How to speak up

It’s one of the top five big­gest fears, but with help from busi­ness­woman and MC Ni­cole Flint, you’ll han­dle pub­lic speak­ing like a pro.

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When Ni­cole Flint won Miss SA in 2009, there was no doubt­ing her beauty. But her win wasn’t from looks alone. Ni­cole’s con­fi­dent self-pre­sen­ta­tion made an enor­mous dif­fer­ence, too. Thanks to the pub­lic speak­ing train­ing she had while grow­ing up in Pre­to­ria, her skills con­tinue to de­velop as an events ex­ec­u­tive for the Miss SA of­fice and an MC for me­dia events like our GLAM­OUR’S Most GLAMOUROUS ear­lier this year. “I would love to teach pub­lic speak­ing,” Ni­cole says. “This is a skill that’s es­sen­tial for work and dayto-day life.” Her first class, here.

Prac­tice makes per­fect

Do a run-through in front of an au­di­ence like your friends and fam­ily. The more pre­pared you are, the bet­ter.

Just breathe

I’ve never be­lieved in the ad­vice of imag­in­ing your au­di­ence naked – it doesn’t work for me and it’s not an im­age I want to con­jure up! But do take five deep breaths be­fore you be­gin and you’ll be sur­prised at the ef­fect of this sim­ple trick. As my dad says, “You’ll al­ways have but­ter­flies, so teach them to fly in for­ma­tion.” Breath­ing deeply helps with that.

Be hon­est

You don’t have to know ev­ery­thing. If you’re asked a ques­tion you can’t an­swer, say you’re not fa­mil­iar with the sub­ject, but you’ll find out. Pre­tend­ing will only play against you in the end.

Talk about your­self

Us­ing anec­dotes from your own life makes you re­lat­able. On the day of the fi­nal match at the 2010 World Cup, I was in­vited to an ed­u­ca­tion sum­mit and when I got there, Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma asked me to ad­dress the au­di­ence. It was a live broad­cast and the au­di­ence in­cluded Arch­bishop Des­mond Tutu and Prime Min­is­ter José Za­p­a­tero of Spain. The first thing I did was make sure I spoke slowly, as I had to think about what I was say­ing. Then I drew from my ex­pe­ri­ences. I started school in 1995, so I spoke about how I’d been raised in the new SA with its aim to­wards equal­ity, and the

Preschool days

Grad­u­at­ing from Kabouter­land Kleuter­skool.

The cov­eted ti­tle

Af­ter win­ning Miss SA in 2009. im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion for women. En­sure that all anec­dotes re­late to the sub­ject so you don’t go off on a tan­gent.

Take notes

Even if I’m pre­pared, I use small cue cards. Some peo­ple like bul­let points or key words, but I pre­fer sen­tences. Print out your notes and num­ber them in your pre­ferred or­der. Or use an ipad, which is easy for last-minute changes.

Slow down

Our talk­ing speeds up when we’re ner­vous, so talk slowly and you’ll feel in con­trol. This also al­lows the au­di­ence to take in ev­ery­thing that you’re say­ing.

Dress for suc­cess

What you wear for an event plays a part in com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Wear some­thing that will give you a con­fi­dence boost. My red Ser­gio Rossi heels work best at mak­ing me feel more con­fi­dent.

First day ex­cite­ment

On the first day of Grade 1 at Spring­vale Pri­mary School.

On the air­waves

Do­ing a ra­dio in­ter­view dur­ing the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Beauty pageant queen

Win­ning Miss Suther­land High School while in Grade 11.

The big ‘I do’

With David van Heer­den on their wed­ding day last Oc­to­ber.

The host with the most

Mc­ing the Hat­field VW Awards in 2013.

GLAM god­dess GLAM­OUR’S GLAMOUROUS

Mc­ing the Most event in May.

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