The Magic of Connection

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Brian Miller is a former magician turned author, speaker, coach, and consultant on human connection. His TEDx talk “How to Magically Connect with Anyone” has over 3 million views worldwide, and he now coaches aspiring TEDx speakers on crafting and honing the talk of their lives.

Victor Ahipene: Speaking nation, what’s happening? Welcome to another episode of public speaking secrets. Super excited to have you here and I hope your 2020 the new decade is kicking off brilliantly for you. Uh, it’s certainly has my end to end today. We’ve got somebody who, uh, we’ve already been speaking off air, Hey has flowing down the road just a few weeks ago. We got that close from the other side of the world, but I’m now we’re back on now I’ll say for sides. His name is Brian Miller. He’s a former magician, these turned author, speaker, coach and consultant on human connection. And we’re going to dive deep. He’s also a TEDx speaker like myself. We’re going to learn a lot in regards to both as speaking side of things and how he connects with people to be able to boost that. So super excited to have you here and welcome to the show, Brian.

Brian Miller: Hey Victor. Thanks so much. It’s a pleasure.
Victor Ahipene: So give everyone a bit of a bit of a background like magician, magician, turn, speaker. Were you a silent magician or does that, does that? How did you kind of, I guess, Mike, that transition into, into the speaking world from, from the magician side of things?

Brian Miller: Yeah. So I know you, you recently had on Tim David, who’s a friend and mentor of mine and actually how you and I were connected and he also is a former magician, turned the speaker. But what’s interesting is that if your listeners heard his story recently, uh, the fact that we were both former magicians is basically where our stories and in terms of their similarity, we had a very different path in spite of both being magicians. So I actually ended up speaking purely by accident. Uh, I never wanted to be a speaker. I never intended to be a speaker. I, if I’m being really honest, I thought like when I thought of speaker, I thought of motivational speakers, right? And I just, I thought they kind of word lame. Like I really did. I really thought motivational speaking was lane. I was not a fan of Tony Robbins and, and nothing against, not a knock on him, like, right. But like I, aye. That is what I imagined speaking was. So I, I was in, um, college for philosophy and my plan was I was all set to start a PhD. I’d been accepted into PhD programs for philosophy, uh, right out of undergrad. And I come from an a family of academics, scientists, mathematicians. So like go to grad school, become a professor that was set out for me, like laid out all my life. That was always the path my life was going to take. But I got really into magic when I was a kid and I started doing it in high school instead of working at McDonald’s. Basically it was like my part time job in high school doing magic shows. And then I continued to support myself through college and the last hour I decided I wanted to try to make a living as a magician. And so I abandoned ship, which was a really rough phone call home to mom and dad. Uh, that was not ideal. And it took years before they really came around. I mean, poured it, right? Like I don’t want to sound like that. Like they were like, okay, like, I mean do your thing, but when it fails, you’ll obviously go back to grad school, right? Like, it was kind of like that, right? Like, all right, whatever, you’re 22, you have time to fail. Um, but no one, I don’t think anybody really took it seriously. And what’s interesting is that speaking, even though it ended up being an accident for me later in my career, it was laid out. When you look at, you know, how Steve jobs said, you can only connect the dots looking backwards. For me it’s hysterical to look backwards and realize I was always going to end up being a speaker first.I was going to do a PhD in philosophy of language. That was my area of interest was, uh, how our language relates to the world, if at all. And, and, you know, meaning and semantics and stuff like that. So speaking was always an interest there. And then as a philosophy undergrad, I actually, uh, aye had a paper two years in a row excepted to, uh, the largest undergraduate philosophy conference in North America. And two years in a row. I presented that paper at that conference and two years in a row I was awarded the president’s award for best presentation. So was right there in my, you know, kind of in my ethos, even though I then abandoned ship and decided to try to be a magician. So in 2011 I was struggling to get my magic career off the ground. I had some gigs, I was doing all rights, but it wasn’t nearly enough. I was having trouble paying rent and buying food and I was doing the starving artist thing. And at that point, just in an attempt to find some way to make some more money that did not involve getting a part time job, uh, at, you know, McDonald’s or, or some retail location. I was really determined not to get a part time job. It felt like it would be a failure. Um, I’m not sure I now agree with that, but that’s how it felt at the time. And so I came up with this idea to create a lecture, a philosophy lecture that used live magic demonstrations, uh, to explain the philosophy concepts. And I came up with a title, it’s called magic, philosophically speaking. And I wrote a three or four sentence description and it was, this was 2011. So I just hit Google and manually found the email address, every department philosophy chair at every single college campus in the Northeastern United States within driving distance. Hey, I think this would be really good for your, you know, I’m a philosopher and a magician and, uh, and I think this would be good for your students and even open it up to the community. Huh? Amazingly, eight or nine of them got back to me and five of them booked. So I mean, think about the percentage, right? That’s, that’s nothing but I mean, five of them booked and each of them paid five, six, $800 a pop. Like these weren’t big engagements, but at the time I was broke. That was a huge amount of money. And you know, these were philosophy departments. They weren’t corporations or anything. They didn’t have a budget for speakers. I was just some guy and they were like, well, that sounds good. Let’s, let’s find some money and try that for all. For all. I know some of these department chairs pulled it out of their own pocket, you know what I mean? So aye. I went and did that series of, uh, lecture show things. Um, Oh, it’s worth noting when they booked. I didn’t have it. I didn’t have a lecture. I didn’t have anything. I just had a title and three or four sentence description. So I spent months panicking, actually writing, uh, the lecture and I came up with this idea of doing a 90 minute lecture, broken up into three sections. Each 30 minute section would tackle UN a problem in contemporary philosophy from three different areas of philosophy. So I took metaphysics and epistemology and moral philosophy, one big contemporary problem in each and then used live magic demonstrations and audience interaction to make those concepts stick and make it fun. And they were a big success and then nothing else ever happened with that. I then started to find success as a magician and for years I just built my career as a magician and speaking never cropped back up until I got yanked into that world with the success of my TEDx talk. So that, that is the very strange and winding path I took to end up in speaking, having no intention of being here.

