World of Speakers E.74 COVID-19: Brian Fanzo | Rebubble, reinvent, and make the transition


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World of Speakers E.74 COVID-19 Brian Fanzo

Ryan Foland speaks with Brian Fanzo, an innovative thought leader and global expert on transitioning to digital and live video. In this episode of our COVID19 special series, they look at how to rebubble and reinvent right now.

One of the key messages in this interview is the need for transparency — the more transparent you are today, the easier it will be for you to adapt to uncalculated change and failure tomorrow.

Tune in for a rapid-fire interview, chock full of insights on the future of the speaking industry and the role digital will play. 

Listen to the interview on iTunes or Soundcloud.

Subscribe to World of Speakers on iTunes or Soundcloud.


Brian Fanzo: Hey guys, it's Brian Fanzo. 

I'm here with Ryan and we just had an amazing discussion on reinvention, on rediscovery, on rebubbling, and ultimately the future of where we're going. 

Hopefully it inspires you to not only be excited by the opportunities today but also keep the momentum for the speaking of tomorrow. 

Excited to be a part of this.

Ryan Foland: Ahoy everyone. 

I hope you're safe and not touching your face. 

This is Ryan Foland here for another special edition around the speaking industry and COVID-19 in the new world. 

Today I've got a very special guest, he's no stranger to the show, his name is Brian Fanzo

He is a digital futurist, and of all the people that I've seen online in this transition, he's one of the first people to come to mind when I want to ask questions about 

  • how he's making this transition, 

  • how he looks at how he is reinventing himself 

  • and what the future holds. 

So, we're going to jump right into this. 

The first topic I want to talk about is this: digital transition. 

You're a digital futurist. You made the jump to full keynote speaking. You've done awesomely. It's just been so much fun to see your traction, and now the carpet has been pulled out from under your legs like all of us. 

Talk to me about this transition, and the digital transition that you're finding yourself going through.

Brian Fanzo: It's interesting. The theme of my keynotes has always been around the idea of finding the synergy between technology and innovation and humanity.

I've done 3K livestreams. I worked with a lot of brands on connecting their offline event with their online event, using everything from influencer marketing to live streaming. And so when I lost all of my gigs—I lost 14 in the first 3 months—and then I had another 8 fall off into the fall, it was definitely an interesting place.

I had a lot of people coming to me for advice and being like, "Brian, wow, this is right in your wheelhouse." 

I think we have all been going through this grieving period to figure out, especially as speakers, going from like shock to anger to this weird space.

And so part of it came down to, "Okay, if we're having all this new attention on digital and virtual, let me take what I preach in the sense of merging these two worlds. What does this world look like where everyone is online and we're switching all of our offers into the digital space?" 

And to me it required a new lens, right? No one's had a lens to the point where we’re like “How do we handle this from a fully remote environment?” 

I've helped architect multiple virtual events, but we were producing them in a live studio. We all flew to San Francisco for one of them. There were a lot of these other variables. 

And so for me, a lot of it has been very transparent and how I'm pivoting. 

The other piece of it has been keeping an open mind to what it means. 

And probably the most important piece has been to also keep my eye on the long term, and the whole ‘where this is going’. Not just the future of speaking, but building on what I've been working on for the last 7 years or so, as far as relationships and my momentum. 

I think there's a tendency to throw out a bunch of courses, or create a bunch of paid webinars, or whatever it may be. 

For me, I've tried very much to give as much information as I can that I'm learning, and do my best to kind of reset the bar as far as what this all means. 

Part of it has been testing the technology, and then part of it has been really trying to demonstrate what the new possibilities are, because I think there's definitely a space of, 

"Okay, well now that we're all stuck inside, get the lighting gear, get the right audio, get a camera, point it at somebody and deliver a 60-minute talk." 

But for me, I know that hasn't worked. It hasn't worked for the last 10 years, that's why offline events haven't been threatened by the virtual space. 

It's like, "Okay, we really want to reinvent this. Let's start from the virtual content creation spot first and work backward." 

And it's mind-blowing.

I can tell you it's been adventurous. It's been a little bit probably harder in some places than I imagined, and more disrupted than I imagined, I had some people reaching out to me from different platforms. 

