Episode 1

Hello World! What is Ongoing Mastery?

In this debut episode of Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking, Kirsten Rourke explains why ongoing mastery is crucial for presenters’ and speakers’ development of their craft. Kirsten shares two stories that are the foundation of her work today and gives an overview of the kinds of topics she’ll be talking about with Kellie Donovan-Condron each week.

Key take-aways:

  • All presenters and speakers need to continually work on their craft 
  • Kirsten is building a community of presenters and speakers to support each other's growth
  • Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking will cover a wide range of topics – building engagement, connecting with your audience, voice control, body work, design, stagecraft, storytelling – and more
  • Join the LinkedIn group to continue the conversation and tell us what topics you’d like to hear about: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/14104216/

Join our Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking Skills group on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/14104216/


Rourke Training’s webpage: https://www.rourketraining.com/

Ongoing Masgtery: Presenting & Speaking page: https://ongoing-mastery.captivate.fm/


RSS feed: https://feeds.captivate.fm/ongoing-mastery/

Download a transcript of this episode: https://share.descript.com/view/sdjepoUOc3V

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kirstenrourke/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kirstenmalenarourke

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kirstenrourke?lang=en

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rourketraining/

Transcript
Kirsten:

Welcome to Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking.

Kirsten:

It's a podcast and a community I'm Kirsten Rourke, speaker, presenter,

Kirsten:

and founder of Rourke Training.

Kirsten:

And this is Kellie.

Kellie:

Hey there!

Kellie:

I'm Kellie, producer, writer, and herder of cats.

Kirsten:

Oh, so many cats.

Kirsten:

After over 20 years as a speaker and presenter, I've seen it all

Kirsten:

and I'm sharing it with you.

Kirsten:

Ongoing mastery is about continual improvement of your craft.

Kirsten:

You'll learn tips and hear from industry leaders.

Kirsten:

I'll tell you straight up what works and what doesn't so you can thrive.

Kirsten:

Let's get started.

Kirsten:

Welcome to episode one.

Kirsten:

Hello World!

Kirsten:

In this podcast, we're going to be introducing the series,

Kirsten:

talking about ongoing mastery, explaining who I am, Kirsten Rourke,

Kellie:

and who I am, Kellie Donovan-Condron,

Kirsten:

a little bit about the background that we're bringing to this,

Kirsten:

and the topics we're talking about.

Kirsten:

We'll be asking you the listener to make comments so that we can shape

Kirsten:

the topics in upcoming episodes around what you're most interested in.

Kellie:

So Kirsten, let's start with the big question.

Kellie:

What is ongoing mastery?

Kirsten:

Ongoing mastery is the belief and the action in continual growth in the

Kirsten:

areas of public speaking and presenting.

Kirsten:

That's what we're focused on.

Kirsten:

Because I've been in the field a long time, and a lot of the things

Kirsten:

that I've learned were hard won.

Kirsten:

They were learned by doing things that were a little uncomfortable,

Kellie:

a little experimental,

Kirsten:

perhaps not the sort of things you want to do, but the sort of things

Kirsten:

you want to tell about at parties afterwards, because it was, "oh dear God.

Kirsten:

I remember when I was asked to teach backwards."

Kellie:

So when was that?

Kellie:

Let's, like, let's hear that story.

Kirsten:

So in Germany in, I don't even remember what year, but I was a

Kirsten:

freelance technical trainer, public speaker, instructional designer.

Kirsten:

I was that hybrid creature and was working in the New England area, bouncing all over

Kirsten:

the place, doing gigs, and got a chance to go overseas and do a sales rollout.

Kirsten:

I got bootcamped by Linda who I'm going to put in the show notes as a

Kirsten:

shout-out because Linda, you're awesome.

Kirsten:

It was the most amazing thorough prep I've ever had.

Kirsten:

And it actually set the stage for the work I'm doing now.

Kirsten:

A bunch of us were brought in as trainers to learn the material.

