Claim the Stage: A Public Speaking Podcast for Women

Claim the Stage is a podcast for women who want to discover, awaken, and create their voice through the art of public speaking. Hosted by Angela Lussier, an award-winning professional speaker, seven-time author, and CEO + founder of the Speaker Sisterhood. Learn more:
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Claim the Stage: A Public Speaking Podcast for Women





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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 13, 2017

Transitioning from full-time employment to a less traditional role like entrepreneurship, consulting, or public speaking can be a time of uncertainty and insecurity. If you’re wondering how your experience and skills translate outside of a corporate environment, Look no further! On today’s episode, I interview Shannon O'Brien, founder of Whole U. Career & Life Strategy in Boston, Mass. We discuss how to find interesting and memorable stories from your work experience and how to integrate them into your online content, presentations, and overall brand. Shannon shares some of the mistakes people make in transition and how to get around them. You’ll hear a story about one of her clients who completely changed her focus after 20 years in corporate human resources and how she was able to bring her experiences together to create a cohesive message. Shannon also shares some of her own struggles leaving a 9-5 job and beginning her coaching practice. You’ll learn how to create content that is consistent and focused while also creating the message you really want to share. If you have a boatload of work experience and want to learn how to talk about it, today’s episode is for you. Learn more about Shannon here:

Dec 6, 2017

Makeup, hair, accessories, clothes, and shoes. How do you decide what to wear when delivering a speech on stage? Every decision you make reflects your style, brand, and credibility. As your audience is deciding if you’re someone they should trust, part of what they are evaluating is your physical appearance. Learn what to wear and what not to wear in today’s episode with style expert and wardrobe consultant, Elizabeth Jones. We cover the dos and don’ts of style choices from head to toe. She shares the clothing mistakes speakers make, a story of how a makeover affected the trajectory of one of her clients’ career path, and she boils down her advice to some very simple action steps. If looking in your closet makes you feel depressed or you’re unsure of what to wear to look your best on stage, this episode is for you. To learn more and get Elizabeth’s style tips, go to

Nov 29, 2017

We've all seen a TED talk we really love. Maybe it changed your life in some way, made you laugh, made you cry, or made you think differently about your own future. As a speaker, it has probably crossed your mind that you would like to give your own TED talk. But how? What would you say? Do you have an idea worth spreading? On today's episode, I interview Julia Mines, a TED speaker coach who has worked with speakers to improve their talks and share something memorable. We talk about the mistakes TED speakers make, how much practice and prep it takes to make your talk impressive, where TED speakers fail, how to make your talk stage-ready, and how to look for the stories in your own life that are worth telling. Julia offers speech coaching and you can find her here. If you'd like to watch my two TEDx talks, you can find them here and here. If getting to the TED stage is on your list of goals, you've come to the right place.

Nov 22, 2017

If you've been worried about how you might sound, what it might look like to say the wrong thing, or what might happen if you speak up, you will love this episode. My guest is Alexandra Franzen, a writer based in Portland, Oregon. Her next book, You’re Going To Survive—a collection of true stories about adversity, rejection, and discouragement  will be released December 15th. On today's show, we explore how Alexandra went from shy and introverted to writing, speaking, and teaching.

She shares a HUGE mindset shift that helped her to stop worrying and start sharing more. She gives great advice for taking first steps to come out of your shell and even demonstrates how she just did this minutes before our interview started! Alexandra talks about how she shows up as herself (instead of being someone she thinks she needs to emulate) and how she can tell when she is pulling that off. She describes herself as comforting and energizing and that really comes across during our conversation. If you've been thinking about coming out of your shell more, this episode is for you! Get more information about Alexandra and her new book here:

Got an idea for an episode or guest? Email me!

Nov 15, 2017

Is your biggest source of pain knowing you are meant for greatness but you don’t know how to achieve it? Do you worry if you will ever reach your goals, or secretly wonder if you are even good enough? My guest today is Mia Hewett. Mia is an international speaker, world class leader, and performance catalyst. She has co-owned and operated a multiple 7-figure business and her specialty is getting results. On today's episode, Mia takes us into the four powerful steps to go from surviving to thriving on stage. The four steps are:

1. Awareness

2. Understanding

3. Application

4. Achieving Results

As we go through each one, Mia gives actionable steps to achieve your goals and desired outcomes so you never again have to wonder if you are "good enough." Get Mia's free report: 4 Powerful Steps to Go from Surviving to Thriving here

If you are interested in checking out the new Speaker Sisterhood virtual club launch party on December 4th, get more information here



