Becoming a Better Storyteller with Mike Ganino

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Mike Ganino (@mikeganino) joins me to talk about the importance of stories, what makes a good story, and how to become a better storyteller. We dig into personal mythology and why it matters and how stories help us make sense of our life. We also explore an interesting twist on classic fairy tales. 

I also share about my Disney princess identity-crisis and Mike talks about his days spent clowning. This episode is filled with fun! 


Mike Ganino is a storytelling + public speaking expert who hosts The Mike Drop Moment podcast. He’s been named a Top 10 Public Speaking Coach by Yahoo Finance, and California’s Best Speaking and Communication Coach by Corporate Vision Magazine. He is an author, former Executive Producer of TEDxCambridge and has been named a Top 30 Speaker by Global Guru. He teaches storytelling, presence, and public speaking to some of the biggest names and brands. He’s a trained actor and coach from the World Famous Second City, Improv Olympics, and Upright Citizen’s Brigade. In addition to his track record as an executive in the hotel, restaurant, retail, and tech industries, Mike’s worked with organizations like Disney, American Century Investments, American Marketing Association, and UCLA.

Snag Mike’s storytelling guide:

What fictional character do you identify with? What was your favorite storytelling tip?



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Alyssa Patmos 0:04
This is Make It Mentionable. I’m Alyssa Patmos, and this is the show about being human in a world that encourages us to be robots. I invite you to join me as we journey through the mess, the magic and the mania in between. Because what we can talk about, we can manage. This honest conversation extravaganza includes free-flowing conversations and high doses of vulnerability to remind you that you aren’t alone. No topic is off limits. And episodes are designed to leave you smarter, aka more self aware than when you came. I am so glad you’re here. Welcome back to make it mentionable. I am so excited for today because I am here at with Mike Ganino. And, Mike, thank you so much for being here. I’m so excited to talk storytelling.

Mike Ganino 1:03
You know, I think that’s like a perfect way to, to do a podcast. We should – that’s what we should be doing. That’s what every podcast should be doing.

Alyssa Patmos 1:10
Sharing stories, right? Yes, I totally agree. So before we dive into all things, world of storytelling, and entertainment, and all of the magical things you do, can you tell us a little bit about you?

Mike Ganino 1:24
Yeah, you know, I think I was like, it’s funny these questions, right? Because it’s like, well, in 1980, it was a warm spring day, it was actually April 25, which is like that line from, from Miss Congeniality of like, what’s the perfect date she says April 25, that’s my birthday. So I totally felt so seen when she said that I was like, that is a perfect day. But you know, I think for me, I’m I’m a person probably much like people out there who, over time I started realizing that the people with the best ideas weren’t the ones getting heard. You know, I remember like running for student body class president when I was in high school. And I was like Elizabeth Warren, I had all of the plans, I was like, I gotta plan for that I got to plan for that I got to plan for that. And it was running against the the head of our the cheerleader had the head cheerleader. And then also like the captain of the wrestling team, and I thought, you know what, I get that they’re like popular but like, I got a plan for literally fixing everything that pothole in the senior parking lot, I got a plan for that. And so I thought for sure if I just kept going on our little we had like, a little morning, you know, address system to the school. And I just kept sharing all my plans, I would win. And they would talk about like being out and how proud they were of the school from the game they went to and stuff and I mean, you see where this is going, I didn’t when they won. And I remember thinking back of like, Oh, it’s not the person who has all the best ideas that’s wins it’s the one who knows how to move people and package it. And that came up again for me later when I was a restaurant manager it came up for me again when I was a Somali a having to sell wine to people that it wasn’t the information it was always going to be the way it was packaged in the story. And so I just became a guy who was obsessed with that now that’s that’s what I get to spend my day with is helping people figure out how to how to shine when the when the cameras on or, or when the spotlights on on stage and how to tell their story out there so they can change the world or do whatever they want to do. Love it.

Alyssa Patmos 3:27
And we have some similarities. We don’t know each other that well, but we have some similarities. I used to work in tech startups and like my favorite thing was one time I went to a trade show and they put on my badge Queen of storytelling like screw any other title. That’s what they called me. And I was like, This is great. I want to save this. So to you, like what makes a good story because then I feel like people get all up in their heads and get very they feel a lot of pressure when it comes to like okay, I have to position this perfectly or it has to be packaged. So So what makes a good story?

Mike Ganino 4:03
Yeah, I think it’s I think two things have happened here. One is that we’ve all been sold this idea of like every story needs to be the hero’s journey. This like mythological structure. And first of all, the hero’s journey is just like one of many mythological structures we could be using. So out of that seems a little patriarchal, to me to be like, we just have one and it’s a dude. And it’s about being a hero. Because there’s a ton of stories about like going in or going to the inner self and you don’t have to go out in the world and fight off dragons, you can stay in your village and figure out who you really are. And that’s a journey. So I think there’s this pressure sometimes that we feel and I hear this a lot with with clients is like, let them really have a I wasn’t an astronaut. I have worked with astronauts. By the way. I didn’t climb Mount Everest work with that person to I haven’t won an Emmy worked with them. The challenge for those people is actually that their stories are so unrelatable but we all think we need this heroic story in order to be worthy of speaking but like You go into the grocery store and have an epiphany over like a kind bar. That’s really relatable stuff. And so the first thing I think, is just like relieve the pressure of having to have saved the world in order for your story to matter. And then I think the second thing is that, you know, there’s so many frameworks. And we want to say like, here’s the, you know, there, there’s all these books here in Hollywood, I do a lot of script editing. So I’ll punch up and like, if a script is not working, I’ll like punch up the script to make it more interesting. Where does it need to be deeper? And the issue always is that we want to follow a framework we want to follow, you know, what is the what are the five steps for my keynote speech? Or what is the way to do a video? Or how do i do an Instagram reel. And the reality is that following the framework is not what’s interesting, like the plot of a movie, The plot of a keynote is not what’s interesting. What’s interesting is the transformational journey that somebody in that plot took, that I can then find useful in my life. And so regardless of whether you’re doing, you know, the hero’s journey, or the, I don’t know, the the wizards way, or whatever, whatever the method does your is, I think the real thing that the audience is looking for in a story is some kind of transformational journey where someone started off in a different place than they began. And as you ratchet up your skills as a storyteller, and as a performer, you learn to do that in more interesting ways. You learn to be funnier, you learn to be more emotional, you learn to add more surprise and suspense, but at its heart, every story that works is about something being changed over the course of one minute or two hours, or a whole series of a show.

Alyssa Patmos 6:42
I love that because you know, we’re all trying, we’re all trying to change something like ask any single person, they have a laundry list of things that they want to change about their lives like. And we’re not designed to just be satisfied perpetually, that is the struggle of being human. And, and so anytime we can make change more accessible, by just instilling a little bit of hope that it was possible, I think, I think that’s might be why we resonate with that so much is because it feels like this overwhelming mountain to change any small thing about our life. And that’s the work that I’m obsessed with, like how do we make transformation? Simple? How do we make it easy to choose transformation. And story is such a powerful way to do that, because we thrive off of metaphor. So so you brought up, I love that you brought up more than just the hero’s journey because and frameworks truly because I feel like I lost my voice trying to follow frameworks. I feel like I had a voice. And then and then for years, I tried to follow frameworks. And then I had to go through this whole uncovering process of who the hell am I now. And that was difficult. So you have talked about this concept of personal mythology. So I very much need to know what this is about.

