Nienke Van Bezooijen

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O: Hi, and welcome to Stellar Life podcast. I’m your host, Orion. My guest today is Nienke Van Bezooijen. She’s an advanced international TEDx speaker coach. She works with thought leaders and changemakers around the world to bring their message authentic, clear, and effective. She developed her own method – is The Speaker Success Solution, and she’s also a co-founder of the Heart of All Women. In this episode, we talked about how to really own your voice and your message. She also shared some secret techniques on how to really present onstage and really bring in the authentic you onstage and sharing your message unapologetically. She is so interesting and exciting, and I can’t wait to share her with you! Now, without further ado, onto the show. Hi Nienke, and welcome to Stellar Life Podcast.

N: Lovely to be here, Orion. Welcome from the Netherlands!

O: Yes, how’s the weather in the Netherlands right now?

N: It’s quite warm and sunny and just as bright as this show should be.

O: Beautiful. You’re apparently really good with your words. Let’s start by you sharing a little bit about what you do with people. How do you help them?

N: They always say, “You can’t kick the nurse out of her,” but I’m not a nurse any longer. I’m an international speaker coach. I help people to speak authentic, clear, and effective. I mentor them, I help them, I support them, and I really make sure every voice is worth sharing.

O: How did you move from being a nurse to going on big stages and then teaching people to be on big stages – help them with their speaking?

N: I was in top management in health care. I loved to give speeches. At a certain point, it wasn’t enough for me any longer, and I became an entrepreneur. At my late 30’s, early 40’s doing my MBA, I thought, “I know everything about businesses. I can become an entrepreneur,” and that was a big mistake because it’s a totally different field. But I still loved to help people to understand business or whatever. Transferring knowledge – that’s what I really was passionate about. As an entrepreneur, I got a really big client. I developed a training about coaching for them, and I loved that – just writing the training, giving the training. I wanted to be even better in it and to go international courses from the top-of-the-bill of speaker coaching, voice coaching. Then I thought, “This is what I really want to do. I want to provide the world with a voice,” so my third business as an entrepreneur is my speaker business in what I do now with Presentation Master. I wrote a book about it. I licensed it out and help many. I still support people just to have a short summarize, and I help them to give real voice to whatever they have to say.

O: What’s the struggle that people have when they want to express their real voice?

N: Most of them are shy or insecure, and it’s such a pity because everybody has something that can help others if they share. They keep it for themselves because they are afraid of what others would say about them. That’s the main thing I see in people, no matter what they do, even if they’re a big CEO or just a mom. It’s being afraid of what others will say about you – that you want to be perfect in it, and you don’t have to.

O: What’s the benefit of speaking?

N: The benefit of speaking is self-confidence. Self-confidence so you can reach many. I call them, no matter what they do, Impactors. It can be in your own community, in your family. If you speak, you can create impact for the good.

O: What if you don’t – what if you decide not to speak?

N: It’s always up to you. Not everybody has a big desire to speak, but still if you can help each other by sharing a message, it can be a benefit for all. It can be sort of a hidden thing. It can even be present in you and can eat you up if you don’t speak up – not for everybody, but for some people, it really does. It’s such a shame.

O: What’s the biggest fears they have for being on stage?

N: They want to be perfect. “What if I blank out?” That’s the main thing. “What if they see I have a shiver?” What if – all the what ifs, and the what if hardly happens. The big thing you can do if you blank out is to make eye contact and have a real conversation with real people. That can be even a very large audience. But still, just be yourself. You don’t have to be afraid for others, if you are your true self. It makes you so much stronger.

O: Do you have any preparation you give them before they go on stage, any mental exercises?

N: Yeah. What I do with my speakers – I prepare them with my own method. Is it helpful if I just flick through that because that’s the main preparation they get? Is that helpful?

O: Of course, go ahead.

