Smashing the Plateau

Master the Art of Presenting

In her first appearance on Smashing The Plateau, former opera singer and celebrated speech and media coach Ruth Sherman taught us to command the room by mastering the art of public speaking. Today she reveals why presentations are one of the most effective ways to speed up your success. She also shows us how to get over our fears (and stay committed) by taking a more systematic approach to speaking.

We discuss…

  • Finding speaking opportunities within your organization
  • Why you don’t need natural charisma to nail public speaking
  • Book the gig, then prepare for it
  • Why most people take too long to ask for help (and how to get it sooner)

Ruth Sherman, M.A., specializes in working with CEOs, celebrities, and leaders of emerging businesses who want to have a greater impact in their communications, both internally and externally. Ruth has worked with some of the world’s largest and most prestigious companies, top CEOs, movie stars and international celebrities. Five of her clients have won Oscars and one, the Pulitzer Prize. Her many film projects include Dallas Buyers Club, Suffragette, and Race. (She loves getting paid to watch movies.)

Ruth is also the author of SPEAKRETS: The 30 Best, Most Effective, Most Overlooked Marketing & Personal Branding Essentials and Get Them To See It Your Way, Right Away: How to Persuade Anyone of Anything. She’s also a widely quoted expert on political communication who knows that the best communicator always wins.

Learn more about Ruth at and LinkedIn, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. You can also check out her newest online group program at




Finding Joy In Your Life (And Business) With JV Crum III

Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, bestselling author JV Crum III believes you owe it to yourself to feel fantastic everyday. In his second appearance on Smashing The Plateau, JV focuses on how leaders in every line of business can find joy and excitement in their lives and in their careers. He also explains why leaders should add a little more love to their lingo, and reveals why curiosity can create new opportunities.

Topics include:

  • Getting out of the head space into the joy space
  • How to define external and internal success
  • Why we’re holding ourselves back by thinking too small
  • His concept of vision questing (and how it leads to awareness)

JV Crum III is a business coach who helps entrepreneurs grow six and seven figure conscious businesses. He is a speaker, marketing expert, Huffington Post Columnist, bestselling author, and he hosts the top-ranking Conscious Millionaire family of podcasts. JV is Founder of, a global training and wealth product business and holds an MBA, JD, a Masters in Psychology, and has built and sold successful companies. He is also the Founder/Director of the non-profit Conscious World Foundation, which provides training to youth aged 18-25 to become the next generation of conscious leaders worldwide. You can get a free copy of his book, Conscious Millionaire: Grow Your Business by Making a Difference at

Learn more about JV Crum at,,, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

You can also find him on NPR, Entrepreneur on Fire, The Huffington Post, Eventual Millionaire, and Mixergy.




Overcoming The Challenges of First-Time Entrepreneurship

Jon Rhodes and Mark Goddard launched their research and design studio Paper just over a month ago. Today these budding entrepreneurs discuss what led them to take control of their careers and join forces to build something special of their own. Jon and Mark aren’t afraid to share some of the biggest challenges they’re facing breaking into their industry, and they reveal what they’re prepared to do to achieve success in their new venture.

We discuss:

  • The practical and emotional reasons for starting a business
  • Why they’re going to publish their feedback
  • Not being afraid to ask for critique
  • Why everything is a numbers game

Jon Rhodes is a project manager, and has been managing digital projects for clients across the UK and Europe for more than 10 years. Mark Goddard is a service designer, and has evolved over the past nine years from researching and designing websites, to looking at how these products affect the services they’re part of and the people that use them. Together with Cam Spilman, Jon and Mark recently set up Paper, a research and design studio based in Sheffield, England. You can discover more about their business on Twitter, and you can learn more about Jon at Twitter and LinkedIn, and Mark on LinkedIn and Twitter.




Change The Way You Lead Through Culture

Mark Hunter’s second appearance on Smashing The Plateau is all about development. If leaders want to achieve greater levels of success, they’ll need to start redefining cultural landscapes, and focus on cultivating long-term relationships with their teams and each other. Today this coach and leadership expert reveals why embracing these cultural changes will make you a better leader. He also shares his thoughts on the coaching boom, and offers advice on finding the right help.

