“Message comprehension is the responsibility of the sender.”

It was mainly intended to be about getting leads through public speaking but this episode just took it more notches higher with an intuitive conversation on meaningful, powerful, and honest communication.

In the popular story-telling strategy for marketers called “The Hero’s Journey”, a spectator can’t escape the fact that the Hero is a character, thus, is distant and unrelatable.

Manny Wolfe, a remarkable story crafter and speaker coach, shares his unique method of getting your audience to listen, empathize, engage, and buy. In his approach, he first takes the audience in this bigger picture, talks about a dim and hopeless case and goes retelling it with hope after all.

Speaking and story-telling have been used and talked about so many times over now in marketing and selling, but Manny simply tackled this in a rather compelling, no-nonsense, and truthful way.


Today’s Guest:

Manny Wolfe

I draw your story out of you, put you on stage, and show you how to change the world Manny Wolfe is a story crafter, and a speaking coach for transformational coaches and entrepreneurs. His methodology is completely unique, and his life‘s work is creating the next generation of Absolute. Take no prisoners, world-changing speakers.


EP33_Manny.mp3 (transcribed by Sonix)

Hello and welcome back. Yes you can with Virginia Phillips. I am Virginia your entrepreneurial coach.

If this is your first time listening yes you can. This is where entrepreneurs get inspired and get insider tips for generating leads creating sales and fielding my favorites. Healthy profits. That’s why for all businesses because we meet healthy profits. I have an incredible guest for you here today.

I’ve got to pull up his bio so he gets a great introduction. I have Manny Wolfe here. Manny is a part of this thousands speaker movement. If you don’t know about it we’re going to talk. I’m sure a little bit about it today. Manny is a story crafter and a speaker coach for transformational coaches and entrepreneurs. He his methodology is completely unique and his life’s work is creating the next generation of absolute take no prisoners world changing speakers.

Manny. Welcome to the yes you can with Virginia Phillips podcast.

Thank you so much for having me here. And it’s been a long time coming.

But here we are we are we are we’re here.

I you know when I first invited you to come on the show I know that taking stages is a great place to generating leads. Yeah well let’s just start with the elephant in the room. So many people are terrified to even think about taking in stages. Why did this become a thing for you to teach people like me to take stages.

Ok. So are you familiar with that that famous idea that is credited to Steve Jobs about connecting the dots in reverse. Do you know that one.

I do but I’m not sure all of our listeners do. So will you please tell us what you think.

Yeah. So listeners boys and girls out there in radio land Steve Jobs famously allegedly said in one of his I think it was a commencement speech for a college. He talked about this idea that trying to know your purpose especially like when you’re young and like getting out of college for instance is it’s a fallacy it’s a misnomer. It’s maybe a an overly destructive way to try to approach life. He talked about connecting the dots in reverse. So what that means is you work at what you’re passionate about what you’re interested in. And now I’m going to even switch to another sort of ad hoc mentor of mine Michael Gerber the guy who wrote all the e-mail stuff and did the Smith Academy. He said that somebody had asked him once. How did you know you wanted to create the image Academy for entrepreneurs and he looked at them and he laughed and he said I didn’t. I had no idea. He said this word came to me little by little. It revealed itself to me little by little. And as I went more and more into it as a lean more and more into it it became more and more interesting elegant seductive challenging. And by the time I turned around again I was hooked so that’s kind of connecting the dots in reverse right.

Michael Gerber started out as a saxophone player. He thought he was gonna be a smooth jazz saxophonist and then he wound up selling Bibles. And like he did you know he ran the gamut of jobs. And what happened with the Imus Academy which relates to Steve Jobs is connecting the dots in reverse. Is he just found himself like a roll of the wisp. Right. He was just chasing this thing that was compelling him. This work that was compelling him. It’s important to note here. He didn’t it wasn’t able to articulate it. It was just one thing and then another that was leading down a path that was. And I love what he says about elegant seductive and compelling so that’s what connecting the dots in reverse is suddenly you stop and you look back behind you and you realize oh wow. Like I’m now doing this work that draws upon all these things that I sort of thought were separate parts of me this act same thing happened to me off camera or pre recording or whatever I was telling you that I had a podcast to and I did all this work on my podcast and I was so proud of it. Right.