N: I developed my own method called EASE. It is just four letters of the word EASE. First E is Energy. You have to be aware what energy you bring. You have to be aligned with your audience to get your message across. Know what your own energies – you never have to be hyper but very intimate or timid. It’s not also the way to act, but really be sure what kind of audience you have and make sure the energy matches. So that’s first. Be aware of your energy. Second, who are you in authenticity? A is Authenticity. Bring the real you. Be yourself. Anyone else is taken. The real you needs to speak. I go over a process to find their true voice. On the third place is skills. It’s only on the third place I work on skills. Usually if you get a training, they start with skills. If you don’t know your energy, if you don’t know who you are yourself, what skills do you want to put on who? It’s so different. The skill is – to be 100% effective, you have to be aware of your words, you have to be aware of your voice, and you have to be aware of your body language. I made a very clear measurement. It’s 10% effectiveness in words. It’s 20% effectiveness in voice use, and 70% of body language. You have to be 100% to be effective, so that’s what we work on – to graft the words that really are from you and then pronounce them well, bring them well, with the right energy, the right tonality, stand as a real speaker, as a real you. And if you have all that, you go to the most important part – the Engagement. Control your emotions and the audience’s emotions. Use your ears, use your eyes, and have a real engagement. That’s the whole method. That’s the preparation I do with them. I do work on the voice. I do work on words they use as a habit or “ums.” It doesn’t matter, but it doesn’t need to be a habit. And how they stand. That’s the good preparation.

O: How do I get rid of my “ums”? I notice I have a lot of “ums” and “ahs.” Because it is so integrated with the way I speak. How can I get rid of it?

N: Very simple. Two things: First, make them silent and take a breath instead of “um,” because “um” is usually a sign your body needs oxygen. You say, “um,” and it’s breathing. If you make it a conscious breathing, and the silent “um,” it even sounds really thoughtful. Is that helpful? Just use the silence. You can continue. Just use the silence.

O: Oh, sometimes it feels awkward. We feel like we need to fill those spaces. We can’t really hold the silence. What will happen if we’re going to have a moment of silence?

N: Nothing will happen. Connection will happen. That’s a good thing. The second one I want to share with you as well is the one I got from my famous voice coach Deborah Torres Patel, and it is wiggle your toes.

O: Really? Wow! I like that.

N: Wiggle your toes no matter if you’re doing here, the radio, or a tv, or even just on a stage. Wiggle your toes. Be aware of your peep toes, if you wear them. But still normally people watch you in your face and not your toes. If you have an awkward moment, you blank out, or you have your “ah,” wiggle your toes because all the attention will go down, and your body will be fully integrated.

O: I love that. What? I’ve never heard that before.

N: I am a person who really wants to have real facts, Orion. What I did – I worked with a neuroscientist. I had all these dots on my head, and they did a stress test on me. I can see all the stress in the brain on the computer on four fields. And I thought for the freaking fun of it, wiggle my toes and see what happens. All stress fields in the brain lowered down and calmed the brain, when I wiggled my toes. Yes, I had evidence. I really love that.

O: I love that! Wow! Let’s go back to energy. I used to work with people, helping them get the body of their dreams. Back in the day, I used to be a personal trainer, and I know that just moving your body can create a lot of energy. I think that every speaker in the world needs to go to the gym and train, because when your body is moving – when the blood flow is moving, you can think better, you’re more aware, you’re more present, and it helps the way you stand on stage. It helps your core. I think I’m very blessed because I took acting when I was younger and I did a lot of physical work with my body. As I am speaking, I’m so conscious of my “ums” and “ahs,” and I’m speaking a little slower. I wiggled my toes while we’re talking. That really helps me to have a bigger presence on stage. What’s your advice for energy?

N: In EASE, I have a sublayer, and it’s a CPR for speakers. I’m so glad you bring it up. As a former nurse, I needed something medical so I have the CPR. The CPR is first the Connection. How do you make connection? Are you talking at, talking to, or talking with people? Then it’s the Physicality. It’s the physical exercise you need as a speaker to have control over your breathing, to have physical fitness and stamina just to do the top sport as speakers have to do. You really have to be in a good condition. You better go to the gym and have your physicality right. Also in what you eat – avoid sugar. Avoid everything fizzy – sodas, everything with bubbles and gas. Just avoid that before you go on stage and be hydrated. Drink a lot of water, the day before you go on stage. Don’t do that on the day itself because that can create some awkward moments on stage if you have a lot of water. Just make sure the body is fit and healthy and ready to take that leap of presentation.

O: One of my teachers told me to not eat meat the day before, the night before. She said, “Try to be more vegan or vegetarian. It’s the same idea of keeping the body lighter.

