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Share Your Message Through Public Speaking - Jenny Garrett OBE

succeed through speaking tom bailey Mar 06, 2023

Tom Bailey, founder of Succeed Through Speaking, interviews Jenny Garrett OBE.

Jenny Garrett OBE is an award-winning career coach, author, and leadership trainer. Together with her team, they deliver impactful development to support women and those from ethnically diverse backgrounds to progress at work, as well as supporting majority group leaders to make inclusion happen. She is also co-founder of a social enterprise Rocking Ur Teens which connects corporates with a pipeline of future talent. Jenny’s latest practical and empowering book is Equality vs Equity, tackling issues of Race in the workplace.

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More from Succeed Through SpeakingSucceed Through Speaking helps Coaches, Consultants, Entrepreneurs and Experts how to amplify their Expert Authority & get their message to market with both confidence and clarity so that they can raise their profile and attract new clients.

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Tom Bailey  00:07

Hello and welcome to succeed through speaking the place for experts and entrepreneurs who want high value ideas to boost business results. Hello, I'm Tom Bailey. And in today's speaker stories episode, I'll be getting to know Jenny Garrett, who is an award winning career coach, leadership trainer, speaker and author, with her latest practical and empowering book being equality versus equity, tackling issues of race in the workplace. So Jenny, hello, and a very warm welcome to today's episode.

Jenny Garrett  00:47

Thank you really delighted to be here, Tom.

Tom Bailey  00:49

Awesome. Thank you so much. And I know you're internationally recognized, but whereabouts in the world are you right now?

Jenny Garrett  00:55

I'm based in Hemel Hempstead in Hartfordshire. And it's a little bit cold today.

Tom Bailey  00:59

Yes, it is. I can definitely reflect on that. Thank you so much. And I also know that you are well known for your work in empowering working women. And were awarded an OBE for services to entrepreneurship and women in business. Yeah. So amazing. That's, that's, that's huge, huge recognition. And I guess my question is very much linked to this podcast as well. What role has public speaking or speaking in front of audiences really helped you in getting into this position and getting your message out there in the world?

Jenny Garrett  01:31

Yeah, it's helps a great deal. Actually, I think getting in front of lots of people. One of the things I always remember, someone saying to me is when you speak, you might not know who's in the audience, but everyone in the audience knows you. And that's really powerful. So it's meant that when I get in front of an audience, then lots of people know me who I didn't know, previously, and may not remember every face and every name, but they remember me and they tell their friends about me. And what's great about that is that when you have a strong message and message that you really care about, it travels so much further because of your speaking. So it's played a really big role in me connecting with what's important to me, and me putting that out there. So other people can share it.

Tom Bailey  02:17

I love that. And a lot of speakers talk to me about the ripple effect. And a lot of times you just won't know how far that ripple can spread. But I guess it's inspiring knowing that it's out there.

Jenny Garrett  02:27

Yes, yeah, absolutely. And when you get a message back from someone who says, I was in the audience three years ago, and now I'm ready to have a conversation with you think, Oh, I was touching people. That's brilliant.

Tom Bailey  02:38

And I guess that outweighs any insecurities, or any fears or any shyness that you feel when you stand in front of that audience, when you knowing that you can have that much impact. Yes,

Jenny Garrett  02:49

I guess. So. I used to be a really nervous public speaker. And when I wrote my first book, I went on a bit of a training program and, and tried to get some help with my nerves and my confidence around speaking. And I think one of the most powerful things for me was really concentrating on who could benefit from my message. Was there one person in the audience who would find it useful, who it could help who it good support. And then I stopped thinking about myself and whether I was being articulate or my knees were knocking on my mouth, because I, and on that person, and hoped hope my message would reach them. And that really did change. It was a game changer for me to start thinking,

Tom Bailey  03:36

very powerful perspective, because it's turning the spotlight off you on onto the audience and, and really focusing on what value you can add to them in their lives. Yeah. And I love that you mentioned that you were really nervous speaker. And because I wanted to kind of go back there, I guess, what was the earliest memory of you having to stand up and speak in front of an audience? And how did it go?

