Stop dreading your next [choose all that apply! meeting, pitch, presentation, interview] and turn it into an anticipated opportunity. Strengthen your communication skills in this half-day workshop for women in business and creative leaders. Learn and practice techniques from theater and improvisational comedy to stop apologizing and start speaking with conviction - like a boss.
Find your unique voice in high-pressure situations
Identify your vocal and physical strengths and weaknesses
Loosen up and clearly articulate your ideas to an audience
Speak directly with the intent to add value and inspire
Field questions on-the-fly with authenticity
Command a room of any size
Understanding how to leverage your unique communication style
Networking is a word that makes even the best of us cringe. There’s something about putting ourselves out there that feels… Invasive? Fake?
This necessary evil becomes more unavoidable every day. We assume everyone is better at it than we are. We are hard on ourselves for being unable to have “fun” in an environment supposedly designed for just that. We go to networking events, we stand on the sidelines and it doesn’t seem to get any better.
No matter your reason for avoiding it, networking is a professional development skill that we can all get better at when taken one step at a time. At Bespoken, we give people tools to network on their own terms, training people 1×1 or in small group settings (if you’re in NYC, join us on April 12th at Spark Labs for our networking masterclass—early bird discount available through April 5th—click here to register).
Here are some actionable techniques to implement the next time you walk into a room:
Reframe the experience
Walking into a networking event can produce feelings of stress and anxiety, especially if you’ve had bad experiences in the past. Give yourself an intention that has nothing to do with the word “networking”. Make a connection, or make it a goal to help other people, not yourself. Reframing the experience will help you feel ownership over it as you build your own strategy going forward.
Go outside In
Give yourself a physical task—something you can commit to 100% in the moment. Force a smile (it works!) or choose to stand with your arms at your sides instead of crossed (body language is a powerful tool when used effectively). Changing up your physicality limits negative past associations and gets you out of your head.
Make eye contact
Practice eye contact in a safe space and with people you know so that it’s there for you when you need it. It helps to decrease stress and can aid in making a connection.
Initiate—but not too much
Talk to a few people—but no more than that. Make someone on the sidelines feel more comfortable, or compliment someone on their business card, their shoes, anything! Giving yourself little victories will help you feel ownership over this skillset!
It sounds cheesy but giving yourself something to look forward to can alleviate a ton of pressure from the experience of networking. Treat yourself to dessert on the way home or bookend the event with fun plans (temptation bundling is a thing and it works!).
Bespoken is a coaching firm based in New York City that is dedicated to helping people speak with conviction and communicate with confidence. We believe everyone has an innate ability to communicate powerfully and purposefully. The story of Bespoken began when two friends, Leah Bonvissuto and Jackie Miller, decided to channel years of professional theater experience into helping people be better, bolder communicators. Offering 1×1 coaching and small group masterclasses, Bespoken training is customized, on-your-feet and interactive. Rooted in powerful yet practical theater techniques, our work is designed to help you harness your innate ability to communicate effectively in any situation.
When: March 8, 2016 | 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Where: Spark Labs, 833 Broadway, 2nd Flr., NYC, 10003
Cost: $25 Early Bird (thru 3/1) | $35 Regular Registration
Registration: http://bit.ly/1Xavekl | Spark Labs members, contact Andrea to sign up.
Bespoken is excited to announce the second installment in our ongoing professional communication skills collaboration with Spark Labs
It’s not about what is said, but what is heard. Challenging conversation with a colleague on the horizon? Staff meetings not as productive as you need them to be? In Bespoken’s Collaborative Command* masterclass you’ll practice how to harness your voice and presence to communicate successfully when collaborating with colleagues and managing team members. We’ll give you a better understanding of your unique communication style and control over the way others perceive you.
What previous participants have said about our Collaborative Command masterclass: “I loved this. Super powerful stuff.” “Great presence and infectious attitude. Wish you could do this for my team at work!”
Doors at 7:00 pm – Class begins promptly at 7:10
*Given the interactive format of this event attendance is limited to 20 participants.
Bespoken is a coaching firm based in New York dedicated to helping professionals and entrepreneurs speak with conviction and communicate with confidence. Offering 1×1 coaching and small group masterclasses, Bespoken training is customized, on-your-feet and interactive. We believe everyone has an innate ability to communicate powerfully and purposefully.
Leah Bonvissuto, Co-Founder Leah Bonvissuto is an award-winning theater director. Always fascinated by what makes the audience-speaker relationship unique and powerful, Leah has worked extensively outside the theater to translate performance-based techniques for non-actors of all ages and backgrounds in organizational and educational settings.
Jackie Miller, Co-Founder With over a decade of experience in New York City as a director and curator of cultural public programming, Jackie’s work is creatively driven by the relationship between audience and performer. As the Artistic Director of Only Make Believe she serves as the company’s creative lead, producing over 300 interactive theatrical performances for children in hospitals and long-term care settings each year.
We are thrilled to announce our new monthly professional development masterclass series in partnership with Spark Labs! Each masterclass will focus on the art of public speaking to help entrepreneurs and professionals strengthen a specific communication or presentation skill. Join us on February 9th for our inaugural class, Own Your Voice with Bespoken, where you’ll learn practical and pro-active techniques to improve vocal command and presence when speaking in high-pressure situations. In this interactive, on-your-feet experience, you’ll receive personalized feedback to optimize your communication and presentation skills. We’ll show you how to make the impression you intended—no matter the stakes. Click here to register (free for Spark Labs members—contact Andrea to sign up).
