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JAM GAMBLE: “What's your intention? What do you want to—like, who do you want to help? What do you want to do? Do you want to inspire them? Do you want to motivate them? Do you want to educate them? And then looking within yourself, and go, ‘What do I possess that I could share with others?’ versus ‘What should I go quickly learn and try to put it together and then put it out there because that’s what people want to hear?’ If you're not connected to your talk, it will not work.
AMY PORTERFIELD: “Yes, okay.”
JAM: “That's like me going out and talking about fitness. You know, I can't run. I'm tired. I'm not going to give you my five steps to be a better runner, because I'm not connected to that. But I'm going to give you the five steps to own your voice, and you're going to see how, Okay, that’s connected to my beliefs; that's connected to my values; therefore, I can share it with the world. That, my friends, is how you identify what you want to talk about.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-million-dollar business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, money, and time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and helps you create a life you love, you're in the right place. Let's get started.
AMY: Well, hey, there, online entrepreneur, digital-course creator, or soon-to-be digital-course creator. No matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey, I can't help but wonder, Are you using a very specific superpower that will set you apart from other entrepreneurs online? Want to know what it is? I'll give you a hint. It's free, you've always had it, and you can start using it today. Any ideas? Okay, here's a hint. You're hearing me use it now, right this second. You guessed it. It's your voice. I truly believe that finding the value of your voice can not only boost your revenue, but it's also a surefire way to attract your ideal clients and turn them into lifelong customers.
If you agree with me, then you're going to love today's episode. My guest today is Jam Gamble, creator of Slay the Mic and the Slay the Mic Program. Jam's vision with her business and program is to help people understand the value of their voice. I believe that with an online business, you can use your voice to more deeply connect with your audience. The trick is that you have to get comfortable with sharing your voice and build confidence around knowing who you're speaking to and how you can best connect with them. So today, Jam is going to share with you some of her best tips and secrets for finding your voice, her five-step process for using your voice to build your successful online business and presence, and what might be holding you back from really sharing your voice with the world. Now, you'll walk away with more confidence around how to show up online, whether it's for your Facebook group or on a Facebook Live or Instagram Live or inside your digital course or maybe on your podcast or anywhere else where your audience is actually spending time.
Now, I've got to tell you that I already recorded the podcast interview with Jam, and it was so incredible. And in the interview, we talked a little bit about how Jam and I first met, but I actually want to tell you this story in more detail.
So I was online a couple weeks ago, maybe a month or so ago, and I was looking at Instagram, and I came across an Instagram Live, and it was with my new friend Komal Minhas and Jam Gamble. They were on this Instagram Live together, and they had just gotten done with some kind of online summit, so they jumped on Instagram Live and were talking about it. So really, the Instagram Live wasn't for me, but I loved their energy. And so with that, I just thought, I got to pay attention to these ladies. And the more I listened, the more I learned, and both of them had just so much great value to share. And I was just mesmerized by their message and how they were using their voices and all the confidence that was just exuding from both of them. And I thought, I want to get to know both of these women more. And I've made an effort to do so.
So, now, Jam is on the podcast today. And it really was from my effort to seek more diverse voices and learn more from people. And I want to point something out. I invited Jam on the podcast today not to talk about race or diversity or inclusion. And although that's important to have those conversations on this podcast, I want to also have different diverse voices talk about the things that I also teach—putting yourself out there, doing more video, having a voice, showing up for your digital courses. And Jam really has something incredibly valuable to offer in terms of improving your presence, your online marketing, the strategies that you use, starting with finding your voice. And so that's what this episode is all about. I won't make you wait any longer. You're going to love my guest. Let’s get to it.
Hey, there, Jam. Welcome to the show. I'm so excited to finally have you on here.
JAM: I've been counting down the days. Thank you for having me.
AMY: Oh, me, too. I knew this was going to be fun. What they didn't hear is that when I jumped on here and you said, “So nice to finally meet you,” I was like, “Wait a second. We haven't actually met in person?” because I watch you online so much, you've done Share the Mic with my channel, and I feel like as though we've been on the phone and we've talked a bunch, which says a lot about your personality and how easy it is for you to connect with people online. I'm sure you get that a lot.
JAM: Sometimes. But I was, like, one step away from inviting myself over for dinner. I figured we've come this far.
AMY: I wish that you do. So if you're ever in Carlsbad, California, my door is wide open.
JAM: I’ll take you up on that.
AMY: Okay, so, this is fun because I want to start from the beginning. Although I gave you a proper intro, I want people to hear your story from you. And I think I'm going to learn a few things as well. So tell everybody who you are, what you're about, what you do. Like, give it to me. I want to hear it all.
JAM: So my name is Jam Gamble. I’m best known as the Slayer of the Mic. And I’m the founder and CEO of the Slay the Mic Program that helps people turn their voice into their ultimate superpower. And what I mean by that, it's not about public speaking. And that's a very common question I'm asked. “Do you help people get comfortable as public speakers?” No. I get people comfortable with speaking. I actually want to start this whole petition to drop the word public from public speaking. So Slay the Mic Program helps anyone—doesn’t matter of your age, your gender, your background, your level of experience. Do you have a voice? Do you want to work on it? That is where I come in.
AMY: Okay. So how did you get your start? Like, how did you know that this is what you were meant to be doing?
JAM: I didn’t.
AMY: Okay. I love that answer.
JAM: I did not. Everything I've done in life has been impulsive and it's worked out. I knew I had a voice very late in my life. I think when I turned maybe, like, twenty-five was when I finally realized I had a voice. But before that, it was something that people made me feel was a problem, so I never aspired to be a speaker or a storyteller or culture any of that, just because I talked too much, right? And I had to find something else that didn't require me to talk. But everything I found myself in encouraged me to use my voice. And now look at me.
