Joe Clelland

Reducing Public Speaking Anxiety With Coaching: With Joel Clelland

Have you ever struggled with anxiety? What about anxiety caused by having a conversation and anticipating how that conversation would go? Well, my guest has.

Today I’d like to introduce to you Joel Clelland. Joel is the CEO at Centric, an innovative dual-token digital currency company focused on the global adoption and use of cryptocurrency. In this thrilling conversation, Joel tells me that he feels like he’s struggling with the conversation side of business. What he means is that when he has to speak in public, he tends to really dissect what he’s going to say beforehand, and pays attention to his words and intentions. But when the time comes to actually speak, Joel gets nervous and sometimes ends up missing information or saying the wrong thing, when all he wants to do is spread his message.

In addition, Joel also struggles with anxiety. Before meetings, before conferences, before a webinar. But it mostly comes from his fear of missing something when speaking. That makes Joel feel uncomfortable. And that’s okay! What I say to him is that he should play it out so it fails. “But what does that mean, Kim?” Well, anxiety comes from fearing the worst, right? So if we imagine what the worst-case scenario could be, then we can imagine recovery, and when we do, then we can start focusing on success.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] Kim Ades:
Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I'm the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™ and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, where we invite leaders from all over the world to come onto the podcast and get coached live and in person.  

Today, my guest is Joel Clelland. Did I say that right?  

[00:00:23] Joel Clelland:

[00:00:23] Kim Ades:
Clelland. And he is the CEO of a company called Centric. Welcome, Joel. I'm so happy to have you here today. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What is Centric? Give us a little bit of information.  

[00:00:42] Joel Clelland:
Thank you, Kim. I'm from Southern California, and Centric is a dual-token cryptocurrency company. And so basically we're in the evolving blockchain FinTech cryptocurrency space, and we have two tokens in one company. And our vision is to solve volatility in the cryptocurrency space so that there's more use and adoption globally for cryptocurrency.  

I got into the space originally as an investor, and I knew the former CEO of Centric and got a chance to meet the team over a period of time. And then they asked me if I'd be interested in coming to board and steering the ship. So that's what I did.  

[00:01:28] Kim Ades:
How long have you been with Centric?  

[00:01:31] Joel Clelland:
I started with Centric as CEO in March.  

[00:01:34] Kim Ades:
Oh wow, okay.  

[00:01:35] Joel Clelland:
Yeah, just a few months.  

[00:01:36] Kim Ades:
Okay, new to the game.  

[00:01:37] Joel Clelland:
New to the game, yes ma'am.  

[00:01:39] Kim Ades:
Okay, and how's it going so far?  

[00:01:41] Joel Clelland:
It's going great! It's going wonderfully. I have a new COO that we brought on in April and he's amazing.  

[00:01:50] Kim Ades:

[00:01:51] Joel Clelland:
I'm sorry? 

[00:01:52] Kim Ades:

[00:01:53] Joel Clelland:
Tommy, yes! Very good. Yes. You've been digging up on me. 

[00:01:56] Kim Ades:
I did my homework. 

[00:01:58] Joel Clelland:
[Laughs] So, yeah, Tommy's great. He has a background in the space and he's a driver, he's an operator, so it's great 'cause I don't need to be concerned about him taking care of things. He's doing a great job. We have an evolving team and our team is absolutely amazing. We're a global team, so we're not just US, although Tommy and I are US and we're looking to plant our flag and make our name for Centric.  

[00:02:32] Kim Ades:
So, your background was not in cryptocurrency at all.  

[00:02:36] Joel Clelland:
No, just as an investor. I was an enthusiast, I thought it was interesting and anything in the money space has always fascinated me. I came from more of a traditional background in insurance and traditional planning. 

[00:02:50] Kim Ades:

[00:02:51] Joel Clelland:
So when this opportunity came available to me, I of course wanted to take advantage of it for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I was a preexisting investor and I wanted to make sure that the project was moving in the right direction. And I already knew the people involved, so I knew I was joining a good team.  

[00:03:11] Kim Ades:
So you had full buy-in?  

[00:03:13] Joel Clelland:

[00:03:14] Kim Ades:
Okay, good. So what is your greatest challenge? What do you want to talk about today?  

