Ep #95: The Art of Telling Your Own Story with Producer Matthew Kjar

Mastering Coaching Skills | The Art of Telling Your Own Story with Videographer Matthew Kjar

Today, I am interviewing my friend and Producer/videographer Matt Kjar, and he’s here to discuss everything storytelling. He’s sharing how powerful it is, how to tell your own story through video, how to talk to and engage your clients, and just about anything you can think of related to storytelling. There is so much information in here, even I’m going to listen to this one twice.

Matt Kjar started his video and film production journey in front of the camera, as a child actor. He soon realized that the ones who really make the magic happen are behind the camera, and decided to focus on the production side of things. He has shot videos for me many times, and I can honestly say he’s my favorite videographer to work with. He was at my Expansion Week in Palm Springs, and every time I watch one of the videos he created that week, I can’t help but cry. So, sit back and take in all of the advice Matt has to share.

Tune in this week for a conversation with Producer/Videographer Matthew Kjar all about the art of storytelling. Matt is sharing why he loves working with coaches, how it’s transformed the way he shows up for his clients, and he’s even giving us his step-by-step guide for telling powerful stories.

September 19th through 23rd 2022, I am hosting a week-long training for all the coaches out there who want to learn how to show up as the best possible coach for their clients, and it’s totally free. We’re doing a few days of training, and then the community opens up for questions and coaching, and it’s going to be so much fun. Replays will be available, but mark your calendars for September 19th and stay tuned for more details. Click here to sign up.

To celebrate episode 100 of the podcast, I’m going to be answering any questions you have whatsoever about coaching, business, life, or anything else. You can ask me your questions by clicking here. All questions are welcome and I’m answering as many as I can in a few weeks.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How Matt became a videographer and why he felt drawn to working with coaches.
  • The gutsy move Matt made that put him on the map as the videographer for coaches.
  • Why I personally love working with Matt and think he’s so effective in the work he does.
  • How working with coaches has transformed the way Matt shows up in his profession.
  • Why telling a story is so powerful, if you can keep your audience listening.
  • The ways Matt helps his clients get clear on the story they’re telling through their videos.
  • Matt’s step-by-step process for building an amazing story.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

Hey, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf, and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills, episode 95.

To really compete in the coaching industry, you have to be great at coaching. That’s why every week, I will be answering your questions, sharing my stories, and offering tips and advice so you can be the best at what you do. Let’s get to work.

Hey coach, before we dive in today I want to tell you really quickly about something coming up. The week of September 19th, so September 19th through September 23rd I am hosting a week long training for all coaches, any coaches, for free. I’m so excited to do this.

The training itself will actually only be a couple days long. And then the community because there’s going to be a private community just for you. For anyone listening right now that wants to join us, there will be a private community that is open all week for interaction, for questions, for coaching, for all of it. So excited to see you there.

And I’m actually plugging this before I know what we’re going to call it and exactly what the timeline is. The only reason I’m telling you right now so that you mark it on your calendars. So September 19th, that’s when it’s going to kick off. Replays, all the things will be made available. So if you’re like, oh no, I am busy that week or I have a lot going on, don’t worry.

There are going to be lots of different sessions, lots of different trainings covering all kinds of topics. Mostly the things that are standing in between you being the best possible coach for your clients right now. We’re going to talk about all of it that week, and I cannot wait to see you. Head to the show notes to find a link to sign up for that.

And then today, I have such a treat. So I want to tell you, if you’re driving, if you’re in the shower, if you’re doing something else, this is one of those times where you might want to listen, and then just decide ahead of time that you’re going to listen again because you are going to want to take notes.

Today I am interviewing my friend, a videographer, Matt Kjar. He is just the most incredible videographer I’ve ever worked with. He has shot video for me before. I recently had him at the expansion week I did in Palm Springs, that I hosted in Palm Springs for a few of my clients. He made some videos for us. And let me just tell you, you’ve heard one of them, we’re going to link another one at the end of this episode and in some upcoming episodes. Every time I watch one of the videos that he has created, I cry.

So in this episode we’re going to talk about storytelling. About how powerful it is, about the power of storytelling, and about how to really tell your own story. And how to talk to your clients, your past clients, in a way that engages them in storytelling when you’re looking for testimonials or ways to talk about how you work with your clients and kind of what you do.

This has so much information. I promise you, even I am going to go back and listen so that I can take notes and implement some of the things that we talk about into my own practice. So I hope you enjoy, Matt is so fun. I loved having this conversation with him. Without any further ado, here we go.

Lindsay: Hello, I am so happy to have you here today. Can you just introduce yourself and tell the people who you are and kind of a little bit about what you do?

Matt: Sure. So I’m Matt Kjar. I know it’s spelled strangely, K-J-A-R. It’s a Danish spelling, people are always like is that Kahar, Kiar, Kjar, Kar? But it’s pronounced care, as in I care about you. And I do video and television production. I do videos for coaches. I help coaches make amazing videos that change their businesses and change lives. So that’s what I do.

Lindsay: That is exactly what you do. And I probably said this in the intro, but I think it’s so fun, I’ve recorded a couple of podcasts about the expansion week that I did in Palm Springs. I’ve talked a lot about that, and I thought it would be so fun to have you on and talk exactly about what you just said. Because you have delivered to me these videos that aren’t of me, that are of some of my clients that have truly changed my life.

