17 minute listen January 23, 2019
- Hosted by: Rochelle Reiter
- Topics: Brand Media Strategy
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April 9, 2019 Shownotes:
Communications & Awareness Specialist, Michael Allosso has years of experience as a professional actor, director and personal coach. Today, in Part One of The 19: Entrepreneur Edition, he shares insights on the importance of living with intention, maintaining a strong objective and listening in business.
The 19: Entrepreneur Edition with Michael Allosso – Part One
Orange Label Podcast Script
This is The 19. In 19 minutes or less, game-changing insights from Orange Label, the leading response marketing agency for established brands that are driven by a fearless entrepreneurial mindset.
Host Intro: Hi there! This is Rochelle Reiter, Agency Principal at Orange Label. Today on The 19, we’re thrilled to bring you another installment of our Entrepreneur and Leadership Series, this time, with professional actor, director and entertainer, Michael Allosso. I have had the pleasure of seeing Michael speak and he engages and wows with even the most ordinary topics. He’s a personal coach and keynote speaker, offering insights into leadership and how to be “You on Your Best Day.” He believes authenticity and believability are paramount. The same skills an actor uses for outstanding performance are needed to be a top leader and communicator. So, Michael, welcome to The 19! We’re so excited to have you.
Michael: Its always a pleasure to communicate with you Rochelle. Thank you!
Host: So I’ve seen you speak several times both in large conference settings, and in smaller workshop settings. Tell me a little bit about how you got into public speaking and coaching in the first place.
Michael: When you keep your stakes very high Rochelle and make every meeting like it’s THE only meeting you have in your life and THE most important event in your life. Excellence happens. And when excellence happens people want a piece of it, excellence is contagious people want it, people see it. Every wonderful thing that’s ever happened to me in my life has been as a result of someone seeing me, hearing me, being with me. And then doing some generous thing for me. So I was artistic director of a professional theater in New England. And I give curtain speeches. So, curtain speeches are these speeches that the director gives before a show telling subscribers about a season. And people would come up to me and say hey can you teach me to do that, can you help me to do that. And that became the transaction from professional theater into the business world. One of the many segues. I started my career as a high school drama teacher…. Yeah I knew as a kid I wanted to make a difference. I knew as a kid that I always wanted to teach. I I figured I’d be either a teacher or a lawyer.
Host: two ends of the spectrum there,
Michael: One seems more magnanimous. Yeah they’re totally the same. Litigators, teachers. And so I chose the teaching track. And after I did that for ten years I went back and got my Masters of Fine Arts in directing. Immersed myself in the professional theater world and then that transitioned into this. I I create shows for corporate companies I have a company called Personalized Entertainment. So I create personalized events. Companies hire me for their annual meetings to write shows. All that theatrical stuff people like here you’re almost like a roller skating monkey when you go into business. People look at you and wow that’s kind of neat and unusual. And really again because I did that with my whole heart and soul. People appreciated it and they found a vision in me to do something else. So now what I’m doing is the same way I’ve always doctors my whole career I’m coaching CEO’s and other executives in all kinds of businesses.
Host: Talk to me about the digital world and with so many things going digital. Do you think people in general have lost the art of communicating in person?
Michael: No matter how many times the experts measure the advocacy of human communication. What’s always finishes first as the most effective way to communicate with another human being is speaking in person. In second place is what we’re doing right now, talking by a skype voice, facetime, telephone. In third place is a hand written note and in fourth place only because its open to the most misinterpretation the most miscommunication is the email and the text. Now having said that we all know that emails and texts all those Instagram ah, twitter they’re all very effective for speed and to reach many people at one moment. But nothing ever will take the place of human beings speaking in person. Now does that mean people may have lost the art? Yeah I remember teaching in Boston conservatory, I taught there for fifteen years, and I occasionally would give my students a little thing to write. I stopped doing that because I couldn’t look at what they wrote. Cause what happens is that when we get used to texting we lose how to form sentences both written and in verbal communication. And so yes your conjecture is accurate we’re suffering some but that’s not to say that it isn’t every bit as important. and that’s not to say that people don’t find it important. People just have not had the same exercise tools to muscle it. And that’s why I’m making a living I’m able to go in and work with those people to heighten that ability to speak.
Host: Michael what training can be done with sales teams to insure they know how to effectively communicate?
