Reflections on 2020

2020 wasn’t the year anyone was expecting.  It was certainly an interesting time to pivot career.  In some ways though, perhaps it was the perfect time.  If ever there was a time to undertake a lot of learning, the year in which I had a lot more time on my hands with the removal of […]

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Setting the stage for speaking success

You could have an amazing presentation, but if the set up of your speech is off, it could derail your impact before you’ve even begun. To achieve speaking success, ensure you have prepared, not just your speech, but also your stage. Setting the scene One key thing I’ve learnt since joining an advanced speakers group […]

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The power of network

As an introvert, I’m not a natural “networker” in the traditional sense.  Introverts aren’t particularly comfortable in big groups. We don’t like interrupting and take time to make connections.  The fast, loud, competitive environment of networking events, where you have to introduce yourself to a group of strangers, still fills me with dread.  This is […]

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Authentic evolution

I’ve said in the past that I am a totally different person from the one I was 15 years ago.  Others have noticed this too. Those who met me back then came across an extremely quiet individual.  Someone who hardly ever spoke up in meetings.  A person unsure how she could contribute to a team.  […]

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Choosing your feedback

Feedback is one of the most valuable resources we have in developing.  Learning how to use it wisely is a skill in itself.  Feedback is after all only one person’s opinion and one person’s opinion may not be representative.  Accepting that you’ll never please everyone is an important lesson in not driving yourself crazy with […]

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Personality Perspectives on Public Speaking

My last blog was on leaving your comfort zone in general and how this might be different for introverts and extroverts.  I wanted to explore the theme of comfort zone in the context of public speaking.  Public speaking is often seen as way outside of an introvert’s comfort zone. Extroverts are classed as more natural […]

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Leaving your comfort zone (in a safe way)

Both introverts and extroverts have comfort zones, they’re just different.  When introverts are asked to leave their comfort zone, it is to do something that comes more naturally to extroverts; for example attending large, crowded, noisy networking events.  Similarly yet conversely, extroverts probably find it difficult to sit still and concentrate in detailed meetings for […]

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Projecting not shouting

Quiet is the name of Susan Cain’s seminal book on introverts.  Anyone who identifies as an introvert has inevitably been asked “why are you so quiet?” at some (in reality probably many) points in their life.  Introverts think before speaking, so don’t just say whatever is in their head, often hesitating to say anything at […]

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Speaking up

I often hear from friends and colleagues of pointless meetings, uninspiring leaders and frustrating relationships (something I’ve blogged about before).  I believe they tell me about these things because they know of my love of governance and especially Roberts Rules of Order in running an effective meeting. Plus public speaking is a passion and now […]

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Slowing down

A typical Toastmasters speech is between five and seven minutes long.  When I first started out in Toastmasters, I would write around 800 words and delivering this length of speech would take around six minutes.  Now, if I write more than 700 words for a speech, I’m in serious danger of going over the time […]

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