The Women’s Leadership Podcast is now LIVE!

PODCAST (1) Big news here!

The Gaia Project for Women’s Leadership now has its own podcast!

The Women’s Leadership Podcast is hosted by Elizabeth, and features advice, information and interviews covering all aspects of women’s leadership.

The first three episodes are now available right here on iTunes.

If you love the podcast, please do review us on iTunes, subscribe to the podcast, and share it with anyone you know who might be interested!

And if you’d like to see a topic covered on a future podcast, just email us at podcast@emclaughlin.com.

We hope you enjoy The Women’s Leadership Podcast!

Stepping Into the Light

MakersLast week, I spoke at the most significant event to date of my career.

As you may know, MAKERS is an AOL-led conference which honors women who make the world.

This year, honorees included Gloria Steinem, Sheryl Sandberg, Annie Leibovitz, America Ferrara, Abby Wambach, Caitlyn Jenner, Katie Couric, Halle Berry, and many other extraordinary women.

I was invited to speak at the wrap-up MAKERS event for Verizon/AOL, wherein I presented to the 60 most powerful women at Verizon/AOL on the topic of leading change as women leaders in a 24/7 world.

As you might imagine, stepping into an arena this big, with these kind of names, requires some serious preparation.

And while I’ve gotten used to what it takes to grow one’s profile at a highly accelerated pace in the last few years, I still needed more preparation for this event than I’ve needed for any other.

So what does it take to step into the light of an event like this?

Here’s a few things that I learned about what you need to do to get ready for a huge professional opportunity like this.

Preparation is everything.

I spent weeks getting ready for this event. Weeks. I read new books on public speaking (more on that below), framed out the content of my talk, had numerous conference calls with the folks at Verizon/AOL about where my talk would fit into their programming, and practiced my speech at least a dozen times.

Why does preparation matter so much? Because you never know what might happen on the day of an event like this.

In my case, the program was running long, and I was asked at the last second by one of my contacts at Verizon if I could try to get them back on schedule. Because of preparation, I knew exactly what to cut from my speech to get her where she needed to go, and pulled it off without a hitch.

Know what you don’t know.

Even though I speak in public on topics of women’s leadership at least once a month, I knew that I might need some extra help on this one.

Fortunately, I had an easy source to turn to for advice: a book written by Michael Port, entitled Steal the Show.

In Steal the Show, Michael shares all his best public speaking tips and all his best preparatory advice for a high-profile appearance.

And while some of what he shares in the book has always come naturally to me, much of his advice provoked me to prepare and plan my speech in new and different ways.

When you know what you don’t know, you’re able to fill the gaps. And then, your weaknesses can be converted into strengths as well.

Trust your gut, and don’t be afraid to change on the fly in response.

Two days before the MAKERS event itself, something in my speech didn’t feel right. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew something wasn’t resonating as I’d hoped.

I reached out to several high-profile entrepreneurial friends, gave them a rough outline of my speech, and asked for feedback.

Result? The day before the program, I scrapped the organization of my original speech and rearranged the content entirely.

Now while that may sound scary, my intuitive alarm bells knew that if I didn’t pay attention, I wouldn’t resonate with the audience. Something needed to be fixed to get the result I wanted and share the best of my knowledge with this amazing audience.

Despite this last minute shift– or perhaps because of it– my final speech was met with a standing ovation and rave reviews from everyone in the room. The panelist immediately after me took the stage and said “we’ve seen some great things in the last few days, but Elizabeth was, to me, the home run.”

Which leads me to the final thing I learned from this event.

Accept praise and compliments with grace.

This is a reminder to all of us: when we’ve succeeded and performed well at a new level we’ve never hit before, it’s important to not downplay our hard work and achievement.

I was thrilled to hear the feedback I received on my speech. I also accepted the compliments with grace and without minimizing them.

You, like me, work hard for your success. The next time you hit a pinnacle, remember: no one got you there but you. Bask in it. You’re worth it.

With gratitude for all the ways in which you step into the light,

Elizabeth

 

 

 

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Into the Cauldron

shutterstock_221833510Some of you may have been wondering where I’ve been.

It’s true, it’s been several months since I sent anything out to all of you via one of my usual blogs or newsletters.

Why? Well, the short answer is that 2015 has been an interesting year.

You may remember that back in June, my family decided to relocate our home base to Seattle as an experiment.

Sometimes, experiments don’t go off exactly as planned.

And more often than not, when you’re off the path you’re meant to take, the Universe will notify you of that– often with the force of a brick to the head.

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Ivanka Trump, Perez Hilton and Me– Or, Why Basic Networking is Not Enough

IMG_3751Those of you who are regular readers of my blog know how adamant I am about the importance of networking.

I’ve written quite a bit before about my Spiderweb Approach to networking, how I teach it to my clients, and how you can apply it to your work and life.

Basic networking, however, is only part of the story of your success.

Why? Because it’s what you do once you’re connected to folks who take an interest in your success that matters most.

Which brings me to the story of how I ended up PMing with Perez Hilton on Twitter about technology management, my speaking engagement tonight at the 92nd Street Y, and being bicoastal with a family.

But first, a little backstory.

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