Be honest; have you ever been offered a speaking opportunity that would be a great career move, but started sweating at the thought of standing up in front of a crowd? Or found yourself in a meeting, with a suggestion or idea on your mind, but you just couldn’t quite find the right time to speak up?
There’s no doubt about it, public speaking and presenting can be challenging at the best of times, and even the most experienced speakers get nervous from time to time.
Today we wanted to share with our community the story of one inspiring woman who overcame her fears of presenting, skyrocketed her confidence and discovered a new found love for public speaking.
Meet the talented Drift.
Public speaking had always been something Drift shied away from having had limited experience and training. As she progressed her career within the community and health services space, public speaking and presenting began to become an increasingly important part of her job. Whether it was presenting to senior stakeholders and board members, training new team members or speaking to a large audience at a fundraising event, Drift found herself being asked more and more to step up to the microphone.
Some of the main challenges Drift faced before attending Speakeasy were self-doubt, extreme nervousness and not believing that she was confident or articulate enough to present in a manner that would be engaging and authoritative.
Drift wanted to conquer her nerves and learn techniques to become a more confident and engaging public speaker, and wow – did she ever. We spoke to Drift four months after attending Speakeasy to check in and hear how things were going for her. This is her inspirational #inklingstory.
Drift, what were some of your biggest insights from attending Speakeasy?
Oh wow, there are many. Just yesterday I had to give a presentation to the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, in front of a community forum that she was hosting and speak about the work my organisation does. I could feel my nerves creeping up before I spoke but I had my Speakeasy tool-kit ready to go and reminded myself “You’re nervous, that’s normal, just feel the nervousness”. I used the breathing techniques, the tips for eye-contact, posing and the speech structure that was taught at Speakeasy and felt confident and prepared.
What would you say is the biggest thing you overcame doing Speakeasy and what has/ will this allow you to do now?
For me, one of the biggest things was recognising my ‘lizard voice’ and the negative self-talk. Learning how to manage and move past it and shut down that little voice in my head. This has hugely helped me. The same day that I attended Speakeasy, I had a fundraising event in the evening where I had to pitch to Macquarie Bank. I also had a job interview in the morning, so it was a pretty big day for me. The skills that you learn at Speakeasy are transferrable to so many situations. It’s not just the speaking in front of big crowds, it’s also for those moments where you need to be articulate and brave.
After the event I was told by upper management that I was the most professional speaker, who had clear structure and told a story with obvious passion. I didn’t even feel nervous! We managed to raise over $35,000 for homeless communities in Sydney. Furthermore, I got the job I was interviewing for; I just walked in feeling confident and spoke calmly. I used the breathing techniques and told my doubtful self, my Lizard, to be quiet and smashed the interview.
If you were to recommend Speakeasy to your best friend or colleague, what would you tell them?
I would say it doesn’t just help you with public speaking, it will help you see yourself in a different way, and that’s really important. It’s an empowering program that will not only give you amazing tools and techniques to become a fabulous public speaker, but also offers the opportunity for self reflection.
The experience that was created for us in the room at Speakeasy was very safe. We were able to be vulnerable and even though we only saw each other for two days, it felt like a bond was created. It was just such a healthy space to learn.
Today, Drift is leading a team of project workers at her new organisation and sharing the knowledge that she gained at Speakeasy to help her team deliver engaging and inspiring programs. Having gone from feeling like a disorganised, low-confident and nervous speaker to a well prepared, engaging and passionate public speaker, Drift has made some incredibly awe-inspiring achievements over the past few months and the tools she learnt at Speakeasy have helped her through many different situations- go Drift!
We developed Speakeasy so that women like Drift can dramatically increase their confidence and skills, and as a result, speak up with impact, authenticity and ease. In just two days, participants go from rating themselves an average 2 out of 10 in terms of confidence and skills to an average 9 out of 10. We continue to receive unprompted emails from amazing women like Drift who have done Speakeasy and credit the program for dramatically increasing their career success, self-belief, presence and overall happiness level.
So, how about it? How would your career be different if you weren’t afraid to speak up and speak out? Speakeasy is happening this October & November in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and London (full dates below) and we’d love for you to join us.
Upcoming Program Dates
1-2 October | Speakeasy | London
29-30 October | Speakeasy | Sydney
13-14 October | Speakeasy | Adelaide
26-27 October | Speakeasy | Melbourne
9-10 October | Ignite | Melbourne
15-16 October| Ignite | Sydney
17-18 October| Ignite | London
30-31 October| Ignite | Adelaide
The Inkling Team