Topics include:

  • Learning to stop problems before they happen
  • Mid-career challenges (and how to get out of them)
  • Why fear can be your greatest ally

For twenty-one years, Mark Hunter has been an international Business and Executive Coach in his private practice – Pinnacle Coaching, INC. He holds the designation of Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coach Federation.

Mark specializes in business/corporate coaching, executive leadership coaching, and coaching team culture and performance. He works with teams and leaders around developing the next level of their leadership, professional reinvention, producing “impossible” results, and getting out of their own way in order to do so. He is a leader on the forefront of the field of transforming businesses and taking good teams to new levels of greatness. He is also the author of The Brink – How Great Leadership Is Invented.

Learn more about Mark at LinkedIn and Twitter.



Philip VanDusen On Design, Branding, and Entrepreneurship

Philip VanDusen is one of the world’s top branding and design innovators. His award-winning strategies have pushed numerous global companies past the billion-dollar mark. Today he shares his secrets. Philip reveals how his eagerness to learn has helped shape his career, and explains why being ruthlessly honest about where you are and what you want is the only way to attain true success.

We discuss…

  • Why design thinking is the best approach to problem-solving
  • The emotional component of branding (and why it’s the most important one)
  • Why your perfectionism is holding you back
  • How to precipitate change

Philip VanDusen is a highly accomplished creative leader and expert in strategic branding, graphic design and product development for some of the world’s most successful agencies, global retailers and consumer products companies, including P&G, Gap, Inc., Petsmart and Safeway among many others.

In his career, Philip has served as VP of Design at Pepsico and Old Navy and Executive Creative Director the global branding agencies Landor Associates and Anthem Worldwide. Philip is currently the Principal and Chief Creative Officer of Verhaal Brand Design which specializes in strategic graphic design, brand creation and brand development. Philip has helped Fortune 100 companies and entrepreneurs alike create and revitalize brands, identities, websites, ecommerce platforms and launch new products for 20+ years.

Learn more about Philip at, LinkedIn and Twitter.



How To Master Emotional Dynamics

In her second appearance on Smashing The Plateau, leadership expert and business consultant Hollie Mileski reveals why mastering our emotional dynamics is the key to building better leadership skills and thriving work environments. She also talks about improving your self-awareness, finding inner fulfillment, and much more.

We discuss…

  • Why energy is more important than words
  • “Irresponsible emotion” and getting rid of the blaming culture
  • How to live in a state of gratitude
  • The Mind PT tool

After a successful sales and marketing career, Hollie Mileski shifted to strategy consulting, supporting global Fortune 500 clients. During this time, she led, managed, and delivered strategic change programs ranging from $500K to $15MM to $100MM+ in value and impacting tens of thousands of individuals globally. This journey led her to coach and train senior executives on how to successfully connect with their team, communicate clearly, and gain buy-in.

Leveraging this experience, Hollie launched Highjump Leadership and developed The 5 C’s of Conscious Leadership – a forward-thinking system for creating connection in your business and between individuals. Hollie co-creates with business owners and executives to RAISE THE BAR on their leadership and communication style so that they engage more authentically and with more impact.

You can learn more about Hollie at, LinkedIn and Twitter, and enjoy her free gift on Mind PT at



What It Takes to Be Truly Secure in the Digital Age

Shannon Miller’s mission is to make every entrepreneur she comes in contact with feel safe. That’s what she does everyday in her work and it’s what she does in today’s episode. The cybersecurity expert sheds some light on what it takes to truly be secure in the digital economy. Shannon also shares her thoughts on women in tech and reveals how she found true success by embracing something new when life gave her what she least expected.

