An international TV and radio presenter, international speaker and moderator with over 10 years of experience, Anna Roberts has interviewed CEOs, government leaders and award winning athletes. In 2015, she launched Nudge, a communications advisory focusing on public speaking and media training. Her belief is that anyone should have the ability to address an audience but you need to approach a speech or presentation it as you would a marathon; break it down step by step, train daily for muscle memory and build a support network around you.
With a focus on channeling her expertise to help career oriented women, she also founded imannaroberts.com earlier this year to meet a growing gap in the market. Having read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean in years earlier, she felt that it didn’t address the way in which women were being raised and educated differently to men and therefore were always a step or two behind their male counterparts when they finally got the seat at the board room table. She creates videos and podcasts, and curates articles from around the world.
Anna has spoken and contributed to leading events and publications in the region and has called Dubai home for the past 22 years, but is still a proud New Zealander. To give you an insight into how women’s voices are creating change, we sat down with Anna Roberts to learn more about her success as an entrepreneur.
- What did you eat for breakfast? (This helps people relate to you–plus it’s fun to know.)
Scrambled eggs, orange juice and black coffee!
- What’s your favorite sport or exercise?
Long walks; it’s good medicine to work things out in my head, daydream new ideas and keep healthy.
- What inspired you to start your business? Where did you start and where are you now?
I was inspired by all the guests that used to say “I could never do what you do!” when I was a full time newsreader and radio presenter. I realized, that although I had been given great training in New Zealand it was my hard work and the “10,000 hours” I put in my job that accelerated me into the position I was in at 28. With my success I wanted to give back more to people and be able to have a job that I could travel with and so my public speaking and media training advisory, Nudge, was born! That was a year ago and I haven’t looked back since.
- How large is your business? Please share the size of team, the number of customers, or something that gives us a sense of where you are today.
In the past year I haven’t employed anyone else full time so I am still the only person behind Nudge but I do outsource a lot of the roles I can’t do to other freelancers or consultants – digital, accounts, etc. In the last year I’ve worked with the likes of the BBC, ITP Publishing and Standard Chartered throughout the region, as well as one-on-one with clients in Dubai. I am also in the process of establishing my online training platform to reach more people in a cost-effective way.
- What do you see as challenges for you and your business? Is there something you need to grow your business you’d like to bring up?
The challenge is takin goals one step at a time and working within my means. It’s very easy to get carried away with progress and scaling, reach and capacity so that I can deliver the best service to my clients and they continue to have the best outcome.
- Tell us a story about a success in your business or a mistake you overcame that made you proud of yourself, or more confident.
I was really pleased with myself when I hosted my first open public speaking workshop just after I launched Nudge. Having the idea for the curriculum, creating my first training manual and teaching that to my first group was a huge success and cleared out any doubt in my mind about my abilities and how much people wanted to hear my knowledge and learn from it.
- What about your business matters most deeply to you? How does it engage your values?
Being transparent and honest. I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur or businesswoman when I started, I just wanted to share my knowledge with others. As the first year of being in business progressed I realised that I can’t be anyone but myself and that comes across in trainings and the more I connect with my clients, the more they are able to achieve after our sessions.
- Who is the entrepreneur you admire most right now? Why does s/he inspire you?
Gary Veynerchuk – because he’s all about getting things done.
- As a child, who was your role model?
- What’s the best and the worst thing about being a female founder?
The best thing is knowing I have control of my future, I am financially independent and I’m helping other people have better lives. The worst is … nothing, to be honest.
- What is the best advice you ever received, and from whom?
It was my mentor, Mick Todd from 2B limitless in Dubai, who said “Be urgent, be present.” Act with urgency, put boundaries around your time and be present in the moment to make the most of your time with loved ones.