Natasha Fisher’s public speaking skills are taking her around the world.
In September last year, the Sinclair Park resident represented JCI Winnipeg in the Effective Speaking Competition at the JCI Canada National Convention in Quebec City.
JCI (Junior Chamber International) is a worldwide non-profit leadership development organization of people aged 18 to 40.
Winning the national competition, Fisher then represented JCI Canada at the JCI Conference of the Americas in Medellín, Colombia from April 23 to 26. Once again taking top spot, Fisher will now be representing the Americas at the JCI World Congress in Leipzig, Germany in November.
In Colombia, Fisher had to speak to the topics "Creating solutions to community challenges can only be achieved by first understanding the root cause of the challenge" and "Active citizens lead their communities with their actions and not their words".
"I told the story about Craig Kielburger (Canadian activist for children rights) and Free the Children, about how he started to take action when he read an article about a child who was sold into bonded labour by his own family to pay off a debt," said Fisher, 38, JCI Winnipeg’s vice-president of membership.
"He escaped and worked to stop child slavery around the world before being murdered at the age of 12. Craig himself was 12 when he read this article, so I talked about that story."
Fisher, who works as an account executive at Morneau Shepell, said Colombia was a wonderful experience, and one she never thought she’d have.
"I never thought I’d go to Colombia," Fisher said. "I always wanted to see South America, but I just never thought I’d have the opportunity and now I go on to represent Winnipeg, Canada and the Americas in Germany. It’s still a little surreal for me, but it’s a huge opportunity and very exciting to make a mark on the world like that."
Fisher said she joined JCI to meet new people and because of the organization’s relationship with the United Nations.
"That affiliation with the UN, JCI does a lot of work with Nothing But Nets, raising money to donate bed nets to malaria-infected countries, so that’s how I got started and then I just took a couple workshops for effective speaking," Fisher said.
"I thought I’d give it a try. I wasn’t sure how far it would take me. At each level I thought ‘OK, I want to get to Quebec’ and then ‘OK, I want to get to Colombia’ and then all I was focused on was getting to Germany. That visualization if you will."
Now that Fisher is an old pro at public speaking, she’s able to coach JCI Winnipeg’s next representative in the Effective Speaking Competition, as the organization hosted its local competition on Sun., May 25.
"I’m looking forward to mentoring and giving helpful hints to the next person," Fisher said.