Inspiring the Ordinary Through Extraordinary Stories
What do you get when you combine strong women with humble backgrounds sharing inspiring stories?
You get, Women Talk, a unique speaker series where the multi-level value it provides only gets greater as you peel away the layers.
On the outside, Brigitte Lessard-Deyell, the founder of the event, will tell you thoughtfully it’s about “ordinary women sharing extraordinary stories.” However, the more you talk with the energetic owner of Woman talk the more you realize it’s about so much more.
From the moment she first dipped her toes into the Women Talk water back in 2000 to today the benefits have been seemingly endless.
This TED Talk style event features 20 minute talks that are about sharing uplifting tales of overcoming obstacles.They strive to make a difference by letting the speakers share their challenges, struggles and all lessons they learned throughout.
“It‘s very inspiring and somewhat spiritual in a way. Because people talk about very personal stories and we never speak about it from a victim’s perspective. It’s always ‘this happened to me, I own it, I stand on it, and now I use it to make myself better.’”
The Evolution Of A Passion
Being an extremely passionate person you would think an inspiring idea like Women Talk would have instantly came to her but it didn’t. Instead, it was a journey that started from Brigitte’s desire to give back to her community through another business she owns, sportsbras.ca.
She attended a couple of events where she was asked to talk about bras which she called ‘Boob Talk!’
It was in these initial ‘Boob Talk’ events where the first seed for Women Talk was planted. Brigitte realized that she loved public speaking and found value in watching and learning from others. The fun experience attached itself to Brigitte’s subconscious enough to wake her up in the middle of the night with her big idea.
“One night at about 3:00 in the morning it woke me up and I thought, ‘Ah, Women Talk!”
Once she secured the name WomenTalk.ca the idea started to take shape and launch from there.
It started as an annual event throughout the first few years before Brigitte realized she could expand it. A very thoughtful & purposeful person, it was important that in those early events the proceeds went to charity and from the start 100% of them went to the YWCA.
As great as an impact the initial events had on the community Brigitte had a bigger vision in mind. She decided to turn Women Talk into a more sustainable business model to extend its reach and longevity.
Confident she was onto something Brigitte knew the event could grow across the province, the country, North America and even beyond. First, however, there was a trial and error period of the event.
The early stages were all about what did or didn’t work at the events so she could make the necessary changes for success. The more information she had laid more of a foundation for the next event and the evolution has continued ever since.
While extending the reach of the events into other cities Women Talk continues steady growth and has started to open more locations. This powerful platform for women to share their personal experiences is showing no signs of slowing down.
Along with the recent launches, Women Talk hosted its first large convention. A fun filled weekend that consisted of 15 speakers, a white party, a retro party and a comedian.
“We talk about serious topics but I always try to have fun. You gotta laugh in life. No matter what has happened to you, you can find something funny about it.”
Finding Deeper Meaning With Expansion
Brigitte knew the true value of the Women Talk comes from the inspiring stories told during each event. She wanted to reach more people and maybe even impact those who couldn’t get to one. With this mission in mind, she decided to release a book.
‘When Women Talk: Empowering Each Other One Story at a Time’ is an anthology piece of 30 talks from women telling their inspiring stories.
Now through the book, the many events & the conference, Women Talk positively touches women’s lives from all over. But, throughout the process Brigitte has found that one of the biggest benefits of everything is the extreme value it provides her. After starting Women Talk she realized that all of sudden she had these what she lovingly calls “woo-woo friends.”
“They’ve opened my mind up to so many incredible things.”
It was during the production of the book when it struck Brigitte how powerful Women Talk is. One of the biggest moments for the grateful founder was figuring out the healing aspect it had on people. During the process of researching and writing each story really made Brigitte sit back marvel at how much Women has affected her life and everybody elses that been a part of this adventure.
“Many lives have been changed because women come and share.”
Through the power of storytelling, Women Talk has impacted lives and empowered women to make positive change. The passion to grow and extend Women Talk’s reach keeps Brigitte humble but excited to see the next evolution of the event without forgetting the purpose behind it.
“It’s definitely empowering women and empowering women in a different way.”
Watch the full story here: