242: How to Handle Tough Audiences with Deirdre Breakenridge

By December 15, 2017Podcasts

 

PR consultant Deirdre Breakenridge teaches how to handle tricky audiences, identify different audience member profiles, and deliver great presentations in tough situations.

You’ll Learn:

  1. The best approaches for understanding your audience upfront
  2. Three universal practices to command attention
  3. Handy strategies to prepare you for the tough questions

About Deirdre 

Deirdre has been in PR and marketing for 25+ years helping senior executives in midsize to large organizations communicate to their stakeholders. She is a communications strategist and has worked with clients on many different types of communications programs, including executive communications and thought leadership, image and reputation management, crisis communications, media relations, PR 2.0 and social media programs.

Items Mentioned in this Show:

Deirdre Breakenridge Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Deirdre, thanks so much for joining us here on the How To Be Awesome At Your Job podcast.

Deirdre Breakenridge

Thank you for inviting me.  I’m so happy to be here.

Pete Mockaitis

Oh, I think we’re going to have a really fun one here.  And I first want to get to know a little bit more about, you started a worldwide Twitter conversation with the hashtag #PRStudChat, which I just love.  What’s the story behind this?

Deirdre Breakenridge

It’s really funny.  The name alone, I think was a conversation starter.  But the community itself, we’re over 5,000 members and we are PR professionals, educators and students, and we’ve come together because PR was changing so much through social media.  And it’s a constant conversation, but we do have Twitter chat sessions every month, and this has been going on for eight years.  But our very first Twitter chat that we had, we had gentlemen showing up saying, “We’re studs, we’re here.”  And we said stud was short for student, which was really funny.

Pete Mockaitis

That is good.  Well, I was wondering, is this something for very high performers in the world of public relations, or students, or I guess both?

Deirdre Breakenridge

It’s anybody and everyone who wants to understand how to communicate better on behalf of their companies, and especially students who are trying to figure out, “Is public relations right for me?”  Because just the whole profession of PR has really changed and we’re much more integrated with marketing, and we’re using technology; some exciting things going on.

Pete Mockaitis

That is good.  Cool.  And so then your company is Pure Performance Communications.  What’s your mission and purpose there?

Deirdre Breakenridge

So, it’s a consulting firm.  We’re a strategic communications consulting, and we believe in a blend of strategic comms and technology to create a better, more impactful experience for a brand’s customers.  So it’s all about the customer, the consumer, and when you fuse technology and communication together, you can definitely learn more about your audience and be able to create an experience that they’re going to enjoy, become loyal brand, I guess, advocates.  And that’s the best place that you want to be with your customers.

Pete Mockaitis

Certainly.  Cool.  Alright, so now for the topic of the day – I discovered you through your LinkedIn learning course called Handling an Unruly Audience, which is a very eye-catching name.  And so I was intrigued as to maybe what inspired you to create such a thing.  Have you had some wild encounters perhaps with an unruly audience?

Deirdre Breakenridge

So here’s the thing: I’ve always believed that teaching a course about presentations and handling tough audiences, you don’t have to be in PR or marketing; it could be any field.  And it doesn’t have to be 1,000 people where you’re on a stage; it literally could be you presenting to your team in a meeting.  So, I knew that there’s a lot of people out there, and I’m always listening to what professionals are saying.  And they wanted to know, “How do we handle tough questions?” and, “How do you get your messages across?”, “How do you handle learning about them and using the information, building champions before you start?”
So, I had been working with LinkedIn and they always ask me, “What are the topics that you think really would resonate with professionals?”  So, of course, handling unruly audiences was one of them.  Thankfully I’ve had lots of experiences with different audiences, tough questions, somewhat unruly, nothing too crazy.

Pete Mockaitis

I was wondering if you had just some terribly uncooperative audiences in your past.  And I could think of just one that leaps to mind, because it was just so satisfying.  I was doing a college keynote, and I think it was called The Four Frustrations of Student Leadership.  So, I’m talking about frustrations, and it just so happened I was being frustrated by a couple of folks in the audience, who were just flagrantly disrespectful and just talking to each other.  And usually I can silence misbehavior just by having a good look, good eye contact.  But they were barely looking at me to even give me the chance.  They were just talking to each other, kind of laughing and joking around.  And other folks around them, you could tell they were kind of irritated and uncomfortable.
And I had the sweet, blissful satisfaction of working in the speech content to be like, “Sometimes it just feels like you’re pouring your heart and soul into what you’re doing, and you’re giving it all you have, and you wish that people would care, that they would really buy in.”
And I’m just like staring directly at them and walking very close to them and just talking about how it can be frustrating when folks don’t engage when you’re giving all you have.  And it was so awesome because you could see the melting in their chairs, and everyone around was like, “Oh dang, he just did that.”  It felt so good to squash them.  But usually it’s more minor; it’s like people speak up and you look at them and then they stop and then you move on.

