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3 Tips to Help you Crush your First (or Next) Public Speaking Gig

Bold & Pop : 3 Tips to Help you Crush your First (or Next) Public Speaking Gig

For the last two years, one of my yearly goals has been to try 5 new things or say yes to things that scare the crap out of me. So when I got invited to speak to a group of 100 wedding and event planning professionals in Seattle… I knew it definitely fit the bill! At first I was like OMG what an amazing opportunity to meet fellow biz owners and then a few seconds later I was like umm wait… how many people?! Umm that’s approximately 70 more people than I’ve ever spoke in front of and umm when was the last time I did a presentation like this.. oh college?!  Cue the feelings of self-doubt and wondering if I could actually pull it off. There is a reason that public speaking is one of the top fears of people… it’s scary to put yourself out there. Which is why after about 15 minutes of freaking out, I replied to the email with a big ol’ COUNT ME IN!

We all know those quotes about how growth is what happens when you push yourself out of your comfort zone and all of that jazz, right? Let’s be honest, while deep down we all know that. It’s a heck of a lot easier to repin those quotes on Pinterest than to actually live it. Which is exactly why I started making that yearly goal because it holds me accountable to say YES to opportunities like this that if I sat on for a few hours I may try and talk myself out of them. Here’s the thing too, if you don’t say yes to opportunities like this then you could miss out on something that you may end up being really passionate about. Plus, we have BIG goals at Bold & Pop sooo maybe it’s 100 people today… but maybe even 500 or more in the future! So now I’ve given you a little background on how this introverted leaning biz owner talked herself into saying yes to this opp, let’s talk about the prep that actually worked for me!

Do Some Research

When I decide to do something I go a little crazy and go all in on learning as much about it as I can. It may be a little excessive at times but… 🤷‍♀️So I started reading different articles and blog posts with tips for public speaking as well as creating presentations with impact. While this was my first big solo speaking gig… I should note, that I do have some speaking and media experience. I’ve been interviewed by top-tier media outlets including on air segments, spoke on panels, given client presentations and taught social media material before but this was a bit different so I dove right into specific tips on presentations. Two of the resources I liked the best were a webinar from Jess Ekstrom who is a motivational speaker. Her webinar was giving a pitch for her course, but it did give me a nice little boost that we allll have great material to share and some of the basics about speaking.

Then the resource that was the most helpful was the book, TED Talks : The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking. It may have over prepared me for my specific opportunity, but it was just a wealth of information. We’re all familiar with TED talks and the impact they have right? So what better resource to learn from! There was so much great information and a lot of detail about different ways to give presentations and carving out the method that works best for you. 

Put Together Your Presentation Early

Naturally this is the next step! When it comes to presentations I’ve always been a little bit of a nervous nelly. Hence, why this was a big deal for me! If you’re in a similar boat I recommend putting your presentation and plan together earlier rather than later. That way, you’ll have adequate time to prepare and honestly, just having a game plan for the big presentation relieved a lot of stress and reminded me, umm hiii Anna, you know your ish girl! Depending on your gig, the structure will probably be different. For mine, I was essentially teaching a class so having a powerpoint presentation was part of the plan and I wanted to make sure I had enough to guide my talk without writing a novel on each slide.

I had a pretty big chunk of time to prepare, nearly two months, so I was really able to space things out. I started by strictly just getting my outline done about a month and a half out just to nail down the material I’d be covering. Then about a month out I started putting together my first draft of my presentation (there were a lot of variations)! My rec is to put your ideas to paper as soon as you can and know you’re going to make edits along the way.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Onto the biggestttt part of the prep process, practicing! At the beginning I just started by running through my slides and seeing where there were gaps or where the flow needed to be revised. Cue adjusting the slides 10 million times 🙈haha, ok that’s a bit dramatic but after a few times you’ll notice what you want to adjust. Here are some other tips when it comes to practicing.

