IAM1629 – Founder Helps Professionals Level up Their Speaking Platform

Podcast Interview with Tricia Brouk

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: Leveling up is a phrase that I use over and over again because so many times we are at one place and want to know how to take a step. As I spoke with Tricia and the impact of amplifying your voice, we start to realize how powerful our voice is and communication is in general. Also, it was so powerful to hear about the impact she has had as a business leader through dancing. I've always felt that the repetition of sports like dancing translates to business.

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Previous Episode: https://iamceo.co/2021/06/15/iam1037-founder-helps-professionals-level-up-their-speaking-platform/


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Tricia Brouk Teaser 00:00

I would definitely say when you are building a team, make sure that you build a team culture that starts with your values, your purpose, and your mission.

Intro 00:11

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders, without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:38

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 Tricia Brouk of the Big Talk Academy.

Tricia, it's great to have you on the show.

Tricia Brouk 00:47

I'm so excited to be here, Gresh. Thank you so much for having me.

Gresham Harkless 00:51

Definitely super excited to have you on as well too. And before we jumped in, I wanted to read a little bit more about Tricia so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Tricia is an international award-winning director.

She founded the Big Talk Academy and was the executive producer of TEDx Lincoln Square. She curates the Speaker, salon, and NYC host of the Big Talk and award-winning podcast. In her book, the Influential Voice saying What you mean for lasting legacy was a number. New release on Amazon. Trisha, it's great to have you on the show.

You're doing so many awesome things. Are you ready to speak to the I am CEO community?

Tricia Brouk 01:21

I'm so ready. Let's do this.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 01:23

Let's do it then. So to kind of kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit, and hear a little bit more on what I call your CEO story will let you started with all the awesome work you're doing.

Tricia Brouk 01:32

I've been working and living in New York City for three decades in film, television, and theater. And three years ago, a friend of mine who was a fan of my work, she reached out and said, I just landed a TED stage at TEDx Talk in Syracuse. Would you direct me? And I thought that sounds super fun. Just like a one-woman show.

I'll do script analysis, we'll do intention, we'll do blocking and choreography and it'll be amazing. And that's exactly what it was. She planted the seed after we had this experience and she said, you could really do this. You're really good at it. And I thought people pay coaches to teach them how to speak.

I'd never heard of such a thing, and before I knew it, I had all these amazing speakers and no place to put them, and I decided what's the best place for speakers, A TED stage. What if producers, what do producers do? I'm a producer. We put on shows. So I decided to become the executive producer of TEDx Lincoln Square and start amplifying and elevating voices on those stages in order to make the world a better place.

I also decided two years later, after having produced TEDx Lincoln Square for two years, that I wanted to have even more impact, and that meant producing my own shows. It meant founding the Big Talk Academy where I could actually take people through a signature speaker program. And really help people communicate effectively and with dignity. And with respect.

So in the last three years, I've put over 50 speakers onto more than 15 TED stages. I've produced several speaker events here in New York City. I've founded the Big Talk Academy. I produced this Speaker Salon, which is a live incubator for speakers in the city, and I wrote the Influential Voice saying what you mean for lasting legacy.

Because I truly, truly believe Gresh that we need to learn how to, to communicate with dignity and respect and to give all voices the opportunity to be heard in the world. And that is how this all came about.

Gresham Harkless 03:30

Nice. And I absolutely love that word that you use, kind of empower and amplifying, you know?

Cause I'm a big believer in a lot of times we have skills, talents and gifts. But sometimes if you're not able to communicate that, if you're not able to be empowered and feel that amplification that you talked about and do in so many different ways, then it's almost, I don't wanna say it's as if we didn't do it or we don't have it, but I love that you're able to bridge that gap so that people can make the impact that they hope to have.

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Tricia Brouk 03:54

And part of why I wrote the Influential Voice is because I was sitting in New York City during the height of the chaos and uncertainty of the pandemic, and we had just come out of the impeachment hearings. The first impeachment hearings. Ahmad Arbery's murder became public, Breonna Taylor was murdered, and then George Floyd was murdered.

And I thought, what is happening and how am I part of the problem and how can I be part of the solution? So I sat down and I wrote the influential Voice about the systemic racism in this country and how we need to come together and learn how to communicate with dignity and respect. And it is not about everybody having the same opinion.

It's about learning how to coexist and to do what's right. So this book is so important and powerful, and also elevating speakers. In my community, inclusion is one of the core values along with community, so that's why being the CEO of the Big Talk Academy and my company is so important to me, and it's why I get up in the morning every single day.

