Speaker Sister Spotlight: JESS RODRIGUEZ

Written by the Mic Drop Workshop Team

Meet Sandy Spady, founder of Women with Voices, an empowerment group that gathers a collective of women together to uplift, network, and share their true stories. Sandy joined Mic Drop Workshop to empower women to follow their dreams in life no matter their age. “We strive to produce organic connections between our members and community members. Our community consists of all ages, backgrounds, and stories that unite a diverse collective. Together we are strong.”

What inspired you to pursue public speaking? 

The first rule you learn in improv comedy is the concept of ‘yes, and…’. It means you have to accept whatever happens (yes) then find a way to build on it (and). By doing this, you allow the scene to go beyond the borders of ‘usual.’

You create space for the unexpected and begin to experience what happens when you work with the mindset of endless possibility.

The concept that started as a foundation as an actor has transformed into a personal core value that has influenced my approach as a sales trainer, leader, and entrepreneur.

After experiencing the positive impact these principles had on my life, I was inspired to share them to help others grow personally and professionally.

as a public speaker, Who is your main audience?

Corporations / Sales Teams, Multi-Family Groups, Students, Women

What is a struggle you’ve encountered as a thought leader and how did you overcome it?

The biggest struggle I’ve encountered as a female thought leader has been the internal battle of doubt. When you step out to do something that most people are not doing or in a way that most people aren’t, you wonder if you are on the right path. However, I’ve learned that personal doubt does not make a difference – action is what makes a difference.

What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far in your public speaking career?

“When I decided to give up my career in acting, I went in to the multi-family housing industry as a leasing agent. It was a difficult transition because I truly believed I was meant to entertain people and thought my new career would not allow for that. But I focused on finding ways to incorporate my skills while learning as much as I could about sales, leadership, and the industry.

Ten years later and about 3 months into my speaking career, I booked my first paid speaking event where I would be using the principles of improv to help sales teams improve their skills.

The event was for a multi-family conference.

When I received the email that I had been booked, I was at the park with my kids. I stood by the slide and cried tears or joy, excitement, and gratitude. Everything I had done lead me to that point and I’ve never been so proud of myself.

What is a speaking career goal are you currently working towards and how is it going?

My website was officially launched last week! I’m currently working on preparing for two upcoming events, submitting for future events, and building my network.

What is something you love about speaking?

I love seeing and feeling the immediate response from an audience! There is nothing better than connecting with a group of people through stories.

What tip do you have for people who want to write or speak?

Fake it till you master it! Everything you do – your speech, your book, your brand, your website – will always a work in progress. If you wait until you have mastered it all, you will never get started. Make a plan, set goals, and get to work.

What advice would you give your 10-year-old self?

I would tell my 10 year old self to keep going – to keep shining bright, doing good work, and dreaming big.

Oh! And I would tell her all about leave-in conditioner. Those curls used to get crazy!

Follow along with Jess’s journey here.

For more inspiration from fellow Speaker Sisters, join Mic Drop Workshop and get instant access to our private community of over 1,600 women pursuing their own speaking & writing goals.

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