AMY: And now look at you. Like, you are all over talking about this important topic. And the reason I wanted you on the show today is that I've heard you say that your voice is your superpower. And so many of my listeners are struggling to find their voice. And it comes out a lot, Jam, in the sense of they don't want to get on video period. But I think deep down it is that idea that they don't know what to say or how to say it, or they don't know if they even have a voice in this. And you're saying, no, it's our superpower, and we all have it. So talk to me about what you mean by that.
JAM: Yeah. So your voice is yours. You didn't order it. You don't pay a monthly subscription. It wasn't awarded to you. You don't have to get certified in it. It's been something you've possessed since you were born, and you've been developing it over time. And if you really look back, and again, letting go of public speaking, but just thinking about your voice in general, you've been using it to share your ideas, to introduce yourself, to ask for things, to say you don't like things, to reassure a friend—you've been using it all your life. But now when we become adults, for some reason we hold the opinion of others to a higher regard in our own, and then we lose our voice, and we think that people have to validate us, and someone has to come out with this mic and knight us and say, “You may now use your voice,” when you could decide when, where, and how you use it. And the minute you realize that, the possibilities are endless.
AMY: Okay. So we're going to go over these five steps for using your voice to build your online business and presence. But before we get there, I'm guessing you might have a moment or some kind of experience that you really stepped up to the mic. I mean, talking about slaying the mic, where—well, let me ask you. Have you ever had a moment where you thought, “That's it. I nailed it. I'm in my zone,” that you knew you had a voice and you knew you were going to do something with it?
JAM: TEDx, yeah. TEdx.
AMY: Oh. Okay, tell me about that.
JAM: So I impulsively applied to be a TEDx speaker.
AMY: Okay, this word impulsive needs to be your middle name. You know I am everything but. Right? You and I are polar opposites in this. And I envy people that are impulsive, and they just do it and make things happen. But anyway, I would never impulsively apply for TEDx. Tell me more.
JAM: Yeah. I impulsively applied because I remember it was in the time when I had just launched my TV show. I think I was in season two or three, which I also launched impulsively. And then my mom was talking about TED talks and how the smartest people go on TED. And you don't just get TED; you get invited to TED. But that was TEDx, and I saw it, and I was like, “Hey. What do speakers do to get their voice out there? They apply to be a TEDx speaker.” So I saw the theme. I thought I could talk on it. I applied and made up some kind of application. I don't even know what I put. It was probably nonsense. But they responded back, and they're like, “Yeah, we liked what you said, but we think you’d be better suited as a host.” I was like, “Oh! Okay, that should be easy. I host; a, b, c, d; end of the day, that's it.”
No. TEDx was like, “We're going to hook you up with a speaking coach,” which was the first time I've ever met a speaking coach. I didn't even know speaking coaches existed. I didn't even know it was a job. But they hooked me up with a speaking coach, and then she's like, “I need your intro for the day, your intro to all ten speakers, and your outro.” And I was like, “You want me to pre-write that?” She goes, “Yeah.” I’m like, “Yeah, I don't do that.” And she's like, “No, but you have to.” I’m like, “Yeah, I don’t do that. I’m a butterfly. I just wing it.” And she goes, “Yeah, you can’t ‘wing it’ at TEDx. We need to approve it.” And I gave her videos from my blog; episodes of my TV show, where I never use notes or a teleprompter. And I said, “Trust me, I know what I'm doing.” And they let me wing it.
JAM: And then she gave me her business card at the end and said, “It’s not for you. It’s for somebody who needs it, because you clearly have something.”
AMY: Oh, yeah.
JAM: And that was probably at the time when I was like, Okay.
AMY: That’s when you know you’re in your zone. And one thing I want to point out about that is you just went for it. You didn't even question yourself. You’re like—
JAM: I don’t have the time.
AMY: Right? I'm just going to do this. And then look what happened from that.
Now, I know we're going to get into these five steps. I keep teasing them. But genuinely, I want to know, do you think that other people can learn how to wing it? Like someone like me who likes to prepare for everything, is that a talent that I could have?
JAM: Yes, Amy. It is.
AMY: I love that we're doing video, even though you won’t be able to see it.
JAM: I just put my guru voice on. I was like, “Yes. Amy. It’s in you.”
AMY: I felt it. So you really, genuinely believe that?
JAM: Yes, because my clients have gone on to do it.
AMY: Do you think it's my fear of looking like a fool of why I don't wing it? This is a therapy session now.
JAM: It is a therapy session. Slay the Mic is partially therapy as well for some people. I think, if I was to take a guess, I think for you, one, you take pride in what you do, and you are someone who puts a lot of thought into it, and you want it to come out brilliantly. That's a reflection of you and your ethic and your values and all that. But I think it's a matter of trusting that even if you just did it on the spot, that you could produce the exact same results, and that’s how you’re going to trust in yourself.
AMY: The idea of trusting in myself and just going with it, it sure would save me a lot of stress, a lot of time, a lot of overwhelm in the prep—
AMY: —so I am open to that. Okay, I'm going to keep that in mind as we go through these five steps, because I know we're going to get into this concept even deeper.
So will you first just tell me what the five steps are, and then I would love to walk through each of them and kind of break them down and maybe even hear from some your students how they overcame some of these challenges. So, you cool with that?
AMY: All right. Give me the five steps first.
