Speak-Up-Women-Live-General-Graphic-2.21.17.png

February 21, 2017 0

By Jennifer S. Wilkov, Founder, Speak Up Women Conference

It is with thoughtful sadness and great hope that I am writing to inform you that I need to postpone the Speak Up Women Conference to the fall.

#SpeakUpWomenLIVE Announcement by Founder Jennifer S. Wilkov of Postponement of Speak Up Women Conference

Jennifer S. Wilkov #SpeakUpWomenLIVE Announcement 2.21.17

Early morning on Valentine’s Day this past Tuesday, Andy, my boyfriend, and I had a fire in our apartment. At 3am, I woke up to the black smoke that was billowing into our bedroom from the hallway. Something on Andy’s desk caught fire and his whole desk was up in flames from floor to ceiling when I walked into our office. First, and most important, we are both okay and so are our two cats. The fire department came, put out the fire, and we all got out. Everyone in our building (upstairs neighbor – a couple with a baby – and downstairs neighbor) are all okay too. The insurance lady I spoke with said I saved everyone. If I had woken up an hour later, she and I would have been having a completely different conversation.

The aftermath: We have soot, smoke and toxic fumes in everywhere and everything in our apartment. We are working with the insurance companies, our landlord, and the entire fire remediation process — which is overwhelming — to recover from this disaster. We have been displaced from our home for at least a month. Everything we have has to either be cleaned, repaired or replaced.

That said, the other piece of information I want to share with you is that I was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer at the end of November and started chemotherapy treatments in late January, after a surgical procedure to implant a mediport in my chest. While this was devastating news, I was confident that I could produce the conference effectively amidst the resulting unanticipated difficulties that have arisen from the chemo for me — including now having 4 blood clots in my lungs. I was planning to share this information from the stage at the beginning of the event.

If it was just the cancer, I would have continued to produce the conference as intended, even amidst the chemotherapy treatments I started in January. With the follow-on stress and trauma of the fire and its aftermath, I don’t have the capacity to really produce these final critical weeks of the conference at the quality they need to be done, including the proper attention to you and everyone involved.

Depending on how well you know me, mediocrity just doesn’t cut it with me. This event and its experience for everyone is too important to me to just wing it. I believe in providing high quality, meaningful experiences for everyone.

The best part of this for me is that I’m alive and here to still provide and produce this amazing meaningful event for you and everyone involved.

I do hope that you will support the Speak Up Women Conference efforts and that you can understand why I had to make this very hard decision after I learned these past two days how complicated the fire remediation process and recovery from this traumatic event will be during next several weeks for me and my family.

I appreciate you very much and I look forward to an even greater event with you in the fall!

###

 

Thank you.

Warmly with Gratitude and Grace,

~ Jennifer

Jennifer S. Wilkov

Founder, Speak Up Women Conference

Speak Up World LLC

www.SpeakUpWomen.com

 

 


SpeakUpWomen-2017-Quotes-from-Last-Years-Conference-01.05.17-EO-2.png

February 14, 2017 0

 

 

By Jennifer S. Wilkov, Founder, Speak Up Women Conference

Maybe you have heard it before but it is something that bears repeating: it takes a village to have the life you want.

Whatever you want to do, be or have is within your reach. Whatever you want to overcome, whatever you want to beat, whatever you want to reach for and accomplish, you can do it – and do it better with a team of people you enroll to support you.

Whether your dreams and ideas are large or small, you can get further faster when you open up and tell people what you want. You don’t have to know everything about how to get it. What you do have to do is speak up and ask for help.

Do your best to clearly articulate what it is you want. For example, if you want to adopt a pet, be specific about what type of pet you are looking for. If you want to find a mate, think about the qualities, characteristics and traits the person you are seeking will have. Don’t just accept whoever walks into your life or who your friends or family want to introduce you to. If you want to break into an industry and have a particular job, then zero in on the exact type of company you want to work for and the role you want to have. If you want to start a non-profit to support a cause you believe in, clearly identify what your non-profit is going to do, how it is going to do it, and what you envision. You don’t need to know every step as to how to make it happen. You do need to be able to talk with someone else about what you want to do.

