Lisa .

She didn’t know what she didn’t know. That’s what I concluded after chatting briefly with a woman who started her own business a few years ago. She had enjoyed a certain level of success but now found herself struggling with getting her products known. She hit a plateau.

She knew she needed to do something different. She felt that she may need to improve her public speaking skills which was what prompted her to talk to me at a recent event.

I mostly listened, hoping to understand what she needed.

Just as quickly as she admitted her need, she convinced herself that it would have to wait, explaining to me why it was more important for her to turn her focus to online selling first.

Then I understood... it was her mindset that was tripping her up. Her misconceptions about public speaking were blocking her.

She didn’t know what she didn’t know. She didn’t realize that whether her focus is online or offline, growing her business would require her to, first of all, find her voice, and create messages that were clear, concise and compelling. How she communicates will either build or break the listeners’ trust in her. 


Her limiting belief about what it takes to grow a business today is very common. Most women entrepreneurs would agree that for a business to survive today, it’s essential to have an online presence.

However, the bad news is that the market is indeed saturated online (you probably already know this). So simply focusing on developing your business online is incomplete without an intentional plan.

Yes, like this woman, you’ll need to become known online, but how you’re viewed will require a communication strategy. Intentionally focusing on improving your speaking skills will help you achieve success sooner.

Even though it may seem crowded in your field, it is possible to stand out, if you are willing to explore what you don’t know and implement some very simple but powerful strategies to attract your ideal clients.

How you show up, what you say and how you make people feel are all worth examining.

More specifically, being able to speak in a clear, concise manner is absolutely critical if you want to succeed in the online (or off-line) platforms. The truth is that most women won't do the work required to crush it in a crowded market and to create the future they dream of.

They believe that public speaking is simply being comfortable talking to people and giving valuable information.

I started out my career as an employee where I was forced to do presentations at work (even though I was dreadfully afraid). Then I co-founded a non-profit organization where I worked for over 17 years and where I cut my teeth on public speaking. It was during that time that I hired a coach who helped me gain more confidence and clarity and who taught me how to make the most of my speaking opportunities.

Whether I was training emerging young leaders or giving a keynote, I had to embrace a growth mindset every step of the way.

Since starting my own coaching business over 11 years ago, I have delved headlong into the online training world, and am thankful for mentors and coaches who helped me adapt my business model so I could continue to expand and grow as the face of the business changed and help my clients do the same.

To become known as an influencer in your field, you may have to shift your mindset and see public speaking as not just giving information but more about evoking transformation in the hearts and minds of listeners. Your effectiveness as a communicator is determined not by what you have to give, but by what your audience is taking away.

Are you at a crossroads, not knowing what you don’t know about getting to the next level? You may have realized that in order to successfully move forward, you’ll need to do something different? Whether your focus is increasing your visibility online or off, sharpening your speaking skills is an essential component that you’ll need to bring into your marketing strategy. If you want to stand out in a saturated market and be seen as an influencer, I invite you to embrace a growth mindset, find out what you don’t know about increasing communication effectiveness and take steps to expand your skill-set.  


As Napoleon Hill once said, “There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge. Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.”

Robin S. Sharma once said, “What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny.” If this is true, then the key to unlocking your future success may be found when you shift how you view public speaking and specifically when you shift your focus to fine-tuning your speaking skills so you can break through to the next level.

When you engage new possibilities, embrace a growth mindset and intentionally focus areas that will yield the highest returns, your personal capacity will expand and new doors of opportunity will open up to you. 

Lisa Vanderkwaak is an eWomenNetwork Premier Success Coach, Certified Executive Speaker Trainer, an international speaker and best-selling author. If you need help getting started as a member, go to my Premiere Success Coaching page and hit “Request this Coach” for a one on one coaching with me!

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