by Telishia Berry
WHO IS CHERYL WOOD?
Cheryl Wood is a wife, mother of three, and CEO of an international speaking and coaching practice. She is passionate about living her very best life while creating a legacy of helping other women to step into their greatness without apology or regret.
We caught up with this busy lady to discuss her upcoming SpeakerCon19 event and her journey as an international speaker.
CW: Were there any specific things or people who inspired you to become a speaker?
CHERYL:Acknowledging the value of my unique, personal life experiences and how it could help others is what propelled me to become a speaker. A host of powerful orators have inspired and/or coached me on my speaker journey including Lisa Nichols, Les Brown, Dr. Willie Jolley, Eric Thomas, and Tony Robbins.
CW: What has been your journey to get to where you are now?
CHERYL: In 2009, I took inventory of my life and realized I was no longer content sitting in a cubicle working as a Legal Secretary in corporate America, building someone else’s dream. I felt a deep internal void that my job just didn’t fill. I wanted time freedom, financial freedom, and creative freedom. So, I took a risk and started my own small t-shirt business. I continued working my full-time job and operated my t-shirt business as a side-hustle on the weekends. About 18 months later, I received my first request to speak at a women’s conference at Morgan State University on September 18, 2010 to teach other moms how to start their own businesses. I was nervous, but I accepted the challenge and it was a life-altering decision. It was on that day that I found the power of my voice and knew I wanted to use my voice as a catalyst for change for the rest of my life.
CW: You’re the founder of SpeakerCon, what inspired you to produce this?
CHERYL: There are thousands of conventions hosted globally every year for every industry but there was no exclusive convention for public speakers and verbal communication experts, so I decided to create it.
CW: Give some details about this upcoming event.
CHERYL: SpeakerCon will kickstart with a full day of education on Friday where attendees will learn how to grow their speaking business via a host of dynamic power talks by influencers and trailblazers in the world of business including Dr. George C. Fraser, TeeJ Mercer, Michaela Alexis, and Dorinda Walker. On Saturday, attendees will experience the convention where they will network, gain access to valuable speaker resources by visiting with our exhibitors, and enjoy our speech and elevator pitch competitions followed by an exclusive Meet & Greet with Celebrity Kenya Moore. Finally, SpeakerCon will culminate with our signature Awards Gala where we will honor six Speaker Legend Awardees: Mikki Taylor, Editor-at-Large of ESSENCE Magazine; Gloria Mayfield Banks, International Success Strategist and International Speaker; Linda Clemons, Sales and Body Language Expert; Dr. George C. Fraser, Founder of The PowerNetworking Conference; Brother Bedford, Marketing and Business Advisor; and Delatorro L. McNeal II, Peak Performance Expert and International Speaker.
“Always stay flexible. Avoid being rigid and feeling like you must be in control of everything all the time”
CW: What can guests expect as a result of attending SpeakerCon?
CHERYL: Attendees can expect to come into an empowering and engaging environment that reminds them to uncover and unleash the power of their voice. SpeakerCon will be a space to connect, grow, and celebrate those who transform the world through the power of words.
CW: How do you balance your life as a CEO, entrepreneur, wife, and mother?
CHERYL: Instead of trying to achieve balance, I work to achieve harmony. I make sure that my personal life and my business life work harmoniously together which means creating boundaries, prioritizing, and sometimes saying No.
CW: As a speaker extraordinaire, what advice would you give women wishing to enter the world of public speaking?
CHERYL: Keep being the authentic you. Everybody else is already taken so show up consistently as the real you and don’t seek anybody else’s validation.
“A Courageous Woman is a woman who is willing to interrupt her norm and intentionally walk a path that is uncomfortable and unfamiliar in order to walk fully into her calling”
CW: What’s next for Cheryl Wood?
CHERYL: Continuing to expand the global reach of my message to impact the lives of as many girls and women as possible for as long as I have breath in my body.