I have been linking a couple of them in the podcast. So people listening have maybe heard a couple up until this point. And we might add one to this episode because that would be fun just because you’re here.

And I love that your last name is pronounced care because, and I’ve told you this so many times, I’ve done several videos with you before and every time I have this interaction with you, even when we’re videoing, even when I’m super nervous, I just always feel like your questions, you really care about what you’re asking me, and you really want to know genuinely what my answer is.

So that’s something we’re going to dive into a little bit today, just kind of around how you do that, the art of storytelling and how you ask amazing questions. So my first question for you is just briefly, or not briefly, whichever you like, how did you get into this? Like how did you get started? And why do you work with coaches?

Matt: I love that. So about five years ago, well before that, a little bit before that. I’ve always been doing video and television production. And at one point my wife said, “Do you have any ideas to do?” Like I worked on TV shows, I worked with the Sundance Film Festival, I worked with the Olympics. So I was always doing lots of big, cool projects.

And she was like, what about your own projects? Do you have any ideas for your own kind of show? And I was like, yeah, I have this idea where we like take off and we take our kids and we go see all 50 states, and I call it 50 by 52. And she looks at me and she’s like, that is a horrible idea.

She said, “I know exactly what will happen. You’ll be out there filming these cool things, these cool experiences, and I’ll be stuck in a motorhome with three little kids except for when you need to film them.” And I was like, “Oh, yeah, you’re probably accurate.” And so I pushed that idea aside.

And then a little more than five years ago she came to me and she’s like, “We should do that. You remember that idea where we travel all 50 states? We should do it now while our kids are still kind of young.” We have four kids and our oldest was, at the time, going into eighth grade. And so she’s like, “We should do that now.” And I was like, “No, that’s a horrible idea.”

Because I had all my clients, and I was working on a TV show that actually we won a couple of Emmys for. I was really excited about that. And she was like, “No, if we don’t do it now, we won’t ever do it.” So we sold everything, we hit the road, we went on the road to see all 50 states.

And in the middle of that I basically was like, “What the heck am I doing? What value am I offering in the world? I really don’t feel like I’m making a difference.” I didn’t realize how much I had tied my value into who I was and what I did. It was so tied into my career and bringing in money and all those different things.

And all of a sudden, I was like, “Okay, I don’t even have to be here. She could be driving the motorhome. Literally, I don’t have to be here for any of this to be happening.” And so it really made me like take a step back at like what am I doing with my life? What do I want to contribute?

And so through that, that’s when Lindsey, my wife, introduced me to coaching. She had a coach at the time and was part of a coaching program. She’s like, you should listen to this coach because I think they would resonate with you. And so I started listening.

And it really did change how I thought about our trip, how I thought about myself. And it was, at that time it was tricky. I mean, some people would look at this and say you’re living like your dream. You’re traveling, you’re seeing the world, you’re doing all these cool things.

And for me it was weird because I really was, but at the same time it was like a nightmare almost. And so understanding about thought work changed all of that. And suddenly I could see how everything about this was amazing and was horrible at the same time. It was 50/50, right?

Lindsay: Right.

Matt: And so then as we were getting ready to come back from that trip, Lindsey is like, “So who would you like to do work with? You’ve had the opportunity to interview all these amazing people, work on all sorts of different things, what would you like to do?”

And I said, “I really like the content of these coaches. I love what they’re teaching, it resonates so powerfully with me. And I feel like it makes a huge difference in the world. And so I would like to help them with their stories.” And so I sent a coach a video.

I downloaded one of the Brooke Castillo’s podcasts and I edited a video from that podcast. And I didn’t have any footage of her or anything, so I just use some stock video. And I sent it to her, and I said, “You need a video guy,” in the email. It was a pretty gutsy move. I don’t know. Anyway, knowing what I know now, that was pretty gutsy. That was pretty ballsy of me. Well, I shouldn’t say that word. That was pretty gutsy of me.

Lindsay: You can say that word, it’s okay. Also, I’m laughing as you’re saying this because I’m thinking about when I get emails like this, I’m like, “Oh, delete. What is happening?” But I have a feeling, just because from talking to you and just experiencing how you speak to people and all of that, I have a feeling that your email was probably quite different than the emails that I’m getting.

Matt: And it’s funny because I think about that now, like I had done something like this before, like I had sent another company some videos and was like, “This is what we could do.” And I never heard anything back from them. So I fully intended like, I was like, “It’s a shot.”

And I also gave her a little bit of background, like how I’d come to coaching and I also offered a lot of value. I was like, “These are other ways that you could use video, even if you don’t use me. You could use video this way, this way, this way, this way. And these are some ideas that I have.”

So I really tried to set it up as like, whatever came from it, it was a win. Whether she said yes or no, it didn’t matter to me. I knew what I was trying to create in the world, which was like I just really wanted her message to get out there because I felt it had made such an impact in my life.

Jody Moore was working for her at the time and that’s who my wife had been working for. And so I also copied Jody on the email. And so I copied both of them and just sent it to them both. And I made it so that it was inevitable, like you click on the video, you click on it, like I tested it like three times before I sent it. Because I was just like, I don’t want to send this and her be like, well can’t get the link and this didn’t work.

