Brian Burkhart – The Power of Effortless Communication (412)

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What if you were given the secret sauce to effective communication and leadership? That’s exactly what Brian Burkhardt, the effortless communication pro, is here to offer. As Brian dissects Elon Musk’s missed opportunity in acquiring Solar City, Brian analyzes Musk’s performance and reveals how lack of preparation can lead to a domino effect of consequences. This lively discussion is not just about critiquing Musk’s actions, but about understanding the pivotal role of effective communication and leadership in any endeavor – be it a multi-billion dollar project or running a small scale business.

This conversation with Brian isn’t all business though. He also takes us on an interesting detour, talking about his journey from the bustling city of Chicago to the vibrant desert life of Phoenix, Arizona. Sharing personal anecdotes and unique insights.. While on this path, he also delves into the nuances of effective sales and leadership communication, inspired by his early career experiences and the teachings of his mentor. Brian passionately talks about the power of clarity, conviction, and connection in powerful communication.

As Brian and Mike navigate through the realms of communication and leadership, they also touch upon the future of AI and human connection. In an era where AI is inching ever closer to replicating human likeness, Brian argues that technology can never replace the unique stories we create and own as humans. He stresses on the importance of maintaining human connection, being aware of micro aggressions, and the need to maximize our greatness within. So, if you’re looking for insights on effortless communication, effective leadership, or just an engaging conversation about life, leadership and everything in between, you won’t want to miss this episode!

Key highlights:

  • Effortless Communication and Maximizing Leadership
  • Analyzing Elon Musk’s Performance and Consequences
  • Effective Sales and Leadership Communication
  • Keys to Effective Presentation
  • Connecting With Your Audience
  • Effective Presentations and Hiring Choices
  • AI and Human Connection’s Future

Connect with Brian Burkhart:

Check out the video version of this episode below:

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Episode transcript below:

0:00:00 – Mike Malatesta

Hi everyone. Mike Malatesta here and welcome back to the how it Happened podcast. On this podcast, I dig in deep with every guest to explore the roots of their success, to discover not just how it happened but why it matters. My mission is to find and share stories that inspire, activate and maximize the greatness in you. 


0:00:19 – Mike Malatesta

On today’s episode I have an amazing conversation with the effortless communication pro. He calls himself the chief word guy and he proves that throughout the episode. Many times we talk about how bad and why it was bad Elon Musk’s talk about Solar City being acquired by Tesla. That happened on 1028, 2016. You can check it out on YouTube and how that was a major blown opportunity, how he helped General Motors CEO elevate a dud of a speech that no one around him wanted to tell him was a dud of a speech. Why it’s important to wire your work is 75 second rule and a ton more. 


0:00:58 – Brian Burkhart

I have a 10 point strategy to follow for really amazing presentations, sales presentations, keynotes, etc. The third of the 10 steps is to reveal who you are Third and so it’s one of those kind of things where people will immediately go to who they are the resume, you know. I’ve been in this industry for 12 years. They do the things that no one really cares about. It’s very selfish when you connect with an audience first could be an audience of one, could be an audience of 10,000. It really doesn’t matter. It’s basically saying I’m here for you, you’re giving something when you present, and that’s the mindset I want people, I want you, to give in those first 75 seconds. 


0:01:38 – Mike Malatesta

Brian Burkhardt is the real deal when it comes to communicating effortlessly and maximizing your leadership effectiveness. Stay tuned. Here he is. Hey, Brian, welcome to the podcast. 


0:02:01 – Brian Burkhart

Mike, thank you for having me. I’m excited to be with you today. 


0:02:03 – Mike Malatesta

I’m excited to have you. So, brian was recommended to me by a prior guest, jodie Wellman, and I can’t remember what episode she was, but it was like four or five before this one. So it would be easy to find, and I love, love, love when guests who have been on the show and have had a good experience connect me with someone that they know, that would have not just a great experience on the show but something very, very valuable to share with all of you today. So, brian, where in the world are you coming from right now? 


0:02:32 – Brian Burkhart

I’m in the scorched earth valley of the sun Phoenix, arizona. It’s 112 expected today to be the high. It’s early still this morning, so only in the high nineties, but we’ll get up to frying pan level sooner than later here. 


0:02:48 – Mike Malatesta

And for those of us who aren’t living that life. So I’m in the Midwest, where now it’s our beautiful summer, maybe 80 or so we don’t have to worry about much of the scorched feed or anything. How do you deal with it? 


0:03:03 – Brian Burkhart

Well, as a native Chicagoan Midwest guy myself, I’m like a little bit of it is mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter. The other part is, truthfully, most of the existence that I and my wife and I have here is pretty kush. We have big honking air conditioning in our house. I can pre-start the air conditioning in my car, every restaurant store, everything that we go to. Sometimes you need a layer because it gets so cold, you know. The truth is there’s lots of people here who have it way harder, from garbage collectors to landscapers, to you name it, those people that are outside. It’s rough, but for soft little delicate orchids like me it’s pretty easy. It’s no big deal. 


0:03:45 – Mike Malatesta

And how long have you been there? 


0:03:47 – Brian Burkhart

Well, we’re back. It’s actually an interesting story Because of the frozen death that is the Midwest in winter. 


0:03:54 – Mike Malatesta

We appreciate their reminder. Thank you, you got it, we were snowbirds. 


0:04:00 – Brian Burkhart

We first came here about eight years ago as split season people. We have no kids, and so we’ve got all the flexibility in the world and it took one winter to say, oh you know, I like this. And so we moved here full time about seven years ago and then I spent the last year on the beach in San Diego and we’re now just back a couple months I guess two months into our second tour of duty here in the valley. It’s a different kind of place, but it really is lovely about nine months out of the year truly. 


0:04:29 – Mike Malatesta

Yeah, well, sort of like the Midwest, it’s very lovely nine months out of the year and then three months, you’re kind of like, makes you wonder, Especially when it leaches into the fourth month and maybe a tad into the fifth month and you’re thinking it’s only supposed to be three months, right, it’s crazy right and my big thing you’ll appreciate this I think it really wasn’t the temp. 


0:04:48 – Brian Burkhart

I could deal with the frozen cold, I could deal with all the snow. It was the gray. It was just those months of that heavy blanket of gray that really just brought me down, and now we have the exact opposite. This is one of the sunniest places in North America and so if and when you see a cloud, it’s like look, cloud. It’s nice to have that vibrant blue sky and there’s way more life here than people think. Deserts are not empty, there’s a lot going on, and so it really does kind of feel vibrant and full of life, and for me that’s crucial, elevating, important. I’m a big fan. 


0:05:25 – Mike Malatesta

Okay, All right. Well, I appreciate the going through that with us and they at the end, endorsement of Phoenix as a great place to be A vibrant place to be. 


