Embracing the Virtual Stage: Coaching, Conferences, and Comedy

I have been performing on theatre and dance stages since I was three years old. ‘Let me entertain you’ was my way to connect with other human beings and earn approval. I was painfully shy and insecure throughout my childhood – because I was constantly bullied and teased about my size. But the stage was a magical place, where I felt confident and powerful. The stage is still one of my happy places: whether at a comedy club, a conference, or leading a zoom workshop. A stage is where I get the chance to share an idea, teach a lesson, and reach people across diverse networks and communities.

As a performer and speaker, learning to embrace our current virtual stage has been easy and natural for me. I still stand up when I do virtual standup comedy. I still show up for my online workshops with my signature dynamic energy. I still bring my personality, and creative content and interactive exercises, to inspire, educate, and empower my participants.

But, as an extrovert, networking coach, and single woman, learning to cope with being isolated, and living alone without any physical contact – is not easy or natural. It is painful and hard *AF*. It can be debilitating. I break down, sob, and give up all hope for the future at least once a day. Every damn day.  And then I remember Fred and Ginger, and I pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again. With some timely differences.  I used to teach my clients in person presentation skills: now I teach them how to deliver virtual presentations. One of my core messages was how to work a room: now I teach clients how to work the virtual room. While our tools are all video and audio instead of in person, the fundamentals of building relationships have not changed. Networking from home is still networking; it is still based on developing meaningful, strategic relationships. We just need to adapt to new tools, to different challenges, and to find new opportunities. We have a collective opportunity: the chance to develop deeper connections, to go beyond “how was your weekend”, and learn what really makes the people in our networks happy, sad, motivated, drained, uplifted, and energized. We can and should still ask: “who do you need to meet”. We can and should also ask: “how can I be of service: how can I help you, professionally and personally?”

There has always been a strong overlap between the professional and personal elements of my life. “Boundaries, shmoundaries!” These boundaries now overlap for all of us. And this brings a new freedom, stronger friendships, and powerful collaborations.

Sharing my life (with its happy, sad, and humorous elements), sharing my advice, and sharing virtual physical space with other human beings keeps me motivated, hopeful, and connected. So I have reached out to my network and offered to speak about some of the critical issues we are all facing: how to stay connected, how to articulate your brand and stand out, how to market – or not market, and how to keep a sense of humor to get through it all.

I’m proud to be delivering workshops and presentations on virtual networking, digital branding, and online marketing; I’m excited to be interviewed about building hot relationships (professional AND personal – ask me about online dating!); and thrilled to be performing in comedy shows. I co-produced my 1st comedy show/ fundraiser, made my first international online debut on May 3rd  at the Sunday Funnies, and my 2nd international debut on May 8th at Fireball Friday, and landed my first Covid related corporate comedy client.  You can check out these recent and upcoming events on the Fireball Network events page.

If you want an engaging workshop, dynamic speaker, or corporate comedy program for your organization, please contact me. Let me educate, empower, and entertain you – with lessons, with laughter, and with love.

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