IAM1833 – Speaking Coach Helps the Unconfident Speakers to be Good on Stage

Podcast Interview with Philip Sessions

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In this episode of the I AM CEO Podcast, host Gresham Harkless interviews Philip Sessions, a speaking coach who helps individuals speak with confidence and comfort on stage. Philip is a fitness enthusiast, coach, author, podcast host, public speaker, and connector of people who inspires them to become the best versions of themselves.

During the episode, Philip shares his CEO story, which began after he attended a growth conference in 2015 that inspired him to become an entrepreneur. He started his entrepreneurial journey by listening to podcasts, connecting with people, and joining mastermind groups and mentors to work on himself and build his brand as a speaking coach.

As a speaking coach, Philip helps individuals build a stronger mindset, speak more confidently, and get comfortable in their own skin to impact others through their message. He also offers a coaching program community that incubates individuals who want to take their speaking to the next level.

Philip's secret sauce is his ability to connect with others through a genuine conversation, being a giver, and having a big smile. His CEO hack is to use the scheduling calendar app, Calendly, to schedule meetings with clients. His CEO nugget of wisdom encourages individuals to do the things that make them uncomfortable because these are the things that will make them grow.

Philip defines a CEO as a person who is ultimately responsible for their business and takes responsibility for anyone connected to it, including those who work for them. Listeners can find more information about Philip and his services on his website,, and connect with him on social media, including Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Overall, this episode offers valuable insights from Philip Sessions, a speaking coach who helps individuals speak confidently and comfortably on stage. Listeners can gain practical strategies and tips on building a stronger mindset, connecting with others, and taking steps to become the best versions of themselves in their entrepreneurial journey.


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Philip Sessions Teaser 00:00

Because it all starts with knowing what your message is and then now you have your message, you have your brand. Then the next goal is to get on stage, to be able to get your message out there even more and keep building your brand up and build your following and everything, which is where you're getting on podcasts, like your awesome podcast here, getting publications.

I know you're all in that getting people out and getting their word out what they do and publications, everything and you're spreading a message as well for yourself.

Intro 00:24

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 Harkness 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 00:53

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we've hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them, business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners just like you. What I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month we are focusing on CEO Hacks and CEO Nuggets. This is by far one of my favorite questions I asked on the show. In other words, I asked, what are the apps, books, and habits that make you more effective and efficient? Those were the CEO hacks. Then I asked for a word of wisdom or a piece of advice or something that you might tell your younger business self if you were to hop into a time machine and those were the CEO nuggets. That's what we'll focus on this month and some of the top ones that can instantly impact your business.

I love all the questions, but with every episode, I felt I would walk away with something I could look at and implement right there to save the precious resources, time and money. Or I would also learn about the advice, tips and tidbits or tools of the trade on how to level up our organization. So you'll hear some of these this month. So sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I am CEO podcast.

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Philip Sessions of Speaking Sessions. Philip, super excited to have you on the show.

Philip Sessions 02:29

Yeah, I'm glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 02:31

Yes, super excited to have you on as well, too. Before we jumped into the interview, I want to read a little bit more about Philip so you can hear about some of those awesome things.

Philip is a husband, Christian, fitness enthusiast, coach, author, podcast host, public speaker, and speaking coach at Speaking Sessions. Philip is a connector of people and inspires them to become the best version of themselves. He does this by helping people to build a stronger mindset, learn to speak more confidently, and get more comfortable in their own skin so that they can impact others through their message.

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Phillip, excited again to have you on the show, my friend. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Philip Sessions 03:05

Oh yeah, let's do it.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 03:07

Let's make it happen, then. So to kick everything off, what I wanted to do was just rewind the clock a little bit, and hear a little bit more on how you got started, what I call your CEO story.

Philip Sessions 03:15

Oh man. So probably back in 2015, my first real conference I went to growth con too. I think it was 2015. 2015, 2016, somewhere in there. I met these two guys, a lot of people may not know about them. Andy Frazella and Ed Milet. I think a lot of people know about them, but man, back then, a lot of people really didn't know them.  So it's crazy to think 7 years later these guys were already pretty big successes in most people's eyes. And yet how much more success they've got from there, but really seeing that in the success of everybody else that was there speaking on that stage really changed the trajectory of my life.

I really started seeing what entrepreneurship was about and I started my entrepreneurship journey really. When that came out podcasting, listening to podcasts, I didn't quite start one yet. It wasn't until about 2018 before I started my first podcast or 2017 rather, and I went on this entrepreneur journey, learning, trying to start connecting with people and everything, and slowly got into masterminds and got into actually and in ads. The mastermind arts, a syndicate in 2019, and now I'm part of Apex, which is Ryan's mastermind and he's in the Dallas area.

If you don't know him, he's definitely a little bit smaller than them, but still pretty big influence on me and just gotten mentors and everything over time and just continue to work on myself. That's really how I started building myself up as that CEO and trying to brand myself as the speaking coach at the moment.