[00:03:19] Joel Clelland:
Well, when we first talked, I said I wanted to talk about anxiety related to content and confidence, which we can talk about, I know that would be fun. [Laughs] 

[00:03:30] Kim Ades:
Yeah. But? 

[00:03:31] Joel Clelland:
I'd also like to talk about– we can talk about both. I'd like to talk about executive etiquette and core values. 'Cause I have some very strong core values and in a few conversations I've had in the last couple of months with a few members of our team and people outside the team, I've started to understand that it's not just about what I want and what I believe, but it's also about the care of my team and being thoughtful about others in my team. 

[00:04:01] Kim Ades:
Let's dig into that for a minute. What do you mean by executive etiquette? And what do you mean by "it's not only about what I want, it's about caring for my team"?  

[00:04:13] Joel Clelland:

[00:04:13] Kim Ades:
Kind of like, I'm gonna-- 

[00:04:14] Joel Clelland:
Can I share two things with you that come to mind? 

[00:04:17] Kim Ades:
Yes, please! Please. I need a little more detail on this.  

[00:04:20] Joel Clelland:
Some context, okay. So, I've started really dissecting words and phrases and word choice, and so it's like, okay, I can deliver the same message and have my intentions be the same and be pure and choose different words. So, word choice I think is one.  

And then another would be... I'm very active on social media and it's like, okay, this tweet, not that tweet, or no tweet. [Laughs] So, kind of understanding, kind of that balance that it's like as CEO of a company I'm out there, I'm not just Joel, the investor. I'm not just Joel, some member of the team. As CEO, I'm an evangelist, I'm a spokesman for the team and just kind of being cognizant of that, I guess. 

[00:05:15] Kim Ades:

[00:05:15] Joel Clelland:
And being aware of it, because it's not something I always kind of got hung up on, that my words, you know, they'll be taken by some people one way and others other ways. And I can't really... I'm not responsible for how people take my words, but I can be thoughtful about it, I guess.  

[00:05:34] Kim Ades:
So, are you saying that words are important to you and you want them to be just as important to the people on your team who are representing you and the brand and who are on social media and tweeting and messaging out there on your behalf? Is that what you're saying?  

[00:05:50] Joel Clelland:
Partially. I would say that the message is the most important and the words I choose are secondary. And whereas I wouldn't get hung up before on words, now I'm more thoughtful about the words.  

[00:06:04] Kim Ades:
So, where's the challenge? Is it that you are concerned about your words? Or are you concerned about the words that your team is putting out there? What's the challenge?  

[00:06:13] Joel Clelland:
Right. Well, I'm not concerned about my team, 'cause we've got a great messaging in-house. I'm talking more specifically about when I'm out there publicly. 

[00:06:21] Kim Ades:

[00:06:22] Joel Clelland:
Like, this interview is going to get out there at some point [laughs] so the words I use here will be public at some point. That's kind of what I'm getting at, where I-- I'm very clear on our message: global adoption, solving volatility, getting business integration, payment systems, those types of things.  

But just when I'm kind of shooting from the hip, that I'm using using words that are appropriate, I guess. Not that I would be inappropriate, but I guess it's a tough game. It's a tough game, the game of conversation, because it's like, okay, this is the message I'm trying to get across. This is what I want people to understand. This is the takeaway, these are the feelings that I want them to feel. You know what I mean?  

[00:07:06] Kim Ades:
Yeah. So, I want you to pay attention to this conversation, 'cause I think this is very, very interesting. What you're bringing to the table is interesting from a conversation standpoint. And so... Okay, let me kind of step back. Why do I have a podcast? I have a podcast introduced people to Frame of Mind Coaching to give people value, to get to meet people like you.  

I'm being transparent, right? Why does anybody have a podcast? They have a podcast to spread their message. Correct? But when I get onto the podcast, I will start by spreading my message.  

[00:07:37] Joel Clelland:

[00:07:38] Kim Ades:
I don't start by talking. I mean I do, but I'm not talking about myself or anything like that. Where does my conversation begin? I start with being interested, being curious, asking you the questions. Does that make sense?  

[00:07:53] Joel Clelland:
Yes, it does.  

[00:07:54] Kim Ades:
So, my conversation doesn't begin with my message. My conversation begins with learning about you.  

