Members Spotlight: Barbara Moynihan
by Alison Myles
Barbara Moynihan, Managing Director of On Your Feet.
- I am founder and MD of On Your Feet, the presentations and pitch training company.
- In my early career I had worked in Allied Irish Banks – mainly in Branch banking. In branch banking you got to meet a fantastic variety of people – you never knew who was going to walk in the door next!
- I still have this fantastic variety of people in my work world at On Your Feet and this is one of the things I really love about what I do now. No two days are ever the same. I could be working with a senior executive who is preparing to speak at a conference, or an energetic group of sales people or a cohort of graduates on an internship with a professional organisation. Probably the most unusual presentations coaching situation I found myself in, was on a Skype coaching session with a tap dancer in New York. He was preparing to speak at a TEDx event in Dublin. The combination of him speaking and dancing via Skype, is something I certainly will never forget.
- I was never particularly academic. While I don’t have a degree, I did study the psychology of interpersonal communications in UCD. The main thing I remember from this course was the lecturer telling us that in order to have good interpersonal skills, we needed to be ‘fascinated’ in others. I am naturally fascinated in others, some might call me nosey, I prefer to call it fascinated! Having this fascination in people and getting a great buzz from meeting different people makes my job the ideal one for me!
- I set up the business in 2010 – slap bang in the depths of the recession. It was incredibly tough. I remember sitting at my kitchen table (no office in those days!) questioning why I had ever had the bright idea to set up my own business. The best thing I did at that point was to ask for advice and help from others who knew more than me. This is advice I would share with others. When the going gets tough – go and get help. From year 2 of the business I have always had a mentor or business coach. Everyone needs someone to support them, in tough times and even when things are not so tough. I have a tendency to procrastinate – a lot! If I didn’t have my business coach to motivate and challenge me – I definitely would not have the business I have today.
- In terms of being a successful business professional I think there are 3 things to keep to the front of your mind.
Firstly, make sure you keep to, and aim to exceed, your original standards. Always objectively critique yourself and look at how you can improve on processes and your service to your clients.
Secondly, ensure the business can run without you. Make sure your systems and operations are documented and that you have someone else who can deal with all aspects of the business.
Thirdly, take time out to properly recharge the batteries. That means no emails, no phone, and definitely no laptop when you are on holidays. This summer I am taking almost 4 weeks off, something I have never done since setting up On Your Feet. I expect to float into the first IIBN meeting after the summer!
- My best memories of IIBN are definitely of when I attended the Conference a few years ago in London. It was a really successful conference for me on both personally and professionally. There were wonderful speakers, we had great craic and I made contact with an IIBN member who introduced me as a supplier to their company. Three years on, I am still doing business with this IIBN member.
- I remember reading a book that was not a business book, but it has been a huge influence on me both professionally and personally. It was called “Hannah’s Shoes”. While the story was very sad, the message from the book was very positive. The book was about a family who lost a child to cancer. After their daughter passed away, the parents of the child agonised about every decision they had made along the journey in terms of their daughter’s treatment. They came to the realisation that at every point, they made the best decision – based on what they knew at that point in time. Therefore, they had no regrets. I apply this whenever I catch myself saying “I should have …. “.
- In my free time I absolutely adore to get out on my bicycle. On a Saturday morning, you will catch me up around the hills of Enniskerry, with a bunch of other ladies in lycra. Although, if the truth be told – you are probably more likely to catch us in the coffee shop than on the hills! During my 4 weeks break this summer I have cycling trips planned in the UK and in Italy. So, in September I hope to be completely recharged and fitting fit!