Ep #35: Here’s Where Message Clarity Really Lives

by | Podcast

Building on last week's episode, which was all about what you might not be saying in your public speaking, this episode is all about how to hone the deeper message within you. For many of us, our thoughts and feelings prevent us from sharing our most powerful message with the world, but it doesn't have to be this way. You have so much clarity about your message within you already – you just have to get in touch with it. Often when I sit with my clients for hours and talk with them about their story, they come out of the experience with the same message they had when they came in…but with one major difference: They've tapped into a clearer, deeper version of that message. In this episode, I talk about how you can create spacious quietness with a coach, a trusted friend, or even with yourself, and how that quiet can bring clarity. I also share how you can start to treat your thoughts and feelings more lightly in this process, which will help you reach that clarity whenever you need it. If what you heard here today was useful, you’ll love the free guide I’ve created for you at speaksoitmatters.com/yes. Sign up now and get immediate access to our Power & Grace Speaker’s Toolkit (including The Only Presentation Outline You’ll Ever Need). 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How to focus on and articulate an even deeper version of your message, once you've gotten in touch with it.
  • How to get in touch with the clarity you already have within you.
  • Why having someone listen very intently to your life story and message can help you articulate it in an even deeper form.
  • How our thoughts and beliefs about who we “should” be, what we “should” say, and “should” do, often get in the way of us sharing our message.
  • What holding your thoughts and feelings lightly can do for you while exploring message clarity.
  • Why it's normal to feel a flux and flow of your message and why it's important not to make this mean something negative about yourself.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Speak So It Matters Podcast, episode number 35.

Welcome to Speak So It Matters where we share a mix of stories of inspiration and super practical public speaking and communication guidance to help you release all the barriers to becoming the speaker you know you're meant to be. Some of us are called to use our voice to serve others and our world, as well as to become the most fully expressed version of ourselves. If that's you, you've landed in the right place. Let's do this my friends.

My beautiful speaker friends, first of all, happy new year. It is officially 2019. I just love, love milestones like this. I'm not even sure why because I don't really believe that external things like a new year are required for a new beginning or really for anything else. Honestly, I think I just love any totally random reason to delight in life. Is that kind of annoying to hear? I'm not even sure how I feel about it, but it just feels really true. A new year, fresh start. Even if it is just a random. Let's go with it.

Before we dive in on today's episode, which is all about how to get clarity on your thought leadership message, I can't wait to share this with you, I just want to give you one last reminder about working closely with me in 2019. This is your last chance if you're interested to join us in our speaking and thought leadership mastermind.

If you know that 2019 is your year for becoming a recognized leader in your industry so you can make the biggest difference possible with your message, you really want to check out the mastermind program I've created. We're only taking 10 leaders in this mastermind.

So go take a look as soon as you can if it sounds intriguing to you. And if what you read resonates, get in touch as soon as possible. You can learn more at MichelleBarryFranco.com/2019. The way to get in touch is on that page also. Now let's dive into this week's goodness.

So last week we talked about what you're not saying in your public speaking or your business message. And I shared my own story of having a light suddenly shining in the shadows of my own message and the almost immediate impact it had on my perception of my message. So if you didn't hear that episode, it's number 34. You might enjoy listening to it. We'll link to it in the show notes.

Today we're going to take this conversation a step further and talk about the then what of last week basically, even with this deeper connection with what you're not saying, what you have been not saying, and so then of course then clarity maybe about the deeper thing you want to say. You're likely still asking, okay then, what do I say? How do I focus in on and articulate my real message?

As I've shared before, one of the most common reasons clients reach out to me initially is that they feel like they don't have complete clarity on their message. So they're rarely starting from scratch. They have expertise and an idea of their topic area. In fact, they've often been speaking and writing and doing other thought leadership things in their area, their topic area for awhile. But they just know that there's an even more impactful message or version of their message that they want to be sharing and they just don't know how to reveal that message, that deeper message, that more refined message. They don't know how to articulate it in a way that feels totally right on and exciting for them.

So the process we go through varies by client, but essentially we spent a lot of time together, usually an entire VIP day in a lovely place with snacks, which adds to the fun for sure. We spend the time diving deep on their stories, their life timeline, their insights and their work and beyond. I ask them questions about their work of course, but I definitely don't stick to just work topics. We go everywhere. I ask questions in the corners of their experience in their lives. I hear a little seed, I get an intuitive hit and we follow it for a while. We see what shows up. Clients tell me that this is absolutely amazing to have someone be so deeply interested and to listen with such commitment.

Now I'm not saying this is the only way to reveal this kind of amazement and excitement, but this is the way that I often see it with clients. So along the way they say things that surprised themselves, they share a story they haven't thought of in years or ever often. They make a proclamation they never even knew they felt. I'll often say to a client, is this something you're already out there saying? And I am so surprised how often they'll say, no, I never say that. It just seems like the most natural thing in the world, given everything they've just said.

