Annette Ferrara on Laughing, Being Vulnerable, and Telling a Great Story

Brian Burkhart Maximizing Opportunity Podcast Leave a Comment

Our team likes to keep up on current events, like the Cubs making it to the World Series (still freaking out inside) and obviously what’s going on in the world of presentations and communication. We were so delighted to have come across an amazing Harvard Business Review article – Your Presentation Needs a Punchline. We did a little digging and found that it was authored by a Chicago local, Annette Ferrara.

Annette is a producer at Mortified Chicago, and a Storyteller at IDEO. Between her sage HBR advice and the haunting beauty that is Mortified, we decided to bring her in for a chat to learn about why people would humiliate themselves and how this translates to the professional world. You wouldn’t think it does. But it does. Listen up as Annette shares a snippet from her own diary (or is it journal?) and urges us to take a bar exam.

Check out an upcoming Mortified show in Chicago on 11/19/16 or 12/10/16.
Don’t live in Chicago? Find a Mortified show in your city.


Interview Notes

00:18 – Annette’s backstory with Mortified


1:07 – What is Mortified?


1:45 – Diary vs. Journal


4:32 – Therapy? For storytelling?


4:56 – Sorry, you’re too normal and well adjusted.


6:29 – It’s not about being funny. It’s about being yourself and allowing people to connect with you.


6:50 – Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.


7:36 – The audience is pulling for the presenter.


7:46 – Can sad moments help you connect with people too? Yes.


9:42 – Stop thinking about it as a presentation, and start thinking about it more as a performance.


10:39 – Take a bar exam.


12:28 – Be relatable.


13:30 – An excerpt from Annette!


18:00 – Are selfies the new diary/journal?


Find Annette

Maximizing Opportunity Host

Brian Burkhart

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Brian Burkhart believes in “Making Waves.” He’s the founder and Chief Word Guy at SquarePlanet in Phoenix, and the co-founder and co-owner of AlterEgoAV and Mutt Jackson, both in Chicago. An adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and a highly sought-after speaker, Brian speaks regularly to audiences around the globe about beliefs and the power of communication. He’s coached C-suite leaders of Fortune 500 companies, TED speakers, Shark Tank contestants and countless business owners, helping all of them communicate and lead how they’ve always imagined.

Maximizing Opportunity Co-Host