If all public speaking can be daunting, the off the cuff talk is often the scariest of the scary.
You're at a meeting, or an event... all is going well... then the host turns to you and utters the fearful phrase.
Would you mind saying a few words?
Everyone's looking at you. Your stomach flips. Your mind blanks.
And suddenly a great opportunity to find new opportunities, make new contacts, build a reputation...
Is gone. Just like that.
But it doesn't have to be that way.Read more
I was asked a question this week, which I found very flattering -
How come you seem to manage to get so much done?
Here's the answer, in a cryptic type way -
No, it's not by gazing at the sky, although - I suspect like all of us - I do sometimes indulge in that.
It's all to do with times of day, and which is the best for you.
When I started writing novels, about 15 years ago now, I often struggled to find the words.Read more
This is my one, single, most important tip for nailing public speaking.
It's a method I've used many times to help apsiring presenters go from fearing the art to feeling fine about it - The Loving It Ladder.
Like so many people, you're scared of public speaking, right?
The thought of it sends you into a spin. If you have to do it, you worry for days beforehand, and as for the night before...
Don't even go there.
Yet you know you have to become at least competent at presenting to get on in life.
So here's what to do -Read more
One of the wonders of words is how subtle distinctions can make huge differences.
Which means a few seconds' thought about your choice of language can reap big benefits.
Here's an example -
Thames Water inadvertently carried out an experiment in the power of words when they advertised for a job.
The original wording went like this -
• Are you a confident sewage champion who can see off the competition to land your dream job? You should have a background in an industrial setting to help ensure sewage is treated effectively and efficiently.
Seems ok? Does the trick? Says what the job is and the kind of person they want?Read more
I made a surprise discovery which brought in considerable unexpected business, made me feel good, and was also a great benefit to a lot of people.
Let me take a step back, and explain.
I held a webinar on Cracking a Career Change for the excellent Cambridge Network this week.
I did it for free, and for a couple of good reasons.
Firstly, two friends have been made redundant because of Covid in the last fortnight.
I fear many more good people, with a great deal to contribute, will follow.Read more
Coronavirus has thrown many challenges at us.
A tiny, but nonetheless knotty one, for me at least, has been what to wear when hosting a webinar.
In the old world, it was easy.
A lecture theatre, or seminar room, demanded shirt and jacket, decent jeans and shoes. But now...
How to feel relaxed, given you're at home, but also smart enough to reassure your audience that you're taking the session seriously?
And, on top of that, there's the psychology of your wardrobe.
Feeling good in yourself, professional and ready, up for the job...Read more
I made a fundamental mistake when I did my first webinar, last month.
It was schoolboy stuff when I think back on it, and my only excuse can be that it was all so very new, this trying to teach online lark.
Any guesses what it was, from this photographic evidence of the crime?
It’s a simple, but important point.
I think you’ve probably got it...
Yes, I was sitting down. Silly me.Read more
A curious side effect of the coronavirus crisis is that...
Everyone is now a TV star.
Whether you're on a video call, running, or taking part in a webinar, or even being interviewed for the television...
It helps to know how to come across best via your laptop or phone.
I could write hundreds of words about this, mostly based on my old BBC days, with some chucked in at the deep end modern-day experience as well.
But instead I'm trying something new.
With all due fanfare, allow me to proudly announce...Read more
Soundbites are sometimes knocked in the modern world, with critics complaining they're used too often and too easily.
Which may be true, but…
When done well, they can be stunning. And I’ve seen a brilliant example this week, from a perhaps unexpected quarter.
More of that in a moment, but I thought it was a good opportunity to talk about soundbites, and how to create them.
For all the fancy name, a soundbite is just a way to make your most important messages stand out, whether in a talk, presentation, or a piece of writing -
And who wouldn't be interested in that?
It seems like everybody is trying to put out messages at the moment, and mostly about the coronavirus crisis.
So, how to get your voice heard above all the noise?
Particularly when you’re having to work quickly in a fast-moving environment.
My company, Creative Warehouse, has been running the communications for a project to build emergency ventilators.
I’ll use the website we created for Global Vent as an example, but these five favourite tips apply to just about any form of communications.