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I will never forget hearing the story of one of my students in the CourageousSpeaking.com Community. As a young, 12-year-old child, she had her grades for her PSLE (primary school leaving exam) posted on a wall outside of her classroom. On the day of the exam results, students ran outside to see their grades. There was a wall of her peers in front of her and as the sea of shiny, black-haired heads parted, she began scanning for her score. Of course, she began at the top of the class, scanning downwards but she did not find her name. On she went, for what seemed like forever until finally, here it was, right at the bottom of the class. She was awash with shame. The trauma from this event has lived with her ever since, she has spent the last 30 years fearing being wrong and kept her career small by never speaking in public, even if it meant she could have been promoted.
As a teacher, my goal is to empower people to speak their mind. My aim is to build back the confidence that my students have lost through traumatic events like these, through the deliberate drilling of speaking techniques. For those lacking confidence, repetitive practice works particularly well because it desensitizes the symptoms of fight or flight which happen when we perform. As students learn speeches inside out as formative assessments, they become accustomed to the sweaty palms and their heart pounding etc. They are able to feel the nerves but push past it. As they learn each layer of their performance, they move further up Bloom’s taxonomy from understanding, to finally being able to create a performance of their own and add unique flourishes. This is the final summative assessment, their performance of their story to an audience. There are no formal assessments with a grade, the idea is that they can become confident to speak and that is achievement enough. I am focused on deprogramming the need for grades which is so prevalent in the culture here and imbibing a desire to learn for the love of learning.
In my field I see many practitioners promote themselves as “confidence coaches,” in my experience however, one must find confidence within. It cannot be given by an external party. In my very disciplined, Asian upbringing, we were never affirmed verbally, so as children we had to find validation through our aptitude in subjects. This aptitude in certain abilities builds confidence and it was something that could never be taken away from us. We could produce confidence on demand, simply by indulging in something we were good at. It taught me a lot about not seeking external validation. It is this philosophy, that confidence can be created through deliberate practice and dedication that drives the way I coach.
My strength and weakness as a teacher are two sides of the same coin. My strength is that I am an actively working professional speaker. I am aware of the latest trends, the movements in thought leadership and because of my 15 years in the entertainment industry, I know what audiences love. However, this same strength can be a deficit because I tend to “talk and perform” versus implementing active learning. As a result of this course, I now realize, I have been robbing my students of the beauty of moving through Bloom’s Taxonomy on their own and also contribute to their speeches in ways which I may have overlooked.
"I carried a lot of shame, fear, and guilt, that came from my repressive upbringing in South East Asia. Like most women, I suffered from low self-esteem. As a result, I had lost my voice, and I lost myself. I have a burning desire to tell my stories and inspire others. So, I took the plunge and hired her to be my Communication Coach. First session alone, I was blown away from her ability. Her gentle yet stern push to get me out of my shy, comfort zone cracked me open. Her sharp, intuitive senses knew where I could potentially go even before I know it myself. I've been high on the inspired path, completely flooded with ideas. I've created tons of content for my future website since! The training with Simone is now so helpful in the way I communicate authentically in my voice and to express what I truly mean. I 1000% recommend Simone for finding your voice, your core message, and your personal branding. Simone encourages you to be you, she'll help you find your true personality and bring that light out to let you shine. She coaches from a non-judgemental place and with so much compassion. She just wants to see you WIN! Thanks Simone for all you do. You're simply the greatest!"
"In the first session alone, Simone pointed out all my strengths that I failed to see. I did not expect to be doing such deep work together, but now realise the importance of getting to know myself so that it can be translated into my personal branding."
"In a world where most can explain “A + B = X” Simone was able define and rationalise the variables. But the real difference was her ability to find the missing variables which differentiate her from all others. "
"I saw Simone online actually DOING IT, actively being a professional speaker and that's why I wanted to work with her! She’s not only a speaking coach, but she’s making me dream bigger and better! "
"Simone’s authentic and engaging coaching provided me with valuable insights from her industry experiences, and her passion and dedication flows through into her coaching. Her positive influence and encouragement through the development of self confidence is truly empowering."
"I reached out to Simone when my life was out of balance, torn between career choices, family, cultural and social expectations, I was lost not knowing who I am, where I want to go and what am I really supposed to do in this world. The exercises she went through got me out of my comfort zone which helped me recognise my blocks and the advice she gave was so practicable. Something I was never able to work though with my counselors and mentors. "
This is the ultimate membership for growing both your literal and metaphorical voice. One-on-one coaching with Simone is normally $1000 per hour. You're getting at least 12 hours across the year. That's minimum $12,000 value for JUST US$15 a month, US$180 a year. That's right. Change your life for less than the price of a can of coke a day.