Entrepreneur, Trained Opera Singer, Singer/Songwriter
Current City: Washington, DC
Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: Keynote Speaker, Adjunct Lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School, and Founder/CEO of Global Public Speaking, a training firm that helps executives and emerging leaders speak with impact in their meetings, pitches, and presentations.
Notable Prior Jobs:
Director of Public Diplomacy at the Consulate of Israel
When I Started Performing: At age 12
Performing Arts Background: I went to a performing arts high school in Sarasota, FL and traveled around the region performing, studying, and competing. I spent a summer in the young artists program at Tanglewood, another summer in Italy with
the Curtis Institute of Music, and studied Vocal Performance at Boston University.
After becoming disillusioned with the field of opera, I stopped singing until 10 years later, when I started playing the guitar. Liberated from the strict bonds of classical music, I became a singer/songwriter and eventually co-founded a 2-woman band called "Joan and Joni: A tribute to Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell" which performs to this day. I also sing as part of my keynote speeches to underscore my message of authenticity over perfection.
How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship?
In my first job after leaving classic music, I found out I'd have to give high-profile speeches on behalf of my organization. I had no public speaking experience but soon found that I could easily adapt my performance skills for public speaking. It was a steep learning curve for the skills of persuasion and influence, because I
wasn't used to "writing my own music."
I started coaching my bosses on their public speaking skills and eventually started my own part-time consulting company. After 10 years of teaching public speaking on the side, I left my full-time job and formally launched my training company. Now, we are a team of 9 people and work with some of the largest organizations in the world. Studying music taught me discipline, focus, and the ability to see how subtle shifts in someone's body language or vocal tone can transform how they connect with an audience.
Favorite Performer: Joan Baez
Follow this Performer:
X/Twitter – @AllisonShapira
Facebook – @AllisonShapira @GlobalPublicSpeaking
Instagram – @AllisonShapira