Become the Face of a Movement with Neil Gordon

Reading Time: 24 Minutes

In this interview with Neil Gordon, we discuss how authors and public speakers connect with their ideal audiences.

After the Interview:

About Neil Gordon

Neil is an expert at helping experts become the face of a movement. Neil worked as an editor at Penguin and an executive speechwriter at the MOXiE Institute before beginning his own firm, Neil Gordon Consulting. Today he’s a presentation specialist, ghostwriter, creative editor, content strategist, and even cartoonist, helping authors and public speakers connect with their ideal audiences.

Read the Transcript

Jen:  Hey Deliberate Leaders! I’m Jen Drean, host of the Deliberate Leaders Podcast, where we’re dedicated to helping leaders build strong, thriving businesses. Each episode features an inspiring interview to help you on your leadership journey, and today I have with me, Neil, Neil Gordon is an expert at helping experts become the face of a movement. Neil, welcome to the show.

Neil:  Thank you very much for having me. Jen,

Jen:  Can you tell me a little bit about you and your background? And what does being an expert’s become the face of the movement mean to you?

Neil:  Well, what you might expect me to say, Jen, is that because I have a background in book publishing, I was an editor at Penguin for a while, and I’ve ghostwritten books, and I’ve helped public speakers, and I’ve helped all these people with very word based English language related jobs and all that. You might think that I come from some kind of Ivy League, kind of English major pedigree background, where I’ve been reading since I was 2 and just loving the written word my whole life, and that couldn’t have been farther from the truth when I was a kid. I hated reading, and I completely tanked my SAT verbals the first time, I took them, and I think I got like a 330 out of 800, it was terrible, and it was so awful. But at the end of college, I discovered reading for leisure, and within 6 or 8 months of graduating from college, I started reading really substantive stuff that led to this whole worldview shift in how I related to the world, and I got so curious about how a book could do that to me that I just immersed myself and became very analytical about the written word, and that’s what led to my Penguin job and everything else to follow up.

Jen:  Awesome. I noticed in your bio, a little bit that you’ve helped clients get 6 figure book advances, you’ve helped them get onto TV shows like Ellen and Dr. Oz, which I think are those ones that we all look at. You’ve been on those, you’ve made it. You also help speakers, right?

Neil:  Exactly. Yes. What I found out was that the best practices that helps an author to become very popular; even bestselling author, are very similar to what can help a public speaker, to give one of those jobs jaw [phonetic 01:39] dropping, captivating talks, and makes everyone rush up to you afterwards with business cards, and a desire to work with you and all of that, and to give you more speaking gigs and stuff too, and so working with speakers just wound up being a really powerful way to help people and even less time because books take a long time to write. So why not have an even more or at least comparable impact, but in less time, and frankly, for less costly engagements.

Jen:  Yes. Speaking of speaking, that’s not quite the way I wanted to put it. [chuckles] Moving into like talking about the speakers I noticed on your website, you have a little quiz that you can take about the 5 different types of speakers, and I went and took it, I came out as a chameleon and I want to talk a little bit about the 5 different types and where they can find that on your website?

Neil:  Absolutely. What a lot of people do when they set out to start a speech, someone introduces them, and this is more for the live speaking, I want to distinguish this virtual presenting is, of course, very popular and common right now. But in terms of the live presentations that we’re now going back to, as we open up again, what a lot of people will do is get up on stage “Oh, thank you so much for having me. It’s so nice to be here.” And they might say about the person who introduced them “Isn’t so-and-so great for introducing me. What a lovely person.” But they’re visiting, they’re almost trying to get the audience to like them, and so what I encourage speakers to do in general, is captivate their audience instantaneously. As soon as you get on stage. You knew something that just sucks them right in, because there’s all that tension at the end, like the tension at the beginning of a race, and so what the speaker quiz does is it puts you into one of 5 speaker personality types, that helps you to find a way that’s in line with who you are and how you are and so that you can then captivate them in a way that’s really true to your personality, and so one of the ways is the owl. The owl is that more cerebral type who might typically give a lot of information you might get like a college professor, an owl or someone like that, and what they could do is kind of like a demonstration or something there, they can still be captivating, but they could do some kind of thing, like bolado [phonetic 05:17] is a TED speaker who does a lot of great presidents, like demonstration with optical illusions and things like that. So that’s something that’s kind of cerebral, but it’s also really compelling.