We all are we love our own podcasts we love.

I got all these great guests and I had 10 episodes in the bank and I was just ready to take over the world with what I thought was this revolutionary podcast and I released the first one and people started giving me feedback. How can I sound like you. Nothing to do with my content. Nothing to do with my dream. Nothing to do with any of that stuff right. They just wanted to know how they could sound like me on the radio and I had a moment where I looked and I said well let’s wait a minute. So I’ve studied acting I’ve studied singing I studied public speaking I’ve done all of those and it never connected for me before that moment. The guy I actually am qualified to teach people how to have a professional voice not having gone through some sort of formalized professional voice coaching school I never made that connection until the first person was willing to pay me for it and suddenly I made that connection so that was the beginning. And then from there going from teaching people how to sound good over the mike to how to sound great on stage was just a hop skip and a jump.

So that part became very it wasn’t as big of a leap as getting to teaching people how to sound good so I started doing the free. You know the free 20 minute calls and stuff we all do on line and creating some results and creating some testimonials. And during that process more and more of the people were saying well I want to use this for my public speaking Oh OK. And the same things that made me a great performer onstage a great actor. And at that point I’d say a good public speaker just sort of fell into place and I’m like well I can help you with that. You know I know about body language I know about its connection to the communication the non-verbal communication that we have with the audience I know about all these things and I know that I have a unique way of looking at framing and teaching things and the rest as they say is history.

And I think it’s good history if any of you know his background way before that. There is some history there.

I think sometimes people look at you and you’re like it was so easy they just came to you you had all the skills and you built your business it was really easy and I know for you it wasn’t easy was years of work to put yourself in the right position and to do what you’re passionate about and only at the right time did things those dots connect. So now that I’ve opened up that Pandora’s box and people like what is that history can you give us a little bit of that other history of yours.

I will. And I also your listeners can’t see this but I was just using this in a coaching call to help somebody and what I just held up. Ladies and gentlemen boys and girls. That is my memoir My autobiography. It’s called the Dow of the unbreakable man that was known T.O. and I’ll tell you a little bit now but if you really want to get into the nitty gritty of how I started what I went through and how I find myself here the best 20 bucks you’ll ever spend so communication for me was a passion from long before I could articulate it. It was a passion from before I realized it was a passion and it came primarily I believe that our passion is sort of exist inside of us as seeds you know and then are usually a young life sort of acts as the influences that open those seeds right.

Usually unfortunately it sits in a negative way. And certainly my young life was no exception. I was born in a cult and

I was indoctrinated and brainwashed and raised in this environment where it was clear to me from as young as I can remember that what people are saying and what’s actually happening don’t jive look at it. It’s very potent and damaging to put a child in that situation even if it’s not a cult right even if it’s not 60 people even if it’s just mom and dad going through the motions. But what’s happening energetically underneath is disconnected from what’s happening on the verbal level. Like we pick up on that stuff and that for me prompted that that started me down this path of like what would become a quest for meaningful communication and honest communication. Then powerful communication then you know all these different levels and I would I would wind up utterly compelled seduced. Just attracted to this just like Michael Gerber with the Smiths. You know it’s elegant it’s seductive it’s challenging it. I can’t not love it the way that I focus it is through public speaking and storytelling but really my passion is about the art and the science of communication you know and there is both I don’t know that people always see that there is an art and a science to communication.

When you’re coaching are you focused on one more than the other.

That is a great question and I know we always say that as guests some podcasts. But in this case I really mean it.

Yeah yeah. I am.

There are a few things that we have to accept. One of them the most bitter pill of all that you have to accept on a quest to be a great communicator. And this comes from the academic side of things is that message comprehension is the responsibility of the sender Absolutely.

People hate that when they do you.

