October 8th Meetup

Confidence & Public Speaking

Allies gathered this month to discuss Public Speaking - how this skill affects our careers, bias around different communication attributes and some tips & resources for improving. Whether you are addressing a room full of strangers - or a board room of peers, “Glossophobia” (fear of public speaking) is something the entire group agreed to experiencing at some point.

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We welcomed first time attendee, Engineer & Procurement Specialist Jasmine Majdpour to share her expertise & experiences on this topic. Jasmine is the President of the Liberty Leaders Chapter for Toastmasters International - a massive worldwide organization that has helped millions achieve their goals.

She is all too familiar with the uneven playing field between men and women, having experienced it first hand in varying forms. Jasmine grew up Libya, and moved to Saudi Arabia at a young age. Surrounded by a culture in which women were stripped of many basic rights such as driving, travelling, voting. At university, she studied engineering - a field that has traditionally been very male dominated, although in recent history there has been significant effort to engage women in engineering and sciences. Now at work, again she is in a field in which she is a minority. As she navigates through these experiences, she explains she is learning how to display her strengths and has found that being female has served as an advantage. “Diversity is important and learning how to leverage qualities that are inherently female to your advantage is so key, especially in a society in which we are so frequently being told to act more like men.”

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We further explored this concept in an article from Gender & the Economy - Addressing the Gender Confidence Gap. Discussing how natural feminine attributes can actually be seen as positive. Ally David Machotka pointed out the differences he noted even during the meetup how women engage differently than their male counterparts - Men being traditionally competitive communicators and women being more on the cooperative side.

A large take away from this month’s meetup was FEEDBACK. Jasmine shared one of the major benefits of attending Toastmasters, either as a member or guest, was the valuable feedback & how it is delivered to someone trying to improve their public speaking skills. Seeking feedback from trusted individuals interested in your development, being aware of your “filler words” & finding your tone can make a huge difference on how your presentation lands.

Special thank you to  Emily Morris  for her major contributions to AIT since the beginning!

Special thank you to Emily Morris for her major contributions to AIT since the beginning!

October also marks our 12th consecutive Allies in Tech Meetup! We cannot thank our sponsors Beanfield Metroconnect & Regus enough for their allyship in helping making these events possible - along with all the attendees, speakers, volunteers & organizers for their vital and crucial contributions shaping this group into such a positive & necessary resource for the community.

Hoping to see everyone next month as we celebrate 1 full year of Allies in Tech!

Krista Sayer AIT