Women in Technology International Summit

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I attended a conference in San Jose and it was amazing. I need to attend more conference with this focus or something like it. If you have any suggestions for me let me know in the comments. I can pay my way with a lightning speech or two.
Here are some highlights:

Susan Chritton – Author of Personal Branding for dummies
– Add emotional attributes to your LinkedIn bio
Connect with your audience on an emotional level as well as a skill level
-Your personal brand includes: Actions, Links, Images, What others say, and Your words
This is pretty powerful if you think about it. Your personal brand is far reaching and if you are wondering why you aren’t getting the results you want check these five areas. Do you have people speaking about you on other channels, do you have images personally tied to you that represents who you are?

Your personal brand includes your actions, links images, what others say and your words. – Susan Chritton at WITI 2017 Summit

Bonita Bonducci – Thought leader in Gender Competence Leadership
In work and personal relationships there is often a disregard for ideas that seem to be more emotional. This can lead to ideas and creativity being stifled, leaving those who are perceived as overrun with emotions. This sometimes enters the realm of gender bias because often a woman’s contributions are overly scrutinized, whether it is over emotional because it is very values based or macho and sterile because it is too logical. 
Bonita asked us to consider values based decision making and logic based decision making and refrain from introducing gender into both of those ideas. Women and men have the capacity for both and some may use one more than the other. 

To manage Devil’s Advocate, tell them, “Hold on! I am more creative ‘building an idea–first I want your best thinking on this!” – Bonita BonducciWe also have this phenomenon in the work place of Devil’s advocate. Often used to try to find ways an idea could fail. In the work place well meaning coworkers will use this not as an attempt to overrun or shut down an idea but as a way to genuinely, they think, help an idea to progress through deductive reasoning. But this sometimes gets in the way of another just as legitimate form of inductive reasoning we know as brainstorming. Bonita suggests creating space to play ‘Angel’s Advocate’ and if your colleague takes over the conversation suggest that the conversation return to Devil’s advocate later and ask for their best Angel’s advocate. 

John Bates – Speaker and coach
In this talk by a Tedx coach his key point was to keep hanging on. He gave a great story about how he was giving a speech internationally to a really tough crowd but in the end he got an unexpected standing ovation that blew him away. So hang in there.

The first way you can hang in there is to put all of your insecurities on loud speaker. You want to be aware about what you are saying to yourself on stage and then consciously put those thoughts away. It is important to not skip being aware that you are thinking these things. 

A few more thoughts from John: Your body language is the context in which everything is heard. Use command language. Most of us know about using action verbs in resume but try not to end your sentences on high note in a speech. Just watch out for this in your next conversations and you may see yourself ending your sentences like this in risker statements. John, also said that he believes that when asked to speak at a Tedx event 9 out of 10 men will say yes but 9 out of 10 women will say no. By saying no, it is saying no to making a difference.

When asked to speak at a Tedx event 9 out of 10 men will say yes but 9 out of 10 women will say no. – John Bates @ WITI 2017

Three final thoughts for speech making:
1) People don’t connect with your success, they connect with your messes
2) Don’t make yourself special, make the process special
3) Don’t be the hero of your talk, make the audience the hero
4) Don’t be nervous, be at their service
At this conference I met with a wonderful group of ladies that I had never met before. And I expect great things to come out of our partnership. I was really hoping to find some people that wanted to put what we learned into action for ourselves and I can’t wait to show you what we come up with!

Find me on Twitter @nikkymill





Written by:

Cami is about to start her senior year in Mechanical Engineering at Boise State University. She currently holds a Machine Learning internship at HP and is looking to break into industry with Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. After starting with the NASA Aerospace High School Scholars she has also participated in other NASA programs such as Microgravity University Undergraduate Research. She is also a committed and active volunteer for other STEM and Diversity groups and organizations. Stay tuned to see what she does next!

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