What drives our best work? Dafna Gold Melchior (founder of Let’s Clarify It!) believes that “We’re the happiest and most fulfilled when our work in the world is at the intersection where what we love meets our superpower.” Specifically, helping others toward crystal clear expression and collaboration.
Coming to you from Whidbey Island, Washington this is Stories From Women Who Walk. You’ll recognize yourself in these true-life stories from women who are walking their lives while their lives walk them and the lasting difference these journeys have made. I’m your host, Diane Wyzga.
Today my guest Dafna Gold Melchior – podcaster, blogger, and founder of Let’s Clarify It! – who’s joining us from Jerusalem, Israel. Dafna is a Clarifier. As a clarifier Dafna teaches researchers and entrepreneurs (or “ResearchPreneurs” as she calls them) how to sharpen their message and communicate with clarity so they are prepared to clearly and concisely speak about the value of their work to high stakes audiences. What helps drive this mission? Dafna’s belief that “We’re the happiest and most fulfilled when our work in the world is at the intersection where what we love meets our superpower.” For Dafna it means helping others toward crystal clear expression and collaboration. Welcome to the podcast, Dafna!
00:00 to 1:56 Intro
1:37 to 6:20 Start From Where You Are
When we talked earlier you mentioned The Israel National Trail. I understand that the fellow who was inspired to create this national trail, Avraham Tamir, had himself hiked the Appalachian Trail on the East Coast of the US. If I met up with you there what’s the first thing I’d notice?
- Visiting Israel is a matter of when!
- In a very very small country we are very diverse, the scenery changes quickly and significantly
- You will meet a mosaic of people – a lot of diversity
And if we had some time to walk along together what might I get to know about you?
- Dafna loves hiking!
- Like the host, from a large family: 2nd of 7 children, close to siblings, close to parents, married into big family, and also has family of 4 children
- Family is core component of Dafna’s life
- Host is curious about the ways in which the culture which is influenced by family has further influenced Dafna’s life
- Dafna generationally had friends with/without career moms
- Knew from a young age that she wanted to be a professional and be a mom; but where’s the balance? Is a struggle
- Dafna’s original aspirations were different: expectations versus reality
Tell us more about that:
6:20 to 12:07 The Early Israeli Experience
- Moved from USA to Israel at age 7 and quite excited as a Jew and Zionist
- Dafna told family she would be an officer in IDF (Israeli Defense Forces); how did she know that early on? No idea!
- IDF military service is compulsory for men and women in Israel
- Dafna’s professional aspirations: a singer; special ed teacher; by High School had need to serve by connecting them with one another and communication so she could be Israel’s Ambassador to United Nations
- What did she mean? Being a proud representative, loved diversity, travel, meeting people
- Speaks French, literary Arabic, English and Hebrew
- Collaboration is a key theme in Dafna’s life
- Host suggests that the under-current of life: community, bringing people together, commonality and similarity is a river under her life from beginning
- Believes she always an inter-disciplinarian; what’s wrong with me? A little bit of this and that and also other things
- Dafna’s birthday parties looked like an affirmative action committee
- Host suggests that bringing people together who might be of interest to each other when someone (Dafna) brings them together and is still doing
12:07 to 16:40 Life Choice Gets Complicated: Professional Or….?
- Graduated high school, enrolled in Army, became an officer, married, went to university for political science
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs was attractive but family was much more so
- The price people pay depending on their professional choices
- Big decision: how to take partner and family into account
- Ever since then been trying to reconnect with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs job description without going away
- Her road was re-directed to more communications
- Host suggests that these are awarenesses and understandings we don’t come to easily or lightly
- Over 20 years sees the unfolding, the reflecting, the thru-line and happy with the journey
16:40 to 23:05 “Clarify the message to amplify the impact.”
You say that: “Many people aren’t aware of the assumptions they make regarding what’s known to others about their disciplinary-specific information. As a result, Dafna chose to specialize in message sharpening with entrepreneurs and academic researchers, helping them craft and articulate their messaging, making their professional information accessible to their specific target audience.”
Q: Would you walk us through the conception and design of Let’s Clarify It! What was the spark that got you started in this direction?
- Spark began with not submitting the application to Foreign Ministry Affairs job
- First job was the best! She became an assistant spokesperson for find this STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math)
- Journalist Dafna knew encouraged her to apply as assistant
- Was taught so much!
- Encountered astrophysicists up close and personal
- Learned the need to bridge the gap between the brilliant scientific minds to those who need to understand/comprehend the work, the value of it, the capital investments
- Learned how to write a press release, host a delegation, and more about communication
- Discovered the thru-line and for 20 years has helped people in X explain to people in Y: what do you do, why is it important, what does it have to do with what I do
- Everything Dafna has been doing led to this particular moment in time where she can serve as The Clarifier
- Host suggests that Dafna’s “Ah-Ha!” with such delight is the prize at the end of the 20-year road
23:05 to 26:50 Working With Clients to Get Them to See
Q: How do you work with your clients to get them to “see.” “I gently help them become aware of where there may be comprehension and interpretation gaps using a metaphoric light purple highlighter marker so that they can communicate more clearly and effectively with their audiences.”