N: Could be. It also depends on what your body needs. If you are a person who needs a lot of proteins, meat can be helpful, but just do chicken or something light. Don’t eat the red meat. Or go to the natural way like nuts and stuff to keep the protein up and to have your blood sugar level stable as well. That’s very important.

O: I’m usually very good with my food – lately a little less because I’m working on my business – long hours. I need to get back to really be on point with my body and what I put in my body. One of the things I did yesterday – I’m not having a guilt trip. I didn’t really need it – is I went to a burger place here in Sta. Monica. Just because of the name, I ordered the Manly Burger. Sometimes a goddess needs a Manly Burger. It was loaded with fried this and fried that. It was really good, but I woke up this morning feeling a little bit like – I do a glass of water with apple cider vinegar and fresh lemon juice every morning. I really needed it. Don’t have something like that the night before you speak.

N: Definitely not. Keep your body healthy. It’s alright. It can be a guilty pleasure. But the same thing with alcohol, don’t  do that. I would avoid it anyhow if you speak a lot. But still, even the evening before, don’t, and definitely not on the day itself. Same thing as caffeine – avoid that, too. Keep it as clean as possible. Water with lemon would do. Just natural water without gas – flat.

O: Right. Or you can have a green juice or smoothie and add stuff like maca powder, which is really good to make you more awake and alert. Maybe add some raw cacao powder, organic. That’s really good. Another thing that’s good for brain function is, from Bulletproof, called Brain Octane Oil. It’s so good. It’s 80 times more refined or potent than coconut oil. It’s like brain food. Instead of feeding your brain with sugar, it goes straight to your brain, and you feel more alert. You have to be careful with brain octane oil because if you take too much too soon, it can create a weird sensation in your tummy so you have to get used to it. Powders like Spirulina powder or anything that is alive, anything that add some superfoods or nutrients. Blueberries are really good for brain function. Any kind of superfoods you can get the day of or the day before will be great for you to nourish your body.

N: Absolutely. I totally agree. It’s very important to do it as a speaker as well. I’m a great fan of Spirulina. I use it always just as a natural daily base, and I start always with a green smoothie.

O: Really? Can I come to your house? Can you make me one? Everyday?

N: Actually, it’s my husband who makes them for me.

O: So lucky.

N: Yay! I feel like a goddess too.

O: You are such a goddess. I love you. You are so amazing. We know each other from before. We met recently, but I really felt a connection to you. I felt your spirit. I really like you. I like what you are doing in the world.

N: We know each other for ages, not only the brief moment we met here.

O: We were talking about energy, and we’re talking about CPR. Of course, I went into the Physicality because that’s one my favorite topics. What was the R in the CPR?

N: Building up the Relationship. Relationship with your audience. That’s the eye contact – what we do in the last E as well. It’s building up that relationship. First you have to make the connection of course (that’s the C) with your body, and then into the relationship in how you share your message. I always say, you have to make sure you can embrace your whole audience, so if you’re standing in front of a group, just spread your arms like you love them all, like you embrace them from a distance. You can feel the tingle in the palm of your hand, so you can check if you walk up to these big stages, or even small stages, or even enter a boardroom – you can make that real relationship by being aware what you can feel in the palm of your hand. You can feel the energy in the room, so if you can build that relationship and embrace them, from that moment on, you will speak from the heart.

O: I really love that. I like how you bring it into being present.

N: Yes. It’s a real presence.

O: Having that presence to feel your body, wiggle your toes, feel the energy in your palm. I believe in Energetics. Energy is one of my favorite words. Connecting to people on that level is so important. One of the exercises that I got from Daven, who I studied with – he says, “even before you go on stage, you will enter the room when there’s nobody there. And just imagine a line of energy coming from your body and touching the chairs, and then just give a blessing. Bless the audience for their breakthrough.”

N: I can totally resonate with that. I would say, stand and feel the whole spine of your body with you. Have that real connection from spirit, completely through the spine to your feet. Open your arms and feel that audience. I do it often just on the side of the stage before I go up. Before I’m already seen by the audience, I can feel them and make that real connection and build up that relationship with them. It’s very important to do that and have that authentic you stepping on that stage because I believe strongly if you bring the authentic you, people will trust you and get along with your message. It makes it far easier. You would never have to be afraid.

