What I learned about women and public speaking
I attended a private lunch in Silicon Valley, celebrating powerful women in Silicon Valley. I gave an impromptu Ted Talk about how I leveraged technology to change my life for ever.
I introduced a room full of powerful women to #ThatChallengeGirl, changing your life one challenge at a time. I walked them through how I launched challenges to lose wight, become a vegan body build, do stand up comedy, being cast in my first hollywood sci fi film, became a bee keeper to over 100,000 bees, became a country western line dancing teacher, produced a documentary, and how I became a trap god! Yes I produced a trap song about data science, got a meeting with a real record label, shot a 40 person music video, and launching a full out campaign to encourage data science. All leveraging technology and social media
My favorite part of the talk was “How many women in here listen to Trap Music” “How many listen to Future”
70% of the hands flew up!!!
After my talk women lined up to speak with me.
I was waiting to answer questions about weight loss and my year of challenges but that never happened. Ok I happened but not to the degree I was hoping.
80% of the ladies who lined up to speak with me after my talk simply said ….”How did you do that, that speech was amazing. I want to do that”
I was taken back.
I was actually SPEECHLESS
Ok side note, between you and I .. I honestly truly thought people were aiming for poor speeches. I mean clearly they have seen them done in a different way but yet in still they were doing it another way. I’m sure they have enjoyed talks and have been inspired by talks…..but yet they are developing a different product. A dull, trite, not so bad, less inspiring boring lecture. At that point I assume it is their preferred choice.
Keep in mind these ladies are not who I am referring to when I say dull talks. I am referring to every boring conventional talk. I guess I just want to much out of life. I love the excitement, the story telling, the powerful energy, the move to me to take action excitement: I want it all!
Ok now I’m back
70% of the attendees who lined up to speak with me had one thing in common, they all wanted to know if they could do what I did,I said absolutely!!
To my surprise …
They were referring to speaking!
I was floored. I literally said “What”!!!
Surprisingly enough I was Speechless!
Two Harvard doctors standing in front of me asking for my help. ASking me to help them deliver their message. I was flattered as well as confused. But I had just witnessed NASA, board members, founders, brilliant women hide in a corner to avoid telling the room what they are passionate about and what they are excited about…..so I could buy it…
A peek into our conversation:
Her: I want to do what you did
Me: Well you just talk
Her: Do you think it is something anyone can learn?
Her: The way you command the room, everyone was silent. How do you know when to talk, when to walk, when to turn, the things you did with your voice, the posture, the energy? I want to do that EXACTLY that.
Me: WOW! Thank you!!
Her! I want to do exactly what you did. Can you help me?
I have spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars on public speaking classes, acting school, and charm school. I LOVE public speaking. It never crossed my mind that I could apply it to professionals in the workspace and beyond. I never really considered creating frameworks and strategies on public speaking.
It is just something I absolutely love, I love speaking in public, so I invest in it. Time, energy, because I want to present myself well.
It is work.
Here is an example.
When a conference hires a public speaker at 50k per talk, they are not paying for the 1 hour he is on stage…..they are paying for every hour it took to get him there.
He puts in the work.
Her: I never thought of it like that.
Me: I honestly did not come here to launch a public speaking workshop, or sell you a course. I came to talk about my passion and motivate others to live their passion.
But one comment stopped me in my tracks…
Her: If you see a need, and the market is here, and we will help you do this, why say no to a new revenue stream that allows you to do what you love. You will be helping so many women, so many entrepreneurs.
(As soon as I heard I could help entrepreneurs I was in!)
I must say I never thought of hosting a public speaking lab/workshop. But this is brilliant. Thank you for the idea!
Her: You would be helping empower so many women!
These comments from accomplished ladies that really spoke volumes.
1. How do you do that?
2. I do not want to go to Toastmaster, or improve class, or do stand up comedy, I just want to do what you did.
3. How do you know when to move?
4. How can I learn to do what you just did
5. I felt so comfortable during your talk
6. How did you do your voice that way?
7. Can you help me?
Ok so how did this experience impact me?
I understand my first thought was …NO I am not doing this I came here to share my passion for content, social media, fitness, and data science.
The common theme from each executive was:
I do not want to go to improve class, I am not interested in being a professional actor.
I don’t want to do a stand up comedy show, I am interested in being a professional comedian.
I don’t want to go to Toastmaster, I don’t like the style of speech.
If you don’t like Toastmaster, improve, or stand up you are stuck giving bad speeches… What can I do, I just want to do what you did! You were amazing!
After speaking with most of the ladies I learned on thing, they did not only seek speech techniques, they needed permission to speak.
They already had the knowledge and accomplishments. They were brilliant!! Had I been another person I might have been intimidated by all of the beauty and success in the room.
I continued to gather data and this is what I learned.
They need confidence, empowerment, and permission. Once they have that we can channel that into public speaking techniques.
I realized EVERY woman needs this!
I left the group with two major keys that transformed my speaking and creativity.
I live by two mottos, I left this with them…
If it is not entertaining, no one cares
If it is not fun, why are you doing it?
I am considering launching a public speaking workshop for female founders.
Later, I ran the concept by an engineer at salesforce and other senior engineer today and they loved it!