Mike Ganino 8:09
Well, this is something that I got really interested in because I over and over when I was coaching people for, for speeches they were putting on all the time, people would have some version of this Hero’s Journey cycle in their head, like everybody wanted to be George Lucas and write their version of being, you know, Luke Skywalker. And so, and there’s a ton of books, there’s some really popular books out there that have kind of sold us this thing of like, all stories fit into this. And it’s like, I don’t really know if that’s true, like, I mean, I can make anything fit anywhere, but it doesn’t mean it’s like supposed to be in there. So like, I mean, we could be like water bottles, this is the metaphor for a great story. And then the whole world is trying to shove it in there. So I was sitting around a couple years ago, and I had read Joseph Campbell and the hero with 1000 faces and and started to see more and more people like using that idea because somebody took his book and then wrote like, the hero’s journey book and they were like every movie ever made every story ever told. And I thought Is it true? You know, is that true? Is that the true thing? And when I started looking at mythology, and fairy tales, I went on a really big deep dive like reading the most probably to most people very boring books on fairy tales because they were like research academic, like going into the psyche and the shadow self and like this Carl Jung Ji and thing you know, what i what i found over and over is like, oh, there’s actually like, tons of different tons of different stories that we could be finding and telling and they all don’t take that journey for me. Like the hero’s journey is ultimately about somebody and it could be again, man Male, female, masculine, feminine, whatever. But somebody’s leaving the village, because there’s something that they need to go do to secure the safety of the village. And it always puts their own life at risk, really. So that’s one journey. But as I was looking at it, it’s like, well, there’s there’s myths about people who don’t ever and tons of fairy tales about people who never leave the village. But they’ve been told that they have to dim their shine in order to fit in, in the village. And so then they go out, and they try to be who they really are. And they get Cinderella is a perfect example of this of like, she didn’t have a hero’s journey, like she wanted, like some, she wanted to like dance, like she just wanted to dance and like, get cute, you know, and her journey and she got caught doing that. And then her journey was about finding her inner light again, and being willing to listen to that, and overcoming the obstacles within. And I think by the way more people today, that’s the story that we’re on.

Alyssa Patmos 10:56

Mike Ganino 10:57
You when you look at someone I went through, and I looked at some of the top TED talks and some of the top keynote speakers and I looked at the structure of their talks if they were more story based. And by the way, all of the top ones are. So if you look at someone like Rene Brown, she’s not talking about going out and like slaying a dragon and bringing it back to the village to keep the village safe. She’s talking about like, the inner spiral of finding herself. So I got really into that and I just kept looking at different different different myths different fairy tales, and I realized that part of what so this is again, me going off the the psyche deep end here with Carl young, around. Part of the reason that the mythology and the fairy tale works so well and they work across cultures is that they’re kind of embedded somehow, like, wherever you want to believe that is they’re like, embedded in us. And so they make sense to us. And so the personal mythology for me is about saying, Okay, well, if that’s the way in which I most easily can understand the world and what’s happening, then how can I map myself on top of it, so I can start to see where I’m at what’s next. So I can find hope in that so I can make sense of what’s happened to me because, for me, I always think storytelling is best when it’s used to figure out how to make sense of what’s happened to you. So that’s really where the personal mythology kind of like Mike went off on the deep end for it. That’s where it really was born for me.

Alyssa Patmos 12:30
I love that. And I so I came up with this thing a few years ago, where I started saying success comes down to the stories we tell ourselves and the stories we tell other people. And so what you just said about about the fairy tales is helping us communicate something helping us figure out like where we are on that path. I think that helps us unpack what are the stories that we’re telling ourselves and then and then more so which fairytales did we adopt? And have them inform what we’re doing? And now that’s sort of like running our lives. So my story around that is, for years, I thought I was blonde. So So growing up, I thought I like I resonated the most with Cinderella. I’m like yeah, like I love when the sunlight comes shining in through my window, like yes, have birds chirping outside, like, I love this. It’s my happy place. And then eventually I was dating a guy and he’s like, Alyssa, you’re you’re not blonde. And it was the year it was the year that the live action, Beauty and the Beast came out. And I had this epiphany moment where I was like, Oh, I’m much more like Belle. And then all of a sudden everything in my life made more sense.

Mike Ganino 13:50
This is exactly what I’m talking about though.

Alyssa Patmos 13:53
Because then I had it was like that map. I was like, Oh, this is where I’m at. And actually I’ve been interpreting my life according to the wrong Disney Princess which nobody should really interpret their life according to Disney Princesses in general. But the mythology they’re like following these fairy tales. When I when I chose a different one. I was able to see new possibilities. Yeah, yeah. So when it comes to stories, because I absolutely think you’re right that most of the time. I’m not gonna say most of the time, a large portion of the time. What I see in the work that I do is is people dimming their light and that story that you are mapping over and and whether it be because it’s a root fear of abandonment or a root fear of rejection. There’s something that makes it feel unsafe for people to unapologetically use their voice and in my internet stalking of you, you talk a lot about people being their unapologetic selves and yet we live in a society that makes it very difficult to do that at times. So when someone is trying to uncover their voice, how, what’s a good chapter? Let me start like, what what advice do you have for them?

Mike Ganino 15:13
Well, and and you’re so right about, you’re so right about where it comes from as well. One of the things I’ve I’ve been speaking more and more about lately, is the idea of so you know, there’s this whole idea of like, be authentic, be your authentic self, be you like, there’s this horrible advice that people give people when they’re going to do public speaking specifically in my industry or my field. And they’ll say, like, be yourself. And it’s like, but there’s a lot of ourselves like there’s the self who’s like, crabby about something that happened in the self that is like, you know, a hangnail that’s hurting, there’s all kinds of stuff. So like, what does it actually mean? Because like, the self that sits and reads, read something is your true self. But when you stand in front of other people and do that, it doesn’t work. So like, what is that? And one of the things I think, around like, Where did that voice go is that very, very early on, we need to, we need attachment, right? We need, it’s what I think babies are, like wired to do in the beginning is get people to care about them. And so we need attachment. In order to survive, we need physical attachment, with food, with with care with shelter, we need emotional attachment, we need all of these things. And what we learn is that sometimes that attachment is at risk, or it feels that it’s at risk for us saying what we want to say, or saying what we are about to say in the way in which we wish to say I mean, it’s really simple down to like, when you’re like crying for some juice, and it’s like, hey, ask like a good girl. And you’re like, Oh, I’m just thirsty. And so I’m yelling, but like, fine, you want me to be nice. I’ll be like, really nice. Hello. And then we wonder why are there generations of people who don’t know how their actual voice like, forget, like, the voice of like what I want to say in the world, and like their actual physical voice, they have no idea what it actually sounds like. Because we’ve all been morphed by this need to trade that for attachment. So I always think authenticity is not the version, we pull up on a camera, or we get on stage. And they’d be like, I’m authentic here. What I think authenticity is, is knowing what matters to you. And being able to express that in the way that you truthfully feel it. We trade that from a very young age for attachment. And then we we don’t remember doing that, you know, we don’t consciously do it. It’s not like a bartering. And so we then become adults. And we’re like, wait, something’s stuck here. I work with people all the time where there’s like, physiological things going on with the way they breathe, that are affecting their voice. And I’ll have people that come in, and they’ll say, before we even get to like the voice of like, what I want to say in the world. There’s the physical voice, and they’ll come in, it’s like, well, this is just what I sound like. And it’s like, that’s not what you sound like, there’s, there’s a reason that you sound that way. And it’s interesting when you look across cultures, right? If you look at Japanese women, for example, have some of the highest pitched voices, and then other women in other countries, that’s cultural, that’s not physiological. That’s cultural. Japanese men have the lower pitched voices of many men, they speak in that very low, guttural sound. That’s purely cultural. And yet, we think that that’s how we sound, we push ourselves to sound a certain way, in order to fit in the the change that happens to boys during puberty. It is based on testosterone and the thickening of the vocal cords. But it’s also partially cultural, that we think as boys becoming men, we’re supposed to sound a certain way. And then we end up in our 20s in our 30s 40s 50s, maybe 70s, saying, Who am I, because we’ve been trading it for so long.

