Little Lessons #10: Conquer Your Fear Of Public Speaking By Tying It Into Something That You’re Passionate About

Nubby Twiglet | Conquer Your Fear Of Public Speaking By Tying It Into Something That You're Passionate About

I was always terrified of public speaking. Even if it was a quick introduction on the first day of class, I completely dreaded it. My voice would tremble and I’d talk as quickly as possible just to get it over with.

I’ve always been fine in small social groups and can carry on a conversation without a second thought (especially if you ask me about celebrity trivia!) but just thinking about speaking in front of an audience by myself made me want to hide in a cave.

I never had any ambitions of engaging in public speaking and being a graphic designer allowed me to skirt the issue for years — I could hide behind my computer and still make a comfortable living. That only lasted so long, though before I finally had to face my fears. When Kat, Gala and I hatched the idea of The Blogcademy two and a half years ago, one thing was clear: we agreed upfront that we’d each have to chip in on teaching the 18 segments. Oh wait…teaching equaled public speaking in front of large groups of complete strangers.

I agreed to do it but didn’t overthink it at the time because we didn’t even know if the workshop would take off…and then six days later, our first class sold out. I had less than two months to get over my fear of public speaking because I was going to be in front of a room of women I’d never met, doing exactly that!

When you’re faced with a hurdle, if you think about the big picture, chances are that you’ll get overwhelmed and shut down. Instead, I started really small. I figured out my introduction because if I could get that out without breaking a sweat, I could build some momentum. I didn’t want to stumble and stammer within the first five minutes and lose every ounce of confidence I’d built up so I practiced my intro out loud in my car as I drove to and from work every day. “Hi! I’m Shauna, a graphic designer from Portland….*deep breath*….By the end of the week, I had three paragraphs strung together and memorized.

The first class happened…and you know what? It was way easier than I thought it would be. The secret, I soon realized, is that if you focus on speaking about a subject you’re really passionate about, you’ll never feel lost because deep down inside, you already know the material. In my case, my segments during the two day workshop revolved branding and blogging, both of which I’d been doing professionally for a long time so the conversation just flowed.

I’ve since realized that public speaking is sort of like riding a bike. The first time is scary as hell and then once you have your bearings, it gets a little easier each time. Now, I don’t think twice about it. Remember, your audience wants to relate with you. Unless you’re a newscaster, a few rough edges and surprises will add to your charm so keep it real and speak from the heart.

Your turn: Have you ever been terrified of public speaking? What did you do to overcome the fear?

You’re Awesome postcard by Sian.

The Week In Pictures: 9.26.14 | Hello From New York!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures NYC

On Monday, I flew overnight to New York and landed bright and early Tuesday morning. Since then, my days have been full of extreme contrasts. I’ve had tea and desserts, visited a metal bar, made it to a goth night (complete with smoke machines), stopped by a fashion exhibition, had breakfast at an old school diner, hung out at a tiki bar one night and a trailer park-themed one the next, had a book design meeting…and that’s just scratching the surface.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures NYC

Waking up to this view is like pure magic. I’ve visited New York probably 20 times since 2001 and I still have that feeling that anything is possible here.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures NYC

On Wednesday, I spent that afternoon having tea and desserts at Ladurée in Soho with Gala and Kat. Their back garden area is so beautiful and photogenic.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures NYC

That night, Bianca and I stopped into a bar near Wall Street with drinks categorically divided by Old Money and New Money.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures NYC

Since I last saw Gala, she’s decorated her apartment and while I dare not give everything away, these shelves looked so great that I had to share.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures NYC

One of my favorite haunts is Home Sweet Home. I love the spooky basement vibe and the collection of vintage taxidermy that’s clearly seen better days.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures NYC

I finally got to visit the Pearl Diner with Bianca. Classic old school greasy spoon breakfasts after a late night out are awesome.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures NYC

I always stop into Dean & DeLuca to take in all of their beautifully arranged food. It’s a good thing we don’t have one in Portland or else I’d be camped out there all the time.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures NYC

Last night, I went to the F.I.T. Dance and Fashion and A History of Lingerie exhibitions and it was awesome to see clothing made by designers I admire up close.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures NYC

Afterwards, things got weirdly entertaining as we stepped into Trailer Park which was themed like an old school trailer park from 50 years ago. Taxidermy, beer and soda signs, velvet paintings, Elvis memorabilia and random tchokes completely covered the walls. The menu was basically tater tots, tacos and crazy frozen concoctions with names like Kiss My Frigid Woo-Woo. Kind of amazing.

