Shelly Horton is confidence personified and teaching others to speak up, step up and shine. TV Presenter, Media Personality, Journalist, MC, Entrepreneur and now Media Trainer is helping others find their voice and inner Beyoncé.
From a small country town, Shelly Horton forged her own path with pure ambition, passion and determination onto the Sydney scene – creating a name for herself and a long list of accomplishments to follow.
Host of 9Honey’s ‘Talking Honey’, He Said/She Said and Married At First Sight’s spin off chat show called ‘Talking Married’. Shelly has appeared weekly on Channel 9’s ‘TODAY’, ‘TODAY EXTRA’, ‘3pm News’ and ‘Weekend TODAY’ for over five years regularly delivering informative and entertaining opinion segments.
Shelly Horton is a well-respected journalist, TV presenter, MC and founder of her own production company ‘ShellShocked Media’, where she also hosts media and presentation courses. Sharing more than just presentation and media techniques, Shelly focuses on improving one’s confidence and skills to nail every virtual or face-to-face meeting – helping people find their inner Beyoncé.
An enthusiastic supporter and advocate of women’s health and lifestyle issues, Shelly hosts her own co-created health podcast, ‘Things you can’t talk about on TV’, where she openly discusses and brings to light so-called embarrassing or difficult health topics with her unique and witty approach.
During her 25-year career, Shelly has worked for ABC Radio, TV Channel Seven, Fairfax & Entertainment Tonight USA, all whilst still finding time to deliver her practical and inspiring keynote speeches both locally and globally. Shelly knows what it takes to be a successful presenter on any platform, finding creative ways to weave her client’s message into her cheeky and honest delivery.
She’s bubbly, full of life and gives a hundred percent to everything she does. I recently had the great pleasure of chatting with the confident and fearless Shelley Horton, a woman whose passion for life is evident in all she creates, who inspires others to do and be more, to move into the future confidently, especially post COVID-19.
Here at Heels Agency, we love to share inspirational journeys with our readers at the best of times and believe, now more than ever, we all could use a fresh perspective to keep going. It’s a critical time for many, both personally and professionally and it’s imperative that we support one another during this COVID-19 crisis. Sometimes, it’s just a simple insight or technique that can make all the difference, helping us come out stronger on the other side.
Shelly Horton shares her tips for success and pivoting during a crisis.
This may come as a surprise to many, but flamboyant Sydney based Shelly Horton grew up and completed her schooling years in a small country town in Queensland called Kingaroy, with a population of just 5,000 before making it big in the city.
I had to make drastic life changes to follow my career path, leaving my hometown and everything familiar to move to Sydney, that was a huge step for me. I began working right away, starting at the bottom and working my way up – I was by no means an ‘overnight success’. No one is!
I’ve worked in media for 25 years, it’s taken many years of hard work and loads of ambition to get to where I am today, regular TV Presenting spots, Public Speaking events & the owner of my very own Media company, I was determined to make it happen.
I went from the red soil to the red carpet. – Shelly Horton
TV presenting was my first love and I’m so grateful that it’s still a regular part of my week. However, my proudest moment to date, was starting my own business, ShellShocked Media – It’s my baby and i’m so passionate about it. I feel very fortunate, I’ve managed to create the the perfect work mix for me, combining all my passions – MC gigs, Channel Nine presenting commitments and my own business, I love it.
Starting your own business is bloody hard, but it’s also very rewarding and I really love being my own boss.
Demi – What advice would you give about ‘breaking’ into the industry?
There was no “break” there was a journalism degree, work experience, 25 years of hard work, knock backs, picking myself back up and working harder. Journalism sounds glamorous, and sometimes it is, but it is also a lot of hard work.
Don’t expect the highs straight away. Earn them.
Demi – Many aspiring tv presenters and business owners struggle with confidence, what advice would you give?
No-one is confident 100% of the time. Not even me. If someone is 100% confident all of the times it means they are probably off their meds! But confidence can be taught. It’s a skill. I can teach you tricks and tips to boost your confidence so when you are not feeling it, you have the tools to use to lift yourself back up.
