You and yours: celebrate TEDWomen with TEDxPrincetonLibrary

Posted: November 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Leadership and public voice, TEDx and TED | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »


TEDx communities across the globe will convene independent programs in honor of TED’s first TEDWomen Conference (which will be held next week in Washington, DC); the speaker slate is dynamo to say the least.

Do you plan to attend DC’s event or a live streamed program of motivating discussions and ideas worth spreading?

A TEDx story and how the social web inspired introductions:
During this year’s WomenWhoTech Telesummit, I had the pleasure of meeting Janie Hermann on Twitter; Janie founded the TEDxPrincetonLibrary series and expressed interest in celebrating TEDWomen through a locally hosted program. She and her team then put ideas in motion!

I can’t wait to participate in a day of robust conversation at TEDxPrincetonLibrary’s event and present about the night’s timely theme: women and technology in the age of conversation.

The beautiful Princeton Library will host (where TEDWomen will be live streamed and discussed throughout December 7th and 8th).

This particular TEDx event (or @TEDxPrincetonPL on Twitter) will also include a lightning speaker round on 12/7th, showcasing tremendous business leaders Holly Landau, Katie DeVito, Hilary Morris, and Melissa Klepacki. Each will share how they cultivate socially aware brands.



…there’s more that night: the smooth, lyrical voice of Sara Donner will perform too.

Want to join us? Please do!

RSVP right here for a super meeting of the minds and enjoy the TEDWomen Conference via live stream. Participate in (and energize) discussions addressing how women and girls are reshaping the future. All this is complimentary to the public at TEDxPrincetonLibrary so please RSVP while seats last (there’s a small fee for dinner, should your appetite get inspired too).

Participating in the superhero-like TEDxPotomac this year with curator Michelle Hoffman created the most incredible memories.  I look forward to more ideas worth spreading at this TEDx next week.

If you had 18 minutes, what would be your one big idea to share?

Image Talk by HippyDream, Creative Commons

9 tips tips tips on public speaking mojo from WomenWhoTech’s Telesummit

Posted: September 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Practice, Women entrepreneurs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Orange sky creative commons pic

After hours of strong, resourceful, on-fire conversations – by the end of the day not even the sky could stop the momentum of ideas at this year’s WomenWhoTech Telesummit.

Image Orange Sky by Nick Humphries, Creative Commons.

Holy Awesome Event Batman…and some recaps

Last Wednesday, Allyson Kapin hosted the third annual WomenWhoTech Telesummit that left hundreds of women leaders, technologists, and business professionals enlightened worldwide. Fantastic and deep recaps of the experience now fill the blogosphere with as example: Liminal States and the ever insightful and inclusive view from Jon Pincus ) and Sue Anne Reed’s key takeways, plus Shellie Holubek’s own standouts and content suggestions for next year. Techcrunch CEO Heather Harde plus Tara Hunt, Cathy Brooks, Shireen Mitchell, and 20+ other awesome presenters joined the speaker slate and knocked all our conversational socks off.

Tips: taking on perfectionism, public speaking, and the pitch
Lightening talks launched #WWT this time i.e. four, 10 to 20 minute consecutive conversations. I was ecstatic to co-present the day’s opening discussion with Allyson: tools for public speaking in our Web 2.0 environment.

…with a debrief:

2 tips to transcend that public speech perfectionism
Does waiting for the perfect fund of knowledge derail your assertion to speak in public? Some ideas to assert this:

  • 1. Engage your own stage 15 minutes weekly with social media tools. Start free-form talking to yourself into a smart phone’s audio device or casually interviewing peers via mobile audio platforms like Utterli or with accessible video cameras like the Flip. Podcast steadily. Keep this practice content published or unpublished, whichever.

    The goal: Gain confidence in and awareness for your public conversation ability.

  • 2. Commit to regular, impromptu Q&A with a trusted peer(s) regarding topics that compel you. Confront that feeling of “deer-headlights-don’t-know-answer.”

    The goal: Strengthen flexibility in your impromptu engagement style. Develop the ability to own it publicly when an answer is unknown and continue to lead the audience dynamic despite this.

5 tips for pitching to speaker selection committees

  • 1. Commit to submitting steadily to panel and conference speaker selection committees — even if they thank you with rejection emails. It’s the Olympic numbers game here…pitch, pitch, submit, submit.
  • 2. Invite known industry leaders to join your panelist slates.
  • 3. Know at the beginning of the year (well before conference season) the industry conferences / events at which you want to be a featured speaker. Then document submission due dates for speaker selection committees (engage and learn from past speakers at said events and past selection committees if possible).
  • 4. Create and publish shareable clips of your public conversations. Whether presenting in live audiences or conversation in podcasting talks, capture that content – even if it’s casual/social – and submit to selection committees.
  • 5. Request endorsements for your public speaking ability and publish on LinkedIn and main online hub. Former audience members – even mentors or colleagues – are open game to solicit and publish great reviews.

