Speakers get guidance on how to enhance their public appearances
I‘ve been astonished by how many of my friends and colleagues have thrust themselves into the public eye by writing books, appearing on panels or going full tilt into public speaking. I’ve even detected a small uptick (finally!) in the number of women appearing on stage at tech conferences.
I’ve spoken at my fair share of public events, and what public speakers often have in common is an uncertainty of how to engage the audience with command and assurance. That’s especially true of many women, who’ve been taught by the culture to prize “false power archetypes” rather than being true to their own voices, says Bronwyn Saglimbeni, a public presence coach in Silicon Valley.
“We’ll hold our hands in front of our bodies, or behind our backs, or in front of our mouths — and the problem is those are not powerful positions.”
— Bronwyn Saglimbeni
“As women, we need to come up with our new power archtetypes,” she said at a recent Girls in Tech retreat in Santa Cruz, Calif. “Unfortunately we’ve been fed a steady diet of false power archtetypes — aggression, intimation, or leaning too heavily on our sexuality, or hiding behind our sexuality.”
Saglimbeni offers coaching on speaking, presenting and how to attain “true power.” “It happens when personality aligns with purpose to serve the greater good,” she says. “Where does the purpose of our work life and personal life intersect? During public speaking, what are the elements of our personality that need to be brought forward? Every time we have an opportunity to get up and speak, we have to really cherish that time and nail it.”