I AM CEO PODCAST

IAM116- Trainer and Coach Helps Clients Blossom into Credible and Engaging Speakers

Podcast Interview with Jeff Hornstein

Starting my career fresh out of school as an engineer, it didn’t take too long before I got bored and decided this wasn’t for me. As I explored various paths…the field of communications kept flashing in my mind. Through a lot of discovery, I ultimately became certain that training, and coaching is what I was meant to do. Once I transitioned into communication coaching 20 years ago I haven’t looked back.

Our expertise is helping clients overcome their fear and nerves to blossom into the confident, credible, engaging speaker that you want to become. It is the best business decision I’ve ever made.

  • CEO Hack: Landmark Education
  • CEO Nugget: Be clear around direction and expectations. Consider the ideas of your team.
  • CEO Defined: Being transparent

Website: http://thespeakerschoice.com/

Book: https://www.amazon.com/Deliberate-Mindset-Differently-Presentations-Conversations/dp/1973719630


Check out one of our favorite CEO Hack’s Audible. Get your free audiobook and check out more of our favorite CEO Hacks HERE.

Transcription:

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:27

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Jeff Hornstein of The Speakers Choice. Jeff, it is awesome to have you on the show.

Jeff Hornstein 0:28

Gresh, it's awesome that you've given me the opportunity to talk with your community too. So I very much appreciate it.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

Me too, me too. And what I wanted to do was just kind of get the show started in here, I guess a little bit more about your CEO story, and what led you to start your business.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Jeff Hornstein 0:49

Sure you bet. It's gonna be a weird route as I take you through this. But to start with, let me just say to you and your community, I am a recovering engineer.

Gresham Harkless 0:58

Okay.

Jeff Hornstein 0:59

Believe it or not. So how did that happen out of all of the things that we're going to talk about here, so a long time ago, let's say when I was in undergrad, or actually when I got out of undergrad, I had the real fortune of finding a job in the engineering world because that's where I started. And it was a cool technology. I liked it a lot for a while. And then at some point, I got bored. I thought, man, I don't want to be sitting in a cubicle doing CAD CAM work for the rest of my life.

So I started talking to a mentor of mine who was at the engineering company, and I asked him one day, I said, do you like what you do? And he said I love what I do. How did you figure that out? Because I don't. And he emphatically suggested that I go do a personal growth workshop. So I said, sign me up, brother, where is it? How do I get there, whatever he thought I took his advice. And really, this is the truth, within a matter of a couple of days of participating in this personal growth program, I got super clarity about wow, I don't want to be an engineer, I want to be a coach or a teacher or a consultant or speaker to something in that realm that will help people be more effective in the way they communicate.

So from having that epiphany to trying to figure out okay, so if I have that thought, and I'm an engineer, how in the world like a transition from an engineer to being some kind of communication expert? I started to dig around. And I heard a colleague of mine talk about something called organization development. And I had no idea what that person was talking about when they said something about organizational development. So I started looking around essentially, for jobs that might fit the desires I had. And about a year or so into perusing. I came across an ad that had my credentials all over it was pretty freaky. I showed it to my wife. And I said, take a look at this, this advertisement or this posting for this particular career.

So talks about all kinds of things, all in the realm of the need to have three to five years of platform experience. And those of you that are listening to the recording may not know what I mean by that. But platform experience essentially is instead of someone or people sitting around in a group at a conference table, standing up in front of the room in front of X number of people, whether it's 10 people or 10,000 people, that's what we're talking about when we talk about that.

So I ended up getting the job that oh, the very last sentence or two of that posting said engineering a plus they showed us my wife and I kind of got the chills, I thought holy cow, this is for me, this is mine, I'm gonna get this job. And I did well, we got the job, work at this communications company and loved it for somewhere around, I don't know, five to seven years or so it felt like there was there wasn't a job, it felt like it was a joy. It was a dream to go travel around, teach people how to deal with the fear of public speaking, or help them become more effective and more confident more engaging, and did it well and then got promoted, and then got promoted a little bit more.

