Catherine Bell is an expert on workplace protocol, etiquette, and professional image management. The author of Managing Your Image Potential: Creating Good Impressions in Business, she has appeared in the New York Times, The Globe and Mail, Canadian Business Magazine and The Las Vegas Review Journal, as well as been a guest on CBC Newsworld, CBC Radio, Canada AM and TV Ontario. She also co-authored the New York Times best seller Masters of Networking: Building Relationships for Your Pocketbook and Soul with Dr. Ivan Misner.
In this sample excerpt of my interview with Catherine for Public Speaking Super Powers, she talks about her journey to public speaking success. “Well, as most people begin to look at public speaking,” she says, “I really did not like to do it. But my work took me into arenas where I had to be up in front of people. ”
You can also find this sample interview on Spreaker.
Transcript Excerpt of this Sample
Just so listeners can get a feel for your unique expertise, could you tell us a little about your journey to success in public speaking?
Yes. Well, as most people begin to look at public speaking, I really did not like to do it. But my work took me into arenas where I had to be up in front of people. I first worked as a fashion designer for about 16 years and I was responsible for portraying the new designs to the sales force, looking at the details and presenting at our international and national sales team meetings. And I found it was really great to be able to speak about something that I was passionate about. So that was very helpful.
Around 1984 I began teaching and that was a new arena, because I had never done that before and in order to keep control of a class you had to have a fairly dynamic way of presenting and, as well, a lot of strength. Not to say that you would want to not encourage students to participate, but you had to have a certain presence in front of the classroom. And so, the more I got up to do this kind of thing, the easier it became. After a number of years, I also, actually, went into teaching full time for about 5 years. Due to a disability with polio I couldn’t continue my European travel connected to my design job; and so, I looked at a career alternative and I was teaching daily for about four and a half years. So, every time you had to get up in front of a group, it gave that opportunity of being able to polish your presentation skills. And you certainly knew if you didn’t have the class with you, and so, you would move to have perhaps a little more enthusiasm, change the way that you do things.
Now, in my business, I’m actually doing a lot of corporate training, so I actually look forward to the opportunity to get up in front of a group, rather than shying away from it; and I’m also now, because of the teaching that I still do part time at the college, where I’ve taught computer programmers and networkers presentation skills and seeing really fabulous results. I’ve started to do a course that I offer to business people and the community. And with very little time, together we can achieve great results. So I really didn’t like it, like most people, but now, as I move forward in my business, its something I look forward to.
CS: You know, one thing I’ve been finding interesting in doing this interviews, is that, that’s not an uncommon story. A lot of people start off being terrified or they don’t like it, and then something happens once they get on the stage and they find their sweet spot, their confidence, and they’ve turned from being terrified to being almost addicted to the whole experience of speaking in front of an audience.
CB: It’s very uplifting when you can move people to participate in perhaps a workshop that you’re doing, or you know that they’re with you, when you can hear a pin drop in the room; and that’s not always the case.
If you liked what you’ve heard and read so far and would like to find out what Catherine shares in the rest of the 17+-minute interview, you can download the audio file or PDF transcript for only $1.99. Want both? Grab the combo pack for only $2.99!