You may not know many but I was a communication almost major in college and I had taken one more class in in college I would have graduated with a communication degree. I get what you just said about communication it is the responsibility of the sender I 100 percent agree.

Yeah and it’s also I mean that’s that’s from what do you call it academics not academic study but the scholarly research right. That’s that’s the reason just quickly for that guys in case you’re you’re chewing on that and you’re frustrated with it and you’re thinking like most people do of that one person who just won’t listen because that’s where most people’s heads go when you tell them that here’s the thing. They’re not listening.

They’re not listening. I read all the time.

So here’s the reason behind that idea because if you abdicate responsibility for message clarity and comprehension then you’re opening up you know like a tower of Babel situation even though your your message won’t always be interpreted as clearly taking responsibility for it is the best way to move forward.

So there is.

I’m absorbing that for me as a communication major that was deep really deep for me and I go back to what you just talked about about communication be meaningful honest and powerful. And when that sender takes that ownership of that. Yeah I’ve got to think that’s where stories get good.

Absolutely. And that was that was a hell of a Segway. So you want to talk a little bit about stories

About stories that dispel some rumors you and I let’s let’s skewer some sacred cows.

All right. Because this idea of storytelling is so popular in the entrepreneurial slash marketing slash coaching world that it’s toeing the line of becoming a meaningless term because it’s being used so much so before it happens. You are so lucky to be here because we are going to give you a boundary through which that word can continue to have meaning for you or Lucky you. So people talk about storytelling and they talk about it in our worlds and probably in the worlds of you the listener. If you’re listening to this podcast in terms of helping your brain and helping your business helping your coaching here’s what I would say the most important thing to understand is Russell Brunson storytelling method is incomplete. Any version of the quote unquote Hollywood screenplay storytelling method is incomplete. The hero’s journey is incomplete and here’s why. They all miss one or two key elements. First is with the hero’s journey and any screenplay style storytelling they don’t account for the automatic suspension of disbelief that occurs when we’re hearing a hero’s journey. See when you’re watching Indiana Jones or Neo from The Matrix or Frodo from The Lord Of The Rings or whoever it is you can’t escape knowing it’s a character and having a distance that is 100 percent true. Ready. From that distance you can get as emotionally involved as you want but it’s not the same as you and I talking and bonding and connecting and that visceral real energy exchange in order to make that as meaningful as you can.

You have to do what I call the model that I’ve developed is called the question mark story model and since there’s no visuals I want you to think of it on a straight line listeners. And we start with your pinnacle story defined as the moment in your life when you had what I call a shock a boo hoo moment and that. Or do you repeat that because. This is this is my my proprietary terminal I. A shocker but what is. Right. Yeah it’s a shock a buccal moment. I borrowed that from a movie I love called Gross Point Blank here’s what it means. It means when you have a swift spiritual kick to the head that alters your reality forever too often in storytelling we confuse that with the moment where everything came together. This is really in a sense this is the moment where everything came apart. Right. This is this is the divorce. This is the. In my case the finding myself literally plotting the murder of someone and realizing Oh there’s some history there. And I read the book

But I mean I realized inside myself this wasn’t going to happen.

The moment that shook me to my core was that I was actually having this conversation holding a gun. Having this conversation that was the moment where I without being able to articulate it I became willing to find out what was on the other side of the unknown.

Right. And we all want to know what that is.

Well for me it was an arduous process that from a storytelling perspective you would call the hero’s journey right. But I share that on stage. I have to go from that dark dark story that gripping story I have to give you context. And here’s why. What if I was a seventh generation outlaw and gunfighter. That story wouldn’t mean anything right. So I need to give you context. I need to basically make that a pin in the map put a rubber band over it and stretch the rubber band for you when I do that and you understand how in spite of who I wanted to be in spite of who I could see myself as how I wound up there. Then you empathize then you feel it. So you start pentacle story. You go back in time back history. You come back to the pinnacle story again I’m giving you guys the goods here. This is this is the paid content

And we’re listening. We’re all quiet we’re listening to what works. You did what you did.

