Every week, we highlight a speaker from the Speakersbase community. This week’s Speaker in the Spotlight is Jozefien Daelemans, founder of Charlie Magazine and focusses her speeches on body image and gender equality.

Good morning Jozefien, such an honor to have you here!

Glad to be here!

Alright, time to get this interview started! How did you start out as a public speaker?

People began asking me to speak at their events after I started Charlie Magazine. This only increased after we did a successful crowdfunding campaign… And I liked it so much, I decided to get better at it!

Did your career and your experience help you with public speaking? If so, how?

Yes, I learned to stay true to myself and find my voice. As an entrepreneur you have to be aware of who you are and what your story and your mission is. You can’t be shy to tell people about your hopes and dreams. Putting yourself out there is the first step. You learn to improve yourself along the way.

Charlie Magazine is an online magazine with a feminine outlook on life and society. Quite diverse, but about which topics can you talk for hours?

I can talk passionately about online media, smartphone addiction and being a publisher in 2018. But my main topic is representation of women in media. How the images we see everyday affect our self esteem. My mission is to break gender stereotypes because they don’t do us justice.

And what is the topic of your speeches/workshops/…?

Representation of women in media and gender equality.

What tells you that you gave a great speech/workshop/…?

When people contact me afterwards to tell me they learned something valuable.

Incredible to hear that people reach out to you like that! Now, which trait should every good speaker have?

He or she should be authentic and have the gift of taking his or her audience on a journey.

You have been a mentor to many people, so would you give some advice for speakers who are starting out?

Everybody is nervous. Accept this and use your nervous energy in a good way. Also: a joke can

lighten the mood.

So what would you say to people who want to start speaking in public?

Ask for help. You can get good public speaking training, which will help you with your voice and your nerves.

Okay, they started speaking, now what is the one thing they should do in order to become successful?

Stay true to themselves. Make a connection with the audience.

How much of time do you spend on preparing your speeches to create that connection?

I usually take a day to prepare myself: finetune my speech, adjust it to my audience. Rehearse the text.

With your skills you have surely inspired many others, but which speaker has inspired you the most and why?

(laughs) There are so many good speakers, I can’t name just one! But I admire any good female speaker, because we need more women who raise their voice in public.

When did you raise your voice in a way you are most proud of?

Once I did a lecture on gender stereotypes in front of 300 teenage boys and girls. The girls were very interested but the boys didn’t always like what I was saying. At one point they were actually clapping and shouting very loudly and aggressively, wanting me to feel bad. I managed to remain calm and avoid a battle of the sexes. We started a discussion about gender differences and gender equality. I think they talked about it afterwards for a very long time.

Making an impact like that is truly any public speaker’s goal…. What are some other goals you want to accomplish in the future as a public speaker?

Just get better at it, really! Be more at ease, to learn to abandon the script and get into the moment more. Doing a TEDx Talk would be amazing, but I’m not in a hurry.

Do you feel inspired to become a public speaker yourself? Why don’t you create your free Speakersbase portfolio and start pursuing your dream?!