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

3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Preparing a Presentation

By Poornima Vijayashanker This week one of my primary goals was to create an outline for my upcoming TEDx talk: Taking the Time to Tinker. The talk isn’t until May 10th, but the folks at TED take these talks very seriously and believe in early preparation! My coordinator, Gail, scheduled a call with my for Friday morning at 10am. During the week, I had a lot of work I had to focus: I had to present at a Femgineer Forum, teach my Lean ... Read more

Learning How to Communicate Compassionately and Confidently Takes Time

By Poornima Vijayashanker People reach out to me and tell me that they'd LOVE to improve their speaking style but they just don’t have time… Let’s tackle time. I’ve had a couple jobs where I’ve dreaded having 1-1s with my boss. I’d walk in, they’d ask me to sit down, then they’d start talking… Next thing I knew, 30 minutes was gone, and they would have been talking the whole time, while I proceeded to politely nod my head. They’d tell me things I ... Read more

Become a Confident Communicator

By Poornima Vijayashanker 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 debate in middle school and high school was because I knew I wanted to be a lawyer, and figured I needed to learn how to overcome my fear of speaking in public! Toward the end of my debate career in high school I had ... Read more

Femgineers Build Street Cred

Last Tuesday, Femgineer hosted its last forum of the year at Wealthfront. The forum proved to be our most attended with over 60 people in the audience. WealthFront did a great job welcoming the community of Femgineers! Femgineers were greeted with an interactive registration display that showed their names all throughout the wall’s television monitors and displayed live tweets about the event throughout the evening. Besides the food and festive networking, many got a glimpse at Wealthfront and their company culture. Team ... Read more

Summer Roundup: Curated Tech Talks on Front-end Development, UX, and Startups

by Frances Advincula   I attended SenchaCon, my first tech conference, a couple of weeks ago. I thoroughly enjoyed, and I learned so much that I was inspired to compile this list of really great tech talks with a focus on front-end development and user experience. With summer almost over, here's your excuse to productively lounge by the pool or at the beach, with your iPad of course. Pixeltalks is a great blog that curates videos from presentations across the world in topics such as ... Read more

How to Start Getting Speaking Engagements

I know many people are afraid of public speaking, I was too!  It just so happened that I managed to get rid of it once and for all after doing it for 18 years :)  (I started doing oratory and debate when I was 12.) If you've looked at my speaker page it's clear that I speak a lot!  So it's natural that I get asked the question, "How did you get started getting speaking engagements?"  I'm assuming that if you're asking ... Read more

How to Overcome Stage Fright

Even I who have been public speaking since the ripe age of 12 had stage fright.  The major cause of my stage fright was actually concentrating too much on the content and outcome of speaking, instead of connecting with an audience.  Here's a step-by-step guide for how you too can overcome stage fright with time. Get comfortable talking to strangers. We've all been taught to not talk to strangers.  (Caveat: don't talk to strangers in dark alleys.)  Do approach people at events, ... Read more

Presentation Skillz: Handling Audio and Video

Keeping an audience captivated is the number 1 goal of any presenter.  The content of your presentation takes a backseat to being captivating; no one is going to pay attention to what you are saying if you aren't interesting and engaging!  Being engaging requires energy and enthusiasm, which is easier to do in person because people absorb it through your body language and facial expressions.  But so many presentations today are done across a variety of technology mediums that it become ... Read more
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