I think we all saw it as soon as this happened, I think every webinar software, every live streaming software, every event company became a virtual event company. 

As a marketer I respect that. I understand we're all kind of redefining what that means. 

And I didn't want to add to the noise. While at the same time, I'm not looking to monetize a direct virtual offering. It's more of, how can I implement what I believe the future is all about, which is the harmony between the virtual space and humanity, and finding the synergy. 

(Listen to Brian’s talks here: "Digital Empathy" and "Shrink the Distance")

And right now, although the pendulum is kind of directly switched towards the virtual space, for the last 7 years the pendulum's been switched the other way. 

I think it's important to learn from some of the past lessons but also be open to new possibilities. 

I recorded a talk this morning using 3 pieces of technology I had never used before, and used multiple different cameras, and I will gladly admit it failed miserably, completely! 

Not only was it distracting for me, the presenter, but the finished product was a hot mess, but I wouldn't know if that was a possibility of working unless I'm putting it through that test. 

So that's really where I'm at, is like testing, tweaking, and then sharing that publicly. 

It was kind of great. We get feedback, you have a captive audience, I did a presentation to a Zoom call last night of some fellow speakers and I said, 

"Hey, I don't know if this is going to be any good to actually produce, but I would love your feedback." 

I think that's kind of the fun environment we're at where I don't believe anyone has exactly the right answer and we can all learn together.

Ryan Foland: That's a ton of stuff to download. I want to dive deeper into two things.

What are the 3 things that you have learned so far that maybe caught you by surprise? 

And then I want to know about the 3 top results of your testing because I saw a tweet the other day and I retweeted it, it was like you just tested 60 different platforms. 

What are the 3 things that you've learned as a digital futurist with the reality now that maybe you didn't see coming or you did see coming? 

Brian Fanzo: I've always looked at webinars. I never looked at that as in our playing field as a speaker. 

I thought of it as “it's a type of delivering information,” but it really doesn't encapsulate what we do on stage, the work that we put into the performance. 

Interestingly enough when moving into this virtual concept, so many people would ask questions, or the content we were creating, if it came close to the webinar bucket, they immediately just labeled it and put a stamp on it as a webinar. 

But the lesson was actually the opposite side of, if it wasn't a webinar they put it in the stamp of "unknown, we don't know what to do with it." 

A lesson was, at first, it was, "Hey, I want to distance the platform and the content strategy from a webinar," and I think it's less about that, it's more about understanding how the businesses and the event space interpret it. 

That was probably the first thing that was interesting, is that people can wrap their heads around a webinar very easily, but the rest of this online summit, live streaming integration, Q&A, that still lives in kind of its own bubble.

The second thing is the value of live streaming video. I've seen so many livestreams, everything from a DJ Nice on Instagram live to watching Ann Hanley and Marcus Sheridan doing their live show over on LinkedIn live. 

Interestingly enough I kind of assumed for many that were jumping into live that they would see the connection to virtual event speaking. 

And most of them don't. Most of them, the more I've reached out, have said, 

"Oh, I'm doing a live to build my brand, to get my message out," but they still compartmentalize the online presentation as something that's pre-recorded. 

And so although the excitement behind live video was there, I still think we have to take a step back and say, 

"What role does live video play, and then how do we integrate live in a correct way." 

I don't think every event should be fully live, but I also think that every event has to have a live component if they're going to call it a virtual event. 

The second lesson was, I almost blindly got excited and said, 

"Okay, everybody understands live, I'm going to ignore that, I'm going to help people figure something else out." 

Just because people are going live at the moment doesn't really mean that they understand how to include live in their virtual event offering. 

The third one has been the confusion on “What does it really mean to move from offline to online?” 

What I mean by that is actually not from the event perspective or the speaker's perspective, but everything else. 

So for some of the brands that I've been working with, I would ask things like, 

"Well I know the sponsors that you have for your offline events are probably scrambling right now, so think about what you sold that sponsor on, i.e. what you would provide for them at your conference, so that we can then try to integrate that into the online event." 

I was amazed at how many people either assumed or kind of limited the scope of those connections to only offline. 

