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Podium Communications Blog

Stories as a tool for social change

You have a great cause. You need to fundraise. You need government to change policy. You need people to rally behind you. How do you advocate for funds and/or policy changes? With story. Tell compelling stories. First you need a structure to hang your stories on. Begin with the pain your group has suffered. What is the most dramatic suffering you know of because […]

Elevate your writing with 8 great tips

Thinking of writing some copy for a website or flyer? Here are eight quick tips to ensure your words work hard for you. Abbreviate – short words, short sentences. Copy writing is not the place to show off your vocabulary or your ability to craft complex sentences. Simple words in short sentences work best. If you smell smoke, shout ‘fire’. Shout ‘conflagration’ and people may […]

Why storytelling trumps those boring slides

While others in the movie theatre are holding their breaths, palms moist, as the villain takes aim at the hero, Paul Zak’s attention is elsewhere. He’s not watching the screen. He’s peering into the brains of the other movie fans. To be precise, he’s monitoring how the ebb and flow of a well-told story affects the brain activity of those engaged with the story. […]

Guide to media interview success

To have a successful media interview you need to focus on just one thing – it’s all about your message. A lot of our clients worry that they have little control over a media interview. They worry that reporters are out to trip them up, with questions that are off-topic, misinformed, contrary, or confrontational. It doesn’t have to be like that. You have much more […]

How to strip away fears about speeches

Usually nervous speakers are counselled to imagine their audience naked. It’s supposed to take their mind off their nerves. I’m going to suggest the opposite. Become a naked speaker. Oh, don’t worry. You keep your clothes on. There is some stripping to be done – but it’s the removal of the bits and pieces that get in the way of a good, confident, clear […]

Why you need to trust your own voice

The key to being a great speaker (and a success in life) is to be authentic; to be who you truly are, in any situation. Don’t try to sound or act like someone else. Speak the way you always do. Behave the way you normally would. Don’t use gestures that are foreign to you. Don’t use words that you never use on a regular […]

Post-It note’s clue to creativity

A friend of mine once gave me a set of lavender coloured Post-It notes for my birthday. I thought that was a pretty strange birthday present – until I read what was written on the post-it notes. The message said: “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.” That really resonated with me: if I wanted to […]

How the story ‘drug’ makes your message stick

Information delivered in the form of a story is much more easily remembered by an audience than straight facts. Why is that? Why do we remember character-driven stories much better than factual information? It seems the answer has a little to do with the way our brain works, and a little to do with a drug our brains like. But first, a statistic to make […]

Humour in speeches: risky but valuable

As soon and my husband and I saw this sign in front of our local coffee shop, we burst out laughing. ‘Unsupervised children will be given a double expresso and a puppy’ led me to think of what displaying this bit of humour publicly says about the personality of the cafe owners, the atmosphere they like to create in their cafe, and their relationship […]

Pitching workshops focus on story

Can you use stories to get more business? Absolutely. This year Podium Coaching has introduced pitching workshops into its roster of courses. And story plays a vital part. Most pitches follow a formula: Name Position within organization Description of what company does Everything in this pitch formula is about facts. It’s predictable. And it focuses on the speaker and the organization, rather than the […]

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