O: Lately, it’s almost like an awakening – something that I’m experiencing lately, where I’m really refining my brand, my message, and who I am. I am a product of my environment. Many years ago, when I moved to the States, I really wanted to fit in, and I put myself in such a small box that I forgot who I was. I forgot that I’m different. I’m always going to be different. I have an accent. My English is different. The mentality, the culture I was brought up in is different. I wanted to dim that light of who I am to fit everybody else’s boxes, and that never ever works.

N: No. It wears you out, and people have the tendency not to trust you because it isn’t the real you. Another thing, Orion, I love to share with you what I also got from Deborah Torres Patel. You know, sometimes my speakers shake before they get on stage, and they think it’s nerves. But it never is. Deborah shared with me, and I’ve seen many, many miracles around that. She said, “It’s not nerves. It’s just your spirit waiting to come through.”

O: Oh my god! What?! That’s amazing. I just got goosebumps.

N: Nerves don’t exist, and I’ve seen miracles from it. I always use it, and I honor Deborah for it. It’s so true. Nerves don’t exist. It’s just your spirit. Can you see? Your spirit is so excited to come through. What if you shut up? What if you don’t start sharing? Your spirit is locked, so let it out. Speak.

O: Wow. That’s awesome. When I was in acting school, I shared with people that’s, “What’s your dream?” I was like, “I really want to win the Oscars,” and the kids were making fun of me, like, “Yeah, right. Whatever.” I believed what they said. I completely shut down and eventually gave up my acting career. Now, I look at – there’s this new movie coming out soon. It’s Wonder Woman’s movie, and she’s Israeli.

N: Lovely.

O: I’m like, “Really?” She’s got my accent. When I see her in interviews, I just love her. She’s so authentic in who she is. Her name is Gal Gadot. She’s very Israeli in her communication, in her body language. It’s very direct. It’s very straightforward. She is who she is. Take it or leave it. I felt so inspired by that and a little jealous when I see her, but mostly inspired by how she is showing up. I just had a conversation with a friend of mine. We are just doing some practice for a sales conversation. She was helping me with my questions, helping me make them a little more gentle. Then I told her, my sister went through a training in their company in Israel for the way she communicates with Americans, where the Israelis will write, “Hey, when can I have this project done?” in an e-mail, and an American will write, “Hey dear sir. Isn’t it a lovely day here in sunny Sta. Monica. I really like the scent in the air. Oh, by the way, when you have the chance, can you please – blah blah blah. Thank you very much. I really appreciate you. Have a great weekend. Darren.” I’m exaggerating.

N: No, you’re talking to a Dutch woman. What are we talking about? Are we talking straight just to reach your audience and make things happen? Are we going to do that? Yes, great. Go on.

O: I see both. I see how Israelis need to be a little more polished in their communication and how Americans can be a little more direct in their communication. So when you’re on stage, and let’s say, I am talking to an American audience or you’re talking to a Japanese audience, do you try to change yourself for the audience? Or are you just being yourself?

N:  No. I don’t talk about changing for the audience. I do respect the culture of the audience. I only want to be at service for the audience. The only reason to speak – I’m the vehicle of my message, and I want to have my message creating impact. It’s never about, “Oh, I surrendered to the expectations of my audience.” No. “I am a former nurse. How can I help you?” I’m always measuring myself in whatever I do. The way I speak – is that at service for my audience? If I really insult the Japanese audience because I push them, it isn’t respectful and it isn’t at service. I can still be me in the right words with the same amount of energy, but I make a reflection of their needs and serve them. That’s the way I come from. How can I help you so that you can get my message?

O: What I was hearing was that you will go to, let’s say, the Japanese audience. You are still going to be the fabulous you and maybe change a little bit of the way you’re communicating, without changing who you are.

N: Exactly.

O: Just so you will meet the needs of the cultural expectations.

N: Yeah.

O: Got it.

