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Podium Communications Blog

Speakers can learn from golden couple

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir danced their hearts out at the Pyeongchang Olympics. Not only did they win gold for Canada but they secured their place in the history books by joining the select ranks of the most decorated Olympic skaters of all time. As speakers we can learn a lot of that breathtaking four minutes of perfection on ice. Let’s look at some […]

Does sleeveless dress diminish credibility?

A former Prime Minister of Canada has ignited a lively debate on social media – about women’s rights to bare arms. That’s right – do you diminish your credibility if you wear a sleeveless dress? Kim Campbell – the country’s first and only female PM – sparked the debate when she wrote on Twitter: I am struck by how many women on television news […]

Five tips for winning proposals

When it comes to the world of business, no communication is as critical as a proposal to a prospective client. Here are five tips for making sure you have a dynamite proposal, in a logical structure that showcases your company and your credibility: Show you understand the client’s problems. The lead paragraph should be a quick, clear statement of the customer’s needs. Set out […]

Passion: the secret sauce for speakers

All speaking is acting.  It’s bringing your message to life with your words, body and feelings. To do that successfully, you need to act out your speech to a certain extent or it’s boring for the audience. One professional speaker from South Africa talks about the team building lessons he’s learned by observing a pride of lions. To drive his points home, he stalks, […]

Three reasons to dump the jargon

We need your help. We’re wondering if there’s a worse piece of jargon and bafflegab than the phrase we came across last week. It’s such a mind-numbingly horrible phrase that we need to creep up on it… very slowly. Let me start by asking what word or phrase you use when talking about kids who go to school or college? Let me take a […]

Focus, structure are keys to success

Make sure you give yourself a sound structure for your presentation. I’ll talk about the one I like in a moment. But before you start building, there’s one thing you need to be clear about. Before you can start structuring your speech or presentation, you need to define your controlling idea, or focus. Narrow it down to one sentence. It’s the big idea you […]

Speechwriting: the secret is the relationship

Finding your own, true, voice is essential for speakers and presenters. But what if you have to find someone else’s voice? Writing a speech or presentation for someone else to deliver is challenging on so many levels. You have to make your speaker look and sound good, even if oratory is not their strong suit. You have to make them appear authentic, even when […]

Watch your (body) language

One of the most powerful ways we communicate is not with our words but our body. Body language, or non-verbal communication, is all those gestures, tics, facial expressions, body positions and eye movements that we seldom think about. We barely notice that we are folding our arms, or clenching our fists, or staring blindly over the heads of our audience. We don’t notice. But […]

Hook your audience: put a twist on an old ‘rule’

After a presentation skills workshop, an audience member asked if the ‘old rule’ was still valid. When I asked which old rule he was thinking of he said “the structure advice – tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them”. It’s a good question. The more we think about how we reveal, repeat and reinforce […]

Oprah’s big speech: why was it so good?

Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globes not only got her a well deserved standing ovation, it also moved audiences across the nation to talk seriously about her making a run for the presidency of the USA. Why was her speech such a hit, and why did it created a buzz?  First the speech. After a brief thank you to Reese Witherspoon, Oprah launched […]

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