Deirdre Breakenridge

Yeah.  I think the tactic you used was really good.  And I use that in my course because that is one way, even though it falls under the “heckler” category.  It’s that disinterested, disruptive one participant or a group of participants, and when you kind of move close to them and either somehow target them the way that you did very quickly… And sometimes you can even give them the forum, almost like, “Oh, share” – they will stop immediately.  And I’ve done it in classrooms with my students; it just makes them kind of crawl in their seats, just sink really low.

Pete Mockaitis

Oh, it’s I guess revenge.  It’s satisfying without actually doing any permanent damage, which is cool.  But maybe just back it up – even before you start a presentation and you have an audience live in front of you.  I’d love to get your take on the best approaches to go about getting a good understanding of the audience upfront.

Deirdre Breakenridge

So I think you have to ask the right questions, and you have to utilize your resources to get the answers.  So of course you want to know who they are, what are their titles or position in the company, but it’s why are they there?  Are they choosing to be there?  Is this mandatory?  Were they forced to listen to you?  What are some of their hot-button issues, critical topics?
If there’s any way, shape or form that you have access to somebody who is putting together the meeting, or a conference coordinator, you can tap into that person.  I’ve even gone as far as for training sessions with different companies, if that audience has had presenters in the past and they videotaped it, I want to watch that tape.  I want to watch how employees or groups respond to other presenters, from their body language to their questions.
Sometimes, and it depends, if there is a company blog that is open or outward-facing, if there’s a community where you think participants are actually participating in before your meeting or your conference, you can learn so much about your audience.  And I think that’s where social media is so important, because most of the conferences where I speak today, there’s always a hashtag.  And you can follow that hashtag, that aggregated conversation, where people are already sharing what they need to know and what they’re expecting.  And I think that’s where you can walk in knowing a lot more about your audience, so that you can connect to them more quickly.

Pete Mockaitis

That’s great, certainly.  So doing that upfront homework – that’s excellent.  Then I’m wondering, if you maybe already have some interaction with the individuals you’re speaking to – if it’s sort of like teammates or collaborators – are there any particular things that are worth noting and cataloguing and synthesizing about them over the long term?

Deirdre Breakenridge

So, if it’s your teammates, here’s the thing: I always say, and this kind of gets into personalities, because every group, every company, every audience, there are personalities.  So within your own company – any company that you work for – you’re going to find the gossipers, you’re going to find the complainers, you’re going to find the folks who raise the red flags but maybe don’t have the solution, you might find the folks who have to get all the credit.  You can pinpoint those personalities, because when you know them and you recognize them, you can manage them.
So there’s no difference when you’re going in front of a group – you can either somehow figure that out or spot those personalities very quickly within your audience.  And I think that’s one way to be able to kind of document and prepare.  So if it is your team, and you know the people who are on your team, you might want to think ahead about, if they’re coming into this meeting, what are they expecting, what do they want to get out of it, what are their goals and objectives, why are they sitting there?  The more that you can think about those personalities and answer some questions, you’re going to be a lot better off.

Pete Mockaitis

Excellent.  And so, are there more personality types you’d care to unpack for us?

Deirdre Breakenridge

Yeah.  So, in my experience, there are always the skeptics.  Somebody will come to your presentation; you could be on stage with 100 people and you’re going to have the skeptics in the audience who pretty much just want to be recognized as folks who know more than the speaker, they have done this research, their books are better.  They want to be recognized.  So they’re going to be skeptical, no matter how many books you’ve written.  That’s just the way it is.

Pete Mockaitis

And those questions they ask… I could really picture it – it’s like, “Isn’t it true that…….”  It’s like, “Yes.”  Is that their question or are you just trying to impress everyone that you know something?  Okay.