And then an elephant is another type, which is more of your Brene [phonetic 05:33] brown kind of almost introverted or soft and vulnerable type of person who might tell a really sweet story about somebody or about themselves, and that vulnerable share is equally compelling. It’s just very different. It’s for that softer, more subdued personality, especially people who think themselves to be introverts who have no place on stage. They’re often elephants in that way, and then you have the bird of paradise, which is an interesting one. Have you heard of bird of paradise type birds? Have you seen these on like Animal Planet, or whatever they do these huge choreographed dance routines, basically, for the females before they mate.

Jen:  OK…

Neil: [crosstalk 06:19]] Sort of like a peacock with his feathers. Well, they just do these whole choreographed things, and so a very paradise speaker might captivate with a really theatrical kind of story or something like that., I’m a former theater major from way back and I love ridiculous accents and all of that, and so I’m endeared to when someone is also has a theatricality to them, because they can reenact things in real time on stage and someone looks at me, and they’re like, “I can’t believe you said to me kind of thing”, just like really getting animated and over the top and stuff like that.

And so then we have the monkey; the monkey is your mischief maker. The person who is going to mess with their audience, they might miss direct their audience, they might deliberately lie to them. In a story, Tim Urban. He has a very famous TED talk on procrastination, and he pretends that he wrote this paper at the last minute, because he procrastinates, and he pretends that they said it was the greatest paper we’ve ever seen, and he’s like, none of that’s true. It was awful kind of thing. So he’s a monkey. He’s like, playing with messing with the audience.

Finally, we get to the chameleon, would you say you are, and a chameleon is what I want everyone to become Jen. So congratulations.

Jen:  All right.

Neil:  Chameleon has an ability to adapt as a coach, that totally makes sense for you. Because you reflect back what people are experiencing. So you’re in tune with whatever situation needs. So you’re in a position to use any of those kinds of devices with rather great agility, to be able to, oh, this is not the same kind of crowd, I should bring in this story instead, or I shouldn’t actually do my wild and wacky crazy self, I should actually bring things to a far more vulnerable, subdued kind of quality, whatever that might be, and so you have that ability to adapt to any of the above, essentially.

Jen:  Got you. So we should be all striving to be some sort of a chameleon, if we’re really being the most effective we can be, or working within that natural what we have and kind of using that to really captivate people. Does that sound right?

Neil:  I would say so. I like to say Jen, that the only hard and fast rule of communication is that there are no hard and fast rules. But I also believe that effective communication values the recipient, over the sender, and if you can adapt yourself to serve your audience even more, you’re going to be that much more compelling and that much more in demand of the speaker.”

Jen:  Yes. Where can other people find this quiz?

Neil:  Oh, yes, of course. We have to give them the link to the quiz. Of course, you can go to my website, It’s also right above the header on my homepage as well.

Jen:  Perfect. We will have that in the show notes too. So if you missed that– don’t know how to spell it. We’ll get it for you. Perfect. So that leads us into a little bit, I think the next topic, which is something you’ve termed the silver bullet method, right?

Neil:  Hmm.

Jen:  So it’s a little known. I show a little known trick of becoming an un-ignorable speaker. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Neil:  I would love to share actually a story with you will indulge me?

Jen:  Yes.

Neil:  I have this client I work with a handful of years ago, I knew her through Children’s Hospital back in LA where I used to live, and she was the head of a program that gifted books to the children staying in the hospital and also sent volunteers out to read with them bedside. Well, l full disclosure, I used to volunteer as well as to her on as a client, and so I was one of the people going and reading to these kids and stuff like that. That’s actually a really good place for my theatricality, by the way, anyway, that being said, I went in to do my shift one day, and she was all flustered and kind of feeling off as well, what’s wrong, and it turned out that she had a presentation to give that day on describing the program to basically supporters of the hospital donors that are given these kind of 10 minute presentations before, and the reason why she was off was because she was dreading the presentation. Because in the past, whenever she spoke on the program, people would just kind of glaze over, and they would just be like, OK, what is this going to be over kind of thing, and at the end, they just politely clap, and that would be it, and she’d wonder why am I even talking about the program? Nobody cares about this, which is a shame because it was a unique program. I didn’t think there’s another one like it, and I asked her like, “Would you like a little bit of help on what to say today?” And she said, “Yes.” So I took her aside, and we discussed what to say. She went off and did the thing, and I saw her that afternoon, I asked her, “How it went.” And she said, she had been captivated from the moment she started speaking, you could hear the pin drop, as they say, and then at the end they just politely clapping. They lined up with business cards, and one person even invited her to apply for a grant.

Jen:  Oh, wow.

Neil:  Yes. But the entire conversation, Jen, took 2 minutes, the conversation in which I helped her to make it over, and the question was, how do we do that in so little time? Now on the one hand, I partly did what we were talking about with the speaker quiz, and that I helped her to captivate them, she had more of the elephant type with that hendre [phonetic 12:28] story, because it was about a child in the hospital, and we got her to go right into it instead of visiting, and no, thank you so much for being here and all that. But the other thing we did, wasn’t just about what she said in the speech but what we had done prior to that day?

Neil:  Prior to that day, we had figured out how to capture the entirety of that program, down to a single sentence, a secret sauce, that captured the very fundamental nature of the idea, and other idea can be scaled not just in different aspects of the program. But how any given audience member could take that idea and run with it themselves in their own lives, and it’s what you identified before and what I call the silver bullet, which is this one sentence recipe that leads to these epiphanies [phonetic 13:20] aha kind of moments, and if you land it just right, it can even give your audience chills. Because there’s so much completion in the idea of this specific kind of sentence.

And in her case, like there’s a very famous silver bullets like I like in The Art of War by Sun Tzu is 2500-year-old military treatise, and on line 18 of Chapter-1 of the book, he says;

“All of warfare is deception.”

And he’s taking all of his expertise, and coming down to that one sentence if you want to win a war, deceive your opponent, and then Ted speakers have silver bullets, like Dan Pink has one of my favorites when he talks about the puzzle of motivation, I believe is the name of the talk. It’s been around for over 10 years now. It’s very popular 10s of millions of views, and he says his silver bullet, about 2/3rd of the way into the talk is, “The secret to high performance is not rewards and punishments, but that unseen intrinsic drive to do things because they matter. You don’t give them carrots and sticks. You motivate them by showing them how much their work matters” [crosstalk 14:36] the bigger picture right, and then finally my client that day the silver bullet we came up with for her was much shorter than Dan’s is actually only three words, it was;

“Literacy can heal.”

And the story she told at the beginning and the way she described the program and everything she said toward the end, all came down to that one 3-word sentence, and so even if someone was in the audience and didn’t care about children in the hospital, which, who would ever want to be that person, but let’s say for argument’s sake, they’re just back checked out, and they just heard those 3 words. Let’s say they had a child with ADHD who would never settle down and go to bed at night. What if they just had the idea right then and there? What if I just started reading to my child at night and then gradually read more armoring calming and subtle and nuanced books, we start big and we go calmer and calmer and calmer, and maybe that’ll help them to settle down. It’s just an idea. But that 3-word sentence would potentially empower them. Anyway, that has nothing to do with the program.

Jen:  I like that you say, causes chills. Like I think that when you said that one that was like, the first thing I noticed was like, I had a visceral reaction to the words that you said, and so I can understand, I guess that that feeling that we’re trying to accomplish. So what do you think that most speakers do wrong? What kind of mistakes do they make, that they’re doing instead of creating that silver bullet type of method?