What I mean is that a lot of them, although they might have had an online component of their event, they didn't include the sponsor in that at all. 

The idea of just throwing a logo on a landing page, and wanting the same amount of money for something is definitely not there.

I started asking brands what the sponsors were getting, and the answers were a little bit confusing and a little bit all over the place, so I skipped that and I went to the sponsors and said, 

"Hey, I've seen that you sponsored 10 events that I spoke at last year, what was it that made you sponsor these events?” And then, “what were you getting out of them in a sense of the tangible, and how have you thought about that in the online space?" 

And most of them would use the phrase like, "Oh, we're going to go after the online tangible items, not trying to replace the offline ones." 

So it's a little bit in the vernacular, but a little bit also in the confusion I think we're all at. 

If you read a blog post, you might assume that all of those things are kind of worked out, but the more I dove in the more I realized we're all kind of figuring that all out together.

Ryan Foland: Interesting. 

Let's jump to the tools.

You've tested probably over 100 at this point.

Are there any that really stand out? 

What are the top 3 platforms we should keep an eye out for as a speaker, or that we should be aware of, we should be playing with?

Or is that impossible to answer at this point? I don't know.

Brian Fanzo: I think it's actually impossible to answer in one sense, and then I don't think there's one solution right now that would truly create a virtual experience. 

I've done almost 100 tools, from demos to free trials, to product walkthroughs, to interviewing some people that have used some of these technologies. 

And the technologies range from, so it's a live-streaming tool, a webinar tool, a virtual event platform, a virtual experience platform in one case. 

And then you have like Twitch, where Twitch is a community that is one of the most engaged communities in the world for online gamers. 

So I've really kind of run the gamut there. 

One of the things I think is interesting, Zoom is getting a ton of attention right now. Rightfully so. I think the majority of us speakers have been using Zoom for years, but it has a webinar component, you can livestream out to multiple platforms, you can get people on video. 

And one of the lessons that I learned when I went full time speaking was that it's up to us to make sure we set ourselves up to give the best presentation of our lives. 

The whole idea early on for me was like, "I don't want to be a diva," so I was like, "Sure, I don't care what platform you're using, I don't care what kind of microphone, I don't care how well the stage is lit." 

And I think everyone can laugh because we all did that early on. 

And then we learned like there are some things that we need to make sure are in place so that we can be the very best. 

In the virtual space, I believe we oftentimes don't think of that, because the event that's hiring us or putting it on will say, "Hey, this is the platform we need, we need a 25-minute prerecorded video." 

And for us as a speaker, we're like, "Okay, well we can do the prerecorded video our way." 

We have to start looking out and saying, "Okay, what can we add to this event to make it more ‘us’?" 

So we can fire back and say, "Well, what if I did 15 minutes of it pre-recorded, and we did a 10-minute live session that we embed in it? Is that a capability?" 

Like almost pushing back and saying if we want to be the speakers that stand out, we have to own that entire virtual experience. 

And that includes pre-event, during the event and post-event. 

And so that's been an interesting piece. 

I now have 5 different brands that I'm working with. What I'm focused on is helping them craft the content and then help train the speakers on making interactive presentations. 

I took my one 60-minute keynote called "Press the Damn Button" and I turned it into 8-minute segments that are each very interactive, and after each segment we can go different directions with the content. 

So I'm helping some of these brands and events figure out that flow. 

I think as speakers, right now is the very best time to try things from a virtual presentation that you would have never imagined. 

The interesting thing with these platforms that are out there is it's going to be a combination of multiple different things, like a Zoom with a HeySummit or Tame management software, and then maybe even a virtual service provider like an Ecamm Live or Switcher Studio to push things out.

I tried to bring up Brene Brown hologram this morning, right like that was the thing that failed this morning. 

I wasn't going to say it, but instead I might as well. 

And part of that is I wanted to know how the hologram interacted on — I'm running off a Macbook, if I was running this off of a production studio, these things would work. 

And so the other piece of this that I kind of wrap the tool part on is, as much as the tools I believe aren't there from an innovation perspective, I believe the foundation of a lot of the tools have the capability to deliver what we as speakers believe can add that extra value. 

We just have to design our content to be prepared to be using that.

