“We have all sat through bad presentations, so I encourage women to gain skill and confidence in public speaking so that your presentations are the ones that people listen to,” proclaims Lisa Evans of Speaking Savvy. She hasn’t always been in the field of public speaking, however. The London born stage presence guru originally trained as a nurse, a midwife , and specialized in neonatal intensive care. While still in England, Lisa worked in leading centres in both London and Oxford before moving to major centres in Australia, including the RPA in Sydney as a clinical nurse specialist.
Lisa has also backpacked around Australia – twice – and then met her English husband. After marrying in 1991, Lisa became mum to three beautiful daughters and two dogs (a border collie and a retired greyhound). However, her nursing career came to a sad end in 2009 when she suffered a serious illness, so, instead, she returned to university, completed an MBA and moved into the public service, which she admits to finding quite the challenge – particularly after thinking she would always be a midwife. Adjustment took a long time and this, in turn, knocked her self-confidence. She adds that her role in the public service has been both extremely challenging and rewarding. For the last six years her work in Aboriginal health has also allowed her to travel to some of the most remote towns and communities in WA.
She began public speaking, and this boosted much for her. Lisa has developed so much personally and professionally through learning and becoming competent in public speaking that her passion is now very simple: to teach others. “It seemed a natural transition to take my passion for public speaking and turn it into my own business.”
And so she did. Speaking Savvy was borne. Through her business, she teaches and inspires women to speak confidently in public, which is quite a feat for people who just do not possess that confidence. As Lisa says, she has developed and grown as a result of this and now wants to share with others. “Regardless of the current level of speaking, I guarantee that with coaching and practice I can help my clients become the speakers they want to be.” Lisa adds that for some it’s simply to learn to manage the fear that is associated with public speaking and, for others who have the essentials, it is working with them to take them to the next level. Services included are 1:1 coaching, small group workshops, as well as corporate workshops. “I can tailor a coaching package that will suit your needs and skills. I can visit your home or business or you can come to my office. I can come to your organisation, workplace group or association to speak.”
Her working day starts around 5 am. The need to be organised is essential as Lisa is still working part time in
the public service while running her business. Hence she usually does a couple of hours for her business before hopping on the train to work in the city around 7.15 am.While Lisa runs her business from an office, she tends to see most of her clients in their own environments. By doing this, she ensures people are comfortable and relaxed when she coaches them, as often being in their own surroundings helps put them at ease.
This amazing lady lists her strengths as motivation, commitment, self-discipline and a can do attitude. And she is also human so does have her self-proclaimed weaknesses: saying no to things and not being patient when things are going at a slow pace. Her values include honesty, integrity, service and commitment. Passions? Women’s issues, health and well being, the environment and, of course, public speaking. And awards? Yes – she has won these, too. “In 2014, I earned the highest educational level in Toastmasters International – the ‘Distinguished Toastmaster’ award,” adding proudly that currently only 1% of Toastmasters have completed that level. Lisa also admits it was jolly hard work and took her just under four years to get there. “I have also won many Toastmasters speech contests and have gone on to compete at the state finals on three occasions in three different categories.”
Lisa is inspired by surrounding herself with likeminded women who know what they want and who are determined to get there![Tweet ” I believe that public speaking is the one skill that can set you apart from your competitors. “]
However, like most successes in life, none of this has been achieved without overcoming a few obstacles. Being far from her family, who still lives in England, is tough, especially with three children under five at the time. And Lisa’s husband owns a successful engineering company so also works long hours. Any ‘spare time’ is used cooking with the thermomix, making paper crafts and reading.
Lisa would like to share a few words of advice with other aspiring business-women. “You can start when you are perfect or you can start now. Taking imperfect action is the first step. Get started now if you want to pursue your dream. Find a mentor who is willing to help you. There are many free or low cost courses aimed at small businesses and I recommend taking the time to attend some of these. Come along to a ‘WIBWA’ meeting to find out about how other business women in Perth can support and share information with you.”[Tweet “You can start when you are perfect or you can start now. Taking imperfect action is the first step.”]
And, finally, Lisa encourages women to stand up and speak out. “Learning to overcome any doubts or fears you have about public speaking is very empowering. Being able to get your message across with sincerity and clarity is a must have skill in today’s corporate world. I believe that public speaking is the one skill that can set you apart from your competitors.” Excellent advice to finish on.
Speaking Savvy is based in Perth, Western Australia.