Neil:  The biggest mistake I would say happens across the board, in what we can call the show up and throw up, which is, “I’m an expert, I’m going to go and speak on my topic, I have 45 minutes, I am going to cram as much stuff into that 45 minutes that I can. Because the more information I provide, the more value I provide, and that’s what’s happening everywhere.” And especially when someone has, let’s say, like a 5 step process, and they’re giving a keynote, and they make the keynote basically describing all 5 steps, and that’s the primary thrust of their talk. Highly, highly misguided. Because when people show up for a speech, are they going to necessarily have all their problems solved by the end of the speech? Or are they going to need to buy the speakers book? Or are they going to need to buy a program, or even just go back to their website and read everything they could find that the person has written in their blog or something like that? Is it likely that they’re going to need more of an education on the content before it actually becomes something that really creates meaningful change in their life?

Jen:  Yes.

Neil:  Probably yes. I mean, it’s great to be inspired and motivated by a talk and to even get some sort of tips that they can make actionable in their life in some way. Well, what if there was a real fundamental shift that they could make? The job of the speaker is to compel them, to want to take that action, to want to go deeper. Like those people with my client who showed up with their business cards or invited her to buy for grant. They’re immersing themselves in her world more than just politely clapping.

Jen:  Sure.

Neil:  And so the mistake is to do this show up and throw up. But what I want them to do instead is built to this silver ball like statement as sort of like a climactic moment, it’s almost like a movie script, where you get to that climax in the film; films make hundreds of millions, billions of dollars now, because of cliffhangers because people are on the edge of their seats, because they’re anticipating something. So instead of the show up and throw up or you’re just delusion them with information the whole time, you build up that one epiphanies [phonetic 18:49] moment, provide some actionable content for it, some tips about how to support the big idea. But by doing that, you don’t overwhelm them with information, you make them hungry for learning this thing that you’re building up to and building up to and building up to, but when you have that chills, like silver bullet moment, you can justify all of that build up.

Jen:  So I totally understand the concept but isn’t it always great to have more information, not less.

Neil:  I appreciate how that would be what we would expect. I want for people to have more change, rather than less.

Jen:  OK.

Neil:  But I encourage my folks to do is not to become an agent of information, but to be an agent of the change that that information brings, and so if the job of a speaker is to help people to be much more functioning in their job at their company like to really navigate to be of greater influence, to not just do good work, but for the executives, the higher ups and know more about them, they can get all the information in the world in that 45 minutes. But if they’re overwhelmed now, they’re like, “Oh, man, this is gonna be a lot of work.” And they listen, and they like everything they hear. But then they go home and do everything the same way that they always did, how much value does that speech hold for them. But if they provide the big idea, and then here’s A tip, or here’s 2 tips, or 3 even of how you can make that idea real in your life in the next week or so. They might actually try it, and if it works, they’ll look up the speaker/author again, “Oh, they have a book, I should buy that book.” And now they’re reading the book, and now they have a lot more information in the book, and then they start implementing all of that, and then they’re like, this is really great. Does this speaker have live trainings that I can go to on site, and they find out, they have a retreat or something like that, and they’re getting more and more immersed and meanwhile, they become better and better at implementing that fundamental idea?

Jen:  Well, I like that for a few reasons as a coach:

1: We always tell people that you can have all these great big goals, but you don’t ever take action, it doesn’t really mean much, and so I think that the inspiring change and action is super critical. I think that also, if we’re to have the biggest impact, and the biggest influence in our world that we want to, regardless of what field we’re in, that’s a great way to do it. Don’t just make the change yourself, but then inspire that change and give them a way to do it so fast that you almost don’t think about it, and then they dive deeper into that natural curiosity we have as humans, and they dive as deep as they need to, to feel like they’ve conquered it which I think is [unintelligible 21:55] to them as well.

Neil:  Absolutely. People are empowered not by information, not by that which they know is true, but rather that which they believe is possible, and if they see that possibility, they’ll do exactly what you just said, and really be empowered by the information they do have a grasp on.

