Mark Quinn: Being a great storyteller and presenter can unlock untold riches, but it takes work. Our good friend Brett Thornton from Avocado Mattress is on the show today to talk about his new book, be a Better Presenter in One Hour, and it all starts right now.
Mark Quinn: And here we are with Brett Thornton. Brett, what do you say, my
Brett Thornton: brother?
What is up fellas? It is so good to see the two of you. It’s been a while.
Mark Quinn: Well, you wrote a book, Kinzie, and I didn’t even know you could read, so we’re kind
Brett Thornton: of in shock. You know what, here’s the thing, you know, like, um, you don’t actually have to read to be able to write a book, you know, so there’s a little myth out there,
But thanks so much for having me on. So you dictated it? Yeah.
Mark Kinsley: Yeah. It’s good to have your brother, man. I So people that don’t know, um, you are of course a member of the fam, uh, you are the VP of retail with avocado, and you’re author of the
Brett Thornton: new. Be a better presenter
Mark Kinsley: in one hour. And I think maybe the highlight of your career though is that you were the star of episode 69 of the Dose Marco show.
Was that the pinnacle for you? And this is on the The downhill
Brett Thornton: slide? Yeah. I mean, I look at my life in two kind of chapters, right? Pre episode 69 and post. Right, because it was just a lighting rod of change after that episode clearly. So thank you gentlemen. You know, you really put my career on the map, that’s for sure.
Mark Kinsley: Well, dude, we’re so excited, uh, that you have a book under your belt now and if there’s anybody that can write about this topic, it’s you, you have been presenting and selling and training and inspiring people to do better at, at all those things along the way through the vehicle of better presenting, and you finally put it all down on paper and I’m really excited for.
Let’s start here. Like, yeah. What do you mean by presenting and why is presenting important and why should people wanna get better
Brett Thornton: at it? Let’s start there. Yeah. It’s a, it’s a great question. You know, cuz when I talk presenting, it’s a really wide bucket. So I’m talking, presenting in front of a meeting.
I’m talking facilitating a group. I’m talking. Maybe it’s a Thanksgiving dinner table debate or argument amongst 10 people and you’ve got the platform and you are saying your piece, right? Maybe it’s, you’ve gotta do a wedding speech at your, you know, your best friend’s wedding next weekend. Like there’s so many times throughout any given day, let alone a week or a month, that we are basically presenting.
Right? And the thing that’s so important and in. When it comes to presenting is that if you really think and you boil down, what am I trying to get across and can I do it in a way where people really understand what I’m trying to do? That’s a skill and a talent. But the thing, and some people are just naturally more gifted in that, but really when you break it down, there’s actually a bunch of steps and things you can do to prepare for a presentation or a speech or a facilitation where you can almost guarantee what I call trans fluence, which is a combin.
You know, basically transfers of information and fluency. And so what that means is that you know, you can speak to somebody and they can understand it enough to not only just like be able to comprehend it, but probably even enough to go tell it to somebody else. And so this book is really a culmination of 20 years of me presenting and making mistakes and learning along the way, right?
Like what to do and what not to. And it’s really a, you know, it’s kind of a, a, a, a combination of two things that I found really important when it comes to leadership books. One is, can you just gimme the nuggets that are really important? Right. So when I read leadership books, I love it. I, I, I’m always on the road, so I listen to books all the time, right?
And what I found is that usually there’s three or four, five really important things in a book that I take away. But oftentimes it takes you 300 pages to get there. And so I actually started writing this book on presenting nine years ago when my daughter was one years old. And it was 200 pages of information on presenting and all these strategies and these things, and it sat there for so long because it was just daunting and I couldn’t finish it, and I shelved it.
And that turned into a blog I used to have, which was, um, the little black blog of presenting, which I did for years. And I had concepts and blog posts and videos, and it was basically just the things I had written in the book. And I chopped. Because that was a little more attainable. And then I transitioned from that into the podcast with the fan, which was awesome.
So that was, you know, um, just stories with vt, which was chopping up a lot of these things. And then eventually, you know, I was challenged by my daughter actually, to like, Hey, you’ve been sitting on this book for nine years. Just do it. Finish it, right? And so I pulled it out this summer and I started looking.
And I realized the Brett today would never read a 300 page book on present. I would never do it, nor would I expect anybody to do it. So I started racking my brain like, how long would I really want to read a book? And I came up with one hour. That’s about what I wanted. I would like to, to invest one hour in this and get something out of it.
Right? And so for me it was like, Hey, could I take all these principles I’ve. Could I take all these things that I’ve done wrong and learn from and package it in a way where people could really read it in one hour and change the way they present. So it was kind of a daunting thing, but I broke it down and then I realized, you know what?
