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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.