Michael: Listening is probably the single most effective tool for sales people to have. So when I do a sales training it’s a good chunk of improvisation I make sales people do a listening exercise. Where they have to talk and listen to each other. Cause where sales people fall down is when they think they have to talk all the time. Its really about listening. So for me when sales people an actor course, and improve course both are superbly appropriate. How does have a hot beginning how to have a hot close. The same thing we do when I direct a play what does that opening moment look like? What does the closing moment look like? So what I find the most effective tool with sales teams is to push them outside their comfort zone to make them do improve to make them do acting related exercises. And then to quickly translate that and apply that to what they do day to day in the sales program. It all boils down to listening though, that’s what a great improviser does.
Host: You have a take on charisma and if it can be learned, tell me a little bit more about that.
Michael: Miles Davis the great Jazz musician says its its not the notes that makes the music it’s the space between the notes. So yeah anyone can learn charisma anyone can learn presence. Some of us have god given things that make it easier, some people are drop dead gorgeous some people are born with excellent bodies that its easier for them to be in shape which physical appearance is a part of charisma, and we like things that are pleasing to the eye. All that’s true. But that’s a piece the other piece is your respect for others. The other piece is do I genuinely listen to Rochelle and then take in what she says to have a response to her. That’s what a charismatic person does. Charismatic person isn’t going yap yap yap yap yap, Charismatic person is honoring the other person and enjoys that process of listening and then responds. That is the biggest piece again its almost like your last two questions are the same question Rochelle they’re that connected. I’ll also tell you Rochelle that a lot of way to be charismatic is to start every day singing and dancing.
Host: I love it I listen to the radio every morning.
Michael: Yeah and that gives us charisma. Because if you walk with a spring in your step if you’re dancing inside, you’re singing a song inside and you let that music out may sound corny but it’s a great way of being charismatic. And of course charisma is very associated to confidence if you don’t believe in yourself so you’ll never be charismatic. So can that be taught yes. It’s how I started my careers all overlapped. I started as a high school drama teacher Rochelle you don’t teach acting as much as you teach self-esteem believing in yourself. And so a lot of executives cover with what seems to be a super confident exterior but what’s inside is a lot of doubt and a lot of questioning. So charismatic presence really happens when you feel really good about yourself. You allow yourself to be vulnerable with others. So the partner word for confidence it creates charisma, that creates presence is humility. Is having confidence and humility all in the same breath. And those can be taught.
Host: How would you go about learning that or teaching it for that matter since you teach?
Michael: Self-awareness is the key you’d be surprised Rochelle that when I sit down for a one on one even when what I’m doing with you right now. I always take notes and then I listen mostly at the beginning. Then when its my turn to speak I tell the Rochelle version a bunch of things that I just listened to or observed. Very often the person is surprised or is moved or is shocked or is in angulation. Because we’re going at such a fast pace our self-awareness isn’t as high as it should be. So what I teach is self-awareness so real charisma can be learned because you make intentional choices that if you leave your life to accident charisma’s harder. If I start each day with a great amount of intentionality that I start out every day to serve others. That’s how charisma’s developed. Cause I start to sparkle. Cause when you fill someone else’s bucket whose bucket gets the fullest? Yours. And that’s when a person will say how charismatic they are, cause they’re walking around with a big full bucket. That they’re proud to lug around.
Host: Right, now we’ve talked a lot about listening. Talk about the spoken word and when and when not to speak. I know we want to engage with the other party and we’re listening. Like I can tell every time you address me you use my full name Rochelle this. And I that’s very personal to me that’s connection. Talk to me a little bit about when to actually speak. Because we talk so much about listening.
Michael: Albert Einstein says this Rochelle, he says if A is a success in life then A=X+Y+Z. Work is X, Y is Play, and Z is keeping your mouth shut. So if you look at his equation you know its hard to say if the XYZ are all equal. But if we assume if they’re almost equal, we know that it’s a third work, a third play, and a third simply being silent, keeping your mouth shut. And inherent with that is something we alluded to earlier is if you ask questions, keeping your mouth shut is easier. What happens I think we as leaders as parents, we think and we do need to make a lot of declarative and imperative statements, have that on my desk by 5 o’clock, ahum, don’t keep the car out later than 11 o’clock. Don’t ever plug that in over there that is a safety hazard. We have to do a lot of imperatives and a lot of declaratives. What I suggest is that we do more questions. If you really want to respect that spoken word you’re more prudent about how you use it. And so before you can speak you need to take in information. Rochelle this speaks to your intelligence. Cause arguably your questions have a similar subtext and listening comes back every single time it seems and that’s appropriate. You know I’ll go back and judge a high school drama festival from time to time. And its interesting with high school kids cause what they’ll do many of them are very good when its they’re turn. And then when it’s not their turn they’ll go into neutral where you see them getting reading for their turn again. What professional actors do is they’re very good when its their turn and then they stay there and they absorb and they listen and observe which informs them of the next thing that’s gonna come out of their mouth. So this pursuit you have of getting underneath it is right on the money. Its that ability to absorb, listen and then take all that information that you gather and then respond. The mistake we make sometimes is responding and giving out information before we gather any. We need to gather things first.