A book on presenting, you know, it’s a little contradictory because you’re reading something, but in actuality it’s something that you’re doing in person and you need to see visually, right? So I realized I would need to combine reading with video. So this entire book is five chapters. Each chapter takes 10 to 12 minutes to read, and then after each chapter I have a personal video message I shot of me presenting.
And it’s a challenge, something you have to physically do as the reader to help you solidify what you learned in that chapter. So, yes, it’s a little misleading cuz it’s one hour reading, but it’s also one hour of, of video and activities, right? To like solidify this. But here’s the thing, you know, at the end of the day, if you’re only getting four or five or six learning points from a long book anyways, then what’s the point of reading all this long book?
Like why not try to break it down, right? And so that’s the, like, the short of it, you know. But the, the other part that’s exciting with this is that I can honestly tell you, uh, unlike a lot of books, every single person present, You’re doing it almost every day. And so everyone stands to gain if they understand how people who are really good presenters are doing it.
And that’s what I learned that I wish someone had, but Brett, but
Mark Quinn: Oh, go for it. Yeah. No, but go. But go deeper on that. So everybody presents every day. What do you mean by that? Right. I think what you’re saying is, Look, even if you’re just trying to present your case on where to go for dinner, like there’s things in with your family, , you know, when it comes time to, Hey, where are we gonna go for dinner?
You know, there’s this big discussion, well, we could go here, but you know, Gabby doesn’t like that. Or Nick that. You know what I mean? So you’re presenting your case. I Is that kind of what you’re saying? Like everybody, no matter what and every walk of life is a practical thing that happens all the time in.
Book will help you be better in every aspect of presenting, which you may not even realize you’re presenting.
Brett Thornton: Right? A hundred percent. Right. And so I’ll give you, you know, we can talk details about the book, but I’ll say one thing that’s really like right off the bat, right, is that the, the number one mistake that I would say everyone’s guilty of.
When you present is that genuinely gen? For the most part. Most of the time that you have a meeting, a speech or whatever it is, you write it and you prepare it in a way where, where you would like this content. Okay. You would understand it. You would, you would stand to gain from it, right? So like me, right?
I’m 40, I’m an old millennial, right? But like I’m from a certain generation. I learned a certain type of way. Everyone who’s in my age demographic learned, you know, in school a certain type of way. We learned how to present a certain type of way, right? There’s that whole function. I’m a certain type of learner, right?
Like I’m more of a kinesthetic, right? I call that a doer learner, right? And so that’s how I like to learn, meaning like, I like to do activities and icebreakers and these different things. So those are the things I liked. So early in my career when I was preparing to present, I was writing and doing everything that would make me enjoy this presentation.
Not the audience. So, and that’s in anything in life, to your point, Quinn. So whenever you go into a situation, what this book teaches you how to do in one hour is understand who’s in the audience and then understand that like if you really want to, to have an opportunity to get to every single person, you have to plan for that.
So you plan for the learning styles, you plan for the generations, you plan for the audience management. Like those are all things in the book that you bucket in. And it’s, these aren’t things that are, are, you know, it’s not rocket science. Most of the things you read, you’re like, oh, that makes sense. Oh yeah, I do that.
Or, oh, I should do that. But it’s putting it all together and when you’re preparing this presentation or a speech or even an argument or a conversation, like knowing who that audience is is really important. Think about it, to your point, Quint, that Thanksgiving dinner debate, right? You have to understand that like you’ve got, grandma and grandpa over here are gonna think of a topic differently just based on where they are in life, right?
Your nephew over here who’s 15, they’re thinking about it differently. Like everyone’s coming from a different angle. You truly want to get your point of the story across, or like, you know, when your argument or whatever, like you have to understand where they’re coming from so you can make your case in an appropriate way.
And that’s how it is with most things with presenting, right? And so, It’s, it’s kind of the whole old school GI Joe slogan. Like knowing is half the battle and that’s what this book is, right? It’s almost a love story to a young me and going like, God, I wish I could have had this stuff. I would’ve made a lot of less mistakes and I would’ve had a lot better presentations along the way.
bt, help us understand. Give
Mark Kinsley: us some nuts and bolts. So you’re talking about something that’s really important, which is know your audience. So we go to these, yeah. Think about presenters in, in kind of, its classic form. It’s somebody up on a stage in a position of authority talking to an audience of people, and that’s what we think traditionally about presenting.
Mm-hmm. really good presenters don’t try to shoehorn their ideas into what the audience should know in their opinion. They really assess where they’re at, what they’re coming to the table with, what they’re interested in, and then they tailor their presentation each and every time to that. So we, we, if you establish that with somebody who wants to be a better presenter, like know your audience, understand your audience, where do you go from there?
