SEP Episode 47: Change Your Story Change Your Life With Mark England

Change Your Story Change Your Life With Mark England

 

Today on the show we have Mark England. Mark is a master of internal storytelling, the kind of storytelling you tell in your own head. He helps you to examine the language you’re using surrounding what’s possible in your business, your life, your relationships, and what’s happening around you.

He’s got some amazing insights to share today about how you can change the story in your head to empower and create more powerful opportunities in your business. He’s also going to give us some really important storytelling techniques that he’s learned over his 10 to 12 years as a professional speaker giving TED Talks.

There is lots of practical information. Some of this storytelling can change your life, and if you master what he recommends to do on the stage, it’s going to change your business, as well.

What You Will Learn On This Episode


  • The Buddha Smile Technique
  • Wim Ho Method of Breathing
  • Ted Talks
  • The Key Preparation Tools to Implement for Public Speaking

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode


Enlifted Course

The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity by Daniel Reed

Procabulary Save $100 w/ Discount Code: nextlevel

Wim Ho Method

Instagram

 

Transcription


Kyle Gray:

Hello, and welcome to the Story Engine Podcast. My name is Kyle Gray, and today on the show we have Mark England. Mark is a master of storytelling and mostly the kind of storytelling that you’re telling in your own head, the language that you’re using about what’s possible in your business, and your life, and your relationships, and what’s happening around you. He’s got some amazing insights to share today about how you can change the story in your head to empower you, create more opportunities, create powerful results in your business, and he’s going to give us some really powerful storytelling techniques that he’s learned as 10 to 12 years as a professional speaker giving TED Talks, as well.

 

Kyle Gray:

So there’s lots of practical information. Some of this storytelling can change your life. And if you master what he recommends to do on the stage, it’s going to change your business, as well. So without any further ado, let’s turn it over to Mark.

 

Kyle Gray:

Hello, and welcome to the Story Engine Podcast. My name is Kyle Gray, and today on the show we have Mark England from Enlifted. Mark, thank you so much for joining us.

 

Mark England:

Thank you for having me.

 

Kyle Gray:

Now, Mark, we’ve been doing a little bit of talking before we hopped on this interview and there is so much that I am excited to explore with you. You are a master at taking the thoughts, and the stories that we have in our head and turning them into real true results that are what we’re looking for. And I want to get into that all, but I want to introduce you properly first by allowing you to tell us a story about a moment in your life that’s defined you and led you to doing what you’re doing today.

 

Mark England:

Can I share two?

 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah.

 

Mark England:

I opened two emails from Career Services in college. One was the first week of school. I had no idea what that one said. Four and a half years later, the week before I graduated was the second email from Career Services that I opened. I had, like most graduates do, a million things going on, moving down to the beach to work after graduation, parties, parents coming in. And I had this pull, Kyle, to open this particular email, and I found it strange. And I’m glad I did. I clicked on the email, and it came up, Teach English in Thailand. I’m in Radford, Virginia at the time, and this is what I do. I read the title, I look up for one full second, I look back down, decision made. Reply to the email, I’ll be at the talk in a couple of days, thank you very much.

 

Mark England:

I made a decision instantly, mostly on gut feeling. I got that strong ping to go, to go overseas. I had previous experience with Thai boxing in college, and the girl I was dating at the time, her parents were Southern Baptist missionaries, and they had had all of these amazing stories about living overseas and things I never even dreamed of. I had only had my passport for a year when I got that email.

 

Mark England:

And so I did, I moved over to Thailand. The plan was go over there, practice Thai boxing in the motherland, and then move back and go pro as a fighter. That’s the exact opposite of what I got. What I did get was a healthy dose of me and my dark side. The second point when reality changed for me was when I was in the doctor’s office after my second knee surgery in Bangkok, and he said, “Your career as a fighter is over. It’s over.” He said, “You could become a very good swimmer.”

 

Mark England:

It doesn’t matter what he said, anything but that. And he would have known because he was just digging around in my knee a couple of days before. He was right. The whole thing stopped, and that opportunity, which I see very much as an opportunity and a blessing now, was a curse for me then. I felt wrong in every sense of the way, from the people that were involved when I was training and got kicked, to the universe, to my parents. Everything that I saw was proof that I was born to lose if that makes sense. It shored up and inflamed my victim mentality because I had one. And that was very much a turning point for me. I can keep talking about that if you want, or maybe you have a specific question to go from there.

 

Kyle Gray:

Well, I mean, I think that’s something that makes a lot of sense, and it’s actually a great springboard for where we can go in. Though your story of traveling to Thailand, being a fighter is somewhat extraordinary, few people have done that. But I think that all of us can really identify and feel with kind of the internal story that was going on. I think we’ve all come up against something in our lives that just stops the narrative that we had, the plan that we had going forward. And it totally changes us.

