We had the amazing opportunity to sit down with our Program Ambassador and long-time member Stephanie Lee for this month’s Speaker Spotlight.
Stephanie is an international affairs professional with over eleven years of diverse work experience in sustainability think tanks and international non-profit organizations. She is a subject matter expert in forestry and environment management. Her interest in international development and sustainable natural resource management led her to work on global forest goals as well as the future of forestry in the Asia Pacific region at the United Nations. She is passionate about public speaking and stakeholder relationship building.
You can listen and read her full interview below.
Why did you register with Speak for Success?
I registered for Speak for Success because I wanted to improve on my pace of speaking, overcome those nerves right before a presentation, as well as get better at public speaking. I wanted to do this in a group setting that was fun, interactive, and engaging, and I found Speak for Success offering that kind of learning environment.
What did you enjoy most about training with us?
Overall, I really enjoyed everything about Speak for Success. From the facilitators who make the learning experience professional and yet not too formal. I think the energy and the momentum created in the virtual room was just right.
I really enjoyed learning and listening to my fellow classmates who provided feedback to help me improve on my public speaking.
What are some of the strategies you have learned and adopted when it comes to managing your nerves since training with us?
There were a lot of strategies and tools that we were taught to overcome nerves and get better at public speaking. There were three particular ones that I really found to be helpful and tried to adopt in my everyday interactions and communication.
The first one is the power of pausing. Pausing allows your audience to assimilate what you have just said. It also gives you the time to think about your next train thoughts and words.
Secondly, is to use less crutch words. By crutch words, I mean “ers” and “ums.”
Thirdly, is use more transition words like “in summary” or “in conclusion.” These transition words allow your audience to know you are towards the end of your point or presentation.
Where have you improved most as a Public Speaker?
Overall, I have improved upon my pace of speaking and secondly using less crutch words which I would frequently use. It’s not that I dont use them now, but I am conscious of it and use them less.
What advice do you have for other women who are just starting off on their public speaking journey?
My advice to all the young women out there who are starting off or who are thinking of starting off is to just go for it. Don’t think about it as a weakness or limitation, make it a strength of your own. You can do this by finding a class or any workshop that suits you and gives you the opportunity to make mistakes. Your peers are able to give you constructive feedback that will help you improve.
Keep practicing because the more you practice the better you’ll get at it.