The Digital Conversationalist

Professional speakers in Thailand

#44 Weekend reads – tips for first-time speakers at IWD21

On the 8th of March, and throughout the month, thousands and thousands of women will be giving public speeches, the majority for the very first time. From everyone I’ve spoken to who is in this situation, the nerves are growing, the anxiety too. Ladies, you’ve got this!!

To help, I thought I’d give you some tips on what I’ve learned as a professional speaker, because even after all these years, I still get nervous every time I speak too. I hope this helps.

  1. Embrace the nerves. It’s a good thing, because it means you care. Use the energy of your nerves to power your speech
  2. Seize your moment, because this is your moment to shine. Whoever invited you to speak, did so because you’ve got something important to share. So, get lots of practice in before the big day, then get up there and deliver your speech, because someone in your audience needs to hear what you’ve got to say. YOU have the ability to change people’s lives with the words you will share this week. So seize the moment and believe in the power of your message
  3. Before the big day, record your speech, whether audio or better yet, video. Listen to yourself. It’s uncomfortable yes, but it’s a really good way of critiquing yourself and fine-tuning your message. Also, get feedback from someone close to you. Always useful
  4. Most new speakers underestimate how much time a speech will take, because you just don’t have the experience of knowing how much additional time a live audience can add to a speech. As an example, if you’re doing an activity, it will take much longer than you expect to get your audience up, moving and then settled back down afterwards. The best thing to do is always make it shorter and you’ll probably hit the time perfectly. Speaking to time is really important to ensure the event doesn’t run over and shows respect to other speakers
  5. Before you go on stage, even if it’s a digital stage, stand off to the side with your hands on your hips for five minutes before show time. This is a famous TED Talk tip. I do this all the time, because it really opens you up, and helps you get into a confident mindset. When you’re standing with your hands on your hip, take lots of deep breaths too. Relax
  6. Have a mantra for yourself and the message you want to share. As an example: I am here to make the world a better place through the words that I share. This really helps you to believe in the power of your voice to create change. Say it over and over in your mind before the big day
  7. If you’re speaking digitally, look into the camera so people feel that you’re looking straight into their eyes. This is an uncomfortable thing to do, however if you find yourself looking at the actual screen and the people in your audience, just come back to the camera.  A lot of people put sticky notes next to the camera with arrows saying Look Here.
  8. When you speak, always remember it’s about your audience, it’s not about you. That can feel like a really weird thing to say when you’re so nervous, but if you can embrace this idea, it helps your nerves! You’re there for your audience, you’re there for your message, and you’re there to change lives
  9. Your audience will hold you up, smile, laugh and love you for being up there. They want you to succeed. When looking out over the sea of faces, look at the ones smiling at you, and try not to be put off by blank faces. I had an early speaking session where the whole audience was looking at me like this and I thought I bombed. Afterwards I found out that the audience loved it. The blank faces nearly put me off, but it was a great lesson not to going into self-judgement while I was speaking. Just speak your truth with love in your heart

Ladies enjoy. Have fun. Believe in yourself, believe in your message, believe in your ability to change people’s lives. This pandemic has been horrendous for everyone, more so for women. Progress for women around the world has taken a huge steps backwards in the last 12 months, in both professional and private life. So this International Women’s Day, let’s raise our voices, share our message bravely, boldly, courageously, and believe in our power to change the world for the better. We need you

I hope these tips help and good luck with your speeches. I always say if you can change one life with your message, it’s a message worth sharing. Go for it and good luck.

To my fellow professional speaker buddies, anything you’d add?

Friends content

The podcast with Gina Romero went live – Unconventionally with Gina Romero, EP 2: The Many Voices of Andrea T. Edwards. Would love to know your thoughts.

You can learn more about the work Gina does in this great article – kudos woman! Creating income and job opportunities for women.

I’m proud to be a contributing author to Damian Corbet’s – The Social CEO! It made it onto FT business books: March edition – awesome.

I published this blog this week – Just another case of marketing really screwing women and children – because I’m on the streets, speaking to people, and this is something that absolutely drives me crazy!


Before you scroll, please, if you can donate, donate, donate!!! Some suggestions World Food Program, UN Refugee Program, PowerOf ,, Soi Dog Foundation. If you can afford to be generous, now is the time to help your fellow human.

A special piece to share today. One Phuket – Another Day In Paradise (Cover) – was created to raise money to help people struggling economically due to the pandemic. A special group of people drove this from behind the scenes at Phuket Academy of Performing Arts and Legend Music – Recording Studio. You can follow One Phuket here.

Content to read

And here’s the content I’ve been reading this last week. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read or watch them all. Knowledge is power, and global knowledge is even more powerful.

Climate Crisis / 6th Mass Extinction

Climatologist Michael E Mann: ‘Good people fall victim to doomism. I do too sometimes’


Naomi Klein: how big tech helps India target climate activists

‘Space hurricane’ that rained electrons observed for the first time

CDP: Water risk costs for corporates five times higher than cost of action

17 key environmental bills on the 2021 agenda in California’s Legislature

Texas Farmers Tally Up the Damage From a Winter Storm ‘Massacre’ tks Denise Chai

Pristine Seas

Wind power company will breed endangered California condors

In the Atlantic Ocean, Subtle Shifts Hint at Dramatic Dangers

UN: Global climate pledges will only reduce emissions by 1% this decade

Brunt Ice Shelf: Big iceberg calves near UK Antarctic base tks Lavinia Thanapathy

Electricity needed to mine bitcoin is more than used by ‘entire countries’

Airbus reveals planes sold in last two years will emit over 1bn tonnes of CO2

Could plastic roads make for a smoother ride?

