Telecom Engineer (MBA), author and entrepreneur centred around Innovation, Jara Pascual started speaking through her University debate team. Through intensive four-hour weekly sessions spanning four years she was initially coached on political speaking and debate. Here, she also benefitted a lot from public speaking training and psychology.
Jara says she initially battled with improvisation, but this experience through the debate team gave her the tools to speak unprepared just about anywhere, an important skill to be able to ‘think on your feet’ as a speaker.
When the pandemic arrived Jara was intentional about developing her skills on digital platforms in order to increase her visibility. Self-promotion on social media, a somewhat ‘daunting’ experience for her, forced her to seek the advice of a close friend, also radio host and actress friend. Jara notes that the pandemic brought about a heightened challenge for speaker visibility and one that forced her to exude the ‘real you’ in her content.
With the step-by-step help of Jara’s friend, she intentionally learnt the ‘how-to’s’ of Instagram stories and podcasts. This step-by-step understanding was beneficial to her but, she says it is a journey for any speaker to stay ahead of within the changing landscape.
No stranger to working from home, when Covid turned the norm on its head, Jara delved deeper into the virtual world of speaking and focused her time on expanding her connections within the global network. Although the sudden end to trips and live talks, she says she pushed herself further into the next steps for personal developments. For starters, she finished writing her book ‘Innovating and Collaborating in the Digital Era’ and focused more on her company’s growth.
Although Covid complicated the landscapce for speakers, she says it is fascinating how in a moment everything can change, and it’s important to ready oneself for change. She says, if you are not well-known, you will not get business so to focus your energy on building online visibility is critical to keep going.
She says it is important for speakers to realise that we are responsible for ourselves. If we do not get work, it’s on us. This is challenging but something that we need to accept and probably the biggest learning we can take from the last year.
She also says that in these times, speakers need to consider emotional intelligence and psychology as important for staying ‘connected’. Her tips for speakers are to; be present in the moment before and during an interview. You simply have to connect with yourself to give your best energy. Even if you have a bad day – you just have to stop, breathe, focus and do the best that you can. So, centre yourself, be calm and professional in that moment.
Jara is excited to collaborate with other speakers at this year’s Innovation in Speaking conference. She says it is critical for speakers to share and learn from one another’s experiences, successes and challenges to discover new ways of doing things. This is the expert knowledge economy, how we communicate and position ourselves in our fields is very important.
Don’t miss Jara in action from 9-11 April, where she will share actionable frameworks for change, accessibility and visibility with her talk, ‘Get into the Expert-Knowledge Economy and measure your Impact’. Get your tickets here.