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Podium Communications Blog

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 […]

Messaging: how to give your words real impact

Imagine you are giving a television or radio interview. It lasts about four minutes. But the average sound bite on television is about 8 seconds. Your challenge is to make sure the 8 second clip that gets broadcast is the strongest, most credible exposition of your message you are capable of delivering. The first stage in being able to deliver a clear, effective message […]

If your message is important, it’s worth repeating

If you want the audience to remember something important, repeat, repeat, repeat. Audiences are easily distracted. They may be tired. The room may be too hot or too cold. The seats may be uncomfortable. You don’t want people to miss that really important point you just made. So repeat it. When you are delivering an important point, make sure you lodge it clearly in […]

Tone can be more important than text

Tone is the gift-wrap around your words. Tone opens the door to acceptance of your message. Usually audiences interpret tone more quickly than they process the words. Former New York City mayor Edward Koch once said ‘tone can be as important as text.’ It’s important your tone matches your content. Smile if the story is happy. You’d be surprised how many people deliver wonderful […]

Great speeches are born of passion and art

Where are the great speeches that inspire us so much we still remember them years later? If I ask you to name the authors of the following extracts, I doubt you’ll have much trouble. ‘I have a dream today’.  ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’. ‘We shall fight on the beaches, we shall […]

Are you a monk or a mutterer?

How do you prepare a speech or presentation? Are you a monk or a mutterer? In my experience a lot of people become monks when they settle down to write a speech. They take a vow of silence, retreat behind closed doors, and meditate in silence. They sit in silence at their keyboard They think of the words Their brain sends messages to the […]

Jargon: why it will hurt you

Journalism – my former life – is all about clean, direct, uncluttered communication. So it seems all the more ridiculous when a media organization resorts to jargon in an attempt to sweeten a bitter pill. In this case the media organization is Al Jazeera. The bitter pill is the news that the Qatar-based international media network is cutting 500 jobs. In a statement, the […]

Are you sabotaging your success?

What stories do you tell yourself, every moment of every day? Do those stories prepare you for success? Or do they doom you to failure? Let’s say you’re delivering a big presentation or speech. Before you start, do you tell yourself how nervous you are, that you just want to get this over with, that you’d rather be dead than up on the stage […]

Four steps to media messaging success

Don’t get worried about an up-coming media interview: get prepared. Anticipation and preparation are the keys to getting your message out clearly, concisely and confidently. I’ve worked with a couple of our regular media skills clients to develop check-lists for their staff. In this short article I will consolidate the ideas, and offer a four-step guide to media messaging success. Step One Do your research. […]

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