Like what are some of the tips and tricks and techniques you have in the book that can really
Brett Thornton: help people? Yeah. So, you know, I try to do two things. So I try to give people in the book really high level understanding around what you just said, which is how you understand your audience, right? So know. The type of learners, knowing the type of, of, of, uh, how they’re going to ingest your material, understanding, you know, all that side of it.
So that’s like one ethereal part of it. . But the other big chunk of the book is actual physical things that I do, right? So it talks about how you set up your room in a presentation, how you actually, like when you practice, how you physically practice. Meaning I set up a camera and I teach you how to set up a camera the same distance away as the first person in the audience.
So when you’re watching yourself back, you’re actually in the eyes of someone in your audience, right? Like I use key words, I use all these types of things that you. . Once again, they’re not rocket science, but they are things that I know if I do, I set myself up for SU success. And so the idea is that I think a lot of times as people, and I’ve done it, you guys have all done it.
We look at, sometimes we look at a presenter who’s really good, and you think to yourself like, man, I could never be that good. Oh wow. Like, like they’re really resonating with the audience. Like, wow, that’s such a talent. That’s such a skill and of. As I said, everyone, of course, everyone’s not equal. Some people are just naturally gifted, but what they don’t understand is that a lot of that is just in the setup.
It’s in your practice. It’s in the setup. And so if you can come at a presentation from a a, an actual. Physical way where you plan it out, the appro in the appropriate steps, your chances of success go up dramatically. And so what I try to do is make this actually easy for you by building a presentation builder.
I literally have a presentation builder where it shows you each step that you do when you’re building a presentation. And then I have you do it as activities as you build it. So by the end of this book and you go through all the activities you’re actually building. Components of a presentation you might have coming up, um, or that you already had and you’re looking back, and so that you can see, oh, if I just do this step, this step, and this step, like, wow, this would be so much easier and, and obviously way better for my audience.
And it’s like anything. It builds and builds with confidence. I’m not saying that you’re gonna read this book and then the next day be a better presenter. That’s not it. But what I am saying is you’re gonna read this book and then you’ll know the tools and the, the proper steps to be a great presenter Now.
Whether or not you put those into practice, that’s up to you. I can’t physically go out there and help you do it, but these steps will work if you actually put the time in and go do it.
Mark Quinn: So, so Brett, mark, I, I think you brought up such a good point because, and Brett a great response to his point where people go, it drives me crazy about our industry.
Whenever there’s a trade event, you have a speaker on a stage, they pay this guy 10 grand to come. And then they have a canned speech that they give at other industry events, and they never really bring it home. They never apply it to our audience. And it drives me crazy. I’m like, you know, that guy just ripped off that audience and just gave us some bullshit canned presentation.
So I’m glad you brought that up, mark. Um, so it’s really important, not just that, but with examples that you’re using and, and Brett. About to ask you a question, but I wanna point out to everyone in, in, on the, on this podcast that you do some really good work here on generational thoughts and thinking about the age of your audience, as well as other things to put context around it.
But I want everyone to make sure they, they look at that. But what I wanna ask you about, and, and this is a, a thing I think is so important, maybe, maybe the, the heart of it all is the heart of the message. And so you talk about purpose and you talk about an example of how you. apply Even your children and you use that as inspiration.
Talk to us a little about that and, and why, why it’s so important for anyone giving a speech to really understand the heart behind the message, and what are you really trying to do? I always used to tell my kids, Brett, like, you can give up and give a speech, and there’s two, two ways to do that. Number one is to get up and get out alive, which I think is true for a lot of people.
And then the second one is to connect with your audience and make ’em feel you and, and make a difference. Mm-hmm. with that time you’ve been given in front of them. So talk to us about purpose of
Brett Thornton: message. Yeah, no, I’m so glad you brought that up. You know, so the, this book is five chapters and the entire first chapter is around the why.
Like, why are you even trying to do this? It doesn’t even get into concept. Uh, until chapter two, because for me, and just like you said, um, understanding the purpose behind why you want to give a great speech or a presentation to me is the most important part. And so I coined a phrase in there, it’s called passion transfer, and it’s what most of the chapters about.
And what that means is that you cannot always control the content. Of your presentation, right? Like sometimes content’s given to you. Maybe it’s if it’s at work, like, hey, you gotta present on this. Sometimes it’s for what? It could be for work, it could be for outside of work, whatever that is. Like you can’t always control the content.
So the idea is I’m trying to help you be a better presenter and you might have content that you’re not super excited about. So does that mean that you’re gonna go up and do a a half-assed presentation because you don’t really like the content? Well, no. You don’t wanna do that, right? , but you’re not excited about it.
So how do you become passionate about something if it’s not something that’s naturally really exciting to you or already passionate? Right. About that specific topic. And so what I talk about in the book is getting people to understand and establish what is their why. Why do they care if they’re good or not?
