When I decided to focus on helping women become better public speakers last year, I hadn’t realized how much of my time would be spent telling my own story of becoming a speaker.
I knew I would be sharing advice and giving feedback for other people’s presentations, but I hadn’t considered that my story would be so central to the trainings I present.
Lately I’ve been sharing my story a lot. Whether it’s at an open house for a new Speaker Sisterhood club, at a conference, in a workshop, or in a college classroom, I find that each time I tell my story, it opens a door.
The door has a sign on it that says, “Tell me your story, too.”
I get to hear all kinds of stories of shyness, of dreams, of hopes, of fears, and of courage.
By telling my story of working through my fear of speaking up, I give others the freedom to share their own stories.
I had no idea where public speaking would lead me, but I jumped into it knowing that building confidence in my voice would benefit me, no matter what.
Today I get to lead the women of the Speaker Sisterhood in finding their own voice while discovering things about themselves they never knew were there. I get to witness the unfolding and the reawakening.
I’m now hearing stories from the women who have been attending the Speaker Sisterhood meetings and they are sharing how their participation has made an impact on their life.
One woman told me she is more confident than ever in her job interviews and she consistently surprises herself when she realizes how competent she sounds. Another woman told me she is having more vivid memories of her past and her experiences. She’s realizing she has had an interesting life and has so many more stories to share than she knew were there. A third woman told me she thought she knew herself before she joined, but now she’s understanding that her strengths and weaknesses are much different than she realized.
These testimonies are coming from courageous women who are standing up in front of their club two times per month and telling the stories of their lives. They are saying things they’ve never said before. They are showing their vulnerability, their strength, and their truth. By doing this, they are inspiring their audience to do the same.
What I’ve observed since starting the Speaker Sisterhood in August is that the growth and connection that comes from this type of work is what creates the leaders this world needs.
The Speaker Sisterhood is an organization that builds leaders by showing women how powerful they are when they use their voice.
During Women’s History Month, we are asking for your help so we can give more women the opportunity to share their stories. We are running a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the Speaker Sisterhood. We’d like to take this offering around the world and give more women the chance to hear stories and share stories that will forever impact them and their audiences.
Can you help us by making a $50 donation today? If you are in the Western Massachusetts area, this donation will get you one ticket to our big celebration on Friday, March 31st in Easthampton. It’s part party, part showcase of the Speaker Sisters, part our way of saying thank you to you, in-person. We’d love to celebrate our work with you and eat lots of desserts in your honor. Will you join us?
We’d love to see you on the 31st as we share our stories of strength and finding our voice.
Angela Lussier is the founder of the Speaker Sisterhood and also an award-winning speaker, three-time author, and two-time TEDx presenter. She is the host of Claim the Stage, a public speaking podcast for courageous women. Her motto: Stop waiting. Start creating.