Unbelievable luck has it that I get to spend a whole lot of time with fun, talented, and incredibly smart business owners. As we work together over the months, I have the privilege of getting to know them both professionally and personally and I am consistently overwhelmed by their stories, passion, drive, and knowledge. And I end up wanting to shout their praises from the rooftops. And while I do my best to let my work do the shouting for me/them, it’s time to go a step further let them share with you, in their own words, a bit about who they are, what they do, drop some, and give a bit of insight into our collaboration.
Welcome to the latest installment of “I’m a Business, Woman,” a series of conversations with cool, entrepreneurial women I love doing cool shit. Today we’re getting to know Katie Karlovitz of On Speaking Terms. I’m so excited to introduce you to her and her work, not only as the proud designer of her visual identity, but as a formerly stage-frightened client of hers who can vouch for her serious skills.
Katie Karlovitz, Public Speaking Consultant, Author & Speaker
Your business is:
We can hear from you on:
Tell us a bit about your business; what do you do?
I coach women when they have to speak, privately or publicly, for business. I help them decide what they want to say, why they do, and how to say it in an engaging and empowering way.
What do you do differently than anyone else; why do your customers choose you?
Coming from a theater background let’s me see the business arena as a form of theater-where we understand our roles, refine messages, entertain while we educate and are easily remembered. I’ve also had a career as a narrator, so I’d say I have high verbal skills.
Describe your ideal client:
open, fun, willing to take risks, able to confront fears, trusting, willing to do the work
What is your favorite part of the coaching process?
I love just about all of it, but it’s when someone who’s been frightened and insecure of speaking delivers a fantastic presentation. They are so happy, amazed and relieved. That just lights me up!
Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. What do you want them saying about you?
Professional, personable, effective, truthful, invaluable
If your brand were a fashion house, which label would you be and why?
Armani! Well designed and made, and fits with my field general style
Do you have a professional “past life”? What did you do?
I acted and directed professionally with a theater company in Pittsburgh for about 4 few years. I also did radio, TV and a film or two.
Five songs that always get you in a good mood are:
Five TV shows you could stream over and over are:
Fawlty Towers, Sopranos, VEEP, Homeland… not really a big tv person
Five books you could read over and over are:
The Great Gatsby, Pippy Longstocking, David Copperfield, Alexander Hamilton, The Orchardist
Five vacation spots you’d go back to over and over are:
Cape Cod, Northern CA, Paris, Viet Nam, Ireland
Five vacation spots you’ve yet to visit but can’t wait to get to are:
Everywhere else! Greece, Hungary, Switzerland, Martinique, and Hawaii
Describe a perfect day in New York City:
Up early for a walk in Central Park with husband and our blind dog; breakfast at Tiffany (do they serve stuff?), rowing around one pond or another in the park; hitting a movie, having high tea at a fancy hotel, shop for things I don’t need but want, and then dinner at Balthazar and a play at 8:00 pm. Drop in on our friend Steve at West Bank for a night cap and cat chat. Take the ferry back across the Hudson under sparkly starry night. Our dog would have been magically taken care of.
What’s your go-to uniform for a day at work?
Usually NYDJ or Eileen Fisher pants, simple top-cotton, button down collar and jacket, slightly stacked heel on a low boot. I like to feel like a field general off to jump on my horse to communicate important news.
Is that different from a day off? If so, what’s your go-to uniform for a day off?
Not so different but I like to mix it up with color.
What is the most common, easily-avoidable public speaking misstep you see?
People conflate knowledge of their job with knowledge of presenting skills. These are distinctly different skill sets, and one with out the other is only half-effective. You need both.
What three (or four!) things should everyone do the morning of their speech or talk?
- Start drinking flat water immediately, and either limit or skip a caffeine drink.
- Sit in a comfortable chair, eyes closed and breathing deep. In your mind’s eye, see yourself as confident, sure-footed and in command. Notice how good it feels, and now start silently, easily moving through the main points of your message.
- Eat a light breakfast, avoiding sugary stuff, heavy carbs, dairy, and carbonation. Digestion takes energy so don’t bog yourself down when it’s show time.
- Trust in your preparation. If you’ve done it right, it will support you perfectly and make magic possible.
Share one tip for managing stage fright:
Get your breath under control, and the rest of the body has no choice but to follow after. I like a nice slow count of 5 to inhale, hold the breath for 5, and a controlled exhale for 5. Repeat as often as needed until you feel your wits about you.
What is your all-time favorite speech to watch in cinema? Why?
The last speech in The King’s Speech, by Colin Firth. It makes me cry because so many people struggle and are hurting over this but thankfully he prevailed (with his coach!).
How did you find me?
I sat across the table from you and thought you were shy and pretty.
How did you know that I was the right match to develop your brand identity?
At what point during the process were you most excited?
Um, there was a lot of that-seeing the logo the first time, the icons, the fonts, the colors-watching something take shape that I knew was an unusual request and seeing you do it.
What was the most unexpected result of the branding process?
How much work is involved, for both sides.
Have you seen a difference in the kind of customer you’re attracting?
This is my first site, and I am aware that I always feel good sending people to it. Response is always positive and along the lines of “It’s so beautiful.”
What would you say to someone thinking about hiring me?
I would say that you’re one of the best at what you do, which is to bring out the hidden brand that no one else can see yet, that’s a perfect reflection of how you wish to be seen in your immediate future.
You have the floor
Pitch my readers on your business! Why do they need you?
My expertise is in helping people relax and be interesting, for any kind of public event. My methods are effective and all based in you and your message. Once you learn the technique, your business will do nothing but grow and you’ll be invited to speak at other events. It’s a transformation in a highly significant part of one’s life.
Would you like to plug a new service or offer something special to my readers?
Glad you asked! I’ll have 2 e-learning courses, one for my company and another for a San Francisco firm, starting in late September. I’m doing a few live workshops this fall, and I’ve begun giving speeches myself, to local NYC groups. I’m available to talk about talking!
Any last thoughts?
Yes, I believe that when more women speak up and are put in charge, world peace will be possible.