Lois Phillips PhD, AWC-SB founding President, spoke at the February meeting attended by more than 40 AWC-SB members and nonmembers. She opened her presentation by reminding her audience that public speaking continues to be one of the greatest fears for most Americans.
Women face particular challenges as public speakers. Dr. Phillips explained, “The voice of authority has traditionally been male.” As a result women need to become deliberate about creating credibility. Dr. Phillips discussed various types of presentations and gave concrete advice about how to avoid the minefields in delivery style often common to female speakers.
She also asked participants respond to a series of prompts taken from her new book, Women Seen and Heard Speaker’s Journal: Workbook and Templates (Phillips and Perez Ferguson, 2019).
Sample questions included:
- Think about dinner table conversations when you were a child or a teen. Did you hear people debate the issues? Was your opinion solicited?
- Think of ONE woman you’ve seen speak in public who impressed you Describe her style.
- Do you have a particular “big idea” you’d love to see funded? Are you ready to “pitch?”
Dr. Phillips ended with a practice exercise. She asked members of the audience to think about an idea or a product they want to promote then apply the user-friendly PITCH template she provided. Three people in the audience volunteered to share their presentations–a sommelier, an author, and a fashion designer. The high quality of their presentations confirmed the value of the template.