JAM: So step one is recognizing you have a voice, okay? People often ask me, “Jam, how do you do what you do? How do you know you have a voice?” And I go, “Okay.” These are the three things you need, Amy. These are the three things. I don't tell this to everybody, but I consider us friends now, so I'm going to give you the goods, okay? These are three things to know that you have a voice. Thing number one, do you have a brain?
JAM: Okay, awesome. Within that brain, are there ideas and lived experiences and memories? Did you take any courses, training, previous coaching? Like your brain is full of ideas and thoughts, and you're smart enough to share it with people?
JAM: Okay, fantastic. Do you have a mouth?
AMY: I do. Sometimes my husband wishes I didn’t.
JAM: So does mine. So does mine. Until he sees my bank account, then he goes, “Thank you for that.”
AMY: Oh, amen, amen!
JAM: Right. Right.
When you open your mouth, does a sound come out of it?
AMY: It does.
JAM: Okay, fantastic. Now do you have a pulse?
AMY: I do.
JAM: Are you alive?
AMY: I am.
JAM: Are there topics that when you share it with the world you get so alive that people want to say, “Amy, relax. We get it. We get it. We get it. You’re passionate about helping people”?
AMY: Yes, 100 percent.
JAM: Then when you know you have those three things, that's how you know you have a voice.
AMY: Okay. So we all have this.
JAM: Those three things. You all have it. If anyone wants to, like, get my affiliate link on Amazon, our AliExpress, I'll share with you to get some black-market things. But you all have it. When you know that you have a voice, you recognize it. You know that you could use it, you know that you don't need permission to use it, and you know that when you use it, change can happen. Opportunities could happen. You can meet people and get things in life that you know you deserve. That is what happens when you recognize you have a voice. And I think a lot of people need to stop, drop, and recognize.
AMY: Yes, yes. Stop, drop, and recognize. Exactly.
Okay, we’re going to come back to these because I want to hear some examples and such. But what about step number two?
JAM: Understanding the power of your voice. Again, you do not have to be the most, like, critically acclaimed, award-winning, verified-account person to recognize the power of your voice. You need to be a human who knows that, you know what, I could change someone's life by encouraging them. I could speak out about something that's happening in the world and create this movement to create change. I know I have this. I know the power I have when I use it. You don't have to have all the money. You don't have to have the biggest reputation. You just need to know first and foremost that when you use your voice and you use it intentionally, it could change your situation and the world around you.
AMY: Okay. All right. So, step number three.
JAM: Identifying your topic or your talk, okay?
AMY: Ooh, this is a good one. Okay.
JAM: This is a big one here because a lot of people tell me, “Jam, I don't know what to talk about.” I’m like, “What do you mean you don’t know what to talk about?” “Well, I don’t know. Like, what do people want to hear?” That's your first problem.
JAM: That's your first problem. If you're thinking solely what people want to hear and not what you want to share—
AMY: Ooh, yeah.
JAM: —that you're always going to be operating in this space of, “I need to please. I need to be doing what people want,” versus “This is what I'm qualified to talk about, this is what I'm passionate to talk about, and you're going to get this message whether you want it or not.”
AMY: Okay. That reminds me when I fell in love with you. I randomly fell into a talk. Who were you with? It was right after—
JAM: Ooh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. It was a Live. It was—
AMY: It was right after a session that you did on—is it called Gem? Is that what it's called?
JAM: Yeah, yeah. It’s called the Gem Conference. Yes.
AMY: And you were with Komal. Is that how you say it?
AMY: Yes. You and Komal were on some Live that I wasn’t even invited to—not that I needed to be—but it wasn’t for me, and I fell on it, and you were talking. And you said—I’m going to totally mess it up, so you have to correct me—but it was something like, “I said what I said.”
JAM: I said what I said.
AMY: I said what I said. And it still gives me chills because you say it with such conviction. And it was almost like this idea that I didn't say it for them. I didn't say it because they wanted to hear it. I said what I said.
JAM: Said what I said. And you heard what you heard the first time.
AMY: Yes! That is so powerful. So I want to come back to that, but, again, we’re going to get into all these steps.
Okay, so, step number four, what is it?
JAM: Who do you want to talk to? Who's your audience? Do you want to speak to women? Do you want to speak to students? Do you want to speak to people who don't even identify with a gender? Entrepreneurs? Who do you want to speak to? Because when you know your topic, you know who you want to speak to, your message becomes even more clear.
When I work with my clients and they’re like, “I want to speak to anyone who needs motivation,” well, that's pretty broad. Like, geez, I don't want that task.
JAM: Please, I don't want that gig. But I know that I want to speak to this particular group of people, and this is my message, and, therefore, I know exactly how I'm going to serve them. And the minute you know who you want to talk to, then you're full magic comes out.
AMY: Okay. This is a good one, for sure.
And then our final step, step number five.
JAM: Where do you want to take your voice? And that's where I always stun people. They’re like, “What do you mean by that?”
AMY: I was going to say, “What do you mean?”
JAM: When you open your mouth, where do you want to take your voice? Is it for your dream job? Is it on your first YouTube video? Is it on Amy Porterfield’s podcast? Where do you see your voice going, and who do you see your voice impacting? And again, that helps you provide clarity in your message and in your intention the minute you know, “Okay, you know what. This is where I’m taking my voice. This is where I'm taking my story.” But you got to visualize it. You got to speak it into existence, and in fact, just opening your mouth and speaking and visualizing where you want to go.
AMY: Oh, I want to talk about this one more because I kind of have an idea of where I'd like to take my voice, and you just kind of brought it to light there. So we'll get back to that one.
Okay, so we're going to go right back. We're going to rewind right back to the top. Step number one, recognizing you have a voice. And you took us through the fact that we just realized we all have a voice. So can you give me a student example to help us better understand, like, bringing this to life?