Nov 8, 2017

Nancy Werteen and Kim Howie know a thing or two about how to add joy to any experience, including public speaking. As co-founders of The Wisdom Coalition and co-authors of the book, The Power Of A Pivot: How changing your mindset can bring you more joy in every aspect of your life, they give readers tips and tools for a better understanding of the path to true happiness. On today's episode, we explore the scariest moments a speaker encounters: writing the speech, preparing for the speech, giving the speech, and reflecting upon the experience. They teach actionable steps you can take right now to start allowing yourself to experience less dread and more joy through every step. If you would like to feel better about speaking (even if you're still mastering the skill) and maybe even allow some joy to trickle in, you are in for a great ride! You can learn more about Kim and Nancy and their book at

If you are interested in checking out the Sudio earbuds I'm using to record my podcast, you can get a 15% discount by entering STAGE15 at checkout or by using this link

Got an idea for an episode? Email me!

Nov 1, 2017

A big part of being a successful speaker is getting people to show up for your talk. But how do you create interest in your presentation if you're unknown in your field or new to speaking? It's easy - write a compelling title and intriguing summary to entice them! On today's episode, I go through a 4-step process I created called "The For Method." It walks you through a simple formula for creating clear, simple, engaging titles. You can use this process for pretty much anything - speeches, blog posts, videos, podcast episodes, and beyond! After we go over the titles, I share a 5-step process I created for writing catchy summaries. This process will make your life soooo much easier when it comes to making your talk irresistible to your target audience. You can download the worksheets to use until the end of time at Enjoy!

Have a topic, guest, or idea for an upcoming show? Email me! 

Oct 25, 2017

Many speakers want to be seen as credible, memorable, moving, and entertaining. But what if you could bump it up a notch and be feisty, fearless, focused, and also have fun on stage? On today's episode, I interview Pegine, a feisty, fearless, focused female leader, entrepreneur, author, speaker and coach. Pegine tells the story of going from a young girl who thought she was "too much" to fully embodying the persona of a powerful woman. We talk about how to bring your true self to the stage and she shares how her speaking business changed after she realized she didn't have to follow all the rules. Pegine shares her networking strategies and shows you how to own the stage from the second you walk out there. If you're ready to step up and bring a "new you" to your presentations, this episode is for you! Learn more about Pegine here:  

Oct 11, 2017

Part of being a well-known speaker is building your brand. You can do this in various ways - networking, speaking(!), and building your following on social media, just to name a few. But how are you using your social media platforms to help your audience understand who you are, what you do, and how you can help them? On today's episode, I interview Brad Powell, a video marketing coach and live videographer who teaches how easy it is to create engaging video campaigns with just a smartphone and good storytelling. 

We talk about the value of Facebook Live and how to use it to engage with, and build, your audience. You'll learn how to get over the fear of going live, what type of content to share, what kind of technology you need, lighting and space needs, how frequently to post, and mistakes Brad sees people make. He shares his stories and we even take a question from Facebook Live! Oh yeah, did I mention I'm now recording these episodes live? If you'd like to watch the episodes as they're happening, friend me on Facebook to join the fun and have your questions answered in real time! Enjoy! 

Oct 4, 2017

You’ve created your “signature talk.” You’ve practiced it until you’re blue in the face, but every time you give it, you walk away empty handed – even though everyone said they loved you and your content. You’ve heard from all the marketing gurus that speaking to a group is the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to get more clients – so what’s wrong? Meet wonderfully entertaining and top-selling For Dummies author, Jan Saunders Maresh, as she shares the missing piece -- how to craft an offer they just can’t refuse. Even if it’s a free offer, you need to know how to craft an offer that actually converts.

Whether you sell a product or service, learn:

  • …the fast and easy way to find and gather groups of your ideal clients who actually WANT what you offer.
  • …the three components for creating an offer that consistently converts leads into buyers.
  • …how to craft your offer so a percentage of every group ALWAYS does business with you (Psssst...don't miss a step or it will cost you!) 