N: If I do all the high-fives as they see here in the Netherlands as very American-y. They don’t want to do that. They just want to sit and listen and make their own opinion. That’s a bit the Dutch way. Yeah, and the English – I worked in the UK for a couple of years, so I lived in Britain for a year when I was younger. I learned to stiff up a lip, as they say here. Always be polite, and they’d never show their real thoughts, unless you know them really well. You have to be aware, if you ask your audience a question, do you get the answer you want? You have to be aware about a culture. Perhaps in Japan, they never open their mouth. In UK, they will be very polite. The Dutch will say, “Hey, I will answer it my way,” so be aware.

O: My question is, if I come with an amazing amount of energy that can shake their world – this is my dream. Right now, it just formed. I want to get a Dutch audience to stand up and shake and do whatever crazy dance. Is that possible?

N: Yes.

O: Ok, cool.

N: If you warm them up in the right way. You have to, like my teacher Dave Shephard said, “Pace, pace, pace, pace, pace whenever you need to pace. Lead, and then you take it over. You know. You feel by your guts, when they’re ready, when they’re warm.” Because if you push them too hard, and because they’re not ready – there are two lovely sayings about that – a very British one is “You can’t push a wet noodle.” You just imagine. You can’t push a wet noodle. It makes a mess. The one I use a lot, but I don’t know if it’s proper English, is “You can’t watch fruit to be ripe.” You can want them to be ripe, but if you bite an unripe apple, it’s sour. It causes an upset tummy. It’s the same for your audience as well. If they are not ready, you can’t do anything. If you warm them up at a right energy – so build up, build up, build up, build up, and now, bang! You have them. So yes, you can.

O: Awesome. So how do I warm up the Dutch people?

N: Do a little bit of investigation first. What kind of things are – I always say, “Crawl into their minds.” Know exactly what they’re thinking. A great phrase for that is, you might be thinking the Dutch can’t be warmed up or something like that, but I just have to say, perhaps, just have a very gentle way of checking and testing. And if they nod and say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I do recognize that,” you have a bit of pace, and then you have another question for them. You have a bit of content. You ask them another question, and they say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I recognize that.” So that’s another step, until you’re just high enough on the ladder, so you can have them all. You have to take these steps with check-ins, as I call them, as a speaker. Check with questions, like rhetorical questions, if they’re on the same page with you, because if they’re not on the same page, you can’t lead them.

O: Oh my god. It’s such a gentle art – being on stage.

N: Oh yes. Patience. Patience. Patience. Because you know exactly what you want to say. You know exactly how you can help them, but if they are not ready, they won’t do a thing.

O: Right.

N: [For you 0:33:48] how good your message is. You have to take them along. You are a leader. You can’t lead them force and say, “Hey! This is good for you, and you have to do this.” They’ll say, “Well, swallow it yourself. Bye!” They don’t eat it. You have to feed them, bite by bite, and they’ll say, “Oh! This is good to taste. Nice. I want another bite, Orion.” Then they take another bite and another bite and another bite. “Yeah! I want it all!” and then you have them.

O: That is so cool. Wow. That was so cool. I really, really enjoyed it. I want to go deeper into the authentic self and being the authentic self in your process.

N: I always look at the real you first. A lot of people don’t even have a clue what the real you is. They match expectations from others. What I do is an exercise to really look into your successes. What is something in your life, can be even in junior school – what were you proud of? What gave you joy? Is there anything that you can look back into your life? What gives you really a satisfied feeling? I have a circle, and they have to write it down, all their successes. Miracles happen there, because then I get the questions, “Do I have to write them all between the lines? Do I have to be strictly inside a circle?” All silly questions! If you have something to celebrate, just write the whole thing out. It’s just a circle on a paper. It’s just a guideline. I want to concentrate it, that’s all. If you have to write out the whole thing, be my guest. I don’t care, as long as you write them down. Sometimes, I take 20 minutes for this exercise, and then I say, “Hey! I see your whole paper’s full. Do you want another circle?” “Oh! Can I have another circle?” Yes, of course, you can have another success.

O: Oh wow. Yeah.

N: Write down your successes. You have another circle. Yay! Celebrate it.

O:  It’s so big. Celebrating our successes and being okay with bragging.

N: Yeah. I even have a bragging exercise from Blair Singer. Do you know Blair Singer?

O: No.