Lindsay: Then you end up in the trash can for sure.

Matt: Totally. And so yeah, I checked the link, I tested it, and then I sent it. And I got a response back pretty quickly that was like, “I’m all in, what’s the next step?” And I was like, “Oh, okay.”

Lindsay: I’m just going to interrupt you because this is so powerful, and it has a lot to do with what we’re talking about today. I think this is such a testament for why I love doing videos with you, why you’re so effective at what you do, because you do it through the lens of I care so much, or at least that is what it feels like to me.

And what you just said in that story is like I care so much about this topic, about this being in the world, about the work that we do as coaches that you truly do want to help get that out there. And I think that’s probably like 98% of the reason that it was so effective when you sent that email.

Matt: I totally agree. And it’s funny because I feel so passionate about this, like I went through certification. I didn’t have to, I had access to all the videos, I had access to all the content. I edited a lot of them, right? But I was like, no, I feel like just to apply this work on myself, just to see how I could help my clients more. I feel like thought work and coaching makes such an impact on the world.

And so I’m incredibly passionate about it because I had that result for myself. I genuinely was like, “I don’t need to be here.” And then I changed my thoughts around it, and I changed the way that I was showing up. I probably wasn’t very fun those first three months of that trip. In fact, my wife has said to me, she’s like, “Well, if you don’t get over this…”

And truly my wife and I were just texting about this yesterday because she’s out of town on a trip with our kids, a school trip. And she’s watching the way that some of these parents are interacting with their kids. And she’s like, “It’s so different from me, I don’t even see like that I would ever want to interact with my kids the way that they are.”

So it just really makes a big difference. And, coaches, we need to help more people. Please, we need to continue to make an impact on the world.

Lindsay: I love it. Let’s just give your wife a shout out quickly. Her name is Lindsey, she is one of the most amazing humans. She actually came with you to Palm Springs. I invited her to be here today, but like you said, she’s traveling. And I just adore her. So I’m sad she’s not here, but I bet she’s having so much fun.

Matt: Yep, totally. Yep. And she’s also a coach. She’s also gone through certification. And it is really interesting to look at, like this has had kind of a ripple effect in our family just looking at how we think about things. So keep it up, everybody, please.

Lindsay: I love it. I love it. Okay, so this is just an aside, we’re just going to take an aside real quick because I’m so curious. And we’re just going to touch on this and then move on.

I’m just so curious what it’s like having both of you know about coaching, both being certified coaches, and like having all of those tools because partially it sounds amazing. And then just now when I was thinking about it as you were talking, I thought, “Oh, but would it be amazing?” Because that might give my husband way too much power.

Matt: Well, it’s funny because you really do have to recognize when somebody wants to be coached and when somebody just wants to listen.

Lindsay: Totally.

Matt: And that actually was, I mean, that has been huge for Lindsey and I because sometimes she’ll say, “Okay, I just want you to listen right now,” or I’ll say that. And sometimes it’s easy for us to do that. And other times we’re like, “Okay, but I know you don’t want to be coached on this, but just this one thing. Let me just tell you this.” And we have to recognize that sometimes, just like your friends.

Your friends don’t want to be coached all the time, right? If you show up and are just like, well, you know, your example a couple episodes ago of the rain, of the wedding date, right?

Lindsay: Yeah.

Matt: You couldn’t show up and be like, “Well, you know that this is just a thought. It’s not really a problem.” But to them, it really does feel like a problem. And that’s why coaching has been so helpful for us, recognizing when something feels like a problem to somebody else. And even if it doesn’t feel like a problem to you, just allowing them to feel like it’s a problem has been huge.

Lindsay: Love that.

Matt: It makes a huge difference because just because it is a thought and it’s not technically a problem, doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel like a problem to you.

Lindsay: Yes. We could do a whole episode on this. I talk about this all the time, so I love that you said that. Okay, so let’s get back on track.

When you think about storytelling and you think about why it’s important that we tell our stories and that we connect with our audience, with our people, I know you kind of planned, you said you had something planned to talk about. What kind of just comes up for you when you think, “Okay, this is a story,” right?

Which I think people get in their head sometimes about like, oh, I have to market. This is marketing, this is selling, this is whatever. And you’re like, no, no, no, it’s storytelling. Which releases, for me, so much of that I have to perform and I’m just telling stories. What are your thoughts? Like how do you talk about storytelling?

Matt: Yeah. So I always recommend to my clients to tell a story. Stories are so powerful. When we tell a story and somebody else is listening to the story, there’s what’s called a coupled response. Our emotions actually mirror or connect with the person.

So we have a certain emotion that’s happening and the person who is listening has a similar emotion. So they’ve done research on this, and they call it a coupled response. And I think it’s so interesting because when we tell stories, it is innate to us. Like we all want to tell stories, it’s just part of who we are, it’s in our DNA.

And physically, even inside of our brain, like the parts of our brain that cognitively process things and the parts that feel emotions are so closely connected, like they’re really right next to each other, that when we tell stories, it automatically just flows into helping us make decisions, into helping us feel emotions. And so I feel like stories, for me, they basically take the thought and the feeling, and they wrap it together and hit straight for the bullseye of action.

