We need to talk about that crow on your shoulder.

Imagine you’re TAKING THE STAGE – it could be a speech, a big meeting, or a presentation to an important client.

Episode 94 - Taking the Stage - About That Crow - podium image

Image by jgroup from Getty Images

You’re prepared. You did your research. You’ve rehearsed. But you still hear it: that incessant CROW, cackling in your ear: 

“You’re not good enough.”
“You can’t do this.”
“Don’t speak up.”


Does this sound familiar? It’s called imposter syndrome, and we’ve all been there – myself included!

In this week’s Talk About Talk episode, I spoke with communication expert Judith Humphrey about how to confront that “crow,” and A LOT more.

Episode 94 - Taking the Stage - About That Crow - Judith Humphrey
Judith Humphrey

Judith and I met last year on LinkedIn. Eventually, we realized we live very close to each other in Toronto! One day, she hand-delivered to me her amazing book, “Taking the Stage.” Soon after, I invited her out for lunch.

Episode 94 - Taking the Stage - About That Crow - Taking the Stage by Judith Humphrey


Have you met YOUR “Career Doppelgänger”?

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone when they take the words out of your mouth? And then vice versa? But then you also LEARN from her? It’s mind-blowing! 🤯

Of course, I had to ask Judith if I could interview her for a TalkAboutTalk podcast episode. That one episode became two. In part 1 you’ll learn how to:

1️⃣ confront that CROW!
2️⃣ demonstrate Leadership Potential
3️⃣ leverage the “Leaders’ Script” framewor

My Favourite New Metaphor: THE CROW

In Judith’s book, “Taking the Stage,” she describes imposter syndrome as our inner crow, cackling away, telling us we aren’t good enough to speak up.


Episode 94 - Taking the Stage - About That Crow - Image of a crow on a branch
Image by CristinaGlebova from Unsplash

Contrary to what the crow on our shoulder has to say, we do deserve to speak up and be heard! Fortunately, Judith offers advice for counteracting our inner crow:

  1. Recognize the crow is NOT ME – See it for what it is. It’s not me. It’s not real. Importantly, it does not truly reflect my capabilities. 
  2. PREPARE to communicate effectively – Take time to write it down, learn it, rehearse it. The crow can’t argue with preparation!
  3. TALK BACK to the crow – Judith’s metaphor reminded me of something I read in Ethan Kross’s book, “Chatter.” He talks about using “distanced self-talk” to create distance between yourself and your self-talk. One way to do this is to imagine you’re offering advice to a friend in a similar situation.  Another way could be to talk back to that voice!


Episode 94 - Taking the Stage - About That Crow - Quote, Ethan Kross

Use “distanced self-talk” to swat that crow away off your shoulder. You could say something like:

“Andrea, are you really going to listen to that crow?
Come on. You know you’re prepared.
You got this!”



Judith also encourages us to proactively seek opportunities to shine

These opportunities to shine can be big or small, formal or informal, planned or IMPROMPTU:

Episode 94 - Taking the Stage - About That Crow - Impromptu book


✨ Giving a big speech at a conference

✨ Leading a high profile project

✨ Volunteering to do something, instead of waiting to be asked

✨ Speaking up at least once in every meeting you attend

✨ Contributing to casual conversations 

✨ Proactively asking for “a moment of someone’s time” to discuss something important to you.


Episode 94 - Taking the Stage - About That Crow - quote from Judith Humphrey


That’s it for this week. A huge thank you to Judith. You inspire me!

I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

Enjoy the podcast!

Have a great week.

Talk soon,

Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach