“We all have the ingredients necessary to succeed at anything, however it is what we are interested in, passionate about and committed to that is really where we shine in our life.”
– Carma Spence
from Public Speaking Super Powers
Many people, from employees to business owners to entrepreneurs, struggle with the idea of getting up in front of an audience — no matter how small — to speak about a topic they are expert in. And so, they avoid making use of one of the most powerful techniques they can use to earn a promotion, gain new business and increase their visibility in the market.
Carma Spence was once one of these people. In fact, she was so shy and introverted that when her high school speech coach asked her to join the Speech Team her senior year, she was shocked.
She tentatively agreed. Her father helped her perfect her first speech … about earthquakes … and she won 5th place in her first competition! Now she was hooked. That year, she earned a block in speech, having placed in the top five in several competitions. Her speech team activities also earned her a Degree of Honor with the National Forensic League (now the National Speech & Debate Association).
Later, she joined Toastmasters and eventually earned her DTM — Distinguished Toastmaster — award. She even created a video introducing people to Toastmasters as her class project in a television production class.
Now, Carma helps creative professionals cultivate a thriving online presence that supports their career and business goals. She often speaks about online marketing techniques and best practices in home page design. Her book, Home Sweet Home Page, helps authors, speakers and coaches create a better home page for their website.
Why the Superhero/Super Power Metaphor?Although she doesn’t read comic books or graphic novels (too many pictures … long story), Carma has had a long-time fascination with superheroes. In fact, when she was in elementary school she invented her very own superhero during a summer arts and crafts class.
One of the projects was to create a paper mache puppet … and thus Butterfly Girl was born! When in her secret identity, Butterfly Girl wore a simple yellow scarf around her head. But when someone was in danger, the scarf came off and her beautiful butterfly wings would sprout from her back and off she went to save the day!
Later, she became an avid fan of superhero TV shows and cartoons … and had decided opinions about the direction these shows went. (When Plastic Baby came into the picture, the The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show had jumped the shark!) Some of her favorite shows included Batman starring Adam West and Burt Ward (would you believe she had crush on Frank Gorshin as The Riddler?), The Incredible Hulk starring Bill Bixby and The Amazing Spider-Man staring Nicholas Hammond. And, of course, who can forget The New Adventures of Wonder Woman staring Lynda Carter and Lyle Waggoner! (Loved that sparkling tooth!)
“Superheros are excellent metaphors for what each and everyone of us has inside,” she says. “Most of the origin tales of superheros show that they started off ordinary but came into their own extraordinary-ness through some trigger event. Whether it was being bitten by a radioactive spider, being dowsed with radiation or just learning of their true origins, each superhero started out ordinary in their own minds. We are all like that … ordinary in our own minds until some trigger event allows us to see how extraordinary we really are.”