Don’t be afraid of unpaid gigs in the beginning. There are always ways to create a win-win opportunity, even if the venue can’t pay you. Ask for a testimonial, or a referral to someone else who might be interested in your services, in exchange for your time and presentation.
As a part of our series about Inspirational Women of the Speaking Circuit, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Natalie Ehmka.
A transformational speaker, trainer, and sought-after energy coach to leaders all over the globe, Natalie Ehmka, PCC, CPC, works with conscious leaders, executives, & influencers of this generation and the next, to strengthen their energy and positive impact on the world.
She is a Professional Certified Coach through the ICF, a member of the Forbes Coaches Council, President of With Heart Communications, Inc., and has been a nationally-known motivational speaker and leadership trainer for the past 15 years.
Natalie is also host of The Next Conscious Leader Podcast, founder of the Worldchanger Collective™, and hosts the Worldchanger community for energetically sensitive leaders who are here to help anchor down positive change on the planet at this time.
She specializes in taking the world of energy, human behavior, spirituality, and the factors that influence change, and applying them to everyday life and business in a practical, tangible way.
In 2020, Natalie created the With Heart Energy Coaching Certification™ with the intention to magnify heart-centered leadership inside the coaching industry. Her ultimate goal is to help businesses and individuals create the change they want to see in the world, and accomplish exactly what their soul came here to do in this life. You’re here to do big things, she’s here to help.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I was raised in a wildly supportive family who helped foster my love for public speaking at a young age. I first stepped on a stage for a speech competition when I was 12 years old, and quickly became obsessed with studying human behavior, the art of persuasion, and listener attention. I worked to become very good at speaking, attending speech camps and studying in all of my free time. I ended up winning dozens of state and national speaking awards throughout middle school, high school, and college, before pursuing a professional speaking career in my early 20’s.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
11 years ago, I was at an event watching my coach, live coach another of my fellow students. The student was having a huge breakthrough — and I had just had a massive breakthrough of my own. I remember thinking in that moment — “This is all I ever want to do with my life. I want to help people have huge breakthroughs like this so they can live their life to the fullest.” I had already been a professional motivational speaker for 5 years, but it was in that moment that I decided to make a major pivot in my speaking career, and began studying energy and human transformation, to be able to add coaching to my work as well.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
It never ceases to amaze me the people you will meet in this business, and how connected we all are. My most interesting stories have to do with the people I’ve run into, who were already close with others I had met along the way!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I learned very early on, to never rely on checked bags when flying to a gig! My bags got lost, and I had to hurriedly go shopping in the new city before my event. From then on, I always packed an extra speaking outfit in my carry-on if I was going to check a bag for my flight. Oh- and I also learned to never put my personal cell phone number on my promo materials! I did a talk for a school once, where the students got ahold of my promo materials, and for the next several weeks, I was getting calls and text messages from students at all hours of the day!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’m grateful to my mentor Cara, who mentored me through the launch of my national career. When she found me, I was speaking locally, just traveling around my city and state. Cara opened my eyes to the world of national speaking, and my life and career was never the same after that.
You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging and intimidating. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
I would say, there is no gig too small, and there is actually no such thing as failure if you keep moving. You just keep learning and growing along the way.
What drives you to get up everyday and give your talks? What is the main empowering message that you aim to share with the world?
Everyday I get to work with executives, leaders, and world-changers to strengthen their energy and positive impact on the world. They are here to create rapid change at a rapid rate, and the fast-moving pace of their work is so inspiring to me; I love rising to meet them. The energy just flows like magic. The main empowering message I bring to them and to the world, is to remember who they are and to keep moving with the energy that is helping them bring their contributions to the world. So often as humans, we get in our own way and stop the flow by not trusting ourselves and our own magic and mission. I provide inspiration and tools to keep moving and leading, no matter what. It’s an honor to get to bring these codes and messages to them and to the world.
Can you share with our readers a few of your most important tips about how to be an effective and empowering speaker? Can you please share some examples or stories?
While you think you may know your speech inside and out, you never actually know what specific phrase, story, or takeaway people will walk away from your talk with. Use your own unique life experience and stories to emphasize your points — don’t use stock stories or cliche anecdotes; and trust how powerful words and energy can be.
As you know, many people are terrified of speaking in public. Can you give some of your advice about how to overcome this fear?
Nerves are natural and positive. It means a lot of energy is trying to move through you, it’s just a matter of learning how to work WITH that energy. Commit to a solid workout routine to strengthen your physical body so you have a strong core, and prepare by learning to control the breath over anything. Then when you are standing on that stage, energetically aim to speak to the person in the last chair in the last row. This helps to expand the energy of your presentation so all feel included.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Don’t be afraid of unpaid gigs in the beginning. There are always ways to create a win-win opportunity, even if the venue can’t pay you. Ask for a testimonial, or a referral to someone else who might be interested in your services, in exchange for your time and presentation.
- Always get to the venue early, and spend time in the room before your talk begins. Notice the walls and where the furthest seats are from the stage. This awareness will help you give a powerful presentation where everyone feels included and reached.
- When it comes to the business side of being a speaker, it’s important to have standards and requirements for your event planner to adhere to, yes… but don’t be too rigid, and learn to go with the flow of the event. And, definitely do everything you can to make the meeting planner look good. This will ensure you get a good review, and often leads to many referrals.
- Remember from the moment you arrive to the venue, you are already “on stage”
- Stay humble. You can crush it one week, then say the exact same words, and give the exact same talk, on a different stage the next week- and have an entirely different response. Every audience is different. Learn to know and trust yourself to adapt no matter what.
You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?
I’m hosting my own event in late 2021. After speaking on hundreds (maybe thousands) of other people’s stages over the years, I think it will be fun to have my own space and stage. Follow me on social media for the announcement when it launches. I’m very excited.
Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Please share a story for each one if you can.
My favorite high-vibe tip, is to drink 32 ounces of water, first thing in the morning. I lead daily “water challenges” on my social media because I believe in this tip so much. It helps to wake up the brain, get communication flowing, and get you aligned and in flow.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“You can work to hold onto the old, or you can work to build the new, but the amount of energy is the same.” This is actually my own quote, and it’s so powerful for me and everyone I work with. It’s a reminder to be conscious of where you are putting your own life force energy. Are you using it to hold yourself back, or are you using it to powerfully move yourself forward?
You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would challenge people for 1 week to intentionally leave at least one person per day, better than you found them.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens! Simon Sinek, speaker and author, and John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods. I admire the conscious leadership trends they’ve set into motion with their work.
Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?
Natalie Ehmka on Facebook, @natalieehmka on Instagram,
And www.NatalieEhmka.com to learn more and book a 90-minute deep dive coaching session with me. If you’re reading this, and resonating with anything I said, you’re part of this very special group of people who are here to bring massive change to the planet at this time. I’m sending you huge love and support along your way.
This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!