N: Blair Singer has an awesome book. He’s one of my first mentors in speaking. He has an awesome book. It’s good for your listeners as well, Little Voice Mastery: How to Win the War Between Your Ears in 30 Seconds or Less.

O: Oooh!

N: It’s a great book. It’s awesome. I had him as a teacher. I had even private mentoring sessions with him. I did book studies with him. He’s a lovely person. I’m a big fan, and I highly respect him. He has in his book, the Bragging Exercise, where you climb on a chair or on a table. It doesn’t matter – as long as you are higher than the rest – and you have to brag for two minutes about something silly. That can be, “I can bake the best pancakes” or “I can brush my teeth the best in the morning.” It doesn’t matter what, and you have to brag continuously in front of an audience. They have to applaud you all the time. It’s so much fun to do. I do it with my corporates. I put them on the table, and they have to brag about something silly. How do you get a three-piece suit out of a comfort zone. It’s amazing! But when they get it, they’re not afraid of anything any longer, and that’s the authentic themselves.

O: Let’s imagine that you are now on a tall stool, and you are bragging. What’s your brag for the day?

N: My brag is I’m the best – what shall I say? – lipstick specialist ever, ever, ever because I know exactly how smooth it can be, how the color is perfect, how you can do exactly the lips you want to speak. Oh, I can go on forever. It’s something like this. Just make it up on the spot. Click, click, click. Just do it, and don’t change subject. Don’t go over to pancakes, when you’re into lipstick. No, two minutes about lipsticks is a long time, I can say. You can repeat yourself. It doesn’t matter, as long as you have that feeling, “Hey! I’m pretty damn good about something.”

O: Right. You know, just hearing you, it made me feel more comfortable with bragging.

N: Oh yeah.

O: It’s really fun. I guess, bragging is really important?

N: Yeah. Do it with your kids, too.

O: I mean, think about the president of the United States, our current president. “I am huge. I am the best. There is nobody like me doing this, in whatever area.” It’s interesting, in psychology, if you say that you’re amazing at something enough times, people eventually will believe it. The most important thing is you are going to eventually believe it.

N: Yes. Like the power pose of Amy Cuddy.

O: Oh yeah. I love it.

N: It’s the same thing. It’s feeling it in your body, and just the bragging exercise is getting it out verbally, but the power poses are totally with it because if you could have seen me now, you know, my whole body is shaking. I’m just pointing out all the lipstick and all the colors. I am very much in movement, because the whole body speaks. The body speaks so loud, I can hardly hear a word you say. That’s the 70% of the body language, which is so important; and most of my speakers, they dive in 2-10% of content.

O: Yeah. Into the brain.

N: Yeah. Only brain – words, PowerPoints, even worse, read them in front of the audience with your back towards your audience. “Hey! What are you doing? Are you a reading show or are you a speaker?” If you have your voice and your body language, it’s 90% of your performance. Hey, why don’t we practice that in bragging and just having your power poses and just having the whole spine filled with the authentic you, and then speak.

O: Yeah. For somebody who doesn’t know anything about power poses, can you just share a little bit about that?

N: Oh yeah. Sure. Amy Cuddy has a great TED Talk. I think it’s the best watched ever TED Talk ever, ever. Amy said, “If you sit up straight and really get into a powerful pose in your body, you will show up more confident in whatever you do.” If you practice behind your desk or in the loo, whatever, under the shower – just have a real powerful pose and “Hey! Yes!” and celebrate. “You’re great.” Feel that in your body. It will show off the whole day. Before you go into a job interview, go to the restroom and have some really powerful poses. “Yes, I can do that.” The chances of you getting a job increased by 40% the least. Is that worth doing something?

O: May I add something on top of that?

N: Sure.

O: To the ladies, who are listening to this right now. Do some hip circles, too. That’s really fun. The power poses will get you into more of the dominant power direct inside, and doing the hip circles will get you more into your juiciness, your core essence.

N: Yes, your femininity.

O: You want to integrate both when you go on stage because you can help so many more people that way, when you are integrating the fullest expression of who you are.

N: I love the way you bring in to the femininity and the feeling of that because I am a great fan to have a balanced masculine and feminine voice with our gender. Have both sides balanced in your speaking. You will be far more influential than you can imagine.

O: Yes. You’re an expert on TED Talks as well.

