Speaking Eye to Eye

Since we are all getting to the pointy end of semseter that means but one thing… the dreaded oral presentation!

Presentation slides…check!

Presentation Notes…check!

Sweaty palms…check!

Being uncomfortably aware of the dozens of eyes staring at you expecctantly …check!

Wanting to run and hide in the crowd… check!

Sound familiar? Well there is no shame if it does!

These are definitely some of the usual reactions people have when it comes to public speaking. It’s not everyones cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean you will be able to get off scott-free when you say that you just don’t want to present!

That’s life.. doing things we don’t want to do.

So instead of fighting it (which is no doubt is going to be an uphill battle) have a read of this article from Toastmasters. It provides some great tips on engaging your audience and a little bit of insight into the psychology of effective presenting.

I thought it might be helpful if you are one of the unlucky ones that just can’t bear public speaking. Or even for those that love it, but may want to brush up on your skills before the big class presentation.

So have a read and hopefully it can help give you that extra bit of confidence you may need to go in all guns blazing and give a truly confident presentation that results in the great mark you had been aiming for!

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Good Luck with presenting!

/Lynsey Brady

Social Media. Counter-terrorism. Youth Radicalisation.

Social Media. Counter-terrorism. Youth Radicalisation.

Just a few of the topics I could sit and listen to Dr Anne Aly talk about all day long! Her passion for all these things and more was nothing short of infectious at the Women In Media’s 1st event for 2015.

Although ‘Get Serious’ was founded on some horribly confronting issues such as terrorist and radical organisations use of social media and the tragic events of the Sydney Siege and Charlie Hedbo attacks the only thing this event was lacking in was time!
The wisdom of Australia’s pre-eminent female expert in counter-terrorism, plus the launch of a campaign in defense of free journalism meant it was definitely a jam-packed night.

Myself and PURE’s lovely Social Media Manager Jenny Ljunggren were fortunate enough to attend this event and soak up this fantastic opportunity. It was awe-inspiring hearing exactly what Anne has achieved throughout her life (at least this far anyway!) – internationally-recognised research, counter-terrorism expert (who just happened to have flew in from a White House counter-terrorism conference days prior to attending this event..No Biggy!) just to name a few.

But what was more inspiring was the fact she never for a minute gave up whenever obstacles were thrown at her. Whether it be both men and women questioning her credibility, gender inequality and yes even death threats! YOU GO GIRL!!

It was a fantastic night that saw Sky News Host Ashleigh Gillon barely get a word in edge ways! But that didn’t stop us from soaking up a wealth of knowledge while Anne discussed the power of social media in relation to reaching radicalised youth and countering violent extremism, not to mention the implications for journalistic freedom should new metadata legislation be imposed.

An eye-opening event that I thoroughly enjoyed! I’ll definitely be attending plenty more WIM events in the future!

Hopefully I’ll see you there!

/Lynsey Brady


5 things I’ve learnt about networking at PRALC

A fabulous venue, a cocktail on arrival followed by a delicious meal, add some invaluable networking opportunities and you have what we at PURE at Murdoch University like to call PR a la carte. Our committee members Renae, Nicola and Jenny did an amazing job organising the event, with it turning out a roaring success. The positive feedback we have received from the professionals and students that attended has been humbling and I believe a sign of many good things to come.

Both the professionals and students that attended the evening seized the opportunity to doll themselves up and forget about whatever ailed them that particular week; whether it be pesky assignments, stressful deadlines or that horrible weather we had recently been experiencing.

This being my third PR a la carte, I have to say, hand on heart that this was one of the most enjoyable yet! The people you meet are always so approachable and more than happy for you to pick their brains (this goes for both students and professionals!). Although I am far from a networking expert, there are a few things I have managed to pick up over the past few events I have attended, and I would like to share some of them with you now;

1.Don’t be shy! Everyone is there for the exact same reasons. To meet, to mingle and to make a memorable impression! The lovely Jacqueline King-Small made a very good point, we are all story tellers, and as PR practitioners it is in our nature to create meaningful dialogue. So get in there, introduce yourself, and let the magic happen.

2.Embrace the cliché and ask questions! Work, pets, children, music, even Game of Thrones, speak about anything that will help you initiate dialogue and establish a common interest. As far as I am concerned anything goes (within reason of course), as the wildly funny Karl Hale pointed out; we aren’t ‘boring policy makers. We are ‘communication experts’. So get communicating!

3.Everyone was once a novice. Whether they are a Fellow of PRIA or a recent graduate. Every single practitioner you meet will have had to start somewhere! Which means each and every one of us has our own experiences, and stories to tell. So do not be intimidated or feel your experiences (or lack there of) are irrelevant because everyone’s journey is different whether you are a student or a professional and sometimes it’s refreshing to get a different perspective on things.

4.There is no shame in seeking opportunities from networking. Karl Hale and I had a very interesting discussion on the current international climate and how I could use this to my advantage in seeking work experience opportunities that would compliment my future career goals. That’s why PURE put on these events after all, to encourage students to interact with professionals and allow you to pursue industry connections. With a bit of luck and some hard work on your part, you may land yourself an internship or a graduate opportunity. Which brings me to my last point;

5.Networking IS your BEST FRIEND. If there is one thing I learnt very quickly from the handful of networking events I have attended, everyone knows everyone in Perth PR. It’s more of a family than an industry, which I think speaks volumes for the profession. It’s refreshing to meet professionals and then be remembered again at another event months down the track. People aren’t going to approach that person that sits in the corner and doesn’t speak to anyone, this isn’t primary school you need to get in amongst the action. It’s called networking for a reason after all!

