Be bold: How to master public speaking

Very few people feel they are naturally good at public speaking. Just the very mention of it can make people feel flustered and uncomfortable. We’ve partnered with PONY Express Speakers to hold a free event at Net.Works., The Boardroom to the Stage – Presenting and Public Speaking, which will provide expert advice on how to tackle public speaking.

Here, PONY Express Speakers founder Annik Petrou explains why being bold can go a long way to helping you get your message across.

What does it mean to really be BOLD?

True boldness is about having the courage to be more of who you really are. Boldness is the opposite of hesitation.

Hesitation impacts your confidence and impacted confidence clearly dilutes the power you have on your audience. I personally admire people who stand-up for what they believe in, even if I might personally believe the exact opposite. As long as they convey their message with intelligence and power, I am in total awe.

From the stage, it´s powerful and inspirational to say ‘I know that my product can change the way people book holidays online’ compared to ‘I think I have created a product that might make your online bookings for holidays much easier.’

Boldness has nothing to do with imposing your viewpoints or actions on others. Instead, it’s about overcoming your fears, creating a powerful sense of self-belief and then taking that brave and bold action.

So how do you cultivate an attitude of bravery if it´s not something that comes naturally to you?

1. Don´t try to get EVERYONE to like you

No matter who you are and what you do, there will ALWAYS be someone who won’t like what you say, the way you say it and sometimes even your reason for saying it. Get to the core of your message, ask yourself ‘What do I REALLY stand for?’ and keep sticking to it by reminding yourself WHY you set out on the path you’re creating.

You didn’t start doing what you’re doing or developing ideas around your message because you wanted to conform, fit-in, or blend into the background. You started because you wanted to make a difference. Trying to people-please and get everyone to like you won’t make you stand out from the crowd or allow you to find, and play with, your edge, so have the courage to be the brave, bold unedited you that you are.

2. Use DECISIVE language

I know how tough this can be when you’re first starting out and finding your confidence as a speaker, but ‘faking it until you make it’ can go a long way to helping you here. Be mindful of the language you’re using when creating your presentation and be on the watch for where your self-doubt might unknowingly be coming through in your speaking style. Remove phrases like ‘I think’, ‘maybe’, or ‘I’d like to’, and be more assertive with your phrasing. Back yourself and your ideas and you’ll have an audience that really takes notice no matter whether they agree with your viewpoints entirely or not.

3. Be MEMORABLE by being you

We can practice being confident and speaking boldly, but if our key message is watered down, our message might not be remembered. What’s the one thing you want your audience to remember and how do you want them to FEEL after you’ve delivered it? This is crucial when it comes to defining your key message. Work towards defining what you want to say in a succinct sentence. You can use that sentence multiple times in your speech so your message really sinks in with the listener and allows you to lean into that bravery and boldness even more.

Above all, be brave enough to be HONEST about who you are, what you believe in, and back yourself and your views. None of us are perfect but when your passion shines through in what you say, people will listen to and respect you no matter what they think or feel about what you’re saying.

Join us on 23 March for The Boardroom to the Stage – Presenting and Public Speaking with Annik for tips on how to master public speaking. FREE to attend – reserve a space here

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