Accounting Influencers Roundtable


Public Speaking Success Tips for Accountants

alexandra bond burnett on the BD Academy Accounting Influencers podcast with Rob BrownAlexandra Bond Burnett is an award-winning accounting entrepreneur and speaking coach. Her mission is to boost the speaking, confidence and relationship skills of the accounting profession as the digital age sets in. She spent 10 years working in theatre as a trainer, teaching actors to be facilitators and acting methods as a highly effective tool for learning.

She now combines this with her corporate experience to teach businesses how be emotionally intelligent leaders. Using NLP and performance techniques, Alexandra has helped her clients be more efficient by learning to respond to their audiences and build long lasting relationships. A frequent speaker on confidence to build client relationships,

With a previous career in financial services she set up Blue Arrow Accounting in 2014. Designed to run alongside her theatre work, Blue Arrow became an early adopter of digital accounting processes so that the work could travel with Alexandra, and with her clients. Shownotes:

  • How the accountant of the past differs from the modern day accountant, largely due to technology
  • Accountants as a race are resistant to change, and often not coachable when it comes to new skills and traits
  • There are many upsides for accountants who are prepared to learn new skills around selling, communicating and networking
  • Why presenting is essential skills for modern day accountants, either for big talks or 1 to 1 conversations
  • it’s hard to make dry analytical data sexy, to it’s vital accountants can tell the story behind the numbers
  • The benefits for accountants of a ‘value to you’ vocabulary when speaking to clients
  • When accountants can connect raw information with what matters to clients, it makes their communication more meaningful
  • The emotions that drive human behaviour and how accountants can use them to drive business forward
  • Tips for addressing larger audiences who have mixed needs and motivations
  • There are a few different ways to tell a story, such as the famous ‘hero’s tale
  • Accountants mistakenly make themselves the hero of the story, when it should be the client, so the accountant can be the guide, mentor or advisor
  • Compliance work makes accounting clients think ‘I will feel safe in your hands’ but advisory work goes well beyond that
  • Why accounting professionals struggle so much with essential tasks such as speaking in public and business networking
  • Networking and presenting are prime opportunities to tell your story and become advocates for accountants
  • Body language tips for simple things like sitting in a meeting – it’s all about perceptions of others
  • Voice and breath – turns out we don’t breathe enough!
  • The role of scripts (reading) vz memory to help accountants prepare things in advance of presentations of meetings
  • The importance of ending strongly in your accounting presentations – loud and proud!
  • How being a better communicator and speaker help accountants in leadership roles
  • ACCA recognises emotional intelligence as a critical skill for successful accountants
  • Transactional communication means emotions and words go both ways so accountants need to improve their delivery and read others
  • The value of training, practice and even virtual reality to help your speaking skills
  • What accountants can learn from how Anita Roddick (founder of Body Shop) got her first bank loan.

A champion for #womeninfinance, recently Alexandra has founded SpeakBox, a speaking club for women on the leadership track to learn and practise pitching and presentation skills. She noticed a skills gap, with women in finance coming to her for help getting to senior positions. Outside of the office, Alexandra spends time with her husband, young son, and two dogs.

Find out more at or to contact Alexandra directly:

Twitter: @bondambitionuk

Alex on LinkedIn