TSL helped me to find my message, my audience, and my confidence. I’ve learned so many strategies for finding opportunities and resources to make the most of them. What I really love is that the course doesn’t only tell you how to become a dynamic speaker, it helps you determine why you want to be a speaker.
Tell us about yourself; who are you and what do you do for fun?
I’m a husband and a father, first and foremost. A close third is vinyl record collector. I refurbished my step-mom’s receiver and turntable from the ’70s and love old jazz from the ’50s and ’60s especially. I don’t just buy records to have them, though, I buy them to listen. There’s just something about watching that needle drop gently into the grooves of that spinning disc and hearing what comes out. I also love to read and write and watch/play basically every sport on earth.
What got you into speaking? Is it what you expected?
I’ve always felt comfortable in front of crowds, so once I found my message it only felt right to share it as far and as widely as I could. I started to receive more and more opportunities after my children’s book released in July of 2015 and I’ve continued to adapt my message for various groups, which has been incredibly rewarding. So far it has been awesome. It’s so satisfying to do what you know you’ve been called to do and to hear from the audiences how you’ve affected them in a positive way!
So far it has been awesome. It’s so satisfying to do what you know you’ve been called to do and to hear from the audiences how you’ve affected them in a positive way!
Tell us about your hardest moment as a speaker so far.
Thankfully I haven’t had many, but recently I did two school assemblies without a microphone because they couldn’t find it. In a gym. I’m pretty loud, so I thought it’d be fine, but it was really hard! At one of those assemblies, I did a demonstration of how I swing a bat with one hand and as I hit the climax of the story and swung the bat that I had borrowed from the school, a plastic piece on the end flew off and into the crowd! Thankfully nobody was hurt, but my heart leapt into my throat!
What has been your biggest success as a speaker so far?
I was selected to share my story at a large gathering of health professionals last year and even though I only had ten minutes, I thought it went really well. After the conference was over I heard from the planning committee that in that ten minutes I had made them cry tears of laughter, sorrow, and inspiration and that they liked my talk more than the four keynote speakers they had hired.
Fast forward to this year and I will be speaking at all eight sessions of that same conference and have been in talks with health systems in three other states to do the same for them! You never know what amazing opportunities even a seemingly small one can lead to.
What was your biggest struggle before finding The Speaker Lab?
Before I went through TSL, I just felt all over the place. I knew a little about a lot, but not enough to really be useful. I knew I could speak, but wasn’t sure how to frame my message or who to share it with. I also really struggled with figure out how and what to charge for my services and coming to terms with charging at all!
How has The Speaker Lab helped you and your business?
TSL helped me to find my message, my audience, and my confidence. I’ve learned so many strategies for finding opportunities and resources to make the most of them. What I really love is that the course doesn’t only tell you how to become a dynamic speaker, it helps you determine why you want to be a speaker. Once I figured out why I wanted to speak, the rest of the puzzle pieces were easier to place.
What is your number one goal over the next 6 months to a year?
I would like to transition into full-time speaking within the next year. It’s still scary, but exciting, too! I feel more prepared now than I ever have before and I’m confident that my experience will lead to even more opportunities.
About our student
Ryan believes that being different is awesome. As a speaker and an author, he has shared his message with children and adults of all ages; at schools, hospitals and corporations. Through storytelling and humor, Ryan shares his journey of growing-up with one hand and overcoming challenges he encounters on a daily basis living in a world designed for two hands. Ryan also talks about the surprising simplicity of building community and the truth that our differences, those things that make us unique, are the very things that make us awesome! Ryan lives in Wisconsin with his wife and three children.Learn More About Ryan Haack