Welcome to the Gooder Podcast where we talk with powerhouse women in CPG about their journeys to success. This episode is sponsored by Retail Voodoo. A brand development firm guiding mission driven consumer brands to attract new and passionate consumer base crush their categories through growth and innovation and magnify their social and environmental impact. If your brand is in need of brand positioning, package design or marketing activation, we are here to help. You can find more information at www.retail-voodoo.com.
Diana Fryc 0:43
Hi, Diana Fryc here I’m the host of the Gooder Podcast where I get to talk with powerhouse women in the food, beverage, and wellness categories about their journeys to success and their insights on the industry. Thanks for joining today. Hey real quick. This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo. Retail Voodoo is a brand development firm. Our clients include Starbucks kind, Rei, PepsiCo, high key, and many other market leaders. We provide strategic brand and design services for leading brands in the food wellness beverage and fitness industry. If your goal is to increase market, share, drive growth, or disrupt the marketplace with new and innovative ideas, give us a call. And let’s talk. You can find out more about our services. can learn more about me at retail-voodoo.com. That’s voodoo.com Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Okay, well today, this is going to be super fun, guys. Okay, today, we get to meet Andrea Heuston, who’s the founder and CEO of Artitude, a communication firm that focuses on content and design development as well as Speaker Coaching for Business Leaders nationwide. The reason why I’m excited about this is Andrea and I have known each other for a very long time. And we’re probably we’re probably going to be a little bit more sillier. I hate to say this than I typically am on the show. So if you like silly, or silly ish, you’re gonna like this episode. So a little bit more about Artitudes. Artitudes is considered every presenters partner for speaking and events. So if you guys are, if you are somebody you know or wanting to get into speaking or your team needs some extra manpower, women power for building out events, something different, Artitudes is a place you’re going to want to check out that’s artitude.com, and we’ll talk about that a little bit more. A little bit more on Andrea in 2020. After doing our Artitudes for a while she decided to start her own podcast the Lead Like a Woman Show where she focuses on empowering women to empower others through topical discussions. She’s passionate about helping to close the gender gap for women in business. So hello, Andrea, how are you? Hi, Diana, I’m
Andrea Heuston 2:58
happy to be here. Thank you for having me today. Oh,
Diana Fryc 3:01
you are so great. So fun story. Like I mentioned earlier, we’ve known each other for a while Andrea and I have been friends since high school. When ninth grade my okay ninth grade. And we said we we separated ways after graduation as one does and then randomly connected of being in the industry for I don’t know how long we randomly corrected during the big recession back in 2008 2009. When I did a short stint at a staffing firm, and we have really become a support for each other. And even walking partners. We just, it’s just quite remarkable that we went our separate ways. And now here we are again. And it’s fun for me to be able to share about you and and you guys are noting that she’s Yes, she is not in CPG proper. But she brings just like some of my other guests like Molly and Angela, she brings something to us women leaders in this industry that I think is extra valuable, especially as we’re continuing to go through all of this. What are we calling an Omicron? I don’t know what letter of the Greek alphabet we’re on COVID. But there’s some things that he’s going to that she’s going to be able to provide some insights through her journey and then just factual on how to be better speakers, how to think about events, and how to position yourself well for those opportunities. So welcome, Miss Andrea.
Andrea Heuston 4:29
Thanks, Diana. Yeah, do it.
Diana Fryc 4:31
Let’s do it. So let’s start with my first question. I always ask everybody, let’s talk about Artitudes. Talk about Artitudes, why? Why does Artitudes exist? Why? Why do people love and work with Artitudes?
Andrea Heuston 4:47
So Artitudes exists because speakers need help. And speakers need help, even when they don’t know they need help. Now I’ll rewind a little bit. I was working for an engineering firm back in the 80s. Yes, I’m old I’m in the early my nice. Yeah, you’re not No, no, we didn’t. We didn’t go to high school together or anything. Same age. Back in the early 90s, they were purchased by French firm. And I was running the creative services department at the time. And I had a team of six people, and they called me in and they said, We need you to lay off your entire team. I was 24 years old. Do you think I’d ever laid off anyone in my life? No. So there was an experience I got. The next day, I was blindsided when they laid me off completely. And totally blindsided. I had no idea it was coming. And so two days later, they called me and they say, Hey, we made a mistake. We need somebody to come back and run our brand change. So we they needed to go from the current brand to the head company’s brand. Yeah, they needed somebody to do the whole thing from a design perspective. So I, and they wanted me to bring one of my team members back. And back then the interwebs were not quite a thing yet. And so I said, Hold, please, I’ll call you tomorrow. And I drove myself down to the state capitol, and I got myself a business license. So I called him back and I said, Yes, I will come back, but you will now be paying me and this other person through my company. And so that’s how we were born. Originally. A lot of the people who were with that company in the Instructional Design division went to this little tiny software company in Redmond, and they were tiny at the time, they had five buildings called Microsoft. And so my phone started ringing. And that’s how we morphed into instructional design and presentations pretty quickly, way back. Before PowerPoint was even a
Diana Fryc 6:45
thing. Oh, my gosh, instructional design. Yes. I don’t know that term. Ah, so
Andrea Heuston 6:51
instructional designers are pretty amazing. This is a graphics and stuff. No, they actually take subject matter expert content, and they distil it down into learning modules. So for that engineering firm, everyone had to learn about electrical engineering and the things that we did in the power grid. But from Microsoft, it was all about their software programs. Gotcha. My first gig with Microsoft as a vendor was with Microsoft university that really no longer exists. It was creating training courses and the design of them.
