Thursday, December 1, 2016

"Every Speaker Has A Story" Podcast ShowNotes: Episode 3, "Nerves"

by Steven S. Vrooman

For each podcast episode, I write this ShowNotes piece which allows listeners to find out more information on the background and current projects (and speaking availability!) of my interviewees/storytellers. I will do that here, as well, but if you listened to the episode...

... you know that it references quite a lot of specific information and tools for managing speaking anxiety, and I wanted to make sure, as promised, that you can find them.

You can find Michael Motley's book on the Information-vs-Performance method of reducing speaker nerves on Amazon (for quite a lot of money) or see some of the pages on scribd. You can also find my quicker explanation of his method on my very first post in The MoreBrainz Blog. Further help can be found in a series of posts of I wrote which 1) explain activities you can do to help work on your speaking nerves, and 2) critique the reams of bad advice out there in the blogosphere on how to reduce your nerves (obviously written by non-nervous people looking to "push content"). Simply go to the "anxiety" label\keyword on this blog to find what you need. Finally, you should take a look at Peter Kenny's book, A Handbook of Public Speaking for Scientists and Engineers.

On to our guests. I didn't realize that this episode could be subtitled "Nerds, Unite!" until I started putting this blog post together, but maybe that's part of the key to managing speaking anxiety. Nerds know what they love. And they won';t shut up about it. Even when their palms start sweating.

1. Gregory Hyde (@gregoryhyde) is a musician and public speaker in the Chicago area. He speaks on both the independent music industry and in faith-based settings. He looks pretty cool in this picture, but he's really a big nerd who wears Star Wars shirts to speaking gigs.

You can see him in action as a speaker and as a musician in clips on his website, You can also buy mp3s of his albums there, or, if you're old-school, can buy CDs on his Amazon page. Here's my favorite:

2. Mildred Ray is someone you met last episode and you can find all about her in those ShowNotes.

3. Brett Bormann is a former student of mine who is studying now at The New School in New York. The very first speech she ever gave for me in a class was on basilisks, and it just got nerdier from there.

Her research, as always, is about audiences and fans.

4. Tanisha Williams is an elementary school teacher and public speaker in New Jersey.

We have decided that we would each like to go back in time and have each other as a teacher. So, if anyone invents time travel, we're ready.

Tanisha received a M.A. in English Education from Columbia University and has taught elementary and high school for twenty years. As a veteran master teacher, Tanisha has spoken at educational workshops and mentored novice teachers.

Like Gregory, she also often speaks in faith-based settings. She is finishing a book on personal growth which will be published this summer.

5. Connor Dillon (@connorjdillon) is the Chief Education Officer at The Dillon Group.

Connor Dillon

Connor also writes for Fan Fest News, where he displays a puzzling interest in Heroes Reborn.

6. Eric Moss (@strongmanmoss) is a strongman and motivational speaker in the New Jersey area. 

He has a world record for bending a steel bar across the bridge of his nose (!!!!), a feat which you can see in the video below.

He performs intense feats of strength as part of his inspirational speeches for various audiences, but quite often in schools. His website is and his book is available on Amazon.

7. Beth Ziesenis (@nerdybff) is a professional nerd who speaks about technology all over the country. 

The first time I met her she was taking pictures of conference participants in silly glasses. When she pulled out the alien eyes shades, I knew we were kindred spirits. 

She knows everything you ever wanted to know about apps, like this one:

Her books, which are detailed and fun app guides, are Release Your Inner Nerd and Nerd Know-How.

Her website is

Thanks to all of these speakers for sharing their stories! Quite a few of them are available for gigs, and all of them are fantastic!

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