 

Kyle Gray:

Usually, it’s the thing that ends up eventually changing us for the best. It usually goes from the worst thing ever to the best thing ever if you’re patient and open to it. I know that it’s been the case for many of the struggles that I’ve experienced in my own life. But I’d love to hear more about how you and the work you’re doing these days helps people turn those stories around and maybe you can tell your own story of how you turned it around from that low point. How are you changing that into an empowering thought that created opportunity for you and moves you forward?

 

Mark England:

From the doctor’s office, let’s fast forward a year.

 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah.

 

Mark England:

A year of me being not even bitter, I went way past bitter, brother. I was in a seething mode, so much so I didn’t laugh. I did not laugh for an entire year. I couldn’t get my face into position to enjoy life. And it struck me. So it was a series of wake up calls. It struck me that I could continue to create this particular story, this version of me, depending on how you want to talk about it. I could continue to live my life like that person, that victim for decades. And I looked down that path, and what I saw, it scared me and for good reason. And it happened on a bar stool.

 

Mark England:

My girlfriend from college, we move over there, and she was very attractive, very outgoing, life of the party. She wanted to take salsa lessons. She wanted to start salsa dancing. I’m like, “Okay, cool.” I’m not. I can barely walk without a limp. So she starts taking salsa lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And we would go to this Cuban salsa club on the weekends. It was very fun, high vibe, lots of parties. Everybody was very social. They knew we were together. All the guys in there knew we were together and that didn’t matter.

 

Mark England:

This is a news flash. It was a real shocker that Cuban men, they very much like attractive blonde American women. I would have never put those two things together. So we’re sitting on, not we, I’m sitting on the bar stool drinking Heinekens. I’m probably seven or eight deep in there. And I’m watching my girlfriend get spun around my these master salsa dancers on the floor. And I’m looking at this, and you know, they’re looking at me thinking how am I going to get her out of the club underneath this guy’s nose.

 

Mark England:

That’s not what bothered me, Kyle. What very much bothered me was when it registered that I was cold to the whole thing. I didn’t care. I almost used some four-letter words. I did not care at all about this person that I said that I loved. And I looked at that and I was like, how did you get here, man? How did you get here? And I’ve been answering that question personally and professionally since then.

 

Mark England:

What I did know is that hey, you can keep being this version of you. Like I said, that scared me. Shortly thereafter, I read a book, The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity. And it talked about traditional Chinese medicine. It made sense to me, and I had some acupuncture in college. And lo and behold, I was an elementary school sports teacher at the time. We were on an American calendar, so I had four months paid vacation every year. It was really cool. And I used, shortly after I read that book, shortly after I had that realization, I started going down to a cleansing resort on an island in the Gulf of Thailand called Ko Samui. We would go and do seven-day cleansing programs.

 

 

Mark England:

My fourth trip down there, I met a guy who was giving a seminar one evening on emotional detoxification. And me and my wisdom, I laughed at it. I snickered at it. The person that told me about it, they were like, “You need to go.” So I went, and I watched him take someone’s story, this woman’s story about a bad breakup, she was all hung up about it, and they went through it three different times. The first time, she just told it as is. She was angry with tears. The second time, they played it through, made a couple of adjustments to the words, and in three minutes, now she’s sad no tears. Played it through one more time, change the ending, take this one keyword out in the middle, and she has clarity, so much so she went like this. She took a sigh of relief of pressure. And her ability to see the situation changed. She changed her perspective. It’s called a cognitive shift. You know, you hear them all the time. Someone goes hm or ah.

 

Mark England:

Something just happens, something just changed. What they’re seeing is now different. And she goes, “You know, that wasn’t going to work anyway. The guy was actually pretty weird.” And I’m looking at this and I said, “That’s not my story, but that’s my story.” And it was an avenue for me to go to work on myself in a way that I was unaware of. I was unaware that people could change their perspectives. The only thing that I thought was how people change their stories, you know, going to a therapist or something like that. You go every week, and then you just keep digging. I’m like, “That’s not me. I’m not going to do that.” But this interests me because I can do this on myself. It was something called emotional freedom technique that combines tapping on certain points of the body correlating to meridian lines. And then a way of using language to set up or reframe the story for ourselves.

 

Mark England:

I got benefit from it, and I decided that this is very interesting to me, I want to work with people. So I went back to the States in 2006 and did a training with the founder, moved back down to that same cleansing resort and put up my sign. I was a counselor there for five years, did a lot of story work. So two people in a room, two chairs, people facing each other, myself and the client, and a lot of talking. And I paid very close attention, I still do, to what words take people in what directions in their experience of themself.