And not even realizing that we’re doing it. So the first thing that I always say to people on this journey of, I really want to find my voice is that that find my voice, whether it’s physically or find my voice of like, what I want to say in the world is that it is almost always a somatic experience, that, that unlocking the thing you’re supposed to say in the world is, is gonna happen somehow, through playing with where your voice can go, because we sound the way we sound because of muscle tension. You know, like our vocal cords are not in Oregon, Oregon. They’re they’re just little flaps of meat around that closed and open. And that’s just muscle tension. And we’re storing all kinds of things. So I say in the beginning when you’re trying to figure out like I really want to say this thing in the world. Go out and For us to go out to the beach, go into a room by yourself, scream it, yell it, sing it, roll on the floor with it, really get physical with it and see what you can unlock that then feels like, almost like touching the third rail of the train for my Urban urban train folks is like that third rail is the one that’s all the electricity. It’s gonna feel like that. And then you’ll know like, Ah, what was that? Yeah, that was something and that’s that’s I don’t know, that’s what I get excited about seeing in the world and, and that’s often the work when I’m working with people. I was just working with with a big influencer on a on a keynote recently in a VIP day. And you know, she’s normally like, calm, cool, collected. And I was like, What would happen if in this part you just like, but like, you just flew and you ranted and you were you were just in it. And it was just like, really scary thing to do. And the reason we’re scared is because it’s like, if I uncork it, am I gonna be able to stop it when my truth comes pouring out? But

Alyssa Patmos 21:00
yes, yes, yes, yes, I love that you brought up attachment, because that is a world I love to play in. And that’s the that’s the stories we tell ourselves peace. Like when we’re young, we make decisions with very limited information, we’re completely dependent on our parents and the adults around us. And we don’t understand what’s happening, we don’t have the resources to know what’s going on. And so we have to make a decision. And it’s that it’s that quick moment where a parent is upset about something that has nothing to do with you. And you ask something, and they just, they don’t have the capacity to handle it in a compassionate way, right then, and then we decide I can’t ask for anything I want. And then all of a sudden, you have this story for years and years and years of my wants aren’t valid, they’re not going to be met. And then we get here as an adult, and we’re in a relationship and all of a sudden, we’re in conflict, because we feel like our needs aren’t being met. And they these are the spirals we end up in Yeah, we adapt our voice then to to protect ourselves. For me, when I was going through NLP training, oh, my goodness, there is a there was a moment in trainers training where I had this whole thing around, I couldn’t screen like I had to, they made you command a room, when everybody is writing, or shouting terrible things that you like they made you write down everything You were scared of people saying and then all of your friends in the room started shouting that at you, and you had to re command the room. And so the trainer’s are coaching me like your voice needs to go deeper, like where is it coming from? And I couldn’t. Earlier in that session, I couldn’t even scream like I know louder voice was going to come out of me. And then in that moment, I couldn’t get it to go deeper. So what you’re saying about the somatic experience, I think is for me, personally has been super transformative as well. And LP in general is a more heady modality. So I’ve worked to bring in a ton of body experiences with it. Because for me, I realized, if we’re not speaking it, we’re storing it. Yeah. Like we either have to speak it, we have to store it, or we have to shut it. And so where does it get stored? It gets stored in our in our body. So I think that that piece of advice, like just lights me up, because it’s been my own personal journey to having to explore, where can I play with things in my body. And to your point about singing it. One of the things that I do, and I used it, when I when I was a copywriter, I would talk to people about this because I found that my head, our heads get in the way our minds get in the way of so much. And so I would I will just randomly sing. Like if I feel blocked in my throat and like my throat chakra. It’s always a thing we’re working on. But if I feel blocked, I will just start singing and I’m like, Okay, what story is coming out? Yeah. And it works. It works. So well. And then there’s another site. Have you seen this marketing campaign that Iceland has out right now. There’s a marketing campaign for Iceland, where you can record a screen, and then they go out and play it in the mountains of Iceland.

Mike Ganino 24:14
Yes, I saw something about this. I think

Alyssa Patmos 24:17
it’s awesome. And I feel like I need to recommend most clients do this.

Mike Ganino 24:21
Yeah, it’s, it’s true that you know, like, like, for those of you that are that are listening or watching this now if you can safely do it. Think of just your normal talking voice here. So just you’re talking with me, maybe talk to yourself in your car, or sitting at your desk or your walk or whatever, talk to yourself a little bit. And now really, really clench your feet. Your voice is going to change from your feet, like just your feet. Don’t clench your chest or anything here, just do your feet and you’ll find that your voice changes and so like, all your voice is just an expression of what’s going on in your body and what’s going on in your body is just an expression of like who you are really and I think it’s, it’s, you know, one of the things I’ve seen a lot when I’ve worked with people is that they’ll they’ll sit down and it’s like, I got to write a speech, I got to say something, I got to do my story. And it never really comes out until the real stuff doesn’t come out until we can get to the physical part of it. It’s why, like, when I work with people, they’ll reach out, Hey, can I work with you, I’m gonna send you my script. Now, I don’t want to read your script. Not because I don’t like to read a script, but because it doesn’t mean anything, unless they see you saying it, because I want to see how that looks and feels on you. Because that’s really where the work is almost always.

Alyssa Patmos 25:37
So I want to ask you a question. Well, I want to ask you like 50 questions, but the question I’m going to start with, okay, which path Am I going down? Okay, the one I want to start with is, so part of the power of story is that we can tell it in a bunch of different ways. And so like, the work that I do is we we go back and we read, rewrite the story. And so now that we have more resources, as adults, we can go back, and we can tell the story in a new way, we can gather more information, we can see it in a different light, and then it doesn’t carry that emotional weight forward, it breaks the chain. And so now, it’s not the story of Oh, I can’t get my needs met. It’s like, Oh, my mom was really frustrated. I made a decision with limited information. And now I collect new evidence in the world today that like my needs can get met. There’s a curse to this, though there is a dark side of stories being able to be told in infinity amounts of ways. And that is, how do you pick the one that’s going to resonate? How do you pick? How do you know which one is the one that you share? In in any given context? And this is why writing my about page was a total bitch. Yeah, what do you say to that? Like, what do you say when it feels like, Okay, I’m ready to have a voice. But which angle do I pick?

