Heavy rain and cold were no deterrents to Sydney women engaged in print, with 139 industry professionals gathering this morning to hear more about interpersonal impact from people whisperer Anneli Blundell.
Women in Print is a forum for supporting, empowering, educating and encouraging women from all walks in life within and around the print media industry. So said NSW convenor of Women in Print, Natalie Taylor of IVE Group, as she welcomed guests to the Sydney breakfast at Waterview, Bicentennial Park this morning.
Taylor said she was delighted to look around the room knowing it contained the next generation of female leaders in the print industry. And who better to learn from than current leaders, she said, as she called to the stage two well-known industry figures at the top of their game: Rebecca Lowde, CEO of Salmat; and Kellie Northwood, CEO of Real Media Collective.
In an informative Q&A session Taylor drew out from Northwood and Lowde some of the highs and lows of their journeys to the top, and some key learnings. Lowde said women should dig deep and find the guts to ask for what they want.
"No one is going to hand it to you on a plate," Lowde said.
Northwood agreed, and advised that before negotiating anything that could impact your career, you should "be prepared, do your homework and negotiate on your terms".
Lowde and Northwood concurred that as CEO you may not always have the answers, but you'll arrive at the best decision if you surround yourself with brilliant people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse skill sets.
As a segue to the keynote speaker, both made the point – citing their experiences – that being decisive and clear about the outcome you require is paramount to gaining credibility as a leader.
Picking up on the theme of credible leadership, keynote speaker Anneli Blundell demonstrated that people judge the messenger before the message.
"You can't count on capability creating credibility," she said.
A lack of confidence equates in people's perceptions to a lack of competence, and how you "show up" in a conversation will influence the impact you have on those you're engaging with, she explained.
She shared tips for more effective communication, which included using tonality to steer a response rather than seeking one; being clear about what you stand for in any statement you make; and expanding to take up space physically, verbally and psychologically.
All up it was an entertaining morning, with Blundell holding the audience's attention despite an errant bird causing a stir as it flew about the room looking for an escape.
Women in Print is touring the country, with events staged so far in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and, tomorrow, in Brisbane.