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How to Build Confidence and Elevate Your Brand Through Public Speaking

As you begin another year in business and you’re planning your year ahead…

You’ll no doubt be looking for ways to increase your visibility so you can grow your income and impact in 2024.

Now the thought of increasing your visibility might also be something that scares the shit out of you – not to worry though because today’s guest on the How I Do Content Podcast is here to help!

I’m so thrilled to be speaking with the fabulous Jacqui Maloney.


Let me introduce you to Jacqui Maloney

Jacqui is a public speaking and media coach, committed to helping professional women be magnetic on camera and on stage.

Her goal is to empower all women to take up space and be seen for their powerful and vulnerable storytelling and their ability to command a room! With her background in acting and voice-over, Jacqui helps her clients master any performance, from Keynotes to morning television and everything in between.

This is one of my favourite conversations to date, and I know you’ll love Jacqui and everything she has to share with you today.

Things You’ll Learn in this Episode of How I Do Content

  • Jacqui’s favourite ways to increase visibility 
  • How to build your confidence to share your unique story 
  • What you can do now to prepare yourself for more public speaking in 2024

TL;DL version:


Jacqui’s business was born in COVID times. During pandemic lockdowns, everyone was binge-watching their favourite shows and popping down to get takeaway from their local restaurants (because there wasn’t a lot else you could do). But, ironically, these were two industries that weren’t considered ‘essential services’.

For Jacqui – these two industries in which she derived her income and livelihood (acting and working in the restaurant industry) completely dried up almost overnight.

How COVID lockdowns nurtured the art of storytelling

A business coach brought to Jacqui’s attention how COVID-times could actually be the perfect fit for her skills and expertise. With everyone switching to online communication and Zoom – who better to teach confidence on camera? 

Plagued with imposter syndrome and a belief that she needed further qualifications, Jacqui didn’t heed the advice initially. However; it planted a seed and was the catalyst for her current business. Now she runs her own business coaching professional women in the realm of confidence, public speaking and sharing their stories with the world.

Evidence builds confidence

Jacquie acknowledges that confidence, even for her,  is often a work in progress. But she is a big believer in leaning into evidence to help build confidence. 

When imposter syndrome strikes, she reflects on the stack of positive reviews and evidence that she has from previous clients, that she’s got this and is good at what she does.

Everyone has a story worth sharing 

When the online space is so busy with everyone sharing their two cents about, well, everything, it’s never been harder to stand out online.

What skills or business we are known for, is not new but our point of view, experiences and personal insights are individual to us and unique. This is why sharing our personal stories can help us connect in a more impactful way with our audience. A more meaningful connection creates stronger brand awareness and messaging, which ideally leads to more customers!

You don’t have to have a rags-to-riches story to stand out

You don’t need a big, outlandish story in order to have an impact and influence on your audience. Sometimes it’s the ‘micro’ stories that can be more relatable and help someone feel more validated and confirm that you understand their experiences.

When are personal stories too personal?

Vulnerability and authenticity do not mean oversharing. The line between sharing and oversharing will be different for everyone but Jacqui believes you don’t have to share in a completely unfiltered way, all the time. In fact, sometimes sharing all the minutiae of your life can have the opposite effect and be incredibly off-putting for potential clients.

A good way to filter what to share is to consider how sustainable it is to share this information. Are you sharing something that you could consistently (and happily) refer to as part of your story, or is it something that you’ll probably never want to discuss again? Not everything needs to be shared with your followers or audience – sometimes a therapist might be a better option!

How To Build Confidence and Elevate Your Brand Through Public Speaking with Jacqui Maloney

Public speaking will help you land more clients

When you put your hand up and say ‘yes’ to an opportunity to speak to a wider audience, whether on stage or on a podcast – you are instantly positioning yourself as an expert in your field. 

