Everyone has a story to tell and some of us are fortunate enough to share our stories on stage in front of a live audience. My new podcast, Standing Ovation, is a show about stories. Stories that move us, inspire us and drive us to take action and change the trajectory of our lives. Let’s face it, not all stories are great stories. But, every once in a while, I stumble across a story that is so moving and so powerful that I just have to share it with my audience of Clappers (that’s you guys!).
So, in this first episode of Standing Ovation, you’ll hear one such story from Scott McKain, a Hall of Fame keynote speaker who has delivered thousands of presentations across six continents. Scott’s tapestry of speaking experiences has landed him on stages all over the world including being booked by the Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, for an event on the White House lawn with the President in attendance. If that’s not impressive for a speaker who began his career when he was just a teenager in a small town in Indiana, I don’t know what is.
Scott is renowned for his storytelling ability and speaks a lot about distinction and helping his audiences understand how to stand out in today’s crowded business environment. But, perhaps his most famous story of all is about Taxi Terry, a curious cab driver who uses a personal database to improve customer relations and provide his passengers with the best cab experience of their lives.
Find out about:
- The curious story of Taxi Terry and the importance of providing excellent customer service
- Why signature stories need constant revision
- How the Taxi Terry story has evolved over time
- What makes signature stories have a real impact
- How Scott makes the Taxi Terry story relatable to his audience
- How Scott has managed to inject comedy in his story
- What makes the Taxi Terry story work so well regardless of where it’s told
Quotes from the episode:
I think that with great stories of any kind, not only do we get what the speaker meant, but they also allow enough space that we can bring our own interpretation to it.
When it’s told right, the audience doesn’t see me in the back of the cab. They see themselves in the back of the cab.
Sometimes we forget who the hero of the story should be. Taxi Terry is the hero of the Taxi Terry story…I’m just the vehicle by which the audience sees themselves in the cab.
Connect with Scott McKain
2 Key Questions
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given about the speaking business?
“My first mentor was a guy named Grady Nutt. Number one, he said there were always three variables: you, the audience and the situation. When something doesn’t go as well as you wanted, you’re still a pro and you still have to deliver.”
“I was giving a speech one time and there were 100 people in the audience and two people wrote that they thought I was phony and all I did was pay attention to those two reviews. And Grady said, “Who do you think you are that you are so superior that you can designate which two of 100 evaluations is most insightful? Who do you think you are to say that those two people’s opinions matter more than the 98? They are 2% of the audience.” – both of those were impactful and helpful.”
Who is your dream guest for Standing Ovation?
“I think one of the really great guests would be Jeanne Robertson, and the reason I say that is because she has that great baton story that has been held up as a signature story. But Jeanne in her 70s is now going on the road and giving a speech, but selling hard tickets for it, and filling theaters. So, I would like to know how to continue to tweak your speech into your 70s and what keeps you excited and motivated to continue to do this when financially you don’t have to.”