Mike Ganino 27:09
I think it depends on the the outcome, right? And of the goal of it. So like, for example, if, if I was going to go speak at a conference, and the audience were nurses? And then, you know, I would I would, I would say, like the speech I would give right now to nurses is going to be different than it was three years ago, but different than it was two years ago, because of what’s gone gone on for that industry and what they’ve been through. And so I would say is that what is the place I always start is, what is the helpful thing to say right now? What would be helpful to these people what would be helpful to this group of folks because I believe there is storytelling in that there’s there’s the healing side of storytelling, which is just for you, which typically you pay people to listen to those stories so you can get through them and heal. There’s the the the performance side of storytelling, where you’re putting it out into the world. And when we’re doing that, we have to consider the audience the same way that like, if, if all of a sudden we heard there’s a new Marvel movie, and then it was really just a rom com, it would be it’s confusing, because that’s not what the audience shows up for. Right? Even though probably be an interesting movie. It’s not what we showed up for. And if we showed up for like, a Reese Witherspoon rom com, and it ended up being a slasher film, we’d be like, wait, what is this and what I came here for, although that might be fine, if that’s what I bought a ticket for. So I think it’s really looking and saying, what is what is the? What is the reason right now? What’s going on here? What is my goal with this? And then because of that, what’s the most helpful story I can share? to help them with that piece of thing? So for example, at the top of this show, when you asked me about myself, I could have started a million ways. But I started with like, being a kid in high school who realized this thing because I thought, well, that’s a wave. For me. This is very meta right now. I feel like I’m like Leo and Leonardo DiCaprio in inception. So that was a way for me, to your audience to help them see like, Oh, that is true. I have had an experience like that I had a boss, I went, I ran for student class president, where the best idea didn’t win. And I could have just said that, well, I’m a person who believes the best idea doesn’t win. But the putting of it inside of a story would help the audience say, Oh, that is true. I’ve seen that before. Now, I could have chosen a million other stories. But for me that felt like based on what we were here to do today. That felt like the most helpful story, but if we were on a podcast, I’ve been on a few of these. I have a daughter who’s who’s one. And so I’ve done a few podcasts about that topic. And so when they said tell us about yourself, I chose a different story for that one because I thought what would be most helpful to frame the conversation I want to have with this audience and so if I was looking at an about page, and think What’s this, and I’m not a copywriter. I’m a oral storyteller. But I would probably start with what would be a helpful thing to frame the talk, we’re what’s going to happen with us here. And so for me, by the way, we’re doing a new website that’s coming out this year in 2021. And the about pages is kind of a story. Actually, the whole website is a story down to even like, illustrated woodland creatures. It’s there’s nobody has a website like this, it’s gonna be wild, it’s gonna be totally wild. But on my about page, it goes through the journey of like feeling like what I had to say it was getting canceled out that it wasn’t being heard, recognizing that when I was on stage doing theater, there was something really resonated and beautiful. And I realized, maybe I should bring more of that emotional truth, to the world of presenting to do something. And so it kind of takes the audience on that journey.

Alyssa Patmos 30:54
That sounds credible. And my creative side is like, Oh, yes, I need to see this. Like, I love it. When people break the status quo. My contrary and self, I’m like, Yes, we need more of this. I love this reframe of, Oh, my God, how do I put everything about myself on an about page into what’s most helpful for the audience in this way, which seems pretty common sense, in hindsight, but sometimes people need to hear that, like, they need to hear it in a different way. And not this way of like, Who’s your client avatar? And who are you trying to talk to? And what do they need to hear it because then it just puts all this pressure, you know, to be perfection. And then if that goes back to more root cause things where we decided we had to be perfect, and then we just stall from perfectionist things. So that’s not helpful. But this simple question of what version am I bringing? What version of myself in my bringing to the table in this moment to get the message across? And I mean, that’s what communication is, right? Like, yeah, shared meaning. And that helps achieve the goal. So I that question is super powerful, and I really love it. So thank you for sharing. Yeah, um, the other path that I didn’t choose five minutes ago,

Mike Ganino 32:07
I choose your own adventure book. I love this.

Alyssa Patmos 32:10
So the other path was social media. So I go through this conundrum, on social media, especially in the coaching industry, but it it spans a few different industries right now, where I just see people so often just telling people what to do. And the level of semantics that I geek out about in this is a little excessive, and obsessive, but it’s the difference between like, even when people choose to use you are not and you is a really powerful word to draw people in, and communication and storytelling, but I’m seeing so much of a trend on social where it’s it’s just people constantly telling someone else what to do. And I struggle with that, like, again, my contrary and selves like don’t to do to be controlled. Like I spent years being more codependent and I don’t want that life anymore. I got to trust myself over the people. So So what is your take on that? Like, what do you love seeing in the world of social? What do you wish people would do more of?

Mike Ganino 33:18
I think there’s, I think it does go back to kind of what we were saying before about attachment and authenticity. Because what I see a lot from my clients who come to me for help with with speaking and be more themselves on stage, one of the things they see a lot in their, in their social that they might be struggling with. And then some of my clients are influencers and so they get what they’re doing on social really well. But on that other side, what I see a lot is this pressure of like, I need to say this right thing I need to be seen as an expert, one of the issues that experts have with storytelling is that storytelling requires you good storytelling that you started here and you ended up here, which means you’ll learn something along the way. And experts really struggle with with that because they don’t want to be seen as I didn’t know at all, but like you didn’t pop out of the womb understanding Bitcoin, like you didn’t. So what was that journey for you? One of the things we do in speeches that I think is is helpful probably for social content. One of things I always ask people when they say, you know, here’s what I want to say to them I want to tell them this because I tried to move people from the how to speech you know to get out of that how to speech kind of thing, the the five paragraph essay version of a speech that people have been taught of like, tell them what you’re going to tell them tell them and then tell them you told them in three points and a thesis summary and it’s like that’s so boring and predictable. The audience wants to be moved, send them the the book or the pamphlet if that’s what you’re going to do. But one of the things I find in that is that people The question I’ll ask them a lot when they have kind of the How to content is when was, how did you learn that? When was the time when you didn’t know how to do that? What was it like when you didn’t know how to do that? Because our job in his speech and I would say on social is to bring the audience along the same journey, you went on to learn a thing. So just showing up and saying, Hey, here’s the thing you need to do do this. That’s not what happened to you. You went through something. So what was that because we need to walk the audience through that same psychology a little bit so they can understand this stakes that are involved, what why the world is shifting that the way that they think to do things wasn’t wrong two weeks ago, or five years ago, but the world has shifted, and here’s why. And here’s what that journey looks like. And so I think if people brought more of that thinking to social, it would be much more interesting to read. I think there’s plenty of ways who play people who don’t necessarily always think about, always use the actual word you but they write content that is really helpful to an audience that’s engaging and fun for the audience. And so they’ve never forgotten the unspoken you in it, even if they don’t use the word. They didn’t forget the unspoken you and I think a lot of people do.

