top of page


The Voice Of Reason

be the reason for the conversation

Truth-I have a fear of speaking on stage. I fumble with the mic, my hands get clammy and the butterflies are like fireworks in my belly.

This is my truth.

Yet, I still speak on stages.

There is an origin story to this fear. Rewind 20 years ago, I was presenting a case in front of a federal judge (yes, I do have a law degree), and blacked out. Yes, that is correct. I blacked out. My raw nerves frayed into a panic and I have no recollection of the event. I did not faint and I did not swoon.

What I did do is create a trauma bond with public speaking. The grip was so tight I refused to speak in public again.


Get my tips on how to create a speaker brand and how to launch your speaking career below⬇️

Fast forward two decades later, I am speaking on stage and am the host of two really great podcasts. And yet every time I turn on the mic, I feel a twinge of anxiety. However, I now reframe perceived anxiety as excitement.

The bridge from panicked speaker to celebrated voice is a jagged road of trial and error. If you fear speaking more than death, this blog is for you. I know this feeling and it is real. The feeling of overwhelm and loss of control leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of aspiring authors, creatives, and business people. While the feeling can be suffocating, it needs to be recognized that this fear of public speaking is a FEAR.

Fear is a liar

Everything you dream of is on the other side of fear. Before I get into the nuts and bolts of building out your brand as a speaker I need to give you a backstory. Clearly, I felt traumatized by speaking on stage. I retired my mic for a decade, built a successful consulting business, and knew that in order to grow my brand I needed to use my voice on various platforms. My four books were born out of a passion to teach others all that I have learned. My two podcasts were vehicles to share my wisdom. As a CEO and wannabe thought leader, I knew that I had to deal with my demons and throw my hat into the speaking ring again.


When you draw people into your ecosystem, your brand will experience exponential growth.

Start Small.

Start speaking wherever you can. Do it for free. Create a message that speaks to your desired audience and then re-create it.

  1. Define your message: Start by clarifying the key message you want to deliver to your audience. Identify the core purpose and value you want to convey through your speeches. This will provide a clear direction for your content development.

  2. Research and understand your audience: Know your target audience and their needs, challenges, and interests. Conduct market research, surveys, and interviews to gather insights. Tailor your speeches to address their specific pain points and provide practical solutions.

  3. Join Toastmasters: Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization that helps individuals improve their public speaking and leadership skills. It offers a supportive environment for practicing speeches, receiving constructive feedback, and developing confidence on stage.

  4. Craft compelling stories: Incorporate storytelling techniques into your speeches to captivate and engage your audience. Craft personal anecdotes or case studies that highlight your expertise and connect with your audience on an emotional level.

  5. Practice, practice, practice: Rehearse your speeches thoroughly to build confidence and improve delivery. Practice in front of a mirror, record yourself or seek opportunities to speak in smaller, low-pressure settings. Refine your content, timing, and body language through repeated practice.

  6. Utilize visual aids: Enhance your presentations with visual aids such as slides, videos, or props. Use them strategically to reinforce key points, provide visual explanations, or evoke emotions. Ensure that your visual aids are simple, visually appealing, and support your overall message.

  7. Engage with your audience: Interact with your audience during your speech to foster engagement. Incorporate questions, polls, or interactive activities to encourage participation and create a dynamic atmosphere. This helps keep the audience interested and reinforces their connection to your message.

  8. Leverage social media and video platforms: Record and share your speeches on platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, or your website. This enables you to reach a wider audience and showcase your expertise. Additionally, use social media to promote your upcoming speaking engagements, share valuable content, and connect with event organizers and potential attendees.

  9. Attend speaking workshops and conferences: Seek out workshops and conferences focused on public speaking, communication, and entrepreneurship. These events offer valuable networking opportunities, exposure to industry experts, and the chance to learn from successful speakers. Apply the knowledge and insights gained to enhance your own speaking skills.

  10. Hire a speaking coach: Consider working with a speaking coach who can provide personalized guidance and constructive feedback, and help you refine your stage presence, delivery, and overall speaking style. They can help you identify areas of improvement and offer strategies to overcome them.

