Write Like The Creator of James Bond: 5 Pieces of Advice I Gave My Client

Photographer: Christian Fiore Photography

Read time: 6 minutes

Sometimes, I get a client who is struggling.

We were working on her branded talk, and my coaching wasn’t landing. 

It’s at these moments that I lean on other greats to help me.

I did something a little sensational.

I asked her to follow the rules of the guy who created James Bond. Ian Fleming, a year before he died, wrote an essay called  “How to Write a Thriller.” 

Fleming quipped that other authors wrote “for the head and the heart.” He unabashedly targeted the area “between the heart and the loins” to create thrilling pieces of writing.

We can’t argue with his commercial success.

Here are the 5 pieces of advice from the creator of James Bond I used to coach her through her talk.

 

Step 1. Have 1 central hero with 1 problem 

 

Clients love to speak in generalities. “We” or “they”

I asked her to pick one ‘hero’s journey’ to focus her talk.

Profile one person at the client. 

One challenge this person faced. 

Take us through to resolution.

The audience needs to see themselves in the story. That’s harder to do when referencing “we” or “they.”

Easier to do, when it’s “Margaret, whose first language wasn’t English.”

Fleming was a big advocate for “keep it simple stupid.”  otherwise, the audience isn’t rapt with attention.

“There must be no complications in names, relationships, journeys or geographical settings to confuse or irritate the reader. He must never ask himself “Where am I? Who is this person? What the hell are they all doing?”  

Step 2 Stimulate ALL the senses

Women also want to share ALL the details. The ENTIRE story.

Instead, pick one micro-moment and blow it out with a detail. Describe how the moment impacted ALL the senses. What did Margaret:

  • hear?

  • smell?

  • taste?

  • touch?

  • do?

A bit of science here:

When an audience member is stimulated by all senses, ‘mirror neurons’ start to fire. Because of this, the brain is “filling in” details and stoking the imagination.

A client once told me, “I don’t remember all the details.” Imagination is powerful. Don’t ever waste an opportunity to leverage it.

As Fleming wrote in his essay about creating page turners: “In this department, my contribution to the art of thriller-writing has been to attempt the total stimulation of the reader all the way through, even to his taste buds.”

He didn’t.

Step 3 Always be accessible

My client was explaining a complex technology concept.

I reminded her to always be accessible. When jurors hear a word they don’t understand, they don’t hear the next 10 words.

Why would you create an opportunity for this?

This is where metaphors and analogies are key.

The human brain is always seeking to put things in familiar boxes. 

An analogy to something already familiar is an easy way to do that.

Instead of saying “The Internet of Things,” share how seamlessly the Apple Iphone allows the user to toggle from phone to desktop to iPad seamlessly, without skipping a beat.

Because all the devices are connected.

“Fleming writes “My plots are fantastic….They go wildly beyond the probable…..but the constant use of familiar household names and objects reassure him that he and the writer have still got their feet on the ground.”

Step 4 Use real life stories as inspiration for your talks. Your brand lies in your personal story.

My client forgot to insert HERSELF into the talk.

  • Why is she there to tell us this story?

  • Why is she qualified to tell it?

Her superpower was tapping (and monetizing) audiences companies haven’t tapped yet. She was the mother of interracial children.   Being inclusive was her lifetime commitment and job.

I encouraged her to share this fact, thereby inserting herself into the talk.

Fleming was unashamed to say, most of his writing was inspired by his own time, serving in war time Britain.

“What I described in Casino Royale was a greatly watered-down version of a French-Moroccan torture known as passer á la mandoline, which was practiced on several of our agents during the war.”

Step 5 Have a regular writing practice.

Once we finished her branded talk, the work wasn’t done.

Now she needed to start posting online in order to garner traction and connect with people who could potentially hire her to give the talk.

She needed to establish a daily writing practice. Create alot of noise in order to double down on what her audience wanted.

She enrolled in my Mastermind where I am teaching how to create a steady drumbeat of thought leadership to build a personal brand.

Fleming was disciplined about his writing routine: 

“—and I mean strictly. I write for about three hours in the morning—from about 9:30 till 12:30…..I write 2,000 words a day.”

3 Ways to work with me in 2024

This morning, I got a text from a client who wants to refer me. What are ways to work with me in 2024? she asked

Whether you’re looking to…

  • Build a book of clients through a steady drumbeat of thought leadership

  • Become a better public speaker

  • Hit six figures, finally

  • Transform personally in 2024 and have support doing it

… I can help

I currently have three coaching containers available:

 

1. 1:1 Private Coaching

This applies to public speaking or creating your thought leadership.

Tell me where you are with your personal brand here.

 

2. My 2024 Mastermind

This kicks off January 20th. I only enroll for this container once a year. My Mastermind is the container in which I’m most involved: no support coaches, no splitting the group up… just you, me and your new independent advisory board of other women leaders.

Oh, and you know I lead with an element of adventure. Did I tell you about the deep writing and reflection retreat in June in Nice, France?

If you want to:

  1. Grow your Monthly Recurring Revenue

  2. Give a TEDxtalk on a NYC stage

  3. Make it easier for people to work with you

  4. Be coached on changing your mindset

  5. Step into an expensive community unlike ever before

  6. This is a 12-month group program. There is 1 group coaching call per month, 2 hours. There’s a private Slack channel where we are Monday- Friday. You get daily journal prompts for self discovery. The mindset work is based on my own journey that transformed my business. We just don’t want you to have to look anywhere else while you’re in the program.

apply here. It’s a $2600/month investment.

The women who entered in January of 2023 are NOT the same women who got off the stage from their talks in November 2023. Are you ready for it?

 

3. VIP Days

Some of my C-level women can’t give me 12 months.

But they can give me 3 days. My VIP Days, both domestic and international, are now open for enrollment.

Come to Lisbon with me in February. I nestle in the strategy sessions into a cultural immersive, complete with experiences, dinners, and SPA visit.

If you’re going into 2024 desperately wanting your business to pop off and things to CHANGE, but truthfully, don’t have much of a strategy behind it other than regularly posting on Instagram, blogging, and selling… you’ll want to do whatever it takes it get into one of this program.

In it, you’ll learn:

  • to document your legacy

  • The strategies that can transform your struggling business into an actual stream of income

  • How to give a paid talk that gets clients

Learn all about my VIP Days here.

  • Lisbon February 2024

  • Las Vegas April 2024

  • Nice, France June, July 2024

  • Paris, December 2024

A quote I can’t stop thinking about since I read it.

From Jim Coudal said about goals:

“The reason that most of us are unhappy most of the time is that we set our goals not for the person we’re going to be when we reach them, but we set our goals for the person we are when we set them.”

PS Happy New Year! May 2024 be your best yet. 🙂

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