My True Confession (and Introduction)

Bonus episode: Lisa confesses her early people skills challenges and describes how she became The Public Speaker.

Lisa B. Marshall
4-minute read

Finding My Passion

After finishing the initial two-year program at GE, I was asked to join their internal consulting group. I was a member of several consulting teams across many of GE’s businesses as the information systems specialist working along with other specialists from finance and manufacturing. This is when I first noticed that the root cause of many organization issues stemmed from problems in communication. I suppose I was now more sensitive—especially since I had been reading so much.

I was convinced understanding communication better was important for my career so I decided to get a formal education in communication and GE agreed. For me, it seemed that interpersonal, intercultural, and organizational communication were all important, so I concentrated on all three areas. GE even paid for most of my studies!

On the personal side of things…this was also when I met John. John had become HIV+ from infected blood products yet was never negative or sour about his situation. In fact, John was dying from a horrible disease, yet he was the most alive person that I have ever met. That's why I married him.

He was full of zeal. Maybe you've met someone like this. He was the kind of person that naturally attracts other people--like a magnet. His passion was contagious and he inspired me to find my passion and share it with others.

During those years I received not only a formal education from the university, but also, through John, I was getting an informal education in communication and passion. I felt deeply (and still do) that communication was perhaps the most important skill for professional and personal success.

Eventually, John died. I was sad, but I never lost my passion for communication. I worked part-time building my business while working full-time as a director of systems engineering and training at software companies. In 2001, I decided to devote myself full-time to my passion for communication.

Who I am Now

I love working with smart, passionate leaders for whom good communication is critical. I'm passionate about helping organizations, institutions, and individuals transform their workplace communication skills. Oh, I’m also passionate about three big additions to my life--my husband and my identical twin daughters. Through my girls, I’m gaining a new perspective on communication--especially, as you might imagine, in the area of conflict resolution!

So, I wanted to share my story--partly as introduction, partly as confession, and hopefully, partly as motivation for those who struggle with people skills. I think that Bob would be surprised to learn that I am now The Public Speaker and perhaps he would be surprised that I remembered his words all these years. I sincerely hope that some of my words will have the same impact. That's why I decided to do this show. I am passionate about communication and want to help you to become even more successful.

I hope you’ll listen to the show and if you have a question about how to communicate better at work, e-mail publicspeaker@quickanddirtytips.com, leave a comment below, or follow me on Twitter. For information about keynote speeches or workshops visit lisabmarshall.com.

Microphone image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.