👹 How Gary Neville mastered public speaking to build his personal brand

Last year, Keir Starmer invited footballer turned pundit Gary Neville to give a talk at the Labour Party Conference. It’s a great example of what can happen when you use your voice to build your personal brand. The secret to his success?

Give yourself permission to have an opinion.

If there was one piece of advice I could give to everyone who wants to use public speaking to build their personal brand, this would be it.

His media appearances are full of opinion. He doesn't sit on the fence or try to appease the audience. He calls it as he sees it.

But here’s where it gets interesting…

When Gary Neville started out as a pundit on Monday Night Football, he displayed all of the signs of someone who was completely out of their depth…

❌ Forced smile
❌ Awkward hands
❌ Constant shifting side to side
❌ Pacing on the spot
❌ Fake laugh
❌ Inflecting up at the end of your sentence

It is a stark contrast to how he communicates today. Just watch this 43-second clip from his appearance at the Labour Party conference…

These two clips prove that communication is something that you can hone, regardless of your age. Gary has something in the second clip that he doesn’t have in the first...


His words carry more weight. Here are some simple things you can do to ensure that yours do too:

  1. Choose a facial expression that matches the tone of your content 😶

  2. Speak with a lower tone 🎶

  3. Inflect down at the end of your sentences ⤵️

  4. Use definitive language (no ‘kind ofs,’ ‘maybes’ or ‘likes’) 💪.

    And above all…

  5. Express your opinion 🎯

How can you possibly, in a million years think that way?!

I think they are the only man and woman in this country who thought that would be a good idea.

Notice that when he delivered his opinion, not only did he slow down, but he also spoke up. This made us experience the emotion behind his words, not just hear them.

Opinions are divisive, they require courage and most presentations are void of any.

Therein lies the opportunity, because they also get you noticed - in Gary’s case by the odds-on favourite to be the next Prime Minister.

By expressing his opinions, Gary has transcended football and moved into the worlds of business and Politics. It’s no surprise that he will be guest-starring in the next series of Dragon’s Den.

Remember, if people didn't care about what YOU think, they'd have asked someone else to present instead.

Go get 'em!


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