  1. Run through your presentation 10-15 times prior to giving it. Okay, I totally made this number up and since I legit looked this question up, I can tell you everyone has a different suggestion. Some people won’t need to do it that much (and others may want to do it more), totally up to you but that’s the range I gave myself to hit. My presentation was in the 35-45 min range so it was definitely a chunk of time but it really helped me feel confident. I gave the points a little different every time I ran through it but it just helped me get really comfortable with the material that by the time I gave the presentation I really had my talking points down.

  2. Record yourself! This is something that really helped me! I actually just flipped the video on my phone on and just recorded the audio although you could totally do the video too. What I did was record one of my sessions each day the week leading up to the presentation. Then, I when I went on my afternoon walks after work (gotta get those steps in after sitting all day!) I listened back to myself like I would a podcast. It felt a little weird to do at first, but you pick up on so many more things about how you could explain something better or try to cut back on filler words.

  3. Practice in front of someone. Ok so I actually didn’t do this one but I’m glad I did. Funny enough, I thought I’d be more comfortable doing my presentation in front of people I didn’t know than those I did. I know.. it’s silly. This ended up being really helpful though. Even better if you have someone in your life who is unfamiliar with the content so you can ask them if there are any parts you could explain more thoroughly and if your material makes sense for a beginner on the subject.

Set Expectations and Work on your Mindset

Last but not least, I think getting in the right mindset is SO important. Mindset in general has been something I’ve been really focused on the last year but it was especially important in this case because hiii I was doing something I was really nervous about! So here’s a rundown of a few exercises and things I did. If you haven’t done mindset work before some of these may sound kind of weird, and when I learned about them in books I was like.. ummm yeah I don’t think I could do that, butttt after giving a few a shot they’ve helped so I decided to add them to my prep.

  1. Positive affirmations. If you tell yourself you’re awesome enough times, you’ll start to believe it! So in the weeks leading up to the event I wrote across the top and bottom margins of my planner that “I am an awesome speaker and was going to give a bomb ass presentation” because obvi that’s what awesome speakers tell themselves right?! Haha, maybe you’ll be more elegant with your phrasing but reading that every day helped me think of all of the things that were going to go right and not vice versa!

  2. Manifesting. Another thing I did was visualize and embrace the feelings I was going to have after I crushed my presentation. By focusing on that, I was able to push away any negative thoughts because I was so focused on crushingggg it!

  3. Set expectations. What are your goals for your presentation? Other than getting through it? Setting expectations can help you stay focused on the things that actually matter to you. For mine, I acknowledged that hey, this is my first big presentation.. it may not be perfect and I’m guilty of stumbling over my words sometimes but I decided that stuff didn’t matter to me as much. I decided my goals were to show up, bring serious value, and teach everyone there new strategies they could implement in their businesses that would made a real. And guess what, if I did all of that, chances are none of the attendees were going to notice too much if I made a few goofs here or there. There are a million things you could focus on for your presentation so find what means the most to you.

So there you have it! All of my pre-speaking gig advice to help you become the next Tony Robbins! Haha, ok maybe I wouldn’t go thatttt far, but then again you never know! And in case you’re wondering, my presentation went off without a hitch and even better than I thought it was going to! I bet yours is going to do the same too!

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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How to Manage Your Time and Workflow With a Multidimensional Business

Bold & Pop : How to Manage Your Time and Workflow With a Multidimensional Business

One of the questions we get asked by others in our industry the most often is how we structure our days and workflow with a multidimensional business. We specialize in three different areas (branding, Squarespace website design, and social media management) with each of those services having multiple layers to them as well. This means we have to be really disciplined and structured to keep our biz running like a well oiled machine (spoiler, sometimes it still gets a little cray). So if you run a multidimensional business (or you just want to get some ideas of how to structure your workflow) today’s blog post is just for you!