Alyssa Patmos 36:21
Yeah, here. I mean, your hashtag is like, and your podcast is Mic drop moment. And like, for me, that was totally one of them. Like the, the unspoken? Yeah. It’s so powerful, because the people who I follow and love and admire and like the people who I want to binge their content all the time. That’s what they’re doing. Yeah. And that, yes, I love that. Love it. And I think you’re right to about the journey. And it’s hard because you know, you, you feel like, again, like scarcity, mindset fears of all the things fears of rejection, fears of abandonment, like you think the antidote to that is becoming an expert, and becoming this person that then seems like they have all of it together when no human does. And, and so we avoid, like sharing some of the painful bits at times. But yes, yesterday. So for me, one of the things that I’ve had to learn is really how to communicate my needs and wants and desires and knowing that I’m entitled to them. And so yesterday, I posted an Instagram story because I was texting my partner, and he was at the grocery store. And like I had completely run out of tampons, and I had run out of Advil. And so I posted this screenshot of the text going down the house, like him sending me a picture of like, is this the right tampon box? And I’m like, Yes, that’s great. And so then the story around it, though, was like, I have gotten to the point like getting to this point where I was able to ask for this help where I’m able to have him go to the store and buy this thing that feels semi vulnerable, for me, was a whole journey. And so that’s that’s what I talked about there. And I think like those those touchstone small moments in life make such a difference, but we forget to share them.

Mike Ganino 38:14

Alyssa Patmos 38:16
So so I feel like I’m about to go Just so you know, as the whole wild ride, we say honest conversation extravaganza around here. And so we’re going on a different we’re going a different path, man,

Mike Ganino 38:30
I’m strapped in.

Alyssa Patmos 38:32
So okay, so you said you had a daughter? Who’s one? Yep, I have decided that I don’t want kids. Um, and and my partner has three. So that so that’s fun. They’re, they’re grown and it’s great fun. But I suppose sometimes I feel like and you know, we always feel like the path that we didn’t choose, like, has all of these answers for us. And so sometimes I feel like I’m stunting myself like, either in the healing journey or in the, in the capacity to just be around like this creative child who has not lost their spark and then like, be reading the stories all the time. So can I live vicariously through you for a moment? Yeah. And can you tell me some awesome things that you’re learning about storytelling from your daughter?

Mike Ganino 39:26
I think one of the big things I’ve learned have had underscored maybe for me, is that the energetic, the kind of ethereal, the aura, the the because we’re all just like energy, like you have a heart attack. That’s energy issue, like, and that’s not me being woowoo that’s like actual the medical science of like, that’s an electrical issue. Like, that’s electrical, your brain doing things is electrical. And so one of the big things that’s been underscored for me that was like You used to believe this and now you’re really gonna believe it is the the whole thing of like, we are communicating so much more energetically than we do by anything we say. So like reading a book is not the same as reading a book. Like, if you read a book and you ain’t in it, that baby knows you ain’t in it. And if you read a book, and you’re really having fun, and you’re pouring your soul, and all of these things, that baby knows that you’re doing that. And so that part for me has really been like, Oh, yeah, this thing, you were right, keep going. That’s exactly true. So that has been underscored for me in this journey. The other thing that I think the thing we were talking about, like the the idea of authenticity, and, and attachment, that part for me that I might have believed before that story has been reinstated of like, Oh, yeah, I see this happening. I see the moments already. When shall look, if I’m, if I get upset about something, she kind of looks like, oh, something bad has happened? What do I need to learn from this? How do I get back to being safe. So that part of the the story is reinstated. And then I think that the third part is that idea of the transformational arc is really clear, even for like a one year old love, like, she doesn’t know what I’m saying, necessarily, but I do. And so I layer in voice, and I layer in emotion, and I layer in movement, and she can feel when some she can feel that ride, she can feel that transformational arc of like, everything was fine, and then oh, no, something happened. And then something else happened. But then it was happening good things again. And I think all of that it all three of those things really inform how we should be approaching this work, speaking our truth, on giving voice to the stuff inside of us, it really has underscored that for me,

Alyssa Patmos 41:59
and how we should be parenting.

Mike Ganino 42:02
I’ll give you listen, you want to ask me vicariously, how are all the ways I’ve screwed up and the other lessons I’ve learned we could talk about that too, because I got plenty of those too.

Alyssa Patmos 42:13
That’s amazing. Um, the energetics of language are such a big thing. And I think that’s partly why you know, video is it has become an is continuing to become so popular is because, like, so much more gets communicated in the tone and the inflection and like how, how we’re saying it? And I think it’s, I think people ignore it, you know, like, they are so concerned with talking, and the words that we use that oftentimes we forget all of the other variables that are involved in communication. And so how do you how do you coach people through that, like, from a speaking perspective, what are some of the things you work on?

Mike Ganino 42:54
Well, it’s really understanding. So I talk a lot about stage presence and, and that everybody has it, like we’re born with it, it’s available to all of us. And so I think there’s a, there’s a level of like stage presence got associated with like, you have to just be kind of loud, and big, and like coach voice all the time. And we’ve seen that with people like Tony Robbins, or Rachel Hollis, where it’s kind of like, they’re just kind of yelling at you the whole time. So it feels like that’s stage presence, just big. And the reality of stage presence is about openness. It’s about a two way exchange of, of energy, even if the audience isn’t speaking. The way that we speak, when we read is different than the way that we the way that we speak when we read out loud is different than the way that we speak when we’re talking to someone. The way that we speak when we leave a voicemail is different than the way we speak. When there’s someone on the other side who we can see them because we are making micro shifts based on their did she did she lean this way? Did she do this things that we don’t even know we’re doing? We are making micro shifts of like that. That’s why a lot of people actually struggle with video, is because when we’re speaking to a group of people, or we’re speaking to three people, even on a zoom call, we’re constantly constantly making micro adjustments. Did they hear me? Did they like it? Are they leaning in? Are they not? Should I slow down? Should I speed up? Should I say it again? And then video, it’s harder to read that it’s harder to pick those cues up. And so one of the things that that I always talk about is this idea that stage presence, where does it come from it is this two way thing. So stage presence and speaking comes from your voice probably figured I was gonna say that the actual sound of your voice, the pace, the shifts in it, the tonality in it, the warmness in it, the the pitch, all of those things, it comes from the way you move was the way that you moved. I talk about for public speaking. And in my program, the mic drop method, I talk about embodied movement on stage. So move your hand I’m gay in Italian, so my hands are gonna move Goal of that is always functional gestures. So is is the way that I’m moving, punctuating what I’m saying versus being a habitual kind of protection tool that I use. Does it help support the message? Is that underscoring it, does it? Do I, when I move to the left or right, is it intentional, versus I’m just moving, I don’t know why. So embodied movement is the second part. And then the third part is our breath, the way we breathe. Because an audience picks up on that I do this exercise when I’m doing live master classes, and I’ll bring someone up, I’ll tell I won’t tell the audience, I’ll whisper in their ear and say, I want you to breathe really tightly, just in your chest, not in your stomach, don’t make any other facial expressions, but just really like, and we wait, guess what happens, the audience all starts to like hyperventilate with them, and get stressed and anxious, then I’ll have them fix it into the belly, their breathing, breathing way down into like, their root chakra, if they can imagine that, or their feet, or their hips, or whatever they need to imagine, and how the audience feels, they feel soothed, they feel safe, all of those things are affecting our ability. And none of that so far has anything to do with the actual words you’re saying. You know, and so that’s where we usually start is like, really looking at that. It’s one of the things when I’m one of the services I’ll do for people is they can send me a video of their keynote or of their workshop. And I will do like a reaction video back. That’s one of the offerings I have giving them notes and like, Hey, you could try this the first time through, I listened to it with no sound on.

