Exclusive Interview with Derrick L Noble
Today we’d like to introduce you to Derrick L Noble.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
The pleasure is all mine. I am an award winning keynote speaker who specializes in helping leaders become more effective communicators. I have over 20 years of experience on stages around the world and have been a featured TEDx speaker. In addition, I am a World Class Certified Speech Coach®, and one of the world’s most sought-after corporate trainers, delivering both virtual and in-person seminars on leadership, communication skills, and customer service. My most popular presentations since the onslaught of COVID19 have been “Courageous Leadership During A Crisis” and “How To Deliver 5-Star Customer Service During A Pandemic.”
My degrees are in English, Speech Communication, and Curriculum Design. While my education prepared me well for what I do, I would have to say that the biggest factor in my being who I am today was a loving community of family and extended family in Little Rock, AR where I was privileged to grow up. I was nurtured by people who taught me how to dream, how to believe in myself, and how to remain humble and grounded at the same time.
I am a rabid fan of the NBA and Major League Baseball (Go Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers); I am a huge fan of classic jazz (particularly John Coltrane, Art Tatum, and Miles Davis), and I also play jazz trombone. In addition, I’m an avid golfer (not a great one), I love to travel, and I have a massive collection of martial arts DVDs. I am single and still hopeful! ☺
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
There’s a reason why I often refer to myself as the world’s most unlikely professional speaker: for the first 12 years of my life, I could barely talk. I had a severe speech impediment: a terrible stutter coupled with a bad lisp.
How does someone who couldn’t speak grow to become officially recognized as one of America’s top 20 young speakers? Everything began to change for me one day when my 3rd grade teacher gave us each an in-class assignment. She told us to come stand before our classmates one-by-one and tell everyone our name and what we wanted to be when we grew up. I got as far as the “D” in my first name, and the stuttering — and the humiliating laughter — began. I knew I couldn’t talk, they knew I couldn’t talk, and I knew that every time I tried to speak in front of a group I stuttered, stammered and spat. I decided then to be the best at that which they thought I couldn’t do.
I had to conquer the false belief that I could never become a public speaker. I learned that speaking is a skill that can be taught and improved upon. Some people believe great speakers are born. While I do not necessarily disagree with that, in my case I can truly say that it did not come naturally. I had to work my butt off; spending many years in speech therapy in order to overcome what I thought was impossible.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
Did you know that communicating well is the one critical skill that 91 percent of 1,000 employees in a recent Interact/Harris Poll said their leaders lack? Do you know that a leader who communicates poorly limits their leadership potential? Do you know that a leader who can communicate maximizes his or her leadership potential? That’s what I help leaders do. I help you improve your communication skills so that your colleagues and others within your industry will see YOU as the leader they have always wanted to follow and model after.
By working with me, you will learn a proven, 8-step process of influencing your audience so that you can attract more of the clients you want to do business with. You’ll save time with a proven and predictable process to create powerful oral presentations and written documents. You could even walk away with a keynote speech you can use time and time again and get paid handsomely to present it!
By working with me:
• You will reduce your learning curve from multiple years to just 8–12 weeks, so that you can spend your time diving into your career;
• You will be given tools, strategies, and tactics to effectively deliver your presentations so that you can distinguish yourself head and shoulders above other leaders in your industry; and
• You will have a personal growth plan tailored specifically to you, so that you do not end up with a one-size-fits-all training that doesn’t speak to your specific needs.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
Learn to let go of your past failures. Anybody who has ever tried to do anything significant has failed at least once. It’s strange, actually: the only way to make sure you never fail is to make sure you never attempt to do anything. Ever. What a way to live, huh?
The truth is that nobody goes undefeated all of the time. But keep this in mind: failure is something that you do, but it’s NOT who you are. Failure is an event, not a person. The fact that you failed to reach a particular goal never means that you are a failure of a person. You are not a failure; and only the people who “get that” will have what it takes to come back from failure stronger, better and wiser. In fact, I define failure as “not having learned anything from a particular experience.” As far as I’m concerned, I am successful as long as I allow myself to learn from my experiences, regardless of what those experiences may be.
