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9 Noteworthy Female Entrepreneurs Who Have Changed Their Industries

9 Noteworthy Female Entrepreneurs Who Have Changed Their Industries

Technology, web applications and the mobile boom, all of these are fast-growing industries and sectors across the whole world. But what’s the one group that’s experiencing just as much growth, that people often overlook? Female entrepreneurs.

Men often get the limelight for business, financial and technological accomplishments. In this post, we’re focusing on nine noteworthy female entrepreneurs you’re probably didn’t know about.

 1. Nicole Sanchez

A graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Business School, Sanchez brought her talents to multiple companies as a consultant and hospitality expert before venturing into entrepreneurship. Somewhat apprehensive about entrepreneurship in general, Sanchez notes that even after attending a school like Harvard, she didn’t feel fully qualified to start her own company.

Her biggest recommendation to fellow female entrepreneurs is to get started today, even when conditions aren’t perfect. One of Sanchez’ largest accomplishments to date is the creation of TenderCaring, a business that helps seniors remain at home through technology and living assistance.

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2. Heidi Ganahl

Founder of one of the largest multifaceted dog brands in the United States, Camp Bow Wow, Heidi Ganahl is a market leader when it comes to pets. Her venture is unique in that Camp Bow Wow offers more customizable services than competitors at better prices, and each dog supervisor is trained to meet specific benchmarks of excellence.

Ganahl’s $65 million franchise currently serves a wide variety of needs for dog owners at over 130 locations throughout the country.

3. Maria Seidman

Seidman orchestrated accomplishments from mobile teams at MGM, Goldman Sachs and Warner Bros. before launching her own company, Yapp. Her company Yapp is now the go-to site for creating mobile applications in minutes.

4. Heddi Cundle

Before starting her own venture, Cundle worked with global travel and lifestyle brands for over two decades. She now brings that experience and insight to her own company, MyTab.co, a travel gift card service.

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Cundle’s concept is unique in that family and friends can contribute to a loved one’s travel desires, and the loved one can utilize thousands of airfare and lodging options via the app.

5. Judith Faulkner

If you’ve been to any kind of doctor recently, you’ve probably seen a program called Epic Systems on the desktop computer. This efficient and user-friendly software was founded by Judith Faulkner, who bootstrapped the company with just $6,000 in 1979.

In 2014, Epic pulled revenues of $1.77 billion. Talk about an encouraging and empowering story for young female entrepreneurs!

6. Sandy Lerner

Depending on your place of work, your vocation may involve multiple conference rooms, mobile phones and pagers. Cisco Systems may very well be the provider of such technology, as they are now the largest networking technology company in the world.

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As co-founder of Cisco, Lerner worked with then-boyfriend Leonard Bosack on the company for six years before she was fired and they both left. After selling another cosmetics company she started, Lerner is now deeply involved in sustainable agriculture.

7. Anne Bezancon

Previously an executive for PCI and Productopia, Anne Bezancon effectively conquered multiple mobile and consumer marketing challenges. Currently, she is the president and founder of Placecast, a cutting-edge mobile marketing firm.

Bezancon takes her expertise from marketing to customers, how they want to be reached, and provides it for companies who want to increase customer engagement and satisfaction in real-time scenarios. Some of Placecast’s clients include Best Buy, Starbucks, Discover, GAP, Kohl’s, American Eagle and Jet Blue Airways.

8. Sonia Kapadia

A graduate of Harvard Business School and University of Pennsylvania, Kapadia spent multiple years at Pepsi and Gu Chocolate Desserts before deciding she wanted to create her own operation.

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Kapadia’s currently best-known entrepreneurial effort is Taste Savant, an outlet and info hub for savvy diners.

9. Anne Wojcicki

Before her own venture, Wojcicki was likely best-known as wife of Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google. Then in 2006, Anne Wojcicki began 23andMe – a genetic history reporting firm. Users now purchase the genetic reporting package, and – after mailing a small tube of saliva back – receive over 60 customized and personal reports about their genetics and possible disease risk. 23andMe’s pricing has risen over recent years, but the firm also provides more value than previous iterations of their product. If you want to get a highly personalized report of your health, look no further than Wojcicki’s unique venture.

Conclusion

Hopefully learning about these female entrepreneurs has inspired and encouraged you to keep moving forward to your own goals. As many of these women have revealed – dreams don’t happen overnight, the biggest step you can take towards entrepreneurial success is to simply commit yourself and keep pursuing your passion with hard work!

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Brad Johnson

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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