Alyssa Patmos 46:38
Yes, all okay, so I like never listened to sound on Insta stories. And so like, I usually listen to my own videos without sound on because I’m the person who’s only reading the captions. And, and it’s hilarious to me, because some people definitely don’t do that. And it’s so apparent like it’s so you can see so much listening to something without the sound on. And I always laugh at myself, like when I do that, for me, it’s a practice, but I think it’s a great technique. I think it’s super cool that you do that.

Mike Ganino 47:08
Yeah, it’s one of the ways to win that when people say like, I did it, because I think you should always be getting video, even if it’s just like from the side of the stage with your cell phone setup, you should always be getting video of you speaking so you can, if you can get a good video, you can use it for real or you can use it in B roll of real for speaking real, but you can also use it for your own feedback. And whenever someone says like I never listened to my own podcast, or I never watched my own videos, I think well then how the heck do you want the world to do that because that’s our job as communicators is to constantly be up leveling our craft. And one of the challenges why we don’t listen or why we don’t watch the videos of ourselves on stage is because we don’t know how to review them. So it just becomes this like hateful, hate fast because we don’t know how to actually look at it. And so I always teach this method of like, Okay, listen to it with no or watch it with no sound and look for these specific things. Could you could you sense what you were saying? Were there moments where you seemed this way this way this way. And now don’t watch it and just listen to it. Because you tell where you were excited could you see the emotion were there places where it was hard to follow you because you didn’t take a pause to let the audience think so go through that now put it all back together and now you can finally watch it with the visual and the audio and go through this checklist. But the reason that we listen to our own podcasts or watch your own video and hate them is because we just never been trained on what to look for. So it just becomes a like oh, I look big I look this way I look that way I look that way and none of that is helpful in delivering your message.

Alyssa Patmos 48:44
The pious thing is so real Yes, like my brain will move so fast and then I’m like wait I should probably repeat something that I said there or I could pause in this moment and that would be helpful Yeah, that’s why I’m consistently working on because if you

Mike Ganino 49:01
think about it if an audience was reading what you wrote they can stop they can think then go back and be like Wait, what was that? But when you’re speaking they can’t do that. And so I speak fast I’m grew up in California I speak fast. But I pause on a thought when I want the audience to consider what I just said I repeat things I go back and I’ll say it slower or faster to help I sound like Oprah sometimes with that you know, of like she is important she is important because it’s it’s not about putting your words out into the world it’s about communicating your message.

Alyssa Patmos 49:37
Yes, yes. And and how people are going to be able to receive that. That’s a one way video like the broadcasting social channels are harder for me because there’s not that two way interaction. And I mean, like I studied communication, I have a master’s in it. And so I’m like, okay, like communication takes two people and I don’t know what’s happening on the other end right now. And sure, it’s way more difficult for me. I It’s been in growth zone. And there was a question I had to pause as I remember what my question was. It’s not coming to me it’s interesting

Mike Ganino 50:13
the idea too, so So you have your master’s in communication. I studied mass communication, and, and specifically broadcast journalism. And in there, it really is about, like, we had to learn how do you have a relationship with a camera, because that is, that is your job in broadcast journalism is to bring this familiarity, this warmth, this sense of safety to people who you can’t see at all. And before social media, you really didn’t know how they felt about anything you said. And so it’s a really interesting like, within the world of communication. You obviously studying communication as, as an interpersonal tool and the normal field of it, me studying just a mass communication side of it. It’s it’s a really interesting, like, there’s so much there isn’t there?

Alyssa Patmos 51:01
It’s sometimes like wavelength things really are true, because my question my question related to the newsroom. And so when you said that it brought it brought it back around,

Mike Ganino 51:12
I knew it I knew I was like, we’re gonna get there.

Alyssa Patmos 51:14
Yes. Okay. So reporter speak, like get the whole thing where you talk in the same tone, like, like, you could know it’s a news channel, if you had no other you know, if you didn’t have any visual thing at all, like why? My question is why? And also, what is that communicating? Do you have thoughts on it? Because it’s always perplexing to me. Yeah, a lot

Mike Ganino 51:39
of it has to do with a lot of is historical. Because the idea was that there should be impartiality, in news reporting. Which is funny because like newspapers were never impartial. I was, you know, people were talking lately about like, oh, the news, they should have an opinion. It’s like, Did you not see Hamilton, because like, the newspapers were like, run by like, the politicians, always, they always have been. And before that, in England, the newspaper was run by the king. So like, that idea is actually untrue that that media never had opinions, but specifically about broadcast or radio. Part of the job there was about impartiality, about being able to communicate without any sign of emotional note to it. And then there were certain people who were seen as there was that lower voice like this that we really liked, because it was resonant, and it felt safe, and it felt like low and it was like, I think healing a whole bunch of people’s daddy issues, maybe. So there was that that was also, by the way, used for so long, to keep women out of media roles to keep women from being reporters on the BBC, on American channels early on was, well, they can’t have that voice, which is what’s needed. Their voices are too emotional, and their voices aren’t, aren’t resonant enough to make people feel safe. Which by the way, is untrue this whole now we’re on a real tangent, this whole idea. Have you heard this term before chatty Cathy? Yes. Okay. So what’s really funny is over and over, and over, studies have shown that men in settings speak more than women do. That men vocally have more emotional range when they speak in a normal cadence of a day than women do. Interesting. All of that is fake news. Like all of that, so. So when, when we were in, when, when there were the world wars, they needed for World War Two, and there was finally radio in everywhere. women had to be the broadcasters. And so that was like, the first time where women were on the air broadcasting. And, and this whole idea of like, the way that you needed to sound to be impartial, to be trustworthy. That’s really where that came from. And then there became that cadence of like, and now we’re going to be speaking about the five things you need to know, that whole cadence just became so baked into it. And a lot of us, a lot of people, like if you’ve ever been part of a virtual summit, and you’ve seen someone just speak their voice over slides, that’s the voice we all like, adopt somehow. And the issue is, that is never the way we actually talk to each other. So it is a it is a very easy disconnect from so many people in your audience when we do that, because it is not the way that we speak to each other, when we’re actually just talking.

Alyssa Patmos 54:34
So I feel this too. I always feel like that. I mean, I always I always feel bad when I say this. And I feel like I shouldn’t, because everybody loves Ted and and I love TED Talks. TED talks are great, and I know you’ve worked and helped produce them. Yeah. And I feel like there has become a formula for how you have to speak and now you have to use your voice in TED Talks. I feel like so many of them Like, it’s like it’s adopted its own newsrooms speak. But it’s the TED stage version. And I don’t Am I making this up? Do you know what I’m talking about? Because I’m like, pieces of it. I feel like it’s it’s gotten formulaic. And the ones that stand out to me are the ones that break that. Yeah. Yeah,

Mike Ganino 55:19
I think it’s I think it’s beyond I think the growth of Ted and TEDx happened around the same time as YouTube, like, the real big growth of them came when the videos could be put onto YouTube, so that people could watch them. And it was really the first time in our history where like giving a speech became a pop culture thing. Because before that, it wasn’t really the case. So YouTube really created that alongside of Ted and TEDx, what I think has happened is that that became a format for public speaking in general. So I don’t think it’s only in the TED Talks, but the TEDx talks, I think, if you if you traffic, enough conferences, this is the voice. This is the style that people think public speaking takes, because for a lot of people, those Ted videos were the only public speaker they ever saw. And so it became the model of like, Oh, I guess that’s what it looks like. And, yeah, I think that’s where it comes from. And I think it’s just now at like a circle, a loop of like, it just keeps feeding itself and feeding itself. And I think this next era of public speakers that are coming up, I know, the people I work with, when it’s like how do we like actually, really, really say something to this audience? How do we show up and put it all in there bring really the essence of us to this message, I think they’re gonna be the next. This is where the future is going. You know, those people?