About Spark Labs
Spark-Labs is a coworking space based in New York, built by European entrepreneurs who have successfully created, scaled-up and sold startups in the US the past 15 years. Spark Labs is a community of tech entrepreneurs oriented towards collaboration, innovation, and success providing every service required to build a successful business such as a convenient space, investors, mentors, networks, workshops, events, and benefits from partners.
The story of Bespoken began when two friends decided to channel years of professional theater experience into helping people be better, bolder communicators. We are inspired by the vibrant and powerful connection between speaker and audience and thrive on working with people from all backgrounds and experiences.
Leah Bonvissuto, Co-Founder – Leah Bonvissuto is an award-winning theater director. Always fascinated by what makes the audience-speaker relationship unique and powerful, Leah has worked extensively outside the theater to translate performance-based techniques for non-actors of all ages and backgrounds in organizational and educational settings.
Jackie Miller, Co-Founder – With over a decade of experience in New York City as a director and curator of cultural public programming, Jackie’s work is creatively driven by the relationship between audience and performer. As the Artistic Director of Only Make Believe she serves as the company’s creative lead, producing over 300 interactive theatrical performances for children in hospitals and long-term care settings each year.
At Bespoken, we help people across all industries speak powerfully, particularly in high-pressure situations. Our work is interactive and collaborative, but also highly personalized, which can make describing what we do challenging. We’re excited to be tackling the art of making human connection–possibly the most gratifying experience there is–and each connection we forge teaches us more about the work ourselves. In the first part of this series, we describe our process in order to give you an inside look into the way we work.
We help you speak powerfully and purposefully through customized coaching designed to harness your unique ability to communicate in any situation. We believe everyone has an innate ability to communicate when given the tools to do so. We employ proactive and practical theater techniques to help you optimize the connection you make with your audience and to give you more control over the impression you make.
We work across many different industries but our clients have one thing in common–they each have something to communicate in a verbal context, whether that’s presenting, pitching, networking, interviewing, etc. We help them be better communicators internally with colleagues and externally with clients.
We’ve worked with entrepreneurs looking to hone a presentation; filmmakers pitching a grant maker for additional funds to finish a project; executive directors looking to improve leadership and communication skills; members of the healthcare sector imparting sensitive information telephonically; and freelancers at a co-working space seeking tips for networking in high-pressure situations.
When working one-on-one, we meet over multiple sessions to identify and hone a specific communication challenge. Goals are usually achieved in three-to-five 1-hour sessions.
In our masterclasses, a small group (i.e., freelancers at a co-working space) gets a Bespoken primer. Masterclasses usually run 1.5-to-3 hours and can accommodate up to 12 participants. We also collaborate with organizations to meet their specific needs through customized internal workshops.
Regardless of the structure, you leave with a conversational narrative that’s authentic, tools to help you relax when speaking in front of a crowd, control over the way you present yourself, confidence in your communication style and command of your vocal and physical choices. We help you articulate your unique perspective. We help you find your literal and metaphorical voice. We give you more control over the way you present yourself and your ideas. We teach you how to be your best self in the moments that matter most.
At Bespoken, we first help you dissect, organize and shape your ideas. We then train you to make powerful verbal and physical choices to support those ideas and together we develop and ingrain personalized techniques, tips and tricks to help you commit to those choices in high-pressure situations.
We begin with an intake meeting to discuss challenges, goals and logistics and to make sure the process and purpose of the work is understood. Guided by the fundamental creative process of making theater, we work through three phases:
Craft It – Together, we identify the audience and craft a distinctive message that articulates your vision.
Work It – On your feet, you learn how to use your voice and body to engage your audience.
Own It – Through rehearsal and situational role-play, techniques are refined and ingrained.
Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you own the room, speak from the heart and free your mind!
What happens to you before making a pitch? Sweaty hands? Shaky voice? Inability to connect your thoughts to your words? In our Own the Room master class, we give participants customized, immediate feedback to beat nerves and confidently pitch your work authentically and powerfully.
Join us on August 3rd at SoTechie Spaces for our Own the Room Master Class. Harness what makes you uniquely qualified to pitch your work in a way no one else can. Our Own the Room master class will teach you practical and proactive techniques to improve your vocal command and presence. Participants act as each other’s audience as we give you personalized, in-the-moment feedback to help you craft the impression you want to make, no matter the stakes. Click here to register to reserve your spot — there are only a few spots left. See you on the third!
Here at Bespoken, we help people speak powerfully and purposefully through individual and small group coaching. Modeled off our one-on-one process, we offer communication workshops to organizations of all kinds.
We can create a customized internal communication workshop for your organization to give your team the tools it needs to maximize output while fostering individuality and help you build a cohesive and collaborative environment. If you’re an accelerator or incubator, we give startup founders the tools they need to articulate their vision boldly and clearly while inspiring confidence in every interaction. In our small group workshops at co-working spaces freelancers learn how to harness their singularity while presenting themselves boldly and confidently.
Each masterclass is customized from start to finish according to the needs of your specific team.
Click here for a short video about how we work. We work one-on-one or in small groups. Click here for examples of workshops we’ve customized for industries of all kinds. Each masterclass is 2-3 hours long and can accommodate 6-10 participants at a time.