Femgineer’s Fright Fest

By Poornima Vijayashanker It's one week until we launch our upcoming book: Present! A Techie's Guide to Public Speaking But more importantly Halloween is right around the corner. So Karen and I decided to take a break from the book, and along with our dashing designer Pauly, created a fun video that's just a little scary for you! Read more

2 Simple Steps to Start Getting Paid to Speak

  By Poornima Vijayashanker A little over 2 years ago, I discovered that people were getting paid big money to speak. I found out that NYTimes best-selling authors make at least $25K-$50K per engagement and Fortune 500 CEOs make $100K to $400K per engagement … for one talk! I had been speaking at events and conferences for a few years at that point, but I wasn’t on either of those levels. I’d never been paid to speak at all! I had gotten over most of ... Read more

It’s Only Natural to Get Nervous

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last week was a pretty big week for me. My alma mater, Duke, won its 5th NCAA championships, whoohoo!! (Yeah, I’m currently wearing my hoodie…) And out of the blue, I was invited to sit in on an internal keynote a Fortune 500 CPO delivered to his staff. The purpose of the keynote was to encourage people to start speaking in public. So I was really surprised when the first words out of the CPO’s mouth were that he gets ... Read more

Stuck in your Career? Here’s a Tip that May Scare You

By Karen Catlin It's happened to all of us. A promotion denied. Feeling stuck in our careers. Frustrated by the recognition others get while we're working just as hard, if not more. At some point, you decided you had to change something to push forward your career. Maybe you started blogging or tweeting. Perhaps you started building more relationships with people at work. Now you're ready to do even more to increase your professional visibility. As scary as it seems, you know what ... Read more

Stop Being Serious ALL the Time

By Poornima Vijayashanker It’s been a really fun two weeks at Femgineer! Karen and I have been filming lessons for our upcoming Confident Communicator Course. And in case you’re curious about how much fun we’re having, well I’ve included a few funny pics from our sessions together. Once we’re done filming all the lessons, I’m definitely going to get to work on the a blooper reel to share with students in the course. Now it’s not all fun and games at Femgineer… OK it’s like ... Read more

You Don’t Need to be Social to Speak

By Poornima Vijayashanker This post is based on my Confident Communicator Course, which I teach once a year. If you're interested in learning more about the course and participating in it, you can check it out here. I was by no means a social butterfly as a kid. I didn’t fear approaching people one-on-one, but in group settings I was pretty shy and kept quiet. In fact, one of the reasons I joined the debate team in middle school and high school was because I ... Read more

What do I talk about?

By Poornima Vijayashanker I received a wonderful set of responses from readers like you last week on my post your presentation won’t please everyone. Thank you for sharing and teaching me! Many of you seem to be comfortable getting up and presenting to an audience, large or small, and being OK with a mixed audience. However, there were a number of folks who reached out and told me that they hadn’t given a presentation because they felt like they didn’t have any particular ... Read more

Your Presentation Won’t Please Everyone

By Poornima Vijayashanker A few weeks ago I was giving a talk at a pretty prominent conference. I wanted it to be a well received, so I checked in with the organizer to understand who was going to be there, their level of technical prowess, and what topic would resonate with them. I also spent a fair amount of time rehearsing, and designing my slides to match the quality of the conference. On the day of the conference, I felt pretty good. Then the ... Read more

Screw the Script

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last Saturday my good friend Maria and I met up in SF to film an upcoming mini-course for Femgineer. In February, we sat down to write the script, then spent a couple days rehearsing. We also met up early on Saturday to rehearse one more time. Once we were done, we helped the videographer setup the studio, and finally got to filming. As the videographer called action, I jumped into saying my lines... And started to trip up over and over ... Read more

Strategies for Speaking Up

By Poornima Vijayashanker I'm sure you've had an idea for something at some point in time. Maybe a way to improve a product or process at work? You've want to speak up, but you're of course afraid that it will get rejected. You might have even experienced this rejection before, too many time, and it was pretty painful. Believe me I used to get rejected ALL the time, and still do from time to time. But I've removed the sting and reduced ... Read more
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