Victor Ahipene: Okay. It’s awesome. And it’s um, yeah, it’s funny, like, yeah, I think it’s a very similar journey that a lot of lot of people come or go down. It’s like they accidentally, not accidentally stumbling, but like you say, connect the dots looking back and it was like, well, yeah, if I knew that I was always made to do, it would have been a bit easier. But, anyway, wait with the TEDx thing, because you, you know, you would have worked with a lot of people as well and it’s this kind of, it’s this big shining beacon. Um, yeah, it’s the Northern light that yet that you follow for your directions and a lot of people are, I really want to be a TEDx speaker. I want to give a TEDx store. Having that kind of come about from you being a magician, was it off the back of those lectures that someone heard about it or, um, yeah. How did that all come about?

Brian Miller: Nope, it’s equally ridiculous and random. Um, I’m I the worst answer to this question I get, as you might imagine the these days I coach a lot of, uh, well not, not a lot. I, I don’t promote my services as a speaking coach, but I, because of the fact that my TEDx talk did over 3 million views and at one point was in the top one 1000th of a percent of the most popular TEDx talks ever given. I’m sure that’s not true anymore, but people reach out to me on a regular basis and I usually one person at a time case at a time, I will decide to work with, um, if I have time for it. Cause that’s not where I make a living. I make a living on stage speaking. Um, having said that, the number one question I get asked is how do you get a TEDx talk? You know, and, and I have the worst answer for this question because the way I got it was I was invited, I wasn’t trying to give one, I never considered giving one. I was obsessed with Ted and TEDx talks because, um, I’m not sure. I think we might be somewhere within the same age. I’m actually have no idea. I could be off by 10 years. But I was in college, uh, when YouTube was invented. So maybe where we are or are not the same age. Yeah, no idea. Yeah. But I was in college when YouTube was invented, so I remember when Ted talks showed up on this new thing called YouTube and it was a big deal and I’d been following them. And what happened was I got up call as I was walking into a magic gig from a number I didn’t recognize, but I’m self employed. So I answered it. And this guy had the other end of the line just said, hi. Uh, is this Brian Miller and I was like, yeah, and he just said, uh, Oh, my name is Parag Joshi. Uh, I am a local high school English teacher in Connecticut, but I’m running a TEDx conference this year for the first time. I got your name from a couple of different people wondering if you’d like to speak at our conference. Okay. And I just said, uh, I’m walking into an event right now. Uh, I have to get off the phone. Yes. And can you call me back tomorrow? And like, that was it. He’s like, yeah, sure. And then that was it. Phone call was over and I did that. I don’t even remember that event. I’m sure I wasn’t conscious the entire time because I was just like, what? And he called me the next day and basically what happened is this guy Parag who’s become a good friend, uh, in the years since he took his, this is so weird and winding, you’re going to have to forgive all the tangents it takes to get to this story. He took his daughters to a local performing arts studio for their music lessons. Well if you backtrack all the way back to 2010 when I moved to Connecticut and I had no, uh, not enough clients, aye. One of the first things I did was I sought out a local performing arts studio and offered to teach magic lessons thinking if I teach kids magic, maybe some of their parents will then want to hire me for parties. And, and it worked. It worked great. And for a couple of years I did magic lessons there. Um, and that entire group of people, the staff at this performing arts center became my friends cause I moved to Connecticut on a whim. I had no friends and no one and no colleagues because I’m self employed and right. No way to meet people. So they became like my best friends. And so this, this guy Pirog, he was taking his daughters two is their music lessons and he was waiting for them and chatting with the studio coordinator, Casey. And he asked her, he said, uh, you know, I’m running a TEDx conference this year at the local high school. She’s like, Oh, that’s great. He said the theme of the conference is illusion versus reality. Do you know anybody who’d be good speaking at it? Hmm. And she just Brian Miller now, this woman Casey, she’s my best friend in the world. She was a bridesmaid in our wedding. Uh, me and my wife, like she’s, you know, her and her husband and become like the couple that we date, you know, a couples that are in relationships with other couples. And so the chances of him just being in there and saying that and mentioning the theme of the conference to the person that from years and years earlier had become my best friend. I mean, seriously, right. What are the odds of that? So he called me on that. I accepted his invitation and then had again had no idea what I would talk about. I had two months to get it ready and I was just a magician. I had absolutely no idea what would be worth talking about. And I floated a bunch of different ideas to some of my colleagues and friends in the industry. And the only idea I floated that I was not interested in is the one they all thought I should talk about, which was perspective taking. And that ended up becoming the how to magically connect with anyone talk and

