Author Marta Spirk On The 5 Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Public Speaker
An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis
Persistence: It will probably take you a few tries to get noticed or selected. Don’t let it wear you down. Continue believing in the power of your message and leverage your connections to expand your reach.
At some point in our lives, many of us will have to give a talk to a large group of people. What does it take to be a highly effective public speaker? How can you improve your public speaking skills? How can you overcome a fear of speaking in public? What does it take to give a very interesting and engaging public talk? In this interview series called “5 Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Public Speaker” we are talking to successful and effective public speakers to share insights and stories from their experience. As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Marta Spirk.
Marta Spirk is a wife, triplet mom, TEDx speaker, author, empowerment coach & marketing strategist. She helps women simplify marketing their business with a personality-based approach that reduces overwhelm and procrastination, so they can step into VISIBILITY, CREDIBILITY & PROFIT. She does that with her podcast The Empowered Woman (over 100K downloads), The Empowered Woman: The Ultimate Roadmap to Business Success (book) and The Empowered Woman School membership and workshops.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the younger of two girls. My mom was a stay-at-home mom and my dad was an engineer who then opened up his own company. We moved to a different city when I was 6 and the change prompted my mom to follow her heart in starting her own church. I grew up seeing her speak boldly to small and large groups of people and eventually, at 14, I stepped up to share my own story and message with her church. By 18, I was an integral part of the ministry, from workshop (singing and playing the keyboard) to ministering and interpreting for American preachers that would lead conferences through her church.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Choosing my majors was not a hard task at all — I had an easy time with languages and a natural talent for communicating my thoughts and helping others do the same. I earned a BA in Translation in Brazil (Portuguese, English and French) and a Master’s in Applied Linguistics at the University of Colorado Denver.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
In 2016, I was blessed to give birth to triplets, Samuel, Benjamin & Gloria. This huge plot twist in my life showed me I had yet another chapter to live: start my own business. When they were only 9 months old, I joined a network marketing company and dove into the world of personal development. This opportunity opened a door for me that would eventually take me to my ultimate vision: mentoring other women entrepreneurs as a speaker, author and marketing expert. I started creating my own coaching courses and programs, launched my podcast in 2018, landed my first speaking engagement in 2019 and was featured on TV, TEDx and published my book, The Empowered Woman: The Ultimate Roadmap to Business Success.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Through my journey, I’ve learned to reframe mistakes into lessons. Had I known what to do differently at any given time, I would have. I’ve accepted that I am always exactly where I need to be and have zero regrets. That said, I remember having a very abrupt close to my first keynote. I was nervous and hadn’t prepared for the close — a very rookie mistake! I literally said “And this it!” And walked off stage. Recently, I reconnected with the organizer who booked me for that presentation and shared that with her, she said she didn’t remember it and still carries some takeaways from that talk!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I have had so many wonderful mentors, friends and supporters along the way. I am very grateful for my media coaches Christina Nicholson and Lisa Simone Richards for helping me increase my visibility. It was through their guidance that I landed my first TV segment and so many other amazing opportunities. And I can’t forget to mention my business coach, Gary Barnes, who is an international business coach, author and speaker. He was the main driver behind the growth of my business, as well as my book publishing.
You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging and intimidating. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
In simple terms: failure doesn’t exist. Everything is a stepping stone toward the next level of success. If you truly believe in your message, you will not shy away from sharing it. And if you have it in your heart to share your message on stage and through speaking, then the doors will open and you will reach heights that once were only a dream. I am proof of that: a girl from Brazil with no connections in the US, who was able to start her business from the ground up and become an on-demand speaker. You just have to start somewhere — like everybody does. Network, put yourself out there. Offer your wisdom freely and more opportunities will find you.
What drives you to get up everyday and give your talks? What is the main empowering message that you aim to share with the world?
My empowering message is the message that we must take responsibility for our own dreams — and success. Sure, there will be hardship and people who are unsupportive, but that should not hold us back. We all have a very important role and part in this life and it is our responsibility to own up to it, step up to it and serve the world with our God-given gifts. One of my favorite opportunities to share this very message was on TEDx. My talk is titled “The Transformational Power of Defeat” and in it, I explain how the struggles in immigrating from Brazil to the US and having triplets were also the catalysts for so many accomplishments in my life. Whatever feels like defeat can also be turned into an amazing opportunity for incredible success.
You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?
I am currently working on a Book Club for my book The Empowered Woman as well as coaching programs for women entrepreneurs who are ready to get published and on stage to share their story and message. I have been mentoring business owners on how to craft their signature talk, land a TEDx and get featured as a guest expert on TV and am so excited to see more and more of my clients shine!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
One of my favorite quotes that really describes my personal journey and message to the world comes from Napoleon Hill’s book, Outwitting the Devil, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” I have lived it and continue to carry this wisdom with me. No matter what life throws at me, I can overcome it and believe in the blessings within the hard times.
Ok, thank you for all that. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Public Speaker?” Please share a story or example for each.
#1 Expertise: Realize you DO have knowledge on something that could benefit others, provide advice and shortcuts. This makes you valuable to people and outlets that need content.
#2 Awareness: Become aware of the opportunities out there to share your message. There are communities and outlets closer to your reach than you imagine needing content right now! Do your research.
#3 Persistence: It will probably take you a few tries to get noticed or selected. Don’t let it wear you down. Continue believing in the power of your message and leverage your connections to expand your reach.
#4 Empowerment: Find the intersection between what you can offer and what your community and outlets need. How can you make your message fit their needs?
#5 Transform: Document your journey as you start growing your speaking influence and features and learn from these experiences how to refine your craft and your message. Keep track of your personal and professional growth and don’t forget to spread gratitude along the way!
As you know, many people are terrified of speaking in public. Can you give some of your advice about how to overcome this fear?
My favorite piece of advice I once received from a mentor was: before coming out to speak, say the prayer “Let me touch one.” At the end of the day, regardless of the size of the audience, we can only hope to touch and facilitate transformation for ONE life and that is more than enough. Remembering that it’s not about the numbers but each individual life helps keep things in perspective — our mission is bigger than your fear.
You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
My hope is to inspire a movement of individual empowerment that leads to collective empowerment. Again, I want to further my message that if each of us realize how powerful we are as an individual, as a group and society we become unstoppable to create more good for future generations.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I would love to have lunch with Jennifer Lopez. As a fellow latina entrepreneur, I have been amazed at all of her accomplishments throughout her career. @jlo
Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?
Yes! I am on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Just look for @martaspirk
I also have my podcast, The Empowered Woman on all podcast platforms.
This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!