Diane DiResta is a certified speaking professional. She is founder of DiResta Communications Inc and author of Knockout Presentations. As a speaking strategist, Diane brings over 20 years as a communications expert and speech pathologist. Her company works with Fortune 500 companies. She media trains, sports and entertainment, celebrities and coaches C level executives how to exude executive presence.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 173
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[02:51] Tom's introduction to Diane DiResta [06:09] Drastic changes in critical communication skills [09:32] Diane's new book [10:44] She was almost entrepreneurial as a little girl [14:07] The best and worst parts of working for yourself [17:29] Sponsor message [20:07] A typical day for Diane and how she stays motivated
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Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program – https://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/
Diane's website – https://www.diresta.com/
(“7 Deadly Mistakes Speakers Make” audio course at bottom of page)
Diane's books – https://www.amazon.com/Diane-DiResta/e/B00J5SD1IG
Diane on Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/user/DianeDiResta
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
My Theories – https://screwthecommute.com/172/
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Episode 173 – Diane DiResta
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey, everybody, it's Tom here with episode 173 of Screw the Commute podcast. We got Diane DiResta here. Known her for a long, long time. And she is a knockout. A knockout presenter. And that's the name of her book. And I'll introduce you to her in a moment. Episode 172 Hope you didn't miss that. That was the theories that I that I've lived and worked my business by over many years, on Mondays I do an in-depth training on something that's either made me a lot of money or saved me a lot of money. And then on Wednesdays and Fridays, I do interviews with great entrepreneurs like Diane. Now, please tell your friends about this podcast. If they're in a business or want to start a business, it's the perfect place to be. Give you all kinds of tips. We've got nearly 173 episodes so far. So there's all kinds of great stuff that they can hear. And also get our podcast that while you're at it, go to screwthecommute.com/app and you can download it. We've gotten complete instructions on how to use it. So all the fancy features that take us with you on the road. And also we've got a big freebie for listening to this podcast. It's my twenty seven dollar e-book, How to Automate Your Business. And just one of the tips in this e-book has saved me over seven and a half million. That's with a million with an M keystrokes. So anybody out there that's in business would love to save that kind of trouble. And carpal tunnel, too, about that. So check that out at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. Now I am looking for affiliates. Those of you that have listened to me for a while or known me for a long time know that I put a quality products and services and I would love to send you big commission checks. Commissions can go anywhere from 10 bucks for an e-book to over five thousand dollars for a particular speaking engagement. So and everything in between. So we do all high quality stuff and I really want to send you a lot of money. So if you're interested in that, if you have influence over a group or you just want to tell people about what I have, then you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what your ideas are and I'll get in touch with you and we'll we'll put it together for you. So I really want to send you a lot of money.
[00:02:56] All right. Let's get to the main event. Diane DiResta is a certified speaking professional. She is founder of DiResta Communications Inc. And author of knockout presentations. As a speaking strategist, Diane brings over 20 years as you can't believe it if you see her. I tell you that 20 years as a communications expert and speech pathologist, her company works with Fortune 500 companies. She media trains, sports and entertainment, celebrities and coaches, C level executives how to exude executive presence. Diane, are you ready to screw? The commute.
[00:03:35] I would love to screw the commute. I'm a New Yorker, and that's just part of the DNA here.
[00:03:41] Oh, my goodness. I'll tell you what, Diane. You know me. I'm big, strapping, tall. I carry a gun all the time. I never feel so helpless as when I set foot in Manhattan. And the cab drivers know that you're a tourist, so they could do whatever they want with you. And then you're afraid. Scared to death to get on the subway, cause you never know where you'll end up. And then people say, well, just walk to your hotel. Oh, yeah. Hundred blocks. Each one's a mile long. I mean, I don't know how you do it. I don't know how anybody does it. It scares me to death.
[00:04:16] I love New York. I'm from here. I was born in Brooklyn, but it is a difficult city to live in. The living is very hard, but it's so exciting as well. So you just deal with the subways when you have to.
[00:04:27] Well, you got to I got to be rich. It is to have a like a apartment with 10 square feet, right?
[00:04:33] Oh, that's so true.
[00:04:34] So. So tell everybody what you do now and then we'll take you back even way, way back and see if you ever had a job and how you came up through the ranks and all that.
