“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in a hot water” —

Eleanor Roosevelt

My second day was marked by full immersion into the program. We were taught leadership skills, the art of public speaking, techniques of properly composing the above-mentioned elevator pitch and articulating one’s goals. We are constantly reminded – that our presence here is by no means accidental. “You have been chosen not because you are successful, but because you are special”, concludes her mentorship session Alyse Nelson, the president of Vital Voices.img_6701-750x998

Alyse is an extremely observant, witty, open-minded and determined woman. While answering the questions of the participants, she would ask counter-questions, always seeking to push the boundaries – both her own and of the others. In her presentation she outlines the new five-step model of transformational leadership that, naturally, is applicable to women specifically. According to Alyse, the Mayan prophecies about the end of the world in 2012 were simply incorrectly interpreted. What the ancient civilization actually predicted was that 2012 was meant to mark the tipping point – the transition from the male paradigm into the female one, the process that, Alyse believes, has been in motion for the last five years, though occurring not that quickly and efficiently as she would’ve wanted.img_6703-750x563

The second truly compelling session of the day – was the art of public speaking, led by Kathleen Friery, professional media trainer and producer of TV-shows on ABC and CNN. The 10 rules of public speaking presented by Kathleen – are the true Bible of speechcraft. I strongly recommend you to learn and put into practice all of the 10 “commandments” – I was familiar with many of them before, but the way Kathleen articulated them made them sound even clearer:

1. Write your own headline (In short – tell your own stories!)

2. Make your message clear and simple (Your message should be plain and straightforward.)

3. The power of first impression (Don’t underestimate the impact of the first impression.)

4. Body language matters (Body language! Don’t forget about the “power poses”.)

5. The power of pause (This particular element – is something that I deeply lack.)

6. Use emotions! Tell stories! (Use emotions – both your own and of the others.)

7. Ask questions

8. Call to action!

9. Tell them why?

10. Listen! (Learn to listen!)