So when you get back to the pinnacle story the first time you tell it you tell it with no hope. The second time you tell it you tell it with hope because now you’ve got context. Now you know how significant it was for me to wind up there and the way I like to think of it being a visual metaphor guy is I want to couch it in such a way that it’s like I’m standing on a on an overlook looking over a whole new vista that I’ve never seen before kind of like Frodo and Sam did when they’re looking at murder murder.

For those of you who have seen Lord of the Rings which I assume is everybody maybe not everybody go see it you’ll understand.

But the point is this. Right. The point is I want to shift the perspective that the flavor of the moment a little bit so that now it is the flavor of starting on a big adventure your big adventure or our big adventure both of us course because by because now you’re committed now you’re invested. Now I can take you on the hero’s journey and you won’t suspend disbelief here’s where this gets the word I wrote with skepticism but disbelief works for me too. Or distance right just just an emotional distance. If you want your story to function in the way that stories are supposed to function in the marketing world you have to connect with me. You’ve got to make me care and this first half of my question mark story model does that beautifully. In fact when you get back to the pinnacle story again if you’ve nailed it you’ll hear the whole audience go and win. And when you talk yes you know when you hear them do that they have signed on the dotted line in their heart.

They are now with you.

Now I can take you on a hero’s journey I am loving this conversation about getting people that tune into story and how storytelling can be so powerful. What.

This is a podcast about generating lead. So you’ve brought me into this story and you’ve taken me on to this hero’s journey many.

But how does that help me put money in my pocket.

So glad you asked that. It’s almost like we planned this but we didn’t. So here’s how. And just by the way I have results to back this up. This is not academic. Most of us who want to share our stories. Most of us that I hope that I call transformational coaches. Most of us who have been through something intense and now want to use what we’ve learned to help other people avoid that same pain or at least shortcut it. We don’t like selling stuff.

We really don’t like selling stuff right.

But we also know that we have to have clients to make an impact to live right. You’ve got to have clients that’s a given.

On a lot of clients we just don’t want to sell to them.

Yeah exactly. So when you get the pinnacle story right the back history right and there’s some other sort of stuff that needs to occur within the back history and the hero’s journey. For example if you speak in first person about you experiencing the same objections that you tend to get which by the way is always time money and trust always every time it’s time money and trust. Those are the objections. And then in the Hero’s Journey you speak in first person about overcoming those things you deal with the objections without ever having to shift out of being an honest storyteller so it’s very very powerful in that way. And the end of the story is what I call either breakthrough or catharsis. And really it’s just a meaningful powerful summary of how what you’ve been through led you to do what you do here’s where it gets to your point very very powerful. You don’t have to pitch anything the story does everything for you. It does the positioning it overcomes the objections it tells them in no uncertain terms that you are a perfect person to help them solve the same problem that you’ve solved my best success story with this is a young guy from the UK named James we didn’t even get all the way through everything that I’ve talked about here we just talked about showing up powerfully transparently telling his story in sort of a I’m not a victim I’m not a hero kind of way and getting off the stage. It’s his first speaking event ever and it was at an event where he wasn’t even allowed to sell things. He booked sixty thousand pounds in business just from doing that without ever pitching without ever pitching anything on his first sweet first speech ever.

Manny there are people listening to this that are are are not believing it at all that this guy took the stage in front of an audience his first speech ever and landed sixty thousand pounds those people can message me and I will show them the screen shot of him that he sent me the text conversation after he got off stage.

After after he was done booking the sixty thousand pounds and then there’s this whole other subset of people that believe that he did it.

But there’s no way they can do it.

Yes so to that there’s that old adage if you believe you can you’re right.

If you don’t believe you can you’re right. You know. Respectfully the person who’s hearing this and going Yeah. He did it but I can’t. It’s just not the right person to work with and I say that with all gentle respect and all like I mean that that’s not a blithe throwaway comment if you really believe you can’t then you’re living into your limitations in the first place that it all has to start with an idea that something else besides what you’ve so far created in your life as possible it has to. It’s just no way around that.

