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CFD 603 – Public Speaking Tips and Strategies with Jacqueline Nagle

With a diverse career crossing professional services, mining services, civil construction, manufacturing, industrial relations Jacqueline has used  public speaking-centric strategies extensively to launch, pivot and manage both growth and crisis across all of those organizations. 

For 15 years Jacqueline has successfully trained consultants, professionals, business owners, executives and the C-Suite in public speaking, sales, presenting, core messaging, negotiating and positioning, before turning her attention more specifically to the craft of speaking in early 2017. Since then Jacqueline has worked with 100’s of emerging and established speakers across Australia and the USA.

Jacqueline’s training has been delivered to some of Australia’s major corporate brands including Tattersalls (The Lott) and Anglicare, and her programs have been picked up by the Australian Institute of Sport Gold Medal Alumni Program in Canberra, and she has recently been awarded Certified Speaking Professional. 

Podcast Highlights

Who is Jacqueline Nagle? 

Jacqueline is a girl that had a plan for her life, one that involved becoming a lawyer in New York. But life happens and in her early 20’s she moved to Melbourne and fell into a job in recruitment where she discovered she loved the work. What originally started out as a temporary six week position turned into a sixteen year career.

Much of Jacqueline’s later success can be attributed to all the different things she learned in that career. It was where she found her first mentor and learned that one of the best ways to excel is to be insatiably curious and constantly learning. Her mentor also instilled Jacqueline’s love of story for conveying lessons and that became the foundation for how she operates now.

Jacqueline’s moment where she decided to venture out on her own occurred after she made herself redundant as CEO at a company she was working at. After a three month transition period, Jacqueline was in her early 40’s and had a moment to consider what she really wanted to do. She tapped into her love for public speaking and decided to go to every speaking event within a 50 km radius. That was when she found that there are actually very few good public speakers in the world and that something was missing. She put together a pilot program and got some great success teaching people that they have something powerful to say and when they know how to say it, they can create something powerful as a result. 

Plans Change

Sometimes our plans change, but that doesn’t mean that the goal stops existing, just that the way you get there becomes different. For Jacqueline, she didn’t become a New York lawyer but she found that the skills she learned over the course of her career allowed her to operate similar to a lawyer. It wasn’t until she realized that was she comfortable with the fact that her plan had changed.

We need to recognize that this is a moment in time, and it may be hard and difficult and your path may change, but the goal is still there. We have to let go of follow a rigid path and adapt to changing circumstances. The thing that we love to do and the way that we bring value to the world hasn’t changed.

What does it mean to honor the audience’s time?

Even if you’re speaking for free you have to honor your audience’s time because they are giving you their most precious commodity. You have to be there to serve, not to be self indulgent. 

You have the privilege of the platform when you’re speaking. Explain to people what you know to be true about the world through story and give them something of value.

Storytelling is not about you, it’s about creating belief and trust and connecting with the people in front of you at an unconscious level. 

How can today’s entrepreneurs get their message across with public speaking?

The stage has changed, we have podcasting, video channels, and public speaking at conferences when the world goes back to normal. No matter what the channel is, the very first thing is to be crystal clear on your message. What is the through line in what you do and what do you want to be famous for?

Another important question is whether you have the right to speak on a topic. Do you have the experience and learning around a topic to be able to speak confidently? If not, you should hold off.

If you’re building a craft and focused on the learning of that it pulls your head out of the drama and the trauma that you’re currently in. Being heard is still important, and if you haven’t built the skill of messaging and language, you won’t be able to adjust your positioning and be authentic.

Language skills are vital in a crisis, without the ability to articulate your thoughts you can’t really think. The ability to unpack your thinking and repack in a way that the world wants to hear is always in demand.

Can anyone learn how to speak in public?

Jacqueline started out believing that everyone has a voice and deserves to be heard, but she’s shifted from that to “everyone has a voice and some people should shut up”. If you’re speaking from a place of ego you should stop, which is something that we see often on social media.

If you’re a natural speaker, imagine what could happen if you honed that skill.

The biggest challenge that stops people from speaking are the internal words within someone that hold them back. 

Jacqueline’s Takeaway

Go and find your three favorite public speakers and listen to them. Figure out what it is that you love about them because whatever that is is a mirror into yourself if you were to speak. If you don’t know your three favorites, watch the top 10 TED talks and pick three of them. Who you like and how they speak are the keys to understanding who you are as a speaker.


Jacqueline Nagle on LinkedIn

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