Wayne Turmel On Saying What You Mean and Meeting Like You Mean It – Episode 108

In today’s episode I had an awesome conversation with Wayne Turmel, an entertainer turned virtual communication guy. We talk in great length about how the imposter syndrome impacts the way we show up in our work. Feeling like a fraud and afraid you’ll get found out can often leave you gripped with fear. This was a lively and deeply thought-provoking conversation you don’t want to miss.

Watch the show (uncensored & unedited)

Listen to the podcast

Share Some SHUT UP Love:

Fear is a continuum. Where are you on that spectrum of ‘mild awareness’ to ‘this is a crippling problem’? @GreatWebMeeting #shutupshow (click to tweet)

Fun Facts:

  • Wayne Turmel was a standup comic for 15 years before moving into corporate training and finally virtual communication.
  • Today, Wayne is the president of GreatWebMeetings.com, a company dedicated to helping people in organizations use tools in their daily work for sales, training and effectively managing virtual teams and employees.
  • When Wayne was still an entertainer, he opened up for the band Chicago in Saskatoon.
  • Wayne was a losing contestant on the television game show Jeopardy!.
  • Wayne sold cars, dirty videos, and copier toner before he landed his first corporate training job.

Defining SHUT UP Moment:

I became obsessed with this notion that really good, smart people get held back because they can’t do something that for me is completely natural. And people who have this thing I have, the ability to speak traumatized, can get way more credit for being smarter than in fact we are. I think that’s ludicrous. So, how do I leverage this thing that gives me an unfair advantage and how do I help people who are held back because they can’t do this thing that is deceptively easy for me to do?

When I finished high school, I started doing standup as an 18-year-old in Canada. I did some shows and opened up for Chicago. I left Canada. Moved to L.a. I was a standup comic for 15 years until I realized I have to feed a family. There reached a point I found myself in L.A., I had a wife and new born baby and the day came when literally within six months 80% of the comedy clubs closed. I was a club comic, I worked the road. And suddenly the road wasn’t there anymore. I got off the road. Sold cars. Sold dirty videos. Sold copier toner. All the time looking for something that used my skills. When you do the inventory on the marketable skills, the only one that leapt to mind for me is I talk for a living.

I found myself at a meeting where someone told me I should think about corporate training. I met a guy there who one year later hired me for my first corporate training job. The company I was with got bought and sold seven times in 11 years. During one of those changes, I moved to Chicago from L.A. in 2001. The traumatic move was from being in the entertainment industry to corporate training. Six years ago I started my own business and I’m really blessed that I found a way to make a living using my gifts but in a grown up, mature, responsible way that has me helping people. As geeky and weird as it is, this training part of me feeds helping part of me as well as the neurotic, ego-driven side of me that needs attention from strangers.


I realized very early on that if you can speak and communicate clearly, you have a radically unfair advantage over those who actually know what they’re doing and are doing good work. – Wayne Turmel

If you don’t feel some kind of emotional connection to what you’re doing, it’s either going to fail or suck the life out of you. – Wayne Turmel

Who I care about is the project manager, the guy who is going to work every day trying to get work done but doesn’t have the help to do it. – Wayne Turmel

Shooting a jump shot in basketball is not one skill. It’s multiple skills. It’s how you plant your feet. How you time the release. When you time the release. How you hold the ball. And it’s broken down into a bunch of things. It’s the same as presentation skills–it’s not one thing either. – Wayne Turmel

Credibility is the sum total of everything the audience sees and hears that creates a perception of credibility. – Wayne Turmel

Most of the things that get in our way as communicators are in fact curable and trainable. What most of us do is throw up the barriers of what’s in our head and end up getting it into the heads of our audience. – Wayne Turmel

Fear is a continuum. It’s not like you’re afraid of public speaking or you’re not. It’s ‘Where are you on that spectrum of ‘mild awareness of a situation’ to ‘this is a crippling problem’? – Wayne Turmel

Getting up to present creates the same adrenalin and cortisol in your body as seven cups of coffee. – Wayne Turmel

We can’t ignore the voice but we have to deal with it, wrestle with it, listen to what it says and decide what to do with it. If you don’t listen to the voice, you’re going to make a lot of bad decisions. – Wayne Turmel

A message has two components: the message itself and how it’s communicated. – Wayne Turmel

Just ask the question. Just say what you’re going to say. – Wayne Turmel

There’s a difference between faith and trust. Faith is just believing something in spite of all the evidence. Trust is believing in something with evidence to back it up. What you need to be able to do is move from faith to trust. – Wayne Turmel

“Fake it till you make it” is about creating the impression of competence to get the gig and trusting it’s going to happen because there is some evidence and it becomes your default position. Now you can trust you are as good as you say you are. – Wayne Turmel

Wayne Recommends:

Wayne’s new book Meet Like You Mean It: A Leader’s Guide to Painless and Productive Virtual Meetings will be available at Amazon on May 1st, 2014.

Pre-order the book at this link.

Find Wayne:

Wayne’s company is GreatWebMeetings.com

Check out Wayne’s blog at TheConnectedManager.com