And so for me, right, as an example, I’m a single dad. I got two kids. They’re my whole world, right? It sounds, it’s an easy one to say, like everyone says they love their kids, but like as a young single. , right? Trying to support households and do all these things. Like I was in a position where I could never phone it in, right?
Like I could never be mediocre at anything because I’m like, my whole world is dependent on me being successful at this job or whatever. So what I learned to do early on was if I had content that I wasn’t naturally passionate about, I would use the motivation of my children as my passion and say, if my son or my daughter was older and they were watching this, would they be proud?
Would they be proud to watch me present this? Would would me killing this presentation? Does it help my kids or hurt my kids? And so imagine you’re like, whatever. You gotta sell something and you’re selling toilets or something and you’re not super stoked on it. Like it doesn’t matter that it’s toilets.
What matters is if I sell a million of these, I’m getting this trip with my kids, right? That’s now the motivat. And then you go out there and it’s the best damn toilet pitch ever. Right? Like, because you have that motivation. So that’s the first part. And I actually in the book spoiler, but it’s like I make you go on camera and tell yourself via a selfie video, what is that?
Why? And I challenge you to send it out to me like I, like here’s the deal. Like we. If we don’t put stuff out into the universe, like most of the time it doesn’t happen, you know, and so I have quotes in there from Denzel Washington, different people who like, are these believers and like, you gotta put it out there.
And so I challenge the readers to do that. And at the end of the day, like to your point, Quinn, like, you know, all of these things, these are, these are traits and qualities that are only gonna happen if people actually. So you’re not gonna get better just by reading this book. Like, these are things you have to put into practice.
Right? I love that work. Like I talk all the time about effort KPIs. So, you know, when we look at key performance indicators in any industry, ours, obviously, we’re in the sleep industry, right? But like when you talk about things like, you know, adjustable bases, that’s an effort kpi. Why? Because people don’t walk in and say like, Hey, you got the beds that go like this and move up and down.
Like when they do, it’s like, you know, the, the sky’s part and heaven’s coming down, it’s amazing. But most of the. You’re only selling those if you physically are telling every single person. Right? That’s an effort. K p. And that’s how I look at things like this book. Like, you wanna be better? Here’s a tool.
I can’t make you do it, but if you do it, I can guarantee you get better a hundred percent. And the more you try for things like this, the better it is. And I always tell people, one of the things you have to do as an individual, as a human, you have to learn how to abandon the lies that you tell yourself.
I can tell you right now, so many people listening, Might tell themselves like, I’ll never be a great presenter, or I’ll never give a great speech. That’s a lie. You may not ever be Tony Robbins, right? But it doesn’t mean you can’t be a 10 times better version of yourself, but you’re allowing yourself to believe this narrative that I can’t do it.
And what you don’t understand is like if you just followed all these steps, you’d write a really good presentation, you’d be set up your audience, all these things, icebreakers, whatever, like you would be at the top of a of a mountain. And what I always say and what’s in his book, , every time I present, my goal is to start at the top of a mountain and push a snowball down.
Meaning like I’ve already warmed up the audience, I’ve walked around and said stuff. I do an icebreaker to break the ice. I do these different things. I set up, you know, all these learning styles so that I make sure that if someone’s a seer, meaning visual, if they’re a doer, meaning activities, if they’re a, uh, if you know, if they’re a thinker, meaning they wanna like take some time to decompress.
I’ve already put that all. I know that I’m going to have some level of success. So I’m starting out the mountain and I’m pushing a snowball and it’s building steam towards the end. What a lot of presenters do, they don’t plan this way. They don’t do an icebreaker activity. They don’t go around and talk to the crowd, say, you know what they are.
They’re at the bottom of the mountain trying to push a snowball up. You know how hard it’s to roll a snowball uphill and get to the top? It takes forever. You may get up there and you may not. Most of the time you get halfway up, things are gonna roll back on you, right? Like that’s the analogy that I like to think about.
So, at the top of the mountain and roll that thing down. Like, here’s some tips, here’s some things to do. This is like a cheat code for that. You know, if you could. So that’s kind of how I put it. And I love that question, Quinn, you know, because I think at the end of the day, everyone has a different reason for wanting to be successful, right?
Or wanting to have a great presentation or a great speech. And there’s different motivations, and it doesn’t always have to be one. It can be multiple things. But at the end of the day, like me personally, like what’s the goal with this book? It’s like I love working with people and helping people. It’s something that drives me, right?
So if this is a way that I can help people, great. That’s a great influence for me. That’s a great why for me, you know? But even so, my kids are the reason that I did this book. My daughter’s the one who challenged me to do it. So we all have those things right in our lives. And I think, you know, it’s important to understand that like not every presentation is gonna be your.