[00:04:45] Sure. Well, my mission is to change the world. One presentation at a time. And you and I both know that this is one of the top fears. And where I am today is I specialize, as you said, under the umbrella of executive presence, because people need that in order to gain confidence and credibility. If you don't know how to come across with gravitas, with confidence, you're not going to be successful in getting what you want, whether it's a job, whether it's an interview, whether it's investor money. We all need that. And so the three areas of specialization are the presentation public speaking arena, then interpersonal communication and then media training. And as you know, I have a book called Knockout Presentation. So that's where I specialize. I tend to my target market. Are senior leaders people in corporations, but I have worked with entrepreneurs as well. And I will tell you a quick story about someone who gifted me. It was someone in my networking group and her daughter in law was a second year law student and was thinking of dropping out because she was so afraid to speak in class and what she would do if she'd raise her hand, ask a question, and then that would be the end of it. So I worked with her for, say, four sessions and she was able to turn it around, graduated, and now she's not afraid of speaking anymore. So anybody can do this. But it's such a critical skill.
[00:06:13] Absolutely. Now I want to go into one of the things you said about interpersonal communication at the C level seems to me that that probably has changed drastically over the past 20 years. Because, I mean, you guys are afraid to say anything nowadays. For fear of metoo movement and sexual harassment. So how was that changed for you over the years?
[00:06:39] Well, it's changed for me personally because I have to watch what I say as well. There are certain expressions and certain figures of speech that we use at that are no longer appropriate. And so you're constantly monitoring in a world of political correctness. So sometimes you have to coach people when they're telling you what they're going to say on how to say it differently.
[00:07:02] Right. Right. So what are some of the things that are big no no's anymore?
[00:07:06] Well, you know, I'll give you an example. A number of years ago, I was at a presentation for American Management Association in New York. And the presenter who was very seasoned used the expression. So this is our sacred cow. And at the end, someone came in and said, look, I'm from India. I'm insulted. So what I'm saying is our normal idioms are no longer acceptable. We have to be very careful. Now, even Jerry Seinfeld, he said he stopped going to present at college campuses because they would tell him he was sexist and his humor wasn't funny. And, you know, that's the way it is.
[00:07:49] One of the highest paid comedians ever on Earth is not funny.
[00:07:53] Yes. So there's somebody else, too. We both know him. I won't mention his name, but he was he's a famous he's a comedian and turned motivational humorist. And he told me he is frustrated because when he is in corporations now, he cannot say the God word. And when he tells a story about his Italian father, they don't allow that. And he said, but it's not making fun of anyone. It's my personal story. It's my father's personality. So this is why it's important to have a coach as you and I both know, because you need someone who can clue you in on those kinds of things.
[00:08:28] And it's more critical now than ever. Because you say one thing, it could be the end of your career.
[00:08:33] That's absolutely true. It's absolutely true. And we've seen that in the media. So that's the challenge here. It's how to finesse, how to say things in a diplomatic way. You know, unfortunately, I don't like the term political correctness, but we all need to be aware of it.
[00:08:49] Right. And I remember, you know, coaching people and even even the women were doing this. They were saying you guys all the time. And then I moved to Washington, D.C., where they would just be happy to stab you if you'd say something like that.
[00:09:04] Well, you know, when you when you talk about executive presence, I remember I was doing some work at the NBA and I was with the team marketing operations area. And some of the younger people would get up and they would present a presentation for senior management, and they'd be saying, you guys, let's say, do you really want to address them as you guys? That's not going to go over well.
[00:09:29] Especially if they aren't guys.
[00:09:36] It's an interesting world.
[00:09:36] Tell us about your book.
[00:09:38] My book, Knockout Presentations came out a long time ago. It was a it was a category bestseller on Amazon. And now I launched it in September. It's the third edition. So it's updated. And I'm very excited about it because it is it has stood the test of time. And what I'm told in the publishing industry is if a book sells for a year, that's a success. So this has been out a long time. And not only is it used in companies, but it's also used in colleges, because I wrote this as a seminar in a book, and that's the difference. I know there are a lot of books out there who talk theory and stories and I really show you how to do it so you can go to any chapter and I give you the tools, I give you the steps. There are templates, checklists, dos and don'ts at the end of every chapter. And that's what people love about it. So it's really a resource for anybody at almost any level. From college to C suite.
[00:10:35] Is it both print and digital?
[00:10:38] Yes, we have the Kindle version or the e-book and the hard copy. What I haven't done yet is the audio. I have not gotten to that. I know that I have gotten requests.
[00:10:48] Yeah. So let's take you back. Were you entrepreneurial as a little girl?