💡Take a deep breath and understand that creating a strong brand is the lynchpin to building out speaking opportunities. It is essential that you have a speaker one sheet and a sizzle reel.

Look into speaking bureaus to accelerate speaking connections. Here is my best advice:

Speaker Bureaus:

  1. SpeakerHub: Offers a platform connecting event organizers with speakers globally. Fees: SpeakerHub charges a commission fee of 10-30% of the speaking fee.

  2. eSpeakers: A comprehensive platform for booking and managing speakers. Fees: eSpeakers charges a commission fee of 10-30% of the speaking fee.

  3. National Speakers Association (NSA): A professional association that provides resources and connections for speakers. NSA has a directory of speakers for event planners. Fees: NSA membership fees range from $405 to $845 per year.

Pros of working with speaker bureaus:

  • Access to a network of event organizers actively seeking speakers.

  • Increased visibility and exposure to a broader audience through the bureau's marketing efforts.

  • Assistance with negotiating speaking fees and contracts, potentially leading to higher earnings.

  • A professional representation that enhances credibility and reputation as a speaker.

  • Streamlined logistics support, including travel arrangements and event coordination.

  • Opportunities for ongoing partnerships and repeat bookings through the bureau's client relationships.

Cons of working with speaker bureaus:

  • Commission fees: Speaker bureaus typically deduct a commission fee from the speaking fees, ranging from 10-30%.

  • Limited control over the booking process and potential restrictions on working with other bureaus or seeking direct bookings.

  • Dependence on the bureau's marketing efforts, which may not perfectly align with your personal brand.

  • Possible competition within the bureau's roster of speakers, reducing individual visibility.

  • Varied quality among speaker bureaus, with some providing better support and opportunities than others.

And as promised, here is my interview with Gary Vaynerchuk. I will admit, I had butterflies, but the butterflies turned into a beautiful experience I will never forget.

You Got This--Jules

About Julie Lokun, JD

Julie is the facilitator of dreams. She elevates voices and brands of impact through her boutique public relations firm. She is the CEO of

The Mediacasters, which celebrates the power of podcasting, publishing, and presenting. She writes for Entrepreneur Magazine and Brainz Magazine. Julie lives outside Chicago with her family and her 2 French Bulldogs, Violet Rose and Axl Rose.

56 views1 comment

Updated: Jul 4

Odds are you have heard the name, Gary Vee. More specifically, Gary Vaynerchuk. Since I started my entrepreneurial journey eons ago, the name Gary Vee was on the periphery of my consciousness. The manner in which he harnesses the power of social media and understands the nuances of the entrepreneurial journey ceases to amaze me. Let's face it-he is crushing it.

With millions funneling into all things Sasha group, Vayner Media, and all of his glorious endeavors- Gary preaches kindness. The king of all things marketing and business leadership uses kindness as an underestimated currency. Simply, he understands that being kind is non-negotiable.

Gary had me at kindness.

Gary goes even further to espouse that kindness is the ultimate strength as warriors in buisness.

In a world of cutthroat wheelers and dealers, I have to wonder are these people truly living their best life. Being rich is one thing, and being fulfilled is another. I often am met with money-hungry clout chasers that want one thing--your soul.

It is refreshing when someone with unimaginable wealth still embraces a humble approach to building quality relationships. My entrepreneurial lens speaks to success being built on quality relationships as opposed to transactional relationships.

Who Is Gary Vee and Why Is He Crushing It?

Gary Vaynerchuk is a highly recognized entrepreneur, author, and internet personality who has become a thought leader for entrepreneurs around the world. Through his various business ventures and motivational content, Vaynerchuk has established himself as a leading voice in the business world. In this blog, we will explore the top reasons why Gary Vaynerchuk is a thought leader for entrepreneurs.

He is obsessed with collecting baseball cards and experiences. This makes his real. This makes his vast empire seem tangible.