And so I always tell my clients to tell more stories. And I think there are four steps. Or I have four steps and literally they are S-T-E-P, four steps to storytelling. Lindsay: Love it. What are they?

Matt: So the first one, and I can tell a story, like I can tell a story and then we can dissect it if you want to.

Lindsay: I want to do whatever you want to do.

Matt: Okay, so I’ll tell you the steps. I feel like I came up with these, but at the same time, they may already be out there somewhere. I was looking at it and I was like this is so obvious. I tried to boil everything down to the very basic steps. And I was like, this is so obvious that it’s got to be out there somewhere already, but maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.

So I think the steps are set up, S, tension, T, E, execution, and P, payoff. So when you’re setting up your story, you want to start with the payoff. Just like a joke, when you’re telling a joke you want to start with the punchline in mind. If you don’t tell all the parts and the pieces in the setup, then when you get to the payoff, it doesn’t make any sense.

Lindsay: That’s how my kids tell jokes, they don’t understand the payoff. They’re like, “This is a joke.” And then I’m like, “That’s not funny.”

Matt: You’re like, “Wait, that’s not.”

Lindsay: Where are we going?

Matt: Yeah, the punch line doesn’t make sense. Like if you’re telling a joke and you don’t know that the guy’s name is Fred, and then you’re like, “Fred said…” And you’re like, well, who’s Fred? I don’t know. What’s happening right now?

So you want to start with the setup. You want to give the background, the details to make the payoff that much sweeter. And sometimes we end up in the exact opposite place of where we started, or exactly opposite of who we are where we started.

So especially when you’re thinking about it, in some of the greatest stories you actually end up in the exact same place at the beginning. The beginning and the end you’re in the exact same place, but you are completely different than where you started.

So I’m going to tell a story. So recently, it was actually last week, we had family over. We had family come from Colorado and we were super excited to have them over. And we went to the lake, we went swimming. I think there were 17 of us and half of them were staying at our house. So after the lake you can imagine, everybody is showering, we’re using all the towels, it’s a little bit chaotic. Everybody’s taking turns, you know, getting ready to shower.

So they stay with us, we have a wonderful time, the next day they leave. Well, the next day, I had a call that I was getting ready for. And it was a pretty early call, so I didn’t go on my normal run or anything. I just jumped out of bed and was like, “I got to just get in the shower, get ready to go.” Get in the shower, I shower off, I get ready to get out of the shower and there are no towels.

When I say no towels, I mean, literally there is one washcloth in a basket above the sink, above the toilet. I’m just like, are you kidding me? To make matters worse, Lindsey was not there. She had already flown off to Puerto Rico. And my other child, I had one child asleep downstairs, but my other child was out watching, there was a meteor shower here just recently and my other child was out watching the meteor shower.

So nobody is in the house and I’m like, okay, well, I could like run through my house naked. I started going through all these options. Like, I could do this, I could do this. And I’m like trying to figure it out. And finally I’m like, you know what? It doesn’t matter, I’m just going to get the washcloth. And I grabbed the washcloth and I dry off. And I get downstairs, and I get ready for my call.

So the thing that was interesting about this is I’m on my call and we start talking about like execution and start talking about like how you make things happen. And I was like, well, sometimes you just have to figure it out. And then I start telling the story of the washcloth and I was like, this is perfect.

Because what I learned from that instance, is that it doesn’t matter. I may not have the best thing in front of me, I may not have the ideal thing in front of me, but I have what I can use. And I’m going to use what I have to make what I want happen. Okay, so that’s the story of washcloth.

Lindsay: So good, I love that story.

Matt: So now we’re going to break it down.

Lindsay: And anyone with like two feet of hair, like me, right now is like, listen, this is a totally different story when you have a lot of hair and it’s dripping everywhere.

Matt: Yes, luckily I have no hair. So it’s all good. Okay, so now we’re going to look at the setup. So the setup, I gave you a little bit of backstory. I didn’t give you too many details, but I told you that we all went to the lake. I told you that there were like 17 people here and that we all had to shower.

So if I hadn’t given you that little bit of a detail, we wouldn’t know why there are no towels, right? What, is it laundry day?

Lindsay: Right. Matt: And I even missed a little bit of the setup. I didn’t say that Lindsey was gone, I didn’t say that my child was gone. So I gave a little bit of that back, but you can jump back and forth when you’re setting up a story, right? I took you to the moment as quickly as I possibly could, the moment of tension.

Because when you’re setting up a story you want to give enough information that it sets up the story, but then you want to get right to the tension. The tension is the key part of the story. That’s where we live. That’s where like everybody is like, “Oh, what’s going to happen next? What’s going to happen next?” That’s what keeps your audience listening, right?

If we don’t set up the tension as quickly as possible, then sometimes people are like, “What? Why do I even care about this? Why is this important?”

Lindsay: Yeah, in my mind I went, I immediately connected to that moment of like, I’m standing there and there’s literally no towels and what do I do? Which is like the moment of tension.

Matt: Yes. And then I started, I jumped to the execution, right? I was like, I could do this, I thought through everything. And then I jumped back to the moment of tension. Because we want to stay, I mean, if a story were like a wave, the tension, the peak moment of tension is at the crest of the wave.