Deirdre Breakenridge

Exactly.  You know what?  If you ever get the opportunity as a presenter… If it’s a conference, what I like to do – if it’s an audience that sits in a room the whole day where different presenters come up on stage, I’ll go early just to watch how the skeptics come out with the presenter before me.  And as soon as I see those skeptics, when I get up there, I include them in the conversation very quickly, because rather than having them shout from the rafters, “Oh, pay attention to me!  I’ve got more books, more research and I know this”, if you could pull them in and do some kind of recognition around them, they’re going to be your champion.  It changes.  And I’ve done that before.
I was at a leadership rally for a very large international organization, and I was able to pinpoint two skeptics on opposite sides of the room, and when I went up there, I involved them very quickly.  You do that in the business setting too whenever you’re trying to get something done.  Sometimes you want to include your naysayers, because it’s easier to get something pushed through at the end when the naysayers are actually there and onboard.

Pete Mockaitis

Certainly.  And when you say, “Include them”, what does that look and sound like in practice?

Deirdre Breakenridge

So sometimes that literally means you’re talking about something and you look at the person and say, “What do you think?  Can you weigh in on this?”  And that’s a golden opportunity, because you just gave them that little bit of recognition that they’re going to want anyway, and they’re actually thankful for it and nobody else knows why or who.  It almost looks like it’s random; I could have called on anybody, like, “How about you?”  It’s just a great way to be able to flip that sceptic.

Pete Mockaitis

That’s handy.  So sceptics are one personality type to be aware of and work with.  What else?

Deirdre Breakenridge

Okay, so there are hecklers; unless you actually have a heckler, you’re not welcome into the world of public speaking.  So you have to have a heckler, and then it’s like, “Oh my God, I’ve made it!”  So, the heckler is just somebody also who is disruptive, but there’s different types of hecklers.  So, we can carve that out now or we can carve it out later, but that is actually broken down into a few personalities.
And then there’s positive people too in your audience.  If you can spot… I tend to read body language, I notice people who are sitting a certain way, who are smiling, who are nodding their heads.  So they’re like the positive onlookers – you could also involve them, because chances are the way that they’re responding to you through their non-verbal cues, they want to be involved.  So, they’re somebody that you want to tap into that personality.
Key opinion leaders – that’s another really important personality.  And I remember when – I’ve talked about this during my LinkedIn course – when I went to speak to, I think it was the American Association of Chemists – scary group; I don’t know a lot about chemists and chemistry and these scientists.  But it was all about their research and communicating and trying to make their work go a lot farther.  And I remember I had the opportunity to spend the day and a lunch with them before my presentation.
And I started to notice certain people who were very vocal within other presentations in the morning, and who were very popular, and you knew that they were highly respected.  So what did I do?  I made sure that I picked one of them and I sat at his table at lunch time, not that we were building toward a relationship, but I got to know this person a little bit, asked some questions.  So that way by the time I got to present, I included and asked a question of that key opinion leader.
And by doing that – by including the key opinion leader, and this could be in any group setting – all those people who respect that person, and if you show you have a rapport, there’s some kind of chemical in your brains that all say, “Oh my gosh, she must be okay, because she’s respecting the key opinion leader.”  And then you also have to think about your vocal champions, and they’re the ones on social media that you meet, who you talk to you beforehand and they’re already championing for you.  When you get them inside the room, they’re going to cheer you on.  So those are some of the personalities.

Pete Mockaitis

I like that sort of pre-heating, if you will, that you’re doing in terms of engaging them in conversation.  And I think there’s also something too, if you can shake hands or have some sort of a physical touch that’s appropriate prior to – it just seems to make a difference, especially if there’s a stage kind of environment, sort of creating a separation.  It’s sort of like, “No, you’re not just like an image on the screen equivalent, of distance.  You’re a person.”  It’s like I’ve interacted with you and made physical contact and know that you’re real and not a robot or an image on the screen, distantly away.

Deirdre Breakenridge

Exactly.  And I was just watching Mel Robbins, one of her presentations.  The minute she got out there, she went right into the audience and she was high-fiving and touching everybody’s hands and running up and down and being a part of the audience.  So, your point about that physical something being there – that appropriate touching, of course – goes a long way.

Pete Mockaitis

Very good.  And I also want to follow up on, you mentioned you’re reading the body language.  And are there some sort of telltale indicators that you notice repeatedly, in terms of, “When I see this, it means that, and therefore I do this”?