Diana Fryc 7:23
Wow. Okay, so caught lots of content and making it digestible. Yes. So
Andrea Heuston 7:29
that people can understand and move forward with what they need to know instructional designers are still pretty revered out there. Yeah. And whenever I come across one who needs my help? I always feel honored to help.
Diana Fryc 7:41
Yeah. So that’s a ways away. Now, I know that, you know, now it even retail voodoo has engaged with Artitudes in some in some of the more complicated I guess what, I don’t know, what do you call it? Now? It’s not instructional. What do you guys call it instructional.
Andrea Heuston 8:03
So we do instructional stuff that really is presentation. So we do pitch, we do pitches for companies, okay. And a lot of that has to do with pitching one on one in a sales pitch all the way to getting VC capital. But we also do high level presentations, like sales, presentations, marketing, presentations, presentations for audiences of 50,000 people.
Diana Fryc 8:24
Yeah. So you’re working with C suite, you’re working with just business leaders in general with information and presentations. And when you are creating the assets, the content and assets. Are you working in tandem with the speaker? Do you find that most of the time the speakers are working directly with you? Or is it only on occasion, when you have a speaker that says I need some help understanding how to work with this content?
Andrea Heuston 8:51
You know, it really depends on who we’re working with, or some of our bigger corporate clients. In the C suite. We will work with a few of them directly one on one because they like to own their messaging. Others they have a chief of staff or just your communications person. Yeah.
Diana Fryc 9:06
Yeah, that makes sense. Okay. We’re going to talk a little bit more about that in just a second. But I do want to talk about this. This Lead Like a Woman component, right? So you started Lead Like a Woman those of you that are YouTubing it right now can see this backdrop that Andrea has going on. Talk about where Lead Like a Woman came from, why did you need to birth that and how does it relate to Artitudes? Well, it
Andrea Heuston 9:31
relates in some ways, but I’ll tell you how I birthed it first and Oh, get to that. I grew up in a family where men were revered, and women were not. And as a general rule, it’s not a diss against my parents. They were from a different generation. In fact, they weren’t baby boomers. They were older than that. And so really, it was about the male who was the provider and the women were meant to stay home and keep the home fires burning. Gotcha. And for me, who was born with a really strong personality, I think that that’s what I think had called, or I’ve been called a few times in my lifetime. I know that one No, no, not at all. It didn’t work for me. And I went into, like I said, corporate America in the 80s. In fact, my first job was in 1988, as a technical illustrator in corporate America. And I realized pretty quickly that men were more important than women in that arena. And the women who made it were ball busters to some Yeah. And I don’t believe you have to be that way this so many years later, 30 years later, plus, I believe that women can lead like themselves, and garner the respect that is do them but also lead in such a way that they nurture and bring other people along and elevate them along the way. So that’s where the need came from. I saw a need that women didn’t believe in their own voices always and mostly of our generation. And maybe a little older, the younger generation as I’ve been interviewing them, and learning more about them, they believe they can be anything. Yeah. On set the truth. Yes. Which is amazing to me. Yeah. So that’s how the lead like a woman podcast was born and some of the other work that I’m doing. Now fitting it in with Artitudes, I do a lot of speaker coaching. And I have done for many, many years, but we’ve just never put an offering around it. I recently created an offering around speaker coaching, and I will coach anyone really who needs speaker coaching that works within our framework. But really, I am passionate about helping to elevate female voices. In fact, I just landed a project with a large company in the Seattle area of fortune 500, coaching their female executives on how to communicate better and how to speak in. Oh,
Diana Fryc 11:48
