Tracey Spicer truly is an inspirational figure in the Australian media landscape. Having cemented her status in the public eye as a journalist, newsreader, and television co-host, she also authored a moving autobiography – The Good Girl Stripped Bare – and co-founded Outspoken Women, a social enterprise for women in corporate environments and marginalised communities.

We’re incredibly lucky to have Tracey joining us not only as an official National Judge for the 2018 Telstra Business Awards – but also as MC at the events.

In the lead up to the National Awards dinner, Tracey took some time out of her busy schedule to discuss pivotal moments in her career, the importance of celebrating your successes, and what she’ll be looking for when it comes to judging. She even shares some tips for entrepreneurs about the best strategies for making elevator pitches.

Reflecting on her own career trajectory, Tracey acknowledged the value in embracing opportunity – even if it presents itself in the form of a challenge.

“A lot of the outstanding moments for me in my career came completely unexpectedly. For example, losing my job after working in commercial television was terrible at the time – but it ended up being a tremendous opportunity for me to diversify.”

She also acknowledges that the direction of your path can change unexpectedly – so it pays to remain adaptable. When Tracey announced she intended to investigate gender equality in Australian media in the wake of the #MeToo movement, she never could have anticipated the volume of people who reached out to her with their stories.

“I didn’t expect the overwhelming response, but it taught me to be agile, to be able to grow within myself, and to build a business and a support network around that,” she recalls.

And when it comes to building businesses, her focus as a co-founder of Outspoken Women is on giving something back.

“We’ve had the most incredible scholarship recipients come along to our classes. Women who are survivors of domestic violence who’ve had their voices stuck in their throats for so many years, and it’s incredibly heartwarming to see them by the end of the day standing proud on stage and telling their stories.”

It’s moments like these that Tracey relishes – the opportunity to acknowledge a win – before embarking on the next challenge. It’s a practice she’d like more people to embrace.

“Take a moment to celebrate even the tiniest success. Because there will be a lot of hurdles, there will be a lot of times when you’re knocked down, and if you don’t celebrate those moments you can be really ground down,” she advises.

And speaking of celebrating success, what criteria will Tracey be looking for as a judge on the big night?

“I’m going to be looking for something unique, [that is] filling a gap in the market that’s going to grow ongoing and help a lot of people.”

She also values the input of the public – and encourages you to get involved and vote for the People’s Choice Award. This year, the public are being encouraged to vote for their favourite small and medium business who were selected as winners in the recent State and Territory Telstra Business Awards.

“I’d love people from all parts of Australia with many different backgrounds to vote”.

All the National Finalists have had to do a short filmed pitch to encourage Australians to vote for them in the People’s Choice Awards.

In turn, Tracey shares some advice for making an effective elevator pitch:

  • Be concise, because people are busy.
  • Tell people what’s in it for them – especially in regards to time and money.
  • Watch your body language – keep it open and be mindful of making strong eye contact.

Vote for your favourite business as part of the People’s Choice Award on the Telstra Business Awards website.