And then the second piece is, I am so much the person that loves to try crazy new things, but let's also just remember the people that are paying us, what are the things that they value. 

Part of that is when someone says "high-quality" that means I'm only using live video when the live is participatory and directly valuable. 

If it's not, I'm not using live because there are too many other variables that can go in that place. 

But it is definitely going to be a collaboration of tools. 

I do think there are some that are leading a little bit more than others, but don't be surprised if you don't see some of the tools that really have the back end done really nice. 

I believe Slack is going to come out with a very interesting interactive solution. 

I think Facebook Messenger, where they're going right now could be interesting. 

Skype just opened up their meeting platform, and I immediately was impressed because on Skype I can actually bring in 3 virtual cameras, and right now on Zoom you can't do that. 

And so it's like one of those things that we have to keep in mind. 

But yeah, my lesson to the speakers is try things out today and then put them in a deliverable form, and then don't be afraid to ask for it from the platforms themselves. 

The event might be like, "Oh no, we want pre-recorded content." 

If you push back and say like, "Have you asked the event if they could add this?" More than likely they haven't asked, because we as speakers aren't asking.

It's up to us to deliver something more valuable than a webinar if we want to keep our fees where they are at, and that's kind of where I'm really focused. 

Ryan Foland: Yeah, and if enough speakers do that same thing, then these providers are going to hear and see that the demand is really there. 

And who better to get the advice from than people who are normally on stage with large audiences at these events that we're trying to duplicate. 

All right, so let's transition from the talk of transition… and I want to talk more into the word "reinvention." 

I want to preface this with — so my book is "Ditch The Act," and I'm all about being human and being more vulnerable. 

You've been a great example of somebody who has been ditching the act. 

I mean, it's not like you're hiding, testing all these things, and then popping up being like, "This is what I'm using."

You're sharing that you're testing, you're sharing along the whole way. 

How important is it for speakers during this reinvention process to be open about the process they're going through? 

I'm sure some are fearful of being vulnerable, but how important is it right now in this reinvention to sort of share things as they're happening, the ups, the downs along the way?

Brian Fanzo: This is an interesting one. 

And Ryan, this is, I think, where we, you and I, first bonded way back.

I think my life changed on November 2nd., 2013, when my mom called me up. She was like, 

"Are you being the same person online as you are offline?" 

She's like, "The person you are offline is unapologetically yourself, and you wear a hat, you talk about the things that you talk about." 

And she's like, "I don't see that online." 

And I told my mom at the time like, "Yes mom, of course." 

Then I hung up the phone and realized the reason that social media was hard for me, the reason video was difficult for me, was all because I was trying to be something that I wasn't. 

Some of the greatest speakers I've ever seen in person are really bad on video, are really bad being interviewed live. 

There's been a disconnect. It's not like this is a normal thing—but like promoting yourself and understanding how to be engaging when you're not, you don't have audience interaction on a stage—these are all new variables. 

But to your point on this kind of transparency, I'm a big believer in, I'm probably, maybe one of the more transparent people that you'll find out there. 

I talk about my ADHD, going through my divorce, I talk about losing clients, and for me, the thing always comes back to risk versus reward — what is the risk of me sharing something? What is the reward?

But I will challenge everyone out there, we have to look at the reward in the sense of the world we're living in right now.

I'm doing a livestream every single day right now, and part of it was because I had, I mean, hundreds of people reaching out to me last week thanking me for my positivity, my optimism on Instagram stories or the videos that I'm putting out. 

And interestingly enough I've been going through some really low times. I'm living by myself, my daughters live with their mom a couple of miles away, and I have them every other week. 

But the thing I wanted to stress with people is that I'm not all of a sudden superhuman, where I'm not going through this trouble, my entire business was blown up!

But the thing that I've kind of leaned on this for, is that the transparency that I've had, the idea of, I don't have to put on anything different has allowed me to compartmentalize very easily and say, "Okay, if I can give back, I'm going to do it this way." 

And so when I look at this whole journey, I do think it's important today to be transparent and to manage expectations. 

Now transparency does not guarantee trust. If you are not a good person or you're transparent about all the shady things you're doing, all it does is it allows people to realize that faster than they have in the past. 