It’s also an excellent means of self-promotion. We have all heard the story of business owners creating an amazing course, workshop or product and expecting clients to flock to it. In reality, you have to actively promote yourself and your skills to make people aware that they can work with you. Speaking from a place of authority and thought-leadership will help make you the  ‘go-to’ person and increase the know, like and trust factor with your potential clients.

Increasing visibility isn’t just about sharing how people can work with you. 

It’s not enough in this digital age to simply share your offers with the world. People are craving connection more than ever and the way to connect with your audience is to give them a glimpse of your personality and who you are behind the brand.

Introverts make some of the best public speakers.

As an introvert, you may think that you are not primed to pursue public speaking roles. But in fact, the best public speakers are the ones that listen. And introverted business owners tend to be the best listeners. 

They are attuned to what their clients actually need and can provide the information and insights that will best help them. They aren’t concerned with being the centre of attention, they just want to help their clients. 

If you need some inspo – do a little research and have a squiz of what other aligned brands are sharing with their audience and how it is received.

4 tips for mastering your PR pitches

1. Identify your story

The most prolific personalities, business people and celebrities have identified the key points in their stories and they share them on repeat. 

You don’t need to share every story from your life or business but get clear on the stories that are relevant to your business and clients. Jacqui can recite Sara Blakely’s backstory almost verbatim because she’s heard it so many times through multiple channels. But Sara has identified the parts of her story that resonate with her audience and uses them on repeat for maximum impact. 

2. Practice

As boring as it sounds, practice makes perfect. Recite your story to multiple audiences to help refine your storytelling for the most impact on your audience. Social media is a great place for practising storytelling through things like short-form videos.

3. Start before you think you’re ready

Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you pitch to that podcast or TV show. Because the reality is, your story will change and evolve as time goes on – so you’re never going to have the whole thing rehearsed and perfected because chances are the details have changed anyway.

4. Have a pitch deck on hand

This is an A4 document with your bio, your photo and any other relevant info. Have this ready to go to send alongside your pitches. This should be tailored to whatever you’re pitching but can include things like: a link to podcasts you’ve previously guested on, videos of previous public speaking engagements or relevant evidence of your expertise. Aside from providing collateral evidence – this also helps to establish a professional brand image and shows that you’re the real deal. 

5. Be realistic about who you’re pitching to

Do your research about the brand or person you’re pitching to. Ensure their values align with yours, their target market is similar and that you’re a good fit for the speaking opportunity. Because as nice as it would be to secure a keynote speaking position at a multinational company conference, you may not have the right experience to fulfil that kind of gig (yet!)

Confidence on social media doesn’t = confidence IRL

Being a good speaker on social media doesn’t always translate to great public speaking skills at real-life events. Social media gives us the luxury of filters and multiple takes before we hit publish. Speaking live – especially on TV – is a completely different beast.

How to feel confident public speaking when you’re terrified AF

Public speaking is one of those things that has a bad reputation. Many people fear it and so will think about all the things that can go wrong during a presentation or public speaking gig.

Jacqui recommends a reframe where you think about all the things that could go right. Things like – receiving feedback from someone that it was just what they needed to hear, or giving someone a huge belly laugh on a hard day – there are so many opportunities for things to go right if you take the time to tune into them.

Never a mistake, always a lesson

Even if the worst-case scenario comes true – there is always something to learn from our mistakes. So, instead of choosing to berate or judge yourself, try to look for the lesson and ways to improve for next time. Sometimes these lessons don’t emerge until much later but trust that you will benefit from them somehow.

Jacqui admits to her share of mistakes throughout her acting career but acknowledges that she wouldn’t be as diligent now in her research, not only for her acting roles – but for her client work, as if she hadn’t made those errors. And consider the alternative – give up? Hell no!

How To Build Confidence and Elevate Your Brand Through Public Speaking with Jacqui Maloney

Connect with Jacqui Maloney

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    Content & launch wizard, business coach, podcaster & your new teacher

    Combining my love of writing and degree in marketing, my services are designed specifically to support businesses (like yours) with their online strategy and content must-haves


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