I must admit, I was a debater in high school. Now, I wasn’t a talented debater. In fact, I was supremely untalented; I lost nearly every round for three years straight. But the dubious desire to speak publicly about a range of topics remained.
Post-college, that range of topics narrowed as my journalism and television career matured. I’ve always been a hacker, of sorts. Perhaps it’s because I don’t tend to follow rules, or maybe it’s because I was rarely – if ever – offered an invitation to the party, figuratively (and literally). Either way, I began analyzing how to “hack” journalism (no, not how to BE a hack), and that led to my fascination with personal branding. From there, I studied how to develop and market such a personal brand, specifically through the use of technology and new media, neither of which were exactly de rigueur at the time (this was back in 2005-06).
Soon I was speaking as an authority, or at least as someone with substantial experience in that realm. I gave the keynote at Unilever’s marketing conference. I spoke to the executives at A&E. I talked at The Learning Annex and universities including MIT’s Sloan School of Business, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and Harvard Business School, as well as conferences around the world, from Denmark to Germany to SXSW in Austin, Texas.
I tend to focus my speaking on career development for young professionals, entrepreneurship, personal branding, innovative new media marketing, and “hacking the press” (particularly for startups, small business owners – anyone doing their own thing). But the love of my life is talking to young women about how they can – yeah, it’s a little cheesy, but I’m going to use this word – empower themselves to think in a more entrepreneurial manner. To hack their careers, as it were.
And yes, I do – cough cough – occasionally give talks on dating. ;-) Those are fun, too.
If you’re interested in me speaking to your organization, group or university, please email Speaking@JuliaAllison.com