And so my promotional opportunities were terrific. And the issue that occurred for me as time went on was I became very administrative. So my opportunities to work with the clients had to get restrained and reduced because I had to do what I had to do. And at some point, I thought, what, this is not why I got into the communications field. It's not to be administrative and to do all that. It's to engage clients and help them deal with their challenges.

So through a long, circuitous route, a colleague of mine and executive coach called me and said, Hey, you still work for that old company? Or did you start your own business yet? And I said, well, that's a really interesting question to ask. She said, tell me more. Or I said, tell me more. And she said, well, I have a handful of computer engineers that work for a big fortune 500 company. They're super smart folks. And they have to deliver their updates and their value proposition to the executive leadership team as to why they shouldn't be promoted or why they should take themselves to the next level. And she said they're scared to death. They're really bad at it. And I told them, I got a guy. So she said, so do you want the gig?

So far I think so. But hold on a second. Let's talk about this a little bit more. So we spent, we spent literally, it was probably two and a half to three hours on the phone. And by the time that phone call ended, I said, Okay, I just started my own company. So she said to me, do me a favor. Give me your company name as soon as possible. I said, Okay. So that's where the whole thing started.

Gresham Harkless 5:22

Awesome, awesome, awesome. I love that story. And I know, we talked a little bit offline on, that how the engineering turned into a public speaker, and how so many people kind of struggle with the engineers and not even engineers kind of struggle with, you know, public speaking. And I think we even talked about how it's like the second fear after death, for a lot of people to be able to stand up in front of 20 people or 2000 people who be able to kind of speak so it's awesome that you know, the universe seems that kind of direct you that way, but also that you kind of took hold of it and kind of went with it as well, and are helping out so many people.

Jeff Hornstein 5:53

Yeah, it was a neat circumstance, a set of circumstances that occurred for me to transition from something that I got bored with quickly to something that I fell in love with. So yeah, it was a neat experience that occurred for me.

Gresham Harkless 6:08

Yeah, sounds like it. So now I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper to hear how you're helping all these people with public speaking, what are some of the things that you're doing to kind of help support your clients.

Jeff Hornstein 6:17

Well, they typically will have come to us from whatever route they take to get there, they're usually in a state of worry or concern. And it's typically around a big presentation that they're going to have to deliver in a certain period, whether it's whether they get really short notice. And they've got two days to be prepared and get ready for a big presentation or, or two months, or perhaps even longer. If the duration between when they've been told when that occurs when they've been told that they have to deliver a presentation. And these days, the phone rings pretty quickly.

So what we'll do is try to get super clarity as best we can about what they're going to need to present and you know what their content is. And we'll typically start there by asking them to start just share with me your experiences about what they're going to have to deal with and who they're going to have to talk to, and most importantly, who is your audience. So we get them to purge as much as they can about who their audience is, what their audience needs to hear about what information they need to stand clear from and not press, like any hot buttons that they hopefully know that the audience doesn't want to hear about? What are the real important components that the audience doesn't need to hear about?

So they'll we'll do an in-depth thorough assessment for them to help them get super clear about the audience so that when they start to build their message, it's tailored to that particular group in an effective way. And so once they get clarity about that, and we help them with their content, and how they structure and organize their content, if they need that support. If they do, you know, we'll handle that. And once they get clear about that, then we start digging into the skill-building process. And that skill building is all around helping their clients or helping our clients get to a place of being able to exhibit and demonstrate when they're up in front of the room. Here's a handful list of phrases that people typically suggest or ask about, they'll say I need to be perceived as confident engaging, inspiring, and perhaps really one of the most common ones is credible with this particular audience.

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So how are we going to get there, we do very intense video recording and video feedback, and we will get if it's a one-on-one client that we're working with, we'll get them up in front of the room. And we may work together for half a day, perhaps even a full day if they have the energy to work for a full day. And in the case of when someone's got a presentation that's going to be that they need to deliver in the next two, three days. We're spending the entire day together. And we're working through it. And so when we do the video recording, we're trying to assess Are they as they're talking and perhaps walking the room and then delivering their content? Are they demonstrating and exhibiting those components that they said they want to match up with?