So there's usually a lot of laughing. It's pretty fun to dig into old stories without a clear agenda and it's not uncommon for there to be a tear or two to show up on both our parts sometimes. Mostly though it's just this really great big revelation of a life, stories, beliefs, often ones they didn't realize they had. There's releasing. There's letting go. There's insights. And it's these insights that show them the way. It's not me, I don't show them the way. It's their own insights.

The vast majority of the time it's them saying, oh my gosh, that's it. Or I have never said it that way before. These fresh ideas that show up amidst a whole lot of going everywhere. There's definitely not a process or a strategy or a script or a list of questions I ask them. We just trust that getting quiet, and it helps to be somewhere beautiful, but we've been in a variety of places doing this. Sometimes I even do it virtually.

But it is just that sort of like exploration and spaciousness that leads them to the message they feel most called to share. And I will say being a witness to this is one of the great gifts of my life work. Want to know something funny though? Oftentimes, I'd even say more times than not, the message they land on is almost exactly the one they came in with. How's that for putting me out of a job?

But you know what I so love about this, it just shows how much clarity we already have within us, how much clarity you have within you right now. It just lives there, and your wisdom is pointing you there all the time.

But we have so much that gets in the way. These stories we tell ourselves about the way things should be or what we should do or what's right and wrong. These thoughts, these beliefs that we've taken on over time, these ideas of what others will think, what we should be doing or saying, what we aren't allowed to say or do given our industry, our expertise, our education, our heritage, our family, you name it. There is so much flurry in our minds that we can't see the clarity beneath all of that.

Actually, I don't know if it's beneath or beyond or before all of that thinking, but I know that the clarity is absolutely outside of that thinking, that flurry of thinking. There thoughts and ideas, they're like a stormy sky and if you think about that stormy sky, it's like laying there just beneath a bright blue sunny sky above right?

So if you've been on an airplane, I notice this every single time and I do a lot of travel. We'll be flying, it's an overcast day and everything looks gray and dark below and the airplane takes off and we rise and rise and rise and then we go through this period where you can't see anything out the window because the windows are just covered in clouds. That's kind of an amazing feeling. And then at some point you come out on top of the clouds. It's kind of mind blowing every time. There is the crystal blue sky always. It's always there. But the only view we have from the ground when it's an overcast day is all of the clouds. That's just the way it is.

Well, if you think of those clouds like thoughts, like a thought storm or or all the thoughts and stories and beliefs and ideas when you're struggling to get “clear”, I'm doing air quotes, around your message and you're looking in and you're like amongst those clouds, all you're going to see is a bunch of clouds around you. Really hard to see clarity, right, but when you just know when you just recognize that oh beyond these clouds in a place other than this stormy thinking, there is clarity and it's there waiting, there's sort of a piece in that. It's just the way our human experience works. We see the storm. We can't see the blue sky beyond the storm. That's how we work as human beings.

When we spend spacious time exploring stories and experience like I get to do in these VIP days with clients and like we can do in a lot of ways even on our own or with a friend, right? We give ourselves that quiet, that spaciousness, taking a few walks during the day, like in our VIP days, often they will go on a walk on their own. Maybe during lunch while I go pick up lunch. We come back and have a delicious lunch and we don't necessarily talk about what we were talking about before. But there's something about the spaciousness that allows new insights to arrive for them in ways that they just don't have in their lives. And this is available to you too.

Yes, in a VIP day, but it's not the VIP day that's doing it. It's not even a beautiful space that's doing it. It's that kind of spacious, quiet mind that's doing it. And it's not because of any particular questions I'm asking or a process that I'm going through. It's just that spacious quietness and that's available to you anytime too. And in that spacious quietness I've seen it over and over and over again, the clarity of message is there waiting for you.

So right about now, you may be reaching to turn off this gosh dang podcast because how is this useful? You might be asking like, okay, great, Michelle, I get it. All my thoughts and beliefs are getting in my way. Like what coach isn't saying that? If I have this wisdom in me, why do I feel so confused? Why does my message feel not right?

Here's the thing, yes, a lot of people land on the same message they came in with essentially, but they do create more connection with that message. And often there's a refinement in either the way they express it or who they serve with this message. So something definitely shifts by adding this kind of peace and clarity and quietness, sorry, so that you can reach for the clarity.

But there are those who do change course as part of our work together. There are those who do find a new way of saying what they want to say from that place of quiet. They did “need”, again, air quotes around that, they did need space and time to reveal that message.

But here's what I just want to point you to. We didn't have to reframe their thinking. We didn't have to give them new thoughts to replace the old thoughts. It just hasn't been necessary. And I've seen this over and over and over. I've done this work for more than 10 years with clients and longer than that as a speaker and as a teacher.

