Julie Anne Jones is a motivational speaker, ICF Accredited coach, and online trainer. Known as “The Systems Specialist,” Julie Anne teaches simple systems for creating a successful life and business. We had a chance to speak with Julie Anne and hear her thoughts on effective public speaking and the leadership skills needed to guide employees and small business owners toward success.
Tell us a little about your background. Why are you so passionate about coaching, training, and speaking to others?
I love helping to facilitate transformation in people. I started out years ago as an image consultant helping to transform my clients on the outside, and I became an accredited coach in 2004. I’m passionate about the impact of mindset on the outcomes in our lives, and much of what I teach reflects that. Taking responsibility for our current results and channeling our focus toward the outcome that we want is the path to success. The more people I can teach that to, the happier I am.
If while training or speaking to people, you wish to communicate a specific idea or point that you absolutely want the audience to remember after they leave, how do you go about delivering it to them?
I have a degree in theatre and am a performer at heart. I love to dance in the moment when I’m on stage speaking, and I work with my audience, read them, and bring them out of themselves. I use a lot of humor because it’s been proven that people learn better when they’re laughing. I also love visuals and kinesthetic reminders because they stick with people long after they’ve left my training.
What’s your favorite tactic for engaging or winning over a listener or trainee who is apathetic or cynical about your message?
I tackle resistance head on, usually with logic. My default is to ask the audience to suspend their disbelief and give me a chance to show them why my concepts are right. Then I break down their beliefs for them, showing them in the process where their thinking may be flawed and how that’s impacted the outcomes in their lives or businesses so far. It almost always works. I also begin every training with the concept that “change is good,” because if what they were currently doing was working perfectly, they wouldn’t be at my training.
From a speaking standpoint, what are some of the key differences between doing a presentation via webinar or Skype and in front of a live audience?
There is a vast difference and both have their positives and negatives. On a webinar, I can read scripted training so it’s exactly what I plan to say in the way that I plan to say it, so it’s more predictable. That’s a plus. It’s also much easier to control the timing of the event because I have total control over the interaction (I can choose to take questions or mute the audience and just train). The downside to webinars is that there’s no interaction to speak of, and reading the audience is virtually impossible.
Live events allow me to completely connect with my audience, and the training shifts and changes based on how they are reacting. That’s a definite plus. I don’t train from a script from the live stage, though, so the training is more “off the cuff.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a different training experience for me. All in all, I like live training better than virtual training, but both work well for me.
Since you have extensive “party plan” experience, could you tell us how having strong leadership skills can help someone who is hosting a party?
Successful parties are those where the representative works intentionally with the party host to ensure that the host knows what to do and how to be successful. It’s really a coaching relationship and that requires leadership skills on the part of the representative. Representatives have to know how to encourage and incentivize the host while still supporting him or her. The best leaders get others to work for them willingly, and that’s what a representative does with a host.
During the party itself, it’s also vital that the representative keeps control of the environment and the guests with a firm but friendly demeanor and party experience. Leadership skills are also crucial here.
What’s the most important reason why corporate leaders should possess or develop strong mentoring skills?
Mentoring skills are incredibly important for corporate leaders. The best corporate executives build partnerships with the people they’re mentoring. They share resources and training on occasion, but more often ask questions and listen to the needs of their mentorees and provide solution-focused coaching to help them succeed on their own. The best part of this formula is that it not only works to support the people who are being mentored, but also teaches them how to mentor their own team members.
As someone who has enjoyed remarkable success in growing your own business, could you give us your opinion on how popular the “start your own business” concept will be in the next five to ten years or how it will evolve?
Entrepreneurs are and always have been a force in the world. The internet and online marketing have allowed many small business entrepreneurs to define their own business models. For me personally, I’ve had to evolve as my market and clients have changed and evolved, and I’ll continue to do that. That’s the key to success in this rapidly-changing world.
I believe that in the next five to ten years, those of us who are serious about building our businesses through the changing options and resources available to us will thrive. The key to success is and always will be flexibility and the ability to adapt to new technology and ways of doing business.