Gresham Harkless 04:51

Nice. I absolutely love that. So you start to connect the dots looking backwards and it sounds like you had that experience, whether it be, having that conference and then like all the people that you've been around and made a point to put yourself around to put you at where you're at now.

Philip Sessions 05:05

Yeah, exactly. And actually, the way we connected through Haro, help a reporter out was because of my mentor Ryan Stumann. He talks about that and building your machine. It's all about getting out there, getting publications, and things of that nature.

That's why I signed up for Haro and that's how we connected, which is really cool. Now we are doing a podcast too.

Gresham Harkless 05:25

Exactly. These things start to take off from there and get an opportunity to appreciate you and talk about the awesome things to share. It's so impactful. I think again, it's just being able to put yourself out there and be able to make sure that you're making that impact.

Philip Sessions 05:38


Gresham Harkless 05:40

So I wanted to drill down a little bit more. Can you take us through a little bit more on how you're serving your clients, and how you're working with them? We'd love to hear more about your podcast and your show as well.

Philip Sessions 05:48

Yeah, so what my customer journey looks like; If you're at the very beginnings of trying to get into public speaking, I'll take it from that. But you can hop in anywhere along the path, just depending on where you're at in your public speaking career. So, if you have no confidence at all, what I do and what this journey looks like is basically you become a part of my podcast. The podcast is obviously free. You can get into my free Facebook group speaking with confidence and go along that journey.

I'm working on a book right now. I have one out, but it's mainly on mindset and I plan on Q4 of this year to put out a book on public speaking, so then there's that. But then I have a group coaching program, which basically I hate to use the word incubator, but it's really more of a community. I guess I shouldn't use incubator. But it's a community where people can come together and they do get coaching, but it's more of a generic coaching, if you will, but it's more crafted to what you want to do. Get better at speaking, giving those tips and you actually get on a coaching call once a month and also access to live interviews with my podcast guests.

So, at the end, you can ask questions on that. So you're getting exposure, exposed to other speakers, you get exposed to more information to be able to ask questions directly to get you better at that. Then I do some custom coaching on getting yourself your brand identity, who you're speaking to as well as 1 on 1 coaching, which is still in development part. But where I will get you on stage, you pay me essentially, and I get you on X amount of stages, but I'm still building up that network of event coordinators and public relations people.

That way I can find speakers or have speakers ready to go, but also have the events to put them at. So I'm not ready for that yet. But that's at the end of the journey. So taking you from being unconfident in your speaking all the way to having you get on stage, which is my ultimate mission is getting 1000 people on stage, and get their message out there to create more impact, to change people's lives.

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Gresham Harkless 07:49

I absolutely love that. You started it out with the customer journey and I think that's so undervalued and understanding what exactly that looks like.

Philip Sessions 07:59

Yeah, for sure. Because it all starts with knowing what your message is, and then now you have your message, you have your brand. Then the next goal is to get on stage to be able to get your message out there even more and keep building your brand up and build your following and everything, which is where you're getting a podcast, like your awesome podcast here, getting publications.

I know you're on that, getting people out and getting their word out about what they do and publications, everything and you're spreading a message as well for yourself. So that's what I like to do and try to help people with.

Gresham Harkless 08:28

Yeah, I love it. Then you've written on mindset as well too, but one of the things that also spoke to me is one of the seven Habits of Highly Effective People is beginning with the end in mind and you understanding where the end is, but also the why of the end as you want to help people to be able to share their messages.

Something that's so undervalued and people don't do enough of. So I appreciate you sharing that.

Philip Sessions 08:48

Of course, and with that, I'll just say this real quick. A lot of people, when they think about getting on stage, they just, yeah, I want to go on stage and raise their hand to get on stage, but they have no clue what they're going to do. They have no clue what they're going to talk about. So that's why that journey is beginning is about building up what that avatar is, what that message is that you're going to share.

You have to have that because if I was asking you, Hey, can I get your podcast? What's first question are you going to ask because I'm going to talk about it? So you have to have that in mind. It's great to have the goal. There's nothing wrong with that, but you need to have an understanding of what that end goal is in mind. What it is you're going to speak about and too many people don't think about that.

Gresham Harkless 09:26

I love that you help people with that direction and along that journey. So, what would you consider to be what I like to call your secret sauce? This could be for yourself, the business or a combination of both. But what do you feel sets you apart and makes you unique?

Philip Sessions 09:38

Being able to relate with people and connect. I feel like most people get comfortable with me because I'm able to have that genuine conversation with them. And most of the time people always say, man, you're always smiling. So I think having that big smile, being able to connect with people is what really differentiates myself and being a giver as well.

I know I mentioned a couple of things there. I think it's just the culmination of all of those things is what makes me truly unique and what makes everybody unique.

Gresham Harkless 10:08

Yeah, absolutely. So I appreciate you sharing those because it's not sometimes the solitary ones,  is the combination of all the above that actually make that secret sauce and have it manifest itself in so many different ways and people that are impacted.

Philip Sessions 10:22

Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Like you phrased it like that.

Gresham Harkless 10:26

Yeah, absolutely. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO 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?

