106: Public Speaking As An Emerging Thought Leader

Pattern of Purpose podcast epsiode 106_2

You’re ready to speak more but you aren't sure what to talk about. You aren't even convinced your story is compelling enough to share. 

Today's guest, Alexia Vernon, would challenge you on that point. She believes that we are equipped with the tools we need to make an impact from the stage right now.  As a sought-after executive coach, trainer, keynote speaker, and author, Alexia’s ease in front of an audience came with patience and practice.

We talk about what it looks like to integrate social justice into our businesses, how the Miss Junior America competition introduced Alexia to public speaking, and why thought leaders must be unapologetic truth-tellers. Throughout our conversation, Alexia illustrates adjustments we can make in our approach to public speaking and how to uncover what it is about our lived experience that resonates with audiences more than expertise ever could.

In this episode, we cover:

  • The defining experience that introduced Alexia to public speaking;
  • The myth of "not being enough of an expert yet" and how that holds us back from pitching ourselves;
  • Multiple strategies for aligning our public voice with our brand messaging;
  • How negotiating and asking for more can help others to do the same;
  • Tips for how much of your story you should share in your messaging;
  • Why, as speaker, you need to have multiple stories in your back pocket; and
  • The impact a cancer diagnosis has had on Alexia's business and life.


Branded a “Moxie Maven” by President Obama’s White House Office of Public Engagement for her unique and effective approach to empowering women’s professional success, Alexia Vernon is the author of Step into Your Moxie: Amplify Your Voice Visibility, and Influence in the World. A sought-after speaker, coach, consultant and media contributor, Alexia is the creator and leader of multiple speaker training programs and has delivered transformational keynotes and corporate trainings for Fortune 500 companies and professional associations, spoken at the United Nations, delivered a TEDx talk on the future of feminism, and been featured by media including CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Inc., and Women’s Health.


To build your confidence, recall times when communication went right for you and build on those moments. You have more of those successes than you may initially think.

Small moments from your past experiences, not life-changing events, will resonate most deeply with your audience.

When the audience is made to feel like they’re the hero of your story, they’re more apt to take action.

Before you walk into the room, clarify what your audience needs to hear from you. Most often, that’s permission to be more human.


"It was less that people would give me feedback, “You stink.” They gave me feedback when they didn't rehire me." 

"If you knew that audiences wanted you to speak right from where you are today, not from where you'll be ten years when you're known and significant, but right from today, what would you be telling them?" 

"There's this misnomer that our list size, our media numbers, our client lists, our revenue in some way is connected to our ability to create transformation for others. And there's just not a direct relationship."

"When people start to consider the possibility that what they know right now, based on their experience, their education, their struggle is the very nutrition that audiences are hungry for, it removes that first barrier of not enoughness."