Hello and welcome to the Rebecca Saunders show your place to discover how to build resilience, craft confidence and have a huge impact on the world.
Today's guest is the incredible Samantha Leith in a world of constant change and disruption. It's really easy to feel disempowered and unengaged as a keynote speaker, MC workshop facilitator and coach. Samantha is a woman on a mission helping people to become truly extraordinary in their workplaces, as leaders and in teams. Now she does this by working with them to develop confidence and charisma - and that's what we're going to deep dive in today. After 40 years on stage, she started pretty young, I've been told - she can be described as the imaginary love child of Bette Midler and Tony Robbins. I've asked her on the show today to talk about what she knows best ‘confidence’ and to deep dive on the 365 days of Facebook Lives that she did last year. Let’s get the show started
Sorry, jazz hands there’s music!
Have to get the dancing in! Samantha thank you so much for joining me on today's show, bringing the sparkles and the energy as always, I love it. For the audience that don't know you. Tell us a little bit about you and what you do. We will deep dive on your career though. So don't go too far back just yet.
I’m personal development done a little bit differently. Bottom line, I speak and I coach, but I'm trying to bring personal development to people with song and things like that, where they wouldn't necessarily have known anything about it because they may not pick up a book and read it.
And so when you say doing it with song, let's backtrack here on you. We've said you've had a background in statecraft, the confidence just oozes from you now, I'm sure that wasn't always the way. Tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today.
Interestingly, I got my first solo at five and I first started getting paid to sing at seven. So I would get 50 cents to sing at a wedding and $1 to sing at funerals. No idea why there was a difference but there was.
I don’t understand, weddings are so much harder.
I’m not sure, the emotion not sure what it was and from there I continued and I joined the Australian opera when I was 12 so people expected me to be DIVA, and then I discovered sex drugs and rock'n'roll basically. So I went on to tour with people like MC Hammer, did stuff with Barnesy did a lot of did some musical theatre - did big like 10,000 people dance party kind of performances and fell into my favourite place which was cabaret. And now looking back on that career, people that know me from my cabaret days have said you were always giving personal development talks in your shows like between a song I'd be like so how does this make you feel about love? You know, there was always a message and my primary focus with every show I did was I wanted to make people feel something or to think something. So whether it was a sad song or a funny song or I was doing a Bette impersonation whatever it was I wanted to make something happen and this just kind of continued
And so with that, you know when you're doing your your keynotes, how are you weaving that in for our audience watching now, they're going to be a mixture of small business owners going oh my gosh, let's understand how we do this. But for the big business owners and the team leaders that are watching how…. we're coming out of our pandemic world, we're still in it. How are you going about crafting that combo? Yeah, I know we're still in it, hoping we're out. How are you going about helping leaders craft that confidence through song? Does that not put some people off? How are you navigating that?
Oh, it totally does. So for some people, they'd look at me and they'd hear that and they'd be like, Oh, she's a bit much. How I do it is, music is everywhere. Like, all day, 24/7, we use music as a tool for something, we'll hear a song and it'll make us sad. People will have a ringtone on their phone that will make them go, ok I’m going sell more today, because it picks them up a little bit. So in all my keynotes, whether it's about confidence, or charisma, I will perform a song, and I will break down those lyrics, and help then work out how they can get that message from that song. And then they can leave that so there's, there's instructional learning on it. My primary aim is that everybody leaves a keynote or workshop with me, and they can go Oh, okay, so I know in order to get instant confidence, what about a walk into a room and have rapport? If I think those words or I listen to that music or that song, I've got it! I know I can just bring that up inside of me, because I've made that connection.
Yeah, yeah. When I talk through showing up on screen, you know, getting those playlists going moving around before you hit the Go button. That’s why we've got the music at the beginning of the show.
Absolutely. I have a money playlist for when I'm doing my bass!
Oh, I love that. I love it if I didn't outsource that stuff.
Let's not talk about that.
Well, okay, on that base, what are your favourite songs and for what purpose of your business journey?
No that is the hardest question ever! Um, okay, so to get ready, I listen to if I've got a gig or a date or something like that. I play a song by Salt and Pepper, which not many people know the song that was in a movie called To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, world's longest movie title - and the song's called Body Beautiful. And it's I'm the body beautiful and it just like peps me up. I'm like, yeah, I’m going. When I run I listen to Eminem.
Wow, ok yeah.
Yeah, there’s so many different songs. I have a song for every occasion. In fact, I should probably make Sam's occasion playlist.
We should have a playlist on Spotify that people can come and check out. Have you started that yet?
I do. I have different ones for different things. But I think that you've given me the idea, I think, I’ll curate one and have what each one is. Thank you.