Deirdre Breakenridge

Yes.  So when I see arms crossed, I know it’s not really buying into what they’re about to hear.  So I know that I have to work a little harder to make sure these people understand, and give them a reason to buy into what I’m about to present.  And it just reminds me early on in social media – so we’re talking… Oh gosh, I was paying attention to social media, I was writing PR 2.0 back in 2006 or 2007, and I was doing some training with Michael C. Fina.
And part of their business – I don’t know if you know Michael C. Fina, but they are very well known for their business on, I think it’s still Fifth Avenue, where you can buy the china and the jewelry and the silverware.  They were a part of that show The Price Is Right when it was ever, “And you get a diamond by Michael C. Fina.”  But a big part of their business was recognition programs for Fortune 500 companies.  So my agency at the time was their agency of record for public relations, and also for advertising.  And they asked me to come in to talk to their sales professionals about social media.
And it was really interesting, because there were about 100 sales professionals, maybe 75; and the first two rows were older gentlemen, definitely in their 50s.  They sat with their arms crossed and it immediately told me that you feel like you don’t have time for social media, it is a waste of your time, and you just want to build relationships by seeing people in person, shaking hands and signing contracts.  And it was my job in that training session to make sure that they understood that they could do some really good social selling.  And by the end of the presentation, they were all very relaxed and leaning forward, and you could tell with their eye contact that they were onboard.

Pete Mockaitis

That’s good.  And I think that is helpful, in terms of making real time adjustments if you sense that’s the vibe, then maybe it’s good to go straight there, in terms of, “Maybe you think that social media is all just a bunch of silly food images, but in fact check out this amazing case study, and that one.  There is for real money to be made here.”  Versus, if you have a bunch of folks who are already sort of gung-ho, it’s like, “Yeah, yeah, we know that, Deirdre.  We don’t really need to hear how it’s great.  We’re already onboard with it being great, so let’s get to the cool stuff here.”

Deirdre Breakenridge

Exactly.  So, knowing their expectations are also just knowing the way that… It’s habits in a sense, especially with sales professionals – they have certain preferences and habits and they’re hard to break into a new way of thinking.  So, you’re going to see a lot of body language when you have to change a mindset.

Pete Mockaitis

So the arms crossed is one.  Any other kind of key indicators you’re looking for?

Deirdre Breakenridge

Yeah, I watch body language.  Sometimes it’s directly aimed at me.  The eye contact is really important, the way somebody is sitting in their chair, if their body language is more open versus the crossed arms, as we said.  But I also notice personality through body language, and confidence, and how that person is feeling about themselves.
So I do have a podcast called Women Worldwide, and we talk a lot about women and empowering women.  And I notice the body language between men and women is sometimes very different.  And the power poses that are going on within the audience – sometimes the way men are sitting with the elbow pop, where they’re also kind of spread out with their materials, where women are more tidy and neat and maybe they’re sitting in a fashion crossing their legs and arms at their sides or in front of them.  So that also tells me a lot about your personality and how you’re feeling, even as far as how you’re going to feel about the topic.

Pete Mockaitis

Okay, understood.  So then, I’d love to get your take when it comes to effectively capturing attention, regardless of where folks are currently with their body language or their receptivity.  Are there any sort of universal practices you use to command attention at the beginning?

Deirdre Breakenridge

Yeah, I think that the best way is to let people know that this is about them.  Some of the ways that you can do that – I do it myself whenever I do a training session.  And if it’s 15 or 20 people, the minute I start I’m like, “Selfie!  We’re going to take a picture, we’re all going to put it on social media”, because it says you’re in it together.  So that’s that instant connection, so that’s one way.
Sometimes it’s, and I’ve used this one in a larger group on stage, where you want to use something around your environment or the event to hook people in immediately.  So I remember when I was going to London to keynote the FutureComms Conference.  And I’d never been to London before; I was all excited about it.  And I remember sharing this story on stage that when I got to the airport and I was with the immigration officer, and she said, “Why are you in London”, and I said, “Well, I am keynoting the FutureComms Conference”, and she said to me, “Really?  What is the future of communications?”
So on stage when I shared, “The immigration officer asked what’s the future of communications – well, my goodness, that is such a burning question.  That made me feel really good and that’s why we’re here today.”  And the audience really appreciated the story, because it was about them, it was about the topic, and it was also about the fact that I was in London and talking to the immigration officer.

Pete Mockaitis

I’m always nervous when they ask.

Deirdre Breakenridge

I know, right?  That’s so funny.  And then there are other just quick tips.  Get your audience talking right away.  So, sometimes you’ll see the technique of, “Raise the hands”, or, “What do you think about this topic?  Please share.”  And you get two or three people to share.  And then the best part is that whatever information you can get at the beginning, don’t forget to somehow be on your feet and work that in later to bring up that person and that scenario again, which also gets everybody back on their toes, like, “Oh, she mentioned a name.  Is she going to call on me?”  So that’s another way to connect with your audience.
And I think one thing that I’ve always said in any presentation setting that gets attention is your preparation, like know your material.  The first five minutes, know your material like the back of your hand, and show your passion.  And that really, really is appreciated and noticed right away.  And if you can do that within the first five minutes, your audience will stick with you throughout your presentation.

