Patti Sanchez – Chief Strategy Officer at Duarte
Communication is powerful. Our guest today has proven that great communication changes individuals, companies, and societies for the better. Patti Sanchez is the Chief Strategy Officer for Duarte, and has helped clients such as Nike, Cisco, Ericsson, and HP take their storytelling to the next level. Through communication frameworks, storytelling techniques, and empathy exercises, Patti helps leaders and learners of all kinds understand the inner workings of the human mind and heart. She does so by crafting engaging narratives that resonate on a deep level.
In this episode of The Courageous Podcast, host Ryan Berman and Patti Sanchez shed light on how to use storytelling to not only mobilize people to change, but to empower them to influence large-scale transformations. Patti also shares some actionable advice on becoming a more effective communicator and speaks on why she believes a conversation is a more effective communication tool than a monologue.
Patti Sanchez 0:01
When I joined Duarte in 2011, Nancy had just published ‘Resonate’, and her TED Talk had just gone live, and that was hitting a lot of people in their happy place. They were getting really excited about this new way of applying storytelling principles to business communication. And so, she asked me to start up a team of writers to get ready for all this inbound interest in speech writing and storytelling.
(Intro music 0:28-0:44)
Ryan Berman 0:45
I am definitely a deconstructing life type of guy. I like to take life apart and break it into little separate pieces, smack down to the different elements. And, some would call that a compensated observationalist. I'll give an example. When I think about people, when I think about my friends, I've got lots of groups. I got my East Coast friends which was my first life, and I would say, my East Coast friends are my most real friends. They're going to call me out on my shit, by the way, the most, and it's pure. You try to make time for them, but it's hard to do. But then, I've got my neighborhood friends, and my neighborhood friends, they're not going to call me out like my East Coast crew. And we’ll do fire pits, and we’ll do barbecues. But a lot of our neighborhood friends, it's more like, “Do the kids actually like each other?” And if the kids like each other, guess what? You’re friends.
Patti Sanchez 1:42
You got to get along. (Laughs)
Ryan Berman 1:43
We're getting along. Look, that's just an example. And rarely, by the way, have I had all my groups of friends together in one place other than maybe a wedding. That exercise of sort of deconstructing, and breaking things apart, and making sense, that's what my guest is all about. She does make sense of it all. She's a master presenter. She's an author. She's a story maker, a change maker. She's a Chief Strategy Officer. Joined today by Patti Sanchez. How are you, Patti?
Patti Sanchez 2:19
Hey, I'm doing great. I'm so looking forward to this Ryan, it's been too long. Every conversation with you is fun. So, I'm sure this is going to be a wild ride.
Ryan Berman 2:26
What’s cool is we met on stage. We shared a stage and it's like we were on a panel together. And so, you got to be respectful of your other panelists, but you got something to say, you got to say it. I just remember being like, “I like what she's got to say,” and have been following your journey ever since. Instead of me doing it, why don't you sort of set the tone? Give me your background. What you have been doing? How long have you been there? Why don't you kind of give the intro?
Patti Sanchez 2:56
Yeah, for sure. Well, like you said, I'm head of strategy and it's at a place called Duarte Inc, which is a communication consulting and training company. I've been there about 11 and a half years. And, in that role, I work with clients, advise them on how to take their communication up to another level, especially using storytelling. But a big part of my focus these days is building training that teaches people how to do it themselves, because we're on a mission to transform how millions of people communicate actually, and it's hard to do that one person at a time. Really need a platform, a way that we can scale up our help to people so we can reach a lot more. And it's rooted in what I've always done my whole life, which is parking, riding, counseling in a lot of ways. And so it keeps me interested. It keeps me, I'm going to say, young, but I don't think that's actually true. It just keeps me alive.
