150 Speaking is a Conversation – Dr. Kristen Donnelly

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It’s easy to view speaking as a one-sided monologue. But today’s guest will help you see that speaking is actually a conversation, and what that means. She also describes her fascinating background in teaching and how that impacts her approach to speaking.

Dr. Kristen Nielsen Donnelly is the founder and EVP of Abbey Research, a concierge research firm which provides evidence-based consulting to small businesses and non-profits. With over twenty years of experience in leadership, research, and teaching across the for-profit, non-profit, and academic sectors, Dr. Donnelly brings intersectional theories combined with pragmatic application to every interaction.

Raised outside of Philadelphia, she has a Masters of Social Work and a Masters of Divinity from Baylor University, and a PhD in Sociology from Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. Dr. Donnelly and her husband, John, currently live outside of Philadelphia where she also serves as COO of Abbey Research’s parent organization, Abbey Companies. She can usually be found with coffee in one hand and a book in the other, waiting for the next great conversation.

We’ll explore:

  • Why Dr. Donnelly views speaking as a conversation.
  • What Dr. Donnelly believes makes a good speaker.
  • The importance of being pragmatic in your speaking.
  • How Dr. Donnelly prepares for a talk.
  • Why you should reach out for help and lean on those you trust.
  • How her academic and sociology background impacts her speaking.
  • Why you should never talk down to your audience or make them feel stupid.
  • Dr. Donnelly’s do-over moment.
  • What you can do to make sure you are heard as a speaker.

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