JAM: Yeah. So I had an event two years ago, and it was a friend of mine who I was teaching with for about three years who went through a complete body transformation. Like, lost all this weight, changed her style, was feeling so confident about herself. But unfortunately, her partner was not onboard with this transformation. It wasn't on his time and his terms. And it caused a lot of conflict in the relationship, and behind closed doors, nobody realized that she was in an abusive marriage. So she took a year off teaching, kind of pulled herself away from things and people. Nobody knew what happened.
But when I asked her and she told me, I invited her to speak at my women's events. And she’s like, “Jam, I'm not a speaker.” I'm like, “Yeah, you are. You're a human with a mouth. You're a speaker. You don't have to have a title and have a huge following in order to share your story with others. Just please be a human and come and share your story.” She came to my event. She was hyperventilating, essentially. Her hands were sweaty. The microphone was slipping out of her hands. I'm sitting next to her, holding her hand because she's shaking on stage, sharing her story for the very first time in front of a room of strangers.
And she walked away going, “I don't know who received that. It was so messed up. I wasn't myself.” I go, “Listen. You did what you needed to do. You spoke your truth. You finally used your voice.” What she didn't realize was that her talk inspired another woman to walk away from her abusive relationship three months after that talk.
AMY: Whoa. That’s when you know it’s powerful.
JAM: That's when you know it's powerful. So when you hear examples like that, you don't have to have this soapbox. You just need to believe that, you know what, I have something worth sharing. And who knows who's going to be impacted by it and how it could change somebody's life. And that woman, the following year, came back to my event and wanted to thank her in front of the entire room and say, Thank you so much for giving me my voice to walk away from something that was toxic.”
AMY: Okay. Full-body chills.
JAM: There was not a dry eye in the room.
AMY: Right? Okay. So this idea of recognizing you have a voice, I love what you said. You don't need to be a “speaker.” And I have that in quotes, like you don't need to have a title here to have a voice. And I think that part's really important.
That kind of leads us to step number two, understanding the power of your voice and the magic behind your voice and how to use it on a regular basis with your audience. So talk to me a little bit more about that one.
JAM: Yeah. Understanding your power. For some reason, people are afraid to embrace their power. I hear the words, “But people are going to think I'm arrogant, or people are going to think I'm too much.” And I go, “But look at how far my arrogance and too much spirit has gotten me.” You know what I mean? Like, when you recognize that your voice has a power behind it, it cannot be kept in. It can't be locked away. It needs to be shared. It needs to be put out there, even if it's done imperfectly in the beginning. And when people put aside, What people are going to think of me if I come out and I’d be the best version of myself and put yourself forward and go, you know what, when I step out and use my voice and realize that is my ultimate superpower, I'm going to be proud of the version that I'm putting out there. And I always tell people, “If you don't think you sound good, who will?”
AMY: Oh. That’s good.
JAM: So it starts with you. It starts with you. When I'm getting myself hyped up behind stage before an event, you think I'm backstage, going, “I hope people think I'm good. I hope people think I'm good”? I'm backstage, going, “Who's good? Me! Who’s going to do this? I am!” and I go out and do it.
AMY: Okay, that just made my whole day. I need to start doing my podcast and video because just watching you makes me so happy that we're doing it this way.
So, okay. This is big. And this kind of goes back to one and two, but when I first started to do my own live events—I have struggled with my weight all my life. I've been very self-conscious about it. And so I didn't want to get up on stage per se when I have a voice on my podcast and my community, but also on stage, and I worried about what everyone was going to think about me and what I said and how I said it and how I looked. And there was a woman behind stage that said to me, “Women out there need to hear your message to know that they, too, can be up on stage and have a voice and have their message. They need to see themselves in you first. Sometimes someone has to go before you in order for you to get the courage to do it.” And the minute she did that, it kind of became bigger than me. Like, oh, my gosh, I have this voice. I have a message. And if I get it out there, other women who I serve will think that they can do this, too.
AMY: And I feel like that was part of the power of this as well.
JAM: Yeah. And that reminds me of the saying, representation matters. We think of our representation in terms of gender. We think about in terms of age, even in race. For me as a black woman, when I go and speak at schools and students come up to me and say, “I've never seen a black speaker come to my school before. You're the first. I never knew we could do that,” you have no idea what that does to my spirit, when kids see me and they aspire to be me or do what I do. So even if you're not a perfect speaker, even if you stumble, even if you're nervous, other nervous people need to see you.
AMY: Yes. That's so true.
JAM: You know? And they’re like, “Okay, she’s shaking on stage, but she’s still alive? Wicked!”
AMY: Yes! She didn't die up there. Maybe I could do that, too.
JAM: Absolutely. Absolutely. So we pass on that torch of courage, even if our torch is a little bit dim, we pass it on to someone else, and the flame gets a little bit bigger. And we need to practice that so that we can share that energy with other people and encourage them.
AMY: I think that's such a powerful message. So many of my listeners are here because they want to serve. They want to support. They want to help. And, you know, my listeners know this, but your voice can be in your digital course. Your voice can be in your Facebook groups and all the stuff that I teach. And so knowing that you're going to inspire others to do the same, like, come on. That to me is worth all of it.
AMY: Okay. So let's see here. We are down to step three, identify your talk. Okay, this one's a big one because, Jam—
JAM: It is.
AMY: —you said earlier, so people are saying, “What do I talk about?” I get that question all the time. “What do I create a course about? What do I podcast about? What do I talk about?” And I know you've got some exercises that can help us identify our talk, but we need to get into this one. This one is a stumper for people.
