I might not have gone to college, but I spend enough time at colleges presenting and working on summits with them that I feel like I basically got a college degree from 100 + colleges!
I’m constantly on the hunt to find new high schools and colleges that have a heavy focus on liberal arts and entrepreneurship because I not only scout a lot of talent and future speakers at these schools, but appreciate spending time on campuses with students who I present to and equally learn so much from.
Lately I’ve been working with Concordia University, a small liberal arts college in Austin (about 30 minutes away from downtown) on different panels and events. I presented to a group of students who were studying everything from communications to medicine last week and really enjoyed connecting with them. There are certain times when I’ll present a full talk with a powerpoint attached, and there are other times where I’ll present to students in a way more chill and intimate way. The latter is how last weeks talk went – I shared my journey with entrepreneurship and running a startup, and then encouraged them to ask questions and share their stories with me.
Some of the topics we covered are in the above photo, but two questions that were asked and stood out to me were how do you become comfortable speaking in front of others, and how important is social media when applying for jobs?
Here’s what I’ve realized about public speaking: it’s a muscle you have to continue to workout. There are times where it’s harder for me to present to people depending on what’s going on in my life -I was more distracted on this day, so I notice certain elements like my answers take longer for me to formulate than they do when I’m feeling 100% sharp – but you know who is noticing something like that? Me, and only me.
That’s how you become a successful public speaker: take yourself out of the equation and show up. No one cares about what you’re wearing or saying as long as it’s authentic to you and your journey. People seek and admire authenticity in every element of life, so show up, talk in your most authentic way, and let people like you without trying to set the stage before you even show up.
Trying to base future endeavors and job opportunities on social media isn’t something I suggest because most employers aren’t relying on you to have a huge social media presence or use it often to land the job. What I do say is having some experience, especially if you want to work in business/start a company, in social media is always valuable. You want to be the 1% – so anything you can do to differentiate yourself from your competitors is valuable. Make a profile on Upwork or Fiverr and get a few social media management gigs outside of your 9-5 job, or try some copywriting gigs. You might hate them and that’s fine, but you’ve got something new to add to your resume and that ROCKS!
Where I’m speaking next:
Menlo University: November 4th, 2021
Kendra Scott Institute at UT Austin: November 9th, 2021
Fusion Academy: November 10th, 2021
Concordia University: November 16th, 2021
Young Women’s Association Austin: January 19th, 2022