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Hello, my name is Dagnija Lejina. I am from Latvia, from Riga. I call myself “Oratora”. And this is also the name, of the public speaking company I founded just last year.Why I did it ? I am a PR professional with 20 years of experience. I am here because I am in particular interested in Tech and the startup world. 5 years ago, I founded the Digital Freedom Festival. One of the biggest Tech events in the Baltic Sea region. Gathering 2000 people every year in Riga.
This Festival, was an eye-opener for me. You cannot imagine my own embarrassment when I saw in my first tech event that I got maybe 10% of women on stage. (…) If I don’t make a special effort to get more women on the stage in this Tech event, nothing will change.
So we put this goal to have 50% women speakers. Easy to say, hard to do. Especially in the Tech world. Just look at the statistics. Only 10% women are founders of startup companies. Only 20-30% of women are working in IT Tech companies, depending on the country. There is obviously a huge face bro and if we say that we are living in a digital Revolution so where are the women fighters ?
At that moment I made the choice. Instead of being this angry person who is tweeting all the time about all-male panels. I decided that I want to make positive change and I want to influence this change myself. (…)
I see public speaking as a very very important leadership transformation instrument. Both internally, as a person, as a personality but also in a career, professionally. (…)Tech and startups world is so much around sharing ideas on stage, evangelist, pitching ideas, inspirational talks about the purposes of of transforming the world. I could say in the Tech world and especially for the women: if you are not on stage you do not exist. My advice is: instead of being angry maybe we, women, have to start holding our room. We have to help each other. We should inspire each other.
1/ you should start with yourself. You have to recognize your powerful, positive, high status. Some people call it Charisma or confidence. Some people say: “wow, that speaker really radiates on stage”. People really feel it, they love it. And this positive attitude is what really counts.
2/ check what happens internally what your heart is passionate about and what your mind really cares. (…). Maybe you are not the best expert or the smartest person in the room on everything. But you can definitely be the most passionate about something.
3/ Recognize and stop all these internal, killing, negative dialogues. Recognize imposter syndrome and lower all the barriers of perfectionism. Make it just good enough. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.
4/ Get a mentor a person who can help you narrow down your topics, discuss presentations, inspire you, and most of all will not let you say last-minute stop.
5/ It is okay actually to be afraid to be on stage. Some statistics say that 75% of people are afraid of being on stage.
6/ Your breath is a super powerful instrument you have, in any case. It’s always good idea to breathe. Inhale and exhale.
7/A good presentation is all about preparation. One minute speech requires one hour preparation.
8/ Take off the pressure from your own ego. Do not concentrate so much on you but concentrate on the audience instead. Audience is the key.