Monday 11 May 2015
2Inspire Inspirational Woman: Elaine Powell, Professional Speaker
In this 2inspire profile interview we meet Elaine Powell who has dedicated her business and her life to developing great speakers of us all! Read her inspiring interview below and share your experiences with public speaking with us.
Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
There are 3 main areas of my business that I may focus on in a week.
The first is delivering public speaking/presentation skills workshops for organisations
that want to enhance their employees’ levels of communication and presentation skills,
confidence and leadership skills.
The second is 1:1 coaching/training, business owners and entrepreneurs who understand
that being on the speaking platform, sets you up instantly as the expert in your field and
you are therefore sought after. Speaking greatly raises your business profile, customers, status, profits and impact in the world.
Lastly, on days that I am not training, in the morning, I will blog, update my social
media, contact organisations for speaking engagements and continue to work on my
book. The afternoon I set aside for coffee meet-ups and in the evening I will usually
attend a networking event 1-2 times a week.
What made you start the business and how did you get started?
Having worked with young offenders with behavioural issues for seven years, I decided
in 2006 to take a year off to travel the world. I had a magnificent experience travelling
to over 18 countries during that time. Upon my return, after having so much freedom, I
knew I couldn’t work for anybody else. I had to be my own boss and find my true
purpose and calling in life. I followed my inner gut feeling and heart.
Over the next 1-2 years, I tried everything from property, to PPI, to network marketing.
They say ‘seek and ye shall find.’ One day I had lunch with an acquaintance and they
told me they were an independent associate trainer delivering public speaking workshops
in schools. Well, I had a history of working with young offenders, I was a very
competent Toastmaster and had won several speaking competitions, so for me it was a
natural fit. I became an associate trainer for Speakerstrust which is a public speaking
charity and so my pathway into the speaking industry began.
Over the next few years, I delivered workshops for organisations such as The London
Fire Brigade, BBC, Google, YMCA, Citibank, The Challenge. I was also invited to give
talks at many events and universities. As my name became more prominent, women
began to ask me for 1:1 public speaking coaching, to boost their confidence, develop
their speaking skill, help write their keynote speech and increase their visibility as a
“When your calling finds you, it will knock. If you don’t answer, it will knock again, until
you do answer.” I answered.
What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business
world to date?
That is definitely a difficult one. Every client I work with and see their confidence and
abilities grow throughout our time together, is for me my greatest accomplishments.
I have spoken to over 1000 people in venues which I really enjoy. But I think having
trained over 15,000 people and delivered over 500 workshops, helping people to be self expressed, confident and empowering in the world, is one of my greatest achievements.
What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
As a creative, I have many ideas and many pathways in my business I could follow.
Sometimes my mind is in a fog and knowing which is the right pathway to follow can be
challenging at times. A cluttered mind, does nothing.
This is because coaching yourself can be very challenging. Let me explain. It is easy to
coach other people. With others, you can see what’s working, what’s missing, what
needs to be improved. But when it comes to yourself, it is like being in the picture and
trying to see the frame or trying to see the end of your nose. It’s very difficult as you
don’t always ask yourself the right questions. A coach helps you to see the blindspots
you make be missing.
Madness is doing the same thing and expecting different results.
I had to change that. Although, I am an expert in my field, we should always be open to
learn from others. So now, I have a phenomenal female speaking business mentor in
the USA, as we are lacking female speaking mentors here in the UK.
This is why I stepped forward here in the UK, to champion female business owners and
entrepreneurs, to use one of the most powerful tools given to them, their voice.
What are your future plans for the business?
I am very excited for the future of my speaking business. There are many trainers and
organisations helping people to develop their public speaking skills but there are only a
few (actually two men, that I know of and no women) until now, who are helping people
to raise their profile through creating a business speaking platform. A platform that will
boost their business, charity or organisation.
As a Speakerpreneur, you can raise your profile, garner more clients, increase profits and make an impact in the world in a short space of time.
Within my coaching and workshops, Speakerpreneurs will:
• get clear about their message, vision and mission
• harness a powerful confident speaker mindset
• create a unified brand and marketing plan
• become a masterful storyteller and presenter
• learn how to deliver with impact and panache
• create multiple speaking income generators; speaking, hosting, mc-ing, products
• get booked to speak at conferences, universities, corporations and churches
• understand the business of speaking; contracts, fees, media packs, speakers bio
• And most importantly, how to use their purpose, talents, gifts and messages to help
those around them prosper too.
“Service to many, leads to greatness”
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Being an entrepreneur can definitely be challenging, as you have to develop your
business and make an income at the same time.
If I was to do it again, I would definitely take on a business coach or a speaking coach.
As they will help you to have more clarity, direction, focus and accountability.
It is just like having a personal trainer at the gym. They will usually help you reach your
goals, and in the long run, save you money, time and a lot of frustration.
Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their
Unfortunately, our society is still unequal regarding gender. Although women make up
51% of the population, in terms of power positions in government, CEO’s, management
and boards of directors, we only make up around 25%.
Although this can partly be blamed on society, women also need to take responsibility for this and to stand up and be counted.
When I deliver workshops to mixed gender groups, and I ask for volunteers to step
forward to take part in an exercise, the men are usually the first to step forward, whilst
the women sit back, analysis, and are more reluctant. We have to change this.
We cannot blame society for placing men in power, if they are the ones stepping forward
when asked. We have to have the courage to put our hands up, have the courage to
take action, have the courage to say “I am good enough” and not second guess
ourselves and pander to negative self-talk and self-doubt.
Women are phenomenal human beings. From the fact that we are usually the glue that
holds families together, we create life within our bodies, we are sensitive to others
emotional needs and see the finite details that sometimes men can miss - well, women
you are Amazing!
“Behind every great man is a woman. These women now need to step forward
and hold up their light to the world.”
What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your
First of all you need to be passionate about your business. That even if you didn’t get
paid to do what you do, you would still get up every morning with that same amount of
vigour and drive. When people meet you, if they don’t feel that passion, you will have
difficulty enrolling them into your vision, mission or idea.
Secondly, don’t focus on the money. If you focus on being the solution to a problem,
you will find that your business will grow faster because people want to know that you
care. Focus on helping people and the money will just flood in as a by-product.
Remember “help enough people to get what they want and you will get what you want in
Thirdly, find somebody who is already doing what you want to do and learn from them.
Study their business model, speak to them if possible and ask the right questions. This
could save your valuable time and expense. Then like everything else, you only get
results when you ‘do’. Just start talking to people, network and share your business with
others. Go out and take action. Life only rewards those who ‘take action’. Offer to
speak at events for free to get the experience and learn every step of the way.
What or who inspires you in business and why?
In terms of female speakers who stands out, we seems to be thin on the ice in the UK. I
had to go to the USA to find a female speaker, who knows my business inside out.
In business generally, I think the business, Key Person of Influence, CEO Darshana Ubl is
a great business model to learn from and their business has grown leaps and bounds in
the few years of its inception.
I think anybody whose business is to really help be a solution to people’s problems and
is not just focused solely on profit, is a winner in my eyes.
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are
powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We
ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are
you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure
around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we
let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”