#ConnectedWomen: Victoria Mintey, Founder of Presence and Impact Training
Contributed by Gina Romero August 12, 2017
What could an actor possibly have in common with a high flying corporate worker?
As women continue to be a driving force for change around the world, this series aims to highlight those who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to creating an impact.
Victoria Mintey, Founder of Presence and Impact Training, proves they have plenty of similarities. Business owners and corporate workers alike can learn powerful skills from actors.
Victoria has made it her job to teach just that and from her love of acting has even established Wag the Dog Theater. There are so many golden nuggets of motivation in our interview with Victoria, read on!
Tell us about you and your business and what you were doing before?
My business is the art of person-to-person communication. This manifests in two ways: I’m a theatre actress and a coach in Presence and Impact.
You might be thinking “how can a performer relate to challenges in the corporate world”? Actors are in the business of clear storytelling (the script), emotional connection (the delivery), empathizing with other people (the characters), and moving others (the audience) to think and feel something new.
I’ve seen these issues come up time and again in meetings, presentations and conversations at work. As an actor, I do a lot of corporate role play and training simulations.
People are often so overwhelmed with tasks and targets they forget to appeal to one another at a human level. This is counterproductive and so our workshops have been developed using an actor’s tools of mental presence, emotional connection and improvisation to create People-Centric (rather than PowerPoint-centric!) communication. This benefits all of us!
A Hidden Dream Turned Real Life
I (secretly) wanted to be an actress when I was growing up but, being pragmatic and academic, I first went to university and got my Bachelors degree in Psychology and Anthropology. These subjects reflect my perpetual curiosity about humanity and humanness and have really shaped and informed my workshops.
So, after graduating from a top drama school, I should have been ready to live the dream, right? How did I take to life as a working actor? Particularly in London, it is a difficult career to manage. It is hard to get auditions, let alone land roles. It is hard to have a social life or make time for your family when working on a show. Actors face a lot of rejection and self-doubt.
I can hear you say, “Why do it? Why tolerate this? Get a real job!!” I can honestly say that working on a show makes me feel like nothing else on earth. And, far from waning over time, this feeling seems to only intensify as my career moves forward.
I’ve now taken an extra step that I never dreamed of and started a theatre company, Wag the Dog Theatre. Our first production, ‘The Memory of Water’ by Shelagh Stephenson had rave reviews in June/July this year. I am pinching myself, hardly able to believe the twists and turns on the journey so far.
Since becoming a business owner there have definitely been times I wished all I had to do each day was show up 9-5 at an office and do what I’m told – but then I wouldn’t be me and I would never have met the fascinating people that I’m privileged to work with.
I thrive on the unexpected and I’d hate for every day to feel the same.
The biggest challenge that I faced in the early stages of running my coaching business is that sometimes I would still behave like a hopeful actress. Waiting to be told “you got the part” and desperately nodding, smiling and agreeing to everything in case someone changed their mind about hiring me.
I’ve learned to respect my own abilities and admit when I need help or don’t understand what’s going on. The best advice I can give anyone striking out on their own is: be curious, be open, ask questions and back yourself!
If I was to rewind and meet myself as a young drama-school graduate in London I would ask her to be more pro-active, to believe in her talent and entreat others to believe in her too.
Do not wait in the shadows! Pecking order and deference be damned!
Do not fear those who proclaim they hold the keys to the kingdom. Instead, admire and emulate this behavior. Be tenacious, be genuine and remember you are a good person and that counts for a lot.
Work With Victoria
Improve your presentation style. Join the PIT Speakers’ Circle in Singapore to practise and hone your public speaking skills. Register here.
I do not regret the things I have done but those that I did not do.
We are the leaders, activists, innovators and visionaries – whether in the public eye or behind the scenes
– who are revolutionising the way people think and live. We are #ConnectedWomen.
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