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  • Emily Brayshaw
    Smarter Writer

    Emily Brayshaw was a tech journo for 9 years before working at a big four consulting firm. She's been with SMARTER since 2009.

    Emily Brayshaw
    Smarter Writer

    Emily Brayshaw was a tech journo for 9 years before working at a big four consulting firm. She's been with SMARTER since 2009.

    Lucy Karnani’s expertise in training corporate high flyers has helped her friend Fiona Trembath to hone her own business presentation skills, writes Emily Brayshaw.

    Lucy Karnani and Fiona Trembath hugging one another on grey background
    Fiona's policy is to give The Big Issue vendors the smallest bill in her purse

    - Lucy Karnani

    Flexibility and balance

    Fiona: I married a man with six kids about 12 years ago, and have three of my own. Lucy was my cheerleader. She told me I could run my business and reassured me of my value as a mother, a stepmother, an employer, and a teacher. She also made me look after my fitness! She’s a qualified yoga teacher and I’ve been doing it for eight years now. Lucy’s a business person with spirit who has a great perspective on body-mind balance.

    Lucy: On the yogic path, it’s all about balance. I was CEO of Rogen International for 10 years in the US and I worked eight days a week. I loved it, but I also learnt that you pay the price for that. When I see Fiona going down that road, I’m very quick to alert her and I use strong language around it because I don’t want her to suffer the consequences of imbalance in one aspect of her life.

    Overcoming stage fright

    Fiona: Lucy pulled me back before I did my first public speaking event and gave me a full workshop so I didn’t have to wing it. She helped structure the presentation and gave me a model on how to present effectively, which was a huge breakthrough in my business. She has coached me on my body language and how to make eye contact effectively when presenting. I could pay someone thousands to do that, but my best friend does it and it’s really lovely of her.

    Lucy: Fiona’s work in the last few years has meant she’s had to “present herself” in different situations. To change your behaviour, you have to be aware of what you’re doing, so sometimes she films her presentations and we watch them together so I can coach her on what to do better next time. She’s had extremely positive feedback from public presentations.

    Don't take it personally 

    Fiona: Lucy’s taught me how to manage meetings so that I get the outcomes I want. But, she’s also taught me if a proposal is rejected or a meeting doesn’t go well to just move on with the next one. She says, “It’s not about you. This is their agenda, so don’t take it personally.” She’s a very strong person and I can be a bit of a wet paper bag. She reminds me that I’m valuable and to be authentic.  She’ll also get me to ask “What am I learning here?” So I’m lucky. With Lucy I can have a good cry and a good time.

    Lucy: Fiona’s tendency is to underestimate her worth. One area I’ve advised her with is how to price her offerings, as people don’t value what they don’t pay for. The price Fiona went to market with for a recent offering was significantly more than she’d planned, but there’s been no push back. People value her time and expertise. Fiona helps me to be mindful of shifting my own perspective, which has benefited me professionally. I help her because she is awesome and she deserves it.

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