I’m signing off to join Kat and Gala for lunch, fit in a little last minute shopping at Century 21 and then I’m going out to a Bavarian restaurant for pretzels with Bianca. Like I said, the more stuff I can cram into this trip, the better!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Link Love: 9.25.14

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love

Nubby Twiglet | Jacques Dequeker

• How can you tell when a piece of writing is finished?

• What is it really like to blog about your home?

• All the comments on every single recipe blog pretty much go like this.

• What is your signature word?

• 5 unique ways to increase your blog traffic.

• Have you ever sat next to someone on an airplane that did something so disgusting that you couldn’t believe your eyes?! Well, now there’s a place to submit your photographic evidence. Behold Passenger Shaming.

• 10 foreign words that we need in English!

• You’re never too old for the internet.

• I’m hopeless at giving up sugar for good but it’s interesting to see how it affects the brain.

• A blog I’ve been enjoying a lot is Oh So Pretty. The layouts are so beautiful.

• I’ve shared these photos before but they’re just too good to not share again: sightseers throughout America in the 1970s and 80s.

• Blogger and former magazine editor Joanna Goddard shares 10 things she’s learned in her career.

• Have you seen the design concept for a five-story house that hangs off the edge of a cliff?!

• It’s so fascinating to take a look around this abandoned train station in Paris.

• Before you start writing, these four practices can get you focused.

Photo: Vogue Brazil by Jacques Dequeker.
Check out more Link Love columns right here.

Four Action-Packed Days at The Blogcademy London!

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy London

We’ve taught more classes in London than any other city (six in less than two years) so we’re always looking for unique twists to keep the atmosphere at Curtain Road Studios interesting. This time, we found it with a live scribe. It was the coolest addition to our class I’ve seen yet…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Check out our class in action! Our London students are always a lively bunch.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy London

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy London

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy London

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy London

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy London

In class, we talk at length about how important it is to be genuinely helpful. When you’re starting a blog, it’s easy to think that your blog is all about you (you’re the blogger and it’s your vision, after all). But, if you want to grow beyond a small, super-niche audience, you need to find ways to provide useful, helpful content. We have a dedicated content-focused section that opens your mind to all sorts of ideas and best of all, we always share concrete examples.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy London

On the second day of class, we show up early for those students who want some extra one-on-one feedback. This is what it usually looks like! Business questions, blogging questions, personal questions — we answer them all!

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy London

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy London

My absolute favorite section of class is the still life activity. I love to see how the students tell a story with their belongings mixed with goodie bag gifts. We go way beyond composition in this section and share ways you can tell your personal stories through images.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy London

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy London

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy London

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy London

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy London

One of the highlights of the London classes was watching our live scribe, Charlotte draw. She pulled out key points from our presentation and put visuals to our words. It was so fun to watch her in action, sketching away in the back corner.


Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy London

I’d like to give a shout-out to the sponsors who made our Blogcademy London goodie bags possible: Look Look Photo Booths for the branded photo booth, Tigerlilly Quinn for the wooden brooches and washi tape, Brolly Bucket for the candy-colored umbrellas, The London Dolls for providing false lashes, Jolly Good for the custom nail decals, Reeta Krishna for the WordPress for Beginners books, Crown and Glory for the sparkly ears, Go Promotional for the custom branded Blogcademy mugs and pens, Wraggamuffins for providing treats and snacks, XOXO Stationery for the ‘Blogcadette’ notepads, Pepper Ink Vintage for the tattoo transfers, The Bathory for the custom bath salts, Strange Case for the paper décor, Lovely Cuppa for the plans for world domination books, Mane Message for the no-snag hair ties and Hello Harriet for the tattoo transfers.




Thanks for coming along on this recap of the London classes! I’m on the road once again to teach the New York class over the weekend (one seat left!) and Washington, D.C. next weekend. Hope to see you there! -Shauna

Venue: Curtain Road Studios.
Scribe: Charlotte Thomson.
Photographer: Holly Booth.
Videographer: Lara Elliott.
Paper decor: Strange Case.

Beauty Products: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things!

Nubby Twiglet | Beauty Products: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Occasionally, I’ll mention some of the beauty products I love in posts but I wanted to compile my current must-haves here for you. Everyone has a routine and these are the products I constantly reach for day after day.