Pete Mockaitis

I dig it.  Yes, yes.  And I also want to get your take on when it comes to, if you have some tough questions coming your way, whether they’re tough because it’s tricky, you don’t know the answer, or they’re tough because it’s clear that they dramatically disagree with you and they’re making that oh-so-clear with their body language and intonation.  How do you deal with that situation?

Deirdre Breakenridge

So sometimes for tough questions, if you have an opportunity to set the ground rules around how people are going to participate and how questions will be asked – sometimes having those guidelines and being more specific around your Q&A can really, really help you to let people know that… Not to say that tough questions won’t pop up, but if a tough question pops up, you could say, “You know what?  I don’t have that information right now, but I am going to refer you to XYZ in the company, so that you can speak to him and we’re going to deal with that offline.”  And then you could move on.
So somewhere along the lines having the guidelines really helps, because you don’t ever want to ignore the question.  So that technique that I just used that, “I’m the expert on this, but I would prefer you speak with so-and-so” or, “I can get you that later” – that really helps.
There’s always the option of when the tough question comes in and it is around your area of expertise, sometimes what I do is a repeating of the question and a restating in a way that makes it not as tough and a little bit easier for me to answer, so that I can get the right information forward and everybody’s going to understand.  If there’s any part of it that I can’t really address, then I can go to that, “Let me speak with you later offline and get you the information, the other part that you need.”
You can also at any time kind of answer, be concise… So if it’s a tough question, you know you have to answer it – just don’t open Pandora’s box.  I think sometimes when tough questions come in, people tend to go on and on and on, and it’s almost like… I do a media training course too.  Reporters will ask you a question and they hope that you just go on and on and on.  You’ve got to cut it off, because the more you say, the more you open up that box to tougher questions.  So be really concise in your answer, and that also helps with tough questioning.
And this is my last one –  if you can clarify anything through research that you’ve done, through stats and studies that you know… It’s almost like you might want to arm yourself beforehand – know your audience, know the tough questions, think about tough questions in advance, and have some things ready maybe to answer those questions.

Pete Mockaitis

Excellent.  And could you give us an example of that restating and framing the question so that it’s more manageable for you in practice?

Deirdre Breakenridge

Okay, so I was recently at a conference, and I was on stage with a client of the past who I’d worked with to rebuild his brand.  He basically violated FCPA laws and anti-bribery laws, went to prison, read my books, came out, asked me if I would help him with his messaging, his media interviews, and rebuild his brand.  And I believed him, so I did it.  And I’m glad I did because now we’re on stage together and he’s an incredible success story.
But the topic came up, the woman was talking about rebuilding a brand and it sounded like it was going to be really tough, because she started to share a personal story about how she was sexually harassed by her boss, but she was the bad guy, and it opened up this whole kind of area, a subject that’s really deep and really tough and really personal.  And I was on stage, so how do I address that, because I want her to feel comfortable?
So I restated; I said, “First of all, I want to thank you for sharing – that was very brave to share your personal story.  And I think what I’m hearing you say is that, from what you went through, you’re asking me, is it possible to rebuild if you have the damaged brand?  Would it be similar to what I did with Richard, my client?”
And she also asked this little piece of, “What do you want to say to the companies or the politicians or even Harvey Weinstein about sexual harassment?”  And I rephrased it in such a way to say, “For anyone who is dealing with that, you’re all operating in a fishbowl; you have to have transparency.”  So I kind of took what she said, structured it to make it just a little bit easier for myself and for the audience to understand, and to answer it in such a way, because it’s such a hot-button issue, so as not to have everybody screaming at each other over a topic that probably we could have talked to for hours.  Does that make sense?

Pete Mockaitis

Understood, yes.  Thank you.  Well, Deirdre, tell me – is there anything else you want to make sure to mention before we shift gears and hear about some of your favorite things?

Deirdre Breakenridge

Well, we’ve covered so much.  I do other Lynda, LinkedIn courses.  I mentioned the media training, and I just rolled out with some marketing courses as well – go-to market planning and a marketing communications course.  And of course if anybody is interested in public relations, I have those courses too.