yeah. It’s so interesting that you talk about that, because when now I worked at a very large insurance company in the 90s, and I worked in the executive suite, I went from a file clerk of microfiche, if anybody remembers that, call me and I’ll send you $5 in the mail, because this kind of I feel like an ages me and then not because it wasn’t that long ago. But this is before computers, we had dummy terminals, which the whole thing, and I magically got the job working with what I will conservatively say are the smartest people on the planet, no disrespect to programmers, but I ended up working with the C suite of actuarial departments. So I ended up working with the CEO, the VP, the VP of actuarial sciences, like these people, basically, if you’re not familiar with what actuaries do, they’re the ones that kind of figure out how much money do you need to collect and invest at what kind of rate for what period of time in order for in order for somebody to make have an insurance policy and for the company to make money. So they literally are making math, wow, rules of the math based off of project investment projections and all of that sort of thing. And, and here I am sitting in the C suite, and all the women that were at a director level or VP level, looked and acted very much like their male counterparts, feminine qualities to them ish. Now this was in the industries in the 90s. That what I’m seeing now and kind of to your point, like the the younger women that that I’m interviewing for my podcast, the ones that are the younger millennials, and I interviewed, I think one Gen Z because you know, they’re still on the young side. Yeah, they behave as though the world is their oyster. Now, seeing a delineation, like right around the age of 30. And the older millennials still have some of that legacy baggage that some of us exercise still have. And definitely some of the boomers have. Oh, yeah. And so it’s very interesting that you say that you’re seeing this kind of younger generation, because I’m seeing that too, but it’s definitely on the younger side. I thought for sure, it would be millennials. But there’s a lot of baggage with the millennials. I’m not quite sure what that is. It could have been because of the recession. And there’s a lot of pragmatism there, but I think for sure, this younger probably because Gen Xers had children. Many of us had children younger and so our Gen Z’s kind of have are a little bit more of our f you kind of mentality and with a lot more or a lot less boundaries. I don’t know what how you see it.
Andrea Heuston 14:40
I see it about the same as you. However, a lot of the millennial are millennials were born to boomers, not just right. Gen Xers because a lot of boomers and the later boomers had a family and then they divorced, remarried and had market. Oh yeah. And it’s So they split the generations between Gen X and Gen Z are millennials. Yeah, absolutely
Diana Fryc 15:05
interesting. Yep. Yep. That’s so interesting. It is.
Andrea Heuston 15:08
And so we all learn differently. But we all take a lot from our family of origin. You know that? And I know Yeah, yeah. Our family of origin had great influence on who we are today.
Diana Fryc 15:20
Well, so do you find that you get into those kinds of things, when you are coaching somebody? Are you getting into family of origin in order to understand how to best lead and coach somebody through? Or is that irrelevant, so to speak,
Andrea Heuston 15:33
it’s not irrelevant at all. In fact, one of my TEDx speakers for TEDx Seattle recently had a lot of baggage from her family of origin. And so we really dove into that, in order to elevate her voice. Hmm. It was fun and fascinating to I get to learn stuff every time.
Diana Fryc 15:50
Well, yeah, right. That’s yeah, we do. Well, let’s talk a little bit. Now. We talked about TEDx for just a moment, let’s talk about, well, let’s just talk about what’s happening trend wise, when it comes to events, and you have been involved in of all kinds, public, corporate, smaller events, larger events, in your mind, how have events shifted from a content standpoint, functionally, we’re more online, or we’ve got these hybrid models, but from a mountain standpoint, are we seeing things shifting? Oh, yes.
Andrea Heuston 16:25
Oh, my goodness, yes. Especially for hybrid and virtual events, you have to shift your content, or else you lose your audience. And we coach our speakers on that, because what used to work with a talking head and a bunch of visuals, and sometimes, you know, some talent on stage isn’t working anymore, in oily engage an audience that has a phone nearby, an email running in the background, potentially a dog barking at the door, kids that are eating lunch, any of that stuff, all of that is taking away from our focus. And so if you can’t keep your audience focused, you’ve lost them right away. So there are ways of doing that. And a lot of ways we do that now with hybrid events and virtual events, especially his audience interaction. So we bring them into the conversation early and often. Because then they feel obviously, like they’re important, because they are, but they also feel like it’s a conversation, not just somebody sending information to them. It makes a big difference in what the audience has retained, and what they actually do, what is actionable from that talk, and what will they do with it.
