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Podium Communications Blog

Strive for more than ‘puerile’ soundbites

In the US we have Trump trumpeting ‘Make America Great Again’. In the last UK election, from one side we had ‘Strong and Stable’, from the other side ‘For the Many Not the Few’. From Australia, how about ‘Continuity and Change’. Political slogans, conceived for soundbites and the sides of campaign buses. Grand-sounding phrases but ultimately meaningless. And now at last a former politician […]

Six questions to help find your stories

What’s your story? You definitely have one. In fact, I’m pretty sure you have a whole lot of stories. It’s just that, sometimes, we overlook the value of our own stories. A guy came into one of our workshops and said: “I’m an accountant. I don’t have stories.” We all have stories. And if we dig deep enough we’ll find stories that will really […]

Are you strategic with your sentences?

Telling stories is a powerful way to get your audience to remember and feel something. The story has to be purposeful, so spend some time finding the right story. Then spend time making sure you tell the story right. One of the simplest ways to convey emotion and energy in a story is to vary the length of your sentences. Sometimes you don’t even […]

Best-selling author shares writing tip

Best-selling author Lee Child has just started on his latest novel. He’s only a few pages in, but he’s already sharing a writing trick he used in his opening chapter. For 23 years Child has been cranking out page-turners featuring his hero, Jack Reacher. They’ve dominated the fiction charts, sparked film adaptations starring Tom Cruise, and enthralled millions of fans. And Child cheerfully admits […]

It’s the painful bits that engage audiences

When it comes to storytelling, Willa Cather’s quote says it all: ‘Success is never so interesting as struggle’. We’d just finished a day and a half storytelling workshop in Halifax for the Atlantic chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. As a thank you gift the group gave us a beautiful card made by one of the members, and a book of 100 […]

Six tips for a successful media interview

Here are six quick tips for dealing with a media interview. The idea behind them is to put you – the interviewee – firmly in the driving seat. No more worries about being taken by surprise by random questions. No more feeling vulnerable to a reporter seeking to trip you up. By the way, I don’t believe most reporters are actually seeking to trip […]

Train yourself to have the mindset of a winner

As a speaker, do you have the singular quality that unites sprinter Usain Bolt, five-times Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady, and any other athlete who is consistently better than the rest? That quality is the mindset of the winner; the clear intention to be victorious. Top-flight athletes work hard to develop this quality. They understand that when so many of their rivals are […]

Nine tips for persuasive leaders

One of the core leadership skills is persuasion. Effective presentation skills are essential for the leader who wants to inspire teams, initiate change, and stand out from the crowd. But what are ‘effective presentation skills’? All executives can write and read. But not all executives are compelling speakers and presenters. Only a small proportion have the gift of engaging an audience, holding them spellbound, […]

What’s the secret weapon in your battle plan?

The Greek soldiers were fed up. They’d been laying siege to Troy for 10 years. Nothing was working. It was time for desperate measures. The Greeks built a huge wooden horse. They parked it outside the city gates, got into their boats, and sailed away. The Trojans thought the Greeks had given up. They had a couple of beers and hauled what they assumed […]

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