Kirsten:

But, normally when you're teaching something, you're asked to teach

Kirsten:

it in a linear fashion, front to back scaffolded content.

Kirsten:

Each thing builds on the next, and that's fine and that's accurate, but if

Kirsten:

you're doing it freelance, especially you have to be able to take that stuff

Kirsten:

apart, put it into new shapes, deal with any questions or any things that were

Kirsten:

thrown at you and pivot in the moment.

Kirsten:

So the bootcamp experience that I had and the rest of the team had, was we

Kirsten:

were all taught the concept of the work and the order it was normally taught in.

Kirsten:

But then we were taught it in chunks and we were given questions, random questions

Kirsten:

about the material or things that were off the material and tossed at us so

Kirsten:

that we had to deal with them, show how we would be responding to them in real

Kirsten:

time and also adapt the content as needed because we were going to be on our own.

Kellie:

Thrown in the deep end of the pool and told to swim.

Kirsten:

Completely.

Kirsten:

And I was doggy paddling to save my life.

Kirsten:

And at the end there were five of us that got through the program.

Kirsten:

Two of us did Europe for that rollout.

Kirsten:

One did North America, one in South America, and one person did Asia

Kirsten:

Pacific all by themselves, dear God.

Kirsten:

And it was a wonderful experience.

Kirsten:

I did it multiple, I did it twice and it was amazing.

Kirsten:

When I went for the first time to Frankfurt, I was

Kirsten:

prepared to teach the material.

Kirsten:

And as I said, I've been bootcamped really well, but I got my first real world

Kirsten:

encounter of oh God, you're on your own.

Kirsten:

You're being asked to do it in a completely different way.

Kirsten:

My contact person came up to me and said, "Um, we have a problem," which

Kirsten:

is always what you want to hear.

Kirsten:

Right.

Kellie:

So reassuring.

Kirsten:

And I wasn't panicking at all.

Kellie:

No.

Kirsten:

No.

Kirsten:

And so I was saying, "you know, we, we have the material in the course

Kirsten:

that is creating the contact and creating the sale and, uh, submitting

Kirsten:

the sale and then processing it.

Kirsten:

And that last piece of the submission and process, that's the part that is

Kirsten:

most important to us, the part that has the new features we really need.

Kirsten:

And well, the software is being served from your country.

Kirsten:

It's coming out of Houston.

Kirsten:

So when you wake up, our computers get slow and we really need that to work.

Kirsten:

So I need you to put that material first."

Kellie:

Right.

Kirsten:

Yeah.

Kirsten:

So my response was, "Of course I can do that.

Kirsten:

Sure.

Kirsten:

No problem."

Kirsten:

And as you'll discover, when my voice goes up, generally, that's a sign

Kirsten:

that I'm having a panic attack or I'm otherwise going, "oh, dear God."

Kirsten:

Because when I hit the Mickey Mouse voice, that's when it's like,

Kirsten:

oh, the ground has opened up and swallowing me whole, what do I do?

Kirsten:

So I went back to my hotel room, went upstairs, grabbed

Kirsten:

a pillow, and screamed into it

Kellie:

As one does

Kirsten:

until I couldn't scream anymore.

Kirsten:

And then I sat down and opened up my deck and I reordered my slides and created

Kirsten:

the narrative to connect the new order, teaching the material basically backwards.

Kirsten:

If I had not been prepped to look at the content as modular bits, if I had not been

Kirsten:

prepped to make the narrative connection points between those content pieces,

Kirsten:

I would not have been able to do this.

Kellie:

It just would've been blocks and they would have made no sense.

Kellie:

They just would have been individual things that the team you're training

Kellie:

had to figure out how they worked.

Kirsten:

Yeah, we'd have to do, "Here we're showing this

Kirsten:

and now we're going to stop.

Kirsten:

And now we're showing this."

Kirsten:

And that's not going to help learners.