0:05:34 – Brian Burkhart

We have no water. Stay, stay in the midway, we have no water. 


0:05:37 – Mike Malatesta

Yeah, that could catch up to you at some point. 


0:05:40 – Brian Burkhart

It’s going to get real yeah. 


0:05:42 – Mike Malatesta

Okay, so sorry for the tangent folks, but I’m going to tell you a little bit more about Brian so you get as excited as I am for today. So Brian is the founder and chief word guy First time I’ve ever heard that title at Square Planet presentations plus strategy, where he helps leaders and the world’s leading brands like Google, Red Bull, Amazon, McDonald’s maybe you’ve heard of some of those and more become effortless communicators. He’s prepped 10 companies that have appeared on TV Shark Tank. That’s really cool. Do you have a favorite? 


0:06:15 – Brian Burkhart

shark? Probably Kevin O’Leary. He’s a jerk but he tells a lot of truth. He is good business acumen. Shark Tank is not what you see on TV. There’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes. 


0:06:27 – Mike Malatesta

Let’s dig into that a little bit. So yeah, 10 companies that have appeared on TV Shark Tank and worked with dozens of Ted presenters, ceos, authors and renowned personalities and entrepreneurs around the globe. Brian is a multi-book author and he is the host of the presently hiatus Square Stories podcast, but there are a hundred episodes out there that you should check out, and you can find out more about Brian at squareplanetcom. And where else? Brian, where do you want people to look for you? 


0:07:00 – Brian Burkhart

LinkedIn probably Mike. 


0:07:01 – Mike Malatesta



0:07:02 – Brian Burkhart

The one that I spend some time on, okay. 


0:07:04 – Mike Malatesta

Now it’s Brian C Burkhart on LinkedIn right B-U-R-K-H-A-R-T. Okay, yep, brian. I start every show with the same simple question. That is how did it happen for you? 


0:07:21 – Brian Burkhart

There’s a lot of routes to take on that one, mike, but I’m going to tell you about October 28th of 2016,. I was not in attendance. I want that to be clear, but if anyone is willing to take a peek, hop on the YouTube and take a look. When Elon Musk rolled out SolarCity, it is truly something to watch. It’s easy to say, especially when you use only financials as the scorecard, that Elon is one of the most successful humans to ever walk the face of the planet, and while that is certainly true from a financial standpoint, if you watch the rollout when SolarCity was announced as a Tesla part of the organization, it is cringe-worthy. It is so labored, it is so difficult to watch Elon do his thing, and my whole notion that communications, especially of our most senior, most leaders, should be effortless. This is the exact opposite. It is so labored, and when we see things that are labored, we physically recoil, we actually push away, we get further and further away. When things are effortless, we lean in, we get excited, and the part that’s interesting to me is that Tesla spent over $2 billion acquiring SolarCity. 


At no point at 2016 or before had Tesla been profitable, and so this was a big acquisition. This was a big deal and it was to create this closed ecosystem of capture the power of the sun, charge a battery in your home, power your car and lifestyle. And Elon was horrific. He was unprepared, he was overwhelmed by the situation and he let lots and lots of hardworking people down in a way that, to me, is very deep. It’s very important that notion that’s such a great example of effortless not being the case. It’s interesting because, if you think of a master chef or a guy who catches touchdowns for a living, or a person who plays virtuoso violin or whatever it is a senior leader, a salesperson when it looks effortless, people notice and when it’s labored, we recoil. So, for me, when did it really begin? Well, a long, long time ago, but it got really galvanized in October of 2016, when Elon stood on a stage and was far from effortless. 


0:09:52 – Mike Malatesta

So a couple of things. One is you were talking about that. You mentioned the word labored and I thought well, sometimes it’s labored because there was effort. The amount of effort was less than what was needed in order for it to be effortless. I suppose, basically, what you’re saying is he was no Steve Jobs when he did this. What do you think and I know this is complete speculation, because you weren’t involved in it at all but what do you think happened? Because I’ve seen I mean I actually probably haven’t seen a lot of product rollouts of Musk, but I’ve seen a lot of interviews with Musk and he’s pretty sharp usually. So what do you if you put on your speculation cap here and tell us what happened? 


0:10:43 – Brian Burkhart

It’s a great question. I think there’s three specific parts, and these are things that I try to teach my client based on a very regular basis. The first thing is, I really don’t believe that he was fully centered, and that can mean a lot of things. I think it’s very clear that this guy who wears a lot of hats, he’s got a lot of responsibility, and it’s really easy to make an excuse of he had a lot going on. Okay, that’s fair, but you had two plus billion dollars on the line. This product rollout was a big deal. When you see the video, you see the entire spectacle, you see the scope of this experience. This was not something that was thrown at him on Tuesday and they said by the way, you’re going to do this Wednesday afternoon. This was months of labor and detail at a high, high level of coordination, and so by no means should we let him off the hook. 


He knew it was coming and it’s easy to say that he wasn’t fully centered. He wasn’t present. He wasn’t there in the moment. The other part of that is the advanced work. One of the things that I talk about is called wiring your work. 


I am a ceramic artist. I sit at a wheel, I take a lump of clay and turn a raw nothing into, hopefully, something, and the very first thing you have to do is you have to center that clay exactly like Elon needed to be in that moment. But one of the things that I do on a very regular basis once I create a piece a bowl, a vase, coffee cup, whatever it is I take a tool it’s a big piece of wire and I quite literally cut it in half. It’s clay. I can start all over again, but when I cut it in half, when I dissect my work, when I wire my work, I can fully investigate where my flaws are. I can find the things that got right, I can find the things that got wrong and I can improve as I go. 


I’m not of the belief and I’ve studied Elon that he does a really good job of wiring his work. I think it’s pretty clear that that is one bright dude, but his ability to be effortless is something that he has not put the time in. He has not really studied his foibles and flaws, he has not done the things to fully improve as a leader and a communicator. So I believe one not centered, two didn’t wire his work. And then the last of the three things is in many ways what I do as a potter. What I’m done is I sign my work, I physically put my name on my piece, and there’s a big difference between a football and a Tom Brady signed football. There’s a big difference between a quick little line drawing and a Picasso signed line drawing. 


Elon needed to put his name on it. He needed to take responsibility and say I am the guy, I need to do the things and not let anything get in the way, because I’m standing on stage in front of hundreds of people in this very elaborate place, captured by bunches of cameras and full HD for the posterity of a lifetime. He never said this is mine, win, lose or draw. And so when I look at it, mike, I think your question is a very valid one, but I say he wasn’t mentally prepared. He didn’t really take the time to study what it really requires to be great in advance. And then, finally, he didn’t claim it. He didn’t say it’s on me If this thing goes right or wrong. It’s my choice, it’s my doing. You do those three things. Pretty good chance you’re going to look effortless. 


