The EBS 60 Second Interview – Nina Glass
Nina Glass is currently a consultant with Eric Salmon & Partners, a firm specialising in executive and non-executive search and assessment consultancy. There she works with a range of national, regional and global organisations; her particular emphasis is in retail, retail f/s, travel and private equity. Before joining consultancy, Nina worked in general management, business development and operational roles within the retail, hospitality and consumer finance sectors, with companies including InterContinental Hotels Group, Sysco Foods, Burger King, American Express and AXA. An American, educated at Tufts University (BA) and Columbia Business School (MBA), Nina is married to Bill Howie and lives in North London.
What brought you to EBS?
I had been a member of London Communicators in Islington for three to four years and found the meeting time a challenge. Looking for a morning club, I tried a few out but never looked back after joining my first EBS meeting. Great melange of individuals — differing professional experiences, ages, geographic backgrounds. And a superb ‘community’ feel to the Club.
Was it everything you expected?
See the above reply. Need I say more, given that after three to four years with the Club I still feel enlivened as I walk into the EBS meeting room on Thursday mornings. The ‘community’ feeling thrives.
How long have you been a Member?
Three to four years.
Did you have any expectations before you came?
That I could stretch myself further from the point I had arrived to in advance of joining.
Were your expectations fulfilled?
They have been fulfilled and indeed I continue to feel I can stretch myself…and long may that continue!
What surprised you most about EBS?
The size of the membership and the size of the meeting attendance. Just fantastic.
What has been your greatest learning as a Toastmaster?
How to cope in crisis. This is to say, in the past, when asked a question which was difficult, I would (noticeably) lose my stride. Now I may not always answer a question brilliantly but I have mastered the skill of coping in the crisis of the moment and getting through the discomfort with at least an element of aplomb!
What is special about EBS?
The community feeling about the membership. The encouraging nature of colleagues which includes not only nice words but also the willingness to openly challenge one another to ensure we go from strength to strength.
What do you like best about coming to our Club?
My EBS colleagues and, it has to be said, also the meeting space in which we are currently privileged to hold meetings. The size and scale of the physical space allows us to truly learn to use the stage.
What do your friends and family say about you since you joined?
That I am more confident in public speaking. (So, it’s worked).
How has becoming a member of EBS affected you/ your life?
I don’t worry now when someone in my business asks me, at the last minute, to present. In the past, even though it rarely happened that I was so called upon, I was filled with worry about it. It’s such a joy to no longer have that monkey on my back. Sleep-filled nights and far more smiles.
What was your biggest fear before you came?
The biggest fear before I came to Toastmasters was that I would never be comfortable with public speaking which is why I knew I had to take the bull by the horns and conquer the fear.
Is that still your biggest fear?
I would not say I am comfortable with public speaking as I will never be an individual who adores public speaking and craves being the centre of attention in that way. What I can say is that it no longer pains me to undertake public speaking. I have learned coping mechanisms to help me appear that I am comfortable with public speaking and that has served as a huge asset to me.
How does public speaking impact your life?
Occasionally, I am called upon to present for work or for a Club.
Is there anything else you would rather be doing on a Thursday morning?
The short answer is ‘yes,’ but who wouldn’t prefer to forgo a 5.30am alarm bell?!? The longer answer is, ‘no pain, no gain,’ and the early start pain is well worth the gains made in being part of Toastmasters International, and EBS in particular.