Tuesday Buzz: Build Relationships, Build Confidence

Having a strong grasp on leadership can be a great confidence booster when it comes to public speaking. Also: one association's efforts to speak up on International Women's Day.

When Eric Lanke, CEO of the National Fluid Power Association, first stepped into his role nearly a decade ago, he found himself talking to a room full of strangers at the group’s annual meeting.

And, according to a recent blog post, he wasn’t feeling very confident in addressing that group of people.

“Early on, I had plenty of doubts over if I could do that effectively,” Lanke reveals. “It wasn’t just a generic worry about speaking in public. It was a specific concern about how well I understood my material, how effective I could be at telling the story. New as I was, would they believe me? Would they even listen?”

But a funny thing happened as he settled into the role: The sense of dread and stage fright of the first couple of years began to evaporate as he realized that his audience was made up of association members he had come to know well—friends and colleagues. And the confidence he struggled with at first when it came to public speaking quickly became more tangible.

“It no longer feels like I have to convince a group of skeptical strangers,” he explains. “I’m just sharing some good news with a group of friends.”

Check out Lanke’s full post to get a grasp of the process that led to that realization—perhaps it might boost your own confidence.

A Push for Parity

Today is International Women’s Day, and to celebrate, Google created a doodle in honor of the big day (shown above). But the day is about more than just doodles—something highlighted by Canada’s Association of Women in Finance (AWF), which is launching a new scholarship program as part of its efforts to improve gender parity in the financial sector.

“Women remain under-represented in the finance industry, particularly in top leadership positions and on corporate boards,” AWF President Danielle Slavin said in a news release. “We are delighted to be working with local universities and colleges to provide scholarships that directly assist deserving women in completing their education as the first step toward a successful career in finance.”

Learn more about the effort on AWF’s website.

Other Links of Note

Is Facebook too powerful? A great essay by Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, makes the case about the impact that social networks could have on the future of journalism in particular.

Trying to figure out a knotty tech problem? Don’t jump to the outside consultants just yet. DelCor, a technology adviser for associations and nonprofits, recommends that you seek advice inside your own organization before turning to “shadow IT.”

Will the future of information have a lot in common with the past? The latest buzzworthy app out there, Prompt, makes the case that the command line will make a comeback—this time as a messaging tool.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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