When I was a child, my report cards regularly included notes such as, “Lori is very bright but she needs to learn how to speak up in class.” Sure, I was plenty talkative around family and good friends, but if we were out shopping and I needed to find a bathroom, my mom could never persuade me to “ask that lady over there where it is.” You can imagine my surprise when I was chosen by my 6th grade teacher to be Captain of the Safety Patrols. Ah, the first clue leaders don’t have to be loud and outgoing.
I remained pretty quiet throughout high school. And then moments after my parents drove away after dropping me off at American University, I headed straight for the campus television station. First semester, I auditioned for, and got, a weekly show on the campus radio station. For the first two years of college, I was a broadcast major. And I kept doing my weekly show at the radio station the entire four years.
Interesting tidbit, I’ve discovered that many people who work behind a microphone are FINE on air or on stage, but they feel very uncomfortable mingling at networking events.
Several years later, I actually worked as an on-air radio personality in South Florida. And, little known fact, I still do voice over work if you ask nicely and pay well.
Fast forward to 2003. I launched Zen Rabbit Baking Company and introduced the world to The Gratitude Cookie. When I started that business, I forced myself to go to networking events and endured many awkward conversations in hopes of meeting clients. Eventually, after spending thousands of dollars and hours, I figured out how to comfortably manage networking situations.
Today I’m known as The Quiet Professional’s Guide and am running the 2.0 version of Zen Rabbit. I not only feel comfortable meeting new people, I actually enjoy it (yes really!). As a networking strategy coach and speaker, I now help other quiet people get past their fear of networking so they can find success in their business lives. My services are in demand by consultants, entrepreneurs, business owners, and business professionals who need to figure out which networking events are worth going to so they’re not wasting hundreds of dollars; what to say once they’re there so they don’t look foolish; and how to follow up afterward so their initial efforts aren’t wasted.
I’ve been interviewed by a variety of media and business professionals on podcasts and webinars and I regularly speak at conferences and events.
Are you tasked with finding people to interview for podcasts or webinars OR present at your meeting or conference? Send me email at Lori@ZenRabbit.com.
I’m currently a member of the executive women’s organization Her Corner and am involved with the National Speakers Association. In the past, I’ve been a member of the Executives’ Association of the Palm Beaches and Executive Women of the Palm Beaches. I have has served as a pre-GED teacher and an adult literacy tutor and am a strong proponent for increasing literacy worldwide. I’m a member and past president of a Toastmasters International chapter and started on my professional speaking path by studying with and working for the legendary Bill Gove.
When I’m not networking or talking about networking, you can find me in the weight room at the gym or at a reformer Pilates class. I actually met my husband of 21+ years at the gym. Occasionally you might see me running or kickboxing, because I also love eating and cooking and baking, (although making Gratitude Cookies happens very rarely anymore). We currently live in Arlington, Virginia with our cats, Panther and Karma.