Kirsten:

That's not going to help your audience.

Kirsten:

That would never work.

Kirsten:

So I thought that was pretty much the big thing that was gonna be thrown

Kirsten:

at me until I went to the next city.

Kellie:

Duh, duh, dun

Kirsten:

So Lisbon's wonderful.

Kirsten:

I love it.

Kirsten:

It's amazing.

Kirsten:

Uh, go to the Club de Fado.

Kirsten:

It's wonderful.

Kirsten:

And, when I was in the Lisbon office, I was supposed to teach four hours

Kirsten:

of specific material for the country manager and I had a time slot.

Kirsten:

They came in, sat down and said, "I will give you 90 minutes."

Kirsten:

Okay.

Kirsten:

So I wasn't asked to do the content in a different order.

Kirsten:

I was asked to compress it.

Kirsten:

And luckily, that was also part of the prep I had.

Kirsten:

We had been asked to highlight out the different areas that were the most

Kirsten:

important, everything was important, but some things were the most important.

Kellie:

Extra important.

Kirsten:

And those pieces had to be the ones that stayed.

Kirsten:

So you have to be able to accordion stretch and compress your content.

Kirsten:

And I knew that already as a trainer, but doing it on the fly

Kirsten:

like that was quite a challenge.

Kirsten:

And luckily I had been trained in that.

Kirsten:

So going from Frankfurt to Lisbon and having that experience kind

Kirsten:

of set the foundational knowledge that a lot of my work and our work,

Kirsten:

and when I say our, I mean, Rourke Training, that's the group that's

Kirsten:

doing this podcast that we bring to our presentation skills and speaking skills.

Kellie:

So, like, kind of presentation and speaking skills do you want

Kellie:

to talk about on this podcast?

Kirsten:

What we're going to talk about, and again, this is going to

Kirsten:

flex a lot based on our feedback.

Kirsten:

So if you want it to be customized to you, you got to give us feedback.

Kirsten:

We're going to talk about voice work, stagecraft, doing scripts, storytelling,

Kirsten:

design work, both instructional design and visual design connecting

Kirsten:

to a crowd, building engagement in online presentations, and so on.

Kirsten:

And I'm going to go back to the design piece because our team, our

Kirsten:

core team, and we have wonderful support around our core team,

Kirsten:

but our core team is four people that have very specific skills for this work.

Kirsten:

And we have me, we've got Kellie, we've got Dani, and we've got Jim.

Kirsten:

Dani, Kellie, and I have all got instructional backgrounds.

Kirsten:

We've all been trainers or teachers.

Kirsten:

We all have instructional design,

Kellie:

but we've all worked with very different populations and so the way

Kellie:

we use our language with our individual populations can be quite different.

Kellie:

I teach college level writing and public speaking, for example,

Kirsten:

and Dani taught in the K-to-12 system.

Kirsten:

She taught everything really, lot of focus on English, but pretty much

Kirsten:

anything that was thrown at her.

Kirsten:

And I was a corporate trainer that was freelance for, again,

Kirsten:

whatever was thrown at me.

Kirsten:

So what we've discovered is that when we have those, those moments of

Kirsten:

language, where if I say we're going to go for a higher level of X, that

Kirsten:

means a different thing to Kellie than it does to Dani than it does to me.

Kirsten:

And so we're going to include those because sometimes when you're working

Kirsten:

with other people who are in the presentation or speaking world, the fact

Kirsten:

that your language means different things with the same words is not obvious.

Kellie:

Right.

Kellie:

And because it sounds similar enough until you discover, oh wait,

Kellie:

this is a little bit of a nuance.

Kellie:

This is something specific for this target audience.

Kellie:

You want to make sure your voice is heard effectively because your

Kellie:

language lands with your audience.

Kirsten:

And that's what we're really driving for is the podcast is the

Kirsten:

kickoff for our community building.