[00:08:03] Joel Clelland:

[00:08:03] Kim Ades:
About where you're coming from, about what your challenges are, about what you know, how you see the world, what you're experiencing, etc. My conversation doesn't begin with me, it begins with you. And I think that very often people are misunderstanding how conversation needs to go and how messaging needs to go. Very often they think messaging is, "what do I need to say? How do I say it? How do I get the words across that I want people to know and understand?" 

And what I would suggest is flip it around. So I'll tell you, when I, you know... For those of you who don't know, before I get onto a podcast with someone, like, Joel and I have never met before, but he filled out a little bit of a form to say, "here's the challenge I want to talk about", and he wrote the word cryptocurrency. I'm like, "oh no, I don't know anything about cryptocurrency! How am I even going to have this conversation? I don't even know what a token is. Nevermind". Right?  

But does that make me feel uncomfortable about getting to know you? Absolutely not. I'm excited to get to know you, I'm excited to learn something new and I'm excited to learn something new from a layman's perspective where I represent all the other people in the world who know nothing about cryptocurrency, except that it's probably something I should know about. Right?  

And so my messaging has nothing to do with what I want to say. My messaging has everything to do with what I want to learn. So it's a flip on the conversation. And so for me, when I think about being in your shoes, I think about, what is it-- not that I want to say, but what is it that I want to learn about what people already know and don't know about cryptocurrency? And how can I, now where the messaging comes into play, how can I talk in a way where they understand what I'm saying? 

[00:09:54] Joel Clelland:
That makes sense. 

[00:09:55] Kim Ades:
How can I relate? How can I connect? As opposed to worrying about what I need to say, the question is, how do I really connect? Does that make any sense?  

[00:10:07] Joel Clelland:
That resonates, yes.  

[00:10:10] Kim Ades:
So I keep referring back to what I call the Five Coaching Steps, but really they're five communication steps. They're the steps that we use in my business kind of day in and day out. To really talk to people and understand who they are, where they're coming from, what's going on for them, and then helping them move to the next place, which is exactly what you're doing, understanding who they are, where they're coming from, what they're challenged with and helping them go to the next place with respect to cryptocurrency. Right? 

[00:10:44] Joel Clelland:

[00:10:44] Kim Ades:
And so, how do I do that? I use the Five Coaching Steps and I've will very quickly share with you, if that would help you. Does that make sense for you right now?  

[00:10:54] Joel Clelland:

[00:10:55] Kim Ades:
Okay. So the first thing I do when I come into a conversation is, like, I came in going, you know, "I'm a little worried", right? "I'm a little worried". And what I had to do is like, erase that. I had to remove any preconceived notions I had about you and when you came on, I'm like, "wow, you're a lot younger than I expected!" But I had to remove that, right? I had to get rid of that so that I could be totally present and here and excited about the conversation we're about to have. 

So I have to remove all my preconceived notions. I've got to assume positive intent, and I've got to come in with a huge amount of curiosity. And that's exactly what I did. The second thing I want to do is I want to get your story. Who are you? Where are you coming from? What's going on? What are you about? What are you challenged with? 

The third thing I want to do is I want to dig a little further. So when you said, "Hey, you know, I want to talk about... like, the words I use..." I'm like, "what are you talking about, exactly? Tell me more, give me more context. I want to go deeper. I want to understand exactly what you're challenged with. 

So here we are, right? And now what I'm trying to do is trying to get to a place where I was encapsulating. So I'm like, "is this really your issue?" And you're like, "no, that's not really my issue. This is my issue". Right? Did you see all the steps in the process? And what we're really doing is connecting. I'm just trying to understand you. 

And as I'm trying to understand you, I'm now at the point of understanding and understanding what's getting in your way, and what's getting in your way now is the coaching component. Is it this, Joel? Is it the fact that you think you need to speak perfectly and you need to be that orator and you need to stand on the stage and, you know, have all the words perfectly coming out of your mouth? Is that the thing? 

[00:12:45] Joel Clelland:
I don't think so, because I know perfect is impossible, we just strive for perfection.  

[00:12:53] Kim Ades:
So what's the thing you're after?  

[00:12:56] Joel Clelland:
The connection piece.  