0:14:02 – Mike Malatesta

So for someone like you who knows all of these things and is really in tune to it, you’re looking at that and you are critiquing it. You’re saying this could have been so much better, it could have been effortless. And for the people listening, I’m wondering, brian, what is the consequence of one or the other Like, for example, you mentioned a couple of times two billion plus dollars on this? He was also one of them, I think. He founded Solar City, so there was sort of this. 


0:14:35 – Brian Burkhart

They bought it. He didn’t find it. It wasn’t a founder of it, yeah. 


0:14:38 – Mike Malatesta

So that was okay. So never mind that then. So what is he? 


0:14:44 – Brian Burkhart

was, even though he didn’t even found Tesla. Yeah, I know. 


0:14:48 – Mike Malatesta

I didn’t find Tesla. There was another company that Tesla ended up buying. That was his. That caused, but anyway, it doesn’t matter. So what’s my question is what’s the consequence Like what? So, for you, the consequences this could have been so much better. You mentioned a couple of times the two billion plus dollars, all the people that were involved by him not performing this in an effortless way, in a wire, your work way, and all the other center, all the other things you mentioned. What’s the consequence Like what? If he’s looking back on this, what do you say? Well, yeah, sure, I could have done better. Or is there like you can never get something back as a result of what happened? 


0:15:39 – Brian Burkhart

Well, it’s truly the question right, and it’s a difficult one to answer because we have only anecdotal versus empirical evidence. 


It’s a little bit tough to put a finger on, but here’s what I can tell you If you put it in comparison to you you said it things like in 2007 when Steve Jobs launched the iPhone. Yeah, a far easier price point. You can get a lot more people to adopt a couple hundred bucks versus many thousands of dollars for a full solar system. But it is safe to say that there is a certain measure of enthusiasm around this new idea, about this closed, clean loop that could revolutionize the way that all of us experience life. Most people have a place to live and most of us have a place to live that has a roof over our head, and he is fundamentally saying that valuable real estate could change the way we power our world. That is something. And yet I have a hunch that if you took a hundred people and lined them up and said name Elon Musk’s companies, you’re going to get SpaceX, tesla. A few people will say boring company. I don’t think too many are going to say solar city, and it’s something that all of us can understand. We understand cars, we understand roofs, we understand solar, and so why such a mess? It can’t be just money. I’m of the belief that that moment and think about jobs in 07, it was a moment. It was a galvanizing thing that brought in people by the gazillions. Musk had that chance and because it was not effortless, it was labored, I’m of the belief he blew it. There wasn’t a clean sound bite, there wasn’t a good moment for the press, there wasn’t something that you go, man, feel, that infectious spirit. It just wasn’t there. 


I very regularly talk about the three C’s of powerful communications. They are clarity it’s got to be very clear, we have to understand what you’re talking about. We need conviction We’ve got to feel it from you. And then, finally, connection. We’ve got to feel like you’re someone we know, like and trust. Clarity, conviction and connection. When you watch that video, mike, you’re going to go oh my goodness, there was none. Maybe some conviction, like I get the sense he believes deeply in the science. But connection I’m talking like a minute in he does this, he closes off closes both arms a minute in Clarity. 


It’s all over the place. So when you look at it from just the basics of communication, it’s such a fail that it’s easy to say that down the line bad things happened and or good things never occurred. So that, to me, was the outcome. 


0:18:24 – Mike Malatesta



0:18:25 – Brian Burkhart

The causes, all that you know. That’s a story for another time. 


0:18:28 – Mike Malatesta

Yeah, so, if I’m hearing you right, it’s like you have in this case and maybe a lot of cases. You have a moment, a few moments to, you know, knock inspiration out of the park or knock excitement out of the park or get people so charged up about what you’re charged up about what you’re doing, but you also, in that moment, you can, you know, buzz, kill your way out of any momentum that you may have had and lose a big part of your audience. Am I getting that right? 


0:19:03 – Brian Burkhart

You’re nailing it. And I think it’s easy, very easy for people to see in the world of sales. It’s one thing as a senior leader, it’s another in sales, and I think people can envision those moments when a salesperson has that one great shot and it’s really easy to see where. If it’s effortless, we’re gonna look, we’re gonna watch, we’re gonna notice and if it’s labored, we will absolutely recoil. I mean, we’ve all been there, we’ve all been on the wrong side of things, where we see someone just struggle and it doesn’t feel good as an audience member and we will sometimes even get defensive and even physically, mentally, check out, go someplace else. And if that happens as a salesperson, you’re not getting the deal. And if you’re a senior leader, I mean who knows what the ultimate consequence is? But it could be losing revenue, losing people, losing respect. I mean the list goes on and on. 


0:19:59 – Mike Malatesta

So you, let’s dig into that a little bit. You started, or an early part of your career. You were in advertising sales at the Chicago Tribune newspaper. 


0:20:08 – Brian Burkhart

Yeah, wow, look at you. That’s way back when I was just out of school, my first real job. 


0:20:15 – Mike Malatesta

Yeah, so that’s a sales job. How, if you can remember back then, how do you look at? If you had to look at your performance or the training you got for your performance in that job, how would you rate it and how did it? I’m assuming that it was it informed, like the rest of, like you, what you want to be doing. Right, it had some, because that’s what you do is train people to be effortless communicators and sales and leadership and everything else. So tell me about that. 


0:20:46 – Brian Burkhart

So really, really interesting time. I was a 22 year old kid with a lot more bravado than experience or skill, and the truth of the matter is is I can absolutely tell you with 100%, complete knowledge here I was terrible to the point of even I only lasted less than two years. I quit, but I probably was on more of a thin nice situation that I care to admit. I sent my former boss. It was a guy named Rich Chavonic. I sent him a letter when I was about 27, 28, apologizing, and I essentially wrote in the letter something along the lines of I was an immature idiot who knew nothing. 


You were kind, caring and forthcoming and I didn’t see it, and so that was a really informative time of my life, as I look back on it Now, of what not to do. Interestingly, before that, while I was still in college, I worked at Disney World. I was a cast member, I drove the subs at 20,000 leagues under the sea, a ride that no longer exists down in Florida, and that may have been a more meaningful experience, not the physical part of driving the submarine, but learning from the Walt Disney Company and how they just make everything seamless and beautiful. And now. 


Maybe not so much right now. 


I’m not sure if you’re a bit of a struggle box as we currently speak, but as a 20 year old, that was an extremely impressionable time for me, the one that really made it happen. This is an interesting story. I was probably let’s call it 30, still young, but not a kid and I was in General Motors headquarters in Detroit the Renaissance Center, their executive boardroom and I was interviewing the CEO and chairman, rick Wagner, of General Motors, and at the time I mean things like Tesla didn’t even exist. Gm was a big deal. Sitting down to speak with the chairman and CEO of GM was a big deal. 


