Ready to propel your career forward? Amp up your confidence and communicating game!
By Karen Catlin (Advocate for Technical Women) and Poornima Vijayashanker (Founder, BizeeBee & Femgineer)
It’s happened to all of us. A promotion denied. Feeling stuck in our careers. Frustrated by the recognition others get while we’re working just as hard, if not harder.
At some point, you decided you had to change something to push forward your career. Maybe you started blogging or tweeting. Perhaps you started building more relationships with people at work.
Now you’re ready to do even more to increase your professional visibility. As scary as it seems, you know what you need to do: start speaking more in public.
A few years ago, as I launched my consulting practice after being a VP at Adobe Systems, I set a goal for myself: to speak in public once a month. It was aspirational. I hadn’t done much public speaking, and I was definitely nervous thinking about doing it at all, let alone twelve times a year. But I knew public speaking would help me build my personal brand and grow my career.
Since then, I’ve spoken in public a lot. I’ve spoken at conferences, shared my stories on panels, run workshops, and given a TEDx talk. In my busiest month, I gave five presentations. With all this practice, I’ve lost most of my stage fright, and I’ve come to love speaking in front of an audience. Frankly, I’ve surprised myself on both counts.
I’ve been doing public speaking since I was 12. Yup, I was one of those speech and debate geeks in middle school and high school. During the MOST awkward years of my life, I decided to take the plunge and put myself out there.
Was I scared?
Was I nervous?
Speaking in public from such a young age helped me come out of my shell (I was pretty shy and self-conscious). It taught me how to communicate my ideas clearly and with confidence. I attribute almost every success I’ve had since then to being able to speak in public:
- Getting through my college interview and being accepted to Duke (whoohoo 2016 NCAA champs!!)
- Nailing my first technical job interview in Silicon Valley
- Raising capital from investors
- And most recently, delivering my first TEDx talk on stage
Femgineer Confident Communicator Course
Speaking in public can be like rocket fuel for your career. We’ve come to love it, and now we want to help other techies learn how to enjoy it and do it well. That means speaking up in meetings, volunteering to deliver presentations to customers, or getting on stage at a conference. It can provide the visibility you might need to be considered for that next big opportunity.
So, on April 20th, we’ll be opening registration for Femgineer’s Confident Communicator Course, an 8-week online course to help you become a relaxed and confident speaker through video lessons and 1:1 instructor feedback.
Here are some people we’ve already helped:
How to Get Paid to Speak "Conference organizers have often asked me how much I want to be paid to speak. But I just wasn't sure what was appropriate to ask. Poornima gave me guidance on how to value my time and gauge an organizer's budget. I ended up getting what I wanted!" —Julia Grace, CTO at Tindie
How to Pitch Investors “Poornima helped me to understand that less is more when it comes to pitching. Entrepreneurs can talk about their companies for hours and tend to get bogged down in details. Poornima helped me identify key points and deliver them in a logical, concise and confident manner that resonates with investors.“ —Nina Wieczorek, Co-Founder @ NativeTap
How to Get Over Stage Fright and Share Your Expertise "As a startup founder and growth hacker, I've been invited to speak at a number of popular conferences. But I used to get so nervous that I'd psych myself into being overly calm and lacked enthusiasm during my talks. Poornima was able to work with my specific strengths and weaknesses to help me present in a way where I was most comfortable and confident." —Matt Berman, CEO & Co-Founder @ Sonar
Join us for a Sneak Peek of the Course!
To learn how public speaking can boost your career (and be fun!), join our webinar on April 16, 2015 at 1pm PST.
Registration for the Confident Communicator Course will be open from April 20th-24th, and the course will be taught May 4th-June 26th.
Get notified when you can sign up and find more course information by visiting: www.femgineer.com/confident-communicator-course.
About the guest blogger: Karen Catlin develops powerful women leaders in the tech industry with leadership coaching and advising companies on how to attract and retain female talent. She has an extensive background in Silicon Valley. Formerly, Karen was a vice president at Adobe Systems, and most recently, the CEO of Athentica, an early-stage startup. Follow her on Twitter @kecatlin and see more of her work at karencatlin.com.