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Podium Communications Blog

Voice exercises are vital for speakers

After a four week vacation one year, my first job back was a full day workshop. Towards the end, my voice cracked, wavered and almost died. I was panicking. Am I going to lose my voice in front of this important client? I didn’t… but the experience taught me an important lesson: don’t neglect your voice exercises. As a speaker, your voice is your […]

Are your speeches music, or musak?

Every morning, I catch up on the news and weather from the little radio in my bathroom. When I shower, I turn up the volume if there’s an interview I’d like to hear but I’m pressed for time. I don’t always hear the words clearly, because of the noise of the water. But what I do hear is important for all speakers. I hear the […]

Why speakers need to be more like Bill, less like Hillary

It’s not what you say. It’s the way your message is heard. In other words, no amount of polishing of your message will help you if you can’t engage and hold your audience. The Clintons are a great example of connection and non-connection. Bill is the great connector. He still has a remarkable ability to inject energy into a room. His primary connection is […]

The best stories are about finding the ‘gift of the hit’

When you tell a story in your speeches or presentations, are you making it as compelling as it could possibly be? Are you developing all the essential elements of story to have your audience leaning forward in their chairs, eager to hear more? Are you clear about the most compelling element of any story? A book to be published in Canada next week begins […]

Why job-seekers need presentation and media skills

Are job-seekers really prepared for those make-or-break recruitment interviews? You can have all the knowledge, all the degrees and diplomas in the world… but will they be enough to land you the great job you’ve set your heart on? These thoughts came to mind as I read a BBC News report headlined ‘Brown shoes and loud ties hinder investment banking hopefuls’. A survey by […]

Trust yourself to cook up a winning speech

What can a speaker learn from a chef? Well, actually a lot. I was able to watch a talented young chef, Clay Purchase, perform his magic the other day. I was visiting Clay’s parents. His mother Joanne and I were cooking duck breast in the kitchen. We were carefully following the instructions, but it wasn’t going well. The skins were not getting crispy. There […]

Tell your story and change a life

I was a child of the 60’s and 70’s. Didn’t wear flowers in my hair or Birkenstocks (they killed my feet). But I did have a teacher, a ‘guru’. I remember going to India to hear him teach. One hot day, we were all sitting around, crossed-legged, listening to him. I can’t remember what he was saying exactly but suddenly he sighed. He looked […]

Why sound dull when you’re really not?

In our TalkitOut presentation skills courses we insist that the key to authentic speeches is using words that slide easily off the tongue. Sounds obvious, but from our experience many would-be speakers sabotage their authenticity by the way they prepare their script. Most speeches and presentation are prepared in silence. The author sits hunched over a keyboard, staring at a blank screen and praying […]

Focus: the courage to leave stuff out

Don’t try to say too much. Whether you are writing promotional copy, preparing a speech, or planning a presentation, you need to focus your thoughts. It’s a good idea to aim for just one big thought. Resist the temptation to say too much. The more you give, the less people get. (Check our blog about Khriz Khan’s remarkable six minute speech to the Democratic […]

A six minute lesson in public speaking

Forget Donald Trump. Forget Hillary Clinton. Forget the other experienced performers who were wheeled out to support the presidential candidates. The star speaking performance at either of the big conventions, Republican or Democrat, was a man few had heard of. This man had no team of writers. He had no performance coach. He used no teleprompter for his script. Khizr Khan had no script. […]

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