JAM: Yeah. And even just hearing you relay what I said, the other thing I hear people tell me a lot is, “I want to share my story because I've been through a lot.” And it's this whole “vulnerability sells” mindset. And people are thinking that in order to share their story, they have had to have gone through something so traumatic that it's going to be so juicy that people want to hear it. “So I didn't just drive through this small town and stumbled across this small business that needed a new owner. I was on my way to this small town. My car lost control. I ended up in a ditch. Nobody found me for months. I made my way to a mountain. I was raised by a pack of bears, who taught me the weight of the land and introduced me to organic yogurt. I then traveled from the mountain into this small town where I did not know nobody. But I established my business, and I made six figures in five minutes.”
AMY: Okay. That’s the first time I’ve seen it explained that way, but I get it. I get it. Yes.
JAM: You get it, right? And I’m like, “Can you just tell your story?” So identifying your talk is, one, determining your intention. What's your intention? What’s your intention? What do you want to—like, who do you want to help? What do you want to do? Do you want to inspire them? Do you want to motivate them? Do you want to educate them? And then looking within yourself, and go, “What do I possess that I could share with others?” versus “What should I go quickly learn and try to put it together and then put it out there because that’s what people want to hear?” If you're not connected to your talk, it will not work.
AMY: Yes, okay.
JAM: That's like me going out and talking about fitness. You know, I can't run. I'm tired. I'm not going to give you my five steps to be a better runner, because I'm not connected to that. But I'm going to give you the five steps to own your voice, and you're going to see how, Okay, that’s connected to my beliefs; that's connected to my values; therefore, I can share it with the world. That, my friends, is how you identify what you want to talk about.
AMY: Okay. So this is where I want to come back to “I said what I said” kind of thing. You can't put it out there and say, “This is what I think they want to hear, so I’m going to tell them what they want.” But what about the fact that, how do you know that “I said what I said” is going to resonate? How do you know that you're not making it all about you? Like, you know this idea, you’ve got to serve the people that you're there for. I get confused in that.
JAM: Yeah. So “I said what I said” is usually a phrase that I use when I'm referring to my lived experiences and my perceptions on situations or even speaking my truth. So when I've been in situations where people have questioned my character, because I said, “I know my value, I'm not going to negotiate my value. I said what I said. We're not going back to the negotiation table to talk about my value. It's done. That's the end of the conversation. End of the story. No sequel. That's it. “
AMY: This is good. Yes.
JAM: You know? So “I said what I said,” it's not like, “Okay, everyone. I'm going to teach you why you should be eating kale and incorporating more vitamin C. I said what I said about vitamin C.” Like, no. That doesn't apply. But when you're speaking about your lived experience, your truth, your feelings, don't waver. You said what you said. The end.
AMY: There's power in that, because you're right—you stop second guessing yourself. You stop trying to please everybody. You stop trying to be everyone for everything, or whatever that saying is. You get what I mean.
JAM: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. I don't have time for it.
JAM: And I say it all the time now.
AMY: I believe it's part of why you've been so successful, because when I saw you say that, and then I saw you talk afterwards, and you were someone I wanted to listen to because you had the confidence. You stood in your power, your truth, and who doesn't want to gravitate toward somebody like that? And so I think we could all use that. Jam says it way cooler than I do. But I'm still going to use it in the sense of, “I want to have that confidence. I said what I said. I believe it. I stand by it. I'm going to continue to do so.” I think that paves the way for success.
JAM: Absolutely. And if you're someone who says, “Yeah, but…,” if you catch yourself saying “Yeah, but…,” after you said something, like, “I'm an entrepreneur, but…,” I need you to tell yourself, “I said what I said. I'm an entrepreneur. The end. The end.” “I’m a podcaster. The end.” “I'm a creator. The end.”
AMY: Okay. I like this, “the end.” You guys, we could all use this because I think we do say, like, “I want to create a digital course, but…,” and then you have all these excuses. No. “I'm a digital-course creator. The end.”
JAM: The end. No sequel. No follow up.
AMY: No follow up. Okay. This is good.
Do you find that—first of all, do you identify as a speaking coach or a voice coach? Would you call yourself that, or do you hate it?
JAM: Okay. So when people refer to me as a motivational speaker, my skin crawls.
AMY: Okay. I could get that. I don't think I'd want to be that either.
JAM: I am not a motivational speaker. I’m a real-talk person. That’s what I am. I might motivate you. I don’t know.
But when I refer to myself, because I'm not just a speaker and I'm not just a speaking coach, my actual title is a connector of people, ideas, and energy, because everything I do revolves around those three things. So I don't like to be fit into a box or category.
AMY: And I can respect that, and I’m glad—
JAM: I make my own category.
AMY: Yes, you do. And I'm glad I asked that, because I get that sense from you, for sure. But when you are coaching people and you are teaching them, where do you think—like, I get this question a lot when I teach the stuff I teach—like, what's the number one thing that you think stops people in their tracks from really owning their voice, getting up there, doing the thing they want to do, following these five steps?
JAM: Yeah. In the Slay the Mic Program, I have an activity called Who's Your Kanye?
AMY: Okay. What does that even mean?
JAM: So if you remember that iconic moment in pop history when Taylor Swift was receiving yet another award, that she was also shocked by—she knew she was going to get it. Come on, Taylor. Stop it—and Kanye sat in the audience, and Kanye came up and interrupted and said, “Yo, Taylor. I’m going to let you finish, but…” We all have a Kanye in our life. It might be our partner. It might be a boss. It might be a friend. It might be somebody we know on social media. It could be past trauma. You might be your own Kanye, who's interrupting and getting in the way of you sharing your next big idea, sharing your story, or just even using your voice in the first place. So you have the choice. Are you going to let Kanye share the stage with you, or are you going to tell him to go take a seat in the back?