[00:12:58] Kim Ades:

[00:12:59] Joel Clelland:
You hit the nail right on the head.  

[00:13:01] Kim Ades:
Yeah. And so I can fumble up my words on a podcast. I can call your name wrong, right? 


Like, I can do all that, but I'm really after the connection. And really, the way that I connect is by truly trying to understand you. And only then, only when I've reached that place, can I possibly create space for me to share any message. Does that make sense?  

[00:13:37] Joel Clelland:
It does.  

[00:13:39] Kim Ades:
So from a strategic standpoint, we spend a lot of time thinking about what we want to say, as opposed to thinking about, what do we want to learn? What are the questions I need to ask to really understand where this person's coming from, and where they're starting place is. 

I would encourage you to create your communication strategy around learning where people are at. And offering a small component of messaging, because that upfront work creates the relationship, it creates the openness to hearing what it is that you have to say.  

[00:14:16] Joel Clelland:
That makes sense.  

[00:14:18] Kim Ades:
Is this what you expected from our conversation? 

[00:14:21] Joel Clelland:
I didn't know what to expect. [Laughs]  

[00:14:23] Kim Ades:
Okay, fair enough. Now, you want to go back to discussing anxiety? 'Cause we still have a few minutes.  

[00:14:30] Joel Clelland:
Sure, sure.  

[00:14:32] Kim Ades:
Tell me about the anxiety you're talking about.  

[00:14:37] Joel Clelland:
You said that cryptocurrency is a space that is still new to you and it's new to a lot of people, and there's always something new to learn. And one thing that my company started doing is we started doing weekly webinars for people new to-- not necessarily new to crypto, but new to Centric. And so, every single Wednesday we have an educational webinar slide.  

[00:15:03] Kim Ades:

[00:15:04] Joel Clelland:
And it gives people an opportunity to ask questions. And I think what you touched on was learning about what's important to people I think is really significant, because one of the things we're trying to solve in the space, I mean, we're trying to solve volatility, but crypto in the space is trying to help the unbanked world come into the 21st century with money, knowledge, and the ability to access money and resources. And there's a lot of breakthroughs there, but it's a process and it's gonna take some time. 

I think at the end of the day, if we know what people want and what they need, because everybody needs resources, no matter who they are, no matter what level they're at. And seeing how we can serve them, I think is key.  

[00:15:55] Kim Ades:
So are you saying that... again, let me just try to figure this out. You go onto a webinar and in your mind, before this conversation, your job was to sound like the expert? And you being fairly new to crypto, fairly, not new, but fairly you're like, "well, I don't have all the answers. That makes me a little uncomfortable".  

[00:16:18] Joel Clelland:
There you go.  

[00:16:19] Kim Ades:
And this conversation, I'm suggesting you don't need to have the answers, you need to have the questions. Right?  

[00:16:27] Joel Clelland:

[00:16:28] Kim Ades:
And you can bring people on your team who will maybe answer the questions. Right? Or who will--  

[00:16:34] Joel Clelland:
If I can't [laughs].  

[00:16:36] Kim Ades:
Exactly. But your job is not so much to be the expert. Your job is to facilitate conversation. And your job is to extract from people what it is that they're concerned about, what it is that they want to know, what it is that they're curious about, what it is that will help them increase their comfort and confidence in this area, that is also maybe a little foreign to them.  

[00:17:01] Joel Clelland:
I agree. I know that to be true too, Kim, because I've had those experiences already.  

[00:17:08] Kim Ades:

[00:17:09] Joel Clelland:
Where I feel like I'm bringing people together, starting the conversation, but I'm almost taking a step back.  

[00:17:17] Kim Ades:
Yeah, exactly.  

[00:17:18] Joel Clelland:
It's actually very... I don't want to say the word invigorating, 'cause that seems kind of big [laughs].  

[00:17:25] Kim Ades:
It is invigorating! What's wrong with that?  

[00:17:27] Joel Clelland:
It feels good. It feels good. 

[00:17:28] Kim Ades:

[00:17:29] Joel Clelland:
It feels good when I can kind of help broker relationships and conversation, I get guess.  

