It’s Annik from PONY Express Speakers, coming to you from the stunning co-working space, WeWork, Tower Bridge. Today, I want to talk about an experience I had at one of our events that are part our 6-month Speaking Accelerator. It was all about storytelling and accessing emotions and after the training, everyone was like, “Oh my god! I finally nailed my personal story and it added so much more credibility to me and my business and what I stand for. How do I get on stages to share that?”

If you’re not actually doing gigs at the moment,
and are looking for ways to tap into the industry and get started,
this article is for YOU!

Now, we always have a mix of people coming to our training. Some of them have been running their businesses for a number of years, while others are just starting out. If you’re not actually doing gigs at the moment and are looking for ways to tap into the industry and get started, this article is for YOU!

Speaking Platforms in London to Get you Started

One of my favourite ones is INSPIRE’D STAGE. A inspiring speaking evening that runs events in Mayfair in a beautiful pub downstairs in the basement, which is really cool. It’s very much about your stories. As a speaker with Inspire’d Stage, you share your story in a really authentic and vulnerable way. They also film your speaking performance, so you can spot opportunities to improve. If your video is really good, they will publish it and you can probably pay for your recording. Inspire’d Stage is definitely a platform worth checking  out – particularly because Shay, one of the founders – is an amazing, amazing, amazing woman!

Another platform worth looking into is The College of Public Speaking. Every year they run a competition called The Corporate Challenge, which I would recommend for seasoned speakers and newbies alike. The Corporate Challenge is all about creating a seven minute talk and the event is filmed. There are two different heats, made up of are 10 people in each heat. If you’re awesome and amazing, you’ll get through to the final. Last year, Jackie, a PONY Express member, joined and finished in third place. If you’d like to step up to The Corporate Challenge, get in touch with Vince and Michael who run it. You can find them in the PONY Express Speakers group on Facebook, or message them via their website.

[A summary of links is at the end of this blog.]

Learn to Tell your Story

A great way to hone your speaking skills is to get comfortable with telling your personal story in front of an audience. There are a number of storytelling platforms out there with inventive ways for you to tell your story.

Here are a few that come to mind:

The first platform I want to mention, another favourite of mine – it’s called FuckUp Nights. They run at the hub at King’s Cross and they really love having entrepreneurs coming along; business owners like you who are happy to share their fuck ups. If you haven’t screwed up in your business, what are you doing? You’re clearly playing it too safe!

Another place to speak is called Moth Storytelling, which originated in New York. They hold all sorts of live events including StorySLAM; an open mic storytelling competition and have a global community of storytellers – link is below.

Finally I want to mention Spark London, a storytelling club which holds events in London. The rule here is for participants to tell personal stories on the conditions that they are true and can be told in under 5 minutes.

So here’s the deal:

  1. Create your amazing talk or speech.
  2. Get out there and deliver it.
  3. Get footage of yourself, especially if you want to break into the corporate market.

Showcase your Skills with Video Footage

I get a lot of enquiries from corporates asking for people who speak on various subjects, including nutrition and well-being, creativity and resilience. To be considered as a serious contender for speaking gigs, corporates will require you to have a video of you speaking. Not, “Uhmm, I’m doing a Facebook live.” but, in front of a real audience. So all these speaking opportunities will really help you create some amazing footage of being out there speaking.

And here is a summary of all platforms mentioned including some others I haven’t mentioned but they are just as great. Connect and get on stage:

Goodbye from me for now, here at WeWork at Tower Bridge with its stunning views over St Katherine’s Docks. I was just about to say, I’m gonna jump into the docks here and have a swim. Clearly I’m not. I hate swimming plus it’s really high as well and scary. Have a good week, lots of love and I hope to see you at one of our events. You can see what’s coming up via our Facebook group.