And then the execution and the payoff are kind of as the wave comes back down. And you can look at this in great storytelling, like my son loves to watch The Hobbit and those movies, right? And if you look, they have lots of little moments of tension, and then there’s a resolution, and then it brings you back to another tension, and then the resolution, tension, resolution.

And that’s how TV shows, movies. One thing that we would always do in television is you do a tease, that’s what you call it. So you’d do a tease at the beginning of the episode, and then you’d do a tease in the middle of the episode like right before you go to a commercial break, when we come back, but wait, you’ve got to come back, right? Because you don’t want to lose the audience in the middle of those commercial breaks.

And now where we have streaming they’re like, “Oh, well, how do we keep people watching?” They don’t give you a resolution. They leave you with a cliffhanger.

Lindsay: Yes, I was just thinking that. I was thinking about Netflix, right? That’s probably how they get, I mean, I know it’s why I want to like, okay, but no, we have to start the next episode, because they leave you maybe in that moment of tension, right?

Matt: Yeah, as long as they possibly can. Like they’ll give you a little bit of resolution because our brain really wants to have like this, oh. And if you watch to the end of the episode, they’ll set up the next episode or they’ll give you a teaser, or they’ll do something to keep you coming back. Because that tension is extremely, like it’s a huge dopamine hit.

So then we go to the execution, like how is the person going to get through this, through this tension? What are they going to do? And then the payoff. And if we’d never get to the payoff, then people are going to be like, “Wait, but what happened? Like, what did you do? And why is this important to me? The payoff is the place where we can slow it down again.

And that’s where, especially in email, in coaching, in a video, in storytelling, in a podcast, at that moment you can slow the payoff down. And you can use that pay off as an analogy. Especially I love this in video, I love this in coaching, and I love this in podcasts. That pay off, we can start to dissect the payoff and we can slow it down. And we can say, “Okay, what can we learn from this? What can we learn from that moment of tension? What can we learn from that execution? And can we learn from that payoff?”

Lindsay: This is so fascinating and now I’m like, wait, I should have been taking notes. I should be doing this on my podcast every week. But I think this is so useful for anyone thinking about, okay, how do I, I know for me personally, I’ll just share something that I think sometimes is like people don’t care about what I personally am doing in my life about these things.

But even just the way you told that story about the washcloth, I was so in it, right? I was like, yes. Oh, that is the worst. And what did you do? And oh, it’s so amazing that you then used it on the call, or whatever it was that you were on. And if someone just listened to you say that and they’re like, “Oh, that just sounds like a lot.” How would you just say it and the most simple terms of like, here’s how you would think about it in maybe one video?

Matt: Yeah. Yeah, so again we’re just going to go back to those steps, right? And if you look at thinking about telling a story, I love to think through the stories that I’m going to tell. In fact, one thing there’s a great book by Matthew Dicks that he talks about like telling stories. And one thing that he has a lot of people do, which as soon as I finished reading that book I was like, “I’m doing that for the rest of my life.” He calls it homework for life.

And he has you, every single day, go through and write down what happened that day because you don’t remember a lot of the things that happen. But he says write down the stories. And the truth of the matter is there are stories that happen in your everyday life. Every single day there is something that happened to you that could be utilized in a portion of a story, in part of a story.

And so that’s where we like start to kind of store these. Like I just use a Google spreadsheet, and I just every single day. And so then you have this treasure trove of stories that you can pull from because then you start thinking about things in stories. Like you shift your mind from, “Oh, that was just an experience,” to “Oh, that’s actually a story that I could tell.”

And so if you think about the opportunities to tell stories, they’re all around us, in a podcast, in a video. And the best way to do it is just to start. And you can practice telling me stories with these four steps: setup, tension, execution, payoff. It’s super simple.

Just recognize, I’ve got to set the story up. There’s got to be a moment of tension. You can even mix the tension and execution together if you want to. If it’s easier to make it three steps, great. Setup, tension, execution payoff. But realizing that it just flows. We are natural born storytellers and sometimes we get in our own way by thinking that we have to do things in a certain, like it’s not going to be good enough, it’s not going to be, like just start telling the story.

Lindsay: So now I’m curious because I’ve worked with you, and you have helped me kind of pull things out of me to put stories together. And in Palm Springs you did this with some of my clients and created the most amazing videos and stories that I still cry every single time I watch them, you know, listen to them, watch them.

And so I’m curious how you, as the videographer, how are you thinking about that when you’re interviewing someone?

Matt: Yeah, so good. So as I’m doing interviews, and if you want to, I have four S’s for interviewing, we could talk about that.

Lindsay: Good.

Matt: But as I’m doing interviews, it’s interesting because I really do approach it from a place of curiosity. I really want to be curious about what the person has to say. And I really want to know what their story is. Even if I think I know what their story is, I want to understand where they’re coming from.

So a great example of this actually was on that television show that I was telling you about where we won a couple of Emmys. It’s a show called Story Trek. So we would travel the country, knock on people’s doors, and ask them to tell us their story because the theory was everybody has a story. So it was such a fun show, I worked on it for eight seasons, I think.

And it was every place we went, we just ran into random people, and we would ask them to tell us their story. Well, there was this one time when we asked this guy to tell us his story, and he’s talking and we’re listening to the story. And the producer, the executive producer in talent is so talented, was so talented at pulling parts of interviews out and just pulling people’s stories out.