Ryan Berman 3:50
Energized, as I like to say. It's funny because I think life is a bit like Monopoly. Like you don't pass Go, and the game doesn't continue till you do pass Go. But once you pass Go, you got a shot and keep going around. And so, I agree that the co-concept of this is, well, you got something. It starts with, “Do we have something?” And it does start with, “Oh, wow, this story helps somebody.” And then, you get to the part where you're like, “Okay, this story or the process behind the story helps somebody,” and then you do it again, and you do it again. You're like, “Is it really this? Is it really this process?” And then you get to a position where you're like, “Okay, how do you scale it?” And I feel similar with Courage. I love the fact that I can work with a courageous leader one day, and then I can work with the leader that's trying to do courageous transformation another. And then I'm like, “Well, how do I scale it? How do I scale it? And why is it so important to scale it?” Why is it so important for you to scale this thing?
Patti Sanchez 4:54
Well, its impact, because ultimately, I believe that great communication changes people, it changes companies, it changes societies. And so, I, and we, at Duarte want to get that skillset into the hands of more people. And I say get the skill set in their hands, I mean we like to think we know how to communicate. If you go to school at all, they teach you reading, writing, and arithmetic. You might get some public speaking in there, but it doesn't necessarily teach you how to really relate to other people, really connect to them, translate what you're saying so they can understand it. And so, that's a lot of what my work, my career has been about. And I think the more people understand how to do that, the better our world will be. It sounds like sugar and honey, but I think it's really important, especially now.
Ryan Berman 5:46
Well, it's funny. When I think about storytelling there is a persuasion element to it which is like the opposite of relatability. How do I understand your world so I can relate to you? But persuasion, I think that's what we kind of both do in some ways, does get a bad rap. Like, if you look at the dictionary definition of persuasion, it's ‘cause to do something through reasoning or argument.’ Wait a minute, argument? But helping people make their case, doing so clearly and effectively, and saving everyone time along the way is never a bad thing, right?
Patti Sanchez 6:29
Well, I don't think so though, It depends on how you do it. And I've had a complicated relationship with the idea of persuasion my whole professional career, because like you said, it needs to happen for businesses to achieve their goals, for companies to sell their products. You need to convince somebody to say, “I want this.” And I think advertising in particular has gotten a bad rap because we are seen as manipulators who make people want things they don't actually need. And I believe that you can understand what your audience really needs, and map what you have to say, what you have to offer to that, and you're doing them a service if you do that. I don't love that traditional definition of persuasion as if by force. The word I really like these days is inputs, because I want my audience to feel like they still have agency. That I'm not here just to manipulate you into doing what I want. but I'm here to help you see how you can get what you want. If we work together, if you consider this perspective, it's going to help you be more successful. No, that doesn't mean that everybody's going to like my idea, or that they're going to be ultimately moved by what I have to say, but at least, I gave it a shot. And they have the option to say, “I buy in or not.”
Ryan Berman 7:46
Well, there's an intentionality to it. And then, what I know about your presentation style, you do a ton of keynotes. And what I like about it is it's like we're back to that deconstruction idea. It's part inspiration, and it's part utility. You’re talking about helping your audiences dream big, but you don't leave them in the land of dreamland where it's not attainable. There's a practicality to your presentations. I like that more than persuasion or manipulation. It's like dream big, here's the inspiration piece, and then bring in the practicality part. Am I getting this thing right? Can you give an example of how this comes to life in a keynote?
Patti Sanchez 8:28
Yeah, for sure. Well, a way to think about it, philosophically, is that in every story, like the novels, movies that we see, there's a character called a hero. The hero is the person that the things happen to. But there's also a character, usually, that shows up that’s called a mentor. And the mentor is the person who helps the hero in that moment when they're really stuck. And the way that I think about it, the way that we think about it at Duarte is that the audience is the hero and you are their mentor, which changes your mindset. It makes you think, “What can I give them right now that's going to help them get from where they are to where they need to go,” which inspiration only gets you so far, like, I think you were really basically trying to say. Get everybody else kind of hopped up on hope. But then, they still need to figure out what they're going to do about it. “How do I achieve that? How do I get a step closer to the thing I want to attain?” And so, the speaker or the presenter needs to give them a starting point. And for me, a lot of times it's models, it's a structure, or a way to think about the situation that they're in so that they can see it, they can better describe it. And if they can better describe it, they can bring people along, tips. Like, the last book that I put out called ‘presenting Virtually’ is just full of tips. Lots of little tactical things you can do differently to engage your audience in this medium. And it was really important to me to have it not just be theory, but to be very practical, because I think nobody has time for theory alone. We're all under pressure trying to get stuff done.
