Mary Cheyne, MBA, is the 2009 World Championship of Public Speaking second place winner out of 25,000 contestants from 14 countries.
Mary has trained over 15,000 people in over 30 cities around the world.
She is a TEDx Speaker.
Mary is also the author of the Best Selling book “Present” Yourself in Public Speaking – Tell Your Inner Critic to SHUT UP! And the Real You to SPEAK UP!
Mary's communication accolades have been featured in The Boston Globe, The World Journal, as well as many TV and radio interviews.
- Empowering others to be the best communicator they can be.
- Reading, writing, poetry, personal development & human potential, science fiction & martial arts.
More than 100 miles
I generally get paid for speaking but make exceptions
(Below is an excerpt from Mary's book: "Present" Yourself in Public Speaking - Tell Your Inner Critic to SHUT UP! And the Real You to Speak Up):
I’d like to share my story, so you know where I came from and why I wrote this book for you.
In one of my first jobs out of college, I was sitting in a conference room with 15 of my coworkers. After 45 minutes of people talking about systems and projects that I wasn’t familiar with, the director turned to me and announced, “Mary, you’re manager because Tim is out today. Why don’t you give us an update on your team’s projects?”
I froze. All I could see were eyes. All I heard was my own heart beating faster and faster. All I could feel was my face getting hotter and hotter. As this was happening I knew that this meant my face was getting redder and redder. It seemed like forever, until finally the director decided, “That’s OK. Why don’t we wait till Tim comes back next week.”
Walking out of that meeting, I had never been so embarrassed in my entire life.
Six months later, I was sent to a conference with two co-workers from another team, Jack and Seth (nobody from my team wanted to go). A manager, Mindy, sat the three of us down to ask for our help. Mindy explained, “I’m working on initiating the Y2K project for our company. So while you’re at the conference, can you talk to the other conference participants about what they’ve been doing at their respective companies about the Y2K issue?” I nodded in agreement.
However, at the conference, I was too self-conscious to talk to anybody, even individually. I just didn’t have the self-confidence and was too socially awkward to approach anybody. I remember hating having this burden on my mind that I needed to talk to people.
Then, during a group session, I was in the audience with about 40 other people, and the facilitator brought up the Y2K issue. This was it, the perfect opportunity to naturally segue into the question I had so awkwardly tried to avoid asking. But, do you know what? I didn’t raise my hand or say ANYTHING. I just sat there, like a stunned mullet, because I was too self-conscious, hoping that the information I needed would simply be fed to me.
A week later, back at the office I avoided Mindy like the plague. I reasoned with myself that Jack or Seth surely would have found the answers she needed already. My avoidance of Mindy was successful because she never followed up with me . . . I’m guessing Jack and Seth did do their homework (unlike me!).
I share this story to let you see where I came from. I was full of insecurity, self-doubt, and timidity (as hard as I tried to fake the opposite). I didn’t even know I could be any different. I just knew I felt very self-conscious.
Maybe you have felt the same? That extreme avoidance of not wanting to speak in public, even in one-on-one situations, because you just don’t know what to say or how to act around people.
I felt frustrated because I knew this self-consciousness didn’t represent who I really was. I was hardworking and good at my job. I was smart and had personality and opinions. And around my close friends, I was fun. Why couldn’t I just be my “real” self in public, in front of a group of people?
Maybe you’ve had the same frustration . . .
Believe me, I understand because I’ve been there and lived it, over and over again, until one day I declared, “Enough!” I didn’t want to feel like this anymore. I was so sick of feeling self-conscious. I knew if there was ANY chance for me to progress in my career, I would need to DO something about it—and fast.
Fast-forward to August 2009: I stood on a stage in front of 2,000 people, competing in the finals of the World Championship of Public Speaking (did you know there was such a contest?). And out of 25,000 contestants from 14 countries, I came in second place.
Yes, you read that correctly—second place . . . Major shift from that fresh-out-of-college me, red-faced and choked by embarrassment when asked to speak in front of my work team!
Currently, I work as a professional speaker and trainer. I speak in front of people every day. At this point in my career, I have professionally trained over 15,000 people from 25 cities around the world. I can safely say that I’m very comfortable speaking in front of groups of people.
I tell these stories, so you know that you don’t have to be BORN with the skill. Instead, what you need is a desire to become better, a willingness to engage in understanding yourself at a deeper level, and a solid work ethic.
Simply because you are reading this book, I believe you have all that. What you’ve been missing up to this point is guidance. And that’s what this book will give you—an inside-out roadmap of the steps and processes that I wish I had when I began the journey of becoming a better public speaker. Much of the steps and processes in this book are ones I created for myself because no one was teaching what I needed the most—how to get out of my own way!
What you are about to read is a distillation of my many years of learning, so you can cut past your own “BS” and go straight through the eye of the needle—then you’ll come out the other side being truly all that you were meant to be in public speaking, and in life: a communicator who is liberated in your expression and uninhibited by the audience. You have valuable messages to share with the world. Let the chapters of this book guide you to who you want to become.
And please remember: if I could do it, then I know anyone can. If I did it, then you can too.
I share the content of this book with you from the bottom of my heart. May you be your greatest self, the confident speaker. I know you can do it.
With much love and respect,
Mary Cheyne (pronounced ‘Sheen’) began her career in software development & was once a self-conscious public speaker & communicator. She has spent the past 15+ years learning & mastering effective communication skills.
During this process, Mary discovered she had a passion to empower others to become the best communicators they can be, both in front of an audience as well as in personal conversations.
Having trained over 15,000 people from more than 25 cities around the world, Mary has learned one important thing: To communicate and persuade effectively, the first person you need to
convince is yourself.
In 2016, Mary published her book “Present” Yourself in Public Speaking – Tell Your Inner Critic to SHUT UP! And the Real You to SPEAK UP! Within 2 weeks of the book launch, it hit number 1 in three Amazon categories & quickly reached Amazon Best Seller status. This validated that the material Mary teaches resonates with a lot of people, because it addresses the “pink elephant’ in the room during public speaking – Our inner critic, which no other public speaking book looks at in such detail.
Mary grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to the United States in 2001.