So much awesome: the GrowSmartBiz Conference Nov. 5th

Posted: October 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Be Awesome

Do you own your own business or aspire to? Do you like to fill your day with all types of awesome?

Then please join us at the GrowSmartBiz Conference in DC next week [hint: a great, resourceful day awaits].

Both the conference hosts, Washington Business Journal and Network Solutions, seem to have hit the day’s agenda out of the park with only the benefit of small business owners in mind.

C’mon out and join us!
There will even be a chance to meet the Social Media Swami and Grow Smart Business champ Shashi Bellamkonda.

Multiple keynote presenters plus a stunning array of speakers will engage over a full spectrum of small business insight — from marketing and innovation to an entrepreneur bootcamp to social technology and even how small business relates to government and nonprofit sectors.

Major leaders, movers, shakers in entrepreneurship and social media will speak and share insight …including the likes of Marie Johns, Deputy Administrator of the US Small Business Administration and Rieva Lesonsky, CEO and founder of GrowBiz Media and Ramon Ray, editor of — and so many more…like social media maestros Jason Falls and Rohit Bhargava, with CRM guru Brent Leary too.

Wait, there’s more, more!

Some of the top strategic leaders and business owners who help nonprofits will be on hand too: Care2’s Jocelyn Harmon, RADCampaign’s Allyson Kapin, DigitalSistas’ Shireen Mitchell, and Katya Andresen of Network for Good.


But wait, there’s even more brilliance planned for the day with the Women Grow Business team too:

…like the fantastic Women Grow Business editor Shonali Burke plus bloggers and SEO experts Tinu Abayomi-Paul plus Deborah Ager; leadership pioneer Kathy Korman Frey; award-winning business owner Marissa Levin and human resources extraordinaire Patricia Frame.

I look forward to speaking as well on public speaking 2.0 that day.

To register!
…there’s likely a ticket waiting for you right here.

Photo Be Awesome by Eskimo_joe, Creative Commons

Reflections (with audio): Secretary Clinton’s speech at Fortune’s #MPW Summit

Posted: October 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Leadership and public voice, Speaker reviews | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »


It’s been an incredible week of speakers, thinkers, and ideas. So grateful am I to have seen President Obama, House Speaker Pelosi, and Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton speak in these last few days.

Fortune Magazine certainly convened an incredible group of forthcoming, strong storytellers at their Most Powerful Women Summit. What keeps coming to mind though are particular remarks from Secretary Clinton.

Nelson Mandela and a story that either ethically challenged or inspired or both.

The Secretary engaged with the audience in two different ways: she gave a closing address for the overall summit and then gave a relaxed, in-depth interview with TIME Chairman Ann Moore. There was a question from Moore that was something like: “What person most influenced you?” At this point, Secretary Clinton’s reply just blew me away.

She shared a specific memory about President Nelson Mandela during her White House years. In South Africa at a ceremony honoring Mandela’s leadership, Secretary Clinton remembered Mandela taking the podium and before launching into remarks, he first expressed gratitude for three jailers that worked in the Robben Island Prison where Mandela was incarcerated for many years. It was his focus on the positive qualities of those jailers and the inherent forgiveness within his gratitude that struck the Secretary and now, my outlook on both storytelling and ability to practice a forgiving mindset no matter one’s circumstances.

One minute audio clip: Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton on women in tech mentoring initiatives (and more)

“Talent is universal but opportunity is not.” -Secretary Clinton on the value of mentoring young women nationally and abroad at the #MPW summit.

It was fantastic to hear her resolute focus on the value of mentoring women in technology and overall development. Here’s a quick one minute clip of the Secretary describing the State Department’s initiative to mentor Muslim women abroad on technology and also other partnerships in the works about increasing safety protections for women as well.

Technology, especially social media, is a boon for women expressing their leadership and fortifying their sense of community. It was invigorating to learn more directly from the Secretary about these programs.

What a great day.

On her game: an entrepreneur speaks to formal and informal leadership

Posted: October 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »
Kathy Korman Frey leads a fantastic morning on how women leaders can mentor eachother for measurable results. Data data data is her mantra.

…pic from the session happening now at Sisterhood University pilot workshop. Great, resourceful time here.

Posted via email from jillfoster’s posterous

Smart, kind reflection in her remarks: hearing Sec. Clinton speak

Posted: October 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: | No Comments »

She’s incredibly engaging and I look forward – heartily – to blogging more with audio excerpts from her remarks soon.

