Anna Verghese has one of the most prestigious jobs in philanthropy, working with the likes of Richard Branson, Laurene Powell Jobs and Jeff Skoll (founder of Participant Media) in her role as the Executive Director of TED’s Audacious Project. Yet finding the confidence to hold her own in such impressive company took her years to develop. And there’s not that much pressure when you happen to work for the organization that all but invented the art of the effective communication. “I tend to lead and solve problems quietly,” says Verghese, who started at TED as an assistant eleven years ago. “When I have something important to say I’ll say it – and people will listen – but it has taken me so long to find that voice and that confidence. Literally years.”
Since launching the Audacious Project in April of 2018, Verghese and her team have raised a whopping $US493.8 million dollars. These funds are allocated toward seven world-changing ideas hoping to change humanity for the better such as tackling climate change by tracking gas emissions from space and addressing food scarcity in six countries across East Africa, to name just two. The Audacious Project embodies exactly the kind of radical and drastic action we’re going to need to keep our planet alive. Verghese spends much of her time communicating these big ideas and inspiring others to get on board, so we asked her to distill what she’s learned about speaking in public effectively and share what has helped her along the way. Now you can command the room like a pro.
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