AMY: Okay. That is powerful because I instantly knew I am my own Kanye. Like, I instantly, I’m that…
JAM: Most of us are.
AMY: Okay. That’s neat. Guys, just take a moment, just take a moment to really let that settle in. It could be your husband. It could be your business partner. It could be you. But there is somebody that wants to take that mic, and you've got to tell him to sit down. It’s not their time.
JAM: And what happens is you carry that person's voice instead of carrying your own. So when you tell yourself, “I can't do this,” when you tell yourself, “I'm not good enough,” I need you to ask yourself, “Am I saying that about myself, or am I just carrying the voice of someone who once told me that I can't do this, I'm not good enough, and therefore, their voice has transformed into mine?”
AMY: Oh, yeah. That’s powerful. That's a great reminder.
JAM: And a lot of people realize that their barrier is someone from their past, and you have to let that go. You have to.
AMY: Someone from—okay, this probably shows up, too— someone from your past that has no opinion about what you're doing now, but you're carrying all the stories from your past. Like, I have some of those with my dad, where he's never said a word about anything current, but I feel like he has judgment about it. That comes up.
JAM: Yeah. A lot of my clients, Kanye is their parents, and they're so ashamed to say it. And I'm like, “Listen. Just because you're admitting your parents were a barrier doesn’t make them bad people. It's just that they were and they continue to be a barrier in your life when it comes to showing up and using your voice.” And my mom calls me arrogant all the time, because now when she tries to insert her opinion, I tell her, “I'm sorry. This does not serve me right now. So I’ll talk to you tomorrow, okay? I love you. Bye.”
AMY: Okay. Come on. That is good.
JAM: And she can’t stand it, because when I was younger, I would let her talk. I would let her share her opinion. And now I’m like, “Yeah, this doesn’t serve me.”
AMY: “Doesn't serve me” is a great thing to say. It doesn’t serve me. That takes courage to probably say it the first few times, but then it kind of can just roll off your tongue when you know it works.
JAM: Mm-hmm. And this is my tip for everybody. The biggest Kanye in your life is often the person closest to you. And the minute that you can deal with that obstacle and that barrier and you could tell that person, “I said what I said,” or “That doesn't serve me,” or “I don't have the capacity,” or “No, thank you,” I am telling you, you're going to see a difference in your confidence when you show up in the world, because if you could tackle the people you love the most, you could tackle strangers. No problem.
AMY: That's so true. That is so true.
Okay, I know you're not a motivational speaker or coach, but I see why you might get the title sometimes, because you're good at this.
Okay, so step number four, knowing your audience. Now, my listeners, we talk about this a lot. Your ideal-customer avatar. But I actually need to bring something up that I've been grappling with and want to teach it in a different way. I've always taught the ideal customer, knowing who your audience is, is that one person. You're speaking to one person. You've got him in your mind. You know their challenges, their likes, their dislikes, their needs. But because I've been doing more diversity and inclusion work around race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, I feel like maybe I need to broaden my audience a little bit more so my message is inclusive but still hitting home. Do you have any thoughts around that?
JAM: So first off, kudos to you for doing that.
AMY: Thank you.
JAM: It's so necessary as entrepreneurs, as public figures, to be implementing that necessary change. For me, I've never created that ideal avatar. I never knew what the race was or the age was, because for me, Slay the Mic was for everybody and anybody. It didn't see age. It didn’t see background or gender or anything like that. When I say “know your audience,” know their energy.
AMY: Tell me more about that.
JAM: Know their energy. So know that I'm going to go—okay, I want to speak to a room of people who are hurting. I want to speak to a room of people who are walking away from something that no longer serves them. I want to speak to a group of people who are on a journey of becoming a better version of themselves or are launching their next big idea. When you know their energy, you can connect with that. I can't connect with a male who's forty-six, even if I create this ideal version of what he looks like. But I can connect to his energy. I know that he, too, is on this path of starting something big, launching something, needing the support, that coaching, and I could provide that for him. So when I know someone's energy, then I speak to the room versus just one individual. And I've always had a global mindset. I've never had an individual mindset in my work.
AMY: Okay, I've never even heard it explained like that. So can you give me an example of where this might have shown up? I know you just gave me one example there, but can you think of any others?
JAM: Yeah. So I was doing a coaching call with a woman who I’d never worked with before. And when she introduced herself, I’m like, “So tell me who you are.” She’s like, “I’m a mindset coach.” I’m like, “Oh, you're another one, huh? Okay. Everybody is a mindset coach. Everybody's a mindset coach. Okay. All right. What makes you different?” She’s like, “Well, I don't know. I help people get their mind right.” I go, “Okay, okay. All right. Let's get a little bit more specific. Tell me your story. Who do you live with? Tell me what your life has been.” She’s like, “Well, I'm married. I have a son who's, like, my rainbow baby because I've gone through several miscarriages.” And I was like, “Have you ever thought about helping women, particularly who've gone through multiple miscarriages, with their mindset?” And she like, “What?” I was like, “Yeah. Instead of just saying, ‘Oh, I help people with their mindset. I help women who have gone through either one or multiple miscarriages regain their sense of self,” because that's when she discovered she wanted to be a mindset coach because after she went through multiple miscarriages, she started to heal herself. And then she’s like, “I want to help other people.” But she didn't think specifically about women who've had miscarriages. So I challenged her to go live. And she's like, “I don't do lives.” I’m like, “Well, you’re going to do a live today.” I challenged her to go live, and I go, “Ask people, if you've been through a miscarriage, I want you to DM me.” Fifteen women messaged her and said, “I would love to talk to you.” So she knew who she wanted to connect with energy wise. She didn't know their age. She didn’t know their background. She didn’t know what their situation was. She just knew she wanted to help women regain their sense of self. And she found that.