Speaking up is not about being perfect every time you open your mouth. It is about speaking from the heart and authentically articulating what you want – personally, professionally or philanthropically.

Many women and men have fumbled and bumbled their way through conversations that have involved asking for help, money, guidance or direction. The best thing you can do to get better at this is to keep doing it. Keep at it. You will learn a lot and you will also learn to build your confidence.

You will learn who is on your team and who is not. You will also find out who can help you with what parts of your quest. Keep in mind everyone you ask is not going to say yes, and everyone you ask is not going to give you every piece of what you need either. They will, however, give you what they can, whether that is moral support, an introduction to someone they know, or another part of the puzzle.

But you will never who is on your team, who can help you, or how to get to the glory of the accomplishment of your quest, until you start speaking up and ask.

So Speak Up!


Speak-Up-Women-2017-Save-the-Dates-Early-Bird-01.05.17-EO-8.png

January 31, 2017 0

By Jennifer S. Wilkov, Founder, Speak Up Women Conference

I often hear from women who tell me that they need to speak up to someone about a particular situation or feelings they have but they are not sure how to do it.

Years ago, someone in their lives probably said to them, “Use your words!” It was most likely a parent or adult who was coaxing them as an infant to use words to indicate what they wanted instead of crying or pointing and making noises.

Today, there isn’t someone who is telling them to use their words. In fact, they just might be having the opposite experience where someone may be telling them not to use them.

This happens in personal, professional and philanthropic or for-a-cause situations. You may find yourself uncomfortable and in a position where you are not sure what to say or how to speak up.

Here are some suggestions for some of these types of situations to help you get started:

PERSONAL

When it comes to having a difficult conversation with a loved one or friend, it is often best to ask the person for a dedicated time to talk with them first. Then you can set some rules of engagement for the conversation you would like to have. I often use the “heart to heart conversation” model with those I love and care about. It includes an upfront verbal agreement that each person will be given the opportunity to speak uninterrupted until they are complete. Then the other person receiving the communication will simply say “thank you.” Then you switch roles until you are both done saying everything you want to say. At the end of these conversations, it is also nice to hug one another and thank each other for the productive, respectful conversation. It is much better than arguing or fighting or talking over one another so no one can hear what the other person is saying. You will also come out of it feeling good about one another and feel heard.

PROFESSIONAL

If your situation involves one individual, outline the talking points you want to make and what outcome you want from the conversation. Make an appointment with the person so you have their undivided attention. Be realistic about the time you have with this person and be effective and efficient with the communication you use. Be sure to establish upfront what you want to talk about, why you want to talk about it, and what result you hope will come out of the conversation. The clearer you are upfront, the better conversation you will have. Introduce your topic and do your very best to stick to your talking points and the reason you want to have the conversation. If the discussion diverts to another topic, do your best to bring it back to your agenda and intention.

If you are in a meeting with others, indicate that you want to say something to the person leading the meeting. Do not raise your hand. Be clear about the point you want to make and be concise in your communication about it.

One other point: Do not apologize for speaking or for what you have to say. Be confident and say what you want to with competence and respect. Be a good listener to those who respond and be open to collaborative solutions as well as if someone says no to something you are requesting. Be engaged and make your point with clarity and conviction.

PHILANTHROPIC

When you feel compelled to speak to others about a cause you care about, it is important to be clear about what the cause is. If you have a particular interest, ask others how you can get involved and what organizations or associations they know of that make efforts for it. If you want to start a new group, first define what the group is for, what it focuses on, and how you want other people to participate. This could be anything from a lemonade stand to support someone you know with cancer or another ailment or an effort to collect food for the homeless.