But I will say this, as much as my business has been disrupted and flipped upside down, the reason that I was not shook or feeling really lost was that I knew that my focus has been on building a community that will follow me where I go, not building a following where I tell them what they want to hear. 

That's probably the biggest lesson.

The lesson right now in this whole coronavirus piece is that it's okay to be down, it's okay to put things out there. 

The difference is we don't want to be whining, we don't want to be so strategic that what we're sharing is to monetize people in this very unknown environment. 

But I will say the more transparent you are today, the easier it will be for you to adapt to uncalculated change and failure tomorrow 

And this whole coronavirus is proof that we don't really know what's going to happen. 

I will kind of wrap this part up, just in the sense of saying there's also a balance.

I work with big brands, Fortune 100 brands, but it takes some of these brands a little while to build up that rapport with me, because I do have the backward hat, or the color of the shoes, whatever it may be. But for me the most interesting part of this is the majority of my business is repeat business. 

I speak at the same events multiple years in a row, they bring me back and pay me to speak, you're in and you're out. 

And I know for many other speakers that are more successful than me, they've never had a repeat event. 

So I think knowing where your value is, knowing what the brand reputation is that you want is important, but let's also remember today's customers. Today's audience has never been more connected, never had more information or more choice at their disposal. 

And if you want to think about one thing that you can embrace in your speaking business today — I truly do believe it's transparency across the board. 

And it's all about baby steps like being a little bit more transparent about the business, being a little bit more transparent about your creation of your presentation process, a little bit more transparent on how you're doing things and where you're going.

I can almost guarantee you it'll straighten some relationships and it will establish some relationships that you didn't even know there was potential. 

Ryan Foland: Yeah, totally.

And your point on it's not about oversharing, it's not sharing for the sake of sharing, it's bringing people along on the journey. 

And you said baby steps, and in the book I talk about these different levels. 

And it's easier to be vulnerable about spilling water on yourself than it is to lose a $10K deal. 

So I love what you're saying, and I would personally encourage speakers to look at that risk versus reward, but at the end of the day, regardless of what happens, it allows you to become more relatable. 

I want to transition into the final part here, or the pre-final part, and it has to do with reinvention, before I get your ideas on the future. 

When it comes to reinventing your brand, this is something I'm dealing with, I know my speaker friends are dealing with. I'm in a position where I'm trying to balance the value of the messaging between my ability as a speaker to speak on the digital stage and my core message about simply being you and the simplicity of core messaging. 

There seems to be this balance from a branding standpoint. What's your high-level advice for speakers who've spent so much time building their brand: Does it have to change? How is it going to change? What do we do from a branding perspective? Or is this too hard to answer right now?

I have to throw that in because there's so much uncertainty.

Speak to us about speaker branding right now, how you see it.

Brian Fanzo: I won't say that I am an expert in many cases, but in my career I've worked in cybersecurity for the Department of Defense for 9 years. 

I pivoted into being a technology evangelist for a datacenter company. 

I pivoted into a marketing agency, and I've been very blessed to be successful in each of those. 

And I can say my “why”, my Simon Sinek why, my purpose, has always been that I believe that humanity is full of good people doing good things, and that technology and digital and virtual will allow us to amplify that more and allow us to really make the world a better place for our children and our children's children.

When I look at all of the things, I've done a lot of reverse engineering in my career and my world, and this plays perfectly into where we're at today. 

What I would recommend everyone to do is that when we're looking at reinvention it's not about scrapping the things that you've done, it's not about believing that what you've done up to now was wrong or not in the right path, it's more like let's not start from scrapping and starting over, let's start from the end— what is your purpose and goal? 

I did this exercise myself where I wrote down, "Hey, this is what I still believe in and this is still where I want my messaging to go." 

Then I started reversing down and saying, "Okay, in this unknown world we're living in now with so many things changed, what are ways that I can convey that, and then what are the products or services that I can provide that will still attach to my greater why?" 

I believe those of us that do it well, it won't be that we've reinvented our business, it's that we've established credibility with a secondary piece of income. 

That's very important to think about. 