Even if you suffer from stage fright, Jan shares the nuts and bolts of crafting an offer your audience can’t resist. Get Jan's free report at and learn more about her business at

Sep 27, 2017

"Who cares about my story? My life isn’t that interesting." If you've ever found yourself saying this to yourself, today's episode is for you. We're going deep into the power of storytelling - and not just any stories - your own personal stories. My guest today is Eva Tenuto, the executive director of TMI Project, a non-profit organization offering transformative memoir workshops and performances in which storytellers divulge the parts of their stories that they usually leave out. On today's episode, you'll learn:

-Why telling your story is important

-What makes a story good and memorable

-What makes a story forgettable and boring

-What to include in your story to captivate your audience

-Where public speakers fall short when telling their stories on stage

-How to get started and the first steps to take right now

Learn more about Eva Tenuto and TMI project here: or

Sep 20, 2017

The way we think informs what we do (or don't do). What that tells us is that if we change the way we think about something, we can change our behavior and therefore change the outcome. In today's episode, I teach you how to change the way you think, also known as "reframing," to get you to act differently. We're going to explore reframing four critical areas:

1. Public speaking

2. The first time you speak

3. Fear

4. Yourself

If you'd like to feel better about speaking, get rid of those sweaty palms and that shaky voice, today's episode will teach you how. Just making minor tweaks to your mindset can make a huge impact on your results. Enjoy!

The Speaking School for Women starts next week! Registration closes tonight at 9pm tonight - are you in? Get more information here: If you want to become a paid public speaker, this is for you! 

Sep 13, 2017

As speakers, there's one tool we must nurture, understand, and use correctly if we want excellent results. What is it? Our voice! And I'm not talking about the words coming out of our mouth, I'm talking about our actual vocal cords and the sounds we're making with them. This tool is often left out of the conversation as we focus on storytelling, getting over our nerves, and connecting with the audience, but it is vital to our success as speakers. Without our vocal cords, we have nowhere to go. On today's episode, I interview Elissa Weinzimmer, a vocal health educator, presence coach, and the founder of Voice Body Connection in New York City. Elissa works with Broadway stars, major television personalities, politicians, and CEOs to help them improve their presence, voice, and express themselves more fully. During our conversation, Elissa shares:

  • common mistakes speakers make with their voice
  • two voice warm up exercises to do before getting on stage
  • how to take care of your voice
  • a few techniques to use your voice correctly on stage
  • ...and so much more! 

I even try out one of the exercises and it's not only effective, but also hilarious. Learn more about Elissa's work at

Interested in the Speaking School for Women? Registration closes next week, September 19th! Get more information here or email me at

Sep 6, 2017

What happens behind the doors of the Speaking School for Women? Funny you should ask! On today's episode, you get an insider's peek into what it's like to take part in this course. I interview three women who graduated from the speaking school and you'll find out their major takeaways, how their lives have changed since completing the course, why they recommend the course to others, and surprising unexpected benefits. You'll hear from Ashley Olafson, founder of the MOVE Program, Heathere Evans, a leadership coach, and Kim Lundgren, president of Kim Lundgren Associates. They all have their own unique reasons for signing up and you'll get to hear their stories  and more on today's episode of Claim the Stage! Registration for the Speaking School for Women opens Wednesday, September 6th (today!) and closes Wednesday, September 20th (or whenever it fills up). This course is open to 15 women who are ready to show up, speak up, and be a leader. Learn more here or email me at if you have questions. Hope to see you in school when we launch on September 26th! 

Aug 30, 2017

Get overwhelmed easily by your own goals? If you're constantly setting goals and then getting off track, losing sleep over everything you haven't done yet, or completely forgetting why you set the goal in the first place, you'll love today's episode. I interview Ashley Lucas, Director of Babson College’s WIN Lab in Boston. The WIN Lab is an eight-month accelerator program designed specifically for growth-stage women entrepreneurs. The program uses a process called Entrepreneurial Thought and Action to help the entrepreneurs accomplish their goals. Essentially, this process teaches you how to take small steps to get where you want to be. Ashley walks us through how to do this correctly and how she used this process to stop being so scared of public speaking and actually enjoy being on stage. If you have big speaking goals and find yourself procrastinating or feeling lost, this episode is for you! Learn more about the WIN Lab here, get more information about Ashley here, and check out the book written by two Babson professors on Entrepreneurial Thought and Action called Teaching Entrepreneurship here. 

Interested in the Speaking School for Women? Registration opens September 5th! Get more information here

Aug 23, 2017

Are you trying to build a speaking business, but find you're still scraping by with small fees and gigs for "exposure?" If you're ready to ramp up your speaking business in a big way, today's guest will show you how. I welcome Breanne Dyck, founder of MNIB Consulting. Breanne is the creator of the Growth Map method, a results-focused approach for scaling online training, coaching and service-based businesses to $1m and beyond. You'll learn how to find your "zone of genius," find out what the four pillars are, and we discuss the benefits of getting an assistant. Breanne offers concrete tips and steps to change your mindset, change your team, and take a deep look at your brand and offerings. Her straightforward approach and clear tips will surely leave you thinking differently about your strategy. To learn more about Breanne and get her free four pillars report, check out her website

If you are interested in learning more about Speaking School for Women, it's back September 26th! Read about it here. Registration opens September 5th. 