You know, not every speech, you know, but at the end of the day, if you learn from each of those and you get better, then yeah, you will cons consistently improve and get better. We are talking to
Mark Kinsley: Brett Thornton, he’s the VP of Retail with avocado. He is the new author. So proud of you, man, of be a better presenter in one hour.
And there’s a, there’s a story about where this could go, but I wanna, I wanna hop in and share a couple of personal stories about presenting number. I was a TV anchor and everything you, that you described, I, I was actually putting together TV stories and doing the standups, writing them, doing the on camera stuff.
And I would just do it for free. And eventually that led to me getting a job, uh, before I graduated from college. And I was practicing presenting and I was having to look at myself on camera. And then once you’re on the air and I became a weekend anchor, that’s when you start doing air checks. Mm-hmm. . And I can’t tell you the improvement that I was able to realize.
By sitting there with somebody and having them share with me ways that I can improve. And just looking at yourself
Brett Thornton: and knowing that you were
Mark Kinsley: hemming and hauling around or saying, um, and being awkward or mispronouncing words, I still have plenty of work to do. There’s no doubt about it. But what you’re describing about putting it out there and letting yourself see yourself is so
Brett Thornton: very important.
Mark Kinsley: And I’ll tell you another little, two little quick stories. One was I, I remember giving a speech when I was the best man at my friend Carter’s wedding and how that unlocked a relationship between my wife’s sister and I, and it never happened until she saw me up there presenting and sharing my heart for my friend.
And I don’t know what it was about it, but your presentations can do things for your relationships that you may never know would. The third thing I wanted to say was I remember giving a speech at Furniture today’s leadership conference, and I was giving it the afternoon following mattress Mac
Brett Thornton: in the morning.
Mark Kinsley: I wasn’t on stage right after Mattress Mac, but he gave such a STEM winder with such passion. I went upstairs, I went to my hotel room. I skipped out on everything else. I had the ironing board out so I could lay out my presentation. I changed everything and I practiced six times all the way through so I could bring the energy that he had.
So looking at good presenters, watching it, experience it, being in there, and then deconstructing what they do. also incredibly, incredibly valuable. And it kind of changed the, the whole trajectory of how I present now in person by seeing Mattress Mac. So a lot of like three little quick hits there to like reinforce some of the points that, that you’re
Brett Thornton: making, man.
No, you know, and I, I love those examples because, you know, once again, these are things that are happening, you know, either in everyday life or these are big events, but one thing that that always holds true is, You’re gonna present regardless, it’s gonna happen, right? So the idea is like, why not be better at it?
You know that that’s the reality. Like why not be better and why not make an influence and why not make an impact while you’re doing it? Because the whole thing is this. When you really get great at presenting and more comfortable, that allows you to let go of a lot of the I things that are floating in your head and really connect one-on-one with the audience.
So when you’ve prepared in the right. and you’re not thinking about what you’re saying, it’s just coming through because you’ve already prepped it all out and you’ve practiced and you’ve done things the right way. That allows you to be, to connect so much more with your audience. And I always say this, I’ll give you an example.
Like you’re saying Kinsley, you know, like, you know when you do work events, so I’m of all these people, listen out there, most of you work, okay? So a lot of you who are working, you go to these holiday parties, you go to, you know, a celebration after a holiday or a big sales weekend or whatever, and everyone’s at the event.
And they’re all at the end. It all gets to that point where everyone’s having drinks or whatever and then what? What does one, at least one person need to do? A toast, right? They need to give the toast about why you’re celebrating, why you’re there, like whatever that is. I’ve met and have seen over the years, over 20 years of working plenty of people who like, that’s not their thing.
And so they just like, Hey guys, now my thing toast to you. Like, love you guys. You’re the best. And that’s cool. Heartfelt. It’s fine. But how many of you guys have sat through somewhere where someone’s really like lays on uh, a toast that’s knocks everyone out. It changes the entire dynamic of the night on its head.
Am I speaking facts or no? Cause I can, I can list multiple times. I’ve seen this right where, and I’ve changed my opinion on executive CEOs things because of toast. I’ve seen them give at events where I’m like, whoa, I really felt that. I believe that. Like that’s coming from their soul, right? Go
Mark Quinn: for it, mark.
I think there’s a real art in hosting a dinner, Brett, so I think that’s exactly right. I think if you can give an appropriate toast or something like that, or even the first minute of a phone call where you got your team together, that like those little things like, you know, they don’t have to be 30 minute, uh, pontifications.
They can be a minute, two minute little thing that are. With, uh, you know, with an objective and you can deliver it the right way, you can make an impact. And as you were talking to you guys, what it made me think about is, you know, preparation, mark your, your work and the effort you made to go back and look at that content.