So in other words, if they said that they want to be perceived as credible and confident, let's say we'll do the video recording, play it back and ask, do you think you look confident? Do you sound like you're engaging and passionate? And oftentimes they'll make comments about it. And I'll say, heck, no, unfortunately, I don't what do I do, and that's where we start digging in, we start putting in some course correction for them through obviously another assessment with the video. And we'll continue the process and assess for them the components of what they're saying and doing. That's not working for them.

And then we'll shift over to talk to them about what they're currently doing that is working for them and will tell them all those things that you said that you're doing, or that you wanted and you are doing currently, they're awesome. Don't change them, some of the things that you're doing, that's having us struggle a little bit as audience members, we need to remove those from the content that you're going to deliver and how you're going to deliver it and then we're going to suggest adding on some additional things all designed to make sure that they're being perceived along the lines of what they're searching for.

And the process is pretty intense. It's not a quick hit, especially if those like myself recovering engineers, those of us that have that analytical orientation typically struggle with these kinds of things a lot more than those that have a very extroverted, very gregarious personality. And don't have that analytical mindset. Folks that have more of that creative and engaging mindset, typically, not always, but typically have an easier time picking up on the skills and exhibiting them quickly.

Gresham Harkless 10:26

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, I appreciate you for obviously doing that to help out the clients. And now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be something that you feel kind of distinguishes you or your organization.

Jeff Hornstein 10:35

The two things that come to mind for sure. One is our certification process to get new facilitators, as we bring them on board to get them to a place where we are all saying as the CEO, I will agree that that facilitator is now ready to get up in front of the room on the road and deliver the program. And I'll talk more about that in just a second. And the second piece is what we would call ruthless compassion. So let me dig into the certification process. First, when I was going through that transition from engineering to communication, and found a communication company that I had mentioned that I had worked with for 5, 6, and 7 years, to get hired as a facilitator, and speaker, it was a grueling process that took anywhere between 6 to 12 months before someone was anointed, if you will, or given the opportunity where we said, okay, this person is certified.

So that process, I don't know of anybody else that has and spends as much time making certain that the facilitators are exhibiting exactly what we're teaching. So let me back up for just a second and reinforce why this first piece of it is the certification process is such a big deal. Let's say I bring somebody in and we tell them, Okay, so chant in front of the Roman, let's see what you got to talk to us for a couple of minutes here, cold, if there's someone that's a facilitator, and they say that they've got significant experience in teaching people how to deal with the fear of public speaking and presenting, and we'll look at them. And we'll listen to them. In many cases, when we've invited big groups of people to come to our open houses and have them each stand up one at a time, and deliver two minutes of content, we critique.

And unfortunately, when we looked at on paper, what the majority of the people that we've taken through these, and open enrollment sessions, their certification, or the treatment or qualifications, are all really strong. But then when we see how they look and sound when they deliver information, almost all the time, there's been a huge mismatch. So the challenge is, a lot of the candidates that thought they were good at what they were doing, couldn't exhibit or demonstrate the presentations, or the presentation skills that they needed to deliver.

So the tough part about it is they think they're good, we assess and look and say, no, they're not, I can't take that person right there. But we just listened to them and have them be up in front of our clients. Because if we're teaching presentation skills, and we can't exhibit or model the skills for them, we'd look like a fraud. So that's kind of my stake in the ground with what we have to have to happen is we can't allow any, any facilitator, I don't care how good they think they are if they can't pass certification for us, then we can't put them in front of the room. We can do other things, perhaps, and have them be in different departments for us, but not be a skilled facilitator that we would say, that's what you got to look at someone. Now, let me back up for a second and make sure I'm super clear about what you have to look and sound like.

