What’s your personal brand?
We’ve been asking this question a lot with clients lately.
The results of spending some quality time working out the answer has produced staggering results.
Let’s be clear, by branding, I don’t mean anything flashy, artificial or inauthentic.
In any context, this is bad branding.
Rather, it’s about packaging what’s authentic and unique about you, harnessing and celebrating it.
Hiding your true self:
Too many people spend their time trying to cover up, water down or avoid altogether their unique core- deeming it inappropriate in a professional context.
We compare ourselves to others or industry conventions and try to emulate or fit those.
Our workplaces are far worse off for it.
“The injunction to “keep it professional” (means that) nobody feels comfortable being who they really are at work.”
No-one’s at their best and we miss out on the glorious variety that results from individuals embracing their idiosyncrasies and bringing their whole selves to work.
In the context of public speaking coaching, specifically, our work on personal brand has been transformational.
In an arena where people already feel vulnerable, the added vulnerability of “just being yourself” can initially feel far too exposing and a step too far.
Celebrating your true self:
However, not only is it ok to be yourself, but it’s a must to truly connect with your audience and get them to experience what you’re all about.
What personal branding does is turn acceptance of you into a celebration. It’s deliberate and empowering. It’s helped our clients feel confident to bring it in the public arena. Being themselves is being “on brand.” No longer, “ah well, it’s who I am so I better put up with it.” Rather, “this is who I am, and these are the specific qualities that make me unique and of great value.”
Try it out.
Spend some time outlining your unique values, qualities and strengths. Be specific. Write them down. Have them in a place that’s visible to you every day. These will form the basis of your brand. If you’d like to develop this work further, we’ve had huge success on this front with our Bespoke Development Programmes.
Focus on your strengths:
We exert so much energy on our weaknesses and trying to iron out those.
The reality is, those weaknesses will probably never be great strengths. But they definitely will be someone else’s.
Spend some more time on your strengths, honing those and using them to make a difference every day, in your unique way.
Don’t be a slightly worse version of someone else. Own your personal brand and be the best version of you.
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.
THICH NHAT HANH
The Speakers’ Gym is like the iPhone. You don’t realise you need it until you have it, and then you can’t live without it.
Magda Gonzalez, Group CFO, Monex Europe
It was completely practical and the open-forum feedback was so valuable. You created a safe environment for everyone to learn. Thank you!
Nicola Koronka, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Missive
I was recommended by a friend who works in the same sector to contact The Speakers’ Gym to help me with my presentation delivery skills and I have not been disappointed with the results. Chris and Jonny work with you to provide bespoke training for your goals and needs. They are highly professional and make you feel at ease from the first minute the first session begins. I would highly recommend them to those who have a role which involves public speaking!
Julia Peake,Technical Development Manager, Sanlam
It has challenged both my thinking and approach and I will be sure to keep The Speakers’ Gym ‘fireworks’ readily available on my desk to refer to when not only presenting but also when needed through everyday management.
Liz Paradine – Chief Operations Manager - 7iM
Transact first engaged with The Speaker Gym late in 2018 where Chris & Jonny made a concerted effort to get under the skin of our business and understand how they could best help us hone our presentational and empathetic skills. The resulting sessions were hugely helpful giving my team plenty of opportunity to practice and also benefit from a great deal of feedback, not just from Chris & Jonny but by including the rest of the Transact team in the feedback and group learning too. I would highly recommend The Speakers Gym
Glen Sweet, Head of Sales, Transact
Working with The Speakers’ Gym has been fantastic. We knew what we wanted to say and who we wanted to speak to, so all we needed was technique. Or so we thought. Chris and Jonny helped us to understand the key elements of communication, through a structured process. We now think about communication in a completely different way. There’s a line they gave us that now resonates in my head, every time I write or talk to someone about what we do. We feel we’ve met two great guys and they’ve become an important part of us, our story and how we tell it to others.
Thomas Skinner, Founder, Barnaby Cecil Financial Planning
The impact of The Speakers’ Gym™ at Mako can only be described as transformational. Over a three month period, they helped transition a group of individuals into a highly collaborative and consultative leadership team. Chris and Jonny have a unique ability to connect individuals with their true purpose, driving them towards self-reflection and ultimately growth. Overall the entire experience of working with them has been a pleasure and I am deeply grateful for their impact. They more than surpassed my expectations and I look forward to working with them again in the future!
Trystan Morgan-Schauer, CEO, Mako
We engaged The Speakers’ Gym to provide us with clarity and direction in the look, feel and messaging of the Worldmaker brand in preparation for our official launch. From start to finish, the process has been truly collaborative. They worked with the expertise and experience in our team to create branding that truly represents who we are and what we represent, whilst moving us into a more modern, expressive space – which was our desire. We know that we’re in great hands with The Speakers’ Gym. We’ll certainly be continuing to work with them
Mollie Marti, CEO, Worldmaker International
They first took the time to understand our brief and delivered the programme incorporating our culture and brand throughout. They were thought provoking and their unique techniques very well received.
Mairi Cameron, Learning Manager, Nucleus Financial
The Speakers’ Gym gave me the skills and confidence to be my normal self whilst speaking and facilitating. They took the anxiety out of public speaking and gave me practical tools to prepare for and manage public engagements. They also helped me to engage more meaningfully with my clients, for which I am thankful. Highly recommend them.
Matthew Marais, Director, Vertus Capital
I found the sessions to be a revelation, and I wish I had known some of the techniques sooner. It has completely changed my mindset and focused me in on the needs of the audience. With that, the ability to achieve those aspirations has come more naturally. There is always room for improvement, and I will definitely be revisiting The Speakers’ Gym for a refresher from time to time.
Kelly Devlin, Wealth Management Consultant - St. James’s Place Wealth Management