Philip Sessions 10:38

Calendly is probably what makes me the most efficient man. That has been a lifesaver. I remember before I got that, it was like, hey, that's how it works for you? And it's just 20 messages back and forth. Oh, wait, that doesn't work for me. Finally. It's hey, here's a link. If you can't find a time, let me know and then you go back and forth, but they know what works for you.

They try and work around that. Or a lot of times, a lot of people respect that. Hey, here's your calendar. I'm just going to find a time, even if it's three weeks, three months out, I'm going to find a time that works. So Calendly has been my hack and just sticking to that calendar.

Gresham Harkless 11:13

Yeah, absolutely. It's highly underrated. And I think too in which I'm sure you could probably relate to the whole time zone thing is a whole different thing where you have to figure all of that out to be able to say, hey, Calendly is going to tell me based on my time zone, what time it is based on your time zone, what time it is. It just make the connection happen.

Philip Sessions 11:31

Oh, yeah, there have been several calls I've had when I didn't use Calendly where it's oh, yeah, 11 a. m. and then they're on the East Coast. They're thinking 11 a. m. their time. Dude, why did'nt you show up? Oh, I thought you meant 11 a. m. Pacific. I'm like, no, at least doing that saying that time zone for sure.

But yeah, Calendly is great for doing that. Any scheduling app does that now.

Gresham Harkless 11:56

Yeah, absolutely. So what would you consider to be what I like to call a CEO nugget? So this is a little bit more word of wisdom or a piece of advice. I usually say it might be something you would tell your favorite client, or if you hopped into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

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Philip Sessions 12:11

Do the thing that makes you a little scared or the thing that you're not really feeling comfortable doing, or you don't feel like doing. So, I've always found when I do the thing that scares me a little bit, or I do the thing that's a little uncomfortable, I really just want to put it off that on the other side of that things are so much better, things are working out so much better than trying to do the things that are comfortable as we grow outside of that comfort zone.

But a lot of times when we have 20 things to do on our plate and we decided to do things that are more comfortable, it's not going to be hard to do. Those aren't the things that are going to grow us, the things that are going to be difficult to do that end up growing us.

Gresham Harkless 12:56

I love that. A lot of times to move the needle forward and ourselves, our organizations, whatever it might be, you have to really feel uncomfortable. You have to feel that uncomfortable list and do it anyways.

Philip Sessions 13:06

Yeah, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 13:09

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

Philip Sessions 13:20

We hear different things chief executive officer, chief everything officer. I think it's the person that at the day, it's by definition, the person that's ultimately responsible. So are you taking responsibility not only for your actions, but anybody that's really even around you, whether it's in business or life, but obviously, specifically to business, are you taking responsibility for all of those that are working for you?

I feel like in the 9 to 5, a lot of our management, not necessarily CEO, but a lot of those managers and even the CEOs don't want to point the finger and say, oh, it's that person's fault because they didn't do something. When I was like, you're the one at the end of the day, that's ultimately responsible. So it's about taking ownership and owning whatever happens, good or bad. But then also giving the praise, especially on that good side and give some kind of corrective action, maybe not a discipline necessarily, but giving that corrective action if it is something that was a negative thing.

Gresham Harkless 14:17

Love that ultimate responsibility and how it manifests itself in so many different ways. I truly appreciate that definition and of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I want us to do now is 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 people could get ahold of you, and find about all the awesome things that you're working on and of course subscribe to your podcast.

Philip Sessions 14:38

All right. Yeah. My podcast is I'll start with that and then I'll give you the little nugget of wisdom if you will, at the end, but it's podcast Speaking Sessions. You can find me on my website,, or on Facebook at The Real Phillip sessions.

But the nugget I'll give you is if you want to start getting on stage, you need to build up your business card. And what is that business card here in the 21st century? That is social media. Social media right now is pushing videos. So for you to get on stage, you have to start showing who you are, what you speak about, what your brand is, and who you are as a brand and identity. So start posting videos. Yes, it's not the same as speaking on stage.

Gresham Harkless 15:23

Nice. I absolutely love that. And of course, we're going to have the links and information on the show notes. You can also get a copy of your book on there on your site as well, too.

Philip Sessions 15:31

Yes, that's all on my site. Then you can also find it on Amazon if you just want to go directly there.

Gresham Harkless 15:36

Okay, perfect. We'll have those links and information in the show notes. I love, love, love that last kind of tidbit, that nugget that you left us with. I think so many times when you want to have the opportunity to impact, to be on stage, we sometimes forget that the stage that we have is right in our pocket. There was this book called Groundswell years and years ago that talked a lot about if you want to start to get picked up, you want to be on stage, whatever it is, you have to start to build that momentum and in different ways.

We all have that in our pockets in so many different ways with social media. So truly appreciate you for sharing that. Of course, appreciate you even more for taking some time out and being on the show and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Philip Sessions 16:14

Yeah, thank you and you have a great day as well.

Outro 16:16

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 I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Check out the latest and greatest apps, books, and habits to level up your business at 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(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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