Jenny Garrett  03:56

Yeah, I think about my earliest memory, to be honest, I wasn't nervous. As a child, I don't think I'm actually not in my home environment. I remember sort of being behind the sofa and pretending to be a preacher and doing all of that and sort of play acting. I also remember, I think, my holy communion or my confirmation, I'm Catholic, maybe reading reading in church and doing fine, you know, not beautifully and wonderfully, but doing it just fine. So there was a point I think that I moved from not being self conscious to being really conscious. And I think it's in the work environment where someone says, you know, these people are watching, this is a really important presentation. You know, you've got to do well, and people start piling on the pressure. That's when I started feeling really nervous or a presentation as part of an interview process. You know, I really want this job. So I think it's the pressure I put on myself. You know, started to think about me so much more, rather than just speaking And that turned me into a really nervous public speaker. Yeah. And

Tom Bailey  05:03

we talk about, you know, the fear of others opinions, the fear of judgment, the fear of embarrassment making mistake, because a little bit of impostor syndrome that creeps in as well. And I guess for some people, that's it, then that's the wall. It's up and they don't push through that. But you did. Which is great. You mentioned you had some training, what did that look

Jenny Garrett  05:23

like? Yeah, interestingly, when I well, I had two things. I had just a one day speaking training, that was really good, it got me you out of your comfort zone, but you would never do. I had some coaching. But I again, I think it was a one off coaching session, which was NLP related. And I also joined Toastmasters. And I probably did. I don't know if how much you know about Toastmasters? Really well. But I think I did one book, maybe one book, I know, there are many. And that support and that forcing yourself to get up on stage week after week and practice different kinds of speeches was really good. And it but in helping me realize that, you know, the, the worst thing that could happen is, I might, you know, fluff my words, but it's really not the end of the world. So that helps give me confidence.

Tom Bailey  06:17

Yeah, you've made some really great points. I think, you know, one thing I'm reflecting on when I started to try and get over my fear of public speaking was, I thought I'd buy all the books on press presenting confidence, public speaking, but it just didn't get me anywhere near the knowledge but didn't apply any of it. So did the same thing as you joined a Toastmasters had that safe environment to get out there and start practicing? I think that's really important for anyone listening is you almost have to go through the uncomfortableness of speaking in front of others to actually get over that fear one day.

Jenny Garrett  06:47

Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more. But I'd also like to say sometimes I get quite, quite big nerves again, you know, I think I choose to call them my friends now. Yeah, they're along for the ride, it means that it really matters to me. So I'm not gonna say I never feel nervous, but I do. I'm sometimes more nervous than others.

Tom Bailey  07:08

I guess, you know, they're the same hormones, the same endorphins, the same reaction you're having, but you just put in different perspective on it, which is something that can be learned, which I think, great to hear for a lot of people. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I guess at that point, then so you've had your training, and you know, you started to get a little bit more comfortable. What did the next period look like when you decided I can do this and you started to talk in front of others? Was, was there a particular topic you're talking on? Or how did how did that play out?

Jenny Garrett  07:37

Yeah, so it did help that I'd written my first book and supporting women who were the main earner in their home. So I remember being I am one of those people who does put myself out of my comfort zone. I know, to me, that's the only way to grow. You can't wait to be confident you can't wait to know it all. You have to put yourself in the situation, and and hope that you'll be successful or learn something from it. So I remember just putting on Twitter, I've written this book, I'd love to speak to audiences about it. And people came to me I remember traveling, sometimes without being paid for Birmingham, you know, different places. And just being willing to speak to audiences get better at what I was doing practice, notice what resonated what landed with people. So for me, it was getting out there sharing my message. And as I said, This, for me, this idea of talking about women being the main earner, I was so passionate about it because it was something people didn't talk about. So I just wanted to talk to as many people as many audiences as possible who were willing to hear and see how it landed with them. And so I really practice them speaking.

Tom Bailey  08:49

Perfect. Thanks for sharing that. I guess two big highlights for me so far been one audience off, you put it on to the the audience and what value can add to them? The second one I think is get out there and practice. And what other advice would you give somebody listening right now who is maybe an aspiring speaker would love to do it but but haven't yet quite made that leap?

