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Podium Communications Blog



Make sure you look as good as you sound

These days there are so many variations on business attire, it’s hard to figure out what to wear for a speech or presentation. So here are some tips: If the presentation is for a new client, ask about the dress code. When I was hired to deliver a presentation and workshop for a new company, I asked. I found out the dress code was […]

Language, emotion and appearance set women apart

Does it make any difference if a presenter is female or male? Pauline Frederick, who in 1949 became the first woman to work full-time for an American television network, once said: “When a man gets up to speak, people listen, then look. When a woman gets up, people look; then, if they like what they see, they listen.” Sixty five years later, there’s still […]

How United Airlines turned a problem into a disaster

Maple Leaf Foods boss Michael McCain famously said ‘the buck stops here’ when facing the media over the listeriosis outbreak that killed 22 Canadians. He showed how to give an ethical -and human – response to a crisis that threatened his business. He expressed regret, accepted responsibility, and offered remedial action. Fast forward to the way United Airlines mishandled what really was an everyday problem […]

A good speech starts with a good introduction

Don’t let a well-intentioned ‘introducer’ sabotage your presentation or speech. Many of us have experienced that sinking feeling as we listen to the person whose job it is to introduce us to our audience. Either the introducer is droning through pages of biographical details, or he/she is promising a fascinating lecture about something you have not included in your plans. Early in my speaking […]

Take care telling a personal story in public

How personal should your story be in your speech or presentation? At Podium, we have always promoted storytelling as a vital part of presentations and speeches. We all know your story should be relevant to your topic. It should have some meaning or lesson for the audience. It should be yours not someone else’s. And that means that often the story is personal. But […]

How to win in a soundbite world

How much can you say in 25 words? If you are asked to do a radio or television interview, you’d better figure out how well you can express a big thought in a few words. The average soundbite in a recorded interview is about 7 seconds. And most people speak between 21 and 25 words in 7 seconds. In our media training workshops, we […]

Don’t buy-in to reporters’ negative questions

An old song included the lines ‘Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and latch on to the affirmative…’. That’s great advice for anyone doing a media interview. Reporters are trained to ask challenging questions. CBC veteran Linden MacIntyre described his approach to interviews as ‘skeptical inquiry’. So here is a great tip for people facing negative or challenging questions: don’t get tangled up in […]

Humour in speeches takes a lot of preparation

Humour in speeches and presentations can be like juggling a live hand grenade. It can blow up in your face real fast. Ron Tite is a master when it comes to using humour. He was named one of the Top 10 Creative Canadians by Marketing Magazine. He’s worked in marketing, advertising, branding and comedy. He trained with Toronto’s legendary Second City improv comedy club. […]

Data-heavy presentations can be fun

If you’ve read many of our blogs you may think we at Podium Coaching are against slides that are packed with words or numbers. And we are, because in our experience many (if not most) presentations built around bullet points, bar charts and histograms are boring. But that does not mean we are against data. Data matters. It’s about life and death, about wealth […]


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