Seize every chance you get to mingle, ask the cliché questions, share your experiences, seek opportunities and know this is far from a waste of time!! Who knows what amazing things may come from simply introducing yourself to the right person at the right time!


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Have a read of some of the fantastic feedback PURE has received from those that attended PR a la carte;

Karl Hale was the professional that stuck out most to me during the night. Not only was he extremely knowledgeable about his area of work and provided everyone on the night with some great advice, but carried an incredible sense of humour that provided us with some out of the ordinary advice as well.
He seemed to want to meet everyone and remember them by their first name. Once he sat at our table he remembered me, what I was studying and what direction I was hoping to take with my career and gave me some great advice on how I could do this!! An amazing professional, with amazing credentials’.

– Renae Cummins, Murdoch PR Student

‘All of the students I have spoke to that attended PRALC said the professionals were really easy to talk to, and had some great advice to offer.’

– Zoe Keenan, Murdoch PR Student

‘Beth Bolt for me is such an inspiration, because I could very well be in her position this time next year. It’s really nice to have someone who has really only just graduated and yet has all this experience under her belt already, she is living proof that hard work and determination can get you where you want to go.’

– Nicola O’Callaghan, Murdoch PR Student

 If PRALC Semester 2, 2014 is anything to go by this event will only continue to get bigger and better in the coming months so watch this space for PRALC 2015!! We’d love to see you there.

/Lynsey Brady

You are unique

Not that I consider myself a social activist or a hard-core feminist by any means, but the below video definitely does make my blood boil. This is one of the many reason that so many teenage girls and young women suffer with such low self-esteem, body image issues and eating disorders. I have no shame in admitting I am one of them, I will never be entirely comfortable in my own skin, as I think no one ever will, but rather than focusing on our flaws I am a huge advocate for highlight the features that we are proud of. Like for example my smile, my height, my brain, and my self-confidence that although it has taken a long time to rear it’s extroverted little head, I am grateful that it eventually did appear because all of these and more are what make me the person I am today. The person all my friends and family love unquestionably (although I do believe it tests their patience from time to time).

Campaigns like the one below are just one example of the power and influence that media can have upon society and how we are manipulated to desire an entirely unrealistic self-image. But really if you stop and think about it, ultimately people are setting themselves up for failure because even models don’t look like that! At just 15 years old supermodel Monika Schnarre had the entire industry nailed.

‘How ironic this all is. I’m hired for my looks, and yet it takes them three hours to make me pretty enough to photograph. Isn’t that weird?’

So after this little rant of mine, all I want you to take from this is that, as cliché as it may sound, you are unique, and that’s why your family and friends love you as much as they do! So don’t forget it and get out there and FLAUNT it.

/ Lynsey Brady

Fear of the unknown – it can be your worst enemy OR your greatest companion.

This was my dilemma when I decided that it was high time I bit the bullet and finally accepted my offer for University. After 6 years out of school and earning a full-time income that allowed me the social and financial freedom that I love, I still couldn’t help but feel my professional life was lacking. I wanted a career, not just a job. This is easier said than done of course, as there are many sacrifices that I needed to make in order to get the career ball rolling.

Still, it was very daunting making the big decision to return to student life! I had so many thoughts and emotions running through my mind; will I be able to do it? How will I survive on part-time wages again? What are the people going to be like? Am I going to make new friends? Is the social scene really all it’s cracked up to be? Am I scared? Excited? Nervous? If I’m honest, it was all of the above.

Regardless of the mile-a-minute thought process, I can say with complete confidence that returning to my studies was one of the BEST decisions I had ever made (and for those who know me, you’ll be surprised to hear the social scene has had no influence whatsoever on this)! I have discovered things about myself that I never thought possible and in the process found that all the thoughts and emotions bubbling beneath the surface for so many years (that had not been fully appreciated until very recently) were now able to be put to good use. My passions and life experiences have allowed me the opportunity to tackle my fear of the unknown and allowed me to take that giant leap of faith that is slowly (but, surely) paving the path towards a career, not just a mind-numbing office job, but a fulfilling career that will take me to new heights and allow me to challenge myself on a daily basis!

For anyone who is considering going down the mature aged pathway, my greatest piece of advice to you would be to JUST DO IT. In 2011 41% of students were aged 25-64 years, so whether you are 25 or 45, age is irrelevant when it comes to beginning that next chapter in your academic life. Your fellow students are friendly, lecturers are your greatest ally and the friends and networks you create are priceless. Personally I feel that beginning my studies at a later stage has made me a better student, not only do I appreciate my time and experiences at University but it has made me a more attentive, driven student who strives for nothing but the best in my work and grades (and even then that’s not always good enough). Having tackled my fear of the unknown, I hope this final thought can help you do the same!

Fear and anxiety many times indicates that we are moving in a positive direction, out of the safe confines of our comfort zone, and in the direction of our true purpose.”
Charles F. Glassman

Lynsey Brady