[00:10:52] Well, you know, this is interesting. I grew up in a military family. I was trained to get a job, and that's what I did. But I think the seeds were there when I was about eight years old because I remember having this children's cookbook and I'd made this potato salad that was a little different. And I said to my mother, I'm going to go and ring the bells of every neighbor and charge them 10 cents for a taste. And she said, well, you can do that, but you have to do it for free. And so I said, you know what? I think the seeds were there, but it wasn't nurtured. So, no, unlike you, I had a series of jobs until I left the Wall Street area and ended up working for myself. And it was the best fit and the best thing I ever did. So if there's anybody on a call who's thinking, should I leave, should I try something new, do it.
[00:11:40] Well, what what type of job that you have?
[00:11:43] Well, I was trained as a speech pathologist. I got my master's of Columbia. So I was working in the Brooklyn, New York schools for eight years and have the scars to prove it. Just kidding. Just kidding. But there was no career path. So I left there and I started doing stand up presentations for a company, a private company, and that was my foray into business. Then I went on to Solomon Brothers, where I was doing management training, and then I was assistant vice president at Drexel Burnham, the investment banking firm. And I was recruiting MBAs for the trading floor. What happened there? As I said, I liked the work. I liked the pace. I liked the money. But I don't like the culture of Wall Street. And so I left. And that's often what the issue is, having done some career work as well. Often it's not a skills mismatch. It's a culture mismatch. And I knew that was not where I wanted to be. So I left and I started freelancing with the intention of finding a job as a training manager. Well, it took me two years. And in the interim, I was trying all kinds of different things sales, training, outplacement, work. And I found that I loved it. And I said, this suits my personality. And two years later, I got an offer as a full time training manager position and I turned it down. Oh, my heart wasn't in it. And so I took the risk of not having consistent income because I loved what I was doing. And the rest is history.
[00:13:09] Well, did you did you plan for this in that you saved up some money or just quit cold turkey?
[00:13:17] I did. Quick cold turkey. I did have my husband who was working at the time. And what I did and this is what I tell a lot of entrepreneurs because I was so afraid of the IRS and still am, I would take because I started as a sole proprietor, I would take 50 percent of everything that came in. I put it into a bank.
[00:13:41] That's not enough now, they want to take 90%.
[00:13:43] I know. They want. They want your blood. But so what happened was I have never to this day have had an opportunity or a situation where I couldn't pay my taxes. So that was what created the nest egg, in a sense. And then from there, I changed models. And today I'm a Chapter S, so I pay myself a salary, et cetera, et cetera. But that's what happened. I. I did it seat of the pants. I really didn't know what I was doing.
[00:14:11] That's not uncommon. So what do you like best about working for yourself and what's the worst part?
[00:14:17] The best part is the freedom. I can do pretty much whatever I want. So if I need time off, as long as I'm willing to not have money coming in at that time, I can do it. And it's been so helpful. I'll just give you a personal aside. My husband has end stage kidney disease and we're looking for a live donor. And so I've had to take time off for that. And it's been helpful to be able to have that freedom. The worst part is not having the consistent income. So, for example, during 9/11, I was devastated like a lot of businesses. My friends knew their salary every week. It was a devastating time, but their money, their check was still coming in. So that's the challenge of it. But I am willing to do that.
[00:15:01] Well, a lot of speakers. I mean, I remember that vividly where, you know, I've been mostly Internet based since the Internet started. So, you know, some people that we know and some very big name people went bankrupt at that time because planes couldn't fly, they couldn't go. All their income was based on go, work or speak or something. And. And we were down for about a week with just numbness, like over the whole country was. And then, you know, the Internet that you're not limited by any any local or national economies. We gotta get you doing more, more stuff online. You show me how to use the subway.
[00:15:42] Well, honestly, I am doing work online, not in terms of Internet packaging or products, but I am doing more of my individual executive speech coaching virtually. And I love it. Ideally, I will meet in person in the beginning and at the end and then the interim we do. We use zoom, which is my favorite platform.
[00:16:05] We used to use Skype, but it went downhill when Microsoft bought it. Zoom has been really good.
[00:16:11] Yeah, it is. And I find that a lot when a major company takes over it. It goes by the wayside. So I use Zoom exclusively and you know, today we're lucky you can run a business virtually. So the best of both worlds is to be in person and to do virtual.
[00:16:31] I would love to see you do an online course that you license to these big companies and they pay you fifty thousand bucks for up to a thousand employees and then you sell it to the next company.
