I found The Speaker Lab right at the beginning so I think I was lucky to have some of the framing about how to build a speaking business. I love the road map. I think people are often paralyzed when there isn't a next step. The Speaker Lab model is very helpful in that it creates a repeatable system to guide next steps.
Los Angeles, CA
Tell us about yourself; who are you and what do you do for fun?
I love wine! I love travel! I love wine-related travel! I’m also an improv actor and love to spend time in that world. I have a collection of over 500 cookbooks — so I love cooking or at least books about cooking. For the last 3 years, I’ve lived in Los Angeles. So we are slowly crossing off long road trip weekends off our list — Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, Big Bear. I’m also very into Mexican wine right now. Yes, it’s a thing. And it’s delicious. A delicious thing.
What got you into speaking? Is it what you expected?
After a 20-year career building hospitality + service brands (restaurant, retail, hotel, airline), I took some time off which led me to consulting. I decided I didn’t love the deliverable work of consulting and started offering “work sessions” to help people achieve the same results as the consulting but with me training/teaching/facilitating.
One of those led me to getting booked for a conference to speak — and I was shocked when they said they would pay me! This led me to start digging into how to do this full-time — and here I am two years later with a bunch of fun speaking work under my belt. I’ve always been a performing — mostly improv acting, so I fell in love with that aspect of using the craft to deliver a message and move an audience.
Tell us about your hardest moment as a speaker so far.
My hardest moment was when I realized that it takes more than a website and video to get booked as a speaker. Honestly, the positioning, packaging, and messaging around you as a speaker is second only to your platform skills for filling your schedules.
What has been your biggest success as a speaker so far?
Finding great mentors, advisors, and friends very early on in my speaking career in Michael and Amy Port, Lisa Cummings, and Neen James.
What was your biggest struggle before finding The Speaker Lab?
I found The Speaker Lab right at the beginning so I think I was lucky to have some of the framing about how to build a speaking business. I’d imagine I would have struggled with picking a lane and committing to doing the sales work to get booked otherwise. The Speaker Lab model gives you the road map.
How has The Speaker Lab helped you and your business?
I love the road map. I think people are often paralyzed when there isn’t a next step. The Speaker Lab model is very helpful in that it creates a repeatable system to guide next steps.
What is your number one goal over the next 6 months to a year?
My number one goal in the next six months as a speaker is to make a small pivot in my work — I’ve always been the “culture” guy for corporate audiences. I’m starting to move into a performance/communication territory. Consider it my Taylor Swift country-pop crossover move.
About our student
Mike creates company cultures that engage teams, thrill customers, and drive bottom-line results via his engaging and actionable keynotes, workshops, and consulting projects. His Radical Culture methodology fuels successful employee experiences, drives leadership development, and boosts customer service at companies and organizations around the world. As a recognized expert in culture design and a speaker at national and international conferences, Mike specializes in creating unique, brand boosting employee experiences. Mike developed his speaking skills as a corporate trainer and made them entertaining as an improv actor at world-famous Second City, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and Improv Olympics. Mike writes about positive leadership and culture for Huffington Post and Ariana Hungton’s Thrive Global.Learn More About Mike Ganino