Occupation: E Business Consultant
Date joined Speakers Club: September 2014
I love speaking and I do a fair amount of it – but because I’m my own boss I never get any feedback.
I think I’m doing a good job but I want to be sure. I want to do some more presenting on TV and radio as well as at seminars.
Why did you feel you needed to improve your public speaking?
There is a stereotype view of those of us in online marketing; we are all timid, work in dark rooms, dress strange and are awkward to talk to, nerdy if you will. I want to challenge this stereotype; to be a success as the approachable face of online marketing. I need to network and to speak well to the people I am meeting – to encourage real engagement.
Do you worry about speaking to large groups of people?
No – I really don’t. I average about 20 but I have spoken to just shy of 100, and done some radio interviews. I relish speaking engagements, I just want to refine my skills and develop new opportunities.
What is your career to date?
I started work in hotels. It was great for confidence – having to talk to people from all walks of life and levels and be respected at all times. Then I had a shoulder injury and it meant I couldn’t lift properly but I could type – so while I was recovering, I taught myself web design and the rest is history.
However, I needed to further develop my presenting skills to help sell my ideas to other people and existing clients. The clients who believe in me and tell me their situations are the ones who see the biggest benefits; so I aim to get to the roots of a business, find out what they do, where their customers are, where they could expand – I don’t just offer techy fixes – I gather lots of information in order to advise them just what e-technology can help them.
Being able to run seminars, radio interviews and webinars would be a great way to demonstrate my expertise in the field to potential customers, and to quickly get the confidence to discuss their projects.
How did you find out about Colchester Speakers Club?
I found out about it on MeetUp.com
What was your first meeting like?
There were several new people the night I joined and I felt a little bit unsure about it all for the first 15 minutes. After that I realised what a really good mix of people there are here. James runs the meetings really well – and I like the way the sessions are structured.
What stage are you up to in the Speakers Club Manual?
I have just done my A3 which is the one about structure
What have been the benefits of the Speakers Club so far?
The structure of the meetings, the step by step approach and the feedback is benefiting me already. Topics are a challenge – the trap is to not just answer the question –that would only take about 10 seconds, but to speak engagingly with the audience to draw them into the thinking and theatre behind the response. It shows up flaws too – well mine anyway!
What would you say to anyone anxious about speaking in public?
Bite the bullet – It’s not as bad as you fear and for support with speaking and with nerves – join a club like this and you’ll get all the guidance you need.