Kirsten:

We're building the ongoing mastery community for masterclasses, for

Kirsten:

workshops, for people doing get togethers, we're going to have parties.

Kirsten:

Well, we haven't, you know, we're, we're figuring that part out, but we

Kirsten:

definitely want to build in bringing in outside voices and instruction,

Kirsten:

again for our ongoing growth.

Kirsten:

The fourth member of our group,

Kirsten:

and I won't say fourth member of our trio, but that's how we

Kirsten:

refer to it, is Jim the amazing.

Kirsten:

I met Jim at a How conference design conference in Boston.

Kirsten:

And, um, well, before I met Jim, I told people that I had graphic design skills.

Kellie:

You could design a thing and it was a graphic.

Kellie:

Yes.

Kirsten:

Um, yeah, not so much.

Kirsten:

I have an artistic background.

Kirsten:

I can draw and I can paint.

Kirsten:

Graphic design skills are a totally different critter.

Kirsten:

And until I met Jim, I didn't really get the completely different way of

Kirsten:

thinking that that skillset requires.

Kirsten:

So we'll be talking, Dani, Kellie, and I, about instructional design,

Kirsten:

which is designing your instruction.

Kirsten:

And we're going to pull in Jim's knowledge about visual design and

Kirsten:

graphic design, which is creating the visuals that are the best for the

Kirsten:

work and best deliver the message.

Kirsten:

So in presenting, it's important to have a good deck, if you're using a deck.

Kirsten:

One of the things we are going to be talking about is that you have

Kirsten:

to be able to work without a deck.

Kellie:

Because sometimes sh* happens.

Kirsten:

Yeah, doesn't work.

Kirsten:

Um, I've had tech fail.

Kirsten:

I've showed up at gigs where, and this was training gigs, not speaking

Kirsten:

gigs, but I've showed up where the software wasn't installed or it

Kirsten:

was the completely wrong version.

Kirsten:

Or we lost power in the middle of the day and we couldn't reschedule

Kirsten:

and I'm there with a legal pad and a Sharpie marker, directing people to the

Kirsten:

cafeteria because I'm drawing Bezier curves on a piece of paper to talk about

Kirsten:

how Adobe illustrator thinks, because we could not reschedule the class.

Kirsten:

So you've got to be able to adapt in the moment.

Kirsten:

That's a huge part of our work.

Kirsten:

And we're going to be talking about how to develop those

Kirsten:

skills or enhance those skills.

Kellie:

So Kirsten, how did we adapt in the moment for developing this podcast?

Kirsten:

Yeah.

Kirsten:

So this is time number

Kellie:

Four

Kirsten:

I was going to say six.

Kirsten:

Um, we have tried recording in my house and the audio was too,

Kirsten:

it was too, open too echo-y.

Kirsten:

We didn't have enough sound baffling.

Kellie:

And the dog just wanted to be with us.

Kellie:

And she's loud.

Kirsten:

Enthusiastic.

Kirsten:

And I have a teenager who thinks that playing basketball outside

Kirsten:

is quiet enough for us to record.

Kirsten:

And rather than killing my teenager and putting him through a wood chipper, I

Kirsten:

decided to try doing something else.

Kirsten:

We got in the car.

Kirsten:

In the car was interesting because it turns out the birds near my

Kirsten:

house are really freaking loud

Kellie:

and it was raining.

Kellie:

And when you have the microphone pointed at the windshield, it also picks up rain.

Kirsten:

Yes.

Kirsten:

And then we found a place without the rain, but we still have really loud birds.

Kirsten:

So now we are at Kellie's office.

Kellie:

And it is nice and it is quiet and it is summertime, so nobody's here.

Kirsten:

So we are able to record with a little bit better sound quality,

Kirsten:

but the pivot in the moment is the, oh, I guess we're going to try it a

Kirsten:

different way because we want to have it without the "I'm calling from a cave"

Kellie:

echo, echo, echo

Kirsten:

kind of sound effect.