Alyssa Patmos 56:44
Yeah, I agree. And I’m excited to hear more of those because yeah, like, anytime there can be a pattern interrupt, you know, like, we’re so it’s so we talk about talking a lot, we talk about communicating, but we don’t talk about listening as much. And so what I’m trying to do in most of my work with people is answered the question, how do I make it easy for them to listen. And story is one of the things that does that. knowing someone else’s communication style, and being able to make subtle tweaks to it helps. But so often, we, when we’re speaking people, people have a tendency for it to be this like, selfish process. And they’re not really thinking about how easy it is for the other person to listen to that. And that shift alone, like in the workplace makes a huge difference. Because if you have a person over there, and you’re doing something that is reminding them of their mother, but you’re their boss at work, like that’s not going to go well, that’s not gonna go well at all. You’re bringing up attachment wounds from the beginning. And so like, what are the subtle tweaks you can make that make it easier for them? To listen? Hmm, I love that. I love that, that always helps me like reframe what I’m doing.

Mike Ganino 58:03
Yeah, it’s always an audience experience, right? Like, there, there certainly are those places where it’s like, if you just want to go and you just want to talk then fine, like that’s, you know, pay a therapist. pay a therapist, you know, have a podcast that nobody listens to, you know, make YouTube videos without, you know, there’s no one, there’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re like, for me, it is therapeutic to make videos, and I don’t care if anyone watches them, great. All the things. But if you’re showing up and saying why, why is my movement not catching fire? Why is my message not landing, then you really, really have to think about the audience experience of like you said, listening and taking that in. And that starts obviously, with content, but it goes deep to your voice, the stories, like you said, the energetic experience of seeing you up there, all of that really does matter. In that case, you’re so right.

Alyssa Patmos 58:57
So I just was reminded of another story that I see playing out for a lot of people right now, which is they’re scared of being seen. So there’s the one where like you were seeing, and then your light dimmed. And now like I’m shining bright again. But there’s this other story where people are just, like, totally scared of being seen, and of being visible and putting themselves out there. Do you work with people who like, are already Okay, like, I’m ready to be visible? I got this, or do you also help the people who might have this fear of being visible? You use their voice?

Mike Ganino 59:38
Sometimes, I mean, so. Not in a bratty way at all, but like working with me is a is an investment. Yeah. And so often, there are people who say I realized that I need to be seen, and it’s costing me a lot of money to not be seen. So like, this is worth it to me. If there’s somebody like when someone comes through and they’re like, Oh, I’m just really nervous. I can’t even speak up in a meeting. I usually refer them out to someone else. But if there’s someone is like I’m a CEO of this company and we keep getting invites to speak at like conferences that would be really useful and I’m not doing it they’re high stakes for that person so for them the trade off of working with me would be worth it. But if someone is just like, Oh, I just would like to do a couple more like Instagram stories. But I’m really nervous that’s probably not the right person for me. Just because probably the investment is going to be too too big for them.

Alyssa Patmos 1:00:28
Right But the gap is there’s a mismatch Yeah, there’s

Mike Ganino 1:00:31
a mismatch between the the stakes for them it’s just not that high. Just like, you know, absolutely. What I love too. Would it be fun to like, actually wouldn’t This is a lie, but it’s like somebody coming in being like, Oh, it’s I it might be interesting to work out to somebody who is like, I’m a I’m gonna teach you to climb Mount Everest. Those are no there’s there’s better program for you out there who can help you get your goals, and you don’t have to go through my like, you know, we don’t all have to go to CrossFit. Like, you know, you could just lift a little weight in the corner

Alyssa Patmos 1:01:02
of CrossFit and I’m not a CrossFit I want

Mike Ganino 1:01:04
to be so bad, but I’m just not. I know he’s like cross now daddy’s and I’m like, I want I want it I want that. And it’s like, I’m just not that person though. I can’t do it.

Alyssa Patmos 1:01:14
So I have two more questions for you. One one is around humor because like you’re funny, and I know you worked at Second City right?

Mike Ganino 1:01:24
I trained and I performed at second city improv all you know, there’s a whole roster of all the improv places.

Alyssa Patmos 1:01:31
Okay, so So growing up for me, and I feel like I tell this story all the time. But it was a huge thing for me that held me back. Growing up, I was raised to super super Christian, nothing against that super wrist I respect if that’s what you believe, for me, I don’t, I don’t follow that path anymore. Growing up, I, I could only listen to Christian music until I was in high school. And so like, I felt like such a loser on all the pop culture things. And then when I became a copywriter, and everyone is like referencing you know, the real housewives are the bachelor or like these reality TV shows and all the bands that I don’t know who they are. I just felt like such a freakin loser. And I and I developed this story around, I’m not funny enough. And it’s so annoying, because I’m very clever with words. And I have like this dry thing where I’ll poke it in there sometimes, but but I had this like deep insecurity around, I can’t do this because I’m not funny enough. And humor is such a powerful part of story. And so for past versions of me, and the lingering bits of that, that still like to hang around, and other people like me, what what do you have to say about humor? And its role in storytelling?

Mike Ganino 1:02:53
Yeah, I think I think humor is a great humor has a great is a great connective tissue between people. Because it’s, one is I always think your audience. I’ve heard this. I don’t even know who said it originally. But it’s true. Your audience is always really ready to listen, in that space. That exhale after the laugh. So the aha, okay, what do you got for me. So it’s a really great device to, to get them to listen, it’s a great device for breaking up. Contrast is such a great tool for for speaking and storytelling, you need contrast, humor is a great way to do it. And it’s also just a great way to show that like it to shine light on something that’s absurd or ridiculous. And to get people to be like, Oh my gosh, that’s right. What I will say is that as a storyteller as a public speaker, presenter, podcaster. You, I don’t know that you need to aim for being funny. I don’t know that that’s what people should be trying to do is to be funny. will often watch comedians will watch stand up, and will think like, I need to be funny. But I think what our job is, is to be more humorous, and those are different to me. Funny is I’m coming up and there’s a joke. Humor is can we somehow look at this thing together and get a little chuckle about how ridiculous it is. Humor can also come in storytelling or on stage from, from characterization. It can come from speeding up. This this person I was working with recently, this influencer, who I said, Hey, in this part, you’re going to be calm, you’re going to be speaking and then I want you to just explode. And I want you to be like, and this and that. And that. Nothing that she was going to say there is going to be funny, but the reenactment of this situation that is going to be funny. That is going to get the laugh that’s going to get the humor and you don’t have to be good at telling jokes to find that moment where the audience’s oh my gosh, that is right. That’s exactly how it is. Why are we also silly. That’s the moment where I think most people can find some humor even If they’re the driest person out there

Alyssa Patmos 1:05:02
this is like the power of words like this is why reframes are my favorite thing on the planet.