And, you know, Jim McIn Veil inspired you to be better in that moment, but the preparation you put into that and then tr try to capture the passion. Those two things are also oddly. The biggest combatants when it comes to nerves because, you know, the three of us are blessed. Like there’s a lot of stuff that we suck at, right?
I mean, we’re not good at, you know, many things in, in, in the world, but one thing that we are pretty good at, what’s
Brett Thornton: that? I said I have a list of all the things you guys aren’t good at. It’s pretty well.
Mark Quinn: You will. I, I don’t think it could be as big as the one we have for each other. Uh, we, we definitely are aware.
Some, somewhat, hopefully fully aware. But anyway, I just think, you know, if you’re nervous, you know, a lot of people are, they, it’s like supposed to be like the number one fear in the country, right? Yeah. And so if that’s where you are, preparation in practice and or pre uh, preparation and, and passion. If you find the reason why and then you prepare properly, that will do so.
To lower the stress level and just going into it with a different kind of, you know, like intention of, look, I’m gonna take the time I’ve been given to have a conversation with this group of people and I’m gonna make a the biggest impact I can because I know that if I do, then this is the outcome from that.
And then when you practice and practice and practice it, it gives you this sense of, I’m ready and then the nerves drop drastically. Do you think that’s a fair way to look? A hundred
Brett Thornton: percent. You know, and listen, like I’m a firm believer that like, there’s, uh, a healthy level of nerves, right? Because that means you care.
Like, if you didn’t care, you, you know, you wouldn’t be nervous, right? So you’re nervous because you want to do well. You know, obviously there’s an element of, I don’t wanna embarrass myself or screw up or whatever, but those nerves, you can, you can. Definitely tamed down through your practice, through your preparation, you know?
And that’s actually one of the things that I, I had no idea, but I love about this book, and it’s a concept that I came up with this summer, which was I was thinking about as I paired this thing down to this short book. I started just looking at the logistics. How do I publish, how do I put it out there?
How, who looks at it? How do I do this? And at the, the same time I was thinking about all this, I had gotten a call from a friend who was like, Hey, I’m, I’m part of this crowdfunding group. It’s a bunch of people we’re trying to fund this, this cool, you know, this is like this Instagram business thing. And wasn’t something I was interested in, but.
He started talking about crowdfunding. Oh, it’s these, I’m getting these group of people together. They’re all like-minded and they’re gonna fund this thing and then they’re gonna talk to other people about it and blah, blah, blah. And I was like, bingo. I won’t go to a traditional publisher that doesn’t probably understand this world.
Why don’t I have this book edited by people who are insane presenters and facilitators, right? So instead of going traditional route, I had this book, I called it, right Crowd. So I have six unbelievable facilitators, presenters, influencers. You know Ron Thurston, April Sbra, Matt Anderson, her Nanny Al Samon fabs like.
So this group, Alex Valez, like they are in their own right, probably better presentations presenters than I’ll ever be. But what was cool is instead of just having someone edit the. I asked them and said, Hey, if you want to be a part of this, obviously a, I need you to help me edit cuz you know, like you said, mark can barely spell and read.
So that was great. They did that. But two, I said, would you be willing to give your presentation tips? And so legitimate, I had no idea what to expect. These people are all really busy and have crazy careers and whatnot. All six of them wrote out their top presenting tips, and there’s 20 pages in the back of this book of extra content that is just presentation tips from these amazing people.
And it turned out a billion times better than I could have ever imagined. And it’s really cool. And they’re like, this new concept is something that I want to keep rolling on into other books for other people because I think there’s so much merit in, Hey, here’s my concept. Take it. Take the things you really like, take the things that resonate with you, but then like, Hey, here’s a bunch of other experts with like some really concise details.
Because just reading through their tips, I was like, God, I wanna go back and edit my book a little bit, right? Like, I could put this in there. And I’m like, no, no, I’ll leave it. You know? But it was that cool and that good. And so it’s just a really awesome bonus part of the book that turned into something really special that I didn’t even really, you know, uh, uh, understand what it was gonna be in the beginning.
Man, I love that. What a
Mark Kinsley: creative way to go about, you know, getting great inputs, rounding out your thinking, not having to do it alone. You know, when Quinn and I wrote our book, that was something we got to the end of it. I’m like, man, I’m so glad that we didn’t have to do it alone. So what a, what a cool idea for authors out there to kind of crowd edit.
And then I love the interactive piece that you’ve done with this as well, and, and be a better presenter in one hour after the videos. The challenges, the opportunity for somebody to really engage with you as the. And get some feedback and, uh, create a real path for them toward improving in some change making there.