Victor Ahipene: from, from the obviously when on was fairly, you know, obviously not fairly, but really successful in regards to to its reach and everything like that. So it’s a fast, fast forward along that. Um, did you, after that go, Hey, I wouldn’t mind doing more speaking or was it the people reaching out from being exposed to that presentation that were like, Hey, we’d love you to come and start speaking? Like how did, how did that transition from um, yeah, music, music, magic teacher and magic performer then transitioned into your keynotes?
Brian Miller Yeah, so when I gave the talk, I was, I was at that point, I was a relatively successful magician. I was touring nationally, I was making a good living, um, by no means, you know, at the top of the world. But I was making a good living. I was putting my wife through her masters. So doing well enough. So, uh, and so I, I’d broken through that and my management, you know, I was chatting with the, when we were getting ready for the talk and the couple of months there, I was chatting with my manager who helps guide my career and, and what we were hoping, what we were hoping the TEDx talk would do is we thought, well, if we can somehow scrape together 10,000 views, we were like, 5,000 would be great. If we can get 10,000 views, we can probably increase my rate as a magician by a couple hundred bucks. That was the goal. That was the bar. We were like, that was the pipe dream. Maybe we can become a $1,500 magician or a $2,000 magician instead of a thousand dollar magician if we get enough views on this TEDx talk, because that’ll look really, you know, significant or something. That was the, that was the goal. So when it did 10,000 and then it did 100,000 and then it did a million and then it did 3 million, uh, we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. And the calls started coming in. People all over the world were seeing it and reaching out and asking if I could come, basically, can you just come do like, can you do 45 minutes at our conference? Can you basically do the TEDx talk but just do it for 45 minutes? And we just, we started saying yes and we didn’t even know what to charge. We started just, well I don’t know. We started asking people looking it up, cause I, we knew what the charge is a magician, we knew that market, but we didn’t know the speaking market. So we started saying numbers that seemed ridiculous. Right? Thousands of dollars, $5,000, like to us as a magician. That was lunacy saying those numbers. Um, but you know, come to find out those aren’t, those are low budgets in the speaking world. Right? And, and so people to our surprise had no issue with those budgets. And not only that, but again, same situation is when I had done those lectures, this had been a story of my career, which is we, we pitch something and then if someone bites then we figure out how to do it. Like we always pre-sell. I’ve always done that naturally. Just why invest a tremendous amount of effort into something if I don’t know if there’s actually a market for it or an audience for it. So when someone says yes that I would, that I want, that I’m going to buy, I’m actually going to put my credit card down and put a deposit because I want that. And then it’s like well okay someone has paid for it. I know it’s worthwhile and I know what it’s worth. Now I know what I need to do to create that, to deliver that value. Right. So we uh, we basically, I just got to work taking the 15 minute TEDx talk because that’s all I had to say in the world on that topic. I mean I had 14 minutes and 11 seconds to say on perspective taking, which was mostly G and not even cause cause half of the TEDx talk I did was magic tricks to pad it. I didn’t even have that much. So Mmm. But for whatever reason it was striking this chord, you know the, the talk was about how to take on perspectives that are different from your own to bridge the gap and create connection and understanding the way that I had learned to do that as a magician. That was the goal is to teach people how to do, how to connect with others the way that magicians learn to connect with audiences. And it was 2015 when I gave that talk and I just got lucky and when I say I got lucky, I don’t mean I didn’t work hard. I don’t mean that I didn’t have talent. I don’t mean that I wasn’t entertaining. All of those things were true. But I also got lucky in that I gave this talk about connecting the same year that the entire world, if you remember right around there, took a really weird turn into being very divisive, very distracted. And it was kind of the beginning of the world that we now live in is really broken, divisive world. And um, you know, so I, I was, uh, the talk, the title had magic in it and, but it was about connecting and the thumbnail was like a fedora wearing goofball and a suit and like with a piece of rope in his hand. And you know, it was like every weird thing you could have never planned, just collided. And that’s why I call that luck. Mmm. So I didn’t, I wasn’t, I was just a magician. I had no idea. And I didn’t, I, impostor syndrome never hit me as hard as it did when I started giving these speeches for these, you know, four or five, $6,000 price tags knowing I wasn’t sure I wasn’t an expert in this stuff. They were acting like I was, the audience was treating me like I was. They were listening for real. I wasn’t like when I was a magician where you had to fight for their attention. College students and dining halls that weren’t paying. It’s like, you know, the fight with people on their phones. These were people who thought I was an expert. So they were leaning in and I felt that responsibility and it really hit me. And so I spent the next year just in an attempt to get to conquer my imposter syndrome. I thought, well, the only way to conquer the imposter syndrome is do not be an impostor. So I just devoured for a year, asked my wife, I disappeared for a year and to book and videos and conversations with them. I read everything you could read, watched every video you could watch, talk to every person I could talk to who studied connection, communication perspective, you know, psychologists and philosophers and sociologists and academics. Mmm . It turns out the way people become experts is just by obsessing over a very niche topic, more than anyone has in their right mind. Would ever do. And after a year of just trying to not feel like an idiot, when I was giving these speeches, I became the quote unquote expert, you know, nobody’s really an expert, but I became the quote unquote expert that people thought I was when, uh, when they were paying me. So that first year was a lot of growing pains, lotta getting out of your comfort zone, lot of learning to become an academic. And all of a sudden my career came full circle where I realized I had just skipped the PhD and became an academic. It was, it was kind of weird. So really weird detour through magic tricks, stupid amount of awesome learnings within .