Kirsten:

So what we need from you is, we need life.

Kirsten:

We need feedback.

Kirsten:

We need comments.

Kirsten:

I'm going to direct you in the show notes.

Kirsten:

We're going to put the link to our ongoing community space, and I really,

Kirsten:

really, really encourage you, please not only to subscribe to the podcast

Kellie:

and hit that like button.

Kirsten:

Yes.

Kirsten:

But also go to the space where we're holding that, which will be LinkedIn and

Kirsten:

introduce yourself or talk about what you're looking for, or bring up subjects

Kirsten:

or books or videos, um, YouTube clips, whatever you think will be useful because

Kirsten:

we're going to be doing all of that.

Kirsten:

And we should mention the interviews that are coming up.

Kellie:

Yes.

Kellie:

These are going to be really fun with some people we have come to

Kellie:

know as we've been doing this work.

Kellie:

I'm very excited.

Kellie:

These are fun.

Kirsten:

Yes.

Kirsten:

So number three in the podcast series is going to be, uh, Bobbie from

Kirsten:

Innovation Women who, she's just amazing.

Kirsten:

Well, they're all amazing and wonderful and talented because honestly, we wouldn't

Kirsten:

invite them on if we thought they sucked.

Kirsten:

That's just how that works.

Kirsten:

So we have two people from Innovation Women.

Kirsten:

We have an amazing author and speaker out of the UK, um,

Kirsten:

talking about their perspectives on the ongoing mastery concept.

Kirsten:

And if you have people you would like us to interview in further seasons,

Kirsten:

again, throw the name in the comments.

Kirsten:

I think that's about it.

Kellie:

I think that's a lot for day one.

Kellie:

People got to take it all in and kind of get with our vibe.

Kirsten:

Okay.

Kirsten:

So one thing I do want to ask in the comments is, um, how do you

Kirsten:

want to do the curse-y words thing?

Kirsten:

Because I, we have recorded multiple versions of this because I was

Kirsten:

a little more me than perhaps is appropriate when you are trying to

Kirsten:

let people know about your services in a business setting and perhaps not

Kirsten:

quite so many uses of the word "dick."

Kellie:

On the other hand, we need to let Kirsten be Kirsten.

Kirsten:

There is that.

Kirsten:

So that's another thing that I want to bring up is that how

Kirsten:

you want the language to sound?

Kirsten:

We're not going to make, "Hello.

Kirsten:

I am the Stepford podcast" because

Kellie:

Pinkies out.

Kirsten:

Yeah, no, thank you.

Kirsten:

I would die.

Kirsten:

Um, and kill everyone around me in the process.

Kellie:

I don't want that.

Kirsten:

That would be bad.

Kirsten:

So we're instead going to have something that's fun.

Kirsten:

It's irreverent.

Kirsten:

It's going to be again, I'll hear it on education.

Kirsten:

I want you to join us in the community of making ourselves grow in our craft.

Kirsten:

That's what we're all about.

Kirsten:

Everybody needs to be supported.

Kirsten:

Everybody needs energy and the, you know, the chance to learn new

Kirsten:

skills and play with new things.

Kirsten:

So that's what we're doing.

Kirsten:

And I hope you join us.

Kirsten:

I will see you next time and I hope you have a great day.

Kellie:

Cheers.

Kirsten:

Thank you for joining us for Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking,

Kirsten:

the podcast for everyone who wants to work on their own skills and lift up others.

Kirsten:

If you enjoyed this episode, continue the conversation on our

Kirsten:

Ongoing Mastery LinkedIn group.

Kirsten:

The link is in the show notes.

Kirsten:

Share the love on social media and tell your friends about the podcast.

Kirsten:

Be sure to catch our next episode

Kellie:

and hit the subscribe button.

About the Podcast

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Ongoing Mastery: Presenting & Speaking
Presentation and Speaking Skills for Business Leaders

About your host

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Kirsten Rourke