Batching Is Your BFF

Batching your work is a life saver when you have so many different aspects to your business. This means you take one task or tasks related to each other and work on them until they’re complete. Basically it’s meal prepping but for your business! This is something we’ve done even pre-Bold & Pop. We’ve always batched content for our social media clients but we’ve really had to hone in on how we batch work now that we offer so many different types of services. Some of the services or tasks that we batch include:

  • Social media content

  • Photos for social media clients

  • Engagement sessions for social media

  • Email newsletters

  • Blog calendars

Having specific days and time slots for each of these things is so important because they you can make sure each is complete before moving onto the next task. This is really important on the social media side of our business too because we’re in and out of client accounts all day.

Divide and Conquer If You Can

Luckily we have each other to take on numerous tasks at once. While we have a lot of the same skills, we also have different focuses in a few areas. This means while Anna works on graphic design projects, Mallory is coding a website. Or while Mallory works on taking photos for social media clients, Anna is rocking their influencer marketing campaigns. During super busy times, this has been essential… morning check-in and then we dive into our own individual tasks and check-in as needed.

But we know not all of you have a business partner to do this with. We get it. This is where batching will be really important for you but if you’re growing at a pace that even batching isn’t helping, consider finding others to partner with to take some of that workload off your hands. Finding someone with complimentary skills like Anna and I have so you can divide and conquer could be key!

Set Reminders/Timers

Real talk, it’s easy to get lost in what you’re doing we your so focused on the task at hand, which is why we rely heavily on reminders on our phone. We have set times throughout the day that we each pop into our client social media accounts and having these reminders set really helps pull us out of whatever else we’re working on at the time. Then we’ll use a timer so we don’t get sucked into that task for too long (because let’s be real, the social media rabbit hole is real y’all!)

We mainly do this for our social media clients but it can be useful for so many different tasks in your business!

Our Weekly Schedule

Going a little deeper into how we actually batch/structure our days. Here’s a look at what we have planned for each day:

Monday: These aren’t reserved for anything specific because let’s be real, Mondays are usually a little all over the place! We found that we’re usually sorting through a lot of emails and getting things prepped for the week so we try not to have hard deadlines or key tasks due on these days. We typically work on design projects, engage on our clients social media accounts and anything else that came up over the weekend.

Tuesday: This is one of our social media content planning days. We spend the first half of the day doing content for half of our social media clients. We do our content calendars a week in advance to keep them timely but we do the same clients every single Tuesday. The rest of the day is spent on design projects, engagement and pitching influencers for our clients’ that have influencer marketing campaigns.

Wednesday: This is another one of our content days. Same as Tuesday but we just do the content for the other half of our clients. Then we work on design work, engagement, pitching or anything else we have going on in the afternoon.

Thursday: This is always a design day for us! Since we have all the content planned out for the week, this frees up almost the entire day for us to focus on Squarespace websites, logo designs, and any other design projects we have in the works!

Friday: Fridays are what we like to call Bold & Pop days. When we’re super busy, we don’t always get this as a full day but we always try to do our own social media content on Fridays and do a little strategy session, whether it’s going over our finances and numbers from the month before or brainstorming ideas for clients.

This is broadly how we structure our days though. Within each day, we still have to make sure all our clients are getting the attention they deserve. So we set 15-30 minute intervals several times a day that we pop into our client social media accounts to engage. We also reserve time for client photoshoots at least once a month and then one day each week is spent working on influencer research and outreach. We are both very scheduled people that enjoy routine so having this broad schedule has been really instrumental in keeping us focused and on track!

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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How To Deal With Challenging Situations in Your Business When All You Want to Do Is Quit

Bold & Pop : How To Deal With Challenging Situations in Your Business When All You Want to Do Is Quit

It’s pretty inevitable you’re going to encounter some challenging situations from time to time while running your business. Some of these you’ll be able to quickly work through and others are going to make you want to completely throw in the towel. But here’s the thing… the times you want to completely give up? Those are the times that help you grow as a business owner and help take your brand to the next level.