Gresham Harkless 13:33

Jeff, I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this could be an app or book or habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Jeff Hornstein 13:42

Yeah, this is a simple one, no doubt. Without exception. It was me participating in that program that I mentioned that my mentor told me to go to. And the name of that program called landmark education changed, and my life changed. My business changed everything.

Gresham Harkless 13:57

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Yeah, I love that. I've heard a lot of great things about landmarks. It's great that you were able to kind of benefit from that. And now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this might be a word of wisdom or piece of advice, but it's something that you might tell your younger business self.

Jeff Hornstein 14:11

Yeah, number one, be as clear as you possibly can be around direction and expectations for sure. We found throughout the years that when that's not in a place that creates big problems. The other one is to seek feedback and ideas from your team. And genuinely consider their ideas and what they tell you about you may be surprised we find that sometimes we're surprised at what people come up with. So at a minimum, make sure you're giving them airtime.

Gresham Harkless 14:37

Awesome, awesome., awesome. And now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO and we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So what does being a CEO mean to you?

Jeff Hornstein 14:47

Well, like several of your guests, I took a peek at some of the videos that they had very similar, right? So I think instantly also about fortune 500 companies and phrases like charting the course setting the tone on being a leader, empowering the team, those kinds of things, the biggest one of all, for me is being transparent. When we can reveal things to our team that we can reveal we do. There are always going to be some times when we can't reveal things like if there's a termination coming up for some impending change, we can't. So just to reinforce when we can exhibit transparency, do it. And why does it most importantly, because it builds trust amongst everybody in the team.

Gresham Harkless 15:27

Yeah, I love that definition. I think a lot of times like you said when you have the opportunity to be transparent and show who you are, it also develops a stronger connection, it seems so. Jeff truly appreciates you for taking some time out of your schedule. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know, and also how best people can get a hold of you.

Jeff Hornstein 15:46

Most importantly, I want to give you a big thanks for allowing me to be part of your community here. So thank you for doing that. And your community if they do want to reach out to us we would love to connect with you. So the name of our company is The Speakers Choice. So www.thespeakerschoice, or you can email me personally at jeff@thespeakerschoice.com.

Gresham Harkless 16:07

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, I appreciate you so much, Jeff. And what I'll do is I'll make sure we have those links in the show notes just so that anybody can click through and follow up with you. But again, I appreciate everything that you're doing and for taking some time out of your schedule and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Jeff Hornstein 16:20

Thanks so much, Gresh, you too. Appreciate it.

Outro 16:23

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Intro 0:02

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Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:27

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Jeff Hornstein of The Speakers Choice. Jeff, it is awesome to have you on the show.

Jeff Hornstein 0:28

Gresh, it's awesome that you've given me the opportunity to talk with your community too. So I'm very much appreciate it.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

Me too, me too. And what I wanted to do was just kind of get the show started in here, I guess a little bit more about your CEO story, and what led you to start your business?

Jeff Hornstein 0:49

Sure You bet. It's gonna be a weird route as I take you through this. But to start out with, let me just say to you and your community, I am a recovering engineer.

Gresham Harkless 0:58

Okay.

