#73 Show Up & Share What You Know

Today's Guest: Judy Baker

Today, I interview Judy Baker, whose parents were both very introverted, and Judy was the youngest child. She didn’t really understand that people could be bubbly and friendly, and she was afraid of strangers and meeting new people. She was shy and spoke with such a tiny voice that many people at school couldn’t hear her.

Her parents didn’t really have many friends or much of a social life, so Judy never got to witness people having friendly, open dialogue with one another. In fact, because this was never modeled for her, she says she didn’t quite learn how to converse with people until she was in her 30s. But during her childhood, it was a struggle.

In school, she loved drama class because she says she found it easy to pretend to be someone else, even though she was too shy to be herself. In speech class, her knees shook as she held the lectern in terror. Her speech teacher taught her to use her body to occupy space, with a big, open stance. Magically, she says her knees unlocked and her voice was amplified to the back of the room. Judy’s most noted speaking tool is to visualize the person sitting at the back of the room. She had learned exercises to loosen facial muscles and tongues, and how to enunciate, but the focus in applying these techniques was to ensure that she was able to use every piece of her toolkit to emotionally connect with the person at the back of the room. This allowed her to be fully aware of her own space, but to also step into a new and more confident persona. Her focus is on showing genuine interest and making real connections with people.
She always strives to be a good listener, taking the time to thoughtfully craft her response and interact with care.

Today, her passion is to help authors to get their message to a larger audience. She helps them share their stories by helping them break through marketing roadblocks and other barriers. She is a true friend who uses her voice to lift others up and amplify their voices, too.


Book Marketing Mentor Judy M. Baker helps business authors turn content into cash without going broke or crazy. Authors benefit from Judy’s resilience, a gift discovered during her cancer journey. Thinking beyond the book since 2011, her workshops and one-to-one mentoring have inspired hundreds of authors to build awareness about themselves, their books, and their businesses.

Watch the episode:

Connect with Judy Baker

Transcript of Interview

Transcript of Interview


Find Your Voice, Change Your Life Podcast


Podcast Host: Dr. Doreen Downing


Free Guide to Fearless Speaking: Doreen7steps.com


Episode #73 Judy Baker



“Show Up & Share What You Know”




(0:35) Dr. Doreen Downing

Hi, this is Dr. Doreen Downing and I’m host of the Find Your Voice, Change Your Life podcast. I love interviewing people. I love having conversations, especially with people that I’ve been friends with for a couple of years. Today, I’m going to introduce you to my friend, Judy Baker. Hi, Judy.


(1:00) Judy Baker

Hi, Doreen.


(1:02) Dr. Doreen Downing

Yes, well, we’ve been following each other. We’ve been in part of network groups together, so I know a lot about Judy. And I have even reached out to her several times as I was what you call it, I guess writing and producing, and now marketing my own book, The 7 Secrets to Essential Speaking. Let me just tell you a little bit about Judy, so you’ll know some of what she offers out to the world. Book marketing mentor, Judy M. Baker helps business authors turn content into cash without going broke or crazy. Sounds good. Authors benefit from Judy’s resilience, a gift discovered during her cancer journey. Thinking beyond the book since 2011, her workshops and one-to-one mentoring have inspired hundreds of authors to build awareness about themselves, their books, and their businesses. I just want to say, yay, yes, that’s so true. That’s so true. Judy, we’re going to just launch into focusing on you today. Our conversation is about you and having a voice. Obviously, you’re out there using it to gather more people around your book marketing business. But you didn’t start that way We don’t all start coming out and popping out saying, hello, world. Actually, we do pop out saying hello to the world, but is the world actually happy to see us and welcoming? Start with your early life, please.


(3:04) Judy Baker

Well, it’s funny that you asked that question about how I found my voice and a little bit about my childhood. Both of my parents were fairly introverted. I grew up being the youngest child, and I was very fearful of strangers. And it was, oh, boy, it just really put me in a box where I was not seeing that people could be kind and friendly initially. As a result of that, I had such a tiny voice. People couldn’t even hear me speak when I was in school. I was so quiet. Which seems funny when I think about it today, but it was my way of protecting myself. And because my parents didn’t have a lot of friends, I didn’t ever see the model of just chatting and being friendly and doing stuff. My mom had a best friend, and I was happy to see that, but my dad didn’t really bring people over to the house. I think that’s something that is a gift other people I’ve met have learned when they’re small, and it’s easier for them to get into conversations. I had to really learn how to do it and I was in my mid 30s when that happened.