And we were listening to this guy’s story and we kind of got to where he was basically wrapping up. And we all got together, and Todd was like, “Okay, so I think this is the way I want to go with this story.” And I had been listening intently, because I feel like I film with my ears in a lot of ways. Like I listen, yes I’m getting a beautiful shot, but I’m listening to the content.

And so he says, “Okay, I think this is the way that we want to go.” And I said, “Well, why don’t you want to go with the clubfoot portion of his story?” And he goes, “Wait, what?” I said, “Yeah, he talked about how he had a clubfoot, and it was really hard for him.” And he’s like, “Did he say that?” And I said, “Yeah.”

And so the story that we were about to tell was completely different than the story that we ended up telling because the clubfoot was a detail that the guy kind of brushed over and went on to tell something else. And I said, “I’m just curious why we why we’re not focusing on this.” And Todd’s like, “Let’s continue the interview.”

And so sometimes we get in the middle of this thinking we already know somebody’s story, and if we don’t listen to those details, then we don’t recognize that, and especially show up as curious, then we don’t recognize that we may have missed a vital part of the story. And so being willing to go back and say, “Okay, you mentioned this thing in your story, like you were talking about this. Tell me more about that.”

Like Jennifer Dent-Brown, the story, she just briefly touched upon the picture that somebody had sent her, and I was like, “Hey, wait, let’s talk a little bit more about that.” And suddenly that became the whole part of her interview. Like she said, “Oh, I have the picture.” And it was interesting because when she started telling that, like I said, there’s this coupled response, I felt, I could feel the difference.

Before that the interview was going great. It was a good interview. But there wasn’t a story so much, until she got to that point. And all of a sudden she started telling the story and I started listening to the story, we started having this coupled response. And I was like, “Oh, no, this is definitely the direction we have to go.” So I had to really slow it down and not miss those details.

Lindsay: So what I’m hearing, my biggest takeaway from what you just said, a lot of it is like not going into it with this preconceived like here’s what I’m trying to get out of this. Whether you’re telling your own story even maybe, or interviewing someone else thinking about maybe a testimonial, or just talking to your clients.

But instead of like, I’m trying to get this certain thing out of this interview, out of these questions, just really being open to what else might be there. What you hear, what you pick up on, and just very much focusing your attention on the person you’re talking to and listening.

Matt: Yes, totally. And that is so powerful in like slowing it down. And sometimes we get over anxious. I actually did this one time, so I was working with the Sundance Film Festival, and I got really, really excited because this was the first time that I’d done, it wasn’t the first time I’d done a red carpet, but this is the first one that they were like, “It’s going to be some pretty big stars.” So I was really nervous.

And sometimes when we get really nervous, we rush. And so Danny DeVito comes walking down the red carpet. And they’d already given me a little bit of background like, “Hey, he’s going to be really short. He doesn’t like when people kind of squat down, but we want the eye level to be consistent with the camera. So whatever you can do with that.”

And I’m like, “Okay.” So I had all these things going on in my head. And so as soon as he got to me, and I was working with the Sundance Film Festival, so I was like position number one. And like three or four questions just came tumbling out of my mouth all at the same time. And he looked at me and he’s like, “Really? All of those, huh?” And I’m like, “In whatever order you’d like to answer them would be perfect.”

So I wasn’t patient. I was so nervous and so fidgety that I just was like, I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t done my background work at that instant to be able to show up slow and patient and ready to just like listen and show up for him. Show up for him to be able to tell the story.

Lindsay: I love how much parallel there is between what you’re saying and what I help my clients do and what I teach my clients. I literally just sent an email, I think last week, that was about this exact thing, but in coaching.

How you get nervous, and perfectionism is like the enemy to great coaching, because when you’re in your head and you’re thinking, I’m supposed to do this right, and I need to know like what’s the next question to ask. Instead of just slowing down, taking a deep breath, and just truly listening to what is your client saying and just being in that moment with them.

Matt: Totally, totally. And it works with interviewing, and it works with coaching. If you show up thinking, like I said, thinking you know what the story is thinking or just not being patient, it’s going to be a big problem.

And then your job, in that instance, when you are doing an interview is to help the client to be seen and to be heard. If I boil everything down to what I do, I help people be seen and be heard.

Lindsay: Me too.

Matt: Right? That’s what you do.

Lindsay: This is so good.

Matt: And it’s so important, right? Because with video, if their camera is not working or if my camera is not working, they’re not going to be seen. If the audio is not working, they’re not going to be heard. But also, if you aren’t showing up in a place where they can be seen and be heard, they’re not going to show up. They’re not going to get the transformation.

And you’re not going to get the story. If you’re doing an interview, you’re not going to get the story. You’re not going to get a testimonial that is going to be impactful.

Lindsay: So good. Okay, so have we already gone through the four S’s? Or is that what you’re doing right now?

Matt: That’s what I’m doing, yeah.

Lindsay: Perfect.

Matt: And I guess I didn’t actually give them as the S’s. Do you want the S’s?

Lindsay: Sure.

Matt: I had set the stage, see the stakes, seek the growth, and seal the story. Lindsay: Okay.