Victor Ahipene: They’re part of your journey. I think like for instance, I, I see a lot of people out there and they, uh, they go out and they write out three or you know, work out three keynote presentations that they’re going to do or they decide they’re going to put their expertise into a course and they go and create the whole course. Whereas I’m, I’m very much in your camp and I know a lot of other people are in the sense of, uh, build the plane while you’re flying or, you know, pre presale that idea, get it out there and, if people actually want it, it’s not because it’s the best kept secret behind the scenes. You go, Oh, well I’ve got the greatest thing in the world. Uh, why are you guys. Yeah. Not, not signing me up to speak or not, not doing anything like that. And the other thing is like, yeah, yeah, there’s that, that, um, aspect of lack, which I think everyone gets somewhere along their journey in different ways, but it’s also having that willingness even with the imposter syndrome, because yeah, if you don’t get it, I’m impressed with anybody who doesn’t get it.

Brian Miller: You’re not trying hard enough or you haven’t taken it seriously enough.
Victor Ahipene: Yeah. And I, I think with that as it’s willing to be able to go, okay, yeah, cool. I’ve got some luck. Am I willing to go all in on it or am I willing to take another chance on it? Because a lot of people, um, yeah, Oh, why, why is me a the kind of victim mentality? Why does this never happen to me? It’s like, well, did you miss EJ 400 universities? Like did you go and start teaching something? Can then, you know, other opportunities happen to happen because of that. No, you didn’t. So it’s about putting yourself outside of that comfort zone and then luck happens off the back of it. You know, you can’t necessarily predict what’s going to happen, but if you’re not out there taking action off the back of it. So I think a couple of, of really, really cool things off the back of that and not being, not being too set in stone in regards to, you know, you got these, and this is just me hesitant, I guess. You know, TEDx talks, they have this, yeah. If they do have that viralocity about them at say, yeah, a quick op shot and then, um, YouTube decides, okay, we’ve had enough of that one for the time being. Um, and it kind of tapers off. Um, yeah. It’s, it doesn’t go. Yeah. Oh, 3 million, 30 million, 300 million. Um, Alicia Simon, Alicia, Simon Sinek or, or, um, yeah. Along those lines, how did you, um, from from a, you know, you kind of transitioned into the speaking world, how did you then leverage the, say the, the talks you are giving and two further talks. Did you have to develop your kind of the outreach side of things or was it your like, Hey, I did an awesome job and performance, uh, there more people are referring me on to other organizations. How did that kind of look from your yeah, your next 12 months from there?

