How to present to 1,500 media professionals without being terrified

Chloe Hooper
By Chloe Hooper | 3 November 2021
Chloe Hooper.

Chloe Hooper, Change Agent, Bare Feat Business

Being part of the inaugural MFA EX event in 2019 was a career highlight for Chloe Hooper, experiencing the power of the industry when we all come together.

Exhilarated. That’s how I felt in 2019 when I stepped out bare foot to speak in front of 1500 people from my industry at MFA EX, the MFA Effectiveness Expo. My submission had been chosen among other Inspiration X entrants, giving me the opportunity to present ‘Are you R&Dy?’, my rallying cry to put Australia on the map for media innovation through investing in R&D.

Despite being hugely passionate about the topic, the initial thought of presenting in front of ‘the whole industry’ of about 1,500 media professionals was TERRIFYING.

So how did I get to the point where I was filled with adrenaline on stage instead of being filled with nerves?

Rob Pyne volunteered his time to coach me through the process (thanks, Rob!). Rob’s approach was unique. Thankfully, he didn’t give me the traditional ‘pretend everyone in the audience is naked speech’; instead, he honed in on the content and ensured I was comfortable with articulating my story.

The MFA organised rehearsals and check-ins along the way. An industry-led panel provided guidance and an opportunity to rehearse in front of a live audience.

‘I normally present with no shoes on, so it will feel really strange wearing shoes on stage,’ I said as I walked into the first rehearsal. To that, Greg Graham, one of the industry experts on hand to support, said: ‘Kick your shoes off then. We want you to be your authentic self.” That was the moment I felt I could truly relax into the process.

When I think of my time in media to date, MFA EX is without a doubt one of my highlights. I had one of those rare moments in life, where I genuinely felt proud of myself. I did it!

For those of you who joined the industry in the past 18 months, you will have seen a different side to the industry. Although there are benefits to WFH, we are powerful together as an industry, and MFA EX brings that to life. The MFA EX event encompasses what it means to work in media.

MFA EX will bring together the industry for an opportunity to reconnect in Sydney on February 10, 2022, and Melbourne on February, 16, 2022.

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