Jeff Hornstein 0:59

Believe it or not. So how did that happen out of all of the things that we're going to talk about here, so a long time ago, let's say when I was in undergrad, or actually, when I got out of undergrad, I had the real fortune of finding a job in the engineering world because that's where I started. And it was a really cool technology. I liked it a lot for a while. And then at some point, I got really, really bored. I thought, man, I don't want to be sitting in a cubicle doing CAD CAM work the rest of my life. So I started talking to a mentor of mine who was at the engineering company, and I asked him one day, I said, do you like what you do? And he said, I love what I do. How did you figure that out? Because I don't. And he emphatically suggested that I go do a personal growth workshop. So I said, sign me up, brother, where is it? How do I get there, whatever he thought I took his advice. And really, this is the truth, within a matter of a couple of days of participating in this personal growth program, I got super clarity about wow, I really don't want to be an engineer, I want to be a coach or a teacher or a consultant or speaker to something in that realm that will help people be more effective in the way they communicate. So from having that epiphany to trying to figure out okay, so if I have that thought, and I'm an engineer, how in the world like a transition from an engineer to being some kind of communication expert. I started to dig around. And I heard a colleague of mine talk about something called organization development. And I had no idea what that person was talking about when they said something about organization development. So I started looking around essentially, for jobs that might fit the desires that I had. And about a year or so into perusing. I came across an ad that had my credentials all over it was pretty freaky. I showed it to my wife. And I said, take a look at this, this advertisement or this posting for this particular career. So talks about all kinds of things, all in the realm of need to have three to five years of platform experience. And for those of you that are listening to the recording may not know what I mean by that. But platform experience essentially is instead of someone or people sitting around in group at a conference table, standing up in front of the room in front of X number of people, whether it's 10 people or 10,000 people, that's what we're talking about when we talk about that. So I ended up getting the job that oh, the very last sentence or two of that posting said engineering a plus they showed us my wife and I kind of got the chills, I thought holy cow, this is for me, this is mine, I'm gonna get this job. And I did well, we got the job, work at this communications company and loved it for somewhere around, I don't know, five to seven years or so it felt like there was there wasn't a job, it felt like it was it was a joy. It was a dream to go travel around, teach people how to deal with the fear of public speaking or help them become more effective and more confident and more engaging, and did it well and then got promoted, and then got promoted a little bit more. And so my promotional opportunities were really terrific. And the issue that occurred for me as time went on was I became very administrative. So my opportunities to work with the clients had to get restrained and reduced, because I had to do what I had to do. And at some point, I thought, what, this is not why I got into the communications field. It's not to be administrative and to do all that. It's to engage clients and help them deal with their challenges. So through a long, circuitous route, a colleague of mine and executive coach called me and said, Hey, you still work for that old company? Or did you start your own business yet? And I said, well, that's a really interesting question to ask. She said, tell me more. Or I said, tell me more. And she said, well, I have a handful of computer engineers that work for a big fortune 500 company. They're super smart folks. And they have to deliver their updates and their value proposition to the executive leadership team as to why they shouldn't be promoted or why they should take themselves to the next level. And she said, they're scared to death. They're really bad at it. And I told them, I got a guy. So she said, so do you want the gig. So far I think so. But hold on a second. Let's talk about this a little bit more. So we spent, we spent literally, it was probably two and a half to three hours on the phone. And by the time that phone call ended, I said, Okay, I just started my own company. So she said to me, do me a favor. Give me your company name as soon as possible. I said, Okay. So that's where the whole thing started.

Gresham Harkless 5:22

Awesome, awesome, awesome. I love that story. And I know, we talked a little bit offline on, that how the engineering turned into a public speaker, and how so many people kind of struggle with the engineers and not even engineers kind of struggle with, you know, public speaking. And I think we even talked about how it's like the second fear after death, for a lot of people to be able to stand up in front of 20 people or 2000 people who be able to kind of speak so it's awesome that you know, the universe seems that kind of directed you that way, but also that you kind of took hold of it and kind of went with it as well, and are helping out so many people.

Jeff Hornstein 5:53

Yeah, it was a it was a really neat circumstance, set of circumstances that occurred for me to transition from something that I got bored with quickly to something that I really fell in love with. So yeah, it was really a neat experiences that occurred for me.

Gresham Harkless 6:08

Yeah, definitely sounds like it. So now I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper to hear how you're helping all these people with public speaking, what are some of the things that you're doing to kind of help support your clients.