Brian Miller: Yeah. At the beginning we were approaching it the only way we knew how, which was how I built my magic career. And it turns out that the speaking industry was not anywhere near as similar to the Madigan industry as I expected or hoped for. Um, you know, magic seems like it’s this kind of highly specialized thing, but it like it is. But at the same time, most people book a magician for their event by going on the internet and searching. And yes, at the highest corporate levels, they’re obviously going to work on referrals and people they already know, but the, but when you’re a magician, it’s a fairly easy to just advertise on the internet to just do straight forward internet marketing. Because I know the kind of person who’s looking for a, I know what keywords they’re going to be searching for. I know how to target their demographic or their geographic range, you know, region, whatever. But what you learn very quickly in the speaking industry is that unless you are simply a public speaker, not a professional speaker, and the difference here is really important, right? Public speakers are just people who become really good at the art of speaking. So you can bring them in to talk on any topic, right? You’re, if you’re a local event and you say, Hey, we’ve got this 10 minute spot, we need someone to talk on behalf of this new product we have or whatever. We need a public speaker, someone who’s good at speaking to learn our stuff and deliver the talk. That’s a public speaker. And they are commodities. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s a million of them. There’s a million people who are just good at speaking and we’ll come talk about whatever topic that company wants them to as opposed to being a professional speaker. Professional speakers have our own, we have our own message. You don’t, you don’t hire me to come talk about what you want. You will hire me to come talk about what I talk about. No one hires me to come, you know, talk about, I don’t know, uh, you know, uh, well what were you talking about? But uh, before, uh, the, the great barrier reef energy conservation of, of their natural resources. Like, yeah, could I, of course I could. Cause I’ve, I’ve, I’ve become really good as a speaker so I could take my skill as a speaker and learn your script, but I’m not going in to speak about that. You can’t ask me to come speak about what you want. You’re only going to hire me if you want my message, my story, my experience, my perspective, and that’s what professional speakers do. And that that is the difference between someone who gets 500 bucks to go to some local event and talk about whatever they want and to talk about. And somebody gets five grand, 10 grand, 20 grand to come give a 45 minute speech halfway across the world, be phoned first-class and put up in resorts and all this other stuff that seems impossible, certainly did to me when I started. That only comes when you have a very, very clear message and a very clear, uh, call to action, right? When you’re actually delivering something that’s going to bring more value than the 10 grand. They think, yeah, we’re paying 10 grand, but so what? We’re going to get a hundred grand worth out of this. So who cares? Right? It’s worth every penny. So the way to get those gigs, no one’s booking a speaker for five, 10 20 grand by Googling, you know, speaker near me in Melbourne, Australia or whatever. Right? No, that’s not who getting hired by Google searches. The only people getting hired to give those kinds of speeches, the ones at the top of the industry. Right. And I’m not talking about celebrities. So excluding the people who are already famous for something that people like us, who are professional speakers, getting five figure rates, how are we getting booked? We’re not getting booked on Google searches. We’re not getting booked from advertising. We’re getting booked because of our connections. The industry, it is a relationship. Business. Speaking is a relationship business. People only hire speakers that they either know of, they know personally, or they know someone who knows of or knows personally, right? That’s it. Other than that, if they can Google for a speaker, you’re not going to get booked for 10 grand. If they’re