POLITICAL PROCESS

Regardless of what side of the aisle you are on, you can participate and speak up in the political dialogue that continues to rage in the U.S. right now. The best way to speak up is to find out who your Congress representatives are and put their numbers into your phones on speed dial. You can use the website www.CallMyCongress.com to find out who your senators and House representative(s) are along with their phone numbers, Twitter handles, party affiliation and voting record. Congressional offices record the phone calls that come in each day and the topics you call about. This is the fastest and best way to speak up to your representatives in Congress about your personal feelings and advocate for what you want them to do. They are in office to represent their constituents like you so you are supposed to call them to let them know what is important to you and what you want them to do.

Disclaimer: Speak Up Women is a non-partisan community that encourages those with opinions and feelings on all sides of all conversations to respectfully communicate with one another in a meaningful dialogue.

If you are not sure where to begin, take the first step in faith and do your best. The more you speak up, the more comfortable you will be with doing it and the more you will learn to do it in ways that feel good for you.

You never know how and when your opinion and feelings may inform others until you speak up. The impact you have may not just be for you; it may affect many others you may not even know about.

So Speak Up!

 


MLK-Day-2017.01.13.17-EO.png

January 16, 2017 0

 

By Jennifer S. Wilkov, Founder, Speak Up Women Conference

When I was a kid, I was raised singing the song “This Land Is Your Land”, which was written by Woody Guthrie a couple of decades before I was born. By the time I learned it and sang along, there were multiple versions and covers made of it from popular singers like Peter, Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger (whom I loved listening to), and even Bob Dylan and later on Bruce Springsteen.

As the song lyrics say, this land is your land, this land is my land.

Well, I say to you that if this land really IS your land and if this land really IS my land, then we are all going to need to speak up about what that really means to each of us and what we want our land to be like and how we want it to be treated.

Recently, amidst the climate of conversations in the United States, there have been many a subject matter that each of us perhaps has something about it that we want to say. Whether it is about the aftermath of the U.S. Presidential election to the standoff at Standing Rock or our economy or even the football teams heading to the Super Bowl in a few weeks, it seems like the roar of voices expressing their opinions and feelings is growing louder.

To me, this is a good thing!

Speaking up leads to dialogues about issues we feel are near and dear to us in our personal, professional and philanthropic lives. Some issues are directly related to us individually; others affect others and we care enough about them to stand up and speak up to express our dissatisfaction or concerns related to them.

Just like in the days of the , we are finding ourselves as a community rising up with our varying voices to express what we want and what we want for those around us, including our children, business colleagues, friends and neighbors.

Without this effort to speak up, the lives we want to live would not be possible because we would be relying on others to cast the die for us, leaving us to live in the wake of what they decided was best for us.

Only you can tell someone what is best for you and how you feel. Only you can inform people and let them know what is important to you. If you don’t, how will they know? After all, they can’t read your mind. If you don’t express yourself, your voice cannot be heard and the life you want cannot manifest the way you want it to.

When I sang “this land is your land, this land is my land” as a little girl, it was a great song. I knew all the words and smiled a big smile when I sang it. I loved its lyrics about the Redwood Forest to the Gulfstream waters and endless skyway above me and the golden valley below me. I felt like it was about my country and where I lived – and I felt good about it.

These days, the words to the song are the same, but the title of the song means something more to me. It is my land and it is your land. It is a land where we are fortunate to be allowed to speak up and tell the people in our lives what we want and what lives we want to live. We are fortunate and blessed to live in such a land.

It will take all of us speaking up to help guide us forward and create the land we want going forward.

I invite you today and everyday to speak up for the life you want and make this land YOUR LAND.

Speak Up!

 



March 1, 2016

Guest Post from Kathy Zucker, Panelist, Speak Up In Your Community Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference

Taking risks. Speaking up. Sharing information. What do all of these things have in common? Conversation.

Every single person wants to be seen. To be heard. To have their words validated. Every one. And often? Nobody is listening.

When you are a person who listens to others, you are instantly a person of interest. That is it. You do not have to be superbly talented. The best writer. Photographer. Actor. All you have to do? Is talk to people. Well, and be genuinely interested in them.

