How to Fall in LOVE with Public Speaking with Annik Petrou

C&C Search are so excited to welcome Annik Petrou, founder of Speaker Express to lead our breakfast event on Wednesday 13th November!

Annik started Speaker Express in 2011 after feeling stuck with no confidence and fear of speaking up about her ideas because they might sound silly to others. Since then, she has seen and heard thousands of different speeches & pitches and delivered training in the UK, Europe, Australia & Africa. Her clients include technology start-ups within Silicon Roundabout, coaches, consultants, CEOs, Managing Directors, high-end corporates and a recently funded business voted ‘Best Dragons’ Den Pitch Ever’. As part of their 3 or 6-month Speaking Accelerator, Speaker Express assisted thousands of entrepreneurs to successfully pitch for investment and funding, gain the confidence to push their business from home office to the stage, give talks on TEDx stages, generate more leads or land big corporate contracts.

She shared some insights into her talk and career with us here:

Annik Petrou

Can you sum up what you do in a sentence?

We help people to fall in love with public speaking and use it to grow their business or push their career.

What is the essence of your message for this talk?

Great speaking skills are much more than just content and structure. It’s about audience psychology and having an understanding how to make your message stick so that you and your words are remembered long after you stopped speaking.

What helped you overcome your fear of speaking up about your ideas?

Three things: 1. Having a good grounding routine to tame nerves before speaking. 2. Saying YES to things, even before feeling ready. 3. Understanding that the first couple of times speaking up might not be a work of genius but trusting that everything gets better with practice.

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken that’s paid off?

Doing a TEDx in 2013. I definitely wasn’t ready for it but it helped shaping my speaking career and enabled me to see that one does not have to be perfect to achieve a level of progress. One of my mentors would tell us that Einstein wrote nearly 300 papers, 4 of them were groundbreaking. So doing one ‘bad’ presentation should not hold you back utilising speaking for career growth.

What’s the one success habit that’s changed your business?

Learning to sell. It used to be the worst business thing I had to do but once I realised we are not selling nuclear weapons but our work really helps humanity to show up in a more powerful and connected way, everything became a lot easier.

What makes you happiest about your work?

Seeing the difference in people and their attitude to being in the spotlight after understanding more about our Speakers’ Method. It’s often not what you initially think that will give you the best results when speaking and presenting.

As a female founder, what’s the piece of advice you’d share with other women in business?

Be aware of burn-out. This ‘I have to work hard to be successful’ is often something we internalised early on in our lives but can really cloud progressing on the entrepreneurial journey. There’s a massive difference between busyness and business.

What’s next for you? What are you most excited about right now?

Moving to Australia in December. We don’t have any concrete business plans yet but creativity is fuelled and enhanced by sunshine so let’s see what exciting things will happen in 2020.

For more information on C&C Search events, including how you can attend, please get in touch with sheridan@candcsearch.co.uk / 0203 745 6235.