I believe passionately in speaking the language of small business owners. My mission is to help audiences embrace social media and leverage it to serve their clients and grow their businesses.

Anita

Photo by : Chantal Routhier Photography (www.chantalrouthierphotography.com)

Heads up: If you're looking for a list of my experience as a speaker, click here. If you want to know WHY I speak about the topics I do, keep reading.

I remember my very first on-stage speaking engagement. I was in junior high. I was the slightly socially awkward student often thought of as “teacher’s pet” because I never broke the rules. I was scared to think outside the box and did everything by the book. So, it was a big leap for a non-singer to commit to singing a very well-known song on stage as the opening to the speech. I was in a public speaking competition and I had to perform for a whopping eight minutes.

I started by singing The McDonald’s Menu Song. Yup... that one. I recited the entire McDonald’s menu and proceeded to talk about advertising. It was flawless. I didn’t win the competition, but I did receive high praise for the recitation of the menu. And I learned that I liked being on stage talking to an audience.

Anita hs2

That first speaking gig led me to join the debate club in high school. I wasn't very good at the official game of debate, but I did train myself to stop saying "um" and "ah" when I needed a pause. During that time, I also entered other local competitions requiring speeches, something others who fear public speaking would not dare attempt.

In Grade 11 I beat out two good friends to win a trip to Ottawa for a Citizenship Forum by arguing the best ambassador Canada had at the time was, in fact, not our Prime Minister Brian Mulroney but Bryan Adams, the singer.

Anita hs9

I went into Public Relations at Mount Saint Vincent University because I thought it was a legitimate way to start a speaking career. And while it’s been a bit roundabout, I guess I was right.

My Bachelor of Public Relations nurtured my love of communications and honed my writing skills. I gave presentations and persuasive speeches and went on to have a career in fundraising and event management for many years.

In 2011 I left the fundraising world for the second - and last - time to jump into entrepreneurship with two feet, believing deep down in my soul that social media was the next big thing. Immediately understanding social media was a communications platform, I realized I’d found my calling and I began to share the power of social media with everyone.

Whether I’m writing a post for my own company, or I’m consulting with a client, my first thought is always, “Is this useful to the audience?” Goal number one is always to be useful.

I admit, when I opened my consultancy, Twirp Communications Inc., in 2011, I made a lot of mistakes. I focused on the wrong things, followed the wrong advice, and even used some sketchy promotional tactics. And it was all because I thought I needed to "fit in" with all the other social media consultants out there.

SCREW THAT!

It’s much easier to be, say and do things that are authentic.

When I speak, it’s from the heart and filtered by my pragmatic mind. I inspire small business owners to share their stories on social media in a way that feels authentic to them. I share the rules and show them when to break them!

Most importantly I encourage people to start where they are and grow. Nobody is perfect. Perfection is unattainable and the pursuit of it holds people back from being their true selves.

I believe we are all imperfect beings and I encourage audiences to get started and learn by doing. I believe in being #Flawsome.

Anita family

If you believe in the power of social media and you agree that too many people overcomplicate what they’re doing, it sounds like we have something to chat about. Send me a few notes and we’ll see if we really are a good fit.