Mike Ganino 1:05:09
Isn’t that like an NLP thing reframing or not? Yeah,

Alyssa Patmos 1:05:12
yeah I mean it’s multiple modalities use it but reframes like, I write these poems and I’ll put one version of it face up right and then and then it’s flipped and I write different words like it’s a reframe on the bottom of it and flip it around. But I love it because there’s, like this subtlest perspective shifts make such a difference in how we live our lives like it’s just the cumulative stacking of these subtle shifts and this is one of them like freaking I wish I could have asked you that question 10 years ago would have saved me so much.

Mike Ganino 1:05:47
You may not have been ready 10 years ago

Alyssa Patmos 1:05:49
but i but i love i love that reframe the difference between being funny and being humorous and and both can be states of being but like one is the outcome of having a joke and the outcome being like laughter to a joke versus I feel like he humorous like being humorous adding more humor and it’s to be relatable and it’s it’s to to show people like yes, this has happened like we can relate to this and and yeah, let’s add a little humor to it. Because being heavy and not having this lightness or taking everything seriously, like can can suck, it can suck energy out of us for sure. So yeah, I love that.

Mike Ganino 1:06:33
It’s one of the things so I’ve also done a ton of like study in the world of clowning. And, and there’s lots of just like in comedy, and in storytelling, there’s like a lot and in communication, there’s lots of modalities of clowning, there’s like the red nose like party clowns, there’s mask clowns, there’s all kinds of things. And I studied the specific version from this Canadian Canadian teacher called Pachinko clowning. And one of the things that I learned in all that training was that often the humor with the clown wasn’t Yes, you can get jokes with like the bottle of like, you know, gassed up water, squirting it in your own face. You could get jokes with like the antics. But the, the kind of satirical, like, let’s look at life version of clowning really has the power to help shape shape people’s opinions. Like the spray water in your face have a good like, yuck, yuck stand up comedian that can get someone to laugh. But if you really want to change people, how can you get them to laugh and see the world differently. And so that world of clowning that I learned was all about putting the world into an understandable container through laughter, so it didn’t feel so heavy. Because then the audience was willing to look at it and say, Oh, my gosh, that’s true, we could do something about this. And they didn’t have to be like, taught the thing. And that was a real gift from that world of I never, I expected to get the like, red nose. Beep beep Hong Kong, when I signed up for a clowning class way back in like 2000. And really, it was life changing for the way I approach communication.

Alyssa Patmos 1:08:16
That really leads me into the last question I wanted to ask you because it’s something that I struggle with, I struggle with feeling like a dancing monkey, sometimes, in this world of social media and like and you know, you’re supposed to put yourself out there and and I enjoy it, because I love serving people and conversations like this, like I adore and I love when it comes to, again, one way things like at times, I feel like a dancing monkey or I feel like it has to be a performance. So do you have some magical reframe? I feel like there’s one in here with the clowning piece to around. What’s the difference between like performance, feeling like a dancing monkey, like standing up there and helping people transform? You got anything for me?

Mike Ganino 1:09:02
I think a really good question that I would ask you, if I was coaching you on something and you’re like, I feel like a dancing monkey doing this. I would say good. Don’t do that version. The dancing monkey version is not what the audience needs. That’s like what I would what I would say is like, how can you embody this idea? How can you embody this message? How can you you know, because I’ve even felt that by the way with like, with, I was like, Okay, I want to do more. I meet lots of people on Instagram. And I was like, Oh, I want to I want to meet more people. So I’m like, I’m gonna do reels. And I was like, Wait, do I have to learn to do these dances like, What do I have to do? And so I thought about it and said, Okay, how can I embody the message so that it doesn’t feel inauthentic to me because I see these people doing it. It’s like, they don’t know where the beat is. They don’t know where the rhythm is. And you can see on their own face, they’re really uncomfortable pointing at signs and pointing at letters and things. So if that’s, if you could do that, and that feels like you embodying your message, then you should absolutely do it. But if it’s Feels like dancing monkey guess what the audience is gonna see dancing monkey brain. And so it’s really about like, how can you embody? Because the other thing I’ll say is there’s a ton of people that ain’t doing it. And they’re growing and meeting people, too. So sometimes it’s a little bit of a lie that we believe ourselves. So I would start there. If we were working together, I would say, what would embodying this idea look like? Where does it live? Where does it feel when you really, really feel it? Where in your body? Is it even? And how can we kind of find it from there and see what happens? That’s that’s usually to get out of the dancing monkey on stage, performing hat tricks for people. The secret I think, is one, are you saying something you really, really want to say that you really care about in a way that is like, I can be helpful here. And once we have that out of the way, then I would say how do we embody this whole idea for them?

Alyssa Patmos 1:10:53
I love that because it’s like the full circle moment, which you know, are the best comedians I love. When they do that they pull the first jobs like back to the end. But here it comes back to the somatic experience, and it comes back to where does it live in your body? And, and are you communicating that you feel safe, because when we don’t feel safe, it’s hard to communicate safety to the people who are watching and, and if someone’s going to pay you if someone’s going to trust you, like an element of safety has to be there. So I love that. For me, I made a switch. I made my first two rails recently. And I have the most expressive face on the planet.

Mike Ganino 1:11:30
Do you do you do an expressive face? Yes,

Alyssa Patmos 1:11:33
I have a very expressive face. So I was like, okay, that has been a disadvantage most of my classes, use it to my advantage. And so I did small word reframes of like, wait, you can say it this way, and sound like a judgmental asshole to your partner, or you can say it this way. And then my face was much more like calm and compassionate. I was like that, and to me that was embodied. And so I was, I love that and I love that advice. I mean, I’m gonna keep playing around with with where it’s stored there. I love that. Mike, this conversation has been so fun. Thank you so much.

Mike Ganino 1:12:08
I’m so excited. You asked you know, when when people make a thing, and then they invite you to it. It’s like that’s a real gift. So thank you for that.

Alyssa Patmos 1:12:17
How can people connect with you if they want to learn more if they want to be in your world? How can they connect?

Mike Ganino 1:12:23
I’m easy to find once you figure out how to spell Ganino which is G A N I N O, if you Google that, it’s the SEO benefits of having a name like that. I’m going to be the Mike Ganino know that you find. I’m Mike Ganino on all the socials. I love Instagram. So slide into the DMS I’ve got a really cool, free like, workbook storytelling workbook of the five stories I think you need to be able to tell and that’s at Mike slash story craft. And yeah, come on over. Usually if you slide into my DMS on LinkedIn, I’m like leery of you but but find me I want to connect let’s let’s embody our messages together.

Alyssa Patmos 1:13:04
And I can say I have downloaded your freebie, and it’s awesome. So it’s not one of the ones that just need to get stored in the PDF – fault of – vaults of doom, which is our Downloads folder. Yours is great. And it the way that you take people on a journey to be able to identify those five stories is awesome. And then I love how you include your own at the end like it’s, it’s, it’s great. I love how you did it, and it’s so I highly recommend people download it. Thank you so much for being here. And thank you for tuning in and watching. You’ve just finished listening to another episode of Make It Mentionable with me Your host Alyssa Patmos. If you’re looking for more in between episodes, then sign up for the peel. It’s my free newsletter that gives tips for how to navigate whatever life dishes and it’s also the place where I share the juiciest of stories. To check it out. Head on over to Alyssa forward slash the peel. Thank you so much for tuning in, and I’ll see you next time.

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