Podium Coaching Blog
When the news is bad – evasion just makes it worse
We all know clear communication is important. But in times of trouble it’s critical. When a business, a government or a country is in crisis, rule number one must be to keep everyone informed. There is nothing worse than not knowing.
Right now in Japan, people are suffering from a triple whammy of tragedy, an earthquake followed by a tsunami followed by explosions in a nuclear reactor.
It couldn’t get much worse. But it is – because there are good reasons to believe the government and especially the Tokyo Electric Power Company have been holding back information.
The two most common reasons for withholding information are 1) not to cause a panic and 2) to protect self interest. Holding back information at times of crisis doesn’t help anyone. For countries and corporations, it inevitably means a lot of back-tracking and explaining when the crisis is over. It means a loss of trust.
For people who’ve lost loved ones, homes and possessions, it’s adding more tension to a situation already more stressful than many of us can imagine. And people won’t forget they were kept in the dark in their time of need.
The more information you give – honestly and openly, even if it’s only to say you don’t know – the more trust you gain. The key to power in the age of information is not to withhold information but to give it freely and honestly. It’s the only way to build lasting trust and honest relationships.
Helping students overcome presentation fears
by Halina St James
One of the many things commerce students have to do in university is make presentations. For many it’s a nerve wracking experience. So hats off to universities who give their students an advantage by bringing in a presentation skills coach.
One such school is the Ron Joyce Centre for Business Studies at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick.
I just spent time with a first year commerce class there. The students have to make three presentations, which account for 30% of their final mark. They do group presentations of four people. Their professor, Peter Sianchuk, says many struggle to overcome nerves or shyness.
I gave the students the basics of my Talkitout™ Technique, and some strategies for powerful presentations. Then I talked to them about the experiences of some of my clients, like advertising companies, who regularly make group presentations. (more…)
Lessons from the Dragon’s Den
The Dragon’s Den team is in Nova Scotia, auditioning for the show. Dragon’s Den is the successful reality TV show (CBC) where budding entrepreneurs pitch their products and ideas to a panel of business moguls who can crush them or bankroll them.
Podium’s Halina St James asked producer Molly Duignan what tips she had for people wanting to be on the show. Molly’s advice is good for anyone making presentations.
First, she said, remember, Dragon’s Den is a television show. It has to be entertaining. It’s the same when you’re making a presentation. You need to inform your audience but you also need to entertain them. Bring your presentation to life with stories, and changes of emphasis and tone. (more…)