Category: Own Your Platform (page 2 of 3)

012 – Coaching workshop part 1

Isaiah coaches Nathanael for an upcoming presentation. Listen to part one to hear how Isaiah coaches; listen to part two to discover how the coaching worked for Nathanael and why Isaiah made the coaching decisions he did.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Show notes

PART ONE: Coaching workshop

Isaiah opened with a seemingly random story: Isaiah’s Dad attended his trumpet playing lessons. He then actually connected the story to this episode’s theme: real live coaching.

Nathanael has a nice gig coming up: a breakout speaking slot during the Marketo Marketing Nation conference in San Francisco. His slides are locked, but he has some concerns about what to actually say and how to own the platform.

Bonus lesson learned: why did Marketo pick Nathanael’s talk? Clickbait in the wild—or ‘conference bait,’ according to Isaiah.

The process Nathanael used to develop his presentation may be interesting—if you ever wonder how people come up with what to say—it involved conversations, audio recordings thereof, and hand-drawn visuals.

While Nathanael is retrospecting on the exciting development of his presentation, work he’s already done and is happy with, Isaiah jumps in with a stunningly clarifying yet simple coaching question.

Isaiah helps clarify Nathanael’s goal—being memorable—and offers two recommendations to accomplish the goal.

First: the crux of the message should be a single memorable, quotable phrase (employing a figure of speech). Isaiah’s analysis on why this should be the case will apply to the next thing you say, no matter what the platform. He also, helpfully, explains how to develop these phrases.

(Quote of the episode “I’m excited, I now have homework!” —Nathanael)

Second: as a workshop presented, deploy a menu of real tactics that engage the audience in the topic, breaking the “I’m the presenter; you’re the audience” mold. This will create energy in the room and make the workshop memorable. Isaiah then offers a guardrail on how not to do this: don’t ask questions first, as a warmup, that’s an immediate ask of the audience, with nothing offered first. Nathanael has a few ideas to deploy in the talk.

PART TWO: Debriefing the Coaching Session

After the 18.5-minute coaching session, Isaiah asks for a net promoter score. Nathanael answers yes!

The presentation has created some trepidation and fear for Nathanael, most of it irrational. Talking with Isaiah about the workshop itself, using objective facts, helped Nathanael realize what will be gained by giving it his best shot.

Isaiah wonders if the talking aloud about the presentation was as helpful as talking through the presentation, and Nathanael thinks it was the most helpful. He developed a “swing thought.”

The hosts decide that OYP has no official position on the moon landing. However Isaiah does recommend a reading a related speech for inspiration.

Nathanael offers a Powerpoint study from the non-profit world that helped him make his presentation; Isaiah tells him why he remembered the title of the study.

Email your questions for the coaches to


011 – Book Commentary: “Confessions of a Public Speaker”

Summary:  Isaiah constantly references “Confessions of a Public Speaker” by Scott Berkun, so the hosts dedicated an entire episode to get the book out of his system. Hear the hosts supplement Berkun’s pithy prose with personal anecdotes.

Show Notes:

Isaiah steals the show and takes on the role of host. Despite having no idea what’s coming to him, Nathanael managed in interject a few salient points, starting with a dissection of the myth of razor blades in halloween candy. (Lesson learned: Never advise people to picture others in their underwear.)

First except. Isaiah introduces the first topic with a pithy quote from Confessions, mistakes that come from nerves, fear, and butterflies. Nathanael talks about seeing his hands shake when speaking and how his coaches told him to respond.

Note: this episode has some odd, weird, and yet effective transitions between topics. All in all an abnormal energy episode, as Isaiah is in the drivers seat and Nathanael can only interject via free association.

Second excerpt. Isaiah’s second major quote, from Confessions, puts you in the seats of an auditorium and the brains of an audience. That leads Nathanael to a less-than-clever joke, some additional jokes about workplace meetings, and then finally some thoughtful discussion about meetings. Just what makes meetings or debate rounds memorable is something out of the ordinary. Discussion: how to harness this energy without making mistakes.

Right before the break the hosts forget which episode was the one where Nathanael mistakenly showed porn to the entire audience. It was Episode 6.


The hosts ponder the eternal question: presentation zen or presentation sin?

Among top sins, focusing on the Powerpoints tops Nathanael’s list. He describes the very personal act of deleting someone else’s words & slides and the very coaching act of telling people to practice.

Nathanael’s advice: shift attention from slides to the person talking. He tells the story of a time this tip caused Powerpoint chaos before a big presentation.

Isaiah presses the question: how many slides do I need? Nathanael gives a two-part answer: how two different types of people use compelling visuals in two different ways.

In a somewhat complete change of subject, Isaiah told the story of how he manically rearranged the room right before one of his colleagues gave an important workshop. Learn why the room was messed up and how he brought order to chaos. (Hint: it’s all about connecting with people, the ancients, and the fact that they didn’t have Powerpoints.)