0:22:43 – Mike Malatesta

It was the biggest deal and I had. 


0:22:45 – Brian Burkhart

It was a big deal and we had camera crews and the whole thing and the walls were lined with his communication staff and I’m kind of a kid I looked pretty young and Mr Wagner sits down, as everyone calls him, and I’m like, hey, rick, how are you? Very typical me and he starts some sort of soliloquy based on a question I give him that sounded like it was written by marketing and approved by legal. It was just hot garbage, mike. I mean, it was terrible. And I kind of leaned in and I said, you know, rick, that’s just. That just does not sound human. What if he tried it this way? And I basically changed his words, the structure, the concepts, the core was still there. I just added a different twist to it. 


He gave it a shot and upon completion of that question it was very clear to all parties that was a significantly better response. Same stuff, just tweaked. He kind of looked over to his main communications person and just did this little nod and sort of pointed to me and to the person and that was it. It was like I was in, I was blessed, I was kind of given the all right. Well, rick says you’re good, you’re good. And that was the first real time where I thought, ooh, okay, I kind of know how to do this stuff, but it was all by innate feel. It was at that moment that I really clearly recognized, and soon thereafter, that I had to do the work. 


And so I really then did all the due diligence to understand rhetoric and persuasion and how all that stuff works Really. It all goes back to the ancient Greeks, I think Aristotle, socrates, plato, those guys a couple of thousand years ago. They’re the ones who figured it out and it still holds true today. All the devices and tech in the world doesn’t stop us from being human, and it really comes down to some very simple truths, and I’ve been now using that stuff for decades with some of my clients and it seems to work. 


0:24:38 – Mike Malatesta

So before I ask a follow up question to that, has anyone ever told you that you sound like Jason Bateman? 


0:24:47 – Brian Burkhart

I get it all the time. 


0:24:48 – Mike Malatesta

Oh my gosh. 


0:24:49 – Brian Burkhart

I think it’s the hair and sort of the bulbous nose. I met him in Santa Monica a bunch of years ago and I said, hey, Jason, people say, and he kind of looked at me like well, they’re wrong, and then he walked away. 


0:25:00 – Mike Malatesta

Well, I don’t know about the look. When I first saw you I thought more. You looked a little bit more like Rob Lowe. But as I’m listening to hey tell my wife. But anyway, as I’m listening to you, I think I’m listening to Jason Bateman, so I don’t know if that’s a compliment or not. It sounds like he didn’t give you much of a time there. 


0:25:21 – Brian Burkhart

I don’t know how you just ran into him. He’ll take it as a compliment. But yeah, we were having lunch. I was having lunch with my wife and he was a couple of tables over, oh, okay. And he was kind enough about it, but he was kind of sarcastic and then very Jason. 


0:25:35 – Mike Malatesta

Bateman style. 


0:25:37 – Brian Burkhart

He was just like yeah, I don’t think so. It was pretty great. 


0:25:40 – Mike Malatesta

So let’s get back to Rick Wagner here. Love it that you called him Rick, when everyone knows that calling him Mr Wagner or yes, sir, what so you got? He’s the CEO of GM. You mentioned musk performance at this crucial time. What is it that they, what is it that? A lot of leaders and see why do they need you, what do they not get? 


0:26:03 – Brian Burkhart

What do they not get is pretty clear. I’ll tell you what it is is they don’t get the ugly truth. They don’t get the truth. Think about it, mike. Everyone around them, from underlings, of course, but even other members of the board they will find ways to obscure the truth, so much so you know this to be real. I guarantee that you have seen this in some form or fashion. I’ve seen it way too many times. 


Think about things like conferences, meetings, events. Someone will speak, he’ll be on a stage and they won’t be good, and the audience will murmur either to themselves or actually to each other about how not great it is. And the minute that person gets off the stage and we see them at lunch, at a break, in a restroom, whatever we’ll say, that was great, it’s a lie. The ugly truth is painful and it can feel really personal, and so that’s why senior leaders often don’t seek it out first and second. Who’s gonna step up and say that was really terrible? Who’s gonna tell Elon that was really bad? You didn’t put the time in, you didn’t get centered, you didn’t investigate how to do this stuff right and you certainly didn’t take responsibility for it? Nobody does that, and so often when I come in as a outside third party, more often than not on a recommendation. 


Sometimes people will see me in this kind of thing and say I gotta meet this guy, but more often than not I have this neutral stance which sounds a lot like I don’t care. 


If you fire me, I don’t need you, I don’t need your money, you’re not gonna give me a bonus, you’re not gonna give me a title bump, I don’t care. And so I’m going to give you the one thing that no one has given you, which is the truth, and I’m gonna do it with love. My job is to elevate, not eviscerate. I’m gonna make you better, not worse. I’m gonna give you all the skills, all the content, all the stuff to really step up and step into something in a way that you’ve not done before. If you’re willing to hear it, great. If you’re not, fine, what do I care? It’s you, not me, up there, and so it really is. It’s a mental thing that leaders just choose to either not solicit this kind of info or they just don’t have anyone around them with even close enough to the amount of courage to say hey, there’s some stuff here. 


0:28:19 – Mike Malatesta

As you were saying that, brian, I was thinking to myself. You said well, I don’t care. And I’m thinking to myself well, you might be the only person around them who actually does care, because I do care actually deeply right. Because everyone else cares about themselves and they don’t wanna say something that might inflict pain or affect the caring of themselves in terms of their employment or whatever, and so they do what you say hey, great job boss. Yeah, that was awesome. Meanwhile, to one another outside of the boss’s ear range, they are saying whoo. 


0:28:55 – Brian Burkhart

I was just at a conference in Chicago, like literally two weeks ago, and a couple of the AV guys that I have known and worked with for forever. They remembered a program that I had produced for a few thousand people big healthcare conference and the senior most leader was on stage during rehearsal and it was just terrible. And I basically walked up to him. His name was Pete. I said, pete, that was awful. I didn’t like anything you said. I didn’t like how you said it, I didn’t like your stories, I didn’t like your open, I didn’t like your clothes. It was terrible. Let’s fix it right now. And, to Pete’s credit, he was a little offended maybe first, but he quickly said all right, let’s do this. Couple of thousand people are gonna watch. I want to be great, is what he was saying. The AV guys were just blown away that I had the Gahutzpa to get in there with this senior most leader, the guy literally writing the check, if you will. I mean it was a real big, big, big event. Couple thousand people, big hotel in Vegas. It was big. And I told him the truth and it made all the difference, of course, a day later, when he did things far superior and much better construct, much better story, much better skill set. He was all over me. That was awesome, thank you, thank you, thank you. We’re still friends to this day. 