 

Mark England:

And when I say that, in Procabulary, we focus on four things. Our words influence four key aspects of our experience of yourself. First and foremost is our imagination. Second is our emotions, our feelings. Third is our physiology, how we move our body. And then fourth is how we breathe. And here’s an example. I use it quite frequently because it puts everything on the table immediately. I was coaching a young man in Calgary, and he was having some problems in his job. And we were just like I said, this was the same setup, two people, two chairs facing each other about five feet apart, so obviously, I can see him.

 

Change Your Story Change Your Life With Mark EnglandMark England:

This is what he said and this is what he did. He said, “Mark, I can’t keep focusing on my past.” And he turned around and looked behind him quickly. It was a very strong macro movement with his body. And I’m looking at him and I said, “You know you just turned around and looked behind you, right?” And he said, “What, really?” I said, “Yeah. What did you see?” He goes, “What do you mean?” “In your imagination, what did you envision?” He engaged his physical body. He turned around unconsciously. He envisioned himself on the couch and all alone. I asked him how he was feeling. Anxious and a little bit scared. And then, “Hey, bro, where are you breathing?”

 

Mark England:

There’s a certain subset of the English language that in Procabulary we call conflict language. People use it unconsciously to create a vast majority of the problems, and the conflict, and the chaos, and the stress in their life. And when someone says certain things like I can’t keep focusing on my past, they force themself to look at the worst parts of where they’ve come from again. And that sends them into a stress response, a sympathetic nervous system response. And the breathing becomes trapped in the chest. And if someone micro stresses themself 20, 30, 40 times a day with worrying thoughts, negations, or blaming people, projections, or creating indecision. You know, I think I might actually want to change my life one day.

 

Mark England:

Our breathing gets trapped in our upper chest. It’s known as shallow breathing, or labored breathing, or costal breathing. And that becomes a very big problem when someone wants to develop quality relationships, they want to become healthier, or tell their story well. When someone is telling a story, you’re a professional speaker, when someone is a TED podcaster, you’re the Story Engine. When someone wants to tell their story or someone is telling their story and they’re nervous for a variety of reasons, some of them are identity related, some of them are concerning the crowd, whatever, maybe they’re underprepared. And they’re breathing in their upper chest. It comes across in how the message is delivered.

 

Mark England:

When someone is breathing in their chest, that’s amateur hour. The best speakers, they’ve gone past confidence, and they’re into a comfort zone in themself onstage. And when someone is in a comfort zone, they’re breathing in their abdomen. Their message is delivered differently. It sounds very different. They can maintain long sentences if they choose to instead of talking about what they would like to, the audience to get one day with the message. You can hear it in their breath. We’ve all seen people chole onstage. That’s very uncomfortable. It’s very uncomfortable for them, very uncomfortable to watch.

 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah. I mean, onstage, not only that, but this is applicable in almost every area of your business. The same thing will happen on a sales call. The same thing could happen when you are starting up with a client. Maybe it’s your first client call. And I know with my early clients, I was feeling really nervous like that, and it comes across.

 

Mark England:

Me too.

 

Kyle Gray:

What you’re saying here, I just want to really highlight how important, and how practical, and how common this is. It seems so basic and so simple, but if you can really start to notice and master these things, then there’s just 100 little ways that you can change your life every day like what you’re saying, being able to just not get stressed unnecessarily. Bringing that down is going to create incredible opportunities and help people break through a lot of the barriers and the challenges that they are facing in their own businesses. So it’s so simple, and it’s so practical and so powerful.

 

Mark England:

100%. We were talking about the Wim Ho method before we got on the call. That is a way of developing breathing capacity, whether it’s that way or you look up breath practices, they’ve been doing these for thousands of years in India or over in Asia. That will add so much value to your skill set as a speaker. Getting the breath back down in the abdomen where it belongs, that’s where you want it to reside. And then keeping it down there. So the keeping it down there part, a large part of the reason why people breathe costally or are stress breathers comes down to the words that they use.

 

Mark England:

The gentleman I was working with, he said, “I can’t keep focusing on my past.” I said, “Okay, great. I get it. Pick up your pin. Write that down. Look at it.” And he did. And I said, “Okay if that’s what you can’t keep doing, what can you start doing?” And he said it like a question, “Focus on my future more?” See how it went up at the end? And I said, “Yes, make it a statement.” And it took him a couple of reps to socialize the idea. “I can. I can focus on my future more.” Breathe, say it again. “I can focus on my future more.” “Perfect. What parts of it? In the next six months, what skills would do you need to develop in your professional life over the next six months that will put you where you want to be?” And he identified a couple of them. One had to do with selling and another one had to do with networking.