Mic drop moment: do you want to connect to people or a screen? (Asked Isaiah, to you the listener.)

Listen for: the iPhone timer interrupting a very salient point from Isaiah TWICE!

Edit: the author’s name was previously misspelled “Burken” instead of “Berkun”.

010 – Best Advice We’ve Ever Gotten

The hosts share the best communication advice they’ve ever received and the embarrassing stories to go along with it.


Say less 1:30
Don’t be a hack 3:25
— Break —
Being eyore: Isaiah’s mistake 8:50
The meeting about me: Nathanael’s Mistake 14:00
(new segment!) Thought provoking things 19:34


Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
“Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? […] The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.”

009 – How to give effective criticism (part 2)

Cumulatively, Isaiah and Nathanael have given feedback professionally for over 15 years. In this episode, they reach into the past and discuss the secret sauce that makes their criticism pop.

Part 1, Part 2


Criticism in debate 0:40
— Break —
Criticism at work 14:20


Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
“In this indispensable guide, […] discover that sticky messages of all kinds–from the infamous “kidney theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship to a vision for a new product at Sony–draw their power from the same six traits.”

Effective Coaching: Lessons from the Coach’s Coach
“A pragmatic and passionate guide that establishes the many benefits of coaching in order to create a working environment for individuals and organizations to ensure that both fulfill their full potential.”

007 – Slay the Dragon

Starting with Nathanael’s experience building a website for Heritage Action, the hosts explore why storytelling, not listing features, is key to selling technology successfully.


The Dragon: Online Political Activism 1:40
— Break —
Be Like Yoda, Not Luke 11:20
Listener Question: Profanity 18:45


The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs is as close as you’ll ever get to having the master presenter himself speak directly in your ear. Communications expert Carmine Gallo has studied and analyzed the very best of Jobs’s performances, offering point-by-point examples, tried-and-true techniques, and proven presentation secrets[.]”

006 – When Disaster Strikes

Learn what to do when a presentation goes horribly wrong. Nathanael tells about the time he accidentally showed porn at a live workshop, and Isaiah tells about the time an angry audience member charged him with a pointed finger.


Nathanael’s Story 0:16
— Break —
Isaiah’s Story 11:00


Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun
“In this hilarious and highly practical book, author and professional speaker Scott Berkun reveals the techniques behind what great communicators do, and shows how anyone can learn to use them well. For managers and teachers — and anyone else who talks and expects someone to listen — Confessions of a Public Speaker provides an insider’s perspective on how to effectively present ideas to anyone. It’s a unique, entertaining, and instructional romp through the embarrassments and triumphs Scott has experienced over 15 years of speaking to crowds of all sizes.”

005 – Video Killed the Podcast Star

Producer Elijah Schow joins Isaiah and Nathanael to talk about video’s dominance of communication. From Nathanael’s theory about why SNL is less live than ever before to Elijah’s description of the types of cuts used in a popular vlog, the OYP team get into the video weeds. Isaiah saved the day by showing how video isn’t much different from good communication in general.


Introducing the Producer 0:30
Hooked on Video 2:05
— Break —
What Separates the Best from the Rest? 10:55
Filtering Out the Noise 16:10
The Secret Ingredient 21:15


There are no book recommendations this time, but if you want to recommend a book for the hosts to read, send them an email.

004 – Mastering the Mighty Pen

Writing is a neglected discipline in business. In this episode, Isaiah and Nathanael discuss how effective writing can revive meetings and stand out amidst the noisiest inbox.


Rethinking Meetings 1:30
Think Before You Send 4:16
— Break —
Taming the Email Beast 11:10
Adjusting to Your Audience 19:00


The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam
“Drawing on twenty years of experience and the latest discoveries in vision science, Roam teaches readers how to clarify any problem or sell any idea using a simple set of tools. He reveals that everyone is born with a talent for visual thinking, even those who swear they can’t draw. And he shows how thinking with pictures can help you discover and develop new ideas, solve problems in unexpected ways, and dramatically improve your ability to share your insights.”

“Let’s focus on all those big meetings that we have in our career. The ones where you close multi-million dollar deals, hire your next C-Suite Executive or report your company’s quarterly quarterly performance to your board. Oftentimes you may end up achieving nothing to write home about or worse – creating unnecessary work or problems for yourself! And in order to solve this, you would probably get caught in a vicious cycle of meetings. Here’s what I do to stop […]”

003 – What Rhymes with Alison Lundergan Grimes?

Most politicians are terrible at answering questions, and, in this episode, the Daring Duo untangles one politician’s particularly awful non-answer. From there they cover how to craft effective questions and how talk with your boss.


There are no book recommendations this time, but if you want to recommend a book for the hosts to read, send them an email.


A Reason to Dislike Politics 0:23
Making a Difference without Politics 4:16
Recovering from Disaster 8:22
— Break —
Asking Helpful Questions 10:33
Answering Your Boss’ Questions 12:59
Avoiding Selfish Questions 19:25