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Podium Communications Blog



First-rate ‘you’ is always good enough

The key to being a persuasive, dynamic speaker is simple: be yourself. But what if you are afraid to be who you are, or you’re extremely nervous? Take a lesson from the movies. I’m sure you’ve seen a scene like this: the main character has to inspire a crowd of people to action. She has a prepared text. But she hesitates. She’s nervous, and […]

Don’t skimp on the details of your stories

If you wanted to be inspired by a speaker, which of these stories would you rather hear? “Jody got up earlier than usual. She went to the office. Gave her presentation. She talked about her new idea, and it went really well.” Or “Jody usually gets up at 6 am. But yesterday she beat the clock and got up at 5. She faced an […]

Twain’s revelation still good today

When legendary author Mark Twain was around 70 years old, he started dictating his recollections to his stenographer – and discovered the essential difference between writing and speaking. He explained it like this: “The moment you pick up a pen you begin to lose the spontaneity of the personal relation, which contains the very essence of interest. With shorthand dictation one can talk as […]

Slogans or substance: time to choose

We all roll our eyes. We claim to tune out when we hear them. You know what I mean. The political slogans that get pushed out at election time… ‘strong and stable government’, ‘make America great again’, ‘drain the swamp’, ‘take back control’. But there’s clear evidence those annoying political slogans work. The most recent – and risible – outbreak of election sloganeering came […]

Be clear about your high-level objective

Why do you make presentation at work, or as a professional speaker? The easy answer is to inform your audience, to educate them, perhaps to inspire them? But in the end what does that mean? What are you really trying to do? I would suggest you are trying to change your audience’s behaviour. Maybe you want them to use another software program, or add […]

Fought a bear? Tell the story

In a presentation skills workshop the other day, one participant was introducing herself. Her opening sentence was dramatic. “Have you ever come face to face with a bear?” she asked. “I have,” she continued, and hurried on to tell us her name, her title, and how her job meant she spent a lot of time in the woods. Not another word about the bear. […]

Are your slides making you redundant?

A dispiriting comment was shared by a client the other day. She said a boss called her about an upcoming meeting and said “I don’t have time to come to your presentation. Just send me your slide deck.” I was leading a workshop about ‘Presenting with Power’, and I was making the point that putting text-heavy slides on the screen and then speaking the […]

Chart your course to presentation success

What would your presentation or speech look like if it was a graph? You can plot on a chart the course of a good presentation… just as you can plot the shape of a movie – or any piece of good storytelling. In fact the graph of a good presentation looks just like the graph of many a movie. But before we get to […]

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 […]


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