3 Takeaways for Professional Speakers from the Brene Brown Netflix Special

By Jane Atkinson

I recently watched the new Brené Brown Netflix special. How smart is Netflix for bringing DIY learning content to their platform? I’ve seen Brené’s Ted Talk, so I knew what to expect. What I thought could be very helpful for my community is to sit down and analyze why I loved her special so much. Here are 3 takeaways all professional speakers should take note of from the Brené Brown Netflix special.

If you haven’t already seen this Netflix special, I would like to offer this up as a piece of homework. If you don’t have Netflix, at least watch the Ted Talk, which is one of the most watched in the history of Ted.  Both are so worth it not only for the message she delivers but to see how a genuinely spectacular speaker delivers that message with impact.

Here are the three takeaways I want you to note.

Takeaway #1: Powerful Message

Okay, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that almost anybody can learn something about courage, vulnerability, and shame from this message. I’ll say it again; it’s so good and so needed. I’ll likely circle back to this program every time I need a little boost.

Of course, I look at everything through the eyes of a marketer. Had Brené been my client 15 year’s ago, saying that she wanted to talk to leaders about vulnerability and shame, I might have been skeptical that this was a solid business model. I love that she has proven me so wrong because this message is so important.

Question #1. Do you have a message that you’ve been afraid to deliver? Something that might be too ahead of the curve? If so, I’d encourage you to explore it because the world is changing and what corporate and association decision makers are looking for is changing, too.

Takeaway #2: Engaging Humor

Notice how long Brené goes without having something funny or witty to say. Not long.

This humor is so disarming from someone who is steeped in research. Brené is a Ph.D., an academic, and I’m sorry, but these folks aren’t generally known for their comedy.

Brené’s humor rocks because I’m pretty sure, it’s naturally how she talks and thinks. She’s never telling “a joke,” she’s just having a conversation that turns out to be funny. Her honesty, sometimes at the expense of herself, is very endearing and I think it’s a good part of why she’s had such massive success. Don’t get me wrong; I suspect many of her best lines are tried and true. However, I’m guessing that she may have stumbled across many of them quite accidentally.

Question #2. Are you studying your life for funny things?  Do you think about the language that you use regularly and ask “how could this be more interesting”?

Takeaway #3: Style and Stories

As I said, Brené’s style is very conversational. What really draws people in are her stories.

I’ve heard her tell the story about swimming with her husband before and thought it was even better this time. Why? Because she planned it that way. She crafted the story. She might have told it one way the first time and built from there. After years of tweaking and massage, the stories evolve into masterpieces.

Brené Brown is not your traditional polished “epic” keynote, and that’s probably why I like her so much. She’s human. Imperfect. Relatable. I truly think people are more apt to appreciate someone real than someone who appears to have it all together.

Question #3. What’s your style? How do you show up? Who do you want to be on the platform?

When you decide who you are to the world off stage, how you want to be perceived, that makes it easier to show up fully as yourself and be authentic on the stage. I believe, whether you like Brené’s style or not, she makes a case for “being yourself” quite perfectly.

And if you need more of a reason to take notice, perhaps you want to check out her speaking fees because the bottom line here is that Brené Brown is a multi-millionaire because she’s got a great message delivered powerfully.