Pete Mockaitis

Cool.  Alright, tell us then – could you start us off with a favorite quote, something you find inspiring?

Deirdre Breakenridge

You know what?  My quote is one that I’ve used on stage before, and I think it kind of speaks to my journey and how I like to reinvent.  And it’s Joseph Campbell, who is an American writer and he’s known as a mythologist, and he said that, “You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path.”  And I know that kind of sounds dark, but for me, and I think what he’s trying to say, is that if you are following somebody else’s path, then you are not going to reach your full potential.  So, I’ve always tried to follow my own path, to have this open canvas, and that really helps you to reinvent yourself and move forward to tap into your true potential at all different phases of your life and your career.

Pete Mockaitis

Thank you.  And how about a favorite book?

Deirdre Breakenridge

Oh, so I read a book back in my 20s – I think it was my late 20s – called The Four Agreements.  It’s by Don Miguel Ruiz – I think that’s his name.  It stuck with me because those agreements really teach you not to take things personally, to stand by your word, don’t make assumptions, be the best that you can be.  And I think that if you can carve out your life and be true to the four things, those four agreements, you’re going to have a much better life.  So that’s my favorite book.

Pete Mockaitis

Oh great, thank you.  And how about a favorite tool?

Deirdre Breakenridge

Okay, so Grammarly.  Doesn’t matter who you are, what you do – if you’re writing emails, if you’re writing reports, if you’re writing articles, Grammarly is really good.  You can get the free edition, but premium edition gives you a lot more benefits and is helpful.  And what I found with Grammarly, it actually teaches you to be a better writer.  So when I first started using Grammarly, it grades you and it says, “You’re 88% correct with your grammar and / or your spelling, but you need a little work.”  And now I’m like 100%.  I’m like 99-100%, which is great, because I need to be.

Pete Mockaitis

Interesting.  So it’s just checking your grammar, in terms of, is that the proper “your”?

Deirdre Breakenridge

Yeah, it’s checking everything.  We’re told not to write in the passive voice, but to write in the active voice, and just being transparent, this is something that I struggled with for a long time.  And Grammarly just kicked that right out of me, which is great.

Pete Mockaitis

So the passive voice was used by you, and now no longer.

Deirdre Breakenridge

Yes.  So it has really, really helped me, so that when I write something, I’m writing in the active voice.

Pete Mockaitis

Cool.  And how about a favorite habit?

Deirdre Breakenridge

I guess it’s my, what I call “checking media headlines”.  So I’m a little addicted to all the headlines that come out on the cable stations, I have curated articles that I’m constantly checking, around my interests.  So that is definitely a habit.  On the lighter side, I do love Netflix, so that is a habit where my husband and some of our kids when they’re around, we watch Mad Men, Parks and Rec.  So yeah, that’s a habit too.

Pete Mockaitis

Oh, thank you.

Deirdre Breakenridge

You’re welcome.

Pete Mockaitis

And how about, is there a particular nugget or piece that you share, a Deirdre original, that really seems to connect and resonate with folks, in terms of they’re nodding their heads, they’re taking notes, they’re Kindle book highlighting?

Deirdre Breakenridge

I always think that just “Be true to your brand” is really, really important.  And that goes to everything – who you are and what you value at every single touchpoint.  So I think that’s what I’m most passionate about as I’m educating many.  I am a professor at different universities, and as you know I speak and I do my training sessions.  So I think it’s just be true to your brand, and always listen.  Listen to people.

Pete Mockaitis

Alright.  And Deirdre, if folks want to learn more or get in touch, where would you point them?

Deirdre Breakenridge

So I would say, check out my blog, which is my author’s website, kind of the portal to me.  That is DeirdreBreckenridge.com.  You can also check out Pure Performance, which is PurePerformanceComm.com, with two Ms.  And please, connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter – I’m @dbreckenridge and I love to answer questions.

Pete Mockaitis

And do you have a final challenge or call to action you’d issue to folks seeking to be awesome at their jobs?

Deirdre Breakenridge

Yes.  I think that you all need to get out of your comfortable zone and get into your uncomfortable zone, because when you do that, you will learn and grow and excel.

Pete Mockaitis

Alright.  Well, Deirdre, thanks so much for taking this time and sharing your lessons learned and war stories.  It’s been a lot of fun.

Deirdre Breakenridge
Thank you so much.  I enjoyed our conversation.  I really appreciate the opportunity to be on your show, so thank you!

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The Gold Nugget

The Gold Nugget

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