Billie Shepard's Acting Secrets BUSINESS & LIFE
Unlock success in business & life WITH BILL
Billie Shepard talks about how acting is related to the business world. If you want to boost your performance, get more out of yourself, and feel more comfortable in life, then you need to listen to this podcast.
“Everybody is acting for at least part of the day. We are all performing.”
Oh gosh, what a fun and interesting interview. We talked about skills that actors use to use both positive and nervous energy to perform better in both life and business.
Billie talked about gobs of interesting things, but one of the highlights was when she spoke about our own insecurities. We all have them. Instead of fighting them, she encourages to use these insecurities as energy. If we direct or redirect our insecurities into a positive force, everything is both more successful and more
Rehearsing for Real Life
One of her first techniques is to get present. To be in your body. To breathe and to release tension in our bodies. She’s got some great tips here. (If this sounds silly…. You just gotta listen to Billie. She’ll win you over.)
She also talks about being crystal clear on our intention: what are we trying to accomplish? What is our job? To motivate, or to inspire? To convince? To deliver information? Whatever our goal is it’s crucial to know what we want out of any given meeting or interaction. To me this just makes good sense; but it’s cool to get her perspective as an actor.
There is too much good information to cover here, but I did want to mention that she had a great take on how ALL of us can rehearse. Whether it’s for a date or a business meeting or a job interview, you can actually rehearse much of what is about to happen. And even if you cannot exactly rehearse, you can prepare and get ready in a way that will boost your comfort (which will boost your success.)
Billie Shepard is a fun person. She’s a seasoned actor. And she really understands how to connect acting skills to real life.
It was a joy, Billie. Thanks for joining us on the podcast.
Bio of a Motivational Speaker
Funny Motivational Keynote Speaker Brad Montgomery is an award-winning speaker. He speaks to audiences across the globe (and across the USA), and is based in Denver, Colorado.
Although he speaks to audiences in nearly every industry, he is known as a funny health care speaker, a education speaker for teachers, a real estate speaker, and a sales speaker. He got his start as a magician & comedian, but now is known almost exclusively as keynote speaker.
He speaks both at live, in-person events, as well as online and virtually as a zoom speaker. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish with your audience, if you’re ready to invest in your people, give us a call now.
Here’s Your Transcript!
Fair warning: it was done by artificial intelligence, and sometimes it’s not so…er…intelligent. ?
Talking Cannabis Biz With Rich Kwessell
2021, Brad Montgomery
Successful, Interesting & Awesome
[0:01] Hey everybody it’s Brad Montgomery thing that was a weird start, How are you? You’re looking good. I’ve missed you, Anyone of those things, Like acting a place to the corporate world and what the corporate world in business world including presenters I think just business people what they can learn from enacting professional so we’ve got a rock star with us today please say hello, To your new best friend say hi to Billy Shepherd hey Billy, As I said that intro.
[1:13] What I mean is, Either all day or at some part, Hey, Professional meeting or audition, Whatever word you want to put on it, Manage those nerves and manage that fear so that the amygdala comes down and they can take that nervous, And put it into the delivery and the gift that they’re giving their listeners or their audience. So, there, Well I want to get into those techniques.
[2:27] I think you and I agree on something you said.
It’s easy to be scared. It’s easy to be nervous. I I have said a one 1 million times in front of my people. Hi everybody.
I think what you’ve just said was we used acting techniques to cover that Insecurity to others did i summarize that correctly, It’s too, And redirect it, That’s all energy that’s going on inside of us and it’s still that going on inside of us and separating us from the audience, Alleviate it and read direct, Is that resonates, Case are listening, And I kind of feel like maybe.
[3:56] Oh how, And I got up on stage in high school and and got a novation and realized oh I get the picture, I can be this in a character that’s one piece of it. The second piece of it that I learned was reading a wonderful book by Dale Carnegie called How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Was and still is and I still recommend it and what he taught me was It’s not about me. It’s about the other people. It’s about the other person. So, I learned how to go to a party and ask questions, Just you know do you have kids, So we’re I want to get into the techniques but I want to guess one of the techniques. Ah it’s called Stump Billy Shepherd.
No, no. I’m picturing you as a young chipe person on a high school stage.
Feeling some sense of comfort.
[5:19] You are, you are very close to it and what people, what I’ve noticed, people, Resistant I should say is rehearsal time is practice time with their presentation they think because they can speak That they got it.
