In less than a week we will be holding our Personal Presentation for Success: A Public Speaking Workshop. Earlier you met one of our facilitators Roxana Radulescu, and now we are happy to introduce our second facilitator: Jerako Wendt. Jerako is a storyteller, award-winning Toastmaster, community leader and humanitarian, making her the perfect person to carry us through this public speaking workshop. But until then, here’s a little more about Jerako (I personally love her last point).
How did your discover your interest in public speaking/personal skills development?
I was always interested in acting, probably because my father was an actor; in any case through acting I discovered my interest in public speaking. I also found Lisa Nichols and Les Brown to be so inspiring that my interest in public speaking for the purpose of personal skills development became what it is today.
In your career thus far, what would you say are some of your lessons learned?
I'll give you three that come to mind as I respond to you now but for what it's worth the answer to this question changes regularly. 1. Be professional, there is nothing wrong with making mistakes but own them and be professional at all times. 2. People need to like you to be patient with you. If you're finding that there is a lack of leadership or patience, find another company or group who will work with you or go out on your own. 3. Work hard, what that means to me is don't make any excuses for delivering. Give the client or your boss what they want when they want it or as close to that due date as possible, make sure they see that you're working hard to do so.
Why do you think communications skills are important, especially when it comes to the workplace?
If you have communication skills, you have a constant life line. You can explain yourself, help people understand, get the message across but if you don't have communication skills, you're waiting for them to just figure it out ... it's way more empowering to be able to communicate effectively.
Given your experience training executives and professionals, when it comes to communication, what is one mistake (or mistakes) you often see women making?
One mistake I often see women making is explaining the reason or giving an excuse for "something" without having been asked. It's dis-empowering. Unless you're asked why is the report late ... for example, don't start in with I had this to do and that to do .... and then apologizing on top of it just dis-empowers you.
What advice would you give to women either starting out in their career or making a transition?
Don't get married unless your husband is your business partner or he is very rich. Men will hold you back from achieving your goal.
Jerako Wendt is a sought-after storyteller, award-winning distinguished Toastmaster, community leader, and humanitarian. After obtaining her B.A. Honors in English, she pursued a career as an actor; only to return to school to become a producer, paralegal, and mediator amongst other things. She leverages her storytelling powers in various arenas: creating films; writing books; mediating human rights disputes; facilitating workshops and delivering inspiring and informative speeches across North and South America. Jerako is also the founder and co-chair of Building Beyond Borders, a not-for-profit organization that helps rebuild schools in the Caribbean and South America. She’s currently pursuing a law degree, completing her masters in English Literature, writing her second book, and preparing to launch her vlog on December 3rd, 2018.