We probably just spoke on the phone, we emailed or you met me at an event. I am Annik, heading up the Speaker Express team together with Elliot Kay. In the past, I would run a hundred miles at the thought of speaking to a group of people. I always had the idea of one day creating my own business but I was so scared of putting myself out there – what will people think if I get it wrong or what if no one would turn-up to my events?
In May 2011, I ran the first Speaker Express Club Night from a pub in Islington with 20 people. We have since helped thousands of professionals to speak on more stages, grow their business or successfully raise investment – all through the power of public speaking.
Public speaking is much more than speaking as such – it’s about becoming who you really are, daring to voice your real opinions, standing up for yourself without trading your authenticity for approval, it’s about playing a bigger game and showing the world that your belief and certainty are bigger than your fears. It’s about doing something your future self will be proud of! When you ‘fall from your head into your heart’ – showing your very own personality – that’s when your presenting to others is at your best. So before even thinking on how to get paid gigs, breaking into the corporate market, pitch for serious venture capital etc. it’s all about finding your style first to add another layer of impact to your communication.
We believe that anyone can fall in LOVE with public speaking and use that powerful skill to get ahead in life & business!
Here are some resources I always mention to people that will help getting you started before your come to your first event with us or join any of our programmes:
1. Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk about ‘How Body Language Shapes Who You Are’. Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy argues that “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success. NOTE: Some of the findings presented in this talk have been referenced in an ongoing debate among social scientists about robustness and reproducibility but over the years here at Speaker Express we have found that her research is solid and practical.
2. Brené Brown’s Ted Talk on ‘The Power of Vulnerability’ is a must watch too. She studies human connection and poses the question: ‘How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness?’ Powerful! Being a great speaker doesn’t come from standing in the ‘correct’ spot on stage or holding your hands a certain way – REAL confidence comes from within and we will show you how, having done this since 2011.
At Speaker Express, this is how you can work with us – we run:
- Monthly Club Nights – with an optional Audience Stage Time Corner – all events can be booked here.
- Small Boardroom sessions – introducing you to the 5 elements of The Speakers’ Method [Confidence, Signature Talk, Getting Booked, Sales & Pitch and Media Impact] but also helping you getting your Elevator Pitch right to pitch your ideas or your business with more clarity.
- A 3-month Speaking Kickstarter and a 6-month Professional Speaker Accelerator Programme [download the brochure here]
- 9-month Next Level Programme all about building a speaking business [you can find the application form here and notify us via email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can book in a call].
Over the years, we have worked with thousands of people to get from where they were [on occassion the word was TERRIFIED but others just wanted to learn the business side of speaking or strategies on getting paid gigs] at to kick-start the speaking career of their dreams. Harriet Waley-Cohen is one example – from feeling sick to the core at her first session to now having a speaker agent, touring Europe with her keynote or simply inspiring women all over London – watch Harriet speaking here at the Female Speakers Conference in 2018.
Another example is Sam. Her first training was a session called ‘Falling in LOVE with Public Speaking’. Sam says: “I remember getting up in front of 8 people feeling TERRIFIED that I had to answer the question ‘Who are you and what do you do?’. Each training challenged me and I had some emotional moments. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone so far was only possible because of the safe space Speaker Express creates. Before I’d finished the 6 month course I had given 2 talks and sold from the stage. I was blown away that it happened so quickly. Not only that but I enjoyed my talks! When people asked if I was nervous I actually wasn’t! I was just looking forward to connecting with my audience. And not that I want to make people cry, but when I was vulnerable and shared my story knowing that it touched someone was brilliant.” Sam put in the hard work and we are proud of her. For some of you, taking on this journey won’t be easy but what we hear THE MOST from people after completing the programme is: ‘I wish I had done this training years ago!’ Now, it’s not only the emotional connection to your audience that is crucial for your speaking but also pitching structures, especially when pitching to VCs. Have a look here, a great BBC Dragons’ Den example pitch that acutally enticed 3 of the dragons wanting to invest.
Let’s do this! Come to one of our Club Nights or book yourself on to one of our Boardroom Sessions and let us show you what’s possbile. Fall in LOVE with public speaking and find ways using it for business growth or lead generation.
Keep the momentum going and join 2,000 other professional & aspiring speakers in the Speaker Express Facebook group here.
We are looking forward working with you or meeting you at one of our events.
Love, Elliot & Annik x