My Stagecoach to Pumpkin Moment | Getting Feedback so it Won’t Hurt


My Stagecoach to Pumpkin Moment

Have you ever lived a Cinderella moment?  I know I have. Back in 1996 I was poor. I mean really poor. I made about five thousand dollars of the entire year. That was as a commentator for Voice of America Radio Network. I was actually living in a commune, and just ramshackle furniture kind of place where there’s 10 feet of stack newspapers, cats are running around but I live there rent-free. Well I got booked to appear on the Montel Williams Show which was a big thing in the United States. Back then it was a syndicated talk show kind of like an Oprah Winfrey Show at its peak. Around this time, it had 10 million viewers a day.

So I got my one and only suit and tie on, got dressed up went outside. There was the biggest, longest stretch limousine. I do not mean a regular. I mean a stretch limousine that I had ever seen. It seemed like it covered the entire block. I got in there is a full bar and they whisked me off to the Montel Williams show. Did I feel like I was king of the world at that moment? Did the show I thought it went well? We were discussing and debating main tells new book. He had a variety of pundits and commentators on the program. The show went well. It seemed like practically a party, fantastic studio audience, and then there is the giant stretch limousine waiting for me. That takes me back home I get back and there I am. Essentially my slum. I take my suit off and I go out to dinner.  It was the $1 slice of Pizza that is all I could afford. 

Here is my point to you: when you see people on TV in the media, in your local newspaper’s national newspapers, it does not mean they are that much more successful than you or richer than you. It just means they position themselves to have a say on a particular issue. They want to speak out. So my challenge to you is:  do not wait till everything else is perfect in your career. Do not wait till you are a hundred percent financially secure or all is perfect with your career or your life. If you have got something you want to speak out on. Go ahead. Be Cinderella at the ball for an evening. You will not forget it.  You will enjoy and it may lead to other things that particular show more than probably any other show I have done. I have done more than 2,000 national international local TV and radio shows over the last thirty years. I got more feedback from that my doorman saw it, people that bars saw it, people commented on it. At least in my own mind I was like a mini celebrity for about four or five days after the show ran. So I would not say turn it down but also realize you can be the toast at one minute, driving around the big limousine but then you are back and you turn back into a pumpkin.

Okay so why do I tell that story? I do want people to realize that regardless of where they are in their career they can sometimes go right to the top national media. There is the sense that somehow you have to pay your dues, local media for years and years and years and then regional media then national media after you’re really big and successful. No it does not have to be that way I know people who their very first talk show appearance ever was live primetime CNN a Larry King. Back when that was a really big deal. So that is the point there look for opportunities. No matter where you are in your career. No matter what age.

Getting Feedback so it Won’t Hurt

If you’re a beginner when it comes to your communication skills, the idea of asking people for feedback, it’s probably a little scary. I don’t want to hear people trashing me. Don’t think of it as a trashing. Think of that is than being your editor then being your coach then really helping you. You need to ask for feedback. That’s the only way you improve.

Many of the best speakers in the world started off with a baseline of skill lower than yours. Some of them were just awful but they got used to asking for feedback and making slight improvement. In just a moment Udemy is going to ask you for feedback on this course. If they haven’t already. They’re gonna ask you to rate it. If you think the course is great and fantastic by all means go ahead and rate it right now. But if you see specific things you would like to improve that you think it’s lacking. Send me a direct message and then ideally by the time you finish the course. I’ll already made the improvements because as much as I think I’m great and I have given successful speeches all over the world. I’ve done communication skills workshops all over the world. I have more than 100 communication skills courses here on Udemy. I’m still trying to get better. I’m still trying to improve and that’s why I need feedback from you. So please send some feedback to me. If you’d think the course isn’t great and you can hold off your rating till the end you can always change the rating.

So a lot of people do ask for feedback and you see it at conferences rate speakers from one to ten or one to five or four stars or gold stars. Certainly some of that can be useful. But I want to give you advance tip. Even though your beginner because this will shorten your learning. Help you save time and get a lot better very quickly. The secret to getting feedback isn’t asking people to rate you on a one to five scale or 1 to 10 scale. It’s asking them what do they remember from your presentation. That’s infinitely more important so I’m going to practice what I preach. I’m going to do that to you right now. I’m going to ask you what do you take away from this presentation. So far what messages that are helpful to you. That you might actually want to try is sticking so far. So please post that in the discussion section right now. Give me your feedback so far even though it’s early in the course. Go ahead and rate the course if you think everything is great. And then any other feedback you can message me right here on udemy. Please please realize I read every single comment all feedback I look at and take very seriously.

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