The EBS 60 Second Interview – Lissi Corfield
Lissi Corfield was one of the most terrified members of EBS when she first started coming to Early Bird Speakers. But she wanted to become a professional speaker and shaking all over was not a helpful look. One thing that helped her complete her competent speaker manual within one year was working with a mentor, the very capable Katherine Eyres. Lissi reckons providing an appropriate mentor was the key piece of support that moved her from mouse to – something a bit less mousy.
What brought you to EBS?
I was invited along by Lesley Lear who was making a speech that morning, and I came to watch her. I loved the zip and sparkle of that first meeting and I’ve been hooked ever since.
How long have you been a Member?
After a long wait, I was finally given membership just over two years ago. But, I’d already learnt a lot by coming along and watching the members doing their stuff.
What is special about EBS?
I talked to the VP mentoring as soon as I joined and said that I needed a mentor to help me become a humorous speaker. I was so pleased when Katherine agreed to take me on. I liked her speaking style, full of flirty double entrendres and fun, even though that was never going to be my style. But you don’t copy your mentor’s style, you just need someone who can understand what you are trying to achieve and give you sensible feedback. Katherine was willing to listen to my attempts at humorous speeches before I tried them out at EBS and could advise me what worked and what fell flat. We chatted on the phone, or sometimes met over a coffee, and it was always good fun as well as encouraging.
What has been your greatest learning as a Toastmaster?
I think it’s important to rehearse and get feedback before you hit the floor. It’s a huge confidence boost when you’ve heard your mentor say ‘yes, that is funny’. You can then concentrate on preparing to deliver the speech well. I wish I could be hilarious without so much effort, but to produce something professional, I now realise preparation is key.
What do you like best about coming to our Club?
There are so many friendly people that it’s a great combination of joyful and educational.
What was your biggest fear before you came to EBS?
Apart from being freaked out at the very idea of public speaking, my fear was that although I know my stuff – I have a qualification in business management – I wouldn’t be able to get my ideas across in an entertaining way. I hate sitting through dull speeches myself.
Is there anything else you would rather be doing on a Thursday morning?
Yes, but given my current options, EBS is the best thing going…
Now I am trying to be a good mentor to members of EBS who ask for advice, so I can share the benefits of mentoring that I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy. I’ve got the confidence and skills to take up paid speaking roles because of EBS, so that is another way I can keep learning and growing.