That could be cool. Okay, action item number one. And that's for you not the audience. So I want to sort of merge in your 365 days of live before we go into like little hacks, I guess for the audience to build up their confidence. What made you go - you know what, I'm gonna take what I do on the stage in front of audiences. What made you change that up and shift gear into, I'm gonna show up every day live?
I think it may have been like a blip in oxygen in my brain for a second. No I'm joking. No, for me, what it was is I try and I'm a really big goal setter. So whether it's a birthday, or beginning of the year or something, I set big goals, and I love to do it and achieve it and take all the action. So it was my birthday, and I was like, Okay, what am I going to do? What do I need to do? And I was finding my performer hat was kind of made me not show up as much on video as other people were doing because I felt I needed to be scripted and have my hair done and my makeup, you know, put my false eyelashes on and all that.
You needed your show face.
Exactly. And I thought people can't respond to me and get to know me, the real me if that's always how I'm showing up. You know, people aren't always attracted to someone who's literally in a room full of sequence, you know, I needed to be real - and I was scared shitless like I was really scared and I didn't know what I was going to talk about and I just went - You know what? I'm going to do 365 days of Facebook Lives - and I did, I missed one when I had a really bad migraine and got my daughter to do it. A really popular live actually I have to say it was a bit miffed.
Bit peeved from all the likes, yeah.
And I ended up one extra one, because I was travelling a lot. So I kind of got timezones mixed up at one point and did 2 within 24 hours, that was a bit weird. But I did them everywhere I did them on top of a mountain in Austria, I did them in airport lounges. I did one in my bathtub about night routines, and then I realised you could see my boobs, so it's quickly stopped and started again. So I just went for it. And they were all topics that were resonating with me all on the personal development sphere. But communication confidence, the one I did on shame was hugely popular because women, we don't talk about shame enough. So they all kind of linked back to what I do. But at the end of the 365 days, if you're a business owner out there, wanting to or thinking I don’t want to do that - do one a week, you know, like baby steps. But it's given me a couple of years worth of content, in videos, blog posts, quotes, all sorts of things that have been able to come out of that. And I now although I'm very confident, and have always been confident. I'm now happy turning up anywhere in any state, knowing what I have in here and in here to come out is worth it.
Ah, I love that. That is my takeaway comment, particularly and after, I've recently as you know, as a close friend - come out completely hair free for the first time going, you know what, I'll just be me, because I'm sick of putting on the facade, and it's been a game changer.
Total total game changer. But what were you feeling when you first did that live with no makeup on? Like you didn't you didn't put on the show? Like, how long did it take you to actually hit the go live button?
I actually just did it. Okay, I went, I have to do this. And I don't think I rewatched any of them.
Right? That's a nice little trick that I have too.
Until the two month mark.
And I'd look at myself on screen and I've got rosacea - so I wear - if anyone's heard of Jamie Kern Lima cosmetics, amazing foundation and concealer! So for me showing up with no makeup with red cheeks, I was like, and I was 20 something kilos heavier when I started the lives as well. So there was so much conditioning about oh, you know, people have told me I was too fat to talk about personal development, you know, people aren't going to believe you can achieve your goals if you're overweight, kind of stuff. So there was a lot of that dialogue and I just kept thinking, no, I can do this, I need to do this. I want to do this. And people, some lives, like hundreds of people watched, other lives 2 people watched. But I would get these odd comments or odd messages from people and they'd go, I saw that about resilience, or you know what you said to me about your relationship with your mother, really hit home. Thank you. I called my mum.
And that was as much as doing it was so beneficial for me in terms of confidence, in my business, and just knowing I could actually do it - feedback from people meant more to me and my confidence than doing it.
And that makes it all worthwhile almost doesn’t it. Really feeling the impact that you're having on total strangers, because they've just resonated with something that you've said, because you've chosen to stand up and show up as your authentic self.
Yeah. Now you don't get lots of that praise and words of adoration without a few pesky little trolls. What did you do with them? Were they a source of irritation for you? Did you ignore them? Did you interact?
Well, I didn't even really interact. If I thought I could come back with a neutral comment I would. But I would get the odd comment about my weight. And I'm like, Bite me. didn't interact with those kind of comments, a couple of people. One of the things in this space, like if you're in the thought leader, personal development, speaking kind of space, there was so much content out there. Okay. So a lot of the things that I will say or talk about someone else might have talked about, someone else might have done a study on something. So I might be saying something, and I will always if I believe it's you know, Brooke Castillo said this, and I think it's really great, you should hear it. I will do that. But if it's just something I've picked up somewhere, I might not necessarily say I heard this from someone. So because it's a theme that's out everywhere. And a couple of people would make comments about that and well, that's not your original idea. It's like maybe not but the rest of the people that heard that on the live, hadn't heard that original idea. Yeah. So it's about this collective of making the world a better place, you know, to quote another song. And as we talked about that resonating with people, there may be someone that saw me that might not like Tony Robbins and want to listen to what he says. There might be someone that listens to something I've said that has never heard of Jay Shetty. You know, so I think it's really important that whatever you learn, you share, and whatever it helps you, you share. It's like sharing a great chocolate cake recipe and I have the world's best chocolate cake recipe.