Diana Fryc 17:34
So polls and chats or holes,
Andrea Heuston 17:37
shots, but also even if you have a big audience, and you can plant some things. So hybrid events, we’ve done that before. We brought in a speaker for one of my favorite hybrid events last year, and we’re doing it again this year, but the speaker pre loaded some of the audience so he knew some of the audience members, and he knew facts about them. So he would call them out like, Hey, Jim, I hear you have a pair of cowboy boots you’ve had for 25 years. That’s literally one of the lines that came out. But Jim then was like, Hey, wait, that’s me. And so the chat blows up, and they have their own set of chat. And it’s I’m not talking zoom. I’m talking some of the platforms that we use out there.
Diana Fryc 18:15
Yeah. Interest hybrid events. Yeah. Interesting. And so then, so then the planning of this, it seems like it’s like the planning is a little bit more robust. Maybe? Or maybe there’s different? I don’t know is, is the planning more robust? Or is there just different? Is it tougher
Andrea Heuston 18:35
for us for my company for oddities, and for me, it’s more robust. However, for events in general, I think, I think it’s less robust. Now you still have to have a platform for people to register for questions to be asked for interaction to be had. And for follow up, but you don’t have to have a trade show anymore. You can do a virtual tradeshow. Right. That is vastly different than a regular Yeah. Your as you know, yeah. So for us, there’s more because we have to prep the speakers in a very different way. Gotcha. visuals that are on a small screen have to be very different than visuals that are on a jumbo, jumbo screen. Mm hmm.
Diana Fryc 19:13
And when? Well, I’m gonna timestamp timestamp timestamp. Okay. Good. I got away from myself. Okay, I know. I know. Okay. So then, as you’re building these, as you’re building these events, are you finding that the that certain types of people need more help? Are you finding that we need to bring women more along men more along? Or do you find that certain types of people, depending on where they are in the org tend to lean into this different kind of structure?
Andrea Heuston 19:51
You know, we haven’t had a problem with that. The one thing that we have had a problem with and I’ve brought in media coaches recently for a lot of my speakers, because they don’t know how to to a camera. Instead, there’s so use to audience feedback that’s coming fast. And frequently you can look out into an audience yes or laughing? Yeah. Chatting with their neighbor or taking yourself. Okay, zero clue what your audience is doing Hmm. Though, by doing some media coaching to really help them engage the audience in different ways, and look at that camera. It’s, it’s different. And it’s been a lot of fun. That’s been something we’ve seen a lot of. And that’s crossed the board. Gotcha. A lot of our best speakers. And I’ll tell you one of my favorite speakers for a local event that we do. It’s a hybrid national event, but there’s a local client, he’s petrified of the camera, but he loves being up on stage. So the last twirly row, we’ve really had to focus on bringing him along, and now he’s doing great. We’ll see how this year goes. last two years. It’s been he’s been a work in progress,
Diana Fryc 20:50
huh? Well, so then along that along that route, then how are you coaching? Those people who need to kind of freshen up their speaker bios? Or maybe even how are you encouraging new speakers to come in? Like? Is it easier to find new speakers now that people are talking with camera two cameras instead of in front of 50,000 people or even in front of 20? People like, what’s happening there? And how are you helping people prepare their speakers bios, either for the first time or for the 12th? Time?
Andrea Heuston 21:23
So for the first part of your question, I don’t think it’s that easy. People think they can speak really well. But then they’re still nervous about the audience, no matter if they see it or not. So I don’t find a huge difference. I find some people are better at it than others, yet, I don’t find it hard to find people or easy to find people it really is a lot of speaking is about, you’re going to speak on this topic, especially in corporate America, rather than me, me guys speak, you don’t get as much of that. Okay. But as for speaker bios, short and sweet, and I have to tell you, they used to be a lot longer because you put them in a program, right? Where people could sit and thumb through them. It’s not always the case, if it’s in an online platform, which most of it is these days, you need to be a paragraph or less, because if you scroll past that center line, nobody’s gonna read that stuff. Really.
Diana Fryc 22:12
Okay, short attention span, this absolutely really, really changed the way we ingest content. Wow.
Andrea Heuston 22:20
Not just that Diana is also the hybrid and the virtual event space. Yeah, it really is. So digesting content in such a way that there are other things happening all around you and other distractions all the time.
Diana Fryc 22:34
Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Interesting. Okay. Lots, lots on that. So this is clearly a passion of yours. And definitely an area that seems like a lot of people can continue to use coaching on I know that, absolutely. I’m getting some coaching myself through my schooling. But it seems like this will probably be kind of like a like being an athlete. You’re just this something that you have to practice and keep, you know, work, keep working on that muscle in order to feel comfortable. Just hop on screen or on stage?