Matt: So when we set the stage, we are going to get a background, just like we did before, right? So that’s where we’re showing up ready to listen, ready to experience what they have had. So it’s the who, what, when, where, why. This is important to know the players. But it’s also important to recognize that you don’t know all the story. You got to just be patient. So you when you set the stage, you really have to be listening. That’s the clubfoot story.

And then see the stakes, we want to really visualize what’s happening. Visualize where we are. So when I was telling the story about Danny DeVito, I said I’m on the red carpet. I didn’t just say I’m at the premiere. I’m on the red carpet, so we can see that story in our mind.

And as you’re asking people to tell their story, as many details as they want to give that are descriptive words are super powerful, right? That is super, like how were you feeling? Like if I’m asking somebody about their story, what were you feeling like? Jess Johnson, that’s another one that’s coming. I actually have it ready.

Lindsay: I can’t wait to see it.

Matt: She tells this moment where she’s lying in bed and she’s like, “I had stopped filling out the application. And then I was like, well, wait a second. What would I do?” She took us to that very moment as she’s telling that story. And the way that I edit, I take a lot of time to whittle down the parts and pieces. And you can do this with podcasts, you can do this with your emails. Editing is your friend. Editing is so important.

And then seek the growth. What was learned? What was the outcome? Where was the change? And then seal the story, why was this moment so important for them? Why was this moment so important for the audience? How do we connect this?

And that’s exactly what we just did when we said you want them to be seen and you want them to be heard. We connected to this moment, why is this so important for your audience?

So, set the stage, see the stakes, seek the growth, and seal the story.

Lindsay: I love it, people are going to have to really like stop driving, pull over, get out of the shower, whatever it is that they’re doing and re-listen and probably take notes during this podcast because these are so powerful. I even feel like I’m going to have to go back and listen and take some notes. So good. I so appreciate all of this.

Matt: Oh, no problem, I have a document that maybe by the time this is finished, it’ll be ready. I’m working on it right now, that has all these details in it. So I can either send that to you and you can give that as a link or whatever you want to do.

Lindsay: Yeah, we can link it. Well, at the very end I will ask you to kind of let everyone know where they can find you and all of that. We can definitely link because we’ll link that in the show notes. But we can link that as well if that is something you want to offer them. So fun.

Matt: Totally.

Lindsay: All right. So if this is out and you’re listening and the link isn’t there yet, just know Matt is still working on it and it will be there.

Matt: Yes.

Lindsay: Because I haven’t told you yet when this is coming out, so we’re not sure if that’s going to fit the deadline or not. But I love it. Okay, so what else? You work with a lot of coaches and interview a lot of people about coaching.

What haven’t we talked about that you, and this is just a very broad, huge question. But if you don’t have anything, that’s fine. But is there anything we haven’t talked about that you think is just important for coaches to know or to think about storytelling, about videos?

Matt: That’s actually the last piece, I think, that’s so important is, for me, and maybe I’m a little bit biased because I do video. But there is a lot of, I mean, there are so many statistics that show video increases engagement. It actually makes it so that people open your emails more often. It actually makes it so that people are on your website more often.

There is something about the visual and that storytelling that is so powerful. And in fact, when I was talking to another client about this and they said, “I’m not sure where I heard it, but I thought of you when I heard it.” They said, “If pictures are worth a thousand words, a video, each frame of the video is worth a thousand pictures.” And I was like, right there, like so many words, so much power in video.

So we do have this coupled response. When we see people, we see their interaction, their faces, it’s so powerful to get to know them. And there’s so many easy ways to use video. One of the things that, it kills me, is that people are like, “Oh, it’s so much work, it’s so much hassle, it’s so much.”

And I’m like, “No, it’s so easy. Like, right here in your hand, like the phone in your pocket, this is better technology than I started my career with. You have a full 4K camera in your hand, in your pocket all the time.”

And I had a client just recently, we were talking about this, and she said, “Well, I always think that like, no, I can’t have videos that aren’t as up to Matt’s quality going out there.” And I was like, “Okay, let’s put it this way, if there was somebody that you saw just at church,” I used church as an example.

Let’s say you see this lady at church, and she’s got her pearls on and she’s got her hair all done, and she’s got her makeup all done. And that’s the only time that you ever see her. Are you going to want to approach that lady? And you see her at church, and she’s all done up and she’s like all ready. Like that’s the only time that you see her and interact with her, do you feel like you actually know that person? Do you feel like you would actually get to know that person?

No, you want to see them in 100 different ways. So you don’t have to worry about all your videos being extreme quality and being like the best out there. You can do a video on your phone. You can do a video on your computer. You can do a video, there are so many different ways to use video.

One example that I used just recently with a client is I said, you know, if you’re still working one on one with clients, you could do a video that just introduces yourself before you get on a consult call. You record a little video, you say, “Hey, this consult call is going to be all about you. So I just wanted to give you a little bit of my background and tell you a little bit about who I am and tell you my story.”

And then you say that with the email for the consult. I’m guessing that they’re going to be, in fact I’ve done this. I did this just recently. My wife and I coach mixed faith marriages and I did this with a mixed faith married couple and I sent them a video. And he was like, “Oh, that was so good to hear your story. And I resonate with this, and it resonate with this.”