AMY: Okay. That is—I'm glad I asked that question and you gave that example because it brings it 100 percent to light. Now, I understand that energy, because there's an energy behind somebody who's gone through that kind of struggle and she could speak to it directly.
So, okay. So knowing your audience, obviously we teach that throughout everything. But when you really want to get clear on your voice and have a voice, it's incredibly important there.
JAM: Yeah. This is how I wing it, Amy.
AMY: This is so good.
JAM: No. Truth be told. When I get ready for an event, I wing it because I know, obviously, what my topic is. They're like, “Okay, Jam. Come talk to people about owning your voice.” “Okay, cool. My topic. Who’s coming?” “Entrepreneurs.” Okay, I never ask—is it primarily women? I never ask those details. “Oh, okay. They're entrepreneurs? Okay, they're new graduates? Okay, fine.” What's my intention? And my intention has to match my audience’s energy. And sometimes I'm not able to predetermine that. Sometimes I will walk into the space and I can just feel it.
AMY: I was going to say, How do you even know their energy if you don't know the audience?
JAM: Because I know the type of event I'm going to. So based on the type of event, then that's the kind of audience they're going to attract. So they've already done half the work for me. And then when I come into the space, I read the energy, not their faces.
JAM: Their energy.
AMY: Okay. That's funny you bring that up, because I actually, when I got on that live, I asked a question of you, and I said, “The reason I don't like speaking on stage…” I know that's not the only work you do, but you do support people that do. “I look out, and I see all these blank faces. And I think, Oh, this talk is horrible. They're hating it. This is wrong. I need to get off stage. I look at their faces and I think I'm doing a terrible job.” Will you share—
JAM: And then I told Amy to check her ego.
AMY: She did! She told me to check my ego. And the minute she said it, I was like, “Damn. She’s right.”
JAM: Yeah. I was like, “Amy, check your ego,” because, listen. We come into talk, and we do everything to prepare. The venue sets the stage, they set the room, but they cannot control how people are feeling coming into that space. You don't know who in that audience had a fight with their partner in the morning; had difficulty getting their child to school; have a medical condition that they're waiting for results on; are debating if they're even wanting to be in the life that they're in or the job that they're in, and they're thinking about it while you're talking to them. I cannot expect everyone's face to be beaming when they look at me. I can't. That's a tall order. I feel that when I go on stage, those people who are meant to receive it, they will receive it. And those people whose face maybe don’t look like they're receiving it, maybe won't hit them now, but it'll hit them later. It'll hit them later. So I don't focus on that. And at the end of the day, if your face wants to be straight, I got paid to be here. So if you don't want to receive it, that's cool. But I still got paid.
AMY: There's a little bit I like that you take the full responsibility off of yourself. If they're meant to receive it, they will receive it. And I try to control everything. And so when I see their face, I'm like, “I can't control that. Something's wrong.”
JAM: But you know what. I see people's face who are bland, and I've actually called them out.
AMY: You have. I'm not even surprised. This is good.
JAM: I was like, “Good morning to everyone, and particularly my friend in the second row who seems to be dozing off. I have been told that my voice is soothing, so maybe it's in a bit of a nursery state right now.” And then she’s like, “Oh.” I’m like, “”Good morning. Thank you for joining me.” Yeah, I call people out. So I do make people [unclear 43:41]
AMY: I was going to say, you probably make it extra fun, and so it just kind of cuts through right away, so I’ve got to remember that one, for sure.
Okay. So we've made our way to step five, which is, where do you want to bring your voice? Like, really knowing this. You got to talk to me about this one. Like, what does this step entail? And give me an example.
JAM: This step is my favorite step, but it also stresses me out at the same time, because if I hear one more person have a discussion with me and I ask them, “Hey, where do you want to take your voice?” and like, “Yeah, I want to be like a TED speaker,” damn it.
AMY: Wait. Talk to me about the problem here.
JAM: Every—listen! Why is TED the end all, be all when it comes to using your voice? Why isn't it your local school? Why isn't it the school you graduated from? Why isn't it a shelter where women need to be empowered? Why aren't you giving back to an organization? Why aren’t you thinking locally, where your community needs to see you and uplift you and cheer for you and then get you to the second stage? What is it about TED? Go to your local furniture store, get a red carpet, and do your own TED talk in your living room. But come on. Think deeper than that. TED is not—like, I know it’s the final stage, but you need to think about all the steps and places before that that prepare you for TED, not just blast off to TED.
That’s my TED talk. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
AMY: I haven’t had an aspiration for TED talk because that whole thing kind of just freaks me out. However, I get what you’re saying, where there's so many other ways that you could make such an impact. But are you saying not to go so big first, or are you saying that's just not—
JAM: I think to think deeper than that.
AMY: Deeper, okay.
JAM: TED is the big stage, right? I get it. TED. But you know what, there are some really incredible opportunities that are waiting for you in the most ironic spaces. And those are the places that, you know what, you're probably going to get a far larger standing ovation there than TED.
AMY: I get that.
JAM: It's not just a stage. It's the people. It's the message. It's the opportunities.
AMY: And that's where this idea of going deeper comes in. For me, I want to serve as many—I always say women because I was a woman in corporate with the glass ceiling, and I want to see women make as much money and the biggest impact that they can. So for me, if I could speak somewhere where these women are still in corporate, still feeling stuck and wanting to bust out, that’d be way more powerful than getting in front of a TED talk, where it's not necessarily that audience there.