Googling, they have a budget, they have a low, they have a $500 budget or even a thousand dollars budget. And again, there’s no nothing, there’s nothing wrong with being that that person, right, by all means you do you. But if this professional speaker flyer around the world give keynotes and workshops and consult if that’s what you’re looking for, you need to build relationships. So that, that was a super, super, super long answer to what you originally asked me, which was how did I actually turn the TEDx into a career that first year, I almost failed to do it. I almost didn’t capitalize on the success of the TEDx talk because we were trying to do new internet marketing based on the Ted X talk. We are just trying to take our old model and shove it into this new industry didn’t work. And I probably lost a lot of potential, uh, by making that mistake, but we didn’t know any better. So once we figured that out, I started leveraging every single speech. Every time I’m on stage, every handshake, every person I meet is someone that I need to make sure I connect with, which of course ironically is what I talk about on stage. But it’s amazing how you can forget to do the thing that, you know, when it comes to yourself, right? It’s really easy to give other people advice, right? That’s why you see doctors smoking right outside the ER, right? And you’re just like, how? How could you possibly, well, it’s really hard to take your own advice. So when I really started to live and breathe the message, I was actually, you know, putting out there on stage that I was getting hired to come speak about and making meaningful connections with everyone. And when I say with everyone, I mean not just the people you think can book you. I mean everyone. That is a very difficult thing to do. I wrote an entire book about it, right? Three new people. That entire book is about adopting this mentality of showing up for everyone. You meet on a daily basis personally and professionally. Learning to look people in the eye and say, I hear you, I see you and I’m here for you. And if you can make that your life’s philosophy, obviously your personal life will be better, but you’ll find your professional life, especially in a relationship industry starts to take care of itself.
Victor Ahipene: Nice. Awesome. And I think that’s, uh, yeah, there’s an, in regards to kind of that, that connecting with people, is that like you’re saying, there’s going to be, you don’t know if you’re talking to the potential, you know, someone whose husband’s in HR or wife’s an HR person at a, at another company and they do the hiring for their events and nights they go home and they rave because they had that personal connection with you. Um, yeah, it’s very much the Gary V model of I, yeah. Some dude stops him at the airport and he’ll give them that five or 10 minutes or um, you know, being able to genuinely connect with people, because I’ve always said it, people will not come to the back of the room and want to talk to you if they didn’t feel moved or touched or have some sort of opinion. There’s, there’s always going to be the people who are like, Oh, okay, that, that didn’t resonate with me at all. Or I had other things on my mind at that time or you know, whatever. And they’re going to disappear. Those other ones, it’s like, yeah, you can either be the snob, you can be the person who’s like, Oh yeah, I only want to talk to, you know, the CEO of this company. Or you can be the person who’s like, if I just want to connect with people, um, and, and take everything to the next level with them and allow them to, you know, ask what they want to ask or share what they want to share or get off their chest because that deep. And that’s what I freaking love about being able to present and speak to people is when you do it, um, yes, you get a bit of, um, you know, people love listening to podcasts and learning like this or they love watching a YouTube video, but having that visceral ability to have the hears on the Beck unit stick up or have their aha moment drop in a room and then potentially be able to connect with that speaker or that workshop facilitator, facilitator or whatever it may be. Um, it’s just like a whole, a whole different level, which is what I, yeah, absolutely.