So then I didn’t have to spend any time on the consult call telling him my background, telling him my story. I had sent it to him in the video and he was ready to just be like, “Yeah, let me tell you where my pain points are. Let me tell you what’s happening with me.” Like, that’s just one simple example.

Lindsay: Genius. I love that. And I think that that is useful. I love you’re always thinking about like, how are we going to use this video? And I just want to share with everyone that right before I started recording, you asked me, “Do you use this video, or do you just use the audio for your podcast?” And I said, “Just the audio.”

And you were like, “Oh, well, here are just five simple ways you could use this video if you wanted to.” And just stuff like that is so, so useful. I love that that is just where your brain goes. And people that follow me know I don’t do tons of videos, but I’m working on it.

Matt: Yeah. And that’s the other thing that I think I would also say, is like don’t ever beat yourself, that was the other thing that this client and I had this conversation about. And she was like, “Okay, well, I know, you probably think I should do more videos.” I don’t think you should do anything, right?

Lindsay: Yeah.

Matt: I think this is a tool. Honestly, I think it’s a very underutilized tool. Like, I think if you watch how much time people spend on TikTok, and on Instagram, and on all these different things, and most of the things that stop the scroll are videos. And so if you think about that, I think we’re underutilizing it. But you don’t have to do it at all. If you don’t want to, don’t.

Lindsay: Yes. I think that that is so powerful. And I don’t coach a lot on, or really at all on marketing or sales, but I focus on the coaching aspect, right? And a lot of my clients will say, well, but I can’t make videos like you do in the portal and in my program or in this place. And it’s like, well, who cares, right? Do them like you.

And they’re always so surprised when they’re like, yeah, but you probably just record all of these in a day, and it just looks so easy for you. And I’ll say no that one video took me five tries. But I’m willing to just get on and do it, and then decide, oh, do I need to rerecord it? Is this what I wanted it to be? Is the outcome what I want?

And I think that that is one big takeaway that I’m hearing you say, is let go of the idea that it has to be right, that it has to be perfect. Which, of course, I talk about this all the time, the same is true for coaching. And I think that that’s just always a useful thing to remember, no matter what you’re doing.

Matt: Totally. Yeah, and the best camera. People ask that all the time too. What’s the best camera? Which camera should I get? And I’m like the best camera is the camera that you’re going to use.

Lindsay: So good.

Matt: I set up for this one client, I set up this really nice camera. And I like helped them set up their office and then I was like, “How’s it going with the camera?” They’re like, “I haven’t actually used it because it’s a little bit tricky, it’s a little bit hard.” And I was like, “Okay, I failed you.” If I didn’t set it up in a way that it’s easy for you to use, then you’re not going to use it. So the best camera to use is the one that you will use.

Lindsay: Yes. Oh, this is so true. I have definitely learned this about myself, if I don’t know how to use it, forget it. I’m probably not going to take the time to do it. I’m going to keep putting it off. And then the thing that I’m trying to do, it’s just never going to get done. It’s just always going to be on the back burner. I do love that. Anything else?

Matt: Oh, I could talk all day. No, I’ll cut off there.

Lindsay: Okay. Well, people can contact us if they have more questions. Maybe we’ll do a part two someday if there’s a lot of stuff that comes up. But thank you so much. I really appreciate you doing this. I think it is going to be incredibly useful for everyone that listens.

If people listened and they’re like, wait, I want to see what Matt’s doing. I want to know what he’s up to. How can I hire him? Any of the things, where can they find you?

Matt: So my website, I have a website Periscope Productions. I’m like I have a website because I primarily work on referral, but I’m in the middle of developing a program. In fact, the client I was talking about, they’re going through the program right now. I have a couple clients who are going through as kind of a trial run.

A program called Lights Camera Action, where basically turn on all the lights inside your brain around video, around your business. It’s specifically for video. We turn on all the lights and then we focus the camera on what you want to happen. And then we take the action, and we start. So it’s called Lights Camera Action. But my website is periscopeproductions.com and I will have an interest list.

Lindsay: Where will they find your program? Like when it’s ready, where will that be?

Matt: I’m going to have an interest list on my website, so that way if they’re interested in the program they can sign up there to get more details. Because it’s not in the wider domain yet because I’m honing and I’m focusing a little bit on it right now.

Lindsay: I love that. Well, that is going to be in high demand for sure. I can’t wait to see what it’s like and hear about it. So thank you, again.

Matt: Thank you.

Lindsay: So great.

Matt: Honestly, when you messaged me about doing this I was like, “Oh, do I have stuff that I could offer? What could I offer?”

Lindsay: I love that you showed up prepared. You’re like, “Here’s what I’m thinking, we could talk about this. We could talk about this.” Great. You were an amazing guest.

Matt: Oh, thank you.

Lindsay: I’m so glad I asked you, it was so fun.

Matt: Seriously, if nothing else, get out there and get coaching because it makes a huge impact on the world. So thank you for what you’re doing. Thank you for what you’re doing, helping coaches, and let’s just keep making an impact.

Lindsay: Let’s do it. I’m on board. All right, thanks. Bye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Mastering Coaching Skills. If you want to learn more about my work, come visit me at lindsaydotzlafcoaching.com. That’s Lindsay with an A, D-O-T-Z-L-A-F.com. see you next week.

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