 

Mark England:

And then so he brought it from this huge eternally damning statement, you know, can’t keep focusing on my past. If he thinks that 30 times a day for the next six months, guess what he’s going to get. A lot more of what he doesn’t want. He took that sentence, put it on paper. He translated it. That’s what we call the shift. And we’re going to do this with some of the sentences that you sent me earlier. He translated that from a negation to an affirmation. And it’s clarified that affirmation in the Procabulary system, it’s all about accuracy, what we want, where do we want to place our attention and focus on instead of trying to pat ourselves on the back and make us feel good in a Pollyanna kind of way. And then he broke that down into a couple of action steps and man, the guy walked out of there feeling better.

 

Mark England:

He posted two years later on a video of me giving a presentation on YouTube. I hadn’t heard from him, haven’t heard from him since. But he wrote some things down about that session that we had. And I was like man, that’s cool. Sometimes you do this. You do this professionally. One conversation, one coaching call, one interaction with someone, it changes their trajectory forever.

 

Kyle Gray:

Absolutely.

 

Mark England:

It changes their story.

 

Kyle Gray:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), I think that sometimes though, I’m working in storytelling in a much more external fashion in some respects. I find that yeah, some of [bctt tweet=”The best breakthroughs do come when you start to recognize the power of your own story, the power of who you are. – Kyle Gray” username=”kylethegray”] And it translates into how it comes forward in your marketing. And like you were just hinting at, this is an excellent segue to practice a few more of these transitions.

 

Mark England:

Sure.

 

Kyle Gray:

Before, we had talked yesterday, I started doing some research to come up with some good questions that would be great examples for transition, or transformation or transition statements.

 

Change Your Story Change Your Life With Mark England

Mark England:

Cool.

 

Kyle Gray:

And I was thinking about some of the things that I’ve experienced in my own business, some of the comments and emails that I’ve gotten from readers of the Story Engine and telling with story. Right before we had spoke, I was on a call with a couple of different clients. And actually, once we started discussing, and once I started learning a little bit more about Procabulary, some of these popped forward. Let’s just lightning round a couple of these.

 

Mark England:

Let’s do this.

 

Kyle Gray:

Alright, so the first one, and this is a big one for most content marketers who are just getting started. I don’t have a list or an audience, so I can’t market online.

 

Mark England:

Got it. Let’s go to pretend that you’re a person that says that and believes that.

 

Kyle Gray:

I don’t have a list or an audience and I just can’t market online.

 

Mark England:

Perfect. What do you envision? What do you force yourself to stare at, Kyle?

 

Kyle Gray:

Google analytics with no lines, just zero engagement, zero page visits.

 

Mark England:

Defeat, yes.

 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah, just this empty defeated feeling.

 

Mark England:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), and what does your body want to do? Does it want to stand up straight and erect, shoulders back? Or does it want to crumble, does it want to fold?

 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah, it wants to crumble, hide, and close the computer screen, go do something else.

 

Mark England:

Go do something else. Now, is it safe to say that everyone that has a list and an audience at one point in time did not?

 

Kyle Gray:

True.

 

Mark England:

I know very few people that were born with a list. They were born and their parents hand them a list to begin marketing to. No, people-

 

Kyle Gray:

Probably only the Kardashians.

 

Mark England:

Probably only the Kardashians. And, even so, they did have to learn some technical skills to interact with those lists of people. What we’ll look at first is I don’t have. Don’t, that’s a negation keyword. So people, if you’re listening to this, and you want to build your awareness about these keywords, these negation keywords, write these down because here’s most of them. Can’t, won’t, isn’t, not, shouldn’t, hasn’t, haven’t, won’t when use one of those words, what’s coming after it is worst case scenario. And then we have have. It’s a presupposition, it presupposes that you either have one or you don’t. And it creates a passive attitude to it.

 

Mark England:

And just like I said, we both identify that people have built their list. It’s not that you have a list, you’ve built a list. And if you’re just starting out, use the word build because it also presupposes that you can do it, which you can, and that it’s developed over time, which it is. I can build a list and an audience, so I can market online. Maybe the next two years of your life or part of your professional life, maybe it’s something you can allocate ten hours to, fifteen hours to a week, or two hours a week is building that list. If you read ten books about something, you’re going to get better at it.