He came to my book launch we text. I mean, it was one of those kind of things where, getting in someone’s grill with love, I was not mean. Again, it’s to elevate, not of this rate, to give them solutions, not just find critique, not just be difficult, but to say, hey, try this instead. That’s the key, and so I do care. It’s not me up there when Elon took that stage, it was not me, it was him, and so I would be in that position of trying to elevate him. It’s very unique and I think it’s one of those things that I get a tremendous amount of joy. Actually, it’s almost like seeing kids walk. They’re my babies in some regard. 


0:30:52 – Mike Malatesta

So let me dig in on that just a little bit, because the so this CEO Pete did you say his name was. So I’m guessing that Pete had been working on this for a long time, even though it wasn’t in your estimation wasn’t hitting the mark. And then you come to him this is the day before the day before and you’re like we’re going to change this thing all up. I’m trying to put myself in Pete’s shoes here and I’d be like, yeah, I’m really receptive to you, I want it to be better, right, but I’ve been working on this for a month, let’s say, and I really have what I’ve done dialed in. How am I going to Be able to change to what you want me to do in such a short period of time? That sounds frightening More, maybe more frightening than me sucking. So how do you get people to do that? 


0:31:41 – Brian Burkhart

It’s a brilliant question like. Here’s the thing. More than anything else, 90% of the time people have a structure issue. They start with the wrong things, and so it wasn’t a fundamental worth throwing everything away. We’re gonna build from scratch. 


It wasn’t that at all it was simply let’s reorder some things and, in this particular sequence, when you do have slides, it’s one of those kind of things where you can make a couple of shifts and Off you go, and so it really wasn’t that tremendous of a content shift. Additionally, if you remember my three C’s of clarity, conviction and connection, there are a few little things that make things spectacularly better. One of those is I call my 75 second rule. In that kind of large environment with many, many people in the audience, the 75 second rule is Pete or whoever, when you come out to the stage, don’t click Anything, do nothing For 75 seconds. We need to connect with you like a human being and the way I described that. It’s things like Mike, if you came over to my house, you would knock on the door and I let you in and, depending on the season, I’d take your coat, I’d walk you in, I’d offer you a beverage, maybe, show you around, we’d go sit, we would have some human moments Before we ever did any of the stuff. 


Yeah that’s how it works, and it’s things like he was walking on stage and immediately turning to see if things were up on screen and clicking, click and clicking Pete, just say hi to people, first connect, and so that’s little. And then things like that clarity quotient, the first of the three C’s. We often will help our clients build what we call parallel narratives. Parallel narratives there’s simple little stories that we all immediately understand, that help clarify the underlying message, and so on the fly, in that day before moment, we came up with some little quick and I honestly don’t remember what it was, but it’s a simple, easy storyline that really gets the audience in advance, ready to take the more difficult material in once. They’ve been kind of set up with the parallel narrative, like, okay, I got, it, makes sense now. Oh, I see what you mean when you talk about this health care thing, and so it’s just little stuff like that, mike, that goes a really long way and so, yeah, I’m with you. 


In the moment there are some people that would be overwhelming. I wouldn’t push that agenda with everyone. Pete, brilliant, capable, really, really capable. He’s the kind of guy that you can throw those things out and on the fly he’s got it. 


0:34:19 – Mike Malatesta

Okay, I’m really into this, by the way, because I I’m really into good presentation and Trying to become better at it all the time. So this is excellent and I hope for everyone listening, you’re, you’re internalizing this and you’re saying first of all, there’s a I think you would agree, brian, there’s a great presenter inside of everybody. Well, actually, I don’t want to, I don’t want to put words in your mouth. So is there a great presenter inside of everybody? 


0:34:45 – Brian Burkhart

There’s an effective presenter. Okay. 


I don’t need people to be perfect. I don’t need them to be the world’s greatest order, I don’t need them to capture thousands of views in In environments like tiktok and youtube. What I need people to understand is that, to truly be Effective, you have to make it look effortless, and there are a number of steps that allow that to happen. You’re not going to get gold medals for being the greatest presenter, perhaps, but you will be effective. So senior leaders, salespeople, etc. Check the boxes and life suddenly gets better, and so I do agree that everyone has it in them to be effective, effective okay, all right, yeah, pay attention to this. 


0:35:26 – Mike Malatesta

because this I think there’s a belief amongst a lot of people and I was one of them that, um, I’m a really good communicator when I’m just, you know, around my Group or a small group of people are doing a podcast like this, but, you know, when it gets to be A staged type thing, I just don’t think I have the skill set for that. 


I think there’s a lot of people who sort of think that, and so when they, when they’re forced to get up there, they do it reluctantly and they they do it with with the belief and I think it’s a false belief that this is just not my thing and so, and so they’re not it. It doesn’t look effortless, first of all, and it’s not, like you said, effective. It’s not the best they could do, and I always believe that If you get up and do something, it should be the best you can do, at least the best you can do today, right? Do you find that, like with the people you work with you find that that’s the case? Or is there, is, or are you with people who are sort of beyond that, I guess, fear or limiting belief? 


0:36:40 – Brian Burkhart

Oh no, the majority of the people I work with are exactly in the camp you just described, and the words that I would use Is that people have a mindset going in that it is a task. 


I have to present in front of this group of my peers, whether it’s an internal meeting, external meeting, it could be a small group of you know, normal Tuesday in a little boardroom. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, and yet it’s a task, something on their to-do list. Okay, I look at it and say, oh no, no, no. This is rare error. These are amazing opportunities. 


When Elon Musk stood on that stage on October 28th of 2016, he had an amazing opportunity to quite literally change the world. Literally, he saw it as a task. I’ve got to get to another California. I’ve got to get in front of these people. I got to talk about this thing Versus this remarkable Opportunity to make a dent in the universe. And even if your dent is a lot less, it’s still an opportunity, and so, first and foremost, it’s your mindset, it’s the way you go into the opportunity itself. That’s one. The second part of that is there are lots of people who have real trauma. They’ve had things, whether it was when they were in eighth grade and had to stand in front of the class and it didn’t go well, or salesperson or leader who Crash and burned on an opportunity. I mean those things. They’re real, see, I mean it’s real. 


0:38:03 – Mike Malatesta

It’s real. 


0:38:05 – Brian Burkhart

It is and it’s. It’s a little bit like a micro aggression. It’ll eventually catch up to you, right? It’s one of those little, little tiny hits, those little dings, those little nits. They’ll get you unless you are aware and you do the work, and you have some thought and you know the structure to truly become Effortless. Effortless equals effective got it. 