[5:48] Comes to me discovery So every time I rehearse I discover something new or I discover I can take that out it’s not necessary Or I discover wait this needs to be emphasized it’s discovery So rehearsal is a big piece of it you are correct.
[6:19] Let’s go through it. Can you give us two or three techniques at work?
I think we’re on one rehearsal and discovery.
I almost said in my book but the but the fact of the matter in my book I discuss things in order, Getting, When you present and and that’s the most critical thing that’s when we’re really in our own style and our own power and really relating with the audience, The first technique that actors use is getting our body present In the moment and that starts from the inside out, Literally from the inside out and we start with breathing and we do a breathing exercise that lasts, 3 minutes, 4 minute, a tense release in the body, and then I ask people do you notice any adjustment and and people go from mind racing and being nervous to I feel relaxed I my body is my shoulders are better my I can have it thought There’s a space I can have another thought.
[7:48] Then we build from there.
But, If their voice ready do you do any vocal exercising or anything before you go on or you just hit the photo exercising so it clearly I need to be reading your book, Yeah. Hey, physically exercise sometimes. Sometimes. Yeah. I just feel flat and I, It’s been embarrassing so.
[8:33] Yes, so you’re preparing your body.
You’re preparing your body first. Do you notice your your professional so you notice if you’re low or if you’re too waxed up high, And then, We do vocal exercises too. Well, so.
[8:57] And they’re saying, yeah, I do need what Billy has but they’re skeptical and you’re saying, before you go into an event important meeting, you need to do a vocal exercise.
I picture that manager being skeptical saying, You’re so dear. Well, I would say that he can join the club because there’s nearly, A client that I deal with privately or in group that isn’t literally of doing this vocal exercise, And that doesn’t come out of it saying whoa That that really help man show it to you man show it yeah I know I’m dying to curiosity because I I I’m just here’s honesty I’m like I don’t get this so I’m open to it let’s do it.
Okay. So, what I have them do is with a pencil, A pencil workshops.
[10:04] Yeah because that’s a good one it’s around equal all the way around, Yes and I’m going to show you first so wait let me show you this going to look unusual, And it should feel unusual because you’re learning something new. So, I’m going to put it in my back molars like this, And hold it firmly with my back molars and then They’re going to read a little poem a short little poem that I put up for them and they’re going to over, Holding the pin watch how silly this looks. Good.
Over in, Deep in her mouth I see you can see her lips just totally tear this up and I totally understand you but I shouldn’t be able to, Okay over in.
[11:16] And what you what what, Over in enunciating with the pencil being held firmly in your back molars then you’re going to take the pencil out and read the poems lines again Over in Nancy, Why does this let me guess? Let me guess. Let me guess.
The same way of football player warms up his muscles or a tennis player goes out and hits before he warms up and people do yoga, Actors are emotional athletes, BNN.
[12:18] Hey Facebook let me interrupt, In in this global world, You’re up, Multiple languages and we need to understand every syllable.
For clear understanding and connection to to audiences, Well, okay, I’m sold on this. I’m doing that next time I’m about to walk on stage. If you’re in your car and you can’t see this, And you’re embarrassed it’s perfect you’re in your car and by the way I know half of your earn your cart so put a pencil in your mouth deep in there so it goes cross your mouth like how do we describe this like, Like a bit in a horse oh I’m going to use that offsite you, And what? And start yapping to yourself in the car.
[13:33] Because Billy I’m, I think of all the people who are brilliant, And so what I’m kind of picking up is here’s an acting technique, Speaking louder and clear more clearly, Alright if you just joined us this is Billy Shepherd she’s an acting coach who translates her acting wisdom to the business world she’s given us techniques what what’s another technique, Will probably the secret, Of an effective prisonation to begin with is.
[14:32] Yeah, tell me more.
Can’t go on stage or in front of a camera without knowing my intention.
[14:47] Yup. Where do I go? The default is Shyness and embarrassment and everybody’s looking at me and they notice I gained five lb and it all becomes about me because I don’t have an intention but an intention simply put is my job, That’s my task in this scene.
There were no nerves. I wasn’t thinking am I going too fast? Am I going?
Intention is the secret of life. Intention, I don’t know how old your kids are. They teenagers yet? No, they’re in their 20s.
