Master Your Message and Open the Floodgates of Opportunities

public speaking | public speaking coach | Seattle

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Master your message and rule your world

 It’ s a big statement and it’s true. Picture this: You’re presenting to a pivotal stakeholder group. Success in this presentation means an entrepreneur attracts funding, a nonprofit moves people into action, a product lands a big account, a leader inspires, and careers soar. Your success as a speaker can be transformational.

17-yr-old Ruqaiyah Angeles floors audience of 150+

She stepped up. Her story, and the story of how Mission Bit changing her life had to be told. Mission Bit is an organization located in San Francisco that provides free programming classes to students who wouldn’t otherwise have access. [ ] I worked with the group as a public speaking coach for their upcoming gala. Together, we honed storytelling for the organization and students.  I learned that they have changed the trajectory of many lives, and to date, taught 3,800+ students. At their third annual gala, Ruqaiyah spoke to  an audience of 150 wiih the mayor in attendance. She had the confidence of a seasoned speaker; you’d never guess this was her first speech.  She stated, “I’m a woman, Muslim, and Filipina, and I know I’m a unicorn. And I want to lead the way for the next generation of tech leaders.  I want to ensure that city kids become city workers. As a woman, I bring a different perspective to the table. I hope my presence inspires you to join me.”

Mission Bit | success | Gala | public speaking

She had full command of the room. The audience leaned in, wanting to hear her words. Her story catapults the message, makes us think and feel, and reminds us of valuable ideas and concepts. Listeners see fragments of themselves. The gala began with the corporate mission and metrics then brought it to a granular level that made it real, palpable. We want to hear from many Ruqaiyahs. We want to see kids be the first in their families to graduate college and become more than they, or anyone else, ever envisioned. There is power in storytelling.

public speaking | public speaking coach

Most speakers don't need a large formal event to create the "fight or flight" panic that public speaking evokes

An inexperienced speaker, having confidence in front of a large audience, on stage, is nowhere near the “norm.”  A recent Harris Poll showed that while 70% of American workers state that public speaking is imperative to your success, of those, 20% would do anything to avoid it. You would rather feign sickness or plead with a colleague to speak in your place, even if it means diminishing your reputation and credibility.

The good news? The vast majority, 75%, who state speaking is critical in your careers, want to improve. You know it is fundamental for advancement. It may seem an ominous task, yet it is achievable. As Ralph Waldo Emmerson once said, “All great speakers were bad at first.

Can a terrified public speaker ever improve?

Let’s face it. No one is born as a great speaker. In fact, I myself began as a very reluctant and fearful speaker. I would shake, holding my notes as I read, and the paper would shake, too–making it all the more difficult to read. And that wasn’t the worst of it! 

startup | pitch | Speak Genesis

I would sweat, and my mouth would go dry, making it hard to speak. Sometimes my mind just went blank. My face was always red, and I hated that part the most. Public speaking was not my friend, and I loathed it. I knew I needed this skill, and I refused to allow it to defeat me.

Slowly and with dogged perseverance to master this skill, I moved from hating it, to “this isn’t so bad,” to liking it, and now loving it. I can happily share that I no longer shake, sweat, turn red, use notes. Now when I speak, my mouth is wet with words. I’m a professional competitive speaker and public speaking coach. My message to you is that if I can do it, so can you. There is nothing special or unique about me; I was just determined. The other day I gave a speech, and afterward, an audience member asked me, “Were you just born a great speaker?” It made me laugh! With the right tools, coach, and support, you can become an exceptional communicator and public speaker.

Join in a speaker's journey and observe the power of storytelling.

Steve Jobs’ 2005 speech to Stanford University grads is considered one of the best motivational speeches of all times. Great speeches are decidedly human. He began, “Today, I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal, three stories.” He was a skillful storyteller, guiding the listener through the labyrinth that is his life. He injects humor, stating he dropped out of college because he saw no value in that overpriced education. This to the graduating class! He spoke of feeling lost, his path uncertain, following his passion, love and loss, and facing death. His calls to actions, “Stay Hungry,” “Stay Foolish.”

Mastering public speaking can change your life. As a fearful speaker  you are hesitant to share valuable information and insight with your colleagues and management. Your silence is hampering your career growth. If you are an intermediate speaker you are comfortable speaking in front of others, but you find that your message sometimes misses the target. This can result in lost sales or opportunities. If you are an advanced speaker you are very comfortable speaking in front of a variety of listeners. You want greater command of the audience and to be more inspirational and memorable. Are you ready to unleash your potential?

Kim VanBorkulo is a public speaking and leadership development coach for individuals and teams, nonprofits and for profits.  She is CEO of Speak Genesis [ ]

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