- Over time Dafna built a data base of relevant analogies and metaphors: What is it like – What does this – Who is it for – What is it for?
- What is a ResearchPreneur: a term coined by another professional to explain the evolving science/research position into entrepreneur position
- Who is it for and what is it for: what if the scientist needs to pitch an idea to an investor? Emphasize business model as well as science
- Dafna uses 1 field to explain an unfamiliar but perhaps related field with a medical example and drug delivery for cancer
- Compare and contrast: it’s like this
- Dafna also teaches that verbal communication is assisted, upgraded and made clearer with body language
23:50 to 28:45 High Stakes Public Speaking
- The preparation for high-stakes public speaking opportunity also includes clarifying who it’s for and what it’s for
- Funding and grants are key to carrying out next X years of research – constant grant application and funding searches
- Money helps the research and adds to the prestige of the researcher’s university
- What if the researcher received a charitable gift and needs to speak about the gift and their research field in ways the audience can understand
- Reaching the right investor and landing in the right fund folder can be the difference between success and not: launch, scale, and develop the product
28:45 to 33:58 This Is Like That
- Host suggests that comprehension and interpretation gaps require a wealth of examples relying on metaphors
- The Big Bang Theory television series was a way to explain the characters, their work, their language
- Dafna starts with analogy to get her clients to translate language of their research: this is like that
- Once their message is sharpened, then what?
- They are ready to hone their presentation and delivery skills for any pitch, conference or high stakes opportunity
Q: Where did you experience frustration as you were building this idea?
- The frustration – if at all – is a matter of being self-employed and finding the right projects (long term versus short term)
- Her work is never boring
- Thrilling and privileged to work with very smart people
- Nothing is wrong with me! Something is wrong with using people’s one amazing life in a boring static way
- COVID may have kicked open the door to more self-employment
- What is common to this self-employed world: a lot of time is invested in building trust/relationship; therefore, how to scale the work is productS and serviceS so when the initial project naturally concludes there is more business for you
- To be sustainable you might need to create options such as retainers; other longer-term projects
- Dafna’s work is very rewarding and loves working one-on-one with the researchers!
- The administration and logistics is something a solopreneur needs to be aware of
33:58 to 36:00 How Do Your Clients Find You? -> Join Us Next Week Thursday 15th April 2021 For Part 2!
Here we are, at the end of the road but not the journey. Thank you for listening to Part 1 of this episode of Stories From Women Who Walk with your host Diane Wyzga and my guest Dafna Gold Melchior, noted podcaster, blogger, message clarifier, and founder of Let’s Clarify It, a communication clarifying company with global aspirations based in Jerusalem, Israel. Join us next week for Part 2 where we get to hear more about Dafna’s bold shift into her professional aspirations, her tiips for entrepreneurs and her vision of how clearer communication can help us all. Please take a moment to check out Dafna’s website and podcast to learn more and perhaps work together. All links to social media are in the Episode Notes.
You’re also invited to check out over 300 episodes of Stories From Women Who Walk found on Simplecast or your favorite podcast platform. This is the place to thrive together. Come for the stories – stay for the magic. Speaking of magic, I hope you’ll subscribe, follow, share a nice shout-out on your social media or podcast channel of choice, and join us next time! You will have wonderful company as we walk our lives together.
Many people aren’t aware of the assumptions they make regarding what’s known to others about their disciplinary-specific information. I gently help them become aware of where there may be comprehension and interpretation gaps, using a metaphoric light purple highlighter marker, so that they can communicate more clearly and effectively with their audiences.
I specialize in message sharpening with entrepreneurs and academic researchers, helping to craft and articulate their messaging, making their professional information accessible to their specific target audience. Once the message is sharp, they are ready to hone their presentation and delivery skills for any pitch, conference or high stakes opportunity.
As a connector, I love introducing people who could be of interest to one another.
I grew up in the US then in Israel, served as an officer in the IDF and studied Communications and Political Science at Haifa University and Conflict Research at Hebrew University. I have served as a Spokesperson, Public Relations, and Marketing professional for the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, the Israel Democracy Institute, JDC Meyers Brookdale Institute, the Jerusalem International YMCA and AnyClip.
Since 2014, I’ve been a partner in Message Experts where I leverage my experience to help a wide range of organizations and individuals improve their messages and presentation skills. I work with Israeli and international academic institutions, government ministries, companies, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
I am extraordinarily bilingual in English & Hebrew.
How to Stay in Touch With Dafna:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dafna.melchior/
- LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/dafna-gold-melchior-74a63616
- Website: Let’s Clarify It: https://www.letsclarify.it/