MetaSpeech: Public Speaking and Presentation Coaching for Businesses Large and Small
M eeting the Founders of Metaspeech, learning more about their offering and how it could be of benefit to many a small business we thought we would share our findings with you.


Tell us about your business? Why did you start?

We created Metaspeech to help speakers feel more confident and engage with their audiences. As trained choreographers, we see the speaking situation as a performance. If there is an audience, automatically rules of theatre apply. It is rare to receive a training in delivering a pitch, presentation, talk and even less usual to understand that the body is the best tool to help you communicate your ideas. Going to pitch nights to support our friends and seeing how unprepared speakers were when standing in front of a 50 odd audience, made us realise that the training we received as dancers/performers is invaluable.

Having to adapt to unfamiliar situations is part of what we do. We teach body-based techniques that help speakers articulate their confidence, refine their message, and handle criticism. Presenting is performing our authentic “self” and we are always aware that we are being watched, analysed, and judged. It is this awareness that can make or break a speaker. The skills we teach take time to become second nature, but once they do, they are yours for life.

How did you start? How long ago?

We met 4 years ago at an MA programme at Trinity Laban Dance Conservatoire. We started working together immediately and carried on after the programme. Our vision is that choreography should be experienced and used by everybody as we do not attach the term to dance alone. Choreography is organising movement and this is a skill transferrable to many aspects of the human experience, including public speaking.
About two years ago, a friend of Mariana’s was launching his business in London. He’s a cybersecurity specialist and he asked us to help him communicate his personal brand. We had a 1- hour session to prepare him for a photoshoot and it was him who suggested we could help other people with their communication.
Mariana at the time was part of Campus For Mums no1 and the idea of coaching entrepreneurs became bigger. The accelerator programme Bethnal Green Ventures invited us to coach their 10 teams for their DemoDay, we then decided to have a name, visual identity, and brand voice: that is how Metaspeech was born!

What challenges have you overcome?

The biggest challenge remains how to educate people about the need to train to speak in front of an audience. We overcome that by giving free sessions in key places like TechHub, Campus London and partnering with accelerators and incubators like Pilabs, Innovation Warehouse, The Bakery, and Incubus. This delivers an active experience and entrepreneurs see for themselves the value of what we do, usually realising how poorly aware of their body language they are.

Having two businesses, Metaspeech and Marquez&Zangs, is a challenge in itself. It requires double the energy to keep both going. And we also had to learn to make tough choices and master the art of prioritising. But the businesses are related and they feed each other greatly. For example we developed a mega-tailored approach to our Metaspeech clients because that’s how we deliver our creative projects at M&Z. And that makes us really different in the public speaking space.

What has the journey been like?

We always joke about how much we paddle until we get to what we want. It happens a lot that we fail and have to reconsider our angles. With Metaspeech, every coaching session is a learning experience for us too. People bring very different challenges and we need to constantly adapt and be on our toes in order to deliver high value to them.

We had no idea that something like body language could impact people’s lives so much. And that we would enjoy it so much. The rewards are daily as we see our clients go and get what they want. A truly fascinating journey so far.

Where are you now?

With Metaspeech we grew surprisingly quickly. We know we are on a roller coaster, it keeps going faster and faster so we need to anticipate going down to avoid injuries. ;)

What are your future plans?

We are working towards hiring and growing the team soon, from management to other coaches.

We are also in the process of writing an e-book/workbook for people to download and start learning or to refresh their knowledge before an upcoming speaking engagement. The e-book will complement and expand on our sessions with theory, examples, and checklists of our 5-part method.

There are more blogposts and videos on the way including a mini-series of practical exercises to become a fearless speaker! So sign up to our newsletter at www.metaspeech.com

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