 

Kyle Gray:

That’s true. And that’s a great transformation. And one of the things I love about this is you can really feel it. Even saying the words, whether it’s true or not, I can say those words and have the feelings like I was experiencing it, even though it was a thought experiment. And as you were speaking and using different language, I was perceiving a different experience, and I think everybody listening can actually, on at last subtle level, feel just the difference between that language probably immediately.

 

Kyle Gray:

Let’s try another one. I have a lot of people who maybe have more traditional businesses, more traditional skill sets, and are now transitioning online. And so they’re saying I’m not good with techy stuff. I can’t figure any of this out.

 

Mark England:

Okay, gotcha. So that’s a binary statement, especially what you finished with, I can’t figure any of this stuff out. Yet, they do know how to use an email, and a Google calendar, and take pictures with their phones and send videos to their kids or their grandkids. So what does that mean? Again, are we born with these skills? No, we’ve learned them. Let’s pretend that they’re somewhat good with techy stuff because that’s likely more accurate. And that’s a big, let me stress this again, that’s a very big part of the conversation with Procabulary.

 

Mark England:

It’s not right and wrong, good and bad, it’s accurate and inaccurate, cause and effect. So I’m somewhat good with techy stuff. Okay? Or, I can get better with some techy stuff. So we want to take the absoluteness out of the sentence. And then the last one, this is important. The first thing I saw, well, one of the first things I saw in that statement was techy stuff. As long as I refer to it as techy stuff, how much more general can we get about technology? It makes it sound invaluable, and it turns me off. I don’t want to learn about techy stuff. I want to learn about building my lists. I want to learn about active campaigns, whatever it is, Google Analytics, how to build a rockstar YouTube channel. We need to take out techy stuff and put in, let’s just say one thing, one thing that they would benefit from getting better at over time this year. Does that make sense?

 

Kyle Gray:

Absolutely. So if it was a rockstar YouTube channel, maybe it’s just getting good with video editing.

 

Mark England:

Perfect, and they can.

 

Kyle Gray:

And is it possible also, this is a little less directly personally empowering, but can you say I can always have somebody help me with techy stuff, or I can delegate that? Or how would you handle something like that because those people, as soon as you can get help, how can you consolidate that?

 

Mark England:

There are plenty of people that sell their services in regards to techy stuff online. The first thing, let’s go back to that last part of the translation. What specifically do you need to get better at or hire someone that’s already good at? Identify the top three things and make moves.

 

Kyle Gray:

I love it. This actually reminds me of a co-founder of a startup who used to say this, and I like this a lot. And this will really illuminate this. But what happens in vagueness stays in vagueness.

 

Mark England:

Ooh, that is amazing.

 

Kyle Gray:

I laughed so much when I heard that. But that’s exactly right because when you say techy stuff and it’s generalized, it’s not specific, then it’s this kind of broad, scary problem. And as soon as you hone in and make it specific, then the action steps become clear and that scope of it becomes much more manageable.

 

Mark England:

Exactly, keyword there, Kyle, manageable. The drama level comes down, and when the drama level comes down, the ability to take action goes up. We like that.

 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah. Okay, Let’s try another one. This one I think is particular for highly masculine types, but I think it can apply to anybody. Once I have X income or revenue, then I’m going to be okay. I know I’ve made it, and it’s all going to be fine.

 

Mark England:

Perfect. The keyword, the third word in, have, it’s passive. Okay? And then, then I’ll be okay. That presupposes that I’m not okay right now, and it’s also very vague. There’s a variety of ways to skin a cat or make a translation. What we did here is, once I create X revenue, so it puts me in an active role, I’ll be able to hire a really good sales coach. I know some people have issues with selling and sales. Take out sales coach and put in whatever particular techy stuff that you want to get better at or whatever okay means to that person at this time. Then I’ll be able to put my $5,000 a month away for my children’s college fund. Or I’ll be able to hire a personal trainer. Whatever the okay is, get more specific about that. We create our revenue streams and then what does okay mean to that person.

 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah, that’s really powerful, especially because I think with this one, in particular, it leaves people always pushing for more, trying to grow. There’s just this vague kind of end of the rainbow kind of vision that they have that keeps going farther and they end up burning themselves out or losing sight of the original vision that started them out on this journey.

 

Mark England:

You’re absolutely right. That’s a particular flavor of stress. It’s global, okay, and passive, have, where once I create X revenue, it’s active and then it’s specific.

 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah. I really like this, and I think these were great examples. And I think people can take this information and glean a lot from it. I want to create more opportunities for this, but there’s a little bit more time left. You’ve given us a great illustration on internal storytelling, but I’d love to hear about some external storytelling, as well. You had mentioned you had done a TED Talk a few years ago.

 

Mark England:

Yes.