Ryan Berman 9:56
Well, there's so much in there. So, for starters, you talked about the power of mentors, and I don't know, I wish I would have declared mentors earlier. It wasn't that I didn't have them. It's like, “Oh, shoot, that person was helping me and I was so caught up in my own success.” This is back to East Coast life. I don't think it was until way later that I’m like, “Oh man. Thank you. I didn't even know. I didn't realize it, that you’re a mentor,” which always makes people slightly uncomfortable when you're like, “You've been declared a mentor.” But look, you've been with Nancy a long time, would you call her your mentor?
Patti Sanchez 10:37
Absolutely. Yeah. Nancy Duarte, she's a mentor to a lot of people because she's driven by this desire to share what she knows. To, what we say, be a generous expert, and that's really what a mentor is. And she's done that for me too. In my everyday work with her, but also just in my personal life, she's been an encourager, which I think is something a good mentor does. They see the good in you, and they shine a light on it, they draw attention to it, they help you understand what you're good at. Sometimes you can't always see that. But they also challenge you. And she does that too. She gives me stretch goals, she gives me constructive feedback and it's what helps me get better. I'm not perfect, and I never will be, but I'm growing because I have a mentor in my life. And the same was true in earlier in my life. As I look back on the childhood that I was able to claw my way out of, there's no way that I could have gotten to where I am today without the help of some mentors. And I think we all need to do the same for others.
Ryan Berman 11:38
So, Nancy and you together eight years ago, I believe, write your first book. And this is where I wish we had video because you can see the two books over your shoulder. And the first one was called ‘Illuminate: Ignite Change Through Speeches, Stories, Ceremonies and Symbols’. This is also a tell that I don't give my guests questions in advance, because I'm going to ask you to deconstruct each one in a minute here. So, it's coming, just as a heads-up. But what's cool is, again, what a surprise as a co-creation piece, you guys did this together. And then, now ‘Presenting Virtually’ I don't see a second name on that book. I think it was just your baby. And as you've learned, and you went on your own, it was important for you to like, “I want to own my own book, I want to have one book, at least that I do that's 100% you.” Again, we've never talked about this. So, I'm curious, how important was that for you?
Patti Sanchez 12:35
Not at all, actually. And probably to my detriment, I don't have a really big ego, or a need to feed it. And a lot of my life, I felt like I am the person who enables other people, empowers other people. So, I don't seek the spotlight like that. The reason that my name is the only name on that book is because Nancy wanted it to be that way. Because her goal as part of scaling the business is to lift up other thought leaders and to build their reputations. And traditional publishing houses want a sure thing. They want a bet that they don't have to take a risk on. And so, when we were approached to publish a book about ‘Presenting Virtually,’ the traditional publisher said, “Great idea, Nancy needs to be on it. You can co-author, put you in smaller type below her name.” And Nancy said, “No. I need to pivot to the strategy. I need to lift up other thought leaders, Patti is going to be the one.” And so, this is actually [?Doherty's?] in print. We did hybrid publisher so that we could put out books with other people's names on them. And there's another one coming out, not with my name, but with two other people that I hired into the organization and were brilliant, but it'd be really hard for them to get a publishing deal because nobody knows who they are.
Ryan Berman 13:49
I love that. And yeah, it's the opposite of Courage. It really is. For my book, same thing. It took me really a third of the time to do the research and the homework, probably another third to write it, and then, a third to understand this universe called publishing. Okay, I understand it from that perspective. I understand that they're trying to minimize their risk. Here's the courage guy saying that. But I love Nancy's stance and your stance on this book, and I love that you made the choice to go hybrid. Let's go back to this deconstructing commentary. And in the first book, there's a five-part process in the book that is laid out. There lies the deconstruction. Why don't you sort of set up, first of all, the thesis of the book? Again, it's called ‘Illuminate: Ignite Change Through Speeches, Stories, Ceremonies and Symbols’. Can you sort of, high level, and then let's get into each of the five steps?