So what if that listener that said immediately I can’t do that.

And then came up with a list of reasons why I don’t have the skills I don’t have the money I don’t have the anything. Are they still a non-starter or can they reach out and start adding these skills in and change it from an I can’t to an I can slow.

I mean skills are not called gifts because they are developable and that’s a little bit of an obtuse way to put it but skills by their definition can be gained developed and mastered.

So even that big thing that causes people not to take any stage that FEMA are thing called Fear can be quelled and overcome with the right skills in training.

James was terrified to take that stage. He was terrified. What I have found is that it’s different for everyone. Some people fundamentally want to play to their to their own limitations. Some people you know like the people I like best are the people that are go I’m scared but I’ll do it. You know those. So it really depends I don’t think there’s a an across the board answer to that. What I also find is that wouldn’t the pain of staying the same gets strong enough. Think back to my moment where I went from unwilling to change my life to utterly willing to change my life in a single visceral moment when it happens it happened to a lot of people and you can be fearful of this stage for five or 10 years and then get the.

I’m a scared anyway I’m going to do it.

Yeah. There are a lot of little things that can help with that fear of stage fright. Right. Because fear stage fright is fundamentally fear of rejection that’s fundamentally what it comes down to. There’s the reason you’re afraid to get on stage is because you’re afraid they won’t like you you’re afraid they won’t see value in you you’re afraid and that that fear by the way is it is biologically pretty ancient. Right. It really goes back to our need for community to survive.

Which which what man is saying is it’s not always so easy to overcome because it’s so ingrained in us.

Yeah but I’m also saying that when you’re aware of that and you’re aware that you no longer live in the grasslands and contend with saber tooth tigers and warring tribes you can realize that you could go up on stage and forgive my turn of phrase or completely shit the bed and it would not be the end of the world. You would not be ostracized you would not die you know. In fact I just interviewed a colleague into my group a guy named Salman Vincente who’s a very successful speaker and he told me he told me it took him three years of speaking on stages before he got over his stage fright. But he was committed. He knew he wanted the result right. And so it really has more to do with Are you willing to take direction that’s going to put your face to face with your discomfort and go through it or are you not willing if you’re willing if you’re willing. I can absolutely absolutely help you through your stage fright. I have helped many many people. I have powerful powerful strategies for that and the only people who haven’t benefited are those who keep playing to their limitation about it keep you know.

Yeah. And I would agree with that. If you’re willing and don’t think you can you can reach out to Manny and he can give you tools to make you believe you can. If you’re not willing and you don’t think you can. It’s a non-starter. It’s an absolutely non-starter.

In fact I’ve got a free training where I’ve taken about probably the most effective 10 percent of my my stage fright. I called the stage fright destroyer system. And it’s like a free 15 minute video. It’s not free it’s going to cost you your email but other than that it’s free. And yeah if it’ll it’ll totally get you through stage fright.

And we’ll make sure that the audience members can get links to that book and can get links to this training and can make sure if they believe they can get on stage and don’t know how to do that they can reach out to me and because Manny is building this phenomenal speaker training system where he’s utilizing his his skills the skills he learned about how to get onstage the stills skills he learned about how to utilize the voice and now to tell the story with this this question mark method he has unique you’re not going to find it elsewhere.

Many it’s a it’s that time of the show that I kind of dig in a little bit.