So here we go--Gary Vee is CRUSHING IT BECAUSE OF HIS:

  • Vast Experience in Business

Gary Vaynerchuk is a successful entrepreneur who has built multiple successful businesses. He started as a young boy selling baseball cards and eventually built a wine business that grew into a $60 million dollar company. His experience in business has given him the knowledge and insights to help other entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of building a successful business.

  • Understanding of Social Media

Vaynerchuk has a deep understanding of the power of social media and its impact on business. He was an early adopter of social media, and he has used it to build his personal brand and businesses. His expertise in social media has helped him to grow his audience and reach millions of people worldwide.

  • Relatable Personality

Gary Vaynerchuk has a relatable personality that makes him accessible to entrepreneurs from all backgrounds. He is known for his no-nonsense approach and his ability to connect with people on a personal level. His authenticity and transparency have earned him the trust and respect of his followers.

  • Motivational Content

Vaynerchuk is a motivational speaker who inspires and encourages entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams. His motivational content is designed to help entrepreneurs overcome their fears and doubts and take action toward achieving their goals. His message of hard work, hustle, and perseverance resonates with entrepreneurs around the world.

  • Focus on Innovation

Gary Vaynerchuk is a forward-thinking entrepreneur who is always looking for new opportunities and ways to innovate. He encourages entrepreneurs to embrace change and stay ahead of the curve. His focus on innovation has helped him to stay relevant in a rapidly changing business landscape.

  • Emphasis on Customer Experience

Vaynerchuk understands the importance of the customer experience and has made it a cornerstone of his businesses. He emphasizes the importance of building a strong relationship with customers and creating a positive experience that will keep them coming back. His customer-centric approach has helped him to build a loyal following and a successful business.

  • Willingness to Share Knowledge

Gary Vaynerchuk is known for his willingness to share his knowledge and insights with other entrepreneurs. He regularly publishes books, blog posts, and videos that provide valuable information and advice for entrepreneurs. His willingness to share his knowledge has helped him to build a loyal following and establish himself as a thought leader in the business world.

While I continue to build my empire, I remind myself daily it is to be built on a solid foundation of credible collaborations and authentic relationships. I am continually assaulted with fierce pitches that are focused on monetization (OHHHH and I get monetization- believe me, we can not sustain a business on looks alone).

However, money is not enough-our legacy is what we need to strive for.

Why Is Gary Vee a thought leader for entrepreneurs like you and I?


  1. Authenticity and Relatability: Gary Vaynerchuk is known for his authenticity and relatable personality. He shares his personal experiences and struggles in business, making him more approachable and relatable to his audience. Many people are drawn to his authentic style, and it can be inspiring and motivating to see someone who has achieved success through hard work and determination.

  2. Focus on Hustle: Gary Vaynerchuk's message of hard work, hustle, and perseverance resonates with many people. He encourages entrepreneurs to push themselves and take action toward achieving their goals. For people who are driven and ambitious, his message can be very inspiring and motivating.

  3. Emphasis on Customer Experience: Gary Vaynerchuk understands the importance of building a strong relationship with customers and creating a positive experience that will keep them coming back. His customer-centric approach has helped him to build a loyal following and a successful business. For people who value customer satisfaction and loyalty, his approach can be very appealing.

  4. Innovative Thinking: Gary Vaynerchuk is known for his innovative thinking and willingness to embrace change. He encourages entrepreneurs to stay ahead of the curve and take advantage of new opportunities. For people who are interested in exploring new ideas and approaches, his innovative thinking can be very attractive.

  5. Strong Personal Brand: Gary Vaynerchuk has built a strong personal brand through his social media presence, speaking engagements, and content creation. His personal brand is aligned with his values and his message, which can be inspiring to people who are looking to build their own personal brand.

Let's face it. I want to be Gary Vee when I grow up. I want to be a media maverick. And without pioneers like Gary, we simply flounder in the wind. Find your tribe. Find those people you connect with--who lift you higher.

p.s.--stay tuned. I have the honor of meeting and interviewing Gary Vee next month.

NERVOUS?!!! Tell me your thoughts and reflections on Gary Vaynerchuck!