 

Kyle Gray:

And since you were hinting at speaking on the stage and the breathing effect, which I’m certain standing on a TED stage is one of the most intense environments for speaking out there. And I would love to hear your process in preparing for this talk and delivering a great experience to the audience. And also, probably how you managed your own mindset through this process.

 

Change Your Story Change Your Life With Mark EnglandMark England:

Okay, wonderful. I’ve been speaking for 12 years now. I’ve given almost 500 professional talks. And up until the TED Talk, which was in June of 2017, the most people I had spoken in front of was 400. We get the call. I’m from Richmond, Virginia, TEDxRVA. I didn’t know this at the time, they are a bunch of ninjas, man. There the top ten TEDx’s in the world for production value, the way they treat the speakers. I’ve known one of the founders for over 15 years. We used to kickbox together out of the same gym in Richmond.

 

Mark England:

And so they called me up and said they want to interview me for the 2017 roster. And the interview goes well. And now I’ve got three months to prepare, or we have three months to prepare. It’s myself and my business partner. Prepare is a keyword. What you want to do, especially when it comes to a talk of that nature or one that you want to do very well in, you’ve got to train. You’ve got to prepare. [bctt tweet=”Amateurs wing it, professionals prepare. – Mark England” username=”kylethegray”]

 

Mark England:

The first month, we went back and forth on the script and crafted it down to the word. Every single word was considered. And it was like a ping pong match with emails going back and forth with my business partner. Now, we’ve got two months left and it’s time for me to learn to play this instrument of influence. That’s how I saw the script. And so, of course, there is what we say, and there is also how we say what we say. And there is when we say what we say. And there is to whom we say what we say to. There’s a lot to consider.

 

Mark England:

I rehearsed that talk, which was right at nine minutes, between 75 and 80 times out loud. I stopped counting the amount of times that I rehearsed particular parts of it. Treat this information, this advice, like a buffet. Take what you like, leave the rest. This is only what has worked for me. And I will say this, it also has worked for other people very well. Is it across the board 100%? Nothing is.

 

Change Your Story Change Your Life With Mark EnglandMark England:

Most of the rehearsals that I gave were by myself and were walking, while I was walking. I would go on walks specifically to rehearse. And I would practice using my body. I’m up, I’m giving the talk standing, moving around. Why would I practice on the couch? I want to be outside moving so I can work on my timing and my posture. I also videotaped myself a lot starting at the very beginning, and I would show people. This was excellent feedback because I picked up tics in presentation.  When I’m working with someone and giving them instructions to develop themselves, one of the fastest ways that they can get better is to videotape. You’re going to hate it. You’re going to hate it. Negation acknowledged, you’re not going to like the way you look or sound on video.

 

Kyle Gray:

That’s true.

 

Mark England:

And that’s good. [bctt tweet=”You’ve got to go through that resistance on you, also known as your immunity to yourself. You want to build up your emotional and psychological immunity to yourself. A lot of people are allergic to themselves – Mark England” username=”kylethegray”] I know that might sound strange to say. And if we look at it from a certain perspective, it makes sense. I’ve got a buddy of mine who stopped a really cool podcast because he didn’t like the way his voice sounded.

 

Kyle Gray:

Wow!

 

Mark England:

He didn’t go through that period. There was a period of time where I hated watching myself on video. I’m very fine with it now. Anybody can get there. Videotape yourself and watch it, and take notes. And do it three times in a week, so short succession. Do the reps, and then show people. Get their feedback, and be open to the feedback. It’s one thing to show somebody something you’ve done and expect them to say oh my God, this is the best thing I’ve ever seen, you are amazing. No one says that.

 

Mark England:

They’re likely going to give you some constructive criticism, so be open, like physically be open. Make sure your arms aren’t crossed and you’re not holding your breath and waiting for the rebuttal in your own mind about how you can refute their point. Stay open. It’s also going to hurt a little bit. Deal with this stuff on your own terms before you get onstage because that is not the time to gut check yourself.

 

Kyle Gray:

Definitely.

 

Mark England:

Practice. I’ve been kickboxing for over 20 years. When I’m sparring, if I want my hands to be up here, so if you’re listening to this, I have them right about eye level. I’m looking over my fists. If I want my fists here in the heat of the moment, then I train with them up here if that makes sense. So now I’ve just raised them higher because when things start firing off, I’m going to lose some of that. So that translates, that principle translates to speaking. Getting on stage in front of a group of people, it’s stressful to a degree for most people.

