When asked to whom they turn for career advice, just 14 percent of women cited a formal mentor at work, compared with more than 50 percent of women who cited either family, friends and current or former colleagues...Yet women acknowledge the value of a mentor: they report that their mentors help them think differently about certain situations, help with their current roles and help them see more opportunities and possibilities...help with identifying their skills and capabilities, increasing their confidence and encouraging them to stretch themselvesNearly 30 percent cited mentors as having "helped me improve my communications skills." And in many situations, from meetings to medium-sized presentations to big speeches, a mentor can fill in the gaps between training as a trusted advisor. A mentor can watch you present and watch the reactions, and talk to you privately about the results.
Mentors can be in your workplace or elsewhere (and I'm always gratified that so many of my coaching and training clients are eager to get my feedback as they keep advancing in their speaking skills). Can't find a mentor in your workplace--or have a group of women needing or willing to give mentoring help to emerging women speakers? Try the social networking site GottaMentor.com, which currently has a challenge to gather 5 million mentors.