Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing April Stroink, Money Coach who is a graduate of shiftED Academy’s Essential Presentation Skills Certificate program and an Alumni member of shiftED’s Coterie (a membership group).
April is a self-proclaimed introvert, yet her presentations are insightful, lively, and captivating. I asked April about presenting to business owners and how being a member of shiftED’s Coterie has made an impact on her coaching business.
Tisha: April, thank you for being with me today. You and I have worked together for years now, I've taken courses with you, you've taken mine, and we've worked one-on-one together. April, tell me a little bit about the presentations you're currently focused on and how they tie in with your work.
April: On average, I do about 5-6 hours of presenting per week and that's a combination of courses that I teach, workshops, and presentations inside influencers' programs. And, quite honestly, I would include podcasts in presentations as well. Many of my presentations are in collaboration with others. I've also designed a signature workshop on the 5 ways to improve financial well-being in your practice which leads to my Profit in Practice intensive experience.
All to say that presenting is something I frequently do. Oh, and I'm speaking at an in-person event in Toronto soon as well and that's my first time being live with people in a long time!
Tisha: You're going to love it! You're going to get so much energy from being in the same room as people. I spoke at a conference earlier this year and it was a little bit weird at first, being in close proximity to other humans. And, although I felt rusty, I was bubbling and I'm hoping you'll have that same experience. You know this, right? When you get started and see people leaning in and you see the body language that you don't necessarily get in a Zoom...I'm excited for you.
April, I'm curious if you have any pre-presentation rituals.
April: Well, I always think about you and your steps and your recommendations for what to do and what not to do. I block off time before I set up my tech and make sure everything is working. And now I always block off time afterwards because I'm a functioning introvert and I'm exhausted after a presentation. I'm excited about making connections, of course, but afterwards, I need to honour that experience for myself and guard that energy.
Tisha: I love that you have both a pre- and post-ritual and I also want to acknowledge your being an introvert because there is a common misconception that if you are rocking your presentations, you are an extrovert, born to do this, that you love being in the spotlight, and that's simply not the case.
April, you've been in the Coterie for a year now and I'm curious how that has helped you to succeed.
April: Well, as I've said, your voice is always in my head. Your approach to teaching presentation skills - from tech to owning your spotlight to this energy work that I wouldn't have explored before. I also like to see how you organize your courses and the membership. And you're just a share-share-Sugar-Bear kind of person which I really appreciate, and I like how you've been doing this for many years and you're always - still - looking for ways to improve yourself. You stick to your lane and your zone of genius and so I know exactly what you do and what you offer and yet you're still leveling yourself up and that aligns with my values and how I want to run my business. I don't trust shiny-object chasers and you're not a shiny object chaser and neither am I, so I appreciate that consistency while at the same time you're always looking to improve and share those improvements with others - and I thank you for that.
Tisha: My goodness, April, thank YOU for that! What advice would you give to somebody who either fears public speaking or shies away from being in the spotlight or being visible?
April: Honestly, ask for help. Get a coach. Work with YOU. And work through those fears because if not you, then who? We all have our special gifts and talents to share with the world and there are people who need to know your story. And if you hold yourself back then you are robbing those people of your talents and your gifts and your knowledge. And if you can help one person, if I can help just one person avoid the challenges and the mistakes that I encountered, that's what gets you up in the morning. So, just try it!
Tisha: Love it. We all need coaches. And it is so gratifying to be able to pay it forward by helping others too. All right, I have a rapid round of questions to toss your way. First question: do you have a favourite presentation gadget or tech?
April: I love my clicker! It's got all the bells and whistles.
Tisha: Button to play videos?
Tisha: Mac or PC?
Tisha: Google slides, keynote, PowerPoint...?
April: I've been using Canva lately. Looks beautiful, it's intuitive, and it's all in the cloud.
Tisha: I'm hearing that from a lot of people. Great graphics. And you can download it into PowerPoint to add animations or transitions too. Are you more comfortable presenting online, in person, or hybrid?
April: Pre-pandemic, I would have said in person but now I'm a little nervous about this upcoming presentation because I feel super-rusty. I'm nervous about being in proximity to other people because I haven't had that for a long time, so I don't know how to answer that.
Tisha: Do you have a favourite quote?
April: "Wait to worry."
Tisha: Ooh, is that your quote?
April: My mother's.
Tisha: Brilliant. So good. That's going to resonate with me for a long time. I love that.
Is there a book that you have most recommended to others?
April: Profit First by Mike Mikalowitz. And I like to recommend Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits. I always recommend those two. And the other is The EMyth. I like to read that one every year actually.
Tisha: I should go back and re-read that one too. Great book. April, what’s on your bucket list?
April: I need to, want to, going to...take a month, rent an AirBnB, probably in the Laurentians. I've gone into the mountains in BC by myself for four days, I've hiked the Camino for two weeks and, every so often, I need to be with myself and so it's time. I'll still work, but I just need to do my own thing and give myself some space.
Tisha: Wonderful. April, thank you for sharing some of you with me today. And thank you for helping people change their money story.
April: Thank you.
About April: April Stroink, Money Coach works with clinician entrepreneurs on improving cash flow in their practice through one-on-one work and through an intensive 8-week experience, helping them to become intimate with their numbers and understand what their practice needs to do on a consistent basis to support their personal financial goals. April can be reached at aprilstroink.ca
On November 9th, the door closes for the quarterly intake of new members.