They’re in there 20 so you went through the teenage years and and did 20s are still kind of hanging on sometimes some days depending on the day, It’s real important with teenagers to have intention, Real smart making convention that they can go to the party but if you’re on intention that they’re not going to the party it it’s not going to happen, Knowing once intention before you go and talk to your boss knowing one’s intention before you deliver a message to your team, Note in your intention before you go on stage to deliver, A presentation.
[16:11] Answer presenter, When you’re intentional.
[16:32] Well it depends there are so, To motivate if it’s your team, Adjust, For where we need to be with the urgency of something. Huh. There’s there’s a saris.
Here’s what I want to emphasize, It has to be specific, The second is and this is, You have to care about it.
[17:47] Tell him tell him what’s going on, I read the presentation and I could care less about this data. Right.
Either give it to somebody else, Find at least one thing in it that you do care about, And they feel you feeling.
[18:31] And an intention needs to be tied, To a strong feeling in yourself. Got it.
Since I’ve been doing it so long I’ve seen a lot of people in my industry, And I’m telling you it is so easy to care or to notice when people don’t give a darn, Cuz so I’m akin on speaker I’m a lot of speak about whatever I want to talk about if I can talk to people in the hire me I get to talk about that but a trainer is Is task to come with the deliver certain information that they may not care about and, They’re stuck teaching stuff. They don’t care about.
And I maybe I was raised. I was spoiled. I was raised with three other kids. We were spoiled. Rotten. Just absolutely right. And we all turned out great. I don’t know how they did it. But they had four while the animals and gave us everything and it was just Crazy.
[19:49] I’m in a position at my late stage of life That I I wouldn’t train something that I didn’t believe in and I wouldn’t teach something that I didn’t believe in, That might be why I’ve got my own business and and, I think it’s, Immediately recognizable like you said if somebody doesn’t care about what they’re teaching or training now how do I do it in my training I start people so slowly, And then little by little by little the and then they see the result in others, And then they feel it in themselves and then I’ve got them addicted.
Once they trust me. Yeah. They know that the next technique will work and by the end there there’s speaker monsters because it’s like a frog and a hot pot. You turn up the heat. You know, It works because they see it and feel it, Well I trust you.
[21:05] We’re talking about acting techniques as they apply to the rest of us including those of us in the corporate and business world. We just covered a couple techniques intention what would follow intention? What’s another one?
What would follow intention?
Oh no I have to think and for your listeners that’s that that silence you here is me thinking, And I would say, So, we’ve gotten our body ready. We’ve gotten our voice.
[21:57] And and the next thing would be then starting to craft your presentation or your message and, With that, One is learning how to take out the unnecessary so the necessary may speak, The second would be, Learning segways to the story to go from one point to another point so that you can segway your slides and tell a story.
[22:49] You gotta get from one joke to another and the only way to do it is find some segway connection.
Yeah, it’s work, isn’t it? It really, yeah, yeah.
I’m going to tell you something personal, Comedy plays I’m I’m very funny when I’m in a character doing something And because of that several people said you need to do some stand up you need to do some stand up and so they went to a we all went to a club one night And I thought this is hard work, Venture venture out because it’s so concise.
[23:49] Explain the story in and have visual and everything but comedy is concise. It’s almost the poetry of performing. It really is.
Something kudos to you.
What on your brave to do it for sure, Not mine. Eugene leave Levi Levi, right? Eugene Levi, the comic actor. And he was talking about the the same thing you’re talking about. He hates being introduced as a comedian. He’s he thinks of himself as a, It’s not at all comfortable standing up telling jokes or whatever, Let she he’s brilliant.
[24:42] Alright, so let me go back to it. So, what one of the things I think you said is that third technique, if you’re keeping track or number three, I think you said you got a right to presentation out before you created the slides Yes that was part of what you said yes and most people don’t they create the slides first, Simultaneously with writing the presentation and and what they need to understand that would help them so much.
Is to be certain of their intention and be certain of what they want to get across and then use the slides to, Support not meant, Well, hallelujah. I hope everyone’s listening. Listening to this. Yeah. Yeah.
Alright so I’m I’m going to just go ahead and be involved be bold and, There is a really strong chance that you should not be using slides.
Hey Facebook reply to freaking great leave him out.
[26:03] Amen is what I say.