Jeff Hornstein 6:17

Well, they typically will have come to us from whatever route they take to get there, they're usually in a state of worry or concern. And it's typically around a big presentation that they're going to have to deliver in a certain period of time, whether it's whether they get a really short notice. And they've got two days to be prepared and get ready for big presentation or, or two months, or perhaps even longer. Obviously, if the duration between when they've been told when that occurs when when they've been told that they have to deliver a presentation. And the days, the phone rings pretty quickly. So what we'll do is try to get super clarity as best we can about what they're going to need to present on and you know what their content is. And we'll typically start there by asking them to start just share with me what your experiences about what you're going to have to deal with and who you're going to have to talk to, and most importantly, who is your audience? So we get them we get them to to really purge as as much as they can about who their audience is, what is their audience needing to hear about what information do they need to stand clear from and not press, like any hot buttons that they hopefully know that the audience doesn't want to hear about? What are the real important components that the audience doesn't need to hear about. So they'll we'll do a really in depth thorough assessment for them to help them get super clarity about the audience so that when they start to build their message, it's tailored to that particular group in an effective way. And so once they get clarity about that, and we help them with their content, and how they structure and organize their content, if they need that support. If they do, you know, we'll handle that. And once they get clear about that, then we start digging into the skill building process. And that skill building is all around helping their clients or helping our clients get to a place of being able to exhibit and demonstrate when they're up in front of the room. Here's a handful list of phrases that people typically suggest or ask about, they'll say I need to be perceived as confidence engaging, inspiring, and perhaps really one of the most common ones is credible with this particular audience. So how are we going to get there, we do very intense video recording and video feedback, we will get if it's a one on one client that we're working with, we'll get them up in front of the room. And we may work together for half a day, perhaps even a full day if they have the energy to work for a full day. And in the case of when someone's got a presentation that's going to be that they need to deliver in the next two, three days. We're spending the entire day together. And we're working through it. And so when we do the video recording, we're trying to assess Are they as they're talking and perhaps walking the room and then delivering their content? Are they demonstrating and exhibiting those components that they said they want to match up with? So in other words, if they said that they want to be perceived as credible and confident, let's say we'll do the video recording, play it back and ask, do you think you look confident? Do you sound like you're engaging and passionate? And oftentimes they'll make comments about it? And I'll say, heck, no, unfortunately, I don't what do I do, and that's where we start digging in, we start putting in some course correction for them through obviously another assessment with the video. And we'll continue the process and assess for them the components of the what they're saying and doing. That's not working for them. And then we'll shift over to talking to them about what they're currently doing that is working for them and will tell them all those things that you said that you're doing, or that you wanted and you are doing currently, they're awesome. Don't change them, some of the things that you're doing, that's having us struggle a little bit as audience members, we really need to remove those from the content that you're going to deliver and how you're going to deliver it and then we're going to suggest adding on some additional things all designed to make sure that they're being perceived along the lines of what they're searching for. And the process is pretty intense. It's not a quick hit, especially if those like myself as a recovering engineer, those of us that have that analytical orientation typically struggle with these kinds of things a lot more than those that have a very extroverted, very gregarious personality. And don't have that analytical mindset. Folks that have more of that creative and engaging mindset, typically, not always, but typically have an easier time picking up on the skills and exhibiting them quick.

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Gresham Harkless 10:26

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, I appreciate you for obviously doing that to help out the clients. And now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be something that you feel kind of distinguishes you or your organization.