Kathy Zucker - Panelist, Speak Up in Your Community Panel
Kathy Zucker – Panelist, Speak Up in Your Community Panel

Every time I talk to someone – and I talk to everyone – I learn something new. It is never something I expect. But just like bargain hunting in a department store, sooner or later you find a dark corner of a display that everyone has overlooked and uncover a hidden treasure.

Listening takes practice. I have made mistakes over and over again as I have learned how to take part in discussions. Own your mistakes. Apologize for errors. Learn how to avoid repeating them. And then move on. Every time I get involved in conversations on national and local levels, I learn more about myself. Another bonus? I get to see how amazing people handle themselves under pressure. These are people I admire. Respect. And that is how I identify people I want to be friends with.

Is it scary to start a conversation? Absolutely yes. I never know how someone will receive my thoughts, particularly the risky ones. Sometimes I go too far, and people let me know right away. But I would a million times rather risk going too far than playing things safe, especially if my heart is screaming at me to take a chance. Because the safe route? Is actually unsafe.

How can something safe be unsafe? Schools and authority figures teach us from a young age to follow a well-trodden path toward success. Study hard. Get good grades and test scores. Go to college. Get a job. But here is the hidden danger of the safe route. Everybody is pursuing the same thing. The safe route is obvious. It practically has neon lights flashing above it. And when something is obvious, that means a crowd is headed toward an entry door that can admit only a few.

So how can you be successful? By doing something different, or being the first. I am not the best mom. The best writer. The best anything, really. What am I? Someone who sees strategy five, ten and twenty years into the future. Everything I do showcases the choices I make that reflect my ability in strategic planning. From the place where I choose to raise my family to the companies I partner with, every choice reflects what I want to stand for long-term. Even – and especially – this book is part of my plan. What is my goal? I am not looking to get rich. The book is being published under an imprint belonging to one of my companies. My goal? Is to have something I can point to when people ask what I have been doing during the time since I left my full-time corporate job. Now every time someone asks that question? My response will be, read the book.

There are five members of my family. Each one has different skills. Goals. My children are still very young. They are unformed. Zucker_SpeakUp_Conversation-2I am beginning to see the outlines of what my older children will be as adults. I am learning who they are as people at the same time as the entire world is learning. How is this happening? Through the real time social media posts that I create every day showcasing my five family members.

Every time I post a picture and story about a member of my family, I am opening the door to opportunities. How am I doing that? By telling people what my kid is interested in, I am giving them a blueprint for what will work for that individual. When I posted a picture drawn by my oldest child, book editors reached out asking if she is interested in collaborating to illustrate future projects.

Each time I share a story that tears my heart apart, people feel connected to my family. To an individual child. To the family as a whole. And when people feel a deep connection? They search for ways to help us in small and large ways.

These connections are a two way street. When people are kind to my family, they own a tiny piece of my heart. So when they send congratulations on a milestone? I thank them for their friendship. I am extremely busy. Everyone knows this. But in the midst of scrolling down the ever-increasing volume of my timelines, posts jump out at me. Birthdays. Car accidents. Travel pictures. Whenever I see something that tugs at my heart, I like or comment on it. And each like? Is an invitation to start a conversation. Often, I see the same names pop up on instant messenger. And then? We open our hearts to each other.

I am grateful every day that I took an unconventional path. Has it been difficult? Poorly paid? Yes and yes. But while I may not have the bank balance I might have had if I had stayed in a corporate job, I have something far more valuable – a wide network of friends who have answers for all of my questions. And if you share information and start conversations? You can have the same.

 

I look forward to meeting you at the Speak Up Women Conference on March 5th at the United Nations and hearing about your experience!

 

The above excerpt is a chapter of the forthcoming book, Five: How a Family Can Create a Career, scheduled to be published in April 2016 by the Metro Media Network, a division of the Metro Moms Network, LLC ®. You can learn more at kathyzucker.com/five.


10613322_s.jpg

February 8, 2016

Do you remember when you were an infant and someone said to you, “Use your words. Come on, use your words!” Well, you probably don’t remember someone saying this to you, but if you are a parent or an aunt or uncle, you may be familiar with this simple phrase.