Demi – What advice would you give on delivering a great presentation?
My life motto is the 5Ps – Prior Preparation Prevents Piss-poor Performance. If you’ve put in the work, rehearsed in front of a mirror and know your stuff, you won’t be nervous.
Demi – Tell us a little about ‘ShellShocked Media’ services?
ShellShocked Media is a brave, new video production company that specialises in media and presentation training. We create inspiring editorial, native and branded video content for a range of clients. We use humour and disarming honesty to get the message across.
What makes ShellShocked Media different is that we’re not afraid of uncomfortable conversations and difficult topics.
Demi – Why choose ShellShocked training courses?
A lot of people teach media and presentation training but haven’t been in the public eye themselves. I’m on TV three times a week and MC events around the nation. I walk the walk.
If you want beige you’ve come to the wrong place.
Demi – What are the greatest benefits of running your own show?
I look back at my journalism career and realise most of my clashes at work came from the fact that I have a real problem with authority and I’d argue with my bosses all the time. So, I figured the best way to solve that problem was to BECOME the boss. Being in charge of your own destiny and charting your own course is thrilling. I LOVE it!
Sometimes I feel like wearing a superhero cape to work.
Demi – What does it take to become a successful tv personality or businesswoman?
Understand it is not all roses! I like being my own boss but that also means the buck stops with me. It’s definitely a lot of pressure. If you don’t win a client, it’s really hard to not take rejection personally because your business is you.
Regardless, if it’s a new client or show – you have to hustle for work and that means putting yourself out there for judgment. There have been plenty of times I’ve been curled up in a ball, crying on the couch. If you’re passionate about what you do, it is hard to take knock backs.
But I say feeling vulnerable means you care.
Demi – Did you have any fears starting your business or breaking into the entertainment industry? What advice would you give?
I had ALL the fears. Massive impostor syndrome. But the longer you’re in the industry, the more you realise everyone does. My biggest advice is try not to listen to your inner critic. We as women are way too hard on ourselves!
Tell that bitch to piss off. – Shelly Horton
Demi – Have you had to make any changes to your business during COVID-19 and what are they?
Of course! I lost 80% of my work and my husband lost 100% of his! I cried every day for two weeks. And guess what? That’s okay and that’s normal! Everyone is being encouraged to pivot and recreate their company online. That’s not a pivot, it’s pirouetting like a ballerina on something strong. It’s exhausting!
I soon realised there was a newly created need in the market for people who were now forced to work from home for the very first time, and who were not familiar with virtual meetings and tools like Zoom or Teams.
With my TV presenting skills and my husband’s camera and lighting experience, this was the perfect time to start sharing some of our techniques on how to present oneself in the best possible light when in front of any camera or audience.
We completely changed our business model to meet market demands and created our first online course ‘Making Virtual Meetings Work’, where people can learn how to avoid all of the virtual pitfalls of working from home like accidentally turning on a filter, so you look like a potato for an entire meeting.
So, in just two weeks I researched, produced, presented and my husband filmed and edited the course. It felt good to have a purpose. And, it’s something most people need!
Currently, I also MC three virtual conferences – which is exhausting because as an extrovert, I get my energy from the crowd and this is just performing to a tiny camera lens on my computer – but hey it’s a new skill.
I now do my Channel Nine crosses via Skype. I do my media training via Zoom.
COVID-19 CURRENT COURSES
Shelly is currently running two online courses specifically targeting those who would like some helpful presenting techniques; ‘Making Virtual Meetings Work’ and ‘How to Shine on Camera’ and is also available for one-on-one coaching, via Zoom.
Demi – Tell us about the courses you currently run at ShellShocked Media and who they’re ideal for?
Now Zoom and Google Hangout have replaced the office meeting room, I’ll help you nail the new normal. I’ll provide you with tips on setting up your home office, help you to look good on camera, a few technical hacks, some cheeky presentation tips and cover the do’s and don’ts of running virtual meetings.
It’s for individuals who are running their business from home or corporates who have staff who are now working from home and are struggling with virtual meetings. It will help everyone feel more confident in front of a webcam.
