Reety Wadhwa talks are engaging and her concept of hyphenating lives does help in harnessing ones potential. Sharing more insights on her thoughts in this interview with Sunaina Agarwal

Reety Wadhwa, a motivational professional speaker, entrepreneur and wanderer banished her corporate life in 2012, to follow her passion. Building her profession of ‘Training’, she has trained thousands of people on the subjects of ‘Creative Thinking’ and ‘Public Speaking’ under her signature programs: “Think Better, Get Smarter” and “Rock the Stage: the Magic of Public Speaking”. She learnt the craft of Public Speaking from Andy Harrington, UK’s foremost public speaker of Public Speaking University and from the practices of NLP.

Why did you choose to become a professional? What was the motivation?

I wanted to mix my passion with my profession. I use to be a debater in school but never took the stage at college to speak (though I did theater, then) or during the corporate life. So I did miss it a lot. Speaking is a my passion that is monetizable – what better as a career then. Also, after having worked in a proper corporate set up for a few years, I realized that it doesn’t leave you with much time to ‘just be’. I wanted to have the time to explore many things. This was reason enough to make me quit my job and pursue what I truly wanted. Another reason of my motivation is that as a speaker, I knew I could influence lives for their better. This motivation has only gotten stronger over the years since I delved into this profession.

“Shameless is good” Could you explain this in the context of those youngsters trying to follow their passion?

Your passion defines you.

Does it make you unconventional? – “so be it”.

Does it make you look like you are standing out of the group? – “Why fit in when you can stand out”

Does is make you look shameless?–”very good”

Having a passion is one thing and shamelessly pursuing (irrespective of what the people or society tells you) is another. The latter is the challenge. But if you do show the courage to take up the challenge, you are all set to win the game of life. You will meet a fresher each day as enthusiasm is the closest ally of passion.

How important you think it is for women to be independent today?

VERY. Cannot emphasise enough. Women must be independent in all possible tangents – emotionally, financially, ideologically. Let that woman inside you be an independent thinker and wild soul. You are complete in yourself and don’t need any external support. Just begin by believing so.

You talk about hyphenating lives in your talk, how do think this philosophy can be applied by women to make their lives easier?

Today’s aggressive woman is career oriented. Imagine the depth of her own satisfaction and the height of her overall success as an individual when she goes beyond her career by hyphenating her life. A banker who is a weekend sports person and an amateur astro-photographer is irresistible !

How – Just know what gives you the kicks/ what gets your mojo going. (Is it writing blogs or cooking or designing something)). Dedicate at least a fixed number of hours to it per week/ month in a sustainable fashion and experiment with the craft. Then just see the magic for yourself. Life will be easier/ more enjoyable because you will continuously connect with your true self.

Currently India is seeing the rise of a lot of women entrepreneurs. Do you think it is still difficult for women in our society to follow their passion, or would you say it has become easier?

Following ones professional passion for a woman has become easier as technology has played the role of a gender leveler. From a historical perspective, certainly these are great times. But the fact that only 3 percent of the CEO’s are women says a lot. There are many barriers (taboos, perceptions around what the role of women is/ should be, Indian culture that accords at a certain placefor the women. The general assumption of women as the second sex, expectations of women to be the family caregiver, patriarchy, glass ceiling) that women still need to break out of to be able to follow their passion. Can they do it? – Most certainly.

“Think better get smarter” can you explain how important it is for women today and how can it be applied?

Think better, get smarter is all about using all faculties of our brains (linear and creative) to create a brand out of ourselves. Personal branding is important not just for entrepreneurs but also for professional and employees. Since women are competing in the same space as men, this is equally important for them.

It can be applied from first understanding the need to have a brand identity and then thinking holistically (simply put both left and right brain thinking – though this model is highly debatable).

Can you state few positive public speaking traits with our readers? 

Speaking in a boardroom, addressing your subordinates, giving a presentation, even a sales meeting, one on one with your date – all fall in the category of Public speaking. And the most important ingredient here is your ability to convey your message with zeal/ passion. Speak from the heart and the world will listen! Passion in public speaking is contagious. Will keep your audience riveted to you.

Decisions regarding funding in Venture Capital have been known to be taken on how passionately the team presents its idea! So don’t worry about how you look, how your hands move. Just focus on creating impact through passion packed speaking.

How has professional speaking changed your life?

I have been able to channelize many people and encourage them to challenge before accepting, ruffle status quo and revisit the drawing board for professional and personal successes. Many people stuck in a professional rut have been able to look beyond the obvious and find their individual creative expressions. Some have introduced newer and innovative business ideas in their ventures. Fence sitters, (unable to make decisions) but otherwise ambitions and aspirations people have been able to open the expanse of their brains. My talks have helped many move ahead in their careers and have instilled inspiration in many.All this wasn’t possible in the job set up. This makes me a happier person in comparison to earlier.