Gresham Harkless 04:55

Yeah, and I almost feel, and I don't know if you feel the same way, is that a lot of times when we step into our voice, step into who we are, not only does it help us out and make that impact that we hope to have, but it also gives people that reminder and that permission to do it as well.

So I appreciate you so much for writing the book and, and having the show and doing all those things because not only does it help you to kind of amplify your voice, but it helps so many others that may not feel like they are able to do that as well.

Tricia Brouk 05:18

Right. May not feel able or may not know how. And I think that's why it's so important for every CEO who is listening to this broadcast, that your speeching and your mentorship and how you show up and model, who you are will have an impact on someone else.

Gresham Harkless 05:35

Absolutely. That's where the power lies. So I love that you're able to do that. So I know you touched on the different ways by which you do that. Did you have any more that you can kind of tell us on how you work with your clients and what that process looks like?

Tricia Brouk 5:46

Sure. I work with my clients one-on-one who desire to really have more visibility, as a speaker, and that's super high touch and it's limited, it's a minimum of six months. It takes a long time to create that kind of visibility, and that includes headwork, keynotes, and companions to their books. It also includes PR and marketing.

My membership is a way that I work with speakers and what I realized is I was working with mostly speakers in New York City, at the speaker salon.

People who would work with me one-on-one here, and all of a sudden I thought, wait a minute, there's amazing speakers in Singapore and the Philippines and the UK and New Zealand and Australia who want to amplify their voices. How can I make it possible for people to work with me who can't come to New York City?

And that's why I founded the Big Talk Academy, and that's why I founded the membership community. So, I really wanna give people as much opportunity and as many ways to work with me as possible. Whether you are ready to invest in six months, or whether you wanna invest in a monthly membership, which is a small investment of resources, and that's really meant to serve as many people as possible because of the ripple effect that happens when you learn how to effectively communicate.

Whether it's from a membership community or from one-on-one high touch, or whether it's going through the signature speaking program, every, bit of information that you are able to absorb as a speaker will have that kind of ripple effect when you take it out into the world.

Gresham Harkless 07:13

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So I wanted to hear now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself personally or your business, or a combination of both. But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Tricia Brouk 07:2

It's really that I've been working in film, television, and theater for 30 years. I see the world through the lens of a, I'm a former dancer, so I see the lens through movement and choreography.

I also have created a safe space for all of my actors to play themes in and I know how to do script analysis from all the scripts that I've written and also analyzed. So being able to come to the table through the art of public speaking with the lens of a show bids person really is what sets me apart.

And also Gresh, I'm from Missouri, I live in New York City across from Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, but I'm from Missouri. And what that means is that I'm a Midwestern girl. What I say is what I mean and I'm also super authentic, and what you see is what you get. So there's no bells and whistles here.

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I show up fully and inauthentic and, authentically and in alignment with my clients, and I think that's also what sets me apart from other people.

Gresham Harkless 08:22

Definitely. Definitely, definitely. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a C E O hack. So this could be like an App a book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Tricia Brouk 08:34

Last pass has reduced my stress level by 150%. If you don't know about Last Pass, it is a password housing system where you enter one password and everything is in this one space, and it's everything from all your passwords to your driver's license, to your passport number, to anything and everything that you need to remember.

That has eliminated my stress. Also, you can share certain passwords with your team without them seeing it. So if I need my team to get into my website, if I need my team to go into Acuity and schedule something, I can share that link with my team and they have access. So it's a game changer. And then I also wanted to share a book with you that I read when we were at the height of quarantine, Grant Cardone's, TedEx 10 X Rules.

I became obsessed with this audiobook and I would literally, every Saturday clean my house while listening to the audiobook, and I was just, yeah, I can do this. I'm gonna do 80 YouTube videos in quarantine with no hair and makeup. And I did.

Gresham Harkless 09:41

Nice. Yeah, I absolutely love that. And it's so funny. I love that book just because and I wanna go back and read it now too so I might also be with you doing those 80 YouTube videos as well.

But I think so many times we forget like it's not just action, but it's, and I forgot the phrase that he uses, but it's, 10 x action, if not more, that really is gonna move you towards your goals and reach your success. And I think when we talk, think about breaking through the noise and how exactly to do that, we don't realize that it's really that 10 x philosophy that really makes that happen.

Tricia Brouk 10:09 For sure. For sure.

Gresham Harkless 10:10

Absolutely. And who can go wrong with Lastpass? My blood pressure has definitely gone down when you realize you don't have to remember all the different rules and all the different settings for each of these different websites. You have one password, you put it in and then you can connect with everything you need to from there.

Tricia Brouk 10:24 Yeah, I love it.