Can't wait to try it.
Yeah, feel free to put it in the show notes.
I will and I'll be around as soon as as soon as lockdowns are over chocolate cake is on.
Chocolate cake and espresso martinis. Oh, that's an afternoon.
Perfect. Yeah. Yeah, amazing. In fact, now you’ve got me thinking about that Sam. Podcast does officially launch and we're recording this early because I'm a batch content fan. The podcast launches on Freedom Day so this could be a mark up for our get together with chocolate cake and espresso martinis. And if you're following me as this show with Sam does drop there'll be photos of that somewhere on our social pages. I am sure about it.
Please do that after I've had my eyebrows done.
Completely. Yes. I don’t need my hair doing so. Okay, I've got a couple of questions that on just the timing right so as a video professional, I recommend that if you're going live you go live at the same time, same day of the week, every time so you know people get used to your content being there and then they know what to look for, and when to look for you. You're shaking your head. Did you go live at the same time? Was it just ad hoc? Did you have a plan or did you just literally go, I have to go live today and it could have been five to midnight.
I tried to do either morning or evening, not like in the middle of the day or something like that - I did try, that was kind of a parameter I liked. Um, but one live I did for example was after a show of mine and it was like 11.30 at night and I was completely dolled up and I was in my kitchen and I was verging on tears because I'd really bolster up a few things in my show and it was a live about - whatever you do don't try something new the first time in front of a group of people like completely new.
Maybe practice it first - so that was really late so No, I didn't have a plan with that I had a plan with what I would talk about so I never scripted any of it. But if I wanted to say get across the 10 tips for incident rapport at a networking event because I've been to a business chicks event or something like that and it kind of sparked something I would make the 10 notes - I’d just go ok these are the 10 things but then I would totally randomly talk.
I think my shortest one was about three minutes my longest was 25.
So on that you know you're such a great case study for sort of what to do what to work because yeah, I didn't follow really any formula to it other than I am going to just show up and commit to showing up. When you were talking for those lengths of time did you find that it just flowed the conversation and the message just flowed? Or did you find occasionally that you waffled a bit?
I didn't feel like I waffled. But going back obviously I had everything transcribed and kind of going back and reading a few things and turning them into longer content blog posts and things are coming on went a bit off the mark there madame but I didn't second guess myself in it. And for someone who possibly didn't know me, I wouldn't have looked like I was waffling.
Because when you're and this I think this is really really important for people if you're wanting to go live in that and whether it's a podcast or live video, whatever it is in an unscripted way. Just only talk about the stuff you know about.
You know, and you realise part of your confidence stack is your capabilities. And your capabilities come from the things that you know, the skills that you have that kind of thing, so fine, all of a sudden, one night thought. I'm gonna give everybody the 10 tips on great studio video content. I'd be like, I mean Google, what apps do they need? Where should a camera be? What? Like? No. Where's you could do that on the fly backwards in high heels, alla who was that dancer with Fred Astaire. Ginger Rogers. You know, like, if it's if it's something you're passionate about. Yeah, you may put in the odd arm or waffle a little bit, but it will flow and you'll soon know what you shouldn't talk about.
100% 100% Yeah, so for people that haven't done this before, so anyone that hasn't done video before stepped even stepped on a stage before, you know, or they're trying to run their own webinar because they need to promote an online programme or they've been asked to internally, one of the key things that you recommend people do, prepare with, to to get that confidence internally?
Okay, so there's a gazillion tips and you can google me and have a look at them. Primarily, but if you're showing up in a field, like a physical realm like this, your pose, your physicality, is probably the most important. And you can do that there's a great book by Amy Cuddy called Presence. She talks a lot about the power pose. Tony Robbins rather talks about your physiology a lot and changing state. It's like there's a reason they talk about it. It is vital. So for me, that's, if I'm not in high heels, and I'm going to tell you a secret. I've got ugg boots on. I still need to stand like this. I wouldn't have this energy if I was sitting down. Yep. Because my diaphram would be crushed. And getting that oxygenation into your chest and into your stomach area is really important for that physiology.
Another really quick confidence boost, and it's gonna sound ridiculous, but trust me it's real. Spray some perfume. Oh, unbelievable. And it's scientifically proven. You have a little bit of spritz of something and instantly get a bit of... I got it go on. Yeah, I have a word of the year every year, and this year my word was obsession. So every day this year, and I had to hunt to find it. I'm wearing Obsession, old fashioned Calvin Klein, Obsession, perfume.