Patti Sanchez 14:55
Yeah, well, backing up to where it came from, which I think will help set up the thesis, is when I joined Duarte in 2011, Nancy had just published Resonate, and her TED Talk had just gone live. And that was hitting a lot of people in their happy place. They were getting really excited about this new way of applying storytelling principles to business communication. And so, she asked me to start up a team of writers to get ready for all this inbound interest in speech writing and storytelling. And what started to happen in addition to that was we had some leaders, big organizations, come in to us and say, “I have a big idea. And it's so big, I need to create a movement around it, not just the presentation. I know it's going to take more than one really great talk or just a roadshow, but I need to understand how I can communicate in a way that's going to get lots and lots of people excited about this concept and pick it up and help carry it forward with me.” Which is change, change management. And so, the premise for the book was how do you use storytelling to mobilize people to change, to effect change on a large scale. And we did research for about three, four years into movements of all kinds in business and society. Big transformation and turnaround efforts in corporations, but also, social change movements to see what the pattern was in that, where does story play a role. And what we discovered is that story is actually the underlying structure of change. You can understand that change journey if you understand story because all stories have a three-act structure; a beginning, a middle, and an end. You have a person who's trying to do something, they encounter obstacles, and ultimately, hopefully, they succeed in overcoming. And what we discovered as we looked at all these movements was that leaders took their people on that same journey. And the five-act structure that we unpacked in the book is just a little bit more detail in that three-act structure. But basically, the first act of your change journey kicks into gear when you as a leader, or a change maker, or change agent, have a vision. You say, “I want to achieve this,” and you communicate to other people, which we call your dream, basically. Just like Martin Luther King had a dream, you got to declare, “This is what I want to do. This is where I want to take you, and why it's going to be good for you.” And as soon as you communicate that dream or that vision, then people have a choice about whether they're going to help you or not. And that's one of the things I think leaders miss a lot. They think, “I just need to communicate really well. And I persuade magically, and everything just starts to happen.” But change isn't like that. And people have choices, they resist, they might drag their feet. This whole concept of quiet quitting right now where people will show up for the job, but they do the minimum to keep it. That's what can happen if you don't communicate so well that people say, “I see what you're saying, and I want it because you've communicated to me why it's good for me too.” So, that's the beginning of the change journey; the first two acts. Then the middle…
Ryan Berman 17:53
So, part one is the dream.
Patti Sanchez 17:57
Yeah, it's the dream and the leap.
Ryan Berman 17:58
Okay. And the leap.
Patti Sanchez 17:59
So, you communicate the dream, but you have to say it in such a way that people want to leap in with you because nothing will happen if they don't make the choice to help.
Ryan Berman 18:07
Do you remember that YouTube clip of the dancing party? It's like a famous clip, right?
Patti Sanchez 18:13
Yeah, it was like a bumper shooting festival or something like that right in the Northwest.
Ryan Berman 18:19
It wasn't the first dancer, it was the second dancer. It was like, “This is the lead part,” right?
Patti Sanchez 18:25
That’s exactly right.
Ryan Berman 18:26
So, you got to dream, and the leap.
Patti Sanchez 18:27
You got to get people to dance with you because you're not going to be able to put on a whole show by yourself. So dream and leap. Then the middle of the change journey is the next two acts and they're called fight and climb. That's basically in any story where people encounter obstacles, and they have to go to battle over them and try really hard to make some wins happen. And in communication, it’s really critical too to acknowledge for people who are right there in the foxhole what that is like, how hard it is, what kind of barriers that they're running up against. And you as a leader have to acknowledge those, and don't put on the rose-colored glasses because people are going to say “That's BS. I get your vision, it's all glorious and everything, but it's actually really hard. And actually, we're having some trouble achieving it.” And so, you need to come alongside them and communicate in a way that gives them clarity, but also, encouragement, resources, and tools to help them get through those battles. And the better you do that, then the more likely they're going to be able to achieve some small wins, which is in climbing. Climbing closer to your goal. And then, the third act we call Arrive, which is following that metaphor of traveling through the wilderness and trying to get somewhere physical, eventually, you get to your destination. And a lot of times people will say to me, “Well, does that ever really happen in change management?” In reality, it's usually kind of a mixed result. You achieve some of your goals, you fall short of some of them. But the important thing is you have to acknowledge the end of the cycle for people that you're bringing along. You need to say, “All right, so that that phase was all about trying to achieve X. Here's what we did think happened, here's where we're still falling short, and this is what we're going to do next, which is the next journey that we're going on.” And it's really important to give people that closure by celebrating what actually happened and acknowledging what you failed at before you try and increase the goal, or move the goal line further down the field for them so that they can feel some sense of success and basically feel their failings before you keep pushing them forward.
