Episode 25: From Shy Architecture Student to Kick-Ass Keynote Speaker – Lessons from Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com

Communication is the key to everything, from your relationships to your business to your professional life.

pat flynn design draw speakThis week I am SUPER excited to be chatting with one of my favourite bloggers and podcasters, the super fun and generous Pat Flynn.

Pat shows people how to make an income passively online at SmartPassiveIncome.com.

Becoming a very successful online business person meant that he quickly had to learn all about public speaking and delivering a great presentations, which he now does at many events and conferences. (And he is awesome, by the way!)

Pat also studied architecture at UC Berkley and worked in the industry for several years before moving into online business, so I was keen to learn all about his design presentation experiences at school, and what advice he would now give to his student self!

Thanks also to Abraham Melendez (@StudioUnchained) for sharing his Story from Studio with us! Abraham has also started a blog and resource to guide architecture students through design school at StudioUnchained.com. Check it out! (Wanna share YOUR public speaking story? Click here!)

In this episode you will discover:

  • What Pat thought of the rap video I made him!
  • Pat’s experiences with design presentations in architecture school
  • The advice he would give his student self now
  • The story of Pat’s first speaking experience – and the negative stories he told himself
  • Why writing down your whole speech and memorizing it is a waste of time!
  • Your audience WANTS you to do well. No one wants you to suck! So what are you afraid of?
  • Pat’s recommended reading for people who want to improve their speaking and communication: Dale Carnegie’s books Stand and Deliver and How to Win Friends and Influence People. Carnegie’s premise? “No one is born a natural speaker. you can learn to become a better speaker.”
  • What Pat did to overcome his fear of public speaking
  • The number one skill (apart from design skills) that you as a design student can start working on RIGHT NOW that’s going to make a BIG IMPACT in your professional career
  • Why you should get to get to know as many people as you can (hint: people get jobs by who they know, not through resumes)
  • Don’t waste time being shy – you’re losing out on opportunities to meet new people!
  • How learning to be a better communicator helped Pat connect with his kids
  • That Pat is also a kick-ass beatboxer…aww yea!!

Get in touch with Pat:

Website: http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/
Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PatFlynn
Give him some Facebook love: https://www.facebook.com/smartpassiveincome

Challenge of the Week:

Just as I got creative with my video invite to Pat, I challenge you to get creative with YOUR communication.

This week, communicate ONE MESSAGE to someone through a form of media other than email or text or tweet. It doesn’t have to be super complex! Here are some ideas:

  • A simple handwritten note
  • A series of post it notes stuck around the house
  • Write a message on the kitchen counter using…food
  • Good at drawing? Annotate a sketch!
  • Wrap your note around an object and mail it
  • …and so on. The possibilities are endless!

You never know how far a little surprise can go. So I encourage you all to try it!

Need some more inspiration? Here’s the video I made inviting Pat to be a guest on my show:


  1. Awesome show and great approach to getting in touch with pat. Keep it up.

What are your thoughts?