It’s what we say to infants to get them to talk and use their voices to tell us what they want and need.

10613322_s

As we grow older, somehow the adults around us stop saying, “Use your words,” and start saying “Shush!” or “Be quiet!” or “Keep it down; you’re too loud.” We get asked to stop using our words – and our voices.

For too many, this simple experience shuts off your ability and instincts to speak up about what you want and need, what you’re interested in, what you like and don’t like, and how you feel about things. You end up living a life in silence about the things you don’t enjoy, don’t want to experience, and don’t feel you can talk about with someone in business, in your family, with your life partner or in your community.

You feel stifled by society – and sometimes in your life.

When I grew up, the band Supertramp sang a popular song called “The Logical Song,” in which their lyrics started with:

 

 “When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,

A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.

And all the birds in the trees, well they’d be singing so happily,

Joyfully, playfully watching me.

But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible,

Logical, responsible, practical.

And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,

Clinical, intellectual, cynical.”

When you were young, it was okay to giggle, laugh, coo and use your words. Maybe when you were growing up, someone shushed you and asked you not to use them anymore.

If you want the people around you in your life – in business, at home, your friends, and in your community – to understand who you are, what you want, what you care about, and what you like and don’t like, then you are going to need to find the courage to speak up and let them know.

The more you use your words, the more effective you will be at living the life you want.

So Speak Up!

 

For more about speaking up, watch
this video of our founder, Jennifer S. Wilkov, talk about
why it is so important to speak up and
the impact you can make when you do.

Go to www.SpeakUpWomen.com to learn more and
to register to attend the Speak Up Women Conference
at the United Nations on March 5th, 2016


Laura-Fredricks-Headshot-e1450205818146-1200x1201.jpg

February 8, 2016

Meet Laura Fredricks, a Panelist on the Speak Up for Financing Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference happening at the United Nations on March 5th, 2016!

LAURA FREDRICKS is a multi-million dollar ASK-maker who, as Founder & CEO of THE ASK©, teaches nonprofits and businesses how to confidently, willingly and successfully ask for money. Fredricks is today’s leading authority on “How to A$K© for Money – and More of It!” She has helped hundreds of organizations worldwide raise multi-millions through her unique approach to fundraising. She is author of “THE A$K: How to ASK for your Nonprofit Cause, Creative Project and Business Venture.” Most recently Laura joined a star-studded list of Wellness Experts and is the “Money Wellness Expert” with an all new 30-day on-line money wellness program. Her newest book is: Money Wellness: Is Money Making you Sick?” www.expertontheask.com.

Laura Fredricks Headshot
Laura Fredricks – Panelist, Speak Up for Financing

As an attorney-turned-philanthropic advisor, she has enjoyed a lengthy and successful career in industries best known for making high profile, multi-million dollar A$KS – law and philanthropy – and is the first to merge strategies from both professional sectors into a mainstream practice known as THE ASK©. This new practice has placed LAURA on the national and international speaking circuits at conferences around the world from Amsterdam to Ann Arbor, Bologna to Boca Raton, Kenya to Kentucky, Moscow to Montreal, Sydney to Seattle, plus Australia, Italy, and the Netherlands. THE ASK© has also led LAURA to TV and radio appearances on local talk shows across the nation, and her expertise has been featured in national publications. Her four books on “How to A$K© for Money – and More of It” have become industry leaders. Follow her on TWITTER: @expertontheask.

 

Join Laura as she shares her insights
during this important panel about
Speak Up for Financing
at this amazing inaugural event!

For more about speaking up, watch
this video of our founder, Jennifer S. Wilkov, talk about
why it is so important to speak up and
the impact you can make when you do.

Go to www.SpeakUpWomen.com to learn more and
to register to attend the Speak Up Women Conference
at the United Nations on March 5th, 2016



February 8, 2016

Meet Kathy Zucker, a Panelist on the Speak Up in Your Community Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference happening at the United Nations on March 5th, 2016!

