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improve it! Podcast – Developing Teams and Leaders Through Play, Improv & Experiential Learning


Nov 4, 2020

“I’m watching your life change before my eyes. We just knew your life was changing and YOU were changing as a person. Literally nothing could be scarier (than presenting to a former President!)!” - Erin Diehl

Failed it! Fam: Do you struggle with public speaking? Does the thought of picturing the audience in their “underwear” do nothing for you? Do you automatically start sweating when speaking in front of large groups? If so, then today’s episode is for you. Listen in on one of Erin’s favorite stories from improve it!, and enjoy hearing it directly from the person who lived it - Jenna McDonnell, Client Experience Manager of improve it!

Jenna had a huge fear of public speaking and was put in quite a rare situation. In 2017, Jenna had the opportunity to speak in front of a world leader and had to majorly step outside of her comfort zone. This episode is a MUST if you would like to hear the exact thoughts that were going on in her head when meeting and presenting to *drum roll* Barack Obama, as well as some advice on how to help overcome your own fear!

*Note- there is absolutely NO discussion of politics here.*

Links from show discussion:

Failed it! Fam: If you liked today’s episode, please head over to iTunes to rate us and give us a review. Your review helps us share the #fails of the world, so we can all learn from these “gifts.” Week by week, we unwrap the stories of fails’ past and present, and we’ve got a lot more “giving” to do! Your support means the world.

About Jenna McDonnell:

Jenna McDonnell is a graduate of DePaul University, where she studied Organizational Communication and Media. Through her corporate and nonprofit roles, she has extensive experience building client and community relationships, managing events of all shapes and sizes, and bridging gaps for introverts just trying to make it in an extrovert’s world. As the Client Experience Manager at improve it!, she works closely with clients in Chicago and Atlanta to help them bring unforgettable training experiences to their teams. 

About Erin Diehl:

Erin Diehl is the founder and Chief “Yes, And” officer of improve it! and host of the failed it! Podcast. She’s a performer, facilitator and professional risk-taker who lives by the mantra, “get comfortable with the uncomfortable.” Through a series of unrelated dares, Erin has created improve it!, a unique professional development company that pushes others to laugh, learn and grow. Her work with clients such as United Airlines, PepsiCo, Groupon, Deloitte, Motorola, Walgreens, and The Obama Foundation earned her the 2014 Chicago RedEye Big Idea Award and has nominated her for the 2015-2019 Chicago Innovations Award.

This graduate from Clemson University is a former experiential marketing and recruiting professional as well as a veteran improviser from the top improvisational training programs in Chicago, including The Second City, i.O. Theater, and The Annoyance Theatre.

When she is not playing pretend or facilitating, she enjoys running by the lake and patio dinners with her husband and son, and their eight pound toy poodle, BIGG Diehl.

You can follow the failed it! Podcast on Instagram and facebook, and you can follow Erin here on Instagram. We can’t wait to connect with you online!