Blog

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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Ten things every presenter can learn from TED Talks

TED Talks: how did we ever manage without them? What a rich store of wisdom, wit, creative thinking and sheer brainpower is freely accessible to all in that online collection of 18-20 minutes presentations https://www.ted.com/talks And what a gift they are to any speaker looking to raise their presenting game and improve their influencing skills. As […]

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Lessons for public speakers from Sir Tim Hunt’s downfall

As a communication skills trainer I have always tried to impress on clients that while good spoken communication can raise profiles and enhance prospects, poor communication can damage careers and trash reputations. Nothing demonstrates the truth of this assertion better than the vertiginous fall from grace of Nobel Prize-winning biologist Sir Tim Hunt, whose poorly […]

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