Nubby Twiglet | Beauty Products: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

1. Kate Spade Pouch: A fews weeks back, I was waiting in line at my favorite place to shop these days, Buffalo Exchange and out of the corner of my eye, I spotted this Kate Spade iPad case. Since I never seem to actually carry my iPad around, I’ve been using it to hold my basic beauty products.

2. Make Up Forever High Definition Foundation: I am pretty foundation phobic. The thought of smearing flesh-toned liquid all over my face completely grossed me out for years. I didn’t feel like I needed it so I just stayed away completely and stuck with concealer and powder. Then, when I was gearing up to film my first video segments with The Blogcademy back in February, thinking about being on camera with less than perfect skin gave me a reality check. I walked into Sephora the night before my flight and asked for a recommendation. What would look natural yet amazing on video? Their immediate answer: Make Up Forever High Definition Foundation. It worked and now I’m a convert. Unless I’m going out or getting my photo taken, I still skip the foundation on most days. But when I do need it, this is it.

3. Beauty Blender: I was a bit hesitant to spend close to 20 bucks on a makeup sponge (what?! really.) but after traveling with Gala and Kat and listening to their nonstop rave reviews, I began to give in. All I have to say is that the Beauty Blender works. The edgeless shape allows you to really get into those tricky areas around your eyes, lips and nose and blend, blend, blend.

4. Coqui Coqui Perfume: I’m still smitten with this scent. Coqui Coqui smells like vacation and is hand-blended in Tulum, Mexico. My idea of heaven in a bottle.

5. Astier de Villatte Lotion: Creme Suisse is what I reach for when I’m chained to my desk all day, feeling stressed and in need of a calming scent. This Swiss-made hand cream is clove scented and very light — it soaks in immediately. It smells like nothing else I’ve ever owned and everyone who stops by to try it falls in love with its unique scent. The minimal label is great, too.

6. The Dragontree Scrubs and Lotions: When I’m not drinking coffee, I’m probably drinking chai. So when my friend Meredith at The Dragontree sent me a bundle of products to try, I immediately gravitated towards the Chai Sugar Scrub (yes, it smells like a chai tea latte in the shower!) and the Balance Lotion which is a blend of vanilla, black pepper and cardamom. Both remind me of a crisp Fall day.


7. The Fay Farm Body Butter: When I was hanging out at Sugarbox in Vancouver, B.C. I spotted this lotion that’s handmade on Whidby Island by The Fay Farm. It’s labeled as a “body butter” because it’s so thick. I pack this when I’m traveling and use it on my hands, elbows and knees — it’s heavy so you need to use it sparingly. The coconut vanilla scent is outrageously good and I love that it’s organic and made in small batches.

8. Maybelline Mascara: I like nice department store mascara on occasion but most of the time, when I’m running out I just grab a tube from the drugstore. My pick lately has been Maybelline Pumped Up! Colossal Mascara (say that five times fast!) because it gives me mega lashes with very little effort. Someday, I’ll master applying falsies but until then, this does the trick!

9. MAC Eyeshadows: Over the last year, I’ve been streamlining my makeup arsenal big time. Really, how many eyeshadows does one woman need?! After years of experimenting, I’ve settled on two colors that I reach for every single day: MAC Amber Lights and MAC Antiqued. I use Amber Lights, a warm bronze in my crease and Antiqued, a deep bronze on the outer edge. Depending on my lip color, I can easily take this smoky bronze eye from day to night.

10. Make Up Forever Blush Powder: A girl’s gotta have a little fun, though. When I really want to make those bronze-hued eyes pop, I add a dash of Make Up Forever Blush Powder in No. 58 to the very outside crease of my eyes and a dash underneath, too. It’s a bright, saturated fuchsia and somehow works with the bronze hues. Spoiler: I can’t find it online any longer but since it’s in the photo, I wanted to make sure to mention it.

11. Diptyque Solid Perfume: When I’m traveling, I tend to leave my glass perfume bottles at home. There’s nothing worse than opening your suitcase to something that’s shattered and soaked your worldly possessions! Because of this, I keep a solid perfume in my purse. I love the Diptyue Philosykos scent which smells like fig. The scent is clean, simple and fresh and the weighty container means that it’s easier to find in the abyss of my purse.

