‘Passion and Balance. Two very important words. Without Balance, I’ll lose start to lose my sense of individuality and who I am. Without Passion for what I’m doing, I lose that fire in my belly, the inspiration behind it all. I wouldn’t be writing this now if I wasn’t inspired.’

That quote above is from a blog that I set up at the end of 2014.

My parents had just split up, the family house was sold. I was working as a temp in numerous offices every week for very little money to try to make ends meet, whilst also trying to continue my passion for acting. I’m a performer by trade and that year I’d really started to connect with directors, producers and actors and that fire in my belly was very much there.

I’d decided the two words I would focus on going into 2015 were Passion and Balance.

I was 24, had gone through a fairly traumatic year and my identity had completely changed – not wanting to sound like a cliche but I was a small girl running around a big city trying to work out who on earth she was. Blogging was another outlet that I was using to help keep those creative juices flowing amongst the noise of living in London on minimum wage.

I stumbled across this old blog of mine purely by accident this morning, when I got an email from Blogspot (told you it was going back a few years) saying I hadn’t posted for a while (since October 2015… no sh*t Sherlock).

I read through it and I was really struck by was how I was writing. I wrote in the same way I spoke.

Honestly, every single word that I wrote, I could hear in my head being said.

I’m not going to lie, I was struggling to write this post. Not because I didn’t know what to say, but I wanted to make it personal. Because the best way of acing your presence is to be authentically YOU. That person who accidentally occasionally burps too loudly (guilty) or leaves their leg hair to become an extra layer of warmth in the winter (as charged) or secretly gets Deliveroo one too many times a week because it’s oh so convenient (yes, we all have quirks).

So many of us say what we feel they need to say, as opposed to what we really want to say.

Or freeze as soon as we have the opportunity to speak our thoughts and ideas because we’re worried about what people will think. Yes, I think it does get slightly easier as you get older but we are saturated through social media with expectations which in turn can play to how we think we should come across. But then we lose our individuality.

We become the same as everyone else.

It’s our thoughts, our feelings and our experiences that make us who we are. They make us different. They allow us to get inspired by things that some people also get excited about whilst others don’t. Balance reminds us to connect with that. To take time to reflect. Develop that bond with our own voice and beat to the rhythm of our own drum.

For me, that’s what makes things exciting.

That’s how to go about acing your presence on stage.

To feel that fire in one’s stomach, say things in the way that makes you passionate and in turn, inspire other people. Passion and Balance. The best public speakers carry their passion and balance close to the surface of their skin. They’re inspiring to see perform and magnetic in their appeal.

What will you speak passionately about?

Amy Leighton