Today my guest for the Simplicity interview is Marilyn Jess who I came across through my Simplicity Blog about three years ago. Marilyn always offers great comments and we have a healthcare career in common.
Marilyn is a very well qualified speaker and offers professional guidance to those who are nervous about the art of public speaking.
I'm sure you will enjoy reading about Marilyn's work and career - please let her have your comments.
Trevor - Where are you based in the US Marilyn and can you tell us a bit about your career to date?
Marilyn - I live in southwestern Vermont, near Albany, NY. I'm actually between my second and third careers. I went back to college, after dropping out early, and got a Masters in Nutritional Sciences in 1987. I'm a Registered Dietitian, and most recently a Licensed Wellcoach®. Last year I launched a new business as a speaker and speaking coach called “Speaking Of...,” giving workshops on improving communication skills. Because I have spent 20+ years in health care, my niche audience is health care professionals. I work online as a wellness coach, too.
Trevor - How did you first get into Toastmasters?
Marilyn - My husband Jim and I moved back to New England from California in 1997 to be near family. When I landed in the small town we moved to I knew no one here. I'd heard of Toastmasters, and since I spoke in my job I was curious about it. After attending three meetings as I guest, I was so impressed that I joined. That was 1998-I'm still in that club.
Trevor - What are the main benefits of joining Toastmasters?
Marilyn - You can take your speaking talent—and we all come to Toastmasters with talent on some level- and improve it as far as you want to go. The program is over 80 years old, and encompasses all aspects of how to speak successfully. You gain confidence and competence by preparing and giving many types of speeches. Another big benefit is the Toastmasters leadership track. You learn leadership by doing it—I can't think of a better way. Your listening skills become finely tuned, and that's a benefit that's priceless today. Most important, you express yourself better, in any situation.
Trevor - Can you give a few tips to those people who are nervous about public speaking?
Marilyn - To turn your signature phrase 'Preparation is the Key.' Learn as much as you can about your audience. That's an area many speakers don't do well enough. Outline your speech. Rehearse. Have a killer opening and close that you know cold. Tape yourself, time yourself. Drink LOTS of water beforehand. To perfect these skills — join a club www.toastmasters.org
Trevor - I feel Mr Obama is a superb speaker. Do you agree and what are his special qualities?
Marilyn - Yes, I agree he is an effective speaker because he has a clear message. He knows history and uses that in his speaking. I have heard he writes his speeches, or major parts of them, as Lincoln did—that's a strength. I feel he could be even more effective if he worked on removing filler words from his speaking.
Trevor - Have you visited the UK and if not do you have plans to come to this side of the pond?
Marilyn - Sadly, I have not visited the UK—always wanted to. No current plans, and I want to see Scotland, England and Ireland!
Trevor - Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Marilyn - Check out my blog: http://marilyn-speakingof.blogspot.com/
I'm on LinkedIn and Facebook too!
Trevor - That's great Marilyn - good luck in all that you do!