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How I found my voice with the help of WiAS

If the idea of participating in a two-hour intensive program on public speaking, followed by delivering a presentation on a subject of your choosing on a stage, fills you with “the fear”, then you should unquestionably consider making yourself a candidate for next year’s ‘Finding Your Voice’ cohort. I assure you; you won’t be disappointed!

Out of a pool of 27 applicants, five of us were fortunate enough to be selected for this exciting opportunity. Gathered from various backgrounds and experiences in the field of finance, Lackshana Ponnampalam, Magui Santos Silva, Caroline Vincent, Megan Pope, and myself (Camilla Mather) started the bootcamp with Alison Campbell coaching us. With a two-hour time-limit, we needed to select a topic and master the art of delivering it in an impactful and captivating manner, with our skills to be put to the test in front of an audience of peers from across the finance sector. Despite the limited time, the group quickly bonded, engaging in fruitful discussions about our individual passions and developing the narratives for our respective speeches.

The two hours flew by and before we knew it was our turn to take to the stage, as the room filled, our nerves heightened but we mustered the courage. One thing which we always had in our minds was the supportive environment that we were in, the audience wanted us to succeed and that really helped suppress any nervous thoughts. The time on the stage was such an adrenaline rush but every one of us left the lectern with a huge sense of achievement and pride. Magui and Megan were voted as joint winners by the panel, both speaking to highly emotive topics and very much deserved.

We were all lucky enough to be invited to participate on a panel at the IMPower FundForum in Monaco; an exciting opportunity to put the skills we learnt to the test. The focal point was centred around the scenario of “If I were a CEO,” prompting us to delve into the necessary qualities that modern-day workforce leaders must possess, distinctly different from those of a decade ago. We had a newfound confidence from the bootcamp and this definitely came to the fore when speaking in front of industry leaders.

It was a truly empowering experience and a good lesson learned that when “the fear” kicks in and your mind wants to say ‘no’, these are most often the opportunities you should take!

A great initiative organised by WIAS and hosted by Informa.

Camilla Mather, Institutional Sales Manager at J O Hambro Capital Management

“It was an incredibly empowering experience and amazing to go from five nervous strangers in a room to a group that was actively encouraging each other to succeed, brought together by nerves, determination, and Alison’s guidance. The reception from the audience was so warm and it was humbling to receive such positive feedback from strangers having spoken about a topic that was very personal to me. I would encourage anyone – especially those who think this isn’t for them – to apply and experience Find Your Voice for themselves.”
Magui Santos Silva, Software Engineer at Calastone
“It is probably hard to imagine how much of an impact a two-hour workshop could have on someone’s ability to capitate a room and that it truly sinks in for future occasions. But the Finding Your Voice workshop is an experience that provides you with a toolkit to draw on in the future, whether it is on a panel in front of industry leaders or presenting to a trustee board. It was also incredible to go through the experience with four other women and see them come into their own, find their confidence, and enjoy themselves.”
Lackshana Ponnampalam, Manager Research Associate at Redington
"I have always found it easier to communicate by writing than by speaking. It's something I have worked to improve before, but the results never quite seemed to stick - regardless of me efforts, I didn’t fully believe that people would want to listen to what I had to say. That all changed when I applied to Finding Your Voice. In our two hours Alison my voice felt more valued than it ever had before (bold statement, yes, but true). Alison has a unique talent of making people feel seen, regardless of whether they have fully formed their thoughts. Within just two hours, the five of us went from a room of nervous strangers to a group of self-assured women - that was a transformation I felt privileged to be a part of. Since the day we completed Alison's workshop and gave our speeches, I have noticed a stark difference in myself. I know now that what I have to say matters, and now I have the tools to say it confidently. I'd thoroughly recommend taking part!"
Megan Pope, Marketing Executive at First Wealth
“As an introvert, I always avoid presenting or public speaking. Finding my voice is a wonderful initiative and Alison is brilliant at her craft. She made you think deeply about the message you want to deliver, the take all the nerves that you have and use that energy to present. It was the most empowering experience, and the 5 ladies with me, all made me feel confident and comfortable. I would thoroughly recommend it!”
Caroline Vincent, Fund Manager at Wesleyan