Ryan Berman 20:43
I love this sort of step-by-step. And again, we're back to dreaming big with practicality, which is what you're so good at. But I don't know if this is like… As I'm thinking about what I'm about to say here. I'm an optimist, and what I'm going to say is not optimistic. And so, I'll be the first to throw that out there. So, again, the five steps, there's the dream which is one, the leap which is two, there's the fight which is three, there's the climb which is four, and then there's sort of the reflection or the arrival moment which is five. So, sort of a combination there, closure on that first story. I always found that the dream and the leap does lead to the fight. But if the dream is not as clear as it could be, the step four is the plight. It's like you lose in the fight, and then, the plight takes over. But when the dream is clear, and people have leaped and followed, and there's all these little fights inside the fight. And as long as we stay true to the dream, and it's clear enough, that's when the climb really happens. And when it's not clear, or it's confusing, sometimes you don't realize it till you get into the third phase, the fight flips to the plight and people start jumping off. It could have been stronger, I guess is what I'm saying. How often are you when you're in there are like, “Wait, we need to go back to the dream.” Maybe we lost sight of what the dream was. It's okay to pivot, but let's make sure the dream is big enough that when we get into the fight, the climb is possible.
Patti Sanchez 22:24
Yeah. We always need to revisit the dream. I mean at least from a communication standpoint. We remind people this is what we set out to do, this is how the progress we're making toward it, what those status updates. And if, like you said, it turns out to be the wrong dream, or an unachievable dream, then you do have to be open, willing to pivot and re-communicate now and change the goals. A lot of us are experiencing that right now because of the economic situation, uncertainty. It's unlikely that a lot of organizations are going to hit their goals this year in the way that they originally imagined so you got to reset. But it's not just about that financial goal that you're trying to achieve, that dream usually is bigger, right? It's about an outcome you're trying to create. What is the mission you're on as an organization? And so, you may change your strategy for how you're going to achieve that mission. And in the fight and climb, you might need to shift that and re-communicate it. But if your dream is really transformational, you can't give up on that. You might have to pivot and re-communicate that new strategy, but you got to keep people motivated, committed for the long haul. And that is communication.
Ryan Berman 23:41
Yeah, I noticed you didn't call your book ‘Ignite that change through speeches, stories, ceremonies.’
Patti Sanchez 23:49
There was plenty of that.
Ryan Berman 23:50
Was that part of the option list there?
Patti Sanchez 23:53
Ryan Berman 23:54
My last company was called ‘Idea,’ I-D-E-A. I always used to say, “Look, there's good ideas and bad ideas. Bad ideas are going to send you in the wrong direction so you got to be real careful.” And same thing, there's good change, and there's bad change. And obviously, the whole goal here is to make the world better, with that change. I'm curious, this is outside of podcast land, but can you give me an example, high level, where you think the world has changed for the better, for the good? And you can choose which order you want to go on this. Maybe one place where the world is changing for the worse. Like, let's just have a courageous and honest conversation. And, I'm happy to share what I think too, but I'd love to hear, like, where do you think the world is getting better, changed for the better, and sadly, maybe where it's changing for the worse?