    The goal: Execute a strategic approach to public speaking. Make your skill and champion topics visibly accessible for pitch decision makers.

2 tips on mental fortitude and public speech

  • Perfectionism isn’t the end game, but participation is.
  • At the heart of public speaking (and thus conversational leadership) is a willingness to give and receive attention – through content you give a distinct damn about.

There were added suggestions and recaps in the above cited event posts too.

What an energizing exchange and day.

What do you think?

What would you add?

Afterparty crowd celebrates an incredible WomenWhoTech Telesummit

Posted: September 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Women entrepreneurs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »
My biz Live Your Talk was thrilled to sponsor the telesummit this year. …fantastic speakers and over 500 people attended worldwide.

Posted via email from jillfoster’s posterous

Wrestling with ‘authenticity 2.0′ and rants about women

Posted: September 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized, Women entrepreneurs | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Golden Reflection

Welcome! Quick fyi: below was submitted as a guest post to Women Grow Business to publish week of 9/13/10.

A colleague and I recently discussed women’s self-promotion styles compared to men. Then Clay Shirky’s blog post “A Rant About Women” came up and his thought provoking remarks on the subject. His comments also sharpened my own reflections that I had resisted admitting (image Golden Reflection, Creative Commons, by Chad Galloway).

I wish Clay Shirky’s rant from earlier this year contradicted my own observations i.e. that women often threaten their own success by failing to promote themselves effectively or by avoiding that axiom “fake it till you make it.” Clay’s post said this ‘fake it till you make it’ trait is one men seem to exercise with ease and that women would do well to exercise more.

I look forward to when he’ll discuss his rant (and the consequences from it) this week at the WomenWhoTech Telesummit.

Owning up to ‘authenticity 2.0′
Even though my observations of women in many cases, especially those here at Women Grow Business, differ from Shirky’s premise – some of them also resonate. I know for sure I could be more diligent at promoting great women (and men too!), at promoting myself, at going after certain speaker submission goals (quick aside – Susan Mernit shared a great, inclusive speaking calendar that’s tech and business centric).

How are your promotion skills (for self, others)? Honestly I’d like to think my strengths are solid yet I can name plenty of instances when I suppressed self-advocacy to avoid criticism or vulnerability – recently.

A woman thing?
It can be said that avoiding vulnerability is ok and human vs just ‘a woman thing’. But could someone (or their magic wand) just share their magical always-a-confident-elegant-self-promoting-dynamo potion? I’m ready to consume…

This isn’t something that’s savory to admit out loud. But if my self-leadership is to further benefit the life it leads and those impacted by it, then I better own up to this ‘authenticity 2.0′ age we live in and admit Clay Shirky’s rant still hits home.

Be more like men?
As he also admitted toward the end of his rant, he doesn’t know the solution. That makes two of us. Should we women assert self-promotion more like men? Should we teach young women those ‘fake it till you make it’ self-promotion mentalities to better land competitive jobs? Clay Shirky thinks so and as of this writing, I give it a strong maybe.

Winds of change

From the vantage point of preserving authenticity, one part of me resists telling us women to model men’s behavior (image Winds of Change by Kharied, Creative Commons):

“Let our true selves ring free! Self-promote as you will (or not).” …says that inner Joan of Arc. Yet it is matched by an inner devil’s advocate that says: “Girl, you’re kiddin’ yourself. You gotta up your game and promote more like a bandit.”

Do your inner Joans of Arc and devilish advocates wrestle with eachother too? It’s unclear what teachable and generational solutions are to what is a very sensitive appraisal of our gender. There are many nuances, variables, and layers to this topic (in and beyond sexism) that Clay and many others have addressed.

How often does this topic come up in your communities?
What’s your perspective? Do you believe it is an over addressed subject or one that could be discussed more openly?

A summarized approach that’s renewing my commitment to diligently self-promote (with ideally some grace too!):

  • commit to being one’s best advocate;
  • assert a ‘public speech 2.0′ mentality in business and personal development. Are the great stories and strengths of your business and your expertise ready for engagement i.e. for stage delivery (a speech), a persuasive conversation (a sales dynamic or job interview), and social networks (your online community)?
  • seek out strong and compelling forums (that can also be promotional environments) which engage women, like for starters, Women Grow Biz(!) and WomenWhoTech Telesummit. As mentioned Clay takes the rant to the summit on 9/15th. Full disclosure – I’m on WomenWhoTech’s advisory committee but have much respect for the incredible line-up that includes TechCrunch CEO Heather Harde and 30+ other fabulous women in tech and social media.

What’s your approach to consistent habits of promotion (for self and others)?