[26:13] Enormous companies here in the Bay Area and, We work very hard on getting them to, Bullet point or eliminate the slide altogether I’ll say well do you really need it and they’ll go, Nope. No. Yeah.
It’s a very common thing for them to start the conference bring out the CEO president the CEO president gives either a welcome or a state of the company organization and then they say her sprout so I hear a lot of those stuff, Leaders talk and i just wish they would hire me, But, And here is their chance to connect with their most important people and they’re doing a presentation that someone else put up there.
Leave them out and talk to your people, I’m going to say that again to anybody that’s listening.
[27:42] You know, turnovers a thing. So, often their new leaders, their experience leaders, but their new in that organization. So, the audience is checking them out.
And that makes them really nervous because they know the audiences checked them out and then they, Overwritten just boring presentation in the whole world and they come off super flat, Will they need you? They need to realize part of their job is this is a performance.
It sure makes a difference it sure makes a difference and it doesn’t take that much time it takes you know if they had a tennis match they they’d hire a coach, You know. Yeah.
[28:42] But largely their intention is to make the their followers feel like okay we gotta capture another ship and we’re going in the right place I mean I’m I’m involved, But they they come out and deliver some lame, And it done work nothing works they just you know the audience leaves saying whatever I guess it’s done that’s a good thing, And it’s a petty and it and it gets again back to intention you touched on it a bit near to delivering information that’s not the that’s not the intention Anybody that’s up presenting is there to deliver information that’s the given what’s the intention Is the intention to, You know is your intention to amuse them is your intention to find out things from them is your intention to make them think it’s not to deliver information you can send me an email Yeah, right. They could just send the PowerPoint deck that their assistant built To their team.
[30:02] Including those of us in the corporate and business world. We’re going through a whole bunch of techniques. Does another one come to mind?
The over maybe i can talk about, Great and and the import of the techniques falling underneath that, Was.
[30:45] Or advanced or experienced if I could get them in the present moment they’d be brilliant because they’d be themselves and isn’t that what we want to see? Yeah. There’s there okay.
So all of the acting teachers I studied with and and my techniques I compile them, And then I went back to school and and got my graduate degree and, Using acting techniques in the corporate world. Well, my thesis adviser, I had such an ego. My thesis advisor said, Billy, you, you.
[31:34] Anyone in the present moment You know, and I said, well, we feel it. We feel it when they believe what they’re saying. Yeah, yeah. She said, well, that’s not what a thesis is about. A thesis. Okay.
She said what are the components that make up being in the present moment and we had to work on it and buy goodness, We figured it out. There are actually four things that go into getting into the present moment and recognizing when somebody’s in or not in the present moment. The first is their body They gotta get their body ready, The second is their voice they’ve gotta get their voice ready they’ve gotta be understood clearly whether they’ve got an accident or dialect or not they’ve gotta be chrisp and clear clarity, Modulation, A good speaker has to have the ability to improvise because energy changes in audience changes and technical things happen and the fourth of course is the secret of life Intention.
[32:53] We learn in the workshops or working with me privately.
Are connected to each individual thing. Now, here’s the, here’s the trick that we discovered when we were doing this test. This, If If you feel yourself losing it or losing the audience for you suddenly feel like the audience is looking at you instead of you giving to the audience, Go to one of those four techniques. And you will get back in the present moment.
Or you know.
[33:43] Improvise. Some people are funny if you’re funny. Tell a joke. If you’re not funny, Let’s look over here at this information that I’ve changed it take control, Doing all your preparation before but when you’re on stage, Have those abilities, Wow.
[34:25] One of the things that goes to my my mind is I hear you say those things which by the way I totally agree with.
One of the things that’s missing is practice.
I think if you’re a seasoned actor or a season presenter or a seasoned corporate person, And then those those techniques that you mention just are in you you you don’t think of them.
[35:04] That’s true, Learn these things, Practice, Yeah. Also, it sort of tips to, you know, they come down basically. So, if I was talking to someone who’s nervous about a presentation and they’re like, I don’t have time for 10 1000 rehearsals, You’re not supposed to be great at it because you haven’t done it a bunch.
To somebody because they’re feeling less than and what you’re saying is, All nervous as hell.
You’re going to mean nervous over here just embrace it. It just you’re not it’s not enough.
I start enough practice.
What’s the name of your book Billy.