Climate crisis hits ‘worst case scenario’ levels

‘It’s a funeral march’: French artist JR’s powerful eulogy for Australia’s Murray-Darling  tks Willie Wahlin


Dolly Parton gets first dose of Covid vaccine she helped fund

Covid: Bolsonaro tells Brazilians to ‘stop whining’ as deaths spike

DNA from Neanderthals affects vulnerability to covid-19

Covid: Italy ‘blocks’ AstraZeneca vaccine shipment to Australia

Brazil’s Covid outbreak is global threat that opens door to lethal variants

Vaccine nationalism will leave everyone more at risk of coronavirus  tks Francine Varner

COVID Found Mutating Inside a Baby Born With The Virus, in a World First

After Crushing Covid-19 Last Year, These Countries Are Getting Left Behind in the Recovery

Yuval Noah Harari: Lessons from a year of Covid

Frontier Cancels Flight, Citing Maskless Passengers

Covid: Japan asks China to stop anal tests on its citizens

Covid-19 Vaccine ‘Passports’ Raise Ethics Concerns, Logistical Hurdles tks  David Lim

Covid-19 variants pose ‘real threat’ to vaccine progress, CDC warns

Global Politics

Friends of woman who accused Cabinet Minister of rape call for inquiry into allegation  tks  Carol Hay

F.B.I. Finds Contact Between Proud Boys Member and Trump Associate Before Riot

If he did it  tks Phillipa Edwards

QAnon Shaman: ‘I regret entering that building with every fibre of my body’

The Republican Party Is Now in Its End Stages  tks David Lim

Myanmar sees deadliest day as 38 protesters killed

Ambitious Republicans’ Dance: Embrace Trump, but Don’t Try to Be Him

Morrison’s “dob in a bludger” hotline is yet another cruel assault on our poorest people  tks Phillipa Edwards

‘Pervasive harassment’: Former Cuomo adviser says governor ‘kissed me on the lips’

CPAC: Trump rules out new political party in speech to conservatives

‘Myanmar is like a battlefield’: UN says at least 18 dead as security forces fire on protesters

In Morrison’s government, a lack of accountability has become systemic  tks Willie Wahlin

Business and Technology

The future of work after COVID-19

The rich vs the very, very rich: the Wentworth golf club rebellion

Better Business Act tks Richard Lowe

‘I’ve Never Seen Anything Like This’: Chaos Strikes Global Shipping

Marketing: How fmcg brands are taking gaming to another level

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak: Get off Facebook

My 10 Biggest Mistakes As BrewDog CEO tks Damian Corbett

Opinion | Love Factory: The Price of Being a Social Media Star

Social issues (#BlackLivesMatter) and humanity

Sarah Silverman apologises to Paris Hilton for prison jokes

A Baptist Pastor Delivered a Wildly Sexist Sermon Telling Wives to Lose Weight

From Colombia to Mars, NASA engineer achieves dreams of reaching space

Sonja McLaughlan: BBC condemns online abuse of reporter after Six Nations interviews

Golden Globes: ‘Tears’ as Chloe Zhao becomes first Asian woman to win best director

Six Laws of Manhood That Everyone Should Live By  tks Joanne Flinn

‘Shocked by the uproar’: Amanda Gorman’s white translator quits

Tory London mayor hopeful says basic income would be used for ‘lots of drugs’

After eight years in immigration detention, I cannot believe I am free in Australia

Arguing about whether science says trans people exist is a trap, and it’s hurtful. tks Brian Sibley

Meghan ‘saddened’ by bullying complaint report

Taylor Swift criticises Netflix show for ‘deeply’ sexist joke

SAS: Who Dares Wins’ Ant Middleton dropped over BLM and Covid tweets

After Baptist Pastor Tells Wives to Lose Weight, His Church is in Crisis Mode

Student loan debt cancellation: Biden is wrong about it

Joel Kaplan’s Policy Team Sways Big Facebook Decisions Like Alex Jones Ban

Passion, humour, history

Somebody Told This Guy That Ladies Will Find Him More Attractive If He Posted Pics With Filters, And The Results Are Hilarious  tks  Joyce Ano

14 right royal takedowns of the media’s Meghan Markle blame game

London Euston cat-astrophe averted for train-surfing puss

This Man Rode a Bike From India to Sweden—for Love

Popular flea collar linked to almost 1,700 pet deaths. The EPA has issued no warning.

UK meteor: Fireball that lit up the sky over UK dropped fragments on ground, experts say

Octopus steals camera and wins underwater photography competition  tks Frank Roberts

Sir Kazuo Ishiguro warns of young authors self-censoring out of ‘fear’

Viral TikTok Shows Proposal Taking Place Mid-Wedding Reception

Thousands of artifacts discovered at a 12,500-year-old site in Connecticut  tks Lalitha Anapoorna Shivaswamy Rajesh

Pompeii: Archaeologists unveil ceremonial chariot discovery

Let me know if anything jumped out at you?



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Check out our co-authored Best Selling Book – Unleash Your Voice – Powerful Public Speaking for Every Woman – proud to be part of this too!

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I believe it’s time for all of us to embrace our voice and embrace the future. We do this by working and living ‘out loud’ with meaning, intention, integrity and by being true to ourselves. If you own your voice, you own your future.

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