Patti Sanchez 24:43
I believe in progress probably because I'm an optimist too. If you take the long view, I think that humans are evolving to be better as a species. You could probably point to a lot of evidence that says that isn't the case, but the little bit of history I read says the quality of life, the longevity of life we have today is better than it was 200 years ago, 500 years ago. If you think the long game, like I said, over the centuries humans are getting better. That's the advances that we're bringing into our lives, I think, are on the whole good for us. Technology, in my opinion, is on the whole good for us. Now, I live in Silicon Valley, so I am in a bubble but I know that I'm more efficient and productive in my work than I used to be before I had all this software that I could use, before I had a computer in my pocket. The problem is I choose to overfill myself now because I didn't just allow myself to enjoy that free time, neither did my companies that I worked for. We just tried to pack more things in. So that's good. I think technology is helping us work smarter even if we choose to let it make us work harder too. What is not so good is the dark side of technology. We could talk a lot about social media and how it brings out the worst tendencies in human beings. To have that megaphone coupled with a mask that lets you get away with saying lots of horrible things to other people that then get repeated and repeated and repeated. That's a pretty crappy situation, I think. Yeah, it makes me sad.
Ryan Berman 26:21
Interesting that it's pretty much the same thing. Tech. That's bringing a better world is kind of the ‘with great power there’s great responsibility.’
Patti Sanchez 26:32
Ryan Berman 26:33
So, I tell you what? I got a nine-year-old and a seven-year-old, and my biggest changing for the worst worry is it's almost never been harder to think for yourself because everything is instant gratification. There is no delayed gratification. Look, “Hey, Siri,” “Hey, Alexa.” My phone's going bonkers right now as I say this. I put in someone's address in my car, I might as well be Ron Burgundy reading a teleprompter. I don't even know how to get there without it. And so, I worry a little bit about we've become instant gratification machines, but really, like, how do I help you see what you're reading isn't necessarily 1,000% the truth? But it may be. It's like, give you what you need to think for yourself. That's the thing that worries me the most. On the flip, on the positive, I think access all the way, right? Access breeds diversity. Diversity makes everything better. Diversity makes better conversations, diversity makes better food. By the way, all I did was say the exact same thing that you said. It's like, technology is what's kind of getting in the way, maybe, of us not thinking for ourselves, but technology is creating access to great thinkers, to the new.
Patti Sanchez 28:04
Absolutely. And on a broad level, when I was writing ‘Presenting Virtually,’ one of the things that I started to get really excited about was the accessibility and inclusion that the medium enables. Think about being a speaker, for instance, I would travel to a physical event and whoever was in front of me in that room was whoever could afford to be there. An employer could afford to put them there who were just seen as kind of the in-crowd of that community. And now, when I present, especially to online events, the audiences for those events are much bigger, they're broadly distributed across the country, across the world. And that same technology is available at a pretty affordable price to anyone who has an idea and wants to be heard. YouTubers are a great example of that. And that feeds diversity of thought, diversity of opportunity, diversity of impact.
Ryan Berman 29:06
So, I want to jump into Presenting Virtually a little bit. We kind of just did. You just sort of started. Look, I take a lot of pride in still being a practitioner. I like rolling up my sleeves. And I know we're on the same page here. I actually want to help people still figure out their shit. But there's a lot of speakers that’s just what they do. They speak, I’m not sold totally that they know what it's like behind the curtain. S, let me keep this PC so I don't get myself in trouble. I don't love the term motivational speaker, but I get it, and I've been called a motivational speaker. But when you’re now in the virtual world and someone allows you into their home, I feel like my tone over the last few years has flipped where I'm now a conversational speaker. I'm in your house, like, the cats behind you, it's a conversation. Is there anything like that that you saw when making your book?