[00:16:42] That's a good deal. Absolutely.
[00:16:47] You you take a limo instead of the subway.
[00:16:51] Well I do. If it's the right company depending on which company's hiring me.
[00:16:56] Do you sell the book directly off your website or only through Amazon or what.
[00:17:00] I do it through. Well, it's in the bookstores on Amazon, on Barnes and Noble. I don't sell directly unless I'm doing a talk and I'm selling at the back of the room. I'd rather have the experts do that for me.
[00:17:12] So what's your website?
[00:17:12] My website is diresta.com.
[00:17:23] Yeah I know when you write that is it capital R.
[00:17:27] It is but not for the Web site.
[00:17:34] Awesome. Okay. We've got to take a brief sponsor break and when we come back. We're going to ask Diane what's a typical day look like for her and how she stays motivated.
[00:17:43] Folks, back around the year 2000, I kind of turned the Internet world on its head because people at my level were charging 50 or 100 grand up front to try to sell stuff, teach small businesses how to do what we do. And a lot of people were rip offs anyway. Once they got their money, there was bye bye. So I said, you know, this is about right. I'm a small business advocate. And I thought that's putting small businesses at risk. You know, I'm going to I'm going to fix this. So I turned the world upside down, made the gurus mad, and I charged the relatively small entry fee to my program and then a percentage of profits that I helped create up to a cap. So you're not stuck with me forever. So for me to get my big money, you had to make way bigger money. And it seemed to catch on. Seventeen hundred students and 20 years later, it's still still going strong. And it's extremely unique. You have a immersion visit to the great Internet Marketing Retreat Center where I'm broadcasting from right now. You have one on one from myself and my whole staff to tutor you on how to do this stuff. And boy, does that change rapidly. I mean, we have full time people just on social media and we can hardly keep up. So I don't know how regular business people do, but we teach you how to do that. And we also have the only licensed, dedicated Internet marketing school in the country, probably the world where you get a scholarship to that, that you can either use yourself or gift to someone. And we had a guy join our mentor program about four months ago and he gifted the school to his daughter, who he had spent eighty thousand dollars on her education and she was working at some low price job. And within a month, being in the school, she started making eleven hundred dollars a month on the side. Two months later, sees at three thousand quitting her job, and she still got four to six months left in the school. So so this is real hardcore stuff I've been selling on the commercial internet since it started around 1994 and it's been just a great lifestyle business. And you don't have to get on a subway. That's my whole motivation in life is never getting on a subway. So anyway, check it out. Oh, there's like tons of more perks to this at greatinternetmarketingtraining.com.
[00:20:13] Let's get back to the main event. Diane DiResta is here. She is a superstar knockout presenter. That's the name of her book, Knockout Presentations out of New York City, which is the big time, the Big Apple. And so, Diane, what's a typical day look like for you?
[00:20:29] Well, it's not typical. It depends on what I'm doing. So today I had a coaching virtual coaching session. So I come in and I set up my zoom and I do that.
[00:20:40] When you say you come in or you're just going through different room in your house, are you?
[00:20:44] Oh, no, no. I have an office. Oh. One of the things I realized is I did have a home office until about 2005 and I outgrew it. And it's so much better for me to come into Manhattan in the financial district. I have this beautiful setup. It's like a coworking space.
[00:21:02] It's one of those things you share with other people. But you have your own office.
[00:21:05] I know. I for me. I need that space. And this way. I have clients who come to me as well. So I have a client who was here yesterday and I have the conference room with her. I'm always working on either talks or coaching.
[00:21:21] How far is it from you?
[00:21:24] I take a ferry for about 20 minutes and then I walk four blocks. So no subways.
[00:21:30] All right. But I just I have to come up with another podcast. Screw the ferry.
[00:21:34] Yes. So anyway, it's it's really great to do what I do and and to do what you do. And I want to emphasize to people how critical this is. And I have people like the client yesterday who come and they want to work on an elevator pitch. Why? Because they've just changed jobs and they need to position themselves in a different way. And you've probably experienced this, too. People have difficulty expressing what they do. And I had somebody the other day, my my client, he's a CEO of a biotech company. And he did a conference and he sent me the link and he said my 79 year old mother now understands what I do and I was impressed, you know, and it's so true. I often ask audiences, how many of you have parents who don't know what you do and so many hands go up. So the ability to communicate clearly what you do and for whom you do it is important for your success. No matter what the situation.
