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Podium Communications Blog

Tips to keep a presentation on track

Ever have one of those days when you find yourself talking – but you felt as though your mouth was on auto-pilot? I have. And a number of my clients have confessed lately to having the same sensation. Just last week a client told me about standing up to make a presentation – and feeling as though the mouth was disengaged from the brain. […]

Give your audiences the gift of light

Most years around this time I get an unexpected visitor in my office. He or she drops in from the sky and gets trapped in the chimney leading to my office fireplace. My visitor is usually a young starling. I hear the fluttering in the fireplace as I work. I do what I’ve always done with the trapped birds.I close my office door, open […]

Stay on message to avoid trouble

Staying ‘on message’ in a media interview means saying what you need to say, and avoiding irrelevancies and distractions. Say what you planned to say, avoid over-elaborating, and – above all – don’t get drawn into areas that don’t support your message. A politician who wants to be Britain’s next Prime Minister just discovered, the hard way, what happens when you stray off-message. Andrea […]

Media skills 101: microphones always ‘live’

If you are ever in a radio or television studio, or in the company of journalists, you would be wise to assume 1: their microphones are ‘live’, 2: whatever you are saying is being recorded, 3: whatever is recorded could be used – regardless of your wishes. In our media skills sessions, we regularly warn people of the dangers of careless words spoken anywhere […]

Two tips to help achieve a conversational style

Nervous speakers get lots of advice before they step on stage: relax, be yourself, be conversational. Trouble is, no-one tells them how difficult it is to relax, be yourself and be conversational when every eye in the room is locked on you. The advice is good, of course. Those three ideas are essential to an effective presentation or speech. We just need to remember […]

Don’t let your imagination take a nap

Are you a slave to a search engine? Are you in danger of sacrificing insight and imagination in favour of 49,400,000 results in 0.59 seconds? (That’s what I got when I plugged ‘public speaking’ into Google). Today every fact in the world is at our finger tips. Every conceivable subject is covered. It’s so easy to gather data to flesh out a speech or […]

Speaking tips from Muhammed Ali

What can a boxer teach us about public speaking? Plenty, if the boxer was Muhammed Ali. In recent days the world has mourned his death. There have been tributes aplenty to his athletic skills, his courage, his principled stands, and his grace and dignity in coping with Parkinson’s Disease. Sure,  Muhammed Ali could connect with his punches. Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, George Foreman and all […]

Crisis communications: do’s and don’ts

The massive forest fires that devastated Fort McMurray have tested the crisis communications skills of everyone – the local fire chief, the politicians, the oil companies. There have been some conspicuous successes, and a few head-shaking moments. First there was veteran Fire Chief Darby Allen, the human face of the fight to save the town. His calm but compassionate briefings had none of the […]

How to connect with your audience

It’s top of mind for all speakers: how do I really connect to this audience? You can be articulate, polished, perfectly groomed, have the best stage-craft… and still not make that magical and all-important connection with your listeners. Let’s face it, you want your audience to respond enthusiastically to your call-to-action. You want to persuade them to take action: to think or act differently. […]

Bridging phrases to keep you ‘on message’

You’ve delivered your speech. It went well. Now you’re into a Q and A session. Or you are taking part in a panel discussion. Or you are giving a media interview. Some questions lead you directly to your key message points. But some questions are… well let’s just say they are less helpful. Sometimes you need to re-phrase or re-frame a question in order […]

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