Aug 16, 2017

Controversial and upsetting events are happening around us all the time. What are you doing as a public speaker to address these events and open the conversation? Deciding not to talk about something because you don't know how or don't want to "go there" isn't helping your audience think differently, understand other viewpoints, or change their perceptions. In today's episode, I derailed from the original plan so I could ask my guest, Hari Stephen Kumar, a teacher, scholar, story-crafter, and vision-caster who speaks and teaches about issues of whiteness, gender, religion, politics, and mass media about the events that took place in Charlottesville last Saturday. As I'm still searching for the right way to ask questions about it, I turned today's episode into a chance to practice "going there" from a place of sensitivity, openess, and compassion toward other people's experiences. Hari and I discuss how public speakers can bring up tough subjects, what it's been like for him living as a non-white man in a largely white area, how he addresses the question of where he's from, his thoughts on Charlottesville and the larger subject of race, and much more. I wasn't sure where I was going with this episode, but I knew having a conversation about it was a good place to start. I hope this inspires you to begin talking about more difficult, complex topics so you can be part of breaking down barriers and challenging the viewpoints that keep us divided. The book Hari recommends at the end of the episode is Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right


Aug 9, 2017

I had two frustrating conversations with two female friends last week that stuck with me. Feeling annoyed when I woke up Saturday morning, I decided to write this essay to get my feelings out on paper. Five pages later, I felt better, but also felt I needed to do more. How lucky am I that I have a podcast to share these ideas? In today's episode, I share Saturday's writing session entitled, "Stop Trying to Smash Fear. An Essay." In it, I share my anger towards the way women have to be in the world just to feel normal and fit in. I also share my solution for this and drop several F bombs on the way. If you're offended by cursing, you may not like this episode. This is definitely a big moment for me as I typically set a different tone for my show. I'm noticing a fire in my belly that I can't ignore and wanted to share what's on my mind with you on today's episode. I'd love your feedback if you care to share. Email me at 

Aug 2, 2017

Crafting a great story, persuading your audience to action, and bringing a crowd to tears are all signs of a great speaker. But in order to achieve these feats, the fundamentals of speaking must be mastered. In today's episode, you'll hear five questions that bring us back to basics. These questions were asked during recent presentations I gave and reminded me that before we're great, we must be good. We go into the following:

-How to avoid being a swaying palm tree on stage and having a stronger presence

-How to not be mechanical and boring on stage

-How to control the tendency to speak quickly

-How to ask good questions at the beginning of a speech to engage the audience

-How to determine if you should use slides or not

Watch Simon Sinek's talk to get a good sense of how to give a strong presentation without slides here. Read Seth Godin's post, "Really Bad Powerpoints" here

If you're doing the Tiny Summer Challenge, send me your success stories! I'm going until September and would love to read and/or share your big moments. 

Also, Speaking School for Women is back in late September. I have a waiting list started and if you'd like to get the early registration link, email me to get on the list! Learn more about Speaking School for Women here


Jul 26, 2017

The Inner Critic: friend or foe? What is it there for and how do we work with it to stay sane and enjoy our public speaking experience? In today's episode, I interview Pam Erb-Melville, the President of PEM Communications, a highly sought-after international speaker, Executive Coach, and Master Instructor in business communication skills. Pam has a lot of experience working with the Inner Critic to not only help her clients and audiences, but also herself! She shares how her work has changed over the years and what she has learned about the Inner Critic so she can connect and communicate from her heart. You'll learn how women are different than men in the way we “protect” ourselves when in reaction to our Inner Critic, how to prepare for a high stakes speaking situation when the Inner Critic is present, the short-term and long-term effects of this kind of negative self talk, how to attain and maintain a strong presence, and much more. You'll love Pam's story and her perspective - it's wise, clear, and easy to follow if you are ready. To learn more about Pam, check her out at

If you're working on my Tiny Summer Challenge and expressing your boundaries, email me your stories! I'd love to read them and/or share them! Find me at If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go back and listen to the Bonus Episode between episode 54 and 55. :)