Brian Miller: Feeling of being scene of being understood is so powerful and it’s becoming rarer and rarer in a world that is very divisive and, and, and all these different silos and bubbles that w the social media has shoved us into. We have forgotten how to do that. And when someone shows up in your life, especially a stranger, when you haven’t experienced sit standing in line waiting for coffee and, and the person standing in front of you actually turns around and strikes up a conversation for 20 seconds and it doesn’t have to change your life. But in that moment, it’s amazing how good it feels to be seen as a person with value. And we just don’t do it anymore and people are desperate for it.

Victor Ahipene: Mm. So before, before we ran out, there’s one other thing that I hope listeners out there picked up and it was your ability to be an expert in, like you said, like no one’s really an expert, but you go, if you’re thinking that you’ve got an area of expertise or, or knowledge, like you were saying, go and obsess on it. Go and get the first 10 or 20 to start with off Amazon, uh, in that space. Go on, watch. Yeah. A hundred or a thousand hours of, uh, you know, other thought leaders in that space on, on YouTube and by other people’s courses and learn and see are you on the right track? You’re, where do you disagree? Where do you agree? Because the more and more knowledge that you get on that particular subject is what is going to be able to turn it from a 14 minute presentation with, you know, filled up with some magic tricks to get to there. And so, you know, 45 minutes and going, ah, I’m only, I’m only scratching the surface on what I write,

Brian Miller: right? When the, when I get booked now and someone says, you, we got, we need you for a 45 minute keynote. I’m like, Oh, I only have 45 what am I going to talk about in only 45 cause I do six hour workshops now and that’s not enough. You know, and like there’s just this wealth of stuff that I want to talk about. And actually the hardest thing now is choosing which 45 minutes is the right stuff for this project. Particular audience, this, this group of people sitting in front of me today.
Victor Ahipene: Hmm. And I, I honestly think being able to, you know, have something that you can speak for three minutes, 30 minutes. Yeah. Three hours, three days is what allows you to help minimize that impostor syndrome, uh, is what helps you go, yeah, okay, well look, I could, you know, I’m not struggling to fill out 30 minutes. I’m sitting there going, shit, how do I only speak for 30 minutes? Uh, yeah. Our value of value. Like, you know, there’s a lot of extroverts who think they’re good speakers because they just hide the sound of their own voice and they just speak for 30 minutes. But yeah. Of value. Once you kind of hit that point, you’re like, Oh man, like, yeah, I’m, I’m, I’m legit at this or I’m good at this. Or, um, yeah, not drinking your own Kool-Aid too much, obviously, but I, I really, really value that point because it’s something that I say to people, like, you’re never going to know too much about your area of expertise. Um, and you know, everybody who’s kind of deemed in that, you know, quote unquote expert area has learned from other people. So go out and kind of divulge in and get as much as you can in that space. So yeah.

