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Meet Lisa Braithwaite of The LisaB Company in Ojai

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Braithwaite.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lisa. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The nutshell version: After receiving my B.A. in Theater and my M.A. in Education, I spent 16 years in the nonprofit sector providing advocacy, outreach, speaking, teaching and training. I also founded my own nonprofit that I ran for eight years.

And then I got laid off. And then I got laid off again. And again. Three times in four years.

I needed a job, but I was still working part-time for my own nonprofit and it seemed ridiculous to apply for a part-time job. My husband said, “Why don’t you start a business?” I had already taken my entrepreneurial spirit into the workplace and had created my previous four jobs from scratch. Why NOT start a business?

At this point, I decided I would rather sink or swim based on my own merits rather than staying in what felt like a consistently unstable work environment.

It was during a self-employment training program run by Women’s Economic Ventures in Santa Barbara when I saw the light. One of my classmates heard me speak for my nonprofit, and she asked me how she could learn to be as comfortable speaking as I was.

In that moment, I realized I had valuable skills and knowledge to share. And that I could combine my educational background with my many years of speaking, teaching, and training, and create the ideal job for myself: presentation skills coaching and training.

15 years later, I’ve developed numerous live and virtual programs and retreats; I’ve been interviewed in the LA Times and Chicago Tribune, among others; I’ve worked with companies as diverse as Microsoft and NOAA; I’ve written a book; and I continue to challenge myself to find new ways to serve my clients and community!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My biggest struggle was my own mindset of never wanting to spend money. I wanted to learn everything about running an online business without having to pay for it.

After six years, I finally invested in my first paid program, and then my first coach (who I still work with today).

I learned that I have to invest both time and money if I want a successful business. After all, how can I expect people to invest their time and money with me if I’M not willing to invest time and money in me?

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m a speaking coach and trainer, working with business and nonprofit leaders to help them deliver meaningful and memorable experiences for their audiences.

My book is called “Presenting for Humans: Insights for Speakers on Ditching Perfection and Creating Connection,” and this is my primary focus. I help my clients get over the need to impress audiences, to be the smartest person in the room and to strive for flawlessness. I help them adopt the mindset of service and audience-centered presenting: the mindset of “we are humans presenting to humans.”

I’m most proud of my clients’ successes. When I get a text or an email saying, “I nailed it,” there is no better feeling in the world.

What sets me apart from others is my sense of humor and playfulness about speaking.

If my client is creating a barrier between herself and her audience by holding back her true expression, how can her audience connect with her on a human level? Being real creates connection, and being real means messing up, owning it, laughing about it, and moving on.

When my clients adopt a more lighthearted approach to speaking, an approach that creates a partnership with the audience and serves their needs, they can’t go wrong.

Especially for my clients who are hoping to transform the world in a big way, speaking up for change requires absolute authenticity and connection.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Positivity. I can always see the possibilities for myself and for my clients. I’m my clients’ biggest cheerleader. Even in the midst of COVID-19, I can’t help but maintain my optimistic outlook on life.

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