[00:17:35] Kim Ades:
Right. So, I want to kind of just step back and kind of take a little bit of a bigger view of this. The word anxiety is interesting because when we're anxious or uncomfortable about something or worried about something, it's typically because we have a set of beliefs about how we should show up, what we should know, how equipped we should be. And the word should is the critical term here.  

And we have these beliefs around ourselves and how equipped we are, right? And that should word creates the anxiety. When you look back and you say, "well, I'm not as equipped. I'm not as knowledgeable. I'm not as much of an expert as I should be", what I have discovered is whenever we have that, and I apologize, but we use a term at Frame of Mind Coaching, when we have all those shoulds, they're typically bullshit, right? 

[00:18:33] Joel Clelland:

[00:18:34] Kim Ades:
They're typically inventions that we put upon ourselves that create that anxiety. And if I were to play it out a little bit further, you have an idea or a picture in your mind that says "if someone asks me a question and I don't know the answer, that means I'm not smart enough, I'm not prepared enough, I'm not equipped enough. And I can't have that!" Right?  

And so, what we want to do when people do feel anxious or worried or uncomfortable is explore the beliefs that's causing that discomfort and really go down the path of "so let's play it out. What is the worst possible scenario that could possibly happen?"  

[00:19:18] Joel Clelland:
Failure. That's it. It's not death. [Laughs]  

[00:19:22] Kim Ades:
Well, it's not death, but is it actually failure?  

[00:19:26] Joel Clelland:
Well, maybe failure in the moment. And then that's okay. That's okay.  

[00:19:30] Kim Ades:
Right. So what I like to do with people is actually have them write out what absolute failure in that moment looks like, write out the worst case scenario. And people say, "how is that useful?" I say, because after that, I'm going to ask you to write out recovery from that failure in that moment. Think it through.  

Think through a disastrous conversation and then think through recovery. What do you do after that? You reach out to the person and say, "Hey, I got the information you wanted". You reach out to the person and say, "Hey, thank you so much for asking me that question. You just inspired me to go learn the answer". What do you do? What does recovery look like? 

[00:20:09] Joel Clelland:

[00:20:10] Kim Ades:
Once you have failure and recovery kind of down, now we push those aside and we create a document that says, "here's what it looks like when we're knocking it out of the park. Here's what ideal looks like. Here's what winning looks like", and let's focus on that. And here's the thing, what do absolutely extraordinary people do? It's not that they never look at failure and never consider failure. They do. They consider failure and recovery. They say, "I can handle that. Now let me focus on success".  

[00:20:42] Joel Clelland:
I love it.  

[00:20:43] Kim Ades:
So, that's the recommendation for you to kind of deal with all of it. 

Number one is look at, what does it truly mean to be the messenger? Is it the person who needs to do all the talking? Or is it the person who needs to do all the learning? Right? So that's thing number one.  

And then the second piece in terms of dealing with nervousness or anxiety is play it out so it fails. 

[00:21:08] Joel Clelland:

[00:21:08] Kim Ades:
Imagine recovery, and now focus on your success.  

[00:21:12] Joel Clelland:
Yeah, I can do that. [Laughs] 

[00:21:16] Kim Ades:

[00:21:16] Joel Clelland:
It's gotten me where I am. [Laughs] 

[00:21:17] Kim Ades:
I'm sure! I know that you've had quite an interesting past in lots of different industries, and I have no doubt that you're going to be extremely successful here too. 

[00:21:30] Joel Clelland:
I agree. 

[00:21:32] Kim Ades:
Thank you so much for sharing your challenge with us today. I think it's a challenge that is common. A lot of people who are in new industries and doing new things, definitely experience a little discomfort, a little anxiety, and they worry about how they show up and how they sound and what they say. So, thank you for sharing that with us. I hope that you took something of value from this conversation.  

[00:21:56] Joel Clelland:

[00:21:59] Kim Ades:
For those of you who are listening, if there's a challenge that you wanna share with us, please reach out. I'd love to have you on the podcast.  

My email address is  

And if there's a challenge that you have that you want to discuss, but maybe not so much on a podcast, please reach out to me as well. 

My email address is  

And if you're listening to the podcast, please like, please share, please review. Do all the things you do on a podcast. And thank you for tuning in. We will see you next time. Have a great day.

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