So you failed — okay. Get up, forgive yourself, and move on. Let go of the embarrassment, let go of the disappointment, let go of the self-criticism, and try again. Perhaps you’ll get there next time; maybe you won’t. But here’s the fact of the matter: you will never accomplish much if you let one, two, or even more failures keep you down. Learn from your experiences, grow into being a better person, and get moving; your future is waiting!
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
For me, success is knowing why I’m here on Earth and then doing what I’ve been placed here to do. Now whether you believe your life has some type of Divine purpose or whether you believe your existence is simply a matter of a random cosmological occurrence (and I respect both viewpoints), there is something that you — and only you — can bring to this world that will help to make it a little better than it was when you first arrived.
You see, if you ask most people the question “Who are you”, they will respond by telling you what they do. They may say, “Well, I’m a principal” or “I’m a doctor.” But what you do may not necessarily be who you are. Likewise, if you define success by material acquisitions, there’s always going to be somebody who has more materials than you do. I know a lot of people who have lots of “stuff” but are neither successful nor happy.
Here’s my Individual Purpose Statement: “Derrick Lewis Noble exists to speak truth and possibility into the lives of others, thereby enabling them to change the world for the better.” As long as I’m doing daily that which I was meant to do, I’m successful. And your purpose has to be bigger than you can handle on your own. If it’s too easily attainable, it won’t grow you the way it should. A boy who couldn’t talk now makes a living as a professional talker? THAT’S success!
What’s next for you?
What’s next for me? That’s a very good question. I have always had a healthy sense of dissatisfaction that prevents me from stagnating or plateauing. But next on my agenda is to find the right marketing firm to partner with. I want to get even more worldwide traction with my brand, and expand into new global markets, like Europe, Australia, and Mexico.
I’m also trying to decide between finding the right traditional publisher or self-publishing my newly completed book manuscript, tentatively entitled, “Make Your Life Matter: 5 Keys to Living A Life of Significance.” I also am just starting work on a book geared specifically toward new leaders, tentatively entitled “Leading Through Communication” This book idea has grown out of the desires of many of my clients to become more skillful public speakers and more skillful writers. In particular, those who are relatively new to leadership positions need to hit the ground running. They don’t have time for a 2–3 year learning curve. That book will address everything from delivering presentations to the board of directors, writing e-mails and letters that get results, and even designing and delivering keynote addresses that can get you paid huge fees.
Finally, I’m looking to expand my staff so that we can offer virtual and onsite corporate training throughout the world, on topics from leadership to customer service to communication skills…and even how to successfully get along with those hard-to-get-along-with coworkers and family members! I expect The Derrick Noble Group to grow exponentially!
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more.
The best ways to connect with me are, in order:
My website: www.derricklewisnoble.com
E-mail is always the best way to reach me, initially. After we connect there and outline our next steps, I’ll give you my direct phone number. Also, on my website there is a link to a free gift as well as a space for you to let me know exactly how I may be of service to you. Clients have used that brief questionnaire to contact me for keynote events, initiating a coaching relationship with me, and contacting me for leading corporate training both virtually and in person.
I look forward to hearing from you, connecting with you, working with you, and helping you take your career, your organization, your team or your next event to previously unimagined heights!
My satisfied clients have included The United States Air Force, The United States Navy, The City of Los Angeles, Cymer, The US Forestry Service, The US Department of Energy, Sanford Health, Jafra Cosmetics, First Financial Resources, and many more.
And feel free to take a look at my popular TEDx Talk on YouTube or on the TED website. The title is “Speak For Yourself” and was the first TEDx talk scheduled during the global pandemic. Rather than cancel the event, TED had me deliver my address in an auditorium with just a skeleton crew of socially distanced audio/visual technicians…and the results were amazing!
Reach out, and I’ll talk to you soon!