[36:34] Titles and everything to try and then everybody said, It’s your method. You created this. So, Twice this morning Billy Shepherd it’s B I L L I E don’t miss that, P ard just one p if you’re me let’s just one pee, And the book is on it Amazon, Perfect, Right there. That was when I fell in love with you. That right that.
[37:37] So where that magic time Billy where I get to ask every guest, About who encouraged you do you have somebody who made you feel like you were valuable or you could do the hard thing or you were worthwhile, I’m going to I’m going to, And.
[38:13] You’re an entrepreneur.
I I really because he wasn’t easy, you know, with the compliments. Yeah. And that was hugely encouraging because I believed him and of course, I did.
He didn’t try to fix the the problem whatever you’re dealing with any, That’s a good way. That’s exactly what it was. That’s exactly what it was. And a great day, Yeah what a great day.
[39:04] We ended up working together and and I produce some things with him and we ended up becoming friendly. I he calls me a friend.
An amazing person but what he did, In my acting ability and my improvisational ability and teaching ability, Any he said, And when he said that who i had worship since a sixth grade, And when he will be that I believed him and he’s been he wrote the forward to my book He’s encourage me so much.
[40:09] Listen to him because they’re telling you the truth. How long ago was that that he said your work is impeccable?
14, 13, 14, something like that. So years ago, any store, I never forgot because I knew because, It is like him.
[40:41] From here. So when he said that I thought wow because there’s an actor you know we auditioned I hardly act anymore at all. I do some print work but nowadays I’m busy with this, Job I love I love what I do, When somebody like that tells you you believe we audition audition audition and there’s so much would, We’ll plus that kind of we’re coming back to the beginning with we began by saying most people are nervous and insecure, And here you saw as senior to you, Of course that meant something to you of course that was valuable.
Yeah it’s a good guy it’s a good guy well he I don’t think he said it to be just a good guy, I think i think he really meant it and that’s why I believe the worst day I met him I couldn’t speak he would come up to me and.
[41:48] We are with the hero.
Yeah. And his wife is equal. She’s amazing. Suzanne is an amazing person too. Well, it’s such a good reminder because all of us and I’m I’m talking to everybody listening to this.
All of us are Alan Arkin to somebody aren’t we?
And maybe we so that’s a hair let’s, Find somebody to whom we are senior, Whatever that means and pull on all our arc on them which means be honest I think right because you said that was important don’t lie yes but genuine encouragement, Oh that’s a good story, Thanks for asking. Well, Billy Shepherd, B I L L I E S H E P A R D. I want people to find you.
What gives you hope we have we have.
[42:59] I think, Is Would paralyze me. Hmm. If I didn’t have hope, Energizes me I think that, A morning dove.
[43:40] And she built a nest above my car and it was, She was going to the bathroom.
Built up a box.
[44:02] So that she we didn’t have to lose the nest, And she could do her duties. Huh. And he’s living there. We hope it took it took a community. It took me, Wanting to save my car but not wanting to ruin her nest. Right. And it took the commute.
Of the maintenance people to say, hey, we can build a box underneath there and protect her. Yeah. She’s going to, The goodness in, Oh You know, you found a way to connect with that person who built the box and there were some problem solving that was out of the box. Sorry about the bun, And what that transcends is red state, blue state, You know how you feel about masking and, Let’s save this dove.
Yep. That’s adorable.
[45:30] The default ugly, Yeah that’s why I want to live.
Hey Facebook feel better today, Yeah it’s funny because I’ve I ask that question so many people Billy but I’ve never heard that. Just the.
The almost the answer could be rephrased from a cynical viewpoint, I don’t care what gives me hope I just choose to have it because, Yeah. Yeah. I just have hope, It’s not a sufficient technique to make us all happy but a crucial technique is, Well Abraham Lincoln.
[46:45] I know which more complicated if anybody’s having a crappy day I get it you just saying you’re happy or hopeful doesn’t always work but, Man, it’s, Yeah. Yeah. It’s a good message to put out there.
Always feel like the best part of this podcast for me is I get to meet new friends and I just, Thank you so much for having me. It was a delight to meet you too Alright, everybody. Type in Billy Shepherd into Amazon. Com. Type in Billy Shepherd into your browser and you’re going to find a woman you need to learn from. I’m so glad to know you Billy. Everybody, be good to each other. Know your intention.