Jenny Garrett  09:08

Yeah, I'm thinking about when I first spoke, I would script it out word for word, and then I would practice it in front of the mirror. And I think I probably sounded a bit rehearsed and a bit robotic. But I delivered it. And then later on what I what I used to do is I'd script it out, but then I'd shorten it to bullet points, and then use those bullet points to help my memory because I think one of the big things for people is memory. So it's either do I read, read it, and then you lose a bit when you're just reading? Do I have what do I have cards? How do I how do I deliver this talk? So yeah, I think memory was one of my biggest challenges. So I would say script it out. There's nothing wrong with doing that. But then bring it back to what are the words that are going to help you remember what you need to say next. And you Use your own words and tell your own story. And then it will come naturally. And no one ever knows what you're supposed to say exactly. So if you miss out a whole paragraph or something else, no one will ever know. And that's a great thing. You don't say, Oh, I forgot to say, oh, you know, oh, no, I've, I've messed it up. No one knows. And the other thing that I always think, is that everybody really wants me to do well, no one audience is looking at me saying I hope she messes up today, she falls off the stage. They're really willing me to do a good job to speak well, to inspire them to provide some knowledge. You know, even I always think also about wearing something that I feel I really like, because I always say, I was myself, if they don't like what I'm saying, at least, perhaps they'll like what I'm wearing. That that helped me, helped me with my speaking journey. But yeah, script it. But I think that's important. take people on a journey with you take them, take them somewhere from A to B to A to Z, on on a journey. So there's a beginning, a middle and an end to what we're delivering. And I think that's key and try and find ways to help you with your memory. Again, but and try not to just learn it and and then recite it. Because I think that's that's really difficult. One, one thing as well, I used to feel not very confident about standing up, I used to hope there'd be a seat before me. But standing up does help you project your voice. And movement is really good for getting rid of those nerves to try not to be planted in one place. Even just riding up and down an area will get rid of some of that adrenaline that's pumping through your body.

Tom Bailey  11:54

Your use of space on the stage is really important. And I guess that goes back to body language and being open. And he's not as great hand gestures as well. And yeah, I absolutely used to script everything word for word, learn it word for word, I used to voice record myself and listen to myself over and over again in the car. And but ultimately, you know, it sounds robotic. It's not natural. And when you think of a conversation between two people that's not scripted. And you almost have more trust in yourself. So one of my coaches once said to me that questions generate content. So if you can ask yourself questions on stage like, now, what did I mean by that? Explain what you meant by that. And, and then what could we do next? And you almost explained that it almost helps you to have that structure. But keep prompting yourself to keep talking through it.

Jenny Garrett  12:36

I love that. That's really great.

Tom Bailey  12:38

And thank you for all of that. One thing I'd like to talk about now is is quite topical, I think still is is the global pandemic, which pretty much wiped out the speaking industry. And did that impact you? And if so, how did you transition to virtual? And what was that experience like for you?

Jenny Garrett  12:56

Yes, you know, the week that we went into lockdown in the UK, I was supposed to be going to South Africa to deliver some training, followed, I'm supposed to go to France after that. And so I was actually traveling a great deal. And bit by bit, all of these things fell out of my diary. And it was a little bit scary. I had done quite a lot of work online before. So I was working with an organization that had asked me to deliver training online. And so it was quite easy for me to transition into zoom. But I must say I tried to be exactly the same on zoom as I was in in an auditorium and and I would stand up and I would dress up and I put my heels on and I and then I realized this is just too much. Slant really looking for that for me on a little screen. And so I just kept it all down a bit. But I definitely am one of the lucky ones who were still asked to deliver speaking engagements, and I do a lot of training and development. And in fact, what happened was I was able to go to so many more places to be in India in the morning, and then the afternoon, which I would never have been able to do before. So it was scary. And it did go quiet for a short period of time. But then it just sort of actually mushrooms into something much bigger than it was before. I find it hard now to leave the house to go to speaking engagements. International Women's month, day month is a big time for me. And I'm being asked to come and deliver, deliver talks and it's sort of oh gosh, I could do five talks in a day. One if I'm going face to face, but when I am face to face, there's such a buzz from the audience. There's a totally different kind of interaction. There's cues you know physical cues that you miss online. So really didn't but I think now as a speaker really has to be worth your while to do so much online. Yeah,

Tom Bailey  15:05

absolutely. But it seems here to stay. We've got the blends down, we've got that hybrid option so, and great people are back in the room. But like you said, you've got the option to speak in four different countries in one day if you want to now. That's awesome. And actually, the very last question for me today, I'm going to talk to you all day. But the last question is, if anybody wants to find out more about you, or book he was a speaker, what's the best place? Where's the best place them to go?

Jenny Garrett  15:29

Yes to my website, which is Jenny Garrett dot global, and then you can just contact me via my website. So yeah, that's that's a great place to find out about everything I do.

Tom Bailey  15:40

Fantastic. What I'll do is I'll post a link to that in the show notes, as well as posting links to all of his social platforms as well. Tom, thank you. So Jenny, thank you so much for your time today. Shed so much great value and advice with our audience really appreciate coming along. And yeah, great to meet you. 

Jenny Garrett  15:56

Thanks so much for inviting me