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Why storytelling is good for business

  I’m wandering around this folly of a nineteenth century castle unsure, as always, what to look at and why. Over here is a bunch of family photos; over there, just beyond some priceless antiques, are a group of landscape paintings, some of them ‘originals’. There are the usual rooms laid out just as they […]

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When the questions get tough – bridge out of trouble

Bridging is the most effective technique I know for handling difficult questions, whether those questions arise in the context of a business meeting, a media interview or the Q&A session that traditionally follows a presentation. Bridging is, crucially, a three-stage process, which neatly fits into an ABC format: Acknowledge the question, or Answer it briefly, […]

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Death by PowerPoint: grant your audience a reprieve

PowerPoint gets a pretty poor press but, as a regular user, I take the view that, as a mere tool, it is only as clever and effective as the person deploying it. I’m a fan of PowerPoint because it allows me to project a lot of pictures and a few words that aid my audience’s […]

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Give me the headline, dammit!

As a media skills trainer, I find the most common fault in the people I work with is an inability to get straight to the point. Asked a simple question in mock interviews, like ‘What’s special about your company?’ or ‘What are your plans for next year?’ they either: meander around the main point and […]

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My 10 most hated words and phrases

Okay, I am a stickler for clear, effective spoken and written communication that makes correct and appropriate use of our gloriously rich and subtle English language. But I make no apologies for that. There are some words and phrases that are so overused, misused, clumsy or downright meaningless that I want to lash out whenever […]

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Is your presentation architecturally sound?

If you want your presentations to have impact they need to be easy to listen to, easy to follow and easy to remember. You can achieve these goals through organisation. A well-organised presentation has the following architectural features: A logical structure, with a beginning, a middle and an end, much like a story; A clearly […]

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