You might think we’ve already dug in a little bit but I always like to know what what is one of those moments besides the one we’ve talked about that sticks with you that you are proud of that you went through those hurdles to get there. There are a lot of those and I’m happy to report

I think maybe one of the hardest things I had to do after I changed after I became willing to change everything and just disappear from the utterly self-destructive life I was living was I had to cut my whole blood family out of my life. And that was no joke. But it it became know life saw to it that it became. It was made crystal clear to me that I can’t simultaneously be true to myself and try to find my place in that group of people and and so that was a big one. And it may sound a little incongruity or something but I’m very proud of myself for that because prior to doing that I had had three points in my life where I pulled away from my family and each one of those points. I started to make good money as soon as I come back to my family my ability to make money and have money will just flatline and it’s so fascinating because they were all in culture faded into the same cult environment I was and one of the things was that we rejected money as a group you know and when I look back on it now it’s alarming how accurate that played out accurately that played out. You know my family’s still with the exception of my stepbrother who wasn’t raised in that or my brother in law. Sorry wasn’t raised in that environment. Still living tiny lives with with no financial power or economic power to speak of and I just I can’t even imagine that anymore you know.

So so yeah I had to do that. And in my case I got really honest about that process in my book. And how hard it was and what it took to do it. And that is what really set me free. The moment where I where I was holding the gun was where I said it’s time to change.

And in my process a change was long and arduous and you know felt slow where it really all crystallized was that moment and when I when I made when I signed that agreement in my heart that I was like I have to be done with these people not in a way where I hate them where I hold a grudge but just it’s a simple practical matter of I cannot be me and also fit in with that who I really am is not welcome there then everything started my trajectory went from a slow inclined to like almost straight up.

It was really powerful and I I hope the listeners that started this podcast are still listening because we all have to let people go when our lives. It might not be our whole family like you had to do but we have to let people go because we are trajectories start changing and either we’re holding them back or they’re holding us back and in it it’s got it. You’ve gotta let that go and in you experience what you’ve experienced. That freedom to be who you are instead of compromising that for the relationship yeah.

Yeah I mean people who don’t support each other act as ballast to each other and it’s really it’s kind of like that clinically cut and dry if if people in your life don’t support you they slow you down. I don’t I can’t think of any time where it sort of exists in a spaces. It’s one or the other doesn’t.

Yeah. Yeah absolutely. But I’m looking at the time here Manny and I want to be sure people know what it is that you can deliver to them and how they engage with you.

Absolutely. What I do particularly for transformational coaches or transformational coaches in training is I draw your story out of you and I show you how to craft it in a specific way. I put you on a stage when I show you how to use the story and the stage to really make a new level of impact serve the world live your purpose and thrive thrive. Let’s don’t forget making money while doing it right. That’s what I do if you want to find out more about it. Best place to go and I’ll give you a link to this is my Facebook group. One thousand speakers Academy.

It’s a it’s a great group I’m in it and he gives a lot of value in that group and then we give a lot of value to one another. I thank you for allowing us to just directly connect with you Manny. There are some folks that get on podcast and and we don’t get that direct connection and I love that the guys that come on here give that opportunity to connect directly with the listeners so that they can ask you all the thousands of questions they have that I maybe didn’t ask you today and if they still if they have any questions we’ll bring Manny back on.

And Manny we’ve talked about elegance so activity compelling.

We’ve talked about meaningful. We’ve talked about honest and powerful. We’ve talked about letting go. We’ve talked about getting really honest with who you are and not being afraid of that fear of rejection there.

I mean we’re just even breaking the service. I think Manny and I could talk about this for hours and still have. Plenty more to talk about because now we don’t have a communication major yet I see.

We see it eye to eye but it is a time where I’ve got to tell my listeners that I thank them for coming in and in listening with us today and they’ve enjoyed the show listening to you giving us the the powerful speeches you’ve given us in those powerful tidbits to earning more money and getting more leads and stage is a great place to do that both show notes links to the episode as well as our social media links and many social media links can be found at a o e now dot com slash podcast.

The best part about my show is the listeners. I think Manny would agree with that.

We ask the listeners to download subscribe and give us the feedback.

And Manny I want to give you one last great thank you for coming on today and exposing maybe a little more of who you are and what you do then you’ve done maybe on some other podcasts.

Yeah it’s been my pleasure. And it’s really far few and far between where I get to sincerely say that that was a great interview hundreds of these things and I can say to you honestly that was a great interview so thank you.

Thank you Manny and thank you to our listeners. We’ll be back next week with another great show. Tune in.

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