Patti Sanchez 30:09
For sure. Well, it starts with the technology too. Yes, there is an opportunity to create more of an intimate relationship with your audience because they're watching you at home and you’re recording or broadcasting from the home, then it levels that playing field a little bit more. They see you as a human who's not too different from them, instead of this spotlighted magician on a stage. And the other thing that changes that dynamic is the ways that we can interact with each other on these platforms. So, people can hit the reaction emoji, they can comment in the chat while you're talking, you can pose a question to them, you can send them into discussion groups. And that means that people expect to engage in a dialogue with you. I think gone are the days of a monologue. And we did some research, we did a study to see what people prefer in virtual presentations, and they want them to be shorter than they used to be. If you're just giving a keynote, a motivational talk, where you don't interact with anybody, people want that to be like 20 minutes or less.It's a TED Talk. If you're going to go longer than that, you need to invite them into the conversation. And that's not your traditional presenter the way that a lot of people think about standing and delivering. It's really more of a conversation.
Ryan Berman 31:29
Give me like the one ‘aha’ surprise moment, I’m not saying give away the book, but like, in the deconstructing research part of creating ‘Presenting Virtually,’ was there something that was like, “Oh, my Lord. I so got that wrong, thank God I went and talked to X amount of people?”
Patti Sanchez 31:46
Well, two things really. I know you wanted one, but anyway, I'm going to give it to you.
Ryan Berman 31:50
Yeah, bring it.
Patti Sanchez 31:51
One is the just attention, economy, that people are more and more distracted. And so, you really have to change everything about the way you present so that you can keep them interested and lure them back in. So, that means more variety in what you show, more small chunks of content. And then, an interaction and then, chunk of content, interaction. Just that less is more, and I think that's really important and I was doing that wrong. The other is I got really excited about thinking about this medium as not an extension of a presentation, but as a new medium in and of itself. And that's more about, like I said, where technology can take us. Where you can have your slides behind you like a weatherman, or weather person, much more easily now than you used to be able to do. And you can start to get basically TV-quality imagery in front of any audience. And that's cool. And I did go back and look at old television shows and old radio shows, and try to understand what of that can you carry forward into this age. And a lot of it still holds true. Delivery matters. How you use your voice, how you use your face, how you use your body, to keep them interested in you even just within that little square. And also, how you think about the scene that you're showing them. Everything's intentional in a TV show, in a movie. What you wear, what is in the environment behind you, all of that matters. And the same is true for virtual communication because that little square just draws more attention to whatever's on the wall or the floor so you have to be a little more deliberate about how you curate that scene for people, which I think is kind of fun.
Ryan Berman 33:42
Well, I definitely agree that it's harder to stand out. And maybe that's the mistake that some presenters give. It’s like, no, just because you're confined to a square doesn't mean that that's it or that you should fold it in. I love how intentional you've made this. I also felt, like, for me a big is always pacing, where to put the space. Like, create some space for people, “Okay, this must be a part where I'm supposed to be thinking.”
Patti Sanchez 34:19
Yeah. Well, that's a part of dynamism. The dynamics of sound aren't just about making a sound but not making a sound. There’s times when you pause, and you get quiet, that creates a different kind of energy too and also invites people in.
Ryan Berman 34:38
Give me one common thread that you took from the first book, the learnings from the first book, that totally apply in the second book. Is there one takeaway that you can share?
Patti Sanchez 34:55
Yeah, it's empathy. It's core to how I think and operate as a communicator. but it's also core to those books because I think it's what makes the difference between effective communication and non-effective communication. And, I guess to be obvious, empathy for your audience. It's not about you, it's about them. It's about what they need to hear, about what they need to feel, and how you can give it to them.
Ryan Berman 35:20
Yeah, it's everything, right? It's just jumping into their shoes, and like, is this going to land? There's a real big difference between sharing knowledge and transferring knowledge.
Patti Sanchez 35:30
Yes, I love that. Right.
Ryan Berman 35:33
And so, I think our job is to… If I just shared it, and it bounces off my computer screen and I don't get that part, that's a whole nother problem frankly. I probably am not a very good presenter. So, if you weren’t doing this, and you had to do something else, what do you think you'd end up doing? Or what would you want to do?
Patti Sanchez 35:57
I've thought about it a few times over the years, and it always ends up being pretty similar actually.