0:38:26 – Mike Malatesta

So we born like this, brian? I mean yeah, when did? Yeah, when did Okay. When you were 10 years old, what? What were you like this? Were you this sort of? 


0:38:40 – Brian Burkhart

I can tell you this, mic, I certainly believe that I was Given some real skills, no doubt about it. It was a little bit like you know, I I was given hair right. I’m I’m 53. I have all my hair. 


0:38:52 – Mike Malatesta

That’s nice. 


0:38:53 – Brian Burkhart

Um, what I? I don’t have vertical. I mean, I’m a shrimp of a guy. Right Like you’re not going to see me on the Court playing hoops. Um, I was given some skills. Yes, in fact. 


Um, one of my more favorite stories and it has a little bit of Lore. I’ve told it a bunch when I was 10, I was at Oak Ridge elementary school. It was a little school out in the southwest suburbs of Chicago and I was running for student council president. I was in fifth grade, I would be president the next year, sixth grade, and, um, I was running against these two girls. It was my buddy, jim was my vice president, and so it was the two of us versus the two of them, and it was a full school assembly. 


And I walk up to the little lectern, had a goose neck, mic, that and all this noise as I pulled it down all the way low because I was so tiny and I gave this presentation About why I should be student council president. And right then and there, while giving it, I was aware that we were going to win in a landslide, like I mean, I knew, and it wasn’t because I was so talented in how these amazing ideas or was so smart or charismatic I I was just better than pretty much any other 10th, 10 year old at the time and I felt for the first time the true power of communications. As a kid we did win in a landslide and it was one of those kind of things where I had that awareness of like, oh, this is something. And so I started, you know, working that muscle, if you will. I. 


I did all the things, including things like you know who works at Disney World? As a 20 year old me, I mean, I’ve done all kinds of stuff and then finally, far later, the rick waggoner story was like ah, you know, there’s some science to this too, just this natural kind of I have an idea of how this goes. That’ll only get you so far. When I finally went deep is when things got really interesting, and then I think, as much as anything, some wisdom with time. You know, there’s no substitute for just having been there, done that, seen it. I’ve been really fortunate to work with some incredible organizations and humans the senior, most level from some of the biggest brands on the planet. You just learn a lot from doing that kind of stuff. 


0:41:09 – Mike Malatesta

So, yeah, I think I was born this way, but not this way okay, and I I want to get back to the 75 second thing, because so don’t do any connect with the audience in the first 75 seconds. So that’s a minute 15, yeah. 


0:41:27 – Brian Burkhart

Feels like forever, doesn’t it? 


0:41:28 – Mike Malatesta

Well, as you say it right now, it feels like forever, but I could sit here by myself waiting for you to say come on the zoom in a minute 15. It’s probably like nothing, right? So it’s all. It’s a lot of it’s about the environment that you’re in as to how long it takes, but so I just want to make sure every headboard has the lesson here. So you, you come out and, like I’m going to be doing a talk on Thursday of this week and so we have some music that’s going to accompany me coming out. So that’s going to, you know, take up some of the time and get people, like a little, hopefully, jazzed up. But You’re basically saying don’t jump into slide, slide, slide or fact, fact, fact. Give me some, basically give me a story I can, I can relate to right now, without focusing on anything else, so that you and I are understand one another and where we’re going to go on this journey, or something along those lines. 


0:42:27 – Brian Burkhart

We’re going to start by connecting. I’m going to get big and then hopefully make this yeah, great Thank you. 


I have a 10 point strategy to follow for really amazing presentations, sales presentations, keynotes, etc. The third of the 10 steps which we just do not have time to get into today. But the third of the 10 steps is to reveal who you are. Third. So imagine if you came out and said good morning everybody, I’m Mike. Well, you just missed two steps, so something’s not quite right. That’s a bit of a miss and so many people feel compelled. You’ve probably been introduced. I mean, you’ll notice, you did this podcast. You did a nice job of introducing me. I didn’t add to that. 


0:43:08 – Mike Malatesta



0:43:09 – Brian Burkhart

Certainly not first right. 


0:43:10 – Mike Malatesta



0:43:11 – Brian Burkhart

And so it’s one of those kind of things where people will immediately go to who they are the resume. You know, I’ve been in this industry for 12 years and they do the things that no one really cares about. It’s very selfish when you connect with an audience first. It could be an audience of one, it could be an audience of 10,000. It really doesn’t matter. It’s basically saying I’m here for you. The root of the word present, as in I’m sorry, the root of the word presentation, is present, as in happy birthday, merry Christmas, You’re getting a gift. Yes. 


You’re also present, as in be in the moment, but you’re giving something when you present. And that’s the mindset I want people, you, on Thursday, I want you to give in those first 75 seconds, not your content, not your resume, not all the knowledge that you possess in your brain, but your energy, your feel the emotion, that decision that you made, to take it seriously. It’s an opportunity, not a task, to do all the work, to be fully engaged with that audience and find a way to connect with that. 


And it could be about damn or anything. I mean coming up on Thursday. You could do things like you can say, gang, I’m so happy to be here with you, I feel so fortunate In fact, I was just hearing yet more of the horror stories coming from Maui in the horrible conditions of that wildfire, and I’m just so filled with gratitude to be here with all of you, safe in a place that we can feel like we’re going to get a lot of work done in an environment that’s not going to be dangerous and harmful. And yet I have a heavy heart because I know that people are really struggling over there, and so, just for a second, just feel the sense of gratitude to be here with me. 


I thank you for your time, and now let’s get into this. Could you imagine if you started with something like that on Thursday? It’s not about you, it’s not about your presentation, it’s not about your experience, but everyone in the audience is going to go. Man, I don’t know who this is, but I like him and that’s a little bit of a Debbie Downer. You can do something way less. One of my favorite tips and tricks. You can look it up. I should look it up right now and tell you what it is. But on any given day there’s a national calendar. It’s, like you know, national flaming hot Cheeto day or it’s national talk like a pirate day, whatever. 


If you look up this this Thursday, you’ll probably have four or five choices of national something day. You can imagine coming out and welcoming everyone and saying, by the way, happy national peanut brittle day, be sure you get your full intake of peanut brittle today. It’s a big deal, you know. It’s clearly one of the major food groups I’m making sure you get my point of you just need something. 


We’re just looking for that little sliver, that little thing that says I’m a human, you matter, I’m thinking about you. And now let’s get to the presentation. People just don’t take that moment, and it’s a big moment. 


0:46:08 – Mike Malatesta

So number three is reveal, if you don’t mind, what’s number one. 


0:46:13 – Brian Burkhart

It’s the state of problem. 