Jen:  Yes. I think one of my favorite conferences I’ve ever been to, the one that had the biggest impact was one where we actually took 10 minutes at the end of his presentation to take the action, like we created a goal, thought about something and then he actually gave us a little countdown timer on the screen and says, “OK, now go do one thing that moves you in the direction of that thing.” Crosstalk 22:36]. So for me, it was I wanted to do a triathlon, and talk inspired me to take that 10-minute action, and then that year, I did my first triathlon, which was incredible, because I’m not a do not defend myself as an athlete. But it was something that was on my bucket list I always wanted to do and so I think inspiring that kind of change in that action, somebody is hugely impactful, so I can understand why getting to that point and creating that is so key.

Neil:  It’s a perfect example, Jen, it’s exactly right, and just 10 minutes of doing a thing is way more possible than spending the next 6 months making over your life.

Jen:  Yes, absolutely. Well, one of the things we talked about giving a speech that kind of sends chills up here. I know, one of the things that you’re really great at is helping people craft elevator pitches that inspire that same level of a chill and doing it in that 20 seconds that we usually get for an elevator pitch. Tell me a little bit more about that, and how you help people do that?

Neil:  Well, one time I was going, I went to a happy hour the night before a conference that I was attending in New York, and it was a pretty small gathering. At first it was just about 08 or so of us, and then it got to be bigger as the night went on. So we were all standing in a circle talking as one in one conversation, and the ringleader of the happy hour the one who had organized it, she turned to me said, “What do you do Neil?” And I started describing myself, I basically started my elevator pitch, and when she knows it about 15 seconds in, I was interrupted and everyone started talking with one another. Now what I’m supposed to say is how rude of them to interrupt my elevator pitch so that they could all talk with one another. But the truth is, they suddenly started talking with one another because of what I said there was suddenly this electric current through the conversation throughout the circle that they wanted to process and then eventually they circled back and asked me to finish describing my stuff. What I did in that moment, right before they interrupted me and had this kind of electrical reaction to what I said. What I said was my silver bullet for the larger encompassing idea which I’ve actually already said in this conversation with You, which is that effective communication value the recipient over the sender, the silver bullet, add that desired effect where suddenly got my audience excited about my world. That being said, “What did I say before I said it, what I like to teach people.” And this is not even just in terms of elevator pitches, but also speeches, and the way you might try to write an email to someone if you’re trying to get someone on board with your way of thinking about something is that you frame everything in the context of a problem they care about solving. People are most likely to embrace your solution when it’s provided within that context, and so what I said at the beginning, was that many experts will struggle to attract other people to their ideas, and even a different way of doing things, and I started with that opening sentence was basically setting up the problem, and then I said a sentence about “Typically, what people communicating do is they focus on their message, they focus on their expertise and their stuff in an effort to try to get other people to care about it.

And then I said the silver bullet, “but really effective communication values the recipient over the sender,” then they caught me off, and then I finished the elevator pitch eventually, and said, “What I do as a communication consultant is I help thought leaders to transform their message and attract many more people to it with a truly compelling way to speak and write, and all of that.

  • And so what I took you through just now is a little 4-part [phonetic 26:50] structure for what you can do as an elevator pitch in 20, 30 seconds, where you have one sentence for establishing the problem.
  • The 2nd sentence is identifying typical solutions, like we were talking about what mistakes do speakers often make? And that’s a very good question to ask, because conventional wisdom, snares us often to this idea of “Oh, yeah, what we’ve tried in the past doesn’t work. So what works Instead, it tees us up for wanting to hear a better solution.” So the person senses the problem. Second is typical solutions to that problem.
  • The 3rd sentence is a silver bullet.
  • And then the 4th sentence and beyond is just describing your stuff, what you do, or what your company does, or what your product does, or whatever it is, and it’s a little bit of context that sets up everything that they had originally asked about.

Jen:  So we talked first about we kind of frame the problem, and I would imagine you want to again, frame that problem in a way that is for the person that you’re speaking to, not you and your perception of the problem?

Neil:  Right, as they understand it, or people like them, because they might not be their main audience, but at least something they could relate to, for sure.

Jen:  Yes, and then we talk about second one would be problems that are as possible solutions, or at least solutions that have been tried in the past, maybe?