12. AcquaCures Face Cream: I’ll admit it: I’ve never had much of a skincare routine. I keep really random hours and go from being home for a few months to being on the road for weeks at a time. It’s hard for me to stick to anything long-term. I’ve tried fancy face creams but the heavy, perfumed scents burned my eyes. Then, I discovered AcquaCures, an organic skincare line thanks to Mariah, one of its founders who came to our San Francisco Blogcademy. I’m now using the AcquaRose face cream every day and have converted both my mom and husband to the line. It smells good, works great and is reasonably priced!

13. Rodin Lip Balm: Okay, so this is a bit of a splurge but I love the Rodin lip balm. Linda Rodin has a cult following and after reading oodles of glowing reviews about her line, I took the leap with this lip balm which contains jasmine, orange flower oil, shea butter, beeswax, and castor seed oil all housed in a chic lucite container. It’s lightweight and has barely any scent so I like to use it as a base before I apply lipstick.

Nubby Twiglet | Beauty Products: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

14. Olivine Atelier Lotion: Amongst The Waves lotion smells like a day at the beach. With mostly organic ingredients and a scent inspired by Hawaii, this intoxicating scent features a mix of ocean salt, black coconut, a variety of lilies, tonka bean and Arabian sandalwood (yum). If you love vanilla but prefer something more complex, this is for you. Full disclosure: my studio designed this product!

15. Sugarpill Brushes: I have some animal hair makeup brushes from a decade ago that I still use but as I need new brushes, I’m moving towards synthetics. I love the Sugarpill brushes because they’re completely vegan but still work amazingly well.

16. MAC Lipstick: I love a good coral or tangerine-hued lipstick when I’m going out to an event but for most days, I prefer to keep things low key. I probably own a dozen nude-toned lipsticks from MAC but the best of the bunch is Kinda Sexy — it’s a bit rosy but not too pink, not too brown and not too pale. It’s just the right amount of color, super flattering and never looks overdone.

Nubby Twiglet | Beauty Products: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Your turn: What are some of your current favorite beauty products? Anything you’d recommend giving a try?

The Week In Pictures: 9.19.14

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Hi, how was your week? The highlight of mine was visiting the Mt. Angel Oktoberfest (photos below!) and hanging out at my family’s campsite. Besides that, I spent way too much time in my office (I’m getting ready for a two week trip), finally tried the Roman Candle homemade granola (two thumbs way up!) and oh yeah, celebrated my 33rd birthday! It was a good one.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Even though we’ve had scorching hot days here, the mornings are cooler and breezier. I’m starting to feel the change of seasons and in turn, throwing oversized sweaters over my sleeveless dresses. This one is brand new from Forever 21 (thanks for the gift card, dad!) and is super cozy.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

My birthday was over the weekend so I took Saturday off and visited the Oktoberfest in Mt. Angel. It’s an hour drive from Portland and every year, my family drives out and camps for three days. I just made the day trip, hitting all the food booths (homemade ice cream and corn on the cob are two must-haves) and then spent the afternoon visiting with my grandparents. The heat was pretty intense so I asked my grandma to borrow a hat…and she brought out this fringed number! Next year is the 50th anniversary so I hope to see you there!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

As I was sitting around camp, I noticed that quite a few family members were drinking beer out of vintage steins. Even though I’m not a beer drinker, I was feeling envious. After asking around, I found out that the Mt. Angel blacksmith turns into a store selling German gear during Oktoberfest and they have shelves of vintage steins! This was my pick.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Chubs likes to take off and climb to the top of our curtains. Then, he just hangs there and mocks us when we can’t reach him. I love his expression here! Priceless.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I’m off to pack my bags for New York. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Link Love: 9.18.14

Nubby Twiglet | James Elliott

• The death of adulthood in American culture.

• The difference between riches, wealth and success.

• Want to make a statement with your feet? Blue Q socks are hilarious. My picks: “Men ruin stuff” and “I have mood swings.”

• Preserved moments of historical sass. This post is everything.

• The motherlode of vintage logos.

• The difference between “I did it!” and “It was worth it.”

• The blog is dead, long live the blog: Rachel Hills’ observations about the state of blogging.

• Check out these minimalist Instagrammers.

• What do you still wish to do in 2014?

• The essential rules that most salespeople forget.

• A ghostwriter applies at a wealthy white lady’s lifestyle blog.

• 9 startling things you might not know about Bettie Page.

Photo: James Elliott.
Check out more Link Love columns right here.