Sunday, May 24, 2009

top women speakers? Stacy Allison

In my call for video examples of today's top women speakers, The Sweeney Agency, which represents speakers, suggested Stacy Allison, calling her "a powerful, inspiring speaker, always a delight." Allison is president of a residential building company in Portland, Oregon, and more famously, a mountain climber and the first American woman to climb Everest, as well as peaks in Pakistan and Russia. She's described her adventures in Beyond the Limits: A Woman's Triumph on Everest and in Many Mountains to Climb: Reflections on Competence, Courage, and Commitment.

You can see Allison in action in this promotional video for her speaking engagements, which highlight her dynamic style: speaking without notes or a lectern, she uses body movement and gestures to emphasize her points in a dynamic way, along with her voice, favoring an enthusiastic delivery suited to an inspirational speaker. It's fitting that she underscores her themes--risk-taking and facing challenges--by taking risks and tackling challenges as a speaker. As I've noted before, telling personal stories, stories you know backwards and forwards, helps you as a speaker. Because she recalls her stories and doesn't need notes, she's freed from the lectern and able to focus on enhancing her speech with gestures, movement and vocal variety.

About this series: One of my readers noted he was having trouble finding examples (especially on video) of top women speakers of today--plenty from the past, few from today. So I'm working to compile a list of the top 10 women speakers. Please send me your nominees! I'm looking for nominees from the present day, particularly those for which video examples can be found. You can mention your nominee and any video links in the comments below; send them to me on Twitter; or email me at info[at]dontgetcaught[dot]biz. (Photo of Allison from the Sweeney Agency.)

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