Neil:  Right [crosstalk 28:16] Exactly, they either don’t work or they worked in the past and don’t work anymore, don’t work as well, whatever it is.

Jen:  And then deliver your silver bullet with the wrap up of why your solution is going to actually fix the problem.

Neil:  Right.

Jen:  OK. Awesome. That is a great quick 4-step process right there. Why do you think it’s so important for the elevator pitches to be so concise? I know I’ve heard some people they can’t really get out what they want to say and what they do and who they are, in a short period of time, like it ends up being a full on conversation. So why do you think it’s so important to be concise?

Neil:  With the information age being what it is, and there being as much noise as there is, what we’re up against in general, is that it’s harder than ever convince somebody that something is worth paying attention to, and so the value of conciseness… Why is it being all about how empowering someone in so little time creates such a rich sense of possibility that they just want to know more or they want to go even deeper and one of my clients I helped him with his signature talk and he came up with a silver bullet, and then sometime later, he was talking to this Indian Mughal [phonetic 29:57] this guy from India who’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and he said his silver bullet to them and the guy asked him if he would fly out to India and spend some time with him, and my guy was going to have surgery, and so we had to be in the hospital. So the guy from India, got on a plane and flew to him, he was based out of Europe, just to take bedside as he was recovering from whatever he had done, just to talk to him, because such a concise delivery empowered him more than he ever expected, and that defied expectations lead to that much more hunger for more.

Jen:  Yes, that’s a great example. Do you have any other examples of what kind of impact of having such a great elevator pitch nailed down to?

Neil:  Yes, another one of my clients, we likewise worked on his public speaking to start, but then he had the idea that he could use some of our time to work out how to explain the value of a new program he had, because he’s a corporate executive coach type, and he works with big corporations and companies, and so his pitches help is to do a program for their employees. So he’s talking to HR, talent and development type people.

So he got on these calls, and he talks about feedback and the value of good feedback, and there’s lots of people out there talking about how to give better feedback. So he risked being part of what we could call the commoditization problem that he’s perceived as one of many, and when you have the commodity problem, you just are competing on price, how he demonstrates a unique value is as she asked him, how are you different and because of his silver bullet, and how concisely you can identify that difference, they basically just all hired him. right then and there. This is during COVID, and he wound up making multiple 5 figure deals. I was thinking of 10s of 1000s of dollars when I said a 5-figure deals, which is still no small thing. But he did very well with it, because of how concisely he could just answer that question how are you different?

Jen:  Yes, I think that’s a boiling it down to something that really helps, like you said, in the information age, and how fast people are wanting information given to them and then make a decision. I think you have to almost have that urgency to be able to say that quick enough, off the top of your head, but in a very nice and rehearsed way. But not too overly rehearsed, where it’s like a memorize [crosstalk 32:43]

Neil:  I like to say when people learn this elevator pitch thing, and they’re just in a casual conversation. I don’t really even like for them to go into Speech Mode and be like, Oh, I’m going to say my four things, because that’s what that guy knew on the podcast said, “No, it’s more like, you know how it’s really hard to do blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And there’ll be like, “Oh, yes, I have that problem all the time,” and in the past, you might have tried to do this, this or that. Yes, that didn’t work very well at all. All right, well, instead of that the key to doing this, then you say your silver bullet.

So it still has that kind of softer, more casual conversational quality to it.

Jen:  Oh, sure.

Neil:  Structure is the same, but you’re easing them into it. Because you don’t want to go into Speech Mode too fast, or else it’s going to seem canned and hokey.

Jen:  Yes, I feel like a little bit of a wall gets put up too. Because you’ve got some of that body language communication, you switch into speaker mode, and you change your body language, and so those are people are going to mirror that back, and there’s going to be like, “OK, I’m just listening now.”

Neil:  I was just asking you what you do, dude! what are you talking about?

Jen:  Exactly. All right. Well, what are some of the biggest mistakes you see other people do when they’re doing their elevator pitches besides taking too long or not getting to the point?

