I am an introvert through and through. 32 years in the wine business has changed this part of me. I often say I am an extrovert by profession meaning I’m ‘on’ when in the public eye. In the early years I learned one thing: if you didn’t speak up you were overlooked. I signed up for an executive speaking course from Lynda Paulson and 28 years later I took it again.
I took The Executive Speaking experience because I needed to brush up on my talks this year about our 90th anniversary. What I ended up doing was writing a 7 minute speech about my passion for cooking, which comes second to wine in my life. Well, my husband and family come first. Then Wine. Then Cooking.
The outline for my speech:
This particular class was made up of winery people like me as well as other executives from the insurance and capital management worlds. We had fun introducing each other and began videotaping all of our assignments including our 7 minute talk which we then critiqued on the afternoon of the last day. While a work in progress, I could see more confidence in my posture as well as voice. What struck me most was the 'But, ums' I peppered throughout—and I recalled the How I Met Your Mother episode with the drinking game based on how many times Robin said But, um. See it here for a refresher.
So I’ll be working those But, ums out of my speaking. Lynda calls them non-words which also include actually and so. Most importantly I’ll be rehearsing the heck out of my talking points. The mirror and video will be my friends during this time. I also want to call out my husband Ed who has helped me over the years with finding my voice-the real me. A toast to future talks with some Chardonnay in my Dino!
Here is the team-great lunch at Bistro Don Giovanni by the way.