Jul 19, 2017

I often hear speakers assign harsh and brutal judgments about their own behavior, thoughts, and feelings before, during, and after a speech. I'm guilty of doing it too - so I know a lot about it. Ever stood in front of an audience and said to yourself, "They look bored. They don't like me. This isn't going well." Or, after a talk, said, "That was awful. I bombed. Worse presentation I ever gave?" What if, instead of judging, criticizing, and mentally shaming yourself for everything you do, you approached each moment from a place of curiosity? In today's episode, I discuss the mistakes I've made and how curiosity could have saved the situation. I also read an awesome excerpt from the book, The Conscious Heart, Seven Soul-Choices That Inspire Creative Partnership by Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks, two Ph.Ds. They have a whole chapter dedicated to cultivating curiosity in relationships, but as I read it, I thought, this is also about public speaking! I also share a few simple action steps to live a life through the lens of curiosity and stop living from a place of perfection. If this quote from the book gets you excited, you will love today's episode. "Curiosity opens the door to playfulness and spontaneous joy."

PS: I also share an update on how my tiny summer challenge is going. If you are participating and would like to share, email me at! 

Jul 14, 2017

This year has been all about monumental growth for me. In today's bonus episode, I share all the ways I'm growing and reveal something that has been going on in my personal life that I haven't talked about at all until now. (Eek!) I just took on a personal challenge that goes along with that monumental growth and I think you might be into it as well. I had an eye-opening realization this week that led to taking on this challenge and committing to it. This bonus episode is a shorty - just 15 minutes - and also introduces you to our our newest offering: a Speaker Sisterhood virtual club! If you're as growth-focused as me this summer, I think you'll like this challenge and this new opportunity. But make sure to listen before Monday, July 17th so you can get in on it!

PS: If you do take the challenge with me, email me your updates! I'd love to share them and/or just read them to myself so I know I'm not alone. Email me at


PPS: If you want to talk to Kara, my amazing coach, find her at (I'm not being paid or compensated in any way for this endorsement, I just love her.)

Jul 12, 2017

Do you feel awkward when it comes to promoting yourself? What about when you have to put together a professional bio? What are you telling yourself about what to say and not to say? If you are in a constant battle with sounding credible but not audacious, or experienced but not gloating, you will love this episode. Today's guest is Karen Catlin, an advocate for women in the tech industry. She’s a leadership coach, TEDx speaker, and co-author of Present! A Techie’s Guide to Public Speaking. Formerly, Karen was a VP at Adobe Systems. Today's show is all about how to own your background and use it to your advantage to grow your speaking business. There was a time when Karen felt uncomfortable touting her 25 years of experience in the tech industry, but now she has figured out how to use it to her advantage as an independent coach and professional speaker. Get tangible tips and a new outlook on how to talk about yourself on today's show and find more information about Karen at or on Twitter: @kecatlin. 

Jul 5, 2017

Is your creative soul dying in corporate America? Or, are you afraid of showing your creativity in your own business or on stage? If you answered yes to either of those questions, this episode is for you. On today's show, I interview Colleen Hindsley, a woman who spent more than 20 years as an advertising executive and recently left the corporate world behind to focus on her creative life. We discuss the pivotal moment in her life that occurred when she talked to Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic. And we talked about how your creativity can be used to your advantage and what Colleen learned about her weirdness in the workplace. She drops the quote "What makes you strange is also what makes you powerful" and then I swooned for the rest of the interview. Even though this was not her quote, the fact that our conversation went in this direction was more than exciting. She also gives tips for women interested in taking the leap from the full-time corporate life to a self-employed creative life that includes speaking, writing, and consulting. We talked purple hair, glitter, fake glasses, costumes, and more on today's episode of Claim the Stage. And yes, Colleen is my spirit animal. Learn more about Colleen at or on Facebook and Instagram @colleenhindsley. 

Jun 28, 2017

Compelling stories are all around us, but how do you find them? When you need to put together a speech or presentation that sells, negotiates, or persuades, telling stories will make a deep impact on your audience. In today's episode, you'll not only learn how to find topics and stories in your everyday life, but how to attach meaning and make an emotional connection through them. My guest, Karen Friedman, is an executive communication coach, syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of best-seller Shut Up and Say Something and newly released Ordinary People: Extraordinary Lessons. Following two decades as a major market television news reporter, she founded Karen Friedman Enterprises to help professionals become more compelling communicators. Karen shares the process she uses to find stories, gives helpful tips to be more observant, and goes over the elements all good stories have. She even tells us about some of her own mistakes and how she was able to recover. If you think you don't have good stories to tell or don't know how to integrate your life experiences into your presentations, this episode is for you. 

Learn more about Karen Friedman and get her new book at

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