Ryan Berman 36:05
Patti Sanchez 36:07
Yeah. No, only on my worst day I think I would much rather pour coffee than do this. I know that crosses my mind, or mix drinks, which is probably more my style. But I love great conversation, I love coaching and helping people through tough situations. And in a lot of ways, that's what I do with my communication, but also as a leader, or manager, whatever you want to call me, I still really enjoy that. I do have a slight little fantasy that I'm going to have several acres in the country not too far from an airport that people can easily get to that will involve a retreat center with lots of nice little [Inaudible 36:49], and a big ass firepit where we can sit and tell stories. And I might also have possibly a few hundred dogs that I have to rescue, we'll see. But, it's not in the plans at the moment, but that would be my dream. Just to create that space for people to share their stories, get to know each other, and be nourished.
Ryan Berman 37:08
Well, I love that. And it's certainly something I'm thinking about too. It's like, can I create a Courage Academy? Can I create a space, take this Courage Bootcamp idea and create opportunities for people to really better understand each other? And so, we're thinking the same thoughts, which is cool. I'm always also of the ‘state it and create it’ mentality. So, once it's out there, and it stated, the good news is the bad news. Now, the 100 dogs thing, I'm a dog lover. Are they running around on this farm, or wherever they are, you have me there. But I love where your head's at on creating real community, and creating real conversations for people to help each other, and connect, and collide. Tell me when yours is ready, I'll tell you when mine is ready down here. And what a surprise, this is a super fast conversation. I love the way that you're going about your business. When you think about your day-to-day, I don’t mean today, but like in general, how much of your time now is helping clients that are on the roster, versus, people on the team, versus, thinking about new concepts? Give me the pie chart percentage breakdown of how your time gets broken out at work.
Patti Sanchez 38:32
Today is probably about 5 or 10% working directly with clients because I've pivoted over to the training side of the business away from consulting. And I think about them in aggregate now, I think about them in segments. And I think about how I can help this group of people or that group of people, rather than sitting one on one with the leader working on their talk. And that leads to a big hunk of the pie for me, which is dreaming up our next new product, working on on-demand videos. A subscription-based product that is really exciting and fun that'll come out next year, that's probably 50% of my time. And the rest is made up with one on ones. Getting people [Inaudible 39:14] and helping them move through their feelings or their frustrations about these big goals that they have that I keep putting on them. And it’s rewarding in its own way.
Ryan Berman 39:25
Last question of the day; you ready?
Patti Sanchez 39:28
Ryan Berman 39:39
So, if you think about where you're afraid. It's a show about courage so let's go there. Is there one you can share… I guess it's a two-parter. Last two of the day. Is there something that you're afraid of professionally that you can share? And then, maybe there's a fear personally that you can share. What are those for you?
Patti Sanchez 39:56
Well, I mentioned making a new product. So, professionally, the big fear is that I'm wrong about what people actually want from us and are willing to pay for. So, how I can manage that fear is doing testing, doing research and testing, which gives me some degree of comfort and confidence but it's not going to take away all the risk. And so, it could entirely be that when I launch it, it's not a terrible failure, but it's not a huge success. It might be somewhere in the middle, and then, I'll have to evaluate, iterate, and try again. That's possible. I'm aiming for success, wild success, but I'm preparing myself for something less than that. And on the personal side, it’s everything that comes along with that. It's looking stupid. It's guessing wrong. It's not knowing. And I encounter that all the time. But it's one of the reasons why I really resonate with you and what you talked about when we first met at that conference a few years ago, which is, “So what?” That's you're still going to feel that fear but you got to move through it with courage.
Ryan Berman 41:07
Well, I so appreciate your honesty. A lot of us encounter it, most of us don't talk about it. Reputation, all the reasons that we know. So, I appreciate you bringing it up, and I appreciate you going for it. And you have a fan, and an ally, and a friend in San Diego. So, however I can help. You want me to be part of the testing phase, I'm happy to do what I can. Keep going, keep rolling. Congratulations. I can't wait for book number three. That's terrible, that's too much pressure.
Patti Sanchez 41:40
Ryan Berman 41:40
Can't wait to see what you do next Patti, and stay courageous.
Patti Sanchez 41:46
You too. Thanks, Ryan.
(Outro music 41:48-42:04)
[End Of Audio]
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