N: Yes.

O: What’s so important about TED Talks? Why do you like it so much?

N: Well, it’s never about you. Because you have the TED Commandments, and it’s “Thou shall not flaunt your ego.” It’s never about you. It’s your firsts and your fuck ups. It’s the real you, and it’s not about – the Dutch always pronounced an “idea” as “ID.” I wrote a blog about that in English, actually. A TED Talk is never about your ID; it’s about your idea – your idea worth spreading, and it’s never to brand yourself. It’s to bring something like Chris Anderson, the creator says, “You plant a new idea into the brains of millions. And you make that energy connection so people get, through your talk, a whole vision of what’s possible.” That’s a real TED Talk, so I feel really privileged. I coached over a hundred of speakers by now, with all their ideas worth spreading, and some of them really created miracles so it’s an honor. I work with a lot of corporates. TEDx is a non-profit, so if I have my high-end corporates, I can do TEDx as well, because I do have the space to provide a world with a voice and ideas worth spreading.

O: What’s the best way to find and pitch a TED Talk?

N: Well, there are three ways to get on a TED stage, if that’s also what you mean. First, you can be referred. Well, you get a lot of people getting into the organization saying, “Hey, this is an awesome speaker. You have to have her,” or they pick you up in the news or wherever and they ask you anyhow. Those two are not the most common. Most people apply, and a lot of events provides an application form, which you can fill in. You have to be really sure you are aware about your idea, because it needs to be new and for a lot of people, and you have to fit into a time frame. It’s a maximum of 18 minutes, where you have to really condense down your message. If people ask me for advice for the application form, I always ask them one question – always the same. “If people have to remember your idea worth spreading in one sentence, what would that sentence be? Then the clever ones say, “How many words?” Then I say, “15 words or less.” In one sentence, condense down what your idea worth spreading is, and from that on you work and create your talk.

O:  Right, and what is your idea that is worth spreading?

N: I’m not sure. I never considered myself on a TED stage, because I am always the one who gives air under the wings of others. I like to speak about the balanced feminine and masculine voice, how do you speak, and how do you influence people from that, and how do you tap into that power of a balanced two ways? But I don’t know if that’s enough for TED Talk. I have to consider that.

O: Okay. Can I give you my two cents?

N: Yes.

O: Yes! It’s enough! It’s amazing. It’s an idea worth spreading. It’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait to see you on stage.

N: Yes. Well, let me promise on your show. Yes, I will be on a TED stage.

O: Oh my god! Amazing. I’m giving you an American virtual high-five.

N:  Yes. Yes. I happen to receive it and give a big high-five back. Let’s promise that one.

O: Amazing. We’re almost at the end of our interview. Before we finish, I want to ask you two questions. One, what are your three top tips to living a stellar life? And two, where can people find you?

N: Okay. First tip. Live your life by choice, not by circumstance. Sounds a bit weird perhaps, but it’s very important that you don’t create your own misery in your own circumstance, where you think, “Oh, I can’t” because we all can, if we want to change the world. We have to take our own steps. Second, don’t rescue people, because it’s very impolite.

O: Oh, that’s powerful. I do it all the time. Ah!

N: No, don’t. From now on, just don’t, because it’s very impolite to prevent someone else from walking their own footsteps.

O: So powerful.

N: You take away their learning experience. You can walk beside them, but don’t walk their footsteps.

O: Yes.

N: Third, speak up, and if you’re afraid of a big audience, start in front of a mirror because you are the worst critic yourself. If you can speak towards your own mirror with love, you can handle every audience.

O:  My god! You’re amazing. Where can people find you?

N: You can find me at presentation-master.com. It’s just a website. You can find everything there. You can find my book there, with my Speakers Success Solution and the EASE method in there. I’m a member of the Global Institute for Extraordinary Women, and I love to be in touch with you and share with your audience later on, because I’m in their leadership program now, what I can do with the balanced feminine and masculine voice. I might come back and share another time about specifically this one because this is a provider for social change.

O: Beautiful. Beautiful. Thank you so much for being here. I really enjoyed talking to you. Thank you.

N: Thank you so much for having me and a big hug from the Netherlands. High-five to the world. Thank you so much.

O: Thank you.