This is that spot where it's not throwing away your keynote presentation because your keynote presentation isn't as relevant right now, it's identifying the key components of your presentation that weren't tangibly connected to an individual outcome, pulling out each of those, and asking yourself, "How do I rebubble them into a new world?" 

And like part of it is, like my podcast that I've run for 3 years, very successfully called "FOMO Fans" which stands for the fear of missing out, I've decided to phase that out because in the current world we're in right now there's enough fear going on. 

There is enough of this idea of the unknown.

When I broke down and looked at all of my 150 episodes of that podcast, what I did was I started writing down the things that were most successful, the biggest feedback that I got. 

And I looked back at the board and said, "Podcasting is still where I want to play, how can I deliver this same messaging that I know is valuable, in this same form, to an audience that has completely been disrupted?"

I can tell you I've never been more excited to watch this new podcast.

This is where reinvention is. We sometimes will assume we have to go into a completely new area. and I think that's where reinvention fails.

If you are all of a sudden saying that you're a virtual keynote speaker, and yet the first time you've bought a camera and lighting equipment for your house is this past week, you're going to have some barrier to entry. 

But there are definitely some paths in there. 

I believe speaking is the greatest job I've ever had. It's my dream, it's what I will do for the rest of my life. 

But for me, one of the things I've taken away is that my ultimate goal on stage, the reason I give it 100% every time, is because of this greater “why”. 

And I do believe we all have that. 

And I think, unfortunately, sometimes we start with the, "What products can we sell?” “How can we put this into a webinar?"”

And I think that's starting with it from the wrong lens. 

Let's start from the other lens and work backward on what your “digital why” is. 

And I can tell you a year from now, you'll be looking at two different opportunities of on-stage and virtual digital offerings, I think we'll all be better off.

Ryan Foland: I love this idea of rebubble and, case in point here, I've had this World of Speakers podcast for the last 3 years, and the normal programming at this moment makes more sense to cater to what people are interested in, that's what people are looking for. 

So we have these special COVID-19 episodes so that we're not just tone-deaf talking about getting on the big stage—because the stages have changed. 

And I just want to give a quick shout out to the sponsors of my podcast, SpeakerHub

It's a great place to be found. It has an amazing call for speakers function, and it's interesting because, Brian, you know there's so many of these digital platforms out there to be found, as a speaker it's going to be interesting to see how these develop and how these support this new ecosystem.

But if you do want to check out SpeakerHub, they do some great work and they are listening to the marketplace. 

I was like, "Let's do new episodes," and they are like, "Yes, let's do it." 

So speaking of the future and how to rebubble yourself, maybe to not necessarily wrap yourself in bubble wrap but how do you rebubble? 

I want to know what Brian Fanzo, the digital futurist thinks of the future of speaking? 

This is your chance for us to replay it in a year and be like "Ding!" or "Errr."

Brian Fanzo: So this is one that I've been thinking long and hard on.

I've done lots of calls. 

For me, like I said, Ryan, you and I both, we have this desire for not only our message to have an impact on humanity but to empower the good people that are doing good things. 

If we simplify it down there we have that as a core belief. 

And when I look at speaking and I look at offline conferences, my big industry that I worked in last year was travel, and of course, we know what's happening to that space at the moment. 

When I look at the future of speaking, I don't believe virtual events will ever replace offline events, ever.

I believe offline events will come back strong. I believe we will still be traveling to events. 

Now I will say that I do believe events will start to focus on cultivating a 365-day community, not just a community the week before and after an offline event. 

What that's going to force us as speakers to include in our offering and in our packaging is, how do we leverage this virtual community before we get on the stage so that we have the instant credibility that oftentimes you have to use a percentage of our talks to gain.

The events that were 4 days might become just 2 days, the events that were 2 days might become more of a single track over 2 days. 

And I believe some of the more blocking and tackling types of contents might be delivered in the virtual event, and the offline conversations will either have smaller time slots or maybe even a more tangible delivery because the audience will have that virtual connection to you before and a virtual connection to you after. 

The other piece of this from a speaker perspective that I'm going to predict is that it can't be about selling unicorns and rainbows without some kind of accountability on the back end. 

As speakers like — My main talk I have for the last couple of years has been "Press the Damn Button." 