Andrea Heuston 23:08
Absolutely. And it is a muscle that has to be has to be worked on. Because if you don’t you can forget some of the things you’re doing. Yeah. Yeah, it’s easy these days to
Diana Fryc 23:18
Yeah. Oh, Andrea, this is so fun. Yeah, I know, we could talk for about 45 minutes on a single topic. But
Andrea Heuston 23:26
we could probably talk for about three hours on this topic.
Diana Fryc 23:29
We and we’ve done that before. But we have Yeah, I’m really enjoying this. But we do need to wrap it up. There’s a couple of questions I like to ask everybody in the first one is I love it when a guest shares what I call a happy hour quote, or happy hour tidbit. Something that you take with to the office or with your friends over Happy Hour and share. Do you have anything interesting that you can share with the audience about our industry or anything at all that you just find interesting? Well,
Andrea Heuston 23:59
if we go anywhere at all, I go down a lot of avenues. But we’re talking about by industry, and really what I do in the events space. Yeah, I’m, I’m sad and a little bit frustrated that female representation in speaking it has not improved. In fact, we’re going down. So if you look at a four year period of time in 2016, the distribution of speakers and this is at large events per year was about 30%, we went up to 33%, down to 32. And now we’re down to 30. Again, so I know that’s hovering. But every little little percentage point helps women just not represented well at global events or at large events. Service specifically at really large events. Yes, really big ones. And I’m talking probably 20 to 50,000 people in okay,
Diana Fryc 24:54
maybe more. Well, how do you how are you feeling and I don’t know if you have information around diversity in general. Do you have that information?
Andrea Heuston 25:01
No, not a whole lot. There’s not a whole lot out there. And I wish there was Yeah.
Diana Fryc 25:06
Okay. So lots of areas of improvement there. Sounds like providing Absolutely, yeah. Well on that, no. Are there any women leaders or rising stars out in the industry that you would like to elevate or just simply admire for the work that they’re doing right now? And if so, who are they? And why? Wow,
Andrea Heuston 25:27
there’s so many amazing female leaders out there that I can think of. And I have to tell you in the speaking circuit, and this, this sounds like it’s a gimme have an answer. But Michelle Obama and Brene Brown really float my boat. Those are two that they have a voice and they’re using it for good. And I’m not talking politically, I am speaking about using it to help elevate other people in such a way that it’s actionable, huh? And I believe that both of them are,
Diana Fryc 25:57
yeah, I I’m trying to study them. And just I think so much of what makes them so awesome to listen to is the ease and the comfort of anytime you see them or watch them, it almost feels like they’re not talking at you or presenting to you. I feel like it’s a dialogue, even if it is on the screen or in a stadium.
Andrea Heuston 26:23
Absolutely. Yeah, I think a lot about Brene Browns, entire speech about being in the arena. And this is from one of her very first first speeches. It was a TEDx that she did in Houston. And it went viral overnight, and it freaked her out. But it was the impetus to start everything that she did really. Yeah. And if you haven’t read it, there’s a it’s just a passage you can read that Theodore Roosevelt wrote about being in the stadium. It really is about shame. But it makes you understand, you know, that feeling when you get in front of people like I’m not good enough. I’m not good. Yeah. Yeah. It makes you understand where that comes from. And it really, it was a turning point in my life when I read that, and I go back to it fairly frequently.
Diana Fryc 27:08
Okay, I’m gonna take a look at that. Is that Brene? Brown pulled that from Theodore Roosevelt. Yes. So she uses the quote, gosh, you look for Brene Brown in the stadium.
Andrea Heuston 27:22
You’ll find it okay. It’s
Diana Fryc 27:23
all wonderful. Oh, my goodness. Well, Andrea, we, we I always have fun chatting with you. I really want to remind everybody we’ve been talking with Miss Andrea Heuston, from Artitudes, Andrea, if people wanted to learn more about you, Artitudes or Lead Like a Woman, Where Where can they do that?
Andrea Heuston 27:43
Well, you know, the best place to go is AndreaHeuston.com. And it’s H E U, S, T O N. Okay, get to all the other places. But I have a very large voice on LinkedIn as well. And I’m always happy to answer any inquiries. I get there any messages. And that’s just Andrea Heuston.
Diana Fryc 28:01
Awesome. Thank you so much. I always I just always love our time together. And I’m thankful that you’re willing to come and talk to our audience today. And if anybody is interested in kind of taking their event to the next level just needs some outside thinking or speakers want to do something different. Andrea and her team can take really great care of you. I am going to thank you Miss Andrea for your time today. And thank you everybody for listening, and we’ll catch you all the next time. Thanks Diana.
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