I can tell you, well, it has been helpful at times to reframe things and understanding our thoughts and what gets in our way has maybe been useful on the path to getting here. One thing that I've learned that has really deepened my own ability to find clarity for myself and see it in my clients and offer this view for them is that there's so little we have to do to access that beautiful clarity within.

So there are those who do change course as part of this quiet spaciousness. And in either case whether they had a totally new message revealed or they felt a new powerful connection to a message they were already sharing, it matters. It matters that they were feeling a lack of clarity. It matters that you're feeling that because our feelings do matter, of course. Our thoughts and feelings.

So one of the things that I hear from clients sometimes is when I'll say things like, yes and that's your thinking. That's sort of blocking your ability to see deeper around this. And they're like, yeah, but it matters. It's frustrating. So I don't want to pretend that your feelings and your thoughts don't matter. But if I may, maybe it doesn't matter so much. Maybe that you're feeling less connected with your message doesn't mean anything big or catastrophic about your message itself. It just might be one of those phases in time when you're not feeling connected. Our feelings change so frequently. Any one simple phase of feeling just doesn't have to mean so much.

This is actually one of the fundamental misunderstandings of the human experience, that our thoughts and feelings mean a whole lot about what we should do. It's just not true. If you spend a moment thinking about it, is there anything in your life that you have the same thoughts and feelings about all the time? Your partner? Same thoughts and feelings all the time? I sure don't. Even though I love him so dearly overall. Your kids? Even your kids. I don't know, maybe it's just me but sometimes I'm like oh my gosh, this motherhood thing is the most amazing thing that's ever happened in my life. And I would say overarching, that is how I feel about it. And on any given day, sometimes I'm like, wow, I signed up for this?

Your dog, right? You think, oh, unconditional love, your dog. Oh my gosh. How many times I thought I might give up our dog Timber when I thought my thoughts meant a lot. I mean years ago he was a really hard job when we first got him. He's probably still a hard dog, but I don't have as many thoughts about it, so it just doesn't feel hard. I'm so grateful I moved that phase because he sure lights up my world every day now. He's not perfect, but I just don't make it mean so much when he does one of the, when he liked tears into one of the girl’s backpacks and shreds it to pieces so he can get to one Jolly Rancher candy at the bottom of our backpack.

So holding our thoughts and our feelings lightly as we explore message clarity will make a tremendous difference. And still I understand the desire for an overall sense of clarity of message. I want that too. And I'm sure you know that having someone to partner with you around listening and exploration is a powerful way to see what might be in you to see more clearly, but this is not a play for coaching services. You can even do this with friends or trusted colleagues, someone who's open to just being there to listen and ask questions and help you see what you haven't been seeing up until now. And it's not required. That quiet and spaciousness within you all the time.

The most valuable thing I can share with you about this is to remind you that the blue sky clarity lives in you all the time. And if you can't access it at any given moment, there's nothing wrong with you. Just because that place of calm and clarity exists and is always there, doesn't mean we can always access it. You may not be able to see it right now. That's just because you're human. But don't worry, the stormy sky always passes, and clarity is there waiting when it does.

So the other super important thing to know is message clarity doesn't mean message permanence. Like all thought, your message is continually going to shift and change. It's normal to feel of flux and flow to your message. It's just how the human brain works. Some days you'll feel amazing clarity and connection with your message and other days it will feel elusive, like just not quite right. This shifting of feeling doesn't mean anything in particular about your message or your clarity. This is such a beautiful thing I really want to anchor in for you. Our thoughts and our feelings are a totally normal part of our human experience and they just don't have to mean so much.

The quiet part of you knows when you're on message or not over time and when you can access it. And other times you're going to feel a sort of flux and flow. The more you know this deeply, the more you'll recognize when the blue sky is shining through and you'll be able to soak your face in its warmth and tap into the real message at the heart of it.

So to sum it up, you're probably a lot clearer than you realize. Or at least you're a lot closer to the feeling of clarity than you realize. In fact, it very well could be just a connection with the feeling around your message that you're seeking more than a total revamp of your message overall. Either way, you have all of the wisdom within you to tap your deepest, clearest message. Your message is an expression of what you know to be true at a given point. It's meant to shift and evolve over time, as all thought does.

Wherever you are right now is perfect. Share that message with confidence and conviction and a full heart.

There we have it for this week my friends. I love seeing you in full clarity and connection with your message, free to make the biggest difference possible with your message. I know it's there for you and I'm always cheering you on. You know that right? Because you were made for this. You know how I know? Because you know. Let's do this again next week.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Speak So It Matters podcast. If what you heard here today was useful, you'll love the free guide I've created for you at speaksoitmatters.com/yes. Not only will you get immediate access to our Power and Grace Speakers Toolkit, including the only presentation outline you'll ever need, but you'll also receive weekly updates with our best resources as they're created. I can't wait to see you out there shining your beautiful light and changing lives with your message.

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