And "Press the Damn Button" really just came out of this idea where people would say, "Brian, you inspired me, you motivated me, I was super excited to do this and then I went back and my email got in my way, and then I had to do a webinar, and then I realized my hair wasn't done," and by the time they come back and see me a year later they would say they were inspired, they were motivated and they were looking forward to executing now. 

And so out of frustration I said, "Anyone can listen, anyone can learn, very few people are willing to take action now." 

How I would kind of pivot that into the future is that when we look at that, it's no longer just inspiring people to press the damn button, but giving people that connection that you're there for them as part of the journey. 

I would predict, as speakers, that when we think about our offerings, our offerings aren't going to be a pre-event video, 60 minutes on stage, and maybe a recap after. It will be the idea of, "Hey, you're our community ambassador. We would like to do half-hour seminars with you for the 6 months before the event.” “We would like to do an interview series with you after the event." 

And for many people, they are going to be like, "Oh my goodness these are things that are going to be added on without more financial reward." 

My caveat to that is every one of the speakers that are doing great things, that are solving problems and helping people accomplish things, will actually flourish in this environment. 

Those that have been building on like something that they wrote 7 years ago or that one experience that was life-changing, they're going to be forced to adapt their messaging into this new format. But I think overall if I look at this, I do believe offline events will come back. 

And part of this was I worked with different brands to deploy employee advocacy and work from home, and one of the trends that most people don't think about is that the more of your employees work from home, the more they desire offline activities, conferences, meetups. 

Because the more time we're behind a screen, the more value we see when we're there in person. 

That is something we have to really own, but as event organizers, they're going to have to redefine this as speakers.

I'm excited in the sense of I want to be the one that helps people do this but also looking at this as speakers, we all, we love that feeling afterward when someone comes up to us and says, "You changed my life and your messaging helped me reinvent my business." 

I believe with this integration of virtual in a 365-day arena as speakers, we're going to have more people, more lives that we're going to be able to change, more people that we're going to actually be able to take to the next level. 

I don't think any speaker would say that they don't want to have that.

But it's going to take some time. It's going to take some ability to bob and weave for us as speakers but I am extremely confident that taking the stage a year from now with very similar fees to what we have at the moment and ultimately impacting more people. I couldn't be more excited about that. 

Ryan Foland: You've heard it here people. Rebubble, reinvent, make the transition and accept the forced adaptation. 

Brian, I really appreciate all that you're doing, I'm excited to be, and continue to be, part of your community. 

And like you said, we're connected, with the sole core mission of helping good people help other people. 

So a way to be a good person out there. 

And again, if somebody wants to connect with you, I think that you're a great resource in this time and in the future because you do inspire people to push that damn button. And even with a little tweak now where can people find you, where do you want to send them if they want to be part of your digital community?

Brian Fanzo: So I'm on every channel everywhere, I'm very active under the handle Isocialfanz with a Z at the end. 

Isocialfanz is the name of my company. 

And then my speaker website, and all of the virtual event content, none of it's gated, it's all out there for free, is at

I always say don't follow me everywhere. I create a lot of content everywhere but pick your favorite channel, give me a follow there.

If I can help out in any way, part of what I love doing is being engaged on social and connecting and sharing, and I would love to do that for those that are doing good things. 

So pick your favorite channel, give Isocialfanz a follow, and I am open to any questions or any way that I can help anybody out there. 

Ryan Foland: I love it. 

Shakespeare said a long time ago, "All the world is a stage," and today there's nothing more true than that. 

So take your place on your stage, whether it's virtual, digital, even with your friends and family. 

Ladies and gentlemen, be inspired, get that rebubble on, and let's fight through this. 

Oh, and don't touch your face. 

Thanks Brian, this has been fun.


A bit about World of Speakers

World of Speakers is a bi-weekly podcast that helps people find their own voice, and teaches them how to use their voice to develop a speaking business. This special series of episodes has been created to help speakers navigate during the coronavirus crisis. 

Connect with Brian Fanzo:

This special series shares insights on how to navigate the COVID19 crisis. Listen to more episodes by subscribing on iTunes or Soundcloud, or by clicking the links below:


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