, or if you think about opening acts for musicians often.

[00:25:24] I know opening act becomes a big deal, but partly because they're getting exposed to the audience of the main person. And so housing for example, opened up for other bands and she then was able to get a hold of the audience of imagine dragons. And people said, oh, who's Halsy. I liked that. So that associated act, so who are you affiliated to?

[00:25:46] And the fifth one is a wild personality. So some people, their personality is just so crazy and intriguing and interesting that they might not have observable success, but they're just a trendsetter. They're [00:26:00] just out there. They're just new. You just want to see them. You just want to be around them.

[00:26:05] Maybe charismatic or just maybe crazy or maybe funny, whatever it is, but it's their personality that attracts it to them. And those are the five normal ones. Then I add on a sixth element and really this one right here, the six element can build your speaking platform in and of itself, but it's best paired with one or two of the other ones and it's work your butt off and it's put yourself out there.

[00:26:30] It's do these things. It's the network it's connected. Emails it's rejection itself. It's trying, it's working it and working it. I know people who don't necessarily have any of these other five elements, one a keynote speaker. I know. Okay. Story, nothing major, a decent amount of success, but nothing that people will say, wow, you didn't have any products at that point in time, wasn't really affiliated with anything that would get them up on stage and you didn't really have a [00:27:00] wild personality.

[00:27:00] It was pretty solid. So how did he become extremely successful? You just kept working. So if you have these and you put them together, like Jeff Bezos, for example, he's got wild success. He's got a crazy product, a couple of now it and and he's got a story of working his butt off, and then he worked his butt off.

[00:27:20] So all kinds of different ways and reasons why he could get any platform he wants.

[00:27:25] Scott Maderer: You can follow Mike over on Facebook is Mike aker.com. That's all spelled out. M I K E a C K E R D O T C O M. Or find him on LinkedIn is Mike Aker. You can also find out more about him on his website. Mike acker.com. Of course I'll have links to all of this over the show notes as well. Mike, is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

[00:27:51] Mike Acker: We go back to something I said in the very first episode where you are, is not where you have to say it, take a moment and write some things about the [00:28:00] status quo about your life. Then choose one of those health communication, leadership money. Choose one of those and write down where you want to go. And then backwards track how to get there, where you are, is not where you have to stay.

[00:28:17] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the inspired stewardship podcast, as a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode. Please do us a favor. Go over to inspired stewardship.com/itunes rate.

[00:28:46] All one word iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out [00:29:00] in your feed until next time investor. Your talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact the world.


In today's episode, I ask Mike about:

  • Why his book “Speak with No Fear” is a different speaking book...
  • Some of his tips from that book on how to speak better without fear...
  • His definition of leadership as well...
  • and more.....

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

I make a commission for purchases made through the following link.

So some leadership is going to be bigger if you think about leadership not as yes or no or an on or off button. But instead I think of influence as maybe 10 levels. – Mike Acker

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Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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