But where do I find the stories…..?

It’s now standard lore that in order to make your presentation stand-out, in order to capture your listeners’ ears and hearts, you have to use stories.  As I always tell participants on my Public Speaking courses, if you are just giving people facts and information, they aren’t listening.  You have to engage them on some kind of emotional journey, and stories are by far . . . → Read More: But where do I find the stories…..?

Are they listening – or playing Catchword Bingo?

Like many I’m an inveterate people-watcher, but as a soft-skills trainer I have an extra level of professional fascination, particularly when it comes to watching those in customer service roles.

On the first morning of our Xmas fly-and-flop getaway, our holiday rep gathered us all together, to do what holiday reps are paid to do – make us feel welcome, answer our questions, and . . . → Read More: Are they listening – or playing Catchword Bingo?

Fake It Until You Become It

I recently watched a great TED Talk by Amy Cuddy, Social Psychologist and Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard, called “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are“ which has profound implications for anyone who gets anxious before giving a presentation – i.e. all of us.

Channel a Confident Speaker

For many years I have been encouraging those who suffer from performance nerves to “fake . . . → Read More: Fake It Until You Become It

Nothing to fear but fear itself....

Last week saw the first ever “Fear of Flying” course, and what an inspiration it was!

I had advertised it as a “Presenting for the Terrified” course.  I am approached countless times by people who want to tell me how much they dread having to speak in public, how they wake up sweating at the thought, and of their experiences of shaking, mumbling, blanking, and . . . → Read More: Nothing to fear but fear itself….

Whistling in the Light

Box of Frogs has been meeting for 6 months now. There are around a dozen regular attenders, and about another 20 or 30 who drop in occasionally. We’ve been talking for a while now about performing in public. Because it’s one thing to amuse ourselves, it’s another to stand up in front of a real audience and see if what you do has any . . . → Read More: Whistling in the Light

Yah Boo Politics

Presenting with Passion – Elected Members, Coventry City Council

This was a first – I was asked to work with Elected Members of the council. I have often worked with employees and officers of Local Authorities, but Coventry have had the great idea of offering personal development courses to it’s elected Councillors.

This was a cross-party group of attendees, and I’m pleased to . . . → Read More: Yah Boo Politics

What Exactly Do You Mean When You Ask Me To ‘Just Be Myself’?

 A recent event has reminded me of the importance of clearly setting up the framework within which I operate.

I was invited run a taster session by the Organisational Development department of a university, for a group of participants who were by and large postgraduate members of the lecturing staff.  Early in the session it became clear to me that I was facing a . . . → Read More: What Exactly Do You Mean When You Ask Me To ‘Just Be Myself’?

Bad News

Presenting With Passion course at TRW Cooper Standard Automotive

At the end of the session, somebody asks me “This is all very well, but we only dealt with upbeat topics.  What if I have to deliver bad news, such as redundancies?”

I replied “The fact is, the challenge is identical.  The task is still to take your audience on an emotional journey.  In . . . → Read More: Bad News


Presenting with Passion course.

The participants are 14 young people from all around the world, on their Graduate Training programme. Working with a multinational group is interesting. Half the group do not have English as their first language, although all have an acceptable level as English is the working language of the business. I have to remember to speak more slowly and clearly than . . . → Read More: Breakthrough

Fear and Demons

Presenting with Passion  – Telford and Wrekin District Council

The first part of a Presenting With Passion day usually consists of a series of games and exercises around fluidity and ease of speech.   I do this for fun and energy, and also to give people the confidence that they actually can speak without preparation and notes.  One or two of the games I . . . → Read More: Fear and Demons