Margaret Watts Romney, Moments of Impact: Sharing Stories That Inspire and Connect – Innova.Buzz 592


Margaret Watts Romney, Master Speaker Lab.

In this episode of Innova.Buzz, Margaret Watts Romney reminds us of the incredible power of storytelling and how it connects us on a deep level. Sharing personal experiences and shaping them into meaningful messages can leave a lasting impact on our audience. With insightful anecdotes and practical tools, Margaret inspires us to step into the spotlight and become leaders in our own right, both on and off the stage.

Key Points:

  1. Unleash Your Inner Leader: Margaret reveals the profound connection between speakership and leadership. When we share our stories and values on stage, we have the opportunity to lead and inspire others. Let your authentic voice shine and bring your unique experiences and vision to every conversation.
  2. The Gift of Connection: Stories are the threads that weave us together, touching hearts and changing lives. Margaret reminds us to take care in crafting our stories, ensuring they resonate with our audience. By adding touches of humor, emotions, and sensory details, we can create a gift for our listeners that they will remember long after the podcast is over.
  3. Be Fearlessly Awesome: Nervousness is natural, whether it’s speaking in front of an audience or simply sharing our truth. Margaret shares powerful tools to harness that energy and transform it into confident awesomeness. Embrace the surge of energy, reframe the physical signs, and step into the spotlight with grace and poise. It’s time to unleash the fearlessly awesome speaker within you!

So get ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery, storytelling, and leadership;

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Harness the power of speaking to lead, regardless of the stage. Unlock your potential and share your ideas with the world. #SpeakingLikeALeader #UnlockYourPotential #InnovaBuzz @margaretromney on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

Show Notes from this episode with Margaret Watts Romney, Master Speaker Lab

In this episode of Innova.Buzz, host Jürgen Strauss engages in an insightful conversation with guest Margaret Watts Romney, a seasoned speaker and leadership coach. The primary focus of this episode revolves around the art of storytelling in public speaking and the connection between speakership and leadership.

Right from the start, Margaret suggests focusing on what you want out of every communication; what do you want to achieve, but most importantly, what you want to feel and want the other parties to feel.

Margaret then shares her journey of discovering the concept of “speakership” about ten years ago while working with speakers preparing for a TEDx event. As she helped these speakers with their nerves, body language, and crafting their stories, she realized that speaking and leadership extend beyond the stage. Speakers bring their values, history, experiences, and vision when they speak, making speaking an opportunity for leadership.

Margaret expresses her fascination with studying neurology and understanding what happens inside the brain. She delves into the phenomenon of feeling nervous when being looked at on stage and how it triggers the fight or flight response. Margaret highlights that our perception of the event when experiencing stress or nervousness may differ from the audience’s perception.

Margaret introduces the concept of a “gift” and explores what it means to leave something behind. Jürgen shares a humorous anecdote about a car with its trunk open. Initially struggling to find the word for “trunk,” he eventually communicates the issue to the driver, highlighting the importance of clear communication. Another person also helps clarify the situation, resulting in a notable shift in the driver’s demeanor from defensive to thankful. Margaret sees this incident as a leadership moment and an opportunity to give a gift, even if the recipient is initially defensive.

To offer practical tools for dealing with nerves before going on stage, Margaret introduces the concept of inviting others to receive a gift. She also emphasizes the importance of self-care and employing breathing exercises to cultivate a calm, collected, confident, and centered mindset. Changing body language to convey relaxation further helps create a positive atmosphere for both the speaker and the audience.

Margaret also shares an anecdote about coaching speakers for a TEDx event, specifically focusing on the physical signs of anxiety exhibited by one of the speakers. She advises reframing these signs as the body getting ready to be awesome, normalizing the surge of energy before any performance. She points out that when we’re on a stage, we might feel like we’re the vulnerable ones. But the reality is when we are actually the ones in charge. The audience have surrendered their time and their attention, their two most valuable and never renewable resources. It’s our opportunity and even our responsibility to carry them through our time together to give them something of value, to help them feel connected, to help them see the world in a new way or laugh. That’s another way of understanding it, that we are not the most vulnerable in the auditorium. It’s the audience who is.

The episode also delves into the power of storytelling and the importance of honoring stories in professional contexts. The human brain naturally gravitates towards stories, and sharing information through storytelling improves its retention. Margaret emphasizes the significance of incorporating characters, a place, action, and change within stories. By adding a human element, emotions, and sensory details, stories have a profound impact on the brain.

Margaret expresses her love for radio and audiobooks, asserting that listening is a potent form of engagement. She describes radio as the most intimate medium, as it physically moves the bones inside a listener’s brain and skull. The concept of “theater of the mind” is introduced, highlighting the listener’s ability to imagine and visualize scenes through audio descriptions.

Margaret acknowledges the challenge of telling a good story, emphasizing that it is not an easy feat to accomplish. The discussion delves into the difficulty of connecting personal stories to an audience and avoiding the pitfall of excessive focus on traumatic or emotional experiences. Margaret cautions that such intense stories can sometimes overshadow the intended message, detracting from the impact on the audience. To illustrate this point, Margaret shares an example of a client who spent two years crafting a traumatic story. This highlights the arduous process of shaping such stories effectively. Margaret herself had a personal experience of sharing a traumatic story in a talk but realized that it unintentionally became the central focus, overshadowing the purpose she had in mind. From this, she emphasizes the significance of shaping intense stories in a way that is not self-centered but rather meaningful and relatable to the audience.

The importance of using metaphors was also discussed. Margaret believes that stories should be related to the message speakers want to convey, making it easier for both the speaker and audience to connect. Drawing from personal experiences, especially when crafted as metaphors, can effectively convey a message to the audience. The goal is for the audience to not only remember the story but also take away a key message.

Overall, this episode of Innova.Buzz with guest Margaret Watts Romney provides a deep dive into the art of storytelling in public speaking, the connection between speakership and leadership, and the neurological aspects of delivering impactful speeches. With practical tools, insightful anecdotes, and thought-provoking perspectives, this episode offers valuable insights for both aspiring and experienced speakers alike.

Leave a lasting impact by sharing stories that are not self-centered, but rather offer a gift to your audience. #GiftOfStories #MeaningfulConnections #InnovaBuzz @margaretromney on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Margaret’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. 1 thing to be more innovative – Sleep! Refresh your brain.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Walking and listening to live music.
  3. Favourite resource – Audio books
  4. Keep project/client on track – Be fully present with clients and help them see what is.
  5. Differentiate – Find the intersections of what you do, who you are and what you are good at.


Think about your gift – what do you want to leave your community, listeners, colleagues or family after you speak with them, that can better their lives.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Margaret through the Master Speaker Lab website and Instagram.

Suggested Guest

Margaret suggested we have a conversation with Katy McQuaid, author of Humble Yet Fierce and Mike Black of Paige Black Marketing Agency on a future InnovaBuzz Podcast episode.



Cool Things About Margaret

  • Her free time is filled with kitchen gardens, podcasts, tea, subjecting herself to swims the cold waters of Maine, and reveling in her three grown daughters’ marvelous lives.
  • Margaret is an accomplished cellist.
Become aware of the sensations in your body before performing, and reframe them as signals that your body is getting ready to shine. #BodySignals #ReadyToShine #InnovaBuzz Share on X

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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