Episode 125 -- Storytelling in History Class with Joel Hawbaker

2-Minute Tip: Greet Audience Members Early


As much as practical, if you have time before your speech, meet some members of your audience. Greet them as they come in and sit down. This accomplishes a couple things.


First, it’s the start of a relationship with a new person. For part of your audience, you will no longer be just that person on the stage. Instead you will be that person they were just chatting with who is now on the stage. As you build that relationship, you are building trust.


Second, it gives you some familiar faces you can look for when you are on the stage. This encourages you to engage in more eye contact, and it gives you some people you can specifically look for.


As a bonus, it can even help with speaker nerves by distracting in that period before your talk.


Post Tip Discussion: Meet Joel Hawbaker


Joel Hawbaker has fully embraced the storytelling aspect of speaking. And why wouldn’t he? Telling stories is how civilizations have shared their histories, their lessons, and their faiths for millennia.


It’s how religions today share the lessons and directives of their prophets and marketing departments around the world grow their profits. And it’s how you can make history compelling and memorable for the toughest audience in existence — school kids.


Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less

CS Lewis


I also like Joel’s thoughts on the importance of humility for not just a speaker and teacher, but for any expert. There’s an importance in going back to basics and working on fundamentals. Success requires a strong foundation, and not thinking you’re too good to work on the basics.


Even an experienced speaker needs to think through their content, do the prep work, and practice.


This focus on humility and going back to basics is an important that can help us connect with more audiences. They’re the best way to celebrate the hero of our talks — the message.




Joel W. Hawbaker is a professional speaker, an author, and a high school teacher and soccer coach in Alabama where he lives with his wife, his two daughters, and their two rescue dogs. Joel has a degree in History from Covenant College, and he also spent time studying Medieval Civilizations at New College, Oxford, in the UK. In his professional speaking, Joel focuses on the topics of blended family life, leadership, and education. His goal is to help people form better relationships through a combination of confidence and humility. In addition to his books on leadership, he is currently working on a book about blended family life.


Writing the Book


Joel talked about his approach to writing his book. He worked on his outlines in the evening, and he filled them out while driving to work. This can be a great approach, assuming you can do it safely. This is a great job for a dedicated digital recorder. For a task like this, the small, cheap ones are probably fine.


This is an approach that can work because editing is easier than creating. Once Joel had his recordings done, he could turn them into transcripts and then edit them into a book.  Even with that, it still took him a year to write, “Inverted Leadership.”


But he did it.


On Strokecast, I talked with true crime author Paul Sanders. He finished his latest book a week before he had his stroke. That stroke robbed him (at least for now) of his ability to write books.


So don’t wait. Get that book written now. Joel found a way to write it during his commute. How can you find a way to write yours?




Joel’s Website


Joel’s book on Amazon


Joel on Facebook


Also Joel on Facebook


Joel on Twitter


Joel on LinkedIn


John Acuff Newsletter


Chandler Bolt’s Self-Publishing School


Rob Kosberg’s Best Seller Publishing


John Wooden on socks


Vince Lombardi on a football


Westbrook Christian Academy



Call To Action


  • Check out Joel’s book and web presence
  • Share this episode with 3 colleagues by giving them the link http://2MinuteTalkTips.com/Joel
  • Don’t get best…get better


2-Minute Talk Tips is the public speaking podcast that help you become a more effective speaker in as little as 2 minutes a week.

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