 

Mark England:

And what happens when people get stressed is they start speaking faster about things. And they’re like oh my gosh, I’m speaking faster, and now I’m not breathing very well. And I really want my audience to really get this, so I’m going to talk even faster now. No. That’s when the mechanism gets lost. We lost control. When you practice, practice speaking at 70% speed. This is huge. What this is going to allow you to do, at many things, one, is practice breathing better in your abdomen. Another thing it’s going to do, it’s going to highlight all the things that you miss when you speak really fast like what am I doing with my hands.

 

Mark England:

[bctt tweet=”The best speakers in the world have command over their hands. They have command over their hands, and they have command over their face. – Mark England” username=”kylethegray”] And in order to develop those skills of commanding your hands and your face, you need some extra mental real estate. And when you slow down your rate of speech, it’s a lot easier to, first and foremost, connect the dots between what you’re saying, and when you’re saying it, and how you’re saying it. So you can play with the pauses and the intonations. And when it’s time to get excited about something, you can raise up. And then when you need to make a point, you can slow it down. You have control over these gears, and then from there, you can work on your gesticulations, so using your body to accentuate and emphasize your points.

 

Mark England:

And also, when you speak just all bit slower, so let’s say 70% you’re going to get used to breathing well. You want to breathe well onstage. I had spoken in front of 400 people. This is now 1,800 people in my home town at the most prestigious theater in Richmond, Virginia on the red dot. I get one shot. And also, I’m a professional speaker, so that brings up some other pressures. Somebody goes out there, they’re not used to speaking at all. Well, no problem they’re not used to speaking at all. But I go out there, and I choke, which I recognized as a possibility. It was one of the smartest things I did early and with this whole thing. I’m like I can go out there and totally mess this whole thing up. There no guarantees.

 

Mark England:

So what am I going to do to make that a very, very, very unlikely chance? Well, okay, I’m going to prepare well. Yes. And then I need to get clear about what I want from my experience about this whole thing. And this was a huge breakthrough for me in speaking. It took me ten years to get here. It’s when I contemplated myself onstage. I was like okay, cool. Let’s take the audience out of it. Yeah, they’re part if it, but for right now, this particular part of the conversation, they’re out of it. It’s just me on the stage. What do I want from myself? What do I want from this? I want to enjoy myself. I want to enjoy myself.

 

Mark England:

Very few people think about enjoying themselves when they present. They think about being loved by the audience or delivering a great presentation, something along those lines. It’s an external conversation making all their points, not screwing up, negation ask. I’m like nope, me. And so I was like okay, if I enjoy myself, then I’m confident onstage. But no, wait a minute, I’m not because if I’m confident, confidence is much, much better than insecurity, but I’m like this when I’m confident. I’m flexing. I’m posing. I’m still breathing in my chest. It’s better, but what’s after that because there’s got to be something after that.

 

Change Your Story Change Your Life With Mark England

Mark England:

I want to be comfortable on stage. It’s the first time that thought occurred to me. I was like cool, I can be, so I worked backwards. If I’m comfortable on stage, how am I breathing? I’m breathing well. I’m breathing down in my abdomen. My shoulders are relaxed. My jaw is loose. My words, I’m timing my words well. I’ve got good flow. I’m moving well. That’s the goal. That’s the goal, comfort. I’m going to get comfortable onstage with this presentation.

 

 

Mark England:

And I changed around some of my habits. I dramatically, leading up to the event, I dramatically decreased my caffeine intake. And I stopped lifting weights because that creates a rigidity in the body. I was only walking, and stretching, and breathing, doing my Wim Hoff. So I’ve got more flexibility and fluidity in my body. This is an interesting side note. There is a way, and this technique, I learned this from a yogi. Or I explained what I was doing in presentations to a friend of mine who’s a yoga teacher. And he was like, “Oh, dude, you’re practicing the Buddha smile.” I’m like, “What’s that?”

 

Mark England:

Here’s a story behind that. There was a photographer. Oh, I went first. Excuse me, I went third in the TEDx presentation, and you could see that. Go to YouTube, type in my name and TEDx, and it’ll come up. I’ve gone and now I go and sit in the crowd, and I’m watching people present. I’m like, man this is fascinating, but I want to be backstage. So I go backstage and I watch what’s happening before people go up. People are freaking out, man, totally freaking out. And this one guy I seriously about to have a panic attack. Everybody’s got a TED coach. And I walk up to this guy and I said, “Man, I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes, and would you like some advice? Would you like some help?” He didn’t say yes. He just goes wide-eyed, heavy, like strong nodding.