(4:56) Dr. Doreen Downing

Well, first, Judy, I’ve never really on the show as many interviews as I have had, heard this kind of slant on coming into a family where there’s a lot of boxed up people in a way that they aren’t modelling. That’s what you’re saying they aren’t modelling social interaction, how to listen, and how to engage in such a way that feels like it’s a conversation. So, communication, I never really thought about looking at your parents and how they communicate with the world around them is a modelling experience for those of us as children.


(5:42) Judy Baker

Well, it was very true. My mother was in sales. She worked in a department store. It’s funny because she had been offered a management position, and she turned it down because she was a mom to four daughters. She didn’t feel she could do both. Even though when she was single, that’s exactly what she wanted to do. She had been involved with sales and management back in Minnesota, but in San Diego, she took an hourly job. However, people followed her. She had fans because she took care of her customers. I did learn that from her, that ability to find out what do you need, and how to give people what they needed, guiding them along the way. Even when I was in college, and I worked in a department store myself. It was the same thing. People followed me. My customers keep coming back because I took good care of them. So that was an asset.


(6:58) Dr. Doreen Downing

I remember being a worker at a department store. It was called the Emporium.


(7:05) Judy Baker

I worked for the Broadway, so, yes.


(7:10) Dr. Doreen Downing

Yes, so we were getting our start up in the world, actually, in somebody else’s business, but it’s a good training ground to get out, and meet people, and learn how to focus on them, and to serve them. That’s a good sense of what you learned from your mom, because I’m sure that’s what you bring to your book mentoring. So, in school, being a shy person, any kind of memories that pop out any kind of moments that you have?


(7:48) Judy Baker

Well, it’s so funny. When I think about this, I was always in my head. I would do little backstage plays and things. I was involved in theater from very early on because it was easy for me to be somebody else, but it wasn’t easy for me to be me. The picture that came up when you said memory, I was in a speech class, I think I was in eighth grade. I can remember holding on to the lectern for dear life because my knees really were shaking. Nobody else could see that but I did know that. I thought if I gripped the lectern, I wouldn’t fall down. But I still couldn’t be heard because my voice was itty-bitty. I had started taking classes in acting and my acting teacher was the one that shifted my ability to project my voice. Mrs. Archer, Ann Archer, she’s a beautiful woman, she stood on stage, and she said, when you’re on stage, you want to take up as much real estate as you can. Stand there, put your arms out, get your feet secure on the ground, and own the space. What that did is it unlocked my knees because we know if our knees are gripping tight, our diaphragm is also restricted. That let me breathe into my body. My voice came out and I was astounded. You could hear me in the back of the auditorium and never before was that possible for me. I just went wow. Ever since then, when I stand in front of a group, I make sure I have even footing, I’ve got on shoes that are comfortable and appropriate, that I’m standing there, and people want to hear what I have to say. So, I don’t need to be worried that my knees are shaking anymore.


(10:17) Dr. Doreen Downing

What an image, with your hands clenched and your knees shaking. Obviously now, you refer to your belly as being really like a rock inside. Yes, voice can’t come from there more fully and freely. Wow. Before we go on to more of your learnings that sounds like you’re going to be able to share today, you mentioned sisters, and I was wondering how that was relative to you having a voice, finding your voice, being somebody who had a voice, or not?


(10:54) Judy Baker

Well, they were all older than I am, obviously, since I was the youngest, and there was a gap. The two oldest sisters have a year between them. One’s nine years older, one’s eight years older, and then next in line, she is five years older than I am. They were kind of a cohort, and here was this a little pipsqueak. They were nice to me, but I felt excluded in a lot of things because I just wasn’t ready for what they were doing. My oldest sister is even quieter than I am. She still is. The other two are very helpful people, but they’re not super extroverted. So, it’s interesting that kind of pattern proliferated. We were all good in school and that was important. But in terms of speaking up, I probably would speak up if something didn’t feel right to me, but I wasn’t somebody who just had natural conversations. I like talking to adults. I didn’t like talking to my peers when I was a kid.


(12:15) Dr. Doreen Downing

Well, you had almost adult sisters. In a way, you had lots of experience. But also, what you said about the siblings is that developmentally, you didn’t have the kind of capacity that we do when we get a little bit older. That’s a lot of years, eight years, especially when you’re 2, 3, 4, or 5. Then five, yes, they’re middle school and going off almost to high school. Just makes me wonder, this is kind of off the cuff. They went off to college and then you were left at home, must have been something like that.