So well done, man. I would expect nothing less from you. You’re such a creative guy. You’ve got an energy and an enthusiasm that we love so much, man. I’m so glad you’re part of the fam. I’m excited for your book. I’m, I’m gonna pick it up. I’m gonna review it and I wanna be a better presenter, you know, because that’s the thing.
Not honing those skills. If you’re not practicing, uh, use it. Don’t use it. You, you’ll
Brett Thornton: probably lose it. Yeah,
Mark Quinn: no, no doubt about that. I have one more question for you, Brett. Yeah. , you ready? Mm-hmm. . So Mark and I, when we give speeches, we have a pre-game ritual of tequila shots in the green room. Yeah. Uh, sometimes we’ll be, we’ll bring invited guests, uh, a couple times, like people have wandered in and so it was more than one shot of tequila.
We found like, oh, well there, here’s this person, and they came in to visit before we went on, and so it ended up being a couple. So do you recommend a shot of tequila before speaking or no?
Brett Thornton: Uh, I mean, listen, I guess situationally, uh, I’m definitely a fan, so. Sure, right. Depends on where now 9:00 AM at work, you know, like maybe not so, you know, case by case.
But I think, I think what you, as much as, as you know, that’s funny and it’s also an amazing part of one of the chapters I talk about, which. , you know, I have a, a section that, you know, people who work in HR are gonna hate the title, but it’s touching is good . And so the idea being like before I, if you can, anytime you’re presenting, sometimes it’s not possible.
But if you can, whenever I’m a huge fan of walking around any room before I present, right? And warming up the crowd, shaking as many hands as I can, giving as many hugs, talking to as many people. And especially if I don’t know people, I go out and try to meet people because you’re trying to. Like, who in this audience could, is then gonna be an ally for me that I can connect with when I’m speaking, and they’re gonna be smiling and like giving me that like, pump up energy, right?
Like, that’s really crucial. So in, in the same vein, that’s exactly what you’re doing with a pre shot ritual, right? Like now you have a group of people that took the shot, you’re in the audience. Those are now these, those are your supporters. There’s like, those are your people, right? They want you to win.
So the idea is how can you get as many people that want you to win before you even. So it’s the same kind of concept and I love it. You know, at the end of the day it’s, it’s, it’s phenomenal.
Mark Kinsley: I’m a huge fan of that. I remember reading about some, uh, person that was running for politics like way back in history and like, one of the things they would do when they would go on their campaign is they would go out and they would meet the mayor and the sheriff and the baker and everybody they could ahead of time, and that those people would come to the speech and he had already won them.
they already wanted him to win. And then you see familiar faces in the crowd and then, you know, you see that smile coming back at you. I’m the same way, man. I love to go out and high five and shake hands and, you know, tell people, hey, be sure and ask a question. You know, kind of get him primed and pumped and ready to pay attention and be a part of
Brett Thornton: it.
Yes. No, and you know, there’s, Hey bt.
Mark Kinsley: Yeah. So, so check me on something. Um, where does this go? Because like, I love the concept of. Everything you’ve described, you know, being a better presenter in one hour. Yeah. Um, all the interactive pieces, all the crowd editing pieces, this is, this seems like a template that you could deploy.
Brett Thornton: create lots more around it. Great question. It’s almost like we talked about ahead of time that you were gonna ask that. It’s perfect. Um, so here’s the, the deal, . No, I’m so glad you brought that. Did we prepared? Is that what you’re saying? We actually prepared. I don’t wanna go that far. Um, I wanna remain believable here for the audience.
So, uh, no, here’s the thing. So this book, it’s part of a series, and granted it’s book number one in the series, but down the road that will not be the case, right? And it’s called a Be Better book. And so that’s actually like the YouTube channel that all the videos go under. Eventually, the site and all that stuff will all be under the Be Better book series, not under this one book.
And the reason is because I personally believe that I’m not alone in the fact that like, I love, love, love to consume constant con, you know, I’m, I’m constantly consuming leadership materials, self-help stuff like anything I can do to learn and get better, right? Constant. And I know almost everyone I know is in the same boat of like listening to podcasts, reading a book.
Like all, everyone’s like trying to do stuff. But I also think that I’m not alone in the fact that like, I just find it really difficult to devote a month to a book or three weeks listening to one long book. Not saying they’re not awesome. I just, me personally, it’s a lot of commitment to like, what’s the juice?
What’s the nuggets? Like, how do I get better? And so this is a open invitation. For anyone listening to the Dose Marcos podcast, anywhere this goes, the Be Better Book series is an umbrella. If you are an expert at something that like, is that most people or a big section of people need to get better at, and you wanna write a book that people can read in one hour, talk to me.
Because I want this to become the next like book for dummies that I had in the nineties and the in the two thousands, right? Where there’s all these things you could learn and you could learn it in a quick, you know, kind of a quick time period. That’s the vision for this is marketing, you know, sales training, whatever your function is.