Neil:  I would say that it’s pretty similar to the speaker thing, in that there’s this epidemic of showing up and throwing up in any kind of communication, not just in public speaking, and so I see a lot of that as well in elevator pitches, like “Oh, well, I’m a this, this, that”, and people will often think that they’ve been asked the question, what do you do? And so what they’re supposed to do is say exactly what the question asks of them, and that’s a pretty important thing to know is not necessarily you can reframe the conversation if someone gives you the floor, and so that’s when you say instead of saying, “Oh, well, I’m a bla bla bla bla”, I’m really against the “I’m a blah, blah, blah” type of set sentence at the beginning of an elevator pitch. So they go about that.

And the other mistake I often see is that they get into really technical terms. There’s lots of looking at how smart I am with all of my expertise and my fancy terminology and vocabulary and all of that, and I see this a lot. Oh my god! I spoke to this one young man who was going around the country speaking, and I don’t think he was getting paid yet, and I think that might have had something to do with the fact that when someone asked him about his stuff like I did, he started going through all of these really intense postgraduate type terms and vocabulary words, and by the end, I just wanted to take a nap. I just didn’t want to hear about it, because he was speaking to me lording his knowledge over me, instead of meeting me where I was at, and that’s why it’s important not just to speak with a more accessible vocabulary, but also to have that kind of casual quality, because you can launch into this really formal, super advanced pitch, it’s just going to be very few people wanting to know more.

Jen:  Yes, I think one of the more interesting reasons rephrasing of that, that you were mentioning was, when people ask you what you do instead say, “Oh, I’m really passionate about this, and kind of diving into it in a different way, and that changes it from like, what you do, and who you are to, like what you’re passionate about, and, and they almost can’t help but ask more questions about it.” Right? And so now you started dialogue in a conversation versus, just like, I’m an optometrist, or there’s something like that, where you really are like, “OK, well, I’m passionate about doing this.” And then they’re like, “Well, what does that mean?” And then now you’ve got some that captivated audience a little bit more to.

Neil:  Yes, and it can work, you use optometrist, and I feel like a lot of less conventional medical professionals could really do well with this kind of approach. I’ve worked with several people who are dental professionals. But if they just said, “I’m a dentist”, it’s going to completely short change their expertise, because they’re actually working with airway health. I didn’t learn this until more recently, that if you have sleep apnea, if you have other kinds of sleeping problems, if you have a young child who wets their bed, or something like that, what’s often happening is they’re airways being obstructed by the position of the tongue, and so if you’re a dental professional, instead of just saying, I’m a dentist, you might start with problems like, have you or anyone you known ever struggled with sleep in a way that’s like you have sleep apnea, or a child who makes the bed or something like that, “Oh, yeah, well, my father has sleep apnea”, and this, this and that, and what we typically do is get a C pap machine or this or that, and try to do these kinds of things. It works.

What, if I told you that there’s actually a whole other way to relate not just to what you put through your airway, but how you change the position of your tongue through a dental procedure? What are you talking about? And then you really got them on the hook in that way.

Jen:  Yes. That’s excellent. Well, great. How can people get in touch with you? How can they connect with you now?

Neil:  The best way is just to contact me through my website. but you can write me directly. My email is just Neil, NE-I-L, and I’m happy to have a conversation or dialogue with you about your stuff. I love the nice thing about our work, both yours and mine, Jen, I’m sure how we get to be curious about everyone.

Jen:  Yes, absolutely. It’s my favorite thing learning about humans. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to meet with us today, and tell us a little bit more about what you do. I really encourage you guys to go and take a little quiz. It was pretty fascinating. It was super short and quick. But I would also say inspired action, right? So it was definitely something that I looked at him like, “Ah, how can I do that better now”. So I think that’s a really speaks a lot to you know, what our whole conversation was about, and just captivating people and playing off of that natural curiosity that we as humans have, and so I appreciate you taking the time to talk to some more about that, and I hope to have you on the show. Again, you’ve got a lot more to talk about based off of your website. So I look forward to having some more conversations about other things in the future.

Neil:  Well, of course, I’d be delighted to have that happen Jen. Thank you for having me.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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