That helps me get in state. That's my word. That's what I'm going for, and obsession isn’t negative unless you're stalking someone. Being obsessed about what you're going for is actually a really good thing. So the presidency part, your breath, the pose, be really clear about the two things you're an expert in. Now they might it might not be that you're actually talking about those two things you might be talking about one of them or you might have, it might be a board meeting that you've got to do on zoom in, it's not necessarily about the two things you, you know, really nail - knowing and reaffirming with yourself, those two things that you just like I've got - will give you that confidence boost. It may be you can even think about a relationship with someone and have that, but just thinking about something you know without a shadow of a doubt, done deal you've got it - will help you in even the trickiest situation.
Okay, yeah, eye contact. So even though we're not together, being me looking at the camera, or occasionally looking down at you on the screen. That eye contact makes me feel more confident, shows a little bit of charisma, because I'm helping you feel more confident about what I'm doing, and it's a connection piece - and as human beings, the more connected we are, the more confident we are.
Another thing that you’ve got to do people, you've really gonna do it - is have conversations with strangers. I kid you not. If you're feeling a little like ugh - you're heading to a meeting or a networking event or you're about to jump online. You know, Oh, God, you know, I had a bad night's sleep, and you've got that internal dialogue - when you're at Harris farm, but always do it authentically I preface that it's got to be authentic, you know, compliment someone on what they're wearing. Or, oh my God, I've never cooked with those vegetables. Tell me how you cook with those vegetables - do something and that interaction will again give you the connection piece, but we'll help you feel more confident because you've been able to have that conversation.
It's also little things to push you out of your comfort zone. Like, it's just little things you could do everyday to get really comfortable in your own skin, which is that confidence piece.
I said something actually the other day, that I got messages with people going - we are born confident, and then it’s stamped out of us - And I tend to say we're not born confident, because people's idea of confidence is the razzle dazzle, confident person confidence. And you can have much like charisma, you can have a real quiet confidence. It's just the certainty, you know, that you have of yourself. So yes, while we're born with a level of confidence, where we can try and crawl and talk and cry and do those kind of things. The confidence of people really believe in their skills, their attributes, how they show up in the world, all those things, their self worth, their self love, their self efficacy, all those things that I have in the confidence stack, we learn those, they're all skills. So I could take someone who felt they had no confidence at all, and build on those skills and have them coming out going - oh yeah I'm confident. But we can all learn them, and they are just skills. It's no different to learning how to work an Excel spreadsheet, only a lot more fun.
A lot more fun and it's all practice, right? It's practising putting it into motion and just putting yourself out there to make it happen.
So Sam, where can people find this information? You talked about the 7 confidence stack elements?
Is that something that they can come and learn with you? Is that something that's an online thing? How do people learn more?
Well, you can find me everywhere on the interwebs with my name path from Pinterest, because someone took my name. If anyone knows anyone the works of Pinterest, let me know.
I have a 7 day confidence challenge actually, which, given what we're talking about, I think is the best thing for people to do. So they could go to www.SamanthaLeith.com/confidencechallenge - and that 7 days, you get a little video every morning, and it just gives you one quick thing to work on that day to help you feel more confident.
Amazing - and given that we're at that Freedom Day point of getting back out there socialising, meeting new people, what better time to skill up on your confidence!
Because people will have lost some of these skills. Like truly even this is a silly one - you know when you go into a shop, and a sales assistant is getting all salesy and their like - you should wear this. It's really good - And you're like - Oh I don’t really like that but I don't know how to tell them - We've all been shopping online. So if you were confident enough to go - actually that's not really my style. I'm looking for this or Please leave me alone I'm looking - we haven’t been doing it.
We haven't even been grocery shops, you know, either. Yeah.
So again, going back to my meet someone at Harris farm and compliment them, later.
Yeah. Yeah, amazing. Amazing, Sam. Thank you so much. I've got so much out of this. And I've been working on confidence in front of the camera for a long time. So listeners, watchers, viewers, if you do anything today, I would definitely jump on Sam's 7 day confidence course like there's nothing quite like jumping into a new year. It's almost Christmas New Year, with more confidence than ever before ready to show up and have an impact on the world.
If you have any questions please drop that in the comments.
That's a wrap on another episode of the Rebecca Saunders show. Thank you so much for tuning in. I really hope you've taken some golden nuggets away from today's show and are one step closer to having a huge impact on the world. If you've liked this episode, please share it on Instagram and Facebook with your friends or on LinkedIn with your colleagues and business network. And if you've really liked to make my day you can pop a review on iTunes. If you have any questions about today's episode, come on over to Instagram for a chat. You can find me at the handle at the Rebecca Saunders. And if you'd like to know more about what I can do for you check me out at Rebecca Saunders calm. I'll see you next time on the Rebecca Saunders show.