Luckily we haven’t had too many rough patches but there have been a few instances that we’ve had to navigate difficult situations. Using our experiences from past jobs and businesses, we’ve been able to always come out on the other side better than when we began. So we want to pass along how we deal and how we use these situations as opportunities for growth!

So what do we do when we encounter these challenging situations?

First things first, BREATH!

I know it’s going to feel like your brain is running a million miles an hour (which it probably is) but that’s going to make it harder for you to come up with a solution. Take a second and regroup. Whether that means stepping outside for a quick walk, calling a friend to vent, or crying for 5 minutes. Do what you need to do to get the frustration out and clear your mind for a few minutes. That way you can come back with a fresh perspective to handle what needs to be handled.

Stay Calm and Work Through It

Simple but hard to do when it feels like the weight of the world may be teetering on the edge of your business. (Maybe we’re being dramatic here, but you get what we’re saying…) Sometimes all you can do is put your head down and get the work done… whatever it may be. The sooner you’re able to find a solution or fix the problem at hand, the sooner you can get to the next, and most important, step of evaluating what happened and what you can do to avoid that in the future.

Plan for the Future

Alright, here’s where the good stuff comes in. This is where you’re either going to sink or swim when it comes to biz. Any time you have a challenging situation, no matter how big or small, you should be evaluating:

  • What happened?

  • Can this be avoided in the future?

  • What can I do to prevent this from happening again?

This last question is particularly important because this is where leveling up happens. You create new systems and procedures that become necessary for you to run your business in an effective and efficient manner.. avoiding this particular situation (and others) once again.

Ways you might want to consider making changes can include:

  • Adjusting contracts to better outline your terms and expectations for both parties

  • Creating a better communication system

  • Adjusting your copy to make it more clear

  • Setting boundaries upfront

  • Changing your policies and procedures

  • Streamlining your on-boarding process

These don’t have to be huge, drastic changes. They can just be simple tweaks to your existing framework to make sure things run smoothly moving forward.

Pro tip: If the difficult situation is with another person (say a client, for example), try making it about them in your communication. Ask them how you can help them? Is there a process or way of communicating that works better for them? While this can change the typical way you work, it can help alleviate some stress in the moment if your communication styles or even work styles are different. Then once everything is smoothed over, you can work to identify any areas that you can change in your usual process to avoid any confusion and frustration for both parties in the future.

An Example of How We Deal and Adjust

For all our web design projects, we created Welcome Kits. These walked our clients through the process, gives them “homework” that we needed from them prior to their start date, and provides links to the shared Google Drive folder that would house all the information for their projects.

We recently noticed that we weren’t always getting all the assets, copy, and information we needed from clients by their start date as requested. This caused some stress as we have deadlines for these projects and only take a certain number of design projects on per month. When one falls behind, it bleeds into the next clients timeframe which doesn’t help either client.

So we stopped to evaluate why this was happening. What can we do to make sure this isn’t an issue for future projects? We came to the conclusion that some clients either didn’t notice the Welcome Kit, weren’t downloading it, or just forgot to reference back to it.

Because of this, we decided to make some small changes. We’re still going to have our Welcome Kits but along with those, we plan on putting the instructions with hyperlinks right in our emails as well. Just in case, for whatever reason, clients miss the Welcome Kit.

And so far so good! Not only has this helped cut down on some of the back and forth in the beginning of the project so we can spend more time working on our clients’ projects, but we also can more easily stay on track with each client’s timeline. And that’s a win for everyone involved!

Challenging situations don’t have to be a disaster. There’s always a way to work through them and come out better on the other side! Taking the time to evaluate the entire situation and identify how you can make adjustments is exactly how you level up. This should be a consistent process because with every new stage of your business, there will be new challenges to face. If you take them head on each and every time, they’ll start to get smaller and you’ll only end up on top!

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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