How Almora Helped Me Find My Voice

by Feb 17, 2022

When I began in the world of nonprofit, the thought of public speaking made me feel nervous. Even speaking during meetings was difficult for me, and I found myself overthinking everything I needed to say. Because of these feelings, I set myself on the sideline instead of joining in the conversation. When I recognized that I was not able to fully help the team because of my own worries, I expressed my concerns with my coworkers. They responded with great empathy, assuring me that I was capable of becoming a confident speaker. They have taught me skills to prepare and carry out my speaking roles, which is a struggle I’ve had all my life. 

As a young child I took dance classes, and at every annual recital my family knew I would turn red as a tomato and start giggling on stage. This carried on all the way up until high school, where I couldn’t present in class without staring at my flashcards. In college I struggled in class because I would never raise my hand to ask important questions. 

Then that all changed when I joined Almora in May of 2021 as a new intern. At first, I nodded my head during the calls. I listened and stayed quiet unless they asked for input from the team. After voicing my concerns, Sandra Allen, the founder of Almora, has pushed me out of my comfort zone to help me blossom into a vocal leader in meetings. With her encouragement, I was even able to lead one of our weekly team meetings. Sandra encouraged me to be confident in that meeting, and while I may have been shaking under the table and stumbling on a few words, the team graciously thanked me and assured me that I did a great job. They all knew how nervous I was. After a few more opportunities to lead with Sandra, I have signed up to lead subsequent meetings on my own and am confident in my ability to do so! 

I asked for advice from my coworkers and family to gather more ways to improve. They gave very good and useful answers: 

  1. Just be confident
  2. Make eye contact with the people you’re speaking to 
  3. Take a deep breath and clear your head before presenting 
  4. Don’t overthink it 
  5. Picture the audience as though you’re talking with your friends or family 6. Have a consistent flow (don’t speed through) 
  6. Don’t be afraid to practice with friends or family beforehand 

All these tips helped me improve, and I hope they will be helpful to those of you who also find yourselves in need of public speaking improvement!