An online media and presentation training program for anyone who needs to step in front of a camera for work or media interviews. I’ll show you how to control your nerves, dress for success and polish your key messages. You’ll walk away with the ability to deliver a professional, confident and polished performance.
It’s for anyone who is about to step into the media or public eye (whether it’s willingly or unwillingly), business owners, leaders, experts, and specialists in any field.
COVID-19 WORKING REMOTELY
Demi – What sort of measures, apps, programs etc. have you put in place and believe are important whilst working remotely?
Well, first of all do my course! It goes through everything from setting up a routine, camera angles (hint you wouldn’t take a selfie from your lap – so don’t sit your computer there for a Zoom meeting – all the chins) virtual meeting etiquette, preparation, and mental health.
COVID-19 AFTER EFFECTS
Demi – Do you believe there will be long-term effects on businesses after COVID-19 ?
I believe that although lockdown is temporary, COVID-19 has changed the way we work forever. I won’t fly to Melbourne for a business meeting anymore, I can make the same impact via a Zoom meeting. I think a lot of companies will be cost cutting now that we’ve all adapted to new technology.
Embrace the change and you’ll have the skills forever.
Demi – Do you have any inspirational words to share during COVID-19?
I have been chanting “This too shall pass” (whilst also rocking on the couch) but it’s true – we will get through this together.
Shelly Horton shares her insights on business, media and life.
I love what I do because… It’s my passion.
Never be afraid of… Hard work.
My greatest talent is… I can say the alphabet backwards really quickly.
My biggest challenge is… Burnout.
I overcame that challenge by… Fly and flop holidays. Pick a place, fly there and flop by a pool for a week.
When starting a business one must… Prepare for ups and downs.
Most rewarding career moment so far… Starting my own business.
Best gig… Hosting my first solo TV show, Talking Married.
Celebrities I’ve loved working with… Lucy Lawless once let me try on her Xena Princess Warrior costume.
Funny MAFS moment … I got recognised in a nursing home because of MAFS – I didn’t expect that to be the target audience.
Most entertaining MAFS personality … Lizzie is my favourite MAFS star because she’s quirky and she drops truth bombs.
Favourite Netflix/Stan series or show… Killing Eve – ABC iView.
I never go to work without… Breath mints and a positive attitude.
Never underestimate… A determined gal.
I hope to one day… Host my own TV show – The Shelly Show.
In my spare time I like to… Cuddle on the couch with my husband and two rescue dogs Mr Barkley and Bella.
My favourite beauty products are… Lovely perfume by Sarah Jessica Parker, I’ve worn it for ten years.
Every girl needs… A pair of killer heels. Sophia Webster is my favourite shoe designer.
On perfection… It’s actually a mind fuck. I used to be proud to be a perfectionist but now I see it as a drawback. Perfection is boring. Colour outside the lines to get noticed.
I absolutely love… Performing to a crowd – either in person, on TV or online.
Happiness is… Rescue puppies!
Success means… Being proud of yourself at all stages.
What it takes… Hard bloody work. It’s as simple as that!
It’s important… It’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice.
The dream… Doing what I love and travelling to exotic places. I’ve been to 52 countries so far.
In hindsight… I would not change much except I would have loved to start my business earlier in my career. It provides me with so much satisfaction.
Tips & tools… Yes, of course. In my online courses and one-on-one coaching I always teach a breathing technique that helps control nerves and makes you calm. It’s probably my biggest tip and skill I teach people. I use it myself.
My favourite quote is… 5P’s- Prior Preparation Prevents Piss-poor Performance.
What’s next… After COVID-19 I will hug every person I meet. I miss hugs so much.
Always… Be kind. Every time.
Stay connected with Shelly Horton at ‘ShellShocked Media’ via the following links:
Thank you Shelly Horton for sharing your exciting journey with us and our readers. You’re a lively, brilliant and energetic woman who fully lives and breathes her many passions, each and every day. You are an inspiration for all women, working and laughing hard, the perfect mix! – Demi Karan – CEO/Founder, Heels Agency