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Galina Panina

Galina Panina

Coach of Public Speaking and Director PR&GR Leroy Merlin (Russia)

Personality: Muse

I was born to be Muse. This is my very career, my talent, and my passion. However, I am afraid that my understanding of the role of a Muse could be very different from what people usually think  about, when they hear the word “Muse”.

For some reason, the majority of people imagine a Muse as a female, and even more – a female towards a male. Let me bring Ancient Greeks in support of my own understanding and claim that:

  • • A Muse is not about femininity, it is a functional definition.
  • • A Muse is supposed to inspire and influence, not to comfort or support. A Muse is mostly about being outside-your-comfort-zone, rather than being left at peace.

People are creatures who do not feel the need to create if they are healthy or wealthy, they do not try to compose or paint when they are well-loved, and they never try to write if they are content or happy. Joan Rowling had to go through a divorce, Beethoven had to lose his hearing, and Paganini had to be really ill and barely keeping his teeth, in order to be able to reach the top of their personal hill of genius.

Ancient Greeks say that a Muse is the one who leads the composition and performance of music. And what is music? It can be both art and science (yes, science!), so we can conclude that the Muse of History or Astronomy is equal to the Muse of Dance.

To be a Muse is to create a situation which will become an impulse for others, an inspiration to change, to create, to compose. In order to accomplish this goal, the Muse has to be quite educated, broad-minded and egocentric. A bright personality, high sensitivity and constant efforts on self-development are obligatory. Otherwise, she just turns into a mean creature with an empty heart.

  • • A Muse means being vulnerable to genius – how else would she be able to feel the potential in other persons or situations?
  • • A Muse means being fresh and young – how else would she be able to inspire?
  • • A Muse means being strong – remember, a Muse is a spring of inspiration, so she has to be strong and fresh.
  • • A Muse is the one who gives without losing. She is full of feelings without slipping into relationships – otherwise there is a risk to break her own heart, lose too much energy and turn into a weak, useless being.

Is it harsh? Yes. Is it possible? Yes.
But it is a VERY difficult and intense life. Just like working in the field of medicine, arts or even in the army – a never-ending journey, a never-ending story, in real service to humans.

My own personal Muse I felt when I started my development. I have graduated from the Music school and my whole life I have been training myself in singing, dancing, playing the piano, the violin and recently – even the drums. I see all these activities as a necessary fitness for a real Muse – we have to refresh our own skills to produce more dopamine, happiness and nurture ours and other people’s psychological and mental health.

I remember when I was 13 I read “Thais from Athens” by the Russian historian Vladimir Ephremov. Thais was a hetaera – a Muse for artists, the only class of women in Ancient Greece who were allowed to live independently and practice free love. At my age, I was simply shocked by a much more important thing for me – Thais had learned all possible religions and cults around, she danced and played music, she understood art and the best artists gathered in her house and devoted to her poems and sculptures. Wasn’t she a real Muse?

When I graduated from the Central European University the MPhil program in International Relations, I already knew I am not into being a politician or a diplomat. Therefore, I chose the vaguest profession of all – Public Relations.

I explored the world of PR as a traveler explores a new country – with readiness to surprise and without any attempt for a judgment. I took risky projects, boring projects, stupid projects and each time I noticed that there was one thing I loved the most – working with speakers. Making the efforts to turn a sad mumble into an interesting speech – that was what I found challenging, inspirational and always new. It is precisely the field where I could bring all my talent in order to pursue the change of patterns and stereotypes.

Therefore, I launched a training center for those who want to develop themselves as public speakers. Men and women come to my group or individual training sessions and I am happy to share my energy and inspire them for new challenges in their professional and personal career.



Galina Panina is Director of Public Relations and Government Relations for the biggest DIY French retailer Leroy Merlin.

When previously working in leading international PR Agencies, Galina got an exclusive portfolio of interesting projects. To mention just a few: Informational campaign in Uzbekistan for US library of Congress, informational campaign for US Federal Reserve System, in-house training for the prominent Ukrainian steel holding System Capital Management, informational campaign for Sochi 2014 Olympic Bid... In 2011, as PR Officer for Gas Exporting Forum, Galina organized first Gas Summit in Doha, Qatar.

Galina never stops learning and continuously improves her communication and her professional and personal skills. Since education is one of the areas of high interest for her, Galina is opening her first educational center in Russia for the UK Chartered Institute of Public Relations. According to her vision, this center will provide Russian PR professionals with the opportunity to get international certification in PR, bringing master classes from Europe to Moscow, and also help upgrading the level of the Russian PR market.

Coach of Public Speaking and Director PR&GR Leroy Merlin (Russia)

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