Lyn Roseaman is a market research director turned bestselling author, international speaker and founder of Now You’re Talking, a public speaking coaching business. In a project which combines all her professional experience, she has very kindly recently run two market research sessions for the ESU with schools to understand more about their oracy goals and engagement with the ESU.
How did you hear about the ESU?
Mainly from Simon Bucknall’s LinkedIn post asking for volunteers. [You can read more about Simon in our 26 May newsletter here.] I’ve since run a couple of focus groups for the ESU to understand more about schools’ use, speaking goals and benefits, and I’m looking forward to being part of the judging team on upcoming contests. I’d be very happy to help with coaching/mentoring, too.
How and why did you make the switch from market research to public speaking coaching?
I get itchy feet and like change/variety, but the transition was motivated by an angry boss and a presentation that went badly. The upshot was that I joined Toastmasters in Dubai. On return to the UK, I completed the education programme and became a Distinguished Toastmaster. As part of that experience, I loved mentoring and coaching and seeing the positive impact speaking skills had on people’s lives. After a lot of procrastination and many excuses, I finally took the plunge and created my public speaking coaching business, Now You’re Talking.
How did you get involved with public speaking to begin with – was it something you did at school?
I don’t recall doing anything at school. When I worked in market research, I was sent on a two-day presentation skills training. I can’t say it helped. The trainer spent the whole time asking me if I were any less nervous yet and finished up by telling me my inner perfectionist would always be a problem. There was little practice and no real help with nerves. I don’t think there was any useful guidance around authenticity, connecting with an audience and delivering impactful messages either. And that was from a very reputable provider!
What did you like about it/what did it give you?
Permission to be nervous and recognise that we all get nervous. What was missing was any useful explanation as to why and how we can work on that. Confidence is important to me and, as I continued for decades to do battle with the nerves, I’ve now developed an approach to help us harness our nerves.
How has it helped you in later life?
My experience as a speaker and presenter over the years has given me a very good understanding of the struggles people face and ways to help them. It’s my job now and I love it.
Whom do you admire and why?
Anyone who drives change for the better. Speakers who can connect with an audience and make them laugh and cry with you. Most of my heroes are people I know who have faced challenges and are prepared to share their experiences to make the world a better place.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Puppies and romantic fiction. I’m still hoping to get a dog.
Tell us something surprising about you.
I grew up in an old people’s home and want to change how we think about age (young, old and everything in between) and how we value people in later life.
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you?
Don’t be afraid to ask. The worst that can happen is that ‘no’ is the answer. Most people are decent and kind and will do whatever they can to help. And rein in the perfectionist or any other negative voices trying to hold you back.
What are you looking forward to most about your involvement with the ESU?
Helping young people learn to enjoy giving talks and presentations and empowering them to find their own voice so they can make a real difference throughout their lives.
Lyn’s book, also called Now You’re Talking, is out now (Rethink Press).