[00:22:36] Maybe your parents will hire you.
[00:22:41] But I have to say, I had another CEO who When we worked together, he had a very high stakes presentation and he wanted to convince the executive committee to fund the building of a vaccine facility which would cost 300 million dollars. That was a very hard sell. And we worked together and as a result, he was able to get the money to build it. Now, it was going to take three years and then there'd be clinical trials. But he got the funding and as a result, that 300 million investment turned into a one billion dollar success.
[00:23:15] And you get 10%, right?
[00:23:17] Oh, yeah, right. Little did I know. Right. So what's what's important for people to know is that there is a tangible, a hard dollar value when you know how to communicate. Well, this is not soft skills. And I don't know if this drives you crazy, Tom, but whenever I go into an organization, they'll say, oh, yes, your soft skills. Now, these are essential skills. They have dollar bottom line results. So it's really important for people to gain these skills.
[00:23:44] Yeah, I guess I don't really go in anymore. It's been over 20 years. If I did any corporate work, I've been doing public seminars. But the thing is, when I was doing it, I specifically went through the sales team because that's where they spend the most money on the sales team. And there is a clear bottom line. Payback from this it's not oft that's for sure.
[00:24:05] Well, I can't give you an example. I was doing some work for the Philadelphia 76s and they asked me to train their directors and we came in, train them in presentations. And about a few months later, I got an email from one of the participants and he said that he did a really good job at this analytics conference. I said, Oh, send me the link. I want to see it. I watched the video. He did everything that we taught him to do. And then he sent me the other link. There was an article that said he was the best presenter at the whole sports analytics conference. So that was amazing. And so it just shows you that these are skills that anybody can learn. If you put in the time and you practice.
[00:24:50] And you have to practice. That's the thing. You cannot delegate this.
[00:24:54] Well, and I say that all the time, you know, years ago. Here's what's different. Years ago, when I was starting out, you could delegate this skill. We I'd see leaders do this all the time and their junior associates would have to jump in. Now, people want to hear from you because you are the brand. And speaking has become the new competitive advantage. You can't avoid the skill any longer. And so everybody needs to up their game and become effective in the way you communicate.
[00:25:25] No doubt about it. Now, what kind of person would you look for, for a client like is it all C suite or can you work with entrepreneurs?
[00:25:33] No, I've worked with entrepreneurs. I worked with an angel investor. And when she came to me, her she had so much data and I helped her streamline it and focus her message. And she got a standing ovation as a result. So I work with leaders. I worked with C suite, I work with entrepreneurs, and occasionally I've worked with students as well. That's not my target market.
[00:25:59] Of course not. But yeah, data is one of the things that will kill somebody faster than anything. They want to spew everything that they know and the audience is like ready to kill themselves.
[00:26:11] Well, I know I just gave a keynote for financial executives international. I'm one of the things I told them because these were mostly chief financial officers and accountants is tell them what they need to know. Not everything, you know. And it's such an important principle because people if they are looking at numbers all day, they don't want to see that. They want the story. So what's the story behind the numbers? And that's what I teach people to do.
[00:26:38] So how do you stay motivated?
[00:26:39] You know, I I love what I do. But one of the things that helps motivate me is I'm a member of National Speakers Association. I'm a past president of the New York chapter. So I go there once a month to meetings to recharge my batteries, to learn what's new, to be connected with other speakers and coaches. And once in a while, I'll go to their national conference as well when I have the time. So that's one of the things that keeps him motivated. And the other thing is, when I see transformation and that's what I love about what I do. I get to see people transformed before my eyes. It doesn't have to be a year. It can be pretty quickly. And so that keeps me motivated. That's fun to see that kind of success.
[00:27:24] Absolutely. So what do you got for the folks out there?
[00:27:28] Well, when when you go to my Web site diresta.com, there's a free audio course, seven deadly mistakes speakers make and how to avoid them for maximum success. So you will get that along with my monthly newsletter. So feel free to go to diresta.com on the home page.
[00:27:43] That's great. So everybody, make sure you check out that book, knockout presentations. That's easy to remember. And also go to the show notes so you can click over to Diane's site.
[00:27:54] Seven deadly mistakes speakers make.
[00:27:58] You do not want to make even one of them because one deadly mistake, you can't even make the neck six because you're dead. So. All right. So, Diane, thanks so much. And. I'll see you next time I'm in New York, which is probably never.
[00:28:17] I'll see you online.
[00:28:17] All right. Catch you later everybody.
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