Gresham Harkless 10:25

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO Nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you happen to tell a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Tricia Brouk 10:37 I would definitely say when you are building a team, make sure that you build a team culture that starts with your values, your purpose, and your mission.

And when you do that, you will immediately move away from any kind of transactional relationship with your business. And building a team culture that aligns with you and where everyone is aligned on the vision of the company, on the values of the company, on the purpose of the company, will always serve not only each other and you, but the vision and the audience and the community that you're trained to serve.

Gresham Harkless 11:14

Yeah. And I think so many times we, we lose sight of like why we're doing everything that we're doing. And I love that that nugget just because it kind of allows us to do, I guess, the work internally to understand our values and how that's going to translate into what it is that we're doing.

And it sounds like it's kind of, for lack of a better term, a North star related to our actions, who we're bringing on our team and everything that way.

Tricia Brouk 11:33

For sure. If you are not clear on your values, you can go off track really easily. Somebody could give you advice and you take it and you don't know why you're taking it.

It is that Northstar, it is that heartbeat. It's gonna keep you on track so that if and when you veer off track, you ask yourself, what are my values? What is my purpose? What are my mission? Okay, I need to come back here. So, absolutely. It's your North star for sure.

Gresham Harkless 11:55

Yeah, I love that. And I love that heartbeat piece too as well too, cause so many times we feel like something's not right and we don't know exactly what that is.

But often that might be that we're not in alignment with what it is that we started to do and where we wanna ultimately go.

Tricia Brouk 12:09 For sure.

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Gresham Harkless 12:10

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So 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 shows so Tricia what does being a CEO mean to you?

Tricia Brouk :12:20

I think being a CEO is, if I may, very similar to being a dancer. It requires discipline. It requires grit. It requires tenacity. And it requires consistency. And I have always had that as a dancer, and what I didn't know is that I would be applying it as the leader and CEO of my company, and it has served me tremendously.

Also, if you think about repetition, how can you, repeat processes. That's the same with plays, dancers do a million plays, and once you understand that you need to repeat processes and systems that work. It's just like being a dancer.

Gresham Harkless 12:58

Yeah. And, and I love that you made that analogy cause I think so many times I've been a big believer in that, business in life, a lot of times is in alignment with sport or being an athlete, whatever that might be, the repetition that it takes to see that performance. It doesn't just happen that day that the person walks, wakes up and does a play. They've done it over and over again.

And that repetition, that grit falling down, getting all that makes into building something really successful. So I love that definition.

Tricia Brouk 13:26 Thank you, Gresh.

Gresham Harkless 13:27

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. Tricia, truly appreciate that definition and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is just pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best they can get ahold of you.

Get a copy of the book, hear about the show and all the awesome things that you're working on.

Tricia Brouk 13:43

Thank you so much. I think the one thing I would love to just add is, get really clear on who you are, and there are a lot of opportunities for us to mimic others or to pretend like we are someone who we aspire to be, and that is going to ultimately get in your way.

It's ultimately going to slow you down. So I would love to just inspire, encourage and invite your audience. And all of your CEOs to trust that who you are is enough and what you represent is truth. There are 7.8 billion people on this planet. Not all of them are gonna resonate or align with what it is you have to say and who you're serving, but there are a few, a handful, maybe just one of people who you can and will serve to your greatest ability, and so be who you are fully and authentically, and let go of anybody that you are pretending to be or mimicking or desiring to be like. You are the person that we really wanna hear from, and that's the one thing I wanna leave with your audience in terms of getting in touch with me. You can find me and everything that I talked about at triciabrook.com and my book, the Influential Voice.

You can find that at influentialvoicebook.com. And I'm on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Gresham Harkless 15:01

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. Well, Tricia, truly appreciate that. And to make it even easier, we'll have the links and information in the show notes, but I love that final point. I often say like, if we run our own race, we can't lose.

And I think we get lost in running other people's races. We want to emulate who people are, what it is that they're doing. But it's so much power, so much power in being yourself. And I love that you said you're enough by being yourself because I think so many times we need to hear that and remind ourselves of that.

So thank you so much for the time you took all the awesome work, vision and execution you've been able to do as well too. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Tricia Brouk 15:36

Thank you, and I forgot I wanted to offer your audience the free chapter to my book. If they want the first chapter for free, you can just grab that at the influentialvoicebook.com/chapter.

Gresham Harkless 15:46

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. Well, we'll also have that in the show notes as well too, so you can directly go there. But thank you so much for that freebie and of course the time again, and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Outro 15:56

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO Podcast powered by CB Nation and 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. Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at blue16media.com. This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

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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