--you got this--JULES⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️


If you are obsessed with Gary Vee like I am--make sure you are using your voice, being kind, and understanding the value of kindness. Use this on a massive scale as I do on the Breakout Audio App. Breakout Audio is an innovative way to boost your creativity, network like a rockstar, find viable collaborations, and a platform to speak your truth. Breakout is a social audio app that is changing the world--JUST LIKE GARY!⬇️



The Audio Social Networking Platform

Breakout is the premier Audio Social Network (ASN) for users to create rooms and drop in on audio conversations.

Link up with influencers, and industry leaders, and meet people globally to share your interests, stories, and opportunities.

Start sharing your thoughts 👇

67 views1 comment

My original article was written for Entrepreneur Magazine and this has been modified for my blog. I have added strategic steps to start unearthing your story to connect with your audience and grow your business.

Stories have been the stuff that binds the human race together for centuries. As entrepreneurs and business leaders, it is essential to understand how to convey your experiences in a powerful way to make a significant impact on your bottom line. Your business is your story, and without the underpinnings of a quality narrative, your service and product are just a service or product in the sea of a million others.

Audiences are no longer looking for flashy jingles and product-driven campaigns; they want to connect with brands on a visceral level. This is where storytelling comes in. Sharing your personal experiences, struggles, and successes can build trust and empathy with your audience, leading to stronger relationships and customer loyalty.


  • Forge a powerful emotional connection with your customers by crafting compelling stories that resonate with their deepest desires and aspirations.

  • Differentiate your business from competitors by sharing authentic, relatable, and memorable stories that capture the essence of your brand and establish your thought leadership in the industry.

  • Understand your audience's needs and preferences to create stories that engage and motivate them to take action.

  • Unleash the full potential of storytelling to build stronger relationships with your customers, foster trust and loyalty, and ultimately drive revenue growth.

Prince Harry's book, "SPARE," is a powerful example of how storytelling can be used to connect with a broader audience and convey a powerful message. By sharing his personal experiences in a relatable and nuanced way, he has built trust and empathy with his readers while also challenging negative narratives and taking ownership of his narrative.

To effectively use storytelling in your business, it is essential to understand your story, articulate it to your desired audience, and do so with integrity. Start by taking inventory of who you are and why you do what you do best.

Dive deep into your potential customer's pain points and solve their deepest problems.


Define Your Story The first step in understanding your story is to define it.

Consider the following questions:

  • What inspired you to start your business?

  • What are your core values and beliefs?

  • What challenges have you faced along the way, and how have you overcome them?

  • What successes have you achieved, and what impact have they had on your business and your customers?

Once you have perfected your strategy, start sharing your story. It can be as simple as making a phone call, writing a blog, or speaking your truth on national television. By providing valuable information and advice, entrepreneurs can build credibility and attract a following of loyal customers.

Storytelling is changing the landscape of business. It builds a connection with the audience, communicates a message, makes the brand memorable, differentiates from the competition, and establishes thought leadership. As an entrepreneur or business leader, understanding and effectively using storytelling can help you stand out in a crowded market and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.


Why listen to me? Do your due diligence. GOOGLE ME: Julie Lokun.

Go ahead--see what you find. I advocate for creatives, authors, and entrepreneurs worldwide. In the meantime:

Julie Lokun, JD. a legal eagle and facilitator of dreams, is changing the trajectory of underserved entrepreneurs who are using their voice to make an impact. As a mom of four (4) boys, Julie has learned to leverage her power to lead a bustling household while also serving as the head maven of Crown & Compass Life Coaching. She adeptly "anoints and points" -- directing the strategic growth of businesses and professionals around the globe. Julie has delivered presentations on the big stage, and in virtual events. With a background in law, she teases through complex information and gets to the root of issues, telling deep, compelling stories that resonate with audiences far and wide. She is a celebrated best-selling author of the entrepreneurial series, Hustle Smart, the owner of The Mediacasters Publishing House with several bestselling titles, and a 5-star business coach. In the spring of 2021, Julie launched a swiftly growing podcast, Obsessed with Humans On The Verge of Change which is already in the top 1% of all podcasts globally.*

61 views1 comment
bottom of page