Kathy Zucker is an author, startup founder, international social media Shorty Awards winner, and Real Time Academy judge. A Columbia graduate and two-time national champion, she is a member of Cobra Fencing Club and the Columbia University fencing advisory board. She lives with her husband and three children in Hoboken, NJ. You can find her on social media at @KathyZucker and at KathyZucker.com.

“Kathy embodies the spirit of New York Life’s #KeepGoodGoing Shorty Award. Even during difficult times, including during Superstorm Sandy, she was an inspiration and educational resource to families in her local community. We applaud Kathy for being the first to win this category and we thank New York Life for sponsoring #KeepGoodGoing and for its support spreading the word,” said Greg Galant, the co-founder and executive producer of the Shorty Awards.

Kathy Zucker - Panelist, Speak Up in Your Community Panel
Kathy Zucker – Panelist, Speak Up in Your Community Panel

“Kathy is a great example of someone who uses social media to share her own life lessons, which in turn help others. Her tweets in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy provided critical news and updates to her community. We congratulate her on winning a Shorty Award and thank her for using social media to keep good going,” said Liz McCarthy, senior vice president and head of Corporate Communications, New York Life.

Join Kathy as she shares her insights
during this important panel about
Speak Up in Your Community
at this amazing inaugural event!

For more about speaking up, watch
this video of our founder, Jennifer S. Wilkov, talk about
why it is so important to speak up and
the impact you can make when you do.

Go to www.SpeakUpWomen.com to learn more and
to register to attend the Speak Up Women Conference
at the United Nations on March 5th, 2016

 


Bonnie-Bruderer-Headshot-2.jpg

February 1, 2016

Meet Bonnie Bruderer, the Emcee and Mistress of Ceremonies of the Speak Up Women Conference happening at the United Nations on March 5th, 2016!

Emcee for Speak Up Women Conference
Bonnie Bruderer                                                 Emcee for Speak Up Women Conference

 

Bonnie has an extensive background in the personal development field including training in NLP, Hypnotherapy, Holistic Health, Results Coaching and holds 10 certifications in human behavior and personal development. She also attended Columbia University’s Internal Coaching Certification Program.

She is best known as the “girl who traveled with the gurus,” spending over 18 years on tour with some of the top personal development minds on the planet.

She has authored four books, has multiple audio programs, hosted her own radio show (Live Your Life On Fire) and now has her own TV Show, on the Lifestyle Channel on MNN, in New York called “AskBonBon” and has appeared on multiple news shows and reality shows as an expert coach. The show is now being nationally syndicated to multiple platforms and reaches over 5 mil+ homes per week.
She has created a trans-media platform to help people that have a powerful message to spread to the world, reach the masses through TV, radio and online distribution.

She has appeared on FOX and NBC TV on numerous occasions and has helped leading organizations such as Anthony Robbins, Ticketmaster, City Search, and Active Networks achieve significantly higher levels of revenues and success.

Uniquely qualified having spent 18 years working for Tony Robbins, Harvey Mackay and some of the other worlds top trainers.

  • Certified in life coaching, NLP, Neuro-associative re-patterning, hypnotherapy, holistic health, yoga instruction.
  • Appeared on the Reality Show ‘A Band Of Wives” as the expert coach and trainer.
  • Have coached over 7,000 people all over the world to get results.
  • Hosted the “Live Your Life On Fire” Radio Show.
  • Winner of ‘Women Owned Business Of The Year 2009” in San Francisco for coaching practice.
  • Co-founder of V.I.S.S. (vision, inspiration, strategy & support) with John Assaraf from the smash hit movie “The Secret”.
  • Author of four personal development books and multiple video and audio programs.


Join Bonnie as she emcees this amazing inaugural event!

 

For more about speaking up, watch this video of our founder, Jennifer S. Wilkov, talk about why it is so important to speak up and the impact you can make when you do.

Go to http://www.SpeakUpWomen.com to learn more and to register to attend the Speak Up Women Conference at the United Nations on March 5th, 2016.