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Speaker Spotlight: Sumati Oraevskiy

Sumati Oraevskiy is a long-time Speak for Success member that we couldn’t wait to highlight. She works as a technical writer for a company in Vancouver and when she was offered an opportunity to take her role to a new level, she realized how beneficial Public Speaking training could be for her.

Join us in listening and reading about her Public Speaking journey and how her time at Speak for Success has helped her in not only her professional but personal life as well.

Why did you decide to register with Speak for Success?

When I started to take on more of a leadership role at my organization. At that point in time, we were looking to implement a new training plan and new solutions and that really gave me an opportunity to step up to the plate.

But – it was at that point that I realized even though I had the written skills to modify what I say in writing, I didn’t necessarily have the speaking confidence to go along with that.

What did you enjoy most about training with Speak for Success?

I found that the students and the teachers were both very open to trying out new things and everyone seemed to support each other through that learning process. For someone like me who can be a little timid and shy, I found that to be a fantastic environment to learn new speaking skills.

The second thing is the personalized feedback from the teachers. In the class that I was in, there were 10 students in there and they tirelessly provided personalized feedback to each individual person. Being able to have that feedback and being able to see what my strengths and opportunities were, really helped me focus in on things I could do myself to improve very quickly.

What has it been like practicing your speaking skills in a virtual environment?

The instructors did a fantastic job adapting the course into a virtual setting. They’ve added in new components to make sure we know how to present ourselves during virtual meetings. They taught us quite a bit about tone of voice, facial expression, posture, as well as attire. I find that the course has been very relevant for this virtual world that we find ourselves in.

Where have you most improved as a speaker?

Around speaking with intent and speak succinctly. I talk about this a lot but it is something that is very important to me. The nature of my work typically calls for me to think about what I say ahead of time and revise what I say and that’s because I do a lot of writing. But in public speaking, you don’t have that luxury, so being able to right off the bat acknowledge the audience members’ level of interest and level of understanding and to speak succinctly to that has been where I have developed the most and where I continue to develop still.

In terms of work how has Speak for Success helped you be more successful in your role?

It has helped me become a better listener so that I can be a better speaker. The nature of my role encourages me to be in the weeds and details and there are a lot of times where the people I’m speaking to aren’t in that headspace. Being able to pull myself out of the weeds and be aware of the other person, where their headspace is at, and then to speak to that has been incredibly effective for me to essentially become a better leader.

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