Spotlight: John Epstein

WRITTEN November 20, 2019 Author: John Epstein

In my late twenties, fear stalled me in my work. Now I have the career of my dreams doing the very thing that caused me the most anxiety! 

It was the all-consuming fear of speaking before groups, large or small, that held me back. That stress of making presentations was dispiriting and frustrating. I had to do something about it. 

I started volunteering to give presentations at work and speaking up at meetings instead of sitting silently. (Oh, if only Improving Communications had been in business back then!) With practice and coaching, fear slowly gave way to courage. 

Emboldened, I went into business-to-business sales. I spent almost two decades doing that, working first as an independent contractor and then, for a publicly-traded company. Client presentations – something I would have dreaded in the past – became something to get to instead of something to get through.

A chance meeting at a dinner party led to the end of my sales career. (Little did I know at the time that the best part of my career was about to begin.) The woman seated next to me at dinner worked in the learning and development department at Nielsen (popularly known as the TV ratings company). She said that her company was looking to hire a sales training manager. The position sounded intriguing, so I applied. 

I was hired less than six weeks later. 

John Epstein, that person who was so terrified to speak in front of people, was tasked with delivering sales and negotiation training programs to Nielsen associates across the globe!

My manager even asked me to do public speaking training! Go figure! 

After nine wonderful years there, it was time for a change. As luck (preparedness meeting opportunity) would have it, Improving Communications was growing and needed another facilitator.

I am now an Improving Communications (IC) team member and have the privilege of teaching their Public Speaking (!), Sales & Negotiation, and Leadership & Management Development classes. 

The IC team is an experienced group of learning and development professionals.  We have complementary abilities and learn from one another. Ideas and best practices are shared freely. Because of this, we sharpen each others’ skills.

Improving Communications is also more than just a company. Our families go to sporting events and dinners. We enjoy spending time together! Our clients benefit from working with a company that is more than the sum of its parts.

Helping people develop their skills and achieve their dreams is a career a younger John Epstein could never have imagined. It turned out to be the best career I could ever hope for. 

Other IC Member Stories:

Spotlight: Jen Glantz

Spotlight: Mark Fogel

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