So, one, two, three is you want to tease with. The problem is. It’s the foundation for your entire presentation. The second is really kind of interesting. It’s the hardest one for people. It’s tell people what you believe, what your core belief is, and it is related to the problem. And then the third thing is finally reveal yourself. So when you tease that problem up front, you hook the audience, or at least a portion of them. There’s going to be a group of people who immediately go I’m with you, that is a problem. And there might be some others who go. I don’t think that’s a problem. Either way, you’ve got them intrigued. There are some who might just be lost. There’s a problem, and that’s a different animal for another conversation. But those first two camps, they’re with you or they’re against you. You’ve hooked right away, you’ve got them and now they’re going to want to hear more about it as you come up with it. That second step of what you stand for, what you believe, that really sets the foundation for the rest of your presentation. 


I’ve said it a few times I believe in the notion, first and foremost, of make it look effortless, which means a lot of work. I’ve said a number of times I believe deeply. What I stand for is to elevate, not to eviscerate. That means I’m going to lead with love. I’m not going to be a jerk to people. This stuff is hard and it can hurt. It can feel really personal and if I just twist, that just makes me perverse. I’m a lover, not a fighter. I want to make people amazing. It’s elevate, not eviscerate. These are my core beliefs. There are plenty of people who just don’t agree. They will never be clients and so what I try to do and why that belief, that second step is to tell your core belief it’s so important and it’s so early is to really eliminate people that you’re never going to get. You’re never going to get ever. It’s fine. You can’t work with everybody. 


0:48:04 – Mike Malatesta

Yeah, well, that gets back to the I don’t care, right. Right, that’s exactly I don’t care. So who? We mentioned some of the big companies you worked with or work with in the, in the bio, mcdonald’s, amazon, red Bull some others yeah. So I guess that’s where I was getting at is who who’s who should be seeking you out and who’s ideal for you. 


0:48:31 – Brian Burkhart

Shameless plug for sure would be senior leaders and basically anyone in the C-suite president, VP, you name it and then definitely sales leaders. I love the like the division sales leader who’s got a team of, let’s say, 20 people and then the subsequent 20 people. Sales people are the ones who seem to be the most willing to do the things. Lots of senior leaders say they’re willing to do the things, but they’re really not Sales people. They they are accustomed to being coached, to looking for enhanced skills, to trying other approaches. Sales people are great and senior leaders who actually care those are my people. 


0:49:15 – Mike Malatesta

That’s interesting about sales people because I think there’s sort of a? 


Well, I’ll just say my experience. 


So my experience I’ve had a good number of of sales people work with me and my organizations and I’ve always tried to encourage them to be more than they came into our organization, being meaning I’m no expert, but I see ways where you could differentiate yourself and us in a way more meaningful way than what I’m seeing right now and I, while I’m trying to encourage that, I probably never did a good enough job actually working with them to get it. 


But I did feel like there was a good percentage of them, particularly the ones who were experienced, who sort of had this, you know, like I’ve kind of got this all figured out and you know you can tell me your little stories and your belief and stuff, but I’m pretty well, I’ve been successful. I’m pretty well just going to continue doing it the way I do it and I that always discouraged me because I felt like they could be. You know they were making let’s say they were making a hundred grand. I thought you have 300 grand of potential within you and I struggled with a bunch of them just to get it out. So how do you get it out? 


0:50:40 – Brian Burkhart

Oh, that’s a big one, mike. Here’s the thing I would tell you. You’re not going to like it. You just hired poorly. 


0:50:46 – Mike Malatesta

Oh, that’s fair. I’m never going to get it. Yeah. 


0:50:48 – Brian Burkhart

This really goes back to the core belief, right? It’s real, even in things like the post that you would put up to solicit resumes of potential sales people. If you had very clearly listed your core beliefs and it said things like adaptability, malleability, willingness to understand the uniqueness of our story, and presented in a way that’s unlike everyone else out there, they would have self selected those that are kind of cut from that cloth of well, this is how I always do it. They would have read that post and said, well, this place is not for me. It’s truly one of those kind of things where you see it with sales organizations all the time, the few people that are always in the top 10, it’s always the same people. Always You’re after your same and everyone thinks, oh, they’ve got the best territory or they’ve get all the way. No, they’re just the best salespeople because they do all the things. 


Then there’s that middle camp that you always hope, and every now and then they’ll get a year where they inch up towards the really good guys and years and they kind of fall back again. Then there’s those laggards who will never be. It’s just always those three camps, always If you really truly believe and it sounds to me like you do in telling your story in a uniquely beautifully thought through way. You got to find people that are willing to learn and do that, versus those that say this is my method and I stick to it. They’ll never be good fits. First thing, of course, though, is know your core beliefs, which is the hard part. 


0:52:20 – Mike Malatesta

Well, I love that. You brought the love. You said I just hired poorly, but you said it in a way that made me feel good about having hired poorly. 


0:52:28 – Brian Burkhart

I can tell you this I know this stuff and we’ve built some really great job posts and interviewed lots of people and still I have hired poorly from time to time. It’s hard, it’s super hard. So part is part. 


0:52:40 – Mike Malatesta

Let’s talk about the future. I’m curious to get your perspective. So you first, we’ll first start with the present, then we’ll go with the future. The present is kind of what. By the way, I loved how you did the present, present, whatever. I just I did a commencement speech a year ago and I used that exact thing. That’s very nice. The present is the most precious gift you have. It’s also a unique word, right, Because you can be present, meaning you’re here. You can give a present, meaning a gift, and you can present. 


0:53:11 – Brian Burkhart

It’s funny because when you asked me to do this and I looked up your podcast, I listened to that episode and then I wrote you back and said I want to be on your podcast because we speak the same way. 


0:53:21 – Mike Malatesta

Oh nice, it was that, oh cool. And you’ve studied the human condition. You’ve been doing this forever. So in present day, what is it that really connects a presenter with an audience member not an audience, but with each individual member? What is? Because when I, when this is how I when my body starts doing things that I haven’t told it to do, like you know, I’m getting goosebumps, or the hair on my arms is standing up, or there’s this, there’s this little vibration in my brain. I don’t even know what that is, but when those, when I’m feeling those things completely subconsciously I haven’t willed any of that to happen I know that someone is connecting with me. It’s almost like a neural neural net to bring another musting up. It’s almost like you know, it’s almost like that. What is happening? Yeah, what is happening there? 


0:54:20 – Brian Burkhart

I’m gonna go back to our ancient Greeks again Socrates, aristotle, plato. They talked about the way that we as human beings learn and understand messages Within our environment. They talked about ethos, pathos and logos, and those are kind of difficult concepts for people, and so I will shift that to more Modern terms, terms for 2023, and those are no, that’s with a K. What do you want your audience to know? What do you want them to feel? And then, what do you want them to do? No, feel and do that little triumphant is Really the key. The vast majority of presenters and presentations, mike, live in that first spot of no. Here’s a whole lot of facts, but what you’re talking about, the thing that really moved you, the thing that you noticed, is when a presenter proactively, not by chance, that’s Made sure that you felt something right when we proactively include emotion into our presentation and I don’t care if it is the FBI talking about the most delicate plutonium secrets on the planet. 


