"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 PowersTM
O.K. I'll admit it: I'm a geek. Even better, I'm a multi-passionate geek. I'm passionately interested in science (I have a Bachelor's degree in Biology); speculative fiction (I have three blogs related to this interest); and food (I've been baking and experimenting in the kitchen since the age of 4 and have a food blog). I also "geek out" about writing and speaking. Thus this website and my book, Public Speaking Super Powers.
I know for a fact that you can be a decent speaker even if you are introverted, shy and socially awkward. Because I've been (and still am to some degree) all those things -- you could call me a "geek who speaks." Therefore, I know that all you need is an interest and a desire to communicate about that interest.
I am fiercely committed to supporting my clients as they unleash their inner speaking superhero and boldly communicate their message with confidence. My superpower is to help my clients see what is possible for them and guiding them on the journey from where they are to where they want to be, Vanquishing the Mind Goblins of self-doubt, self-sabotage and second-guessing that keep them stuck.
If you are introverted, shy, possibly even socially awkward (dare I say a geek or nerd?) and struggle to speak before groups (no matter how small) … if you avoid speaking even though it could earn you a promotion or more business … then I can help.
You see like I shared above, I was once like you.
My Public Speaking Hero’s Journey
When I was in High School, it was required to take a speech class during your Junior year. I dreaded it. I was shy, introverted and bullied. The last thing I wanted to do was stand up before my classmates and speak.
But I did. Luckily for me, my father, who was a teacher, helped coach me on my assignments. Apparently, I did fairly well. At the end of the course, my teacher invited me to join the Speech Team my Senior year.
I was shocked.
However, with the support of my parents, I took on the challenge and competed on the Speech Team throughout my entire Senior year.
I remember how hot my face would get during a speech. I just knew that people could see my ears turning red. But I did well enough to win 5th place in my first competition.
Now I was hooked. My speech team activities earned me a Letter in Speech, as well as a Degree of Honor with the National Forensic League (now the National Speech & Debate Association).
And then I went away to college and didn’t think about speaking all that much.
But once bitten by the speaking bug — as I had been — it never fully goes away. The company I worked for just out of college started a Toastmasters club and I became a charter member.
I’ve been a member of Toastmasters (off and of) since 1989 and have earned my Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award. This award represents the highest level of educational achievement in Toastmasters and is earned by completing a variety of speaking and leadership assignments.
A Quick Summary of My Background Experience
- Award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in marketing, public relations and science communication
- Master’s degree from the University of Maryland College Park in Journalism (from the number one public relations program in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report)
- 20+ year career as a corporate science writer, working for organizations such as City of Hope National Medical Center, Blue Shield of California and the National Human Genome Research Institute
- Author of two books in the online space: Home Sweet Home Page, which received numerous positive reviews, and 57 Secrets for Branding Yourself Online (from Logical Logical Expressions Publishing)
I Am a Survivor and Thriver
People often comment on my strength and courage, but these qualities were hard won. In 2010, I left an emotionally abusive marriage, only to fall into another relationship that was worse. That relationship ended the night my boyfriend attacked me, resulting in a fractured orbital. However, it was that same fateful night that woke me up and got me to do the inner work I had only been dabbling in before.
After a year of counseling, training and studying Universal Laws, I met a good man who loves me as I am and supports me when my confidence and courage ebbs and flows (as it does for everyone). Because of the inner work, I was finally ready to let such a man into my life. (Fun fact: We met through Toastmasters!)
But the trials weren't over. Just as we announced our wedding date, I was hit by a car while crossing the street, resulting in multiple fractures in my skull, left arm, ribs, and hips. It took four months to learn how to walk again. All aspects of my life have been affected by that accident, but I ... with the help of my then fiancé/now husband, as well as the long-distance support of my social media followers ... am pulling through stronger than ever.
It is the combination of all these experiences — both good and bad — that make me a good mentor to those struggling with owning their gifts. If you would like to start on your Public Speaking Superhero’s Journey, begin by scheduling a no-cost Speaker’s Call to Adventure session with me today!
Listen to My Public Speaking Superhero's Journey
The last episode of Season One of the Public Speaking Super Powers Podcast features guest host Christopher Gildemeister (my husband) interviewing me about my public speaking journey. Here it is for your viewing pleasure.