(13:01) Judy Baker

This is what was funny. We were all in college at the same time. I skipped two grades. My second oldest sister skipped a grade. It just turned out we were all in college at the same time. But they had all left home by the time I was in high school. Then here we all happen— different places in college, but we were all in school at the same time. It was it was pretty interesting at my house.


(13:35) Dr. Doreen Downing

Well, in terms of you being the only one, I guess I was just thinking what it’s like when older siblings go off to college, and then you’re the only one left in the house with the two parents. I was just wondering if that had any impact.


(13:53) Judy Baker

It did. Well, my sisters were very jealous that I got to be an only child, for all intents and purposes, from the time I was 13 till the time I left San Diego when I was 21. The relationship-building between myself and my parents was different than what my sisters experienced because of scarce resources, and then here I get all of the attention. In some ways, it made me feel like I was super special. In other ways, it was still very isolating because I wanted the relationships with my sisters. That didn’t happen until we were grownups.


(14:46) Dr. Doreen Downing

Well, that makes total sense. Both feelings, the joy of being the center of attention, and getting all of that, but also the missing of the relationships. Okay, well, I was kind of curious, because I know that that’s an issue sometimes for people when older siblings go off, and I was curious about how that impacted you. Well, you mentioned since we’re still in high school, you mentioned acting, and that this teacher had instructed you to do this technique where the voice just arose and rang through the whole room. And were there other instructions about how to do that voice projection?


(15:40) Judy Baker

Well, at first, I still was struggling with volume. She said, you need to breathe, you need to relax. Then picture the person in that back seat. Like right now, I’m picturing that. Picture the person in the back seat. Today, it’s so much easier, because I wear headsets and the whole rigamarole, but we didn’t have that stuff.


(16:15) Dr. Doreen Downing

No, and we’re talking about finding your voice.


(16:20) Judy Baker

Exactly. I pictured someone at the back of the room. This was not a tiny auditorium. I went to a fairly large high school. It was a very large space to me. I pictured that person back there. I wanted to make sure they could see me, hear me, and being clear on my enunciation. So, she also had us do exercises to loosen our facial muscles, our tongues, and learning how to not only increase volume, but that emotional connection made a difference, the enunciation made a difference. Embodying that character was very freeing in my experience because now, I didn’t have to be me, I could be this other character. When I started teaching, and working with clients, I said I can put on that character, that persona of the helpful, smarter expert, who pays attention and is delivering. Knowing all of those things, and getting better about understanding where my body was in space, those were lessons that I took to heart, kept practicing. That’s part of it too. You have to practice to get comfortable with something. I think those were the key elements that I learned from Mrs. Archer.


(18:19) Dr. Doreen Downing

Mrs. Archer. I wonder if she’s listening today.


(18:23) Judy Baker

Well, I wonder too. I hope she’s still around. I’m not quite sure.


(18:27) Dr. Doreen Downing

Yes. Well, the other thing that I’m wondering about in terms of you being an expert, but you’re talking about being in a play or acting, and that’s not the real you. The real you sounds like it got held back while the other you, the actor or the actress, the person who was on stage in a play, acting out a part that you were able to have that voice, so the difference between putting on the performance and being really connected to you.


(19:13) Judy Baker

Well, Doreen, you bring up a good point. For a long time, I was so uncomfortable, being myself in front of a room. Even not necessarily public speaking. We all know the Seinfeld joke about you’d rather be in the coffin than delivering the eulogy. I found that as I got better at being comfortable on stage, in a part, I also got better behind the podium. This is what’s coming up right now. When I was an adult, that whole model of standing behind a lectern, we all know that sucks. It just really does. It puts a barrier between us and our audience. My turning point for that was Suzanne RoAne, who is the author of How to Work a Room. She never stands behind a podium. She never stands behind a lectern. I never stand behind one anymore either, unless there’s some very compelling reason I’ve got to stand there, because there’s something I’ve got to grab. But being closer to the audience, being on the same level, talking to people before an event starts, whether it’s in real life or on Zoom, makes a huge difference. Finding out who the audience is, who they are, and flipping the switch, being more interested in you than I am in me, gives me the ability to not only serve you but for me to speak to where you are. That’s, to me, finding your voice. It’s really listening first and then responding, not being unprepared, but not trying to think ahead.


(21:26) Dr. Doreen Downing

Yes. Very nice. I’m remembering what you said about your mom, and you as a sales clerk, and how you learn to pay attention. What I got right there was relationship, the power of relationship, and how we create those positive relationship, and those who want to do business with us, is the way you listen. Isn’t that what you’re talking about today?