Topics include:

  • The number one danger facing leaders in the information economy (it’s not what you think it is)
  • Why every business is about human connection
  • Overcoming your fear of asking questions and why it matters

Shannon Miller is the Founder and CEO of Lock Down Your Life, a company that helps business owners and their teams develop holistic security plans. Shannon has more than ten years of experience in the security industry as a government contractor, diplomat, trainer and analyst. She is also a researcher and IT analyst.

Part superhero, all nerd, Shannon embraces the challenges of working in the security industry with humor and sass. Her goal is to help small businesses become self-sufficient and in control of their security through education and training.

Learn more about Shannon at and LinkedIn.




From Speech Pathologist to Design Wizard

Kelly Powell moved from her early career as a speech pathologist to become an esteemed graphic designer and educator. In today’s episode, she reveals how she managed to turn her passion for design into a fulfilling and prominent career. According to Kelly, starting over – and success itself – is all about overcoming fear and embracing the unknown…even when it’s absolutely terrifying. She also discusses the importance of taking advantage of the unplanned opportunities that pop up along the way.

Topics include:

  • Why it’s hard to measure ROI in the design world (and how to explain that to clients)
  • Getting over the fear of embarrassment
  • How to speak to your decisions without bullying
  • Why you can’t be “threatened” by criticism

Kelly Powell is a Partner at Flight 9 Creative, a creative agency in Rochester, NY, that provides impeccable design and marketing services to clients ranging from sole proprietors to Fortune 500 corporations. Prior to Flight 9, Kelly worked for award-winning advertising and graphic design firms and ran her own successful freelance design business for 12 years. During that time, she earned her Masters degree from Indiana University Southeast while teaching undergraduate graphic design classes and leading business owners through the basics of “design for non-designers.” Kelly specializes in branding, logos and web design and has a special talent for combining letterforms and color to achieve perfectly balanced expressions of a brand’s personality.

Learn more about Kelly at Flight 9 Creative and LinkedIn.



Turning Your Podcast Into Profit

Whether he’s at the mic or consulting behind the scenes, Cliff Ravenscraft can transform any podcast into a moneymaking machine. Today he reveals how to turn a profit in the podcasting world and why his personal success is the culmination of stumbling blocks he’s faced throughout his career. He also discusses why success is a potential trap, and why you can’t let it stop you from taking new chances.

We discuss…

  • Defining (and analyzing) metrics for success
  • Avoiding stress and pain by turning to your peers
  • Why your audience has the roadmap to advancement
  • Creating impressive and valuable content

In December 2005, Cliff Ravenscraft, together with his wife, Stephanie, founded the Generally Speaking Production Network. Since then, he has produced over 3,300 podcast episodes devoted to entertainment, family, faith, business and technology. In December 2006, Cliff launched where he has since helped thousands of individuals and organizations launch successful podcasts through one-on-one consulting/coaching and through his Podcasting A to Z online training course. Clients who have worked with Cliff account for more than 50 of the top 100 business podcasts in iTunes.

Learn more about Cliff at LinkedIn and Twitter.


Let’s Talk Business

Meny Hoffman founded the Let’s Talk Business Summit so he could help other leaders pinpoint the real issues impeding their businesses. Today this marketing expert talks about what it really means to be a CEO and shares his insight on cultivating (and leading) a healthy team with a single vision. He also explains why growing a company and managing a company are two completely different beasts.

Topics include:

  • Becoming an expert listener
  • Why everyone should be an education junkie
  • The three best places entrepreneurs can find help
  • Why the leader is always the problem (and the solution)

As a lifelong entrepreneur, Meny Hoffman is passionate about collaborating with growing businesses to create winning strategies that yield hard-hitting results. As the CEO of Ptex Group, an award-winning marketing agency headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, he works with emergent brands spanning a variety of industries throughout North America, Europe and Israel, to create sophisticated marketing solutions that help clients achieve new milestones in growth.

Meny is also the founder of the game-changing LTB Business Summit. In addition, Meny shares his strategies for success at public-speaking engagements for regional corporations and trade associations. He is also a published business author with two books ranked as Amazon bestsellers.

Learn more about Meny at, LinkedIn, and Twitter.