Jeff Hornstein 10:35

The two things that come to mind for sure. One is our certification process to get new facilitators, as they we bring them on board to get them to a place where we are all say I as the CEO, I will agree that that facilitator is now ready to get up in front of the room on the road and deliver the program. And I'll talk more about that in just a second. And the second piece is what we would call ruthless compassion. So let me dig into the certification process. First, when I was going through that transition from engineering to communication, and found a communication company that I had mentioned that I had worked with for 5, 6, 7 years, in order to get hired as a facilitator, and speaker, it was a grueling process that took anywhere between 6 to 12 months before someone was anointed, if you will, or given the opportunity where we said, okay, this person is certified. So that process, I don't know of anybody else that has and spends as much time making certain that the facilitators are exhibiting exactly what we're teaching. So let me back up for just a second and reinforce why this first piece of it is the certification process is such a big deal. Let's say I bring somebody in and we tell them, Okay, so chant in front of the Roman, let's see what you got talk to us for a couple of minutes here, cold, if there's someone that's a facilitator, and they say that they've got significant experience in teaching people how to deal with the fear of public speaking and presenting, and we'll look at them. And we'll listen to them. In many cases, when we've invited big groups of people to come to our open houses and have them each stand up one at a time, and deliver two minutes of content, we critique. And unfortunately, when we looked at on paper, what the majority of the people that we've taken through these, and open enrollment sessions, their certification, or the treatment or qualifications, are all really strong. But then when we see how they look and sound when they deliver information, almost all the time, there's been a huge mismatch. So the challenge is, a lot of the candidates that thought they were really good at what they were doing, couldn't exhibit or demonstrate the presentations, their presentation skills that they needed to deliver. So the tough part about it is they think they're good, we assess and look and say, no, they're not, I can't take that person right there. But we just listened to and have them be up in front of our clients. Because if we're teaching presentation skills, and we can't exhibit or model the skills for them, we'd look like a fraud. So that's kind of my stake in the ground with what we have to have happen is we can't allow any, any facilitator, I don't care how good they think they are, if they can't pass a certification for us, then we can't put them in front of the room. We can do other things, perhaps and have them be in different departments for us, but not be a skilled facilitator that we would say, that's what you got to look at someone. Now, let me back up for a second and make sure I'm super clear about what you have to look and sound like.

Gresham Harkless 13:33

Jeff, I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this could be an app or book or habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Jeff Hornstein 13:42

Yeah, this is a this is a simple one, no doubt. Without exception. It was me participating in that program that I mentioned that my mentor told me to go to. And that name of that program was called landmark education changed, my life changed. My business changed everything.

Gresham Harkless 13:57

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Yeah, I love that. I've heard a lot of great things about landmark. It's great that you were able to kind of benefit from that. And now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this might be a word of wisdom or piece of advice, but it's something that you might tell your younger business self.

Jeff Hornstein 14:11

Yeah, number one, be as clear as you possibly can be around direction and expectations for sure. We found throughout the years that when that's not in place that creates big problems. The other one is seek feedback and ideas from your team. And really genuinely consider their ideas what they tell you about you may be surprised we find that sometimes we're surprised at what people come up with. So in a minimum, make sure you're giving them airtime.

Gresham Harkless 14:37

Awesome, awesome., awesome. And now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition for what it means to be a CEO and we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So what does being a CEO mean to you?

Jeff Hornstein 14:47

Well, like several of your guests, I took a peek at some of the some of the videos that they had very similar, right? So I think instantly also about fortune 500 companies and phrases like charting the course setting the tone on being a leader, empowering the team, those kinds of things, the biggest one of all, for me is being transparent. When we can reveal things to our team that we can reveal we do. There's always going to be some times when we can't reveal things like if there's a termination coming up for some impending change, we can't. So just to reinforce when we can exhibit transparency, do it. And why do it most importantly, because it builds trust amongst everybody in the team.

Gresham Harkless 15:27

Yeah, I love that definition. I think a lot of times, like you said, when you have the opportunity to be transparent, and show who you are, it also develops a stronger connection, it seems like so. Jeff had truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know, and also how best people can get a hold of you.

Jeff Hornstein 15:46

Most importantly, I want to give you a big thanks for giving me the opportunity to be part of your community here. So thank you for doing that. And your community if they do want to reach out to us we would love to connect with you. So the name of our company is The Speakers Choice. So www.thespeakerschoice, or you can email me personally at jeff@thespeakerschoice.com.

Gresham Harkless 16:07

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, I appreciate you so much, Jeff. And what I'll do is I'll make sure we have those links in the show notes just so that anybody can click through and follow up with you. But again, I appreciate you for everything that you're doing and taking some time out of your schedule and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Jeff Hornstein 16:20

Thanks so much Gresh, you too. Appreciate it.

Outro 16:23

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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