(21:55) Judy Baker

Yes, it’s being heard. Working with authors, they really want to have their voice out there, and yet, they are often terrified about showing up that way. But in truth, not sharing what you know is a disservice. It’s burying the help that you can provide. If you listen first to what people’s needs are, and then offer them help and guidance, it can shift how you approach showing up as an author. It can be a lot more fun. I’m all about having fun. If it’s always painful, stop doing it. You want to find the way that it’s comfortable to connect and always a little bit out of that comfort zone, so a little push. I’m sure when you first started doing your podcast, that wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the whole world, because there was a whole lot of learning going on. But like you, I’m very curious, and so, I keep wanting to know more and try stuff out. I’ll try things and if they don’t quite mesh after I’ve given it a good go few a few times, then I’m going well, is this really the right fit? Maybe there’s a better way for me to put my time and energy into serving people.


(23:39) Dr. Doreen Downing

I love this thing that you’re bringing forth today in terms of being a voice, is that it’s not all about us, it’s not all about you. It really is about how you and especially as a book mentor, is how you bring out the voice in your clients. One of the things I’m thinking about right now is how do you—Give us an example of somebody you’ve worked with and how you help them find their voice as an author.


(24:18) Judy Baker

The person who’s coming to mind right now is Deborah Meyers of Deborah Meyers Wellness. I’ve known Deborah for a very long time. I think I met her almost when she was first starting out in her business and she’s an acupressurist. I think it was about 2012. Yes, 2012. She was really focused on how she could help kids, and teachers, and families all take on learning easy self-help acupressure. She had this really big manual that she uses in her six-month programs. I said before we re-design that, what could you pull out that would be helpful with the focus of the direction she was going with the kids. She created a series of guides, and an animated video that demonstrated the nine steps of the daily clean your house flow, which is something that keeps you in balance. As we were doing that, Deborah is an encyclopedia when it comes to energy. I said that not everybody else is an encyclopedia, nor can they absorb all of that at once. So, let’s just take a small slice. With that, it helped her niche down. She’s got a guidebook for grownups. She has one for kids and families, and one for students and teachers. The messaging is slightly different in each one of those. But it is bite size nuggets. And it also was a proof of concept. Do people want to learn this and how are they going to approach it? It helped Deborah, get out of her own way, because she likes to just firehose you, and she could. She could talk nonstop for years, and you still wouldn’t know everything she knows. But remember, we have to approach people where they are, and get them involved, and then you can deliver more. That was an exercise that has continued to support her, that really shifted her ability to speak about what she does, and be more concise and precise.


(27:02) Dr. Doreen Downing

Concise and precise. I so appreciate you illustrating for our listeners actually, and perhaps your clients in the future who are listening about how you work with somebody, and help them bring out the best of what they have to offer. So, Judy, how do people find you?


(27:26) Judy Baker

The easiest thing to do is to come to my website, which is bookmarketingmentor.com. There’re some goodies there for you. There’re resources. You can find out how to talk to me. Tips on marketing. If you’re an author with a nonfiction book and you want to have a chat, not a sales call, but a chat about what’s keeping you stuck, you could sign up for a book, Buzz Audit. If you can’t remember book marketing mentor, remember bookbuzzaudit.com, and it’ll take you right to the calendar. You can book a 30-minute call with me.


(28:11) Dr. Doreen Downing

Plus, we’ll have links in the show notes so people can, if they’re listening, they know where to go. I always like to give a final stage to you to see what wants to be said to close our time today.


(28:31) Judy Baker

I would like you all to remember, marketing is a conversation. You don’t have to be anybody but you and when you are authentically yourself and show who you are and show up. That is what makes a difference.


(28:54) Dr. Doreen Downing

Lovely, and it takes people like you who will listen it out of authors. Thank you. Thank you, Judy.


(29:01) Judy Baker

Thank you.


Also listen on…

7 STEP GUIDE TO FEARLESS SPEAKINGPodcast host, Dr. Doreen Downing, helps people find their voice so they can overcome anxiety, be confident, and speak without fear.

Get started now on your journey to your authentic voice by downloading my Free 7 Step Guide to Fearless Speakingdoreen7steps.com.

7 STEP GUIDE TO FEARLESS SPEAKINGPodcast host, Dr. Doreen Downing, helps people find their voice so they can overcome anxiety, be confident, and speak without fear.

Get started now on your journey to your authentic voice by downloading my Free 7 Step Guide to Fearless Speakingdoreen7steps.com.