Host: So Michael, Marketing and Sales go hand in hand and sometimes the word “sales” is off-putting. I believe this relates to the perception that sales people have a bad reputation of being pushy and inauthentic. Part of your training is around generating enthusiasm, clarity and persuasiveness while staying true to oneself and being authentic. What are your thoughts on how to best persuade while not coming across fake or pushy?
Michael: Daniel Day Louis is considered by many the greatest actor. You know there’s only you can count on six fingers the number of people who have won more than two academy awards for acting. And Daniel Day Louis is one of them. And he’s the only one on god’s earth to win all three in the category of Best Actor. And if you think about it his wins, Lincoln, There will be Blood, My Left Foot. What he does is a thing we call in theater called emersion. So Rochelle actors don’t pretend to be the roll what do they do?
Host: They are it.
Michael: You got it. And see that’s when you said the word authenticity, my my eyes sparkle. Because the most important skill any of us can bring to the table is authenticity. That’s what the greatest actors do. And the mistake we make is that we think that acting means pretend. We think that selling means being something that we’re not. And it’s the exact opposite. It means being something that we are. That’s why I called the program you on your best day. Its not you on Rochelle’s best day, or Michael’s best day its you on your best day. So what you want to bring every day is your most excellent self. And that’s what requires intentionality. So if I genuinely want to give you a great podcast to share with your listeners. So that tells me the behavior I have to do. So I have to intentionally make choices today that help you to create a podcast for your listeners that’s informative, sparkly, entertaining, make people take something away. That’s the authentic moment. So all my behavior is based upon what I choose for my authentic objective. So the way you stay true to yourself is you don’t play it, in theater we say you don’t play adjectives. So you don’t play nice, you don’t play old, you don’t play angry, you don’t play sully. What you play is a verb, and that’s what’s called objectives. And so for example you go back to the sales people we don’t want their objective to be to sell. You said something like make a connection with your audience. Well there’s there’s a better objective. So if you state an objective that’s real, it’s what you really want to do, and then you chose tactics to play that objective that are true to you. And that’s when authenticity happens and that’s when you play something that’s honest and something that’s important. What happens sometimes Rochelle is we chose objectives that aren’t emphatic. So if I say my objective today is to learn from Rochelle. Well then I’m not gonna be very dynamic. This isn’t gonna be a dynamic interaction. Because I don’t have that’s not an objective that’s passive. Objectives can’t be intransitive they can’t be negative. I can’t say my objective is to not let Rochelle down. That doesn’t work. And so the way total immersion happens is when you have a strong objectives. You know what it is that you want and then you go after it with a variety of tactics. That are authentic and genuine causes intentionality. For example Rochelle if you say when a person says to me the most important person in my life is my life partner, and then they walk in the door at the end of the day on their cell phone in the middle of a business call, barely say hello, open their snail mail and then collapse on the couch. Sorry your behavior does not match what you’re saying your authentic person is.
Host: What would you say to our listeners, one piece of advice the most important piece of advice you could give in one sentence for our listeners.
Michael: Find beauty in the world and go and gather that beauty and then report it; when you do that you will be charismatic and be communicating like crazy.
Host: Awesome, thank you so much Michael it was so good to have you today. And we are looking forward to part two of our podcast.
Michael: Thank you Rochelle
Host: thank you
Thank you for listening to Part 1 of our interview with Michael Allosso. Be sure to tune-in next week to hear Michael share his thoughts on the three communication zones: the head, heart and groin.
If you have additional thoughts on this topic, send us an email! You can send questions, comments and more to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure subscribe to The 19 on iTunes and Google Play, and, if you like what you heard today, leave us a review!
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17 minute listen January 23, 2019
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