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Podium Communications Blog

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. […]

Networking nerves? Give ‘em HEC

Networking events can be stressful. Sometimes it hard not to come across as an eager novice at a speed-dating party, desperate for a partner. This is especially true if we are targeting someone as a potential client. Normally at these events, we follow a formula: we introduce ourselves, shake hands, mention our company, offer our business card, talk about ourselves. After these preliminaries, it […]

Win your audience’s trust with authenticity

Two quotes from very different people, on very different topics, go to the heart of something anyone who speaks in front of others needs to embrace. Sometimes, when we’re asked to speak or make a presentation or give a media interview, we strain to say what we think we OUGHT to say, in a way we think we OUGHT to say it. So let’s look […]

And the winner is… a speaker’s passion

It was defiant. It was passionate. It was a show stopper at the 88th Academy awards ceremony. Lady Gaga wrote and performed the Oscar-nominated song ’Til It Happens to You.  The song was from The Hunting Ground, a documentary on campus sexual violence. Lady Gaga poured her heart and soul into every word of the song. Total commitment, total authenticity from a performer who […]

How to succeed with a Q and A session

How do you feel about answering challenging questions? Maybe you’re doing a Q and A after a presentation or speech, or you’re facing questions from an inquisitive journalist. Being put on the spot is a worry for many of the people we work with. They fear they will be caught unawares by a question, and embarrass themselves or their company as they stumble towards a […]

Are you managing your body language?

You are an animal. The people listening to your speech or presentation are animals. We’re pretty smart members of the animal kingdom. We communicate with complex languages. But we also communicate with a more primal language – body language. Your body is always saying something, through your movements, expression and appearance. And the audience is picking up the signals, even when your mouth is […]

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