Great Keynote Speeches

Here are a couple of great keynote speeches you might like to watch for inspiration.

Remember when you come to preparing your next speech or presentation to:

1.  Think about your audience.  Your presentation should be about ‘them’ not you.

2. Your objective.  Are you planning to educate, entertain, persuade, inspire … ?

3.  Be authentic.  Don’t try to channel Ellen or Tim or even Bill Gates.  It won’t work!  Be yourself.

4.  Spend time rehearsing.  Say it out loud.  Punctuate your presentation with deliberate pauses.  Be descriptive and use metaphors and analogies to colour your speech.

5. Enjoy it.  There is nothing more off putting for an audience than watching someone who is clearly uncomfortable and can’t wait to get their presentation over with.


Ellen DeGeneres Key Note


Tim Minchin Key Note


Bill Gates Key Note

Media Training Tips: Eliminate uums and aahhs.

Australians are champions when it comes to peppering their speech with uums and aahhs.   Younger Aussies, particularly girls have replaced uum with “like”. Others have a tendency to overuse a favourite phrase: “‘to be honest”, ‘like I said before’, ”actually” and ”ectetera” just to name a few.

Old habits die hard and a few uums and aahs in my book don’t really matter – but when a presenter or spokesman uses them in every sentence it’s a habit that can really distract from the message.

While I’m yet to find a magic pill to cure this verbal afflication I really encourage my clients to slow down and before answering a question to take a breath.  Rather than uttering an um, try pausing.  Give your brain a chance to catch up and forumulate an answer.  As well as buying some much needed thinking time, a deliberate pause will provide punctuation in your delivery.  A pause can help to emphasise a word or a point, it can also provide some much needed light and shade in your speech pattern.

The second exercise you can try (and I’ve shamlessly stolen this idea from Mr Media Training, Brad Phillips) is to practice delivering a 30 second speel about anything without an uum, aahh or verbal stumble.  Any inanimate item will do as a topic:  your phone, handbag, a landmark – record yourself and listen to it back.  Remember to pause whenver you are tempted to throw in an uum!   With a little practice and some self awareness there is no doubt anyone can reduce what I call verbal garbage.



Media Training tips: Body language tells its own story.

If you’144013-ian-macdonaldve kept up with the media over the past few months, you’ll have seen former Labor Minister, Ian MacDonald’s smiling face as he has made his way to and from ICAC.  Mr MacDonald is under investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption for (amongst other things) ‘gifting’ a mining licence to a former union boss.

Every day, Mr MacDonald has been required to navigate his way through a hungry media pack and no matter what the line of questioning from journalists or how damning the evidence, Mr MacDonald steps in and out of court grinning from ear to ear.  Perhaps he thinks a big cheesy smile will help convince the public of his innocence; that he’s unfazed by the investigation.

At best I think he looks ridiculous.  The smile reminds me of Batman’s arch enemy the Joker – there is something sinister and false about the grin.


And while we’re on the subject of whether grinners really are winners, take a look at another seriel smiler!

Tom Waterhouse-tom waterhouse has also made headlines recently, first for his “advertorial” commentary and gambling tips on Channel 9’s NRL coverage and just last week for his role in the “More Joyous” racing scandal.  Taking an ill advised leaf out of Ian MacDonald’s book, Tom hasn’t yet learnt that it’s ok not to smile for the cameras.

Let me know what you think.  Is the smile a tactical error on Mr MacDonald’s part?  Has it rightly or wrongly influenced the way you’ve interpreted the ICAC investigation so far?  And as for Tom …… I realize in gambling circles it pays to have a poker face but seriously!  Body language and facial expressions tell a story of their own.  Make sure your expressions match the words you are saying and the situation you are in.  If they don’t, you run the risk of looking like a fake.


Mediafriendly talks to the Small Business Show

Rachel Friend from Mediafriendly talks to 2RRR’s Small Business Show about the importance of communication in business.  Follow the link to listen to the interview.

Rachel Friend from Mediafriendly talks to the Small Business Show



Common Communication Mistakes

Good communication skills are