JAM: Yes. And you know what TED has? Tape.
JAM: TED has tape. And you know what Jam doesn’t like? Red tape. They got a red carpet and red tape, and I don’t like that. I want to speak freely. I want to speak openly and rawly, and I can’t do that in TED.
So some of my most profound talks have happened in the smallest groups. Some of my biggest and most powerful talks have happened with the smallest paycheck. And those are the memories that I'm going to hold on to and try to create more of. TED will happen. If it ever happens, it happens. Maybe TED might happen one day. I don't know. But you're not at the top of my list, TED, in case you're wondering.
AMY: Yeah. And Jam’s not going to follow your rules.
JAM: In case you’re listening.
AMY: If you’re listening—
JAM: Yeah, I’m not going to follow it. I’m not. I’m going to do my own thing, TED, whether you like it or not.
AMY: I love rule breakers. I am more of a rule follower. So of course, I gravitate toward the rule breakers. I love you.
JAM: So here’s the thing. I am a rule follower, because I don't believe in horoscopes, but I am a Libra, and Libras do like balance and rules. And I am very big on that, especially when its rules in society. Following rules are going to keep us safe and orderly. But I am on the cusp of being a Scorpio.
AMY: So, there’s that.
JAM: So we do what we need to do. Yeah.
AMY: Yes. Oh, good, good, good. Good stuff.
All right. So we went through the five steps. They're valuable. I love all the examples. I have one last question. We kind of got into a little bit of this, but because you work with so many people who are learning to slay the mic, learning to find their voice, what have you found are the barriers that often stop us from using our voice?
JAM: My goodness.
AMY: I mean, there's got to be a lot.
JAM: “I'm not ready yet.” “I haven't done a lot of speaking engagements.” “There was this one time I spoke and I froze, and I've never been able to let that memory go.” “I have a quiet voice.” I have an accent. People are not going to understand what I have to say.” “I don't have a huge vocabulary. Therefore, I can’t be a speaker.” “I have body issues that I'm still working on.” There's a list. There's a list of things that stop people from showing up and using their voice. And my question to those people is, instead of thinking, What’s the worst that can happen? start thinking, What’s the best that can happen when you start using your voice? And I guarantee you that list is going to totally outweigh the worst that's going to happen.
AMY: It truly, truly is. I feel like I'm an example of that when I stopped hiding, stopped playing small, stopped not wanting to get on video and not want to speak my mind and not wanting to create waves. When I moved past that, my business began to grow, and I felt so much better in myself.
JAM: I love video. Video is my playground. Video is where I come to life. Even when we were planning this the whole discussion, I was like, I'm not going to answer questions via email. I'm sending a video.
AMY: So good. I mean, that worked for us, for sure. I mean, I always love when I meet somebody who loves video, because my audience knows I've never had a big love affair with video, but I fully embrace it because I just feel like it's a must in me getting my message out there. But it is something that's incredibly powerful. Video and voice, I think today go hand in hand, and you're a perfect example of that.
So here's the deal. We're going to wrap this up. I want you to tell people, where can they find out more about you? Give them—I want social, I want website, because I want them to see you in action. So where can they go find out more about you?
JAM: So you can find me on Twitter and Instagram @Iamjamgamble. You can find me at my website at Iamjamgamble. Jam is in everything because I'm that sweet.
AMY: You are.
JAM: And you could also find more about the Slay the Mic Program on slayerofthemic.com.
AMY: Jam, I love our new friendship. I love that you agreed to come on the show. And this was incredibly powerful for me and my listeners. So thank you so very much.
JAM: My pleasure to serve. Thank you, Amy.
AMY: So there you have it. Wasn't that an awesome conversation? I hope Jam delivers on her promise and she actually does come over for dinner the next time she's in town. I think that's going to be so much fun.
So I'm thinking about this idea of using your voice and when you actually have the courage to do so, how you can change lives. And as I was listening to Jam talk, I started to think about when I started to use my voice in a bigger way at the beginning of COVID-19, so way back in March 2020, when everybody's sent home, nobody is sure what the heck is going on, and my audience started to look toward me to say, “What should we do? Should we sell? Should we keep going? Do we pivot?”
And I knew that I could offer value. I knew that I needed to have a voice. And although I was scared because it was unchartered territory, I also knew that it was my time to speak up because I had value to offer, I had insight and ideas, and I needed to inspire. And so from the minute people were starting to be sent home, from the minute stores were starting to shut down and businesses shut down, I became more vocal. I used my voice, even though I was scared in a way to say, “Let's keep going. Let's make some pivots. Let's do things differently, but let's not stop.” And I think that fire in me came from, “Holy cow, my students have worked way too hard to slow down now. We might have to show up differently, but we have to keep showing up.”
And so I offer you this example because when you feel excited but scared to talk about something, when you feel called to it because you can offer value and insight, when you really feel as though you've got to step up because people know you, it still is scary to use your voice, but it's incredibly necessary. And that, I believe, using your voice when it's scary, when you need to find the courage because you don't have the confidence but you know that you could offer value, every time you speak up, you build confidence. So the next time, it's not as hard. And the next time, it's not as hard. So I just want to offer you that insight because I promise you it gets easier. But it doesn't get easier until you start doing it. Get into motion, get that momentum, and things start to get easier as you start to show up more. The world needs your voice, so speak up, my friend.
All right. Thank you for coming on this journey with me today. What a great conversation. What an important conversation. Jam, thanks again. Love you dearly.
And I cannot wait to talk to you all again same time, same place next week. Bye for now.