People want to get better at it, but they want to do it in a quick one hour. And so I set this book up as a template and how to. I know how you set the book. I know how you do the crowd editing. I know how you set up to get pr, you know, published and, and, and printed on Amazon really easily now. So I’ve learned the process and so it’s, it’s basically a duplication.
And at the end of the day, like, wouldn’t you like to have all these concepts laid out for you that you could, you could improve in one hour? Doesn’t that sound like something that like everyone would want to do? So at the end of the day, like as I’ve always said, I love helping people and I can only help as many people as like my sphere is right?
Like I’m an expert in these things. I don’t want to ever pretend to be an expert in things. I’m not. So I have a limit of how many of these books I could probably produce, but there’s no limit to how many categories are out there. And so I would love to connect with people who you know, have something that they’re burning to get out there because this is such an easy platform to do it.
Does that make. Absolutely.
Mark Kinsley: Quinn, you gonna write be a better podcaster in one hour? ?
Mark Quinn: No, but I was thinking about, uh, doing a series of be a better speaker in 45 minutes. I think if we can cut his time by 15 minutes, I think we can actually grab some market Show you. Yeah.
Brett Thornton: You’re the, you’re the
Mark Kinsley: guy that back in the day.
What, like undercut seven minute abs with six minute abs X minute.
Brett Thornton: You can’t, you can’t do it in six minute abs. Oh man.
Mark Quinn: Well, I think I’ve. Perfect evidence of that. I can, I can show you later, but yeah, I, the six minute thing didn’t work out, but no, I, yes, I would love to. I, I’d like to, we’ve learned a lot in 430 episodes, that’s for sure.
But Brett, man, I, I tell you, you’re a friend to the show. Your, your podcast. Um, stories with BT is fantastic. It’s available on fam.news, so everyone go consume. That’s some great stories in there. Um, I know that your passion for this industry, your passion for your kids, uh, your passion for your friends, um, it’s so contagious and, uh, we’re grateful that we are connected to you and how can we, uh, help you going forward?
Where can people buy the book and where can people connect with?
Brett Thornton: Yeah, that’s a great question. You know, so I’m doing everything through Amazon, so it’s really easy. So you just type in, be a better presenter in one hour it pops up. You can get, you know, uh, the e-book, the paperback, you know, hard, hard cover, whatever it is.
You know, the, i I priced the e-book is what I think a lot of people will consume, especially cuz it has a, it’s so simple with direct links and whatever. Uh, at the end of the day, it’s the price of a. Right, like, you wanna be better, you know, this is not a really high leverage risk to get into this book.
It’s gonna cost you the same as a cup of Starbucks. So, you know, I, I’ve tried to make it accessible to everyone I can possibly do. And I have a really cool new, new message coming out later this week where I’m partnering with this nonprofit. So one in every 10 books is, is that sold, is gonna get donated to this nonprofit.
So I have a group of inner city kids and whatnot that, that I’m working with. So I’m excited to have that other component of it as well. And I think people are gonna get behind. The ease of a book like this, right? Um, as it’s not a huge commitment, but I think it, it really pays off in the end. So I’m, I couldn’t be more thankful for you guys having me on and helping me pub it out there a little bit.
But, um, I always challenge people too, you know, the buying the book is one thing, but I, I’m just as much or more concerned or not concerned, like looking forward to people connecting with me on LinkedIn. So just find me on LinkedIn, right? At the end of the day, like from a, from. A person and a human perspective, but a business perspective too.
You know, like I just think that the larger we can grow our community, the better we all are off, you know? And so I’m consistently looking for people out there who are doing things different, who have great content that they’re putting out. Like who can challenge me and motivate me, and I hope that I can do the same for others, you know?
So I really, really, really would. For people to reach out via that platform. Um, and then, yeah, get the book, leave a message or whatever it is. And if anyone’s interested, I have a bunch of copies I’m gonna do, you know, um, sign and write some messages. So if anyone wants, you know, one of those copies, just DM me through LinkedIn and that’ll be that you rock man.
Thank you so
Mark Kinsley: much for putting your heart and soul into this, making it something that’s different, something that’s needed. And, you know, connecting the dots and building community. We’re all about that at the fam, you know, you’re part of the fam. We, we appreciate you. I love you man. Congratulations. And you know how to get connected with bt.
By the book, by the book. And no matter where you are, Quinn, uh, whether you’re on the treadmill, walking on the beach, uh, be sure to subscribe. You know, give us a little five star review and, uh, we’ll have show notes and links email@example.com.
Brett Thornton: Bt appreciate you, man. Yes. Thank you guys so much. Love y’all.
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