What made President Obama laugh at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit tonight

Posted: October 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Practice | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Well the adrenaline here at the Mellon Auditorium is pretty high.

President Obama serves as tonight’s closing keynote at the Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit; and from a public speaking vantage point, I’m salivating from excitement!

…more soon as the president takes the stage.

The president underscores: “Our economy can not compete unless our citizens can compete as a workforce.” He’s emphasizing giving girls especially the confidence to pursue math and science to fuel the country’s talent pipeline.

Just now, there was a big clang of metal at the president’s podium. He’s realizing it was a metallic name plate (of his name) that detached from the podium and fell off. He’s cackling out loud, as in he’s still laughing. And he just said (while laughing): “you know someone responsible for the podium area is sweating bullets now.”

He’s emphasizing now the challenges women who launch tech startups and them getting VC support (70% less funding is received by women of tech startups than those led by men).

3 THOUGHTS: the president’s delivery
It’s official…the president and his speech writers know speechcraft. Kidding aside, it struck me that:

1) He opened with a personal story that related to this audience ie his Grandmother’s challenges in business.

2) His overall speech was story-centric. The arc of the president’s remarks involved multiple stories from the women cabinet leaders in his administration to award recipients at tonight’s ceremony.

3) He was cognizant of the summit’s theme ie building a legacy.

Plus: his delivery was conversational and his voice flexible, relaxed

What an incredible experience.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks with humor and clarity of mind

Posted: October 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: | 1 Comment »

Quote of the night (so far):
“If it is inside you to run, then run.”

-said by Speaker Pelosi’s husband to her years ago when she was considering public office.

From somewhere deep in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (left dot on stage per above iPhone photo) is ripping the crowd up ie she’s hilarious. At Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit 2010, Nora Ephron (right dot on above stage pic…) is now conducting a casual yet revealing interview on a huge stage.

What is striking is the Speaker’s voice, natural storytelling, and pace:

She punctuates her remarks lyrically with pauses and vocal strength as she grows more serious — and suggests to the hundreds of women in the audience: “Keep your home strong so it may continue to give you strength.”

She surrounds Nora’s questions with great stories ranging from getting her daughter’s permission to run for office (hilarious…) – to hearing her male colleagues discuss child birth (more good comedy…).

What she’s saying now about absorbing severe public criticism:

“I view attacks made on me like this: it requires a suit of armor, it is not for the faint of heart. I have to throw and take punches. And if I wasn’t being attacked then I would consider myself as unproductive.”

Arriving now to Fortune’s most powerful women summit

Posted: October 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Women entrepreneurs | Tags: | No Comments »
What a thrilling night.

I’m about to enjoy hearing House Speaker Pelosi speak about the impact of women-owned businesses and leadership on the economy.

It’s gorgeous here at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel near the Capital. I haven’t been here in years.

Highly anticipating the Speaker’s address.

Posted via email from jillfoster’s posterous

Actually I was in error. Speaker Pelosi didn’t speak to the economy per se. She rather shared stories about her entrance to and career in the House. Engaging, commanding conversationalist, she is.

What I learned about impromptu speech at a wine bistro

Posted: October 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Practice | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

I’m blogging now from a women’s ladies luncheon at Zola’s Wine and Kitchen. It’s an eye opening discussion about sustainable food and cooking – and embracing a farmer’s market, fresh food mentality. Welcoming remarks were made by award winning chef Barton Seaver (side note: I’m learning a heck of a lot!).

What stands out about the talk’s style is how Amy Senger, founder of 1×57 and leader of our discussion, just admitted she completely changed her presentation 30 minutes ago before this event started.

A behind-the-scenes decision:
Amy said she had a highly structured slide deck ready to present yet re-considered that approach after conferring with a friend. Since the luncheon and audience are based in a more intimate setting, she decided to ditch the slide deck and engage in an interview dynamic and Q&A. The event’s host and A Clean Life founder Steven Mandzik facilitated the casual interview, creating an impromptu yet natural presence.

Amy has a personal, compelling story to relay so I’m grateful she chose to conversationally relate in this type of event vs direct attention to visuals.

Even though the audience could have engaged for a longer time with their questions, the audience is certainly included in this conversation and Amy’s experience.

I admire her for looking clearly at the audience-speaker dynamic and making adjustments to cultivate a more interactive exchange.

Posted via email from jillfoster’s posterous