How Public Speaking Created a Culture of Confidence
As a Talent Manager, I’m fortunate to be able to speak with both current employees and potential candidates about our work and culture. One common theme that always comes up in conversation with Ranglers is how much they love that we prioritize our speaking culture. Similarly, whenever I share that we have a prominent speaking culture with potential candidates, there’s a palpable excitement. So, what does having a speaking culture mean exactly?
At Rangle, it means everyone has the opportunity to speak at our weekly Lunch and Learns, participate in webinars, lead workshops, host meetups, or speak at conferences in Toronto and around the world. In fact, hosting meetups, such as AngularTO, ReactTO and VueJS has created opportunities internally for Ranglers to take the stage and share their learnings. This focus on knowledge sharing has played a key role in how Rangle first developed, and has continued to be a cornerstone of Rangle culture today.
How does this Impact the Employee Experience?
Not only do we strive to provide speaking opportunities, we also offer a support system. We encourage each other so Ranglers can feel confident when it comes time to present. That can mean having a colleague listen to your speech for feedback or collaborating on a topic you're not totally confident with. Our culture of public speaking brings our team closer together and helps us level-up.
“I was blown away by the level of support I received from Rangle while preparing my talk for ReactTO. My directors, managers, and peers made themselves available to me. They helped me by discussing ideas and reviewing slides. My team even provided feedback after sitting through multiple practice runs. At my request, Rangle’s studio team helped me to polish the look of my slides. This support freed me up to focus on my content and practice how I would present it. Rangle does a great job of providing resources, encouragement, and support for speakers. I can’t wait to do it again.”
Public speaking at Rangle extends beyond meetups and conferences. It has also created opportunities internally for employees to lead workshops and meetings. Lauren Suh, a Rangle Developer/Product Designer, shares the impact our culture of public speaking has had on her professionally and personally:
“There are a lot of individuals who do talks and workshops at Rangle [herself included!]. This creates an environment where public speaking is more of a norm rather than an exception. There are many opportunities to practice public speaking at Rangle. It allows people to have practice sessions before feeling comfortable enough to think about speaking at a conference. There's a lot of encouragement and gentle pushes from management for people with something valuable to share (which is basically everyone in the company). My experience leading internal workshops at Rangle was very much driven by our focus on public speaking. The process improved my confidence.”
How does Rangle help employees upskill?
To help Ranglers to improve their public speaking abilities we host Toastmasters in our event space on an almost weekly basis. This initiative is thanks to an introduction from one of our Business Quality Analysts, Erick Dimistracopulos. As part of the program you have the opportunity to attend the meetings and if interested, join as an official member. Plus, employees even have the option of using their conference budget to cover the annual dues. Here’s what Erick had to say on introducing Toastmaster to Rangle:
“As Rangle has grown, public speaking has become a valuable skill. Many of the activities at Rangle require some form of public speaking. Whether it's at Lunch and Learns, Guild meetings, or demo-ing during sprint reviews with clients. By hosting Brainwave Speakers Toastmasters at Rangle, everyone gets the opportunity to improve their public speaking and leadership skills. After 2 years of the Toastmasters program, I'm more confident when speaking in front of an audience. I'm able to outline a presentation that meets the audience's expectations. Overall, I've become a more effective communicator.”
Having a culture of public speaking isn’t the only way we help facilitate a culture of knowledge sharing. Rangle hosts drop-in blog writing hours. Our in-house content marketing specialist, Amy Statham, helps our team to have a quiet space to develop ideas. While it’s still relatively new, it has become a place where employees can go for dedicated support on crafting an impactful blog post. Plus, a lot of Ranglers have started out blogging and turned their writing into speeches. Blogging can be a powerful gateway into developing ideas that turn into impactful talks!
There's encouragement and support to be found at Rangle for anyone that has an interest or is looking to level up their existing skills. The most significant value is that this builds the confidence of our teams. Whether it's in front of a select number of colleagues or diving in at one of our company-wide Lunch and Learns, our culture of public speaking encourages Ranglers across all departments to get involved.