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Knowing your audience and making an impact

A conversation with Natira McDermott

Published onDec 22, 2022
Knowing your audience and making an impact

Natira McDermott is a public speaking coach who helps her clients create successful businesses by dropping perfectionism and embracing their own compelling visibility. Despite winning her first high school debate, Natira spent most of her life avoiding an audience. (The irony of her being a public speaking coach is not lost on her.)

Natira shares with us key skills that people (and researchers) who speak in public should have to become visible by speaking like themselves instead of a textbook. Prior to her coaching career, Natira spent 17 years at advertising and media agencies where she led teams in over 150 pitches and coached dozens of executive teams. Natira is based in New York City and provides individual coaching, executive leadership coaching, presentation, and public speaking workshops. 

“When you get up to speak about your work, you might feel that part of you really wants to make your message seen and heard and felt – but another part of you is terrified of being visible. The work I do with clients is to support both of these parts – the one that wants to shine and the one that wants to hide.”

Natira McDermott

Which researcher – dead or alive – do you find inspiring? Amy Cuddy

What is your favorite animal and why? Horses – Because they are beautiful and I love to ride. 

Name your (current) favorite song and interpret/group/musician/artist. Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen AND The Story by Brandi Carlile AND Glory Bound by The Wailin’ Jennys

What is your favorite dish/meal? Fresh bread and cold butter 

Image credit: Natira McDermott, Some of the horses I knit during the pandemic.

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