Brian Miller: And I I want to highlight real quick, one of the things you said which was so important and I think it might’ve flown by the anybody listening just now, which was that you said, you know, find people you know, what do you agree with, what do you disagree with that disagree with is really important. Like at some point when you start to form your opinion on your, your content area, when you start to become something of an expert, it’s, it’s easier and easier to just find people who agree with you cause there’s a wealth of that and what you need to do if you’re going to keep growing and become a deeper and deeper expert with a larger base of knowledge and information. and wisdom hopefully. Right. The difference between knowledge and eventually to be wise about a topic is you have to actively seek out people who disagree with you. And, and not people who disagree with you on a whim, not the people on Facebook making silly comments who don’t know what they’re talking about. Know experts who’ve studied for years or 10 years or decades, who disagree with you with a lot of data and an experience and opinions to back it up. Ah, okay. Because when you find someone who’s got really fantastic arguments that disagrees with you, then you start to really learn about that topic.

Victor Ahipene: That’s a little some, well, there’s a ton to dissect in the everybody and it’s, I, what I really loved about this episode is it just shows that you, even if you never thought you’d be a speaker or you’re on a particular journey now and you know, you’ve got a message that you do want to share, it can be a winding journey. You’ve got to have that kind of perseverance through there. But yeah, I employee old to look to be that, uh, that expert speaker rather than the hired gun, um, out there because it’s, it’s gonna, it’s gonna be more impactful, more impactful for you, even though, you know, it may be stroking the ego side of things, but it’s going to be more impactful for you to want to get up and do it every day as well as for your audience because you know that you can control the narrative a lot, a lot stronger. So with all of that being said, I really appreciate your time and want to welcome you to speak a nation family. If people want to find out more about you, your, your book, um, getting in touch and, and, uh, following your journey week and they go and what can they do?

Brian Miller: Great. Yeah. Thanks so much Victor. I mean, this was a pledge. I feel like you and I could talk for three more hours, but uh, or, or 30 more hours probably. But, uh, if somebody wants to find out more about my work, if you just go to three new, uh, all spelled out, three new although I think if you put the number three and instead I also own that domain and a forwards to there. So I think past me was very smart about that. But three new three new right there. You’ll see my book obviously, but you’ll also see an email box you can put in your email and gain access to all of my free resources. Literally the book is the only thing I charge for. That is the only thing. I have a weekly blog and a community. I have a biweekly podcast with legends and leaders of industries. A lot of people that you, if you’re listening to this podcast, many people like we were talking about earlier, people like Seth Goden, uh, and, and people like, uh, Chris Voss who’s coming on soon and my next season. People that you’d be really interested in hearing from. Mmm. And yeah, you can toss your email in there and get a bunch of resources and based on the conversation we just had, one of the resources you’ll get is called meet your three, seven ways to open a conversation with anyone. This is an exceptional free resource.

Victor Ahipene: that you’ll get if you just pop your email in. So three new Brilliant. Well, we’ll link all of that for all of [email protected] as well. You can find this in all our previous episodes. Look, it has been an absolute pleasure diving into the art of human connection, but also how to be able to leverage that into, into the world of public speaking. So I appreciate your time and I look forward to hopefully liaising better next time. We’re on either side of the world. Absolutely. Well, vector, thanks so much again. And a happy new year. Happy new year.