The Hidden Benefits of Public Speaking Training & Speaker Sisterhood Membership

Jill-Wolk-Speaker-SisterhoodCurious about what it’s like to try out public speaking training and be a member of Speaker Sisterhood? In this diary-format post, member Jill Wolk reflects on her experience — and shares tidbits of her transformation — following the Speaker Sisterhood beginner curriculum, “The Secret Life of Speaking Up.”

Many people think Speaker Sisterhood is just about public speaking, but as you’ll read below, it’s much more than that. Each member’s journey is different and unique, but this recounting shows the power of doing this work and what you can expect from the speech exercises.

Becoming More of Me
By Jill Wolk

I call my keynote (Speech #10), “Becoming More of Me,” and it offers a window into my journey through the three sections of the curriculum, “The Secret Life of Speaking Up.”

Section 1: Discover Your Voice
Speech #1: Love
This was my first speech in 60 years of life. I spoke about how, at age 35, I first felt the tiniest spark of self-love and Divine love. Delivering it, I felt deeply connected, vulnerable, scared, moved, and powerful. I was very aware of my impact on the other women in the room. I was surprised at how confident I felt during the speech and how much I enjoyed it!

Speech #2: Truth
I’ve played small for most of my life and in this speech, I spoke about the truth of who I am and about finding that truth in the moment. It felt scary, vulnerable and raw. I tried to make it a “teachable” moment and got a bit lost in the message.
My club meets at a local radio station and, due to construction in the conference room, I gave this speech in the lobby with people coming in and out the door. I handled it quite well and skillfully, and I was surprised by how fun it was to just go with the flow in the moment.

Speech #3: Power
In this speech, I explored power and empowerment and how both are integral to Oneness, connection and communion with the Divine. I used the curriculum’s three-circle organization method for the first time, and I recorded my speech on Facebook live.
I came out of the spiritual closet on this three-speech journey — jumping in wholeheartedly and messily. I put myself out there before I was ready and, while it was exciting and fun, I felt the need to pull back a bit.

Section 2: Awaken Your Voice
Speech #4: Passion
In this speech I went off-script and talked about my passion for the journey and people really connected with it. As I became more comfortable speaking and sharing more of my story, I was learning to trust myself and the process.
I’d reached the half-way point in the curriculum, and I was beginning to believe that I had something valuable to share and that I have a positive impact. Before, I was “trying to get it right.” Now I was ready to be more spontaneous and engaged — to let loose and have more fun!

Speech #5: Vision
I spoke about my emerging vision. I went from having no vision, to being called into awakening and then entering the mystery of this new, emerging vision. I was very resistant to this speech, didn’t follow the exercises and did very little prep. When I gave the speech, I was present in the moment. During the feedback, my club sisters said I was inspirational, authentic, and engaging.

Speech #6: Confidence
This was my favorite speech. I had so much fun getting people’s responses when I asked them for three words to describe me. I wrote the speech in the third person and, using the responses, I divided it into three sections: Who I am, who I am becoming and who I want to become. Among other things, I learned that I am “plucky.”
These three speeches took me on a journey that was all about becoming more at ease and spontaneous — about experimenting and having more fun!

Section 3: Create Your Voice
Speech #7: Life Story
I used this speech to talk about healing shame and embracing true responsibility. It was raw, emotional, and very vulnerable. Afterwards I felt unburdened and empowered, and I could see it deeply affected others.

Speech #8: A Movement
Rather than follow the suggested format for this speech, I used it to talk about my Great Story Transformational Coaching. I wanted to know if I could give this speech in public to promote my coaching. I got great feedback including suggestions on how to improve it. It’s been sitting in a folder ever since.

Speech #9: A Show
I loved this speech. I used our curriculum’s STAGE system (Speaker Sisterhood’s signature method of speechcraft) for the first time. It was the beginning of the year and, through a closed-eye meditation, partner- and group-sharing, everyone found a word or phrase to use as an intention to guide them through 2019. In just 12 minutes, I delivered what could be a 4-hour workshop. I was at ease, in my element and had so much fun!
In my journey through the final section of the curriculum, I focused on creating my voice, discovering what I want to speak about and how I want to be of service. I want to share my story as a vehicle to take others deeper into their own stories to create healing and transformation.

Throughout my Speaker Sisterhood journey, I allowed myself to be known and heard (and how!), owned my unique story, and found my authentic voice. I also learned to listen more deeply and to be more willing and open to connecting with people. This has enriched my life in beautiful ways. The friendships I have made in this group are invaluable, and I’m also more accepting of who I am in the world.

I’m blossoming in life, and I’m more willing to share myself and offer my gifts. This journey has awakened my power, my truth, my voice and my joy!