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August 15-September 15 Concord, MA

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As my time at Insight’s Massachusetts office comes to a close and my international placements are about to start, I’ve found that things are much more up in the air than I had initially intended. However, with not a lot of time left in Concord, I am excited to report that with the magnificent help of Dan Green, an Insight Consultant and the first Insight Fellow, I am slated to work with FINCA, an international institution specializing in microfinance in Kampala, Uganda. I’m particularly excited about this placement because I will have the opportunity to talk to Ugandans who are receiving loans from FINCA, namely a first-hand look into how business is being used as a solution to unique problems people are facing in their communities and lives.

While I am still working out the official start date with FINCA, I have been able to secure my second international placement in Bali, Indonesia with the ROLE Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to “empower marginalized women through skills education as a means to develop sustainable communities in Indonesia,” and I will be working to bring Insight’s content to both the staff of the organization, and the women they serve.   

In the meantime, Insight President, David Siebel, has offered me the amazing opportunity to present some of the Insight material to a corporate client. At the end of the month I’ll be putting my skills to the test and teaching and facilitating with a real audience. I began practicing with David, and we found that while I have a great handle on the content, I’m struggling with delivering it in a way that is engaging and shows my interest in what I’m teaching. We came to the conclusion that I need to shift from delivering like a teleprompter – i.e., a constant stream of information – to delivering like a telegram, i.e., making very deliberate stops and pauses. Hopefully, I can master that before the end of the month for a successful program!

Journal September 2 – September 15, 2015 – Concord, MA

As I mentioned in my last entry, David Siebel gave me the opportunity to deliver content in front of one of Insight’s corporate clients. Before presenting I was a very different kind of nervous – I knew I understood and was very familiar with the material I was presenting, but I didn’t know how my audience would react. Further, this was my first time having to really engage and converse with an audience about the content I was presenting. The goal was to be a telegram, not a teleprompter – to take mindful pauses and keep my audience interested. While I feel confident that my delivery speed was good, and that my audience did grasp the concepts I taught, there is still work to be done! What my section was lacking was enthusiasm on my end – smiling, and showing the audience that I am present and engaged in their conversation.  

I have been reflecting on this, and I have come to the conclusion that my lack of visible enthusiasm is a self-confidence issue. There is a fear tucked away in my head somewhere telling me that if I’m enthusiastic, I will look absolutely ridiculous, and in turn, nobody will take me seriously. In dance classes as a kid, before our competitions our teachers would beg us to exaggerate our facial expressions and the choreography in practice. No matter how ridiculous we felt we looked, they guaranteed us from that the audience’s perspective we just looked like we were having an absolute blast. The choreography looked cleaner and sharper, and we looked we were in complete control and having a good time. At a dance competition it is being self-conscious that will knock you from an Ultimate Gold to a High Silver. Over the next nine months I’m looking forward to delivering different segments of Insight’s content with self-confidence to take home the Ultimate Gold.