 

Mark England:

I said, “Alright, man. Come out in the alleyway.” So we go out there and I say, “Turn around.” And he turns around. And I said, “I’m going to do something. I just want you to feel it.” And I took both of my hands and I pinched the tops of his ears, and I pulled them up. And I said, “Lock the back of your head into place.” And he did. And what happens when someone does that is it softens the forehead if they keep it in place. It softens the forehead and the eyes. And my yoga teacher friend, he described what happens physiologically from the face and the neck all down through the psoas, through the posterior chain, and even out through the big toes when someone does that.

 

Mark England:

And if you’re listening to this, you can try this right now. Just grab the tops of your ears, and pull them up, and feel what happens to your face. And if you want to lock that into … exactly, that right there. And if you want to lock that into place, you pull up your ears, lock the back of your … it’s the backside of your head between your ear and walk out onstage. And that’s what that dude did. And not only does it do … Another thing that it does is it helps the breath get down into the lower abdomen.

 

Mark England:

He took himself from a sympathetic stress state, a sympathetic nervous system response state, into a parasympathetic nervous system response state, into rest and relaxation. And he was able to walk out on stage. And dude, it’s a thing, man. You walk out. When we, I walked out, he walked out, you’re going from behind the curtain and you walk out, there’s just heads. There’s heads, people everywhere. Lights blasting down onto you. You can’t really see. It’s a strange thing to walk out into. And he found his rhythm about 30, 45 seconds in, and smashed it. He came back onstage and gave me this big hug. And I was like, “Dude, that was so good.”

 

Change Your Story Change Your Life With Mark EnglandMark England:

He was able to share his passion as opposed to dealing with his anxiety. Those are two very different things. So [bctt tweet=”Practice, train everybody. Videotape yourself. Watch your video. Take notes. And videotape yourself shortly thereafter, maybe later that day or the next day, three in a week. Talk more slowly when you are training. – Mark England” username=”kylethegray”] You need to be able to feel your words. Watch what your hands are doing. It’s a big deal. If you master your hands, you’ll master everything else physiologically speaking. And pinch your ears and pull them up, and see what your face feels like. You’ll be much more friendly and fun. And those are two hallmarks of people that are enjoying themselves and/or being comfortable onstage.

 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah. I mean, there’s got to be some fun in it, right?

 

Mark England:

Then why are we doing it? Yeah.

 

Kyle Gray:

What’s the point if it’s not fun? It’s something I forget often too. It’s always like success optimize, but we’ve just got to have fun.

 

Mark England:

And more fun.

 

Kyle Gray:

And the rest will be easy. Mark, this has been so much fun, lots of wisdom in here that’s imminently practical. When I close my eyes, and I’m hearing you speak, I think of Brad Pitt’s character in Inglorious Bastards.

 

Mark England:

I love that movie, man.

 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah, okay, good, I’m thinking of you as-

 

Mark England:

All the rain.

 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah, yeah. You’ve got that same kind of candor with just a little more hint of enlightenment. Thank you so much for joining us. Let us know, let the audience know where they can connect with you, learn more about your process, and reach out to you.

 

Mark England:

Very cool. Well, you can follow me on Instagram at MarkEngland2020. If you want to develop more of your skills with the word game, language game, go to Procabulary.org. We have one online training course. It’s fundamental, and it delivers many goods, many, many nuggets of wisdom.

 

Kyle Gray:

It’s huge. I’ve just been trying it myself, and I’m living it, absolutely loving it. We’ll have the link in the show notes.

 

Mark England:

Yeah.

 

Kyle Gray:

It’s a great investment and will pay for itself many times over with not much effort.

 

Mark England:

Use the next level, nextlevel one word. It’s $100.00 off. It retails for $299.00. You have the course for the rest of your life. We want our people to get it. It’s in the show notes. That’s good.

 

Kyle Gray:

Absolutely. Okay, Mark, thanks again. And we will hopefully, have you on the show sometimes again soon.

 

Mark England:

I look forward to it, Kyle. I look forward-

 

Kyle Gray:

Oh, wait. No, no, I’ve got to translate that.

 

Mark England:

Do it.

 

Kyle Gray:

That was vague. We are going to have you back on the show soon.

 

Mark England:

I’ll see you in Utah.

 

Kyle Gray:

I love it. Okay, talk to you soon, Mark.

 

Mark England:

Bye.

 

Kyle Gray:

Thanks for listening to the Story Engine Podcast. Be sure to check out the show notes and resources mentioned on this episode and every other episode at thestoryengine.co. If you’re looking to learn more about how to use storytelling to grow your business, then check out my new book, Selling With Story: How to Use Storytelling to Become an Authority, Boost Sales, and Win the Hearts and Minds of Your Audience. This book will equip you with actionable strategies and templates to help you share your unique value and build trust in presentations, sales, and conversations, both online and offline. Learn more at sellingwithstory.co. Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you next time.