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Diana Vitan is a 32 year-old Romanian public speaker and the owner of Diana Vitan Consulting & Training, a company specializing in personal and business development programs. At the end of 2012, she became the first woman to win the Best Public Speaker Award in Romania, running against an all-men competition made up of experienced speakers.
Click here to view the first part of this interview.
Toonari Post (TP): How do male public speakers react to you?
Diana Vitan (DV): Men react the way anyone does: If they didn’t react, they wouldn’t be men, right? I’m just kidding. Actually, I wouldn’t divide this one up by sexes. There are people who know how to win by losing with grace and people who are willing to lose by winning dirty, it all depends on what you choose.
I chose to take the positive out of each experience and to enjoy each plus. I remember the movie ‘The Pursuit of Happyness‘ when Will Smith’s character told his son, “Don’t ever let anyone tell you what you can’t do. Not even me!”
The first four speakers designated by the online poll were all named public speaking champions, but I would have given this distinction to the entire top fifteen. They’re all strong names that have helped shape Romanian business development, and it’s an honor for me to be the lady in this extraordinary group. We’re all winners.
TP: Are you a trendsetter for Romanian women?
DV: Fortunately, there are many female public speakers in Romania, so I’m not. I may have more experience and I am unique because of the structure of my activity, because I’ve spoken in front of more than 50,000 people and I’ve worked with big names such as Paul Martinelli, Roddy Galbraith and Christian Simpson.
I also stand out by having founded one of the first personal development schools in Romania and by running a program called “Keep your head up!” the first one of its kind in the country. But I wish to support any woman who resonates with me and with my speaking style and, at the same time, I’d like to take part in events organized by other women public speakers in order to learn new things.
TP: Paul Martinelli, one of the most renowned public speakers in the world, became your coach. How did that happen?
DV: Yes, I am Paul’s only apprentice in Europe and I’m proud of it. Furthermore, after two years of apprenticeship, I am his teaching partner in Europe. It first happened when I started leading the personal development school that I mentioned. I teamed up with my colleagues, Milan Menghesi and Sorin Popa and we asked him to participate, and he said yes!
He saw me on the stage and told me he’d like to see me speak in front of a smaller group (20-30 people), speaking on a subject of his choice, which I did. And he told me I was part of the two percent of the native public speakers in the world. For me, this was a huge compliment and a yes after a huge amount of work. What followed was a period of two years of online collaboration five days a week, and me appearing on stage with him for the next six times he came to Romania, as well as working with him on his “Power Principles” in London where I met Roddy Galbraith and Christian Simpson.
TP: Was it easy to be taught by Mr. Martinelli?
DV: I am proud to have learned from a master of this caliber. Paul is an extraordinary friend and a tough teacher, as well as an exceptional motivator. During our “scrambling eggs” sessions, as he called his private coaching, I felt like giving up many times, but I realized it was just his way of making me become more driven. I am certain that no Romanian or European school could have given me the kind of intensity that his teachings gave me.
I learned to discover myself, to be a professional and to educate others. The success of my projects shows that his plan worked. My style, which was neither European nor Balkan, challenged him to “break me” and to teach a student who thought she knew it all, the most important lesson of all: to learn to forget, and then to learn again. After being a tough teacher, Paul has remained a good friend and a role model who is proud of my every accomplishment.
TP: What do you have in store for this year?
DV: For 2013 I have some surprises for the Romanian public! That is all I want to let you in on! Because the Romanian public deserves surprises and because we wouldn’t exist without them, without a public that takes us in, loves us and follows us!
Image Courtesy : Diana Vitan