Advice From A Young Entrepreneur
The fear of public speaking is the most common of all phobias and is something I have personally struggled with for years. I can remember one time while giving a speech in high school, I became so nervous and started talking so fast that I had to stop partway through because I had lost my breath. From high school and college classes, to work presentations, and even among family and friends, public speaking is a critical part of our everyday lives. I knew that I could either hide from my shortcoming or confront it.
Fortunately, I had a teacher who offered to coach me on ways to improve my public speaking by recording and measuring my performance. By doing this, I gained a level of self-awareness and made great improvements. SPEEKO hopes to automate this proven process. Right now our team is creating a speech analysis tool that tracks volume, pace, and vocal professionalism to provide valuable insights and detect individual areas of opportunity to guide users to their full potential.
Our advice for entrepreneurs of early-stage businesses is to connect with your local entrepreneurial community in whatever way you can. Just start attending meetups or events in your area. Even if you don’t know anyone – just go. You’ll be met with a warm welcome and be glad you did.
Another piece of advice is that even though it can be uncomfortable to put yourself out there, it’s often well worth it in the long run. Our co-founder Nico first pitched our idea at a 1 Million Cups “half-baked” meetup, an open forum where people can pitch a business idea, no matter how crazy it might seem. We had no idea what to expect, but we received great feedback. From there, we participated in the University of Iowa’s 3-day startup weekend and were connected with numerous resources. Everyone we have met has been supportive and excited to help in whatever ways they can. Our local creative ecosystem is a vibrant and ever-growing community filled with wonderful resources and programs for emerging entrepreneurs.
Midwest IS best, and people here love helping out, so don’t hesitate to connect. What will your half-baked idea turn into?
Lauren Aguilar, CEO and co-founder of SPEEKO