If you add emotion, there’s gonna be a far greater reception from the audience. And there’s a bazillion different emotions joy, dispair, you name it. You get to choose and you could have more than one. It’s that proactive element of adding that in that really makes all the difference, and more often than not it’s gonna come out naturally through some story element, and story can sometimes be a word that makes people go yeah, I don’t want to tell stories. I’m in a corporate environment. We tell stories all the time. Yeah, about all kinds of things, and so it’s not Reading to your kid at night kind of story. It’s a deep emotional moment about being a human. 


That’s what we’re talking about and just far too frequently, people just choose to not do that. They make it. They make a choice to avoid got it All right, cool. 


0:56:23 – Mike Malatesta

So thank you for that. Now. Now I want to take you. I want to take you into the future, and in the future We’ve got this thing. While we have it. In the present it’s called AI, and in the future it’s gonna be AI times. But you know we’ll be on chat. You know GPT 57, you know whatever, and and when we get there, as we already are able, when we get there, we’re going to be able to create human likeness. We’re gonna be able to take you, brian, and you know, download you and create you presenting something to someone as you and and it’s going to be from a sound and a Look. It’s gonna be you. It’s gonna be hard, it’s gonna be hard to tell. 


So help me with you, with you, at least, your belief as to how that technology Will never, or it will, or how you feel about it we’re be able to get to that pathos, for example, that feel the way that Only humans to human can do right now. 


0:57:35 – Brian Burkhart

That is the trillion dollar question. Right, it’s interesting. We’ve used chat, gpt, a couple of projects now Found ourselves being both curious and maybe a little bit scared, and so it’s like, all right, well, let’s see what this thing is. I think that there’s probably reason to think that we should be scared. The information that we’ve just spent the last hour ish talking about Is not fundamentally difficult or even new. I mean, I keep talking about people that are long since dead by a couple thousand years and so it’s conceivable that things like AI would do a great job of providing the information, the resources, the skill set that someone could really benefit from. 


The thing, for me, is it’s still a choice you still have to choose to to try to be Effortless, to do the things to be fully effective, to connect with your audience, to put the time in to Review your work and improve, to sign it and say it’s mine, I did this. Those are still all choices, and I think that that’s the part about AI that it just seems Far from being able to make that choice on our behalf. I’m intrigued to see what happens. I’m also glad I’m old. I’m to the point, mike, where I’m like you know what, I don’t have that much time left on this stuff, and so it does make me feel a lot frightened about what could be, and yet excited at the same time. Okay, I hope that there’s still always a place for humans first, but it’s gonna be an interesting thing. We’re gonna see. 


0:59:16 – Mike Malatesta

I think and I’m no futurist and I this is just how I feel at the moment I so I think the AI, I’ll get all kinds of stuff right, but what the AI will never be able to do is create stories that are that you own, and Stories that you own are what people care most about, because that’s what they can relate to AI. I’ll be able to make up a story and it’ll be able to make up a good story, but it won’t be its story, it won’t be like it would be your story, and I think that’s the thing that’s gonna keep you know, keep the human connection relevant and Necessary, like we, you know, and and so, yeah, if you’re listening, you know, don’t think that AI is gonna take the place of you creating your own effortless communication. 


1:00:01 – Brian Burkhart

I think you’re right on. I’m gonna steal your answer because it’s good. I think you’re right. I think your story is uniquely, authentically yours. It’s gonna be tough to duplicate. 


1:00:12 – Mike Malatesta

Well, brian, is there? Last question here Is there anything that I haven’t asked you or haven’t brought up that you think it’s important or you want to share with people before we go? 


1:00:21 – Brian Burkhart

I thought you did a heck of a job on this, mike. Here’s the last thing I would tell you. This is gonna sound perhaps ever so strange or out of left field. This should be fun, you know. You look at all the different factors that give humans happiness and it seems like always it’s about relationships first, not money. 


I mean health is certainly a part of it, but it seems like if you have really good relationships, you’re a happy human. That’s not me saying it, that’s outside science that says such a thing. All the things that we’re talking about being a really effective, effortless communicator, really being a great senior leader, really truly being awesome at your job that’s about relationships at the end of the day. And so for me, I look at all this and say have some fun with this. Find your true Internal smile, your true happiness from within, and connect with people in a really beautiful way. It just makes the world better to have love over hate, and that’s essentially my whole Argument. Right that everything I’m saying is just build a great relationship and do all the steps to make that happen. But if you have that notion of Some fun, some happiness, some gratitude baked into it, it’s gonna be really hard for you to not be successful. 


1:01:42 – Mike Malatesta

Nice. Well, that’s a great place to end, brian. Thank you so much for being on the show and sharing your story and your wisdom, and I had a lot of fun and your Jason Bateman isms and your Rob low isms to go a lot going on there my friend. 


1:01:58 – Brian Burkhart

Mike, I need more of this, like this is good for my ego. No, no, sincerely. Thank you. I very deeply appreciate the opportunity not a task opportunity to be with you in your audience. I really appreciate your time, your, your great questions and wisdom and I certainly wish you and everyone else health, safety and happiness. 


1:02:16 – Mike Malatesta

Thank you and for everyone listening. Please maximize the greatness inside of you today and Own your future. Make it your property, something that you are very proud to own. Everybody Thanks for listening to the show and, before you go, I just have three requests for you. One if you like what I’m doing, please consider subscribing or following the podcast on whatever podcast platform you prefer. If you’re really into it, leave me a review, write something nice about me, give me five stars or whatever you feel is most appropriate. 


Number two I’ve got a book called owner shift how getting selfish got me unstuck. It’s an Amazon bestseller and I’d love for you to read it or Listen to it on audible or wherever else Barnes and Noble, amazon. You can get it everywhere if you’re looking for inspiration that will help you unlock your greatness and potential, order or download it today so that you can have your very own copy, and if you get it, please let me know what you think. Number three my newsletter. I do a newsletter every Thursday and I talk about things that are interesting to me and or I Give more information about the podcast and podcast guests that I’ve had and the experiences that I’ve had with them. You can sign up for the podcast today at my website, which is my name, mike Malatestacom. You do that right now. Put in your email address and you’ll get the very next issue. The newsletter is short, thoughtful and designed to inspire, activate and maximize the greatness in you. 


Alexi Cortopassi

Alexi Cortopassi

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I help entrepreneurs get unstuck, take back their power, achieve their life objectives, and create the futures they want.

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