CNLP 394: Hannah Brencher on the Future of Digital and Physical Church with Millennials, Being an Online Influencer and Giving A TED Talk at Age 24

Hannah Brencher’s first public speaking event was a TED Talk in NYC when she was 24.

Fast forward a few years, and Hannah reflects on what she’s learned as a communicator, Millennials and their addiction to platform, and the future of what her generation wants in digital and physical interaction.

Welcome to Episode 394 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about how to deliver a talk without using notes.

Guest Links

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Episode Links


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Fighting Forward by Hannah Brencher

TED@New York | Hannah Brencher: Love letters to strangers

Meditative Story Podcast

The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

A 5 Step Method for Delivering a Talk Without Using Notes by Carey Nieuwhof

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


1. When starting a talk, try leading with a story, not an introduction

There are hundreds of ways to start a talk when public speaking. Most of them start with you giving a brief bio and telling people why you’re a credible voice to be heard.

When speaking at TED, Hannah was given feedback that rather than starting with an introduction, she should jump straight into a story. This worked really well because people understand and crave good stories.

2. Your digital presence should enable your in-person dreams, not the other way around

So many people build their entire lives around getting attention and being the person everyone wants to be online. Hannah has learned that no amount of online followers is enough to leave you fulfilled. She recommends that you prioritize living an analog life you love, and if there’s a way for you to serve people online out of that, then do it.

3. In a culture obsessed with perfection, focus on consistency

Everyone is obsessed with perfection. They want the perfect online presence, the perfect job and the perfect life, but anything near perfect doesn’t come easily. Hannah encourages the next generation (of which she’s a part) to focus on consistency rather than perfection. Because showing up consistently is the fastest way to gain near-perfect results.

Quotes from Episode 394

If you can communicate something powerful to just one person that might change their whole entire life, that's enough. @hannahbrencher Click To Tweet Commit yourself to actually being the real deal. Walk your walk before you ever talk about it. @hannahbrencher Click To Tweet Every single person that follows you is a human being who has insecurities, worries, fears, doubts, and we treat them like they're a number at the end of the day. And we wonder why we feel so lonely and isolated and depressed. @hannahbrencher Click To Tweet It's not about letters. It's not about stationery or stamps. It's about presence. It's about real connection. @hannahbrencher Click To Tweet You are the one that knows your stories the best, and people relate to stories. @hannahbrencher Click To Tweet Share your story and make it your own. @hannahbrencher Click To Tweet I've never gone wrong, as long as I was sharing a story from my heart. @hannahbrencher Click To Tweet With public speaking, you really can't read the audience when you're reading directly from a manuscript. Click To Tweet Don't memorize your talk, understand it. Click To Tweet When people ask you what your talk is about, if you have to give a three-minute answer, you don't know what you're talking about. Click To Tweet If you're not clear on your point, your audience never will be. Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 394

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

Watch Back Episodes of The Podcast on YouTube

Select episodes of this podcast are now on YouTube. Our YouTube Channel gives you a chance to watch some episodes, not just listen.

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Next Episode: Seth Godin

Legendary marketing expert Seth Godin explains how he learned to think the way he thinks, shares top tips for communicators (and why peeves make bad pets), and why he continues to travel to Algonquin Park in Canada every year to teach kids how to paddle a canoe solo.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 395.

CNLP 394: Hannah Brencher on the Future of Digital and Physical Church with Millennials, Being an Online Influencer and Giving A TED Talk at Age 24


  1. Chad Miller on March 1, 2021 at 9:56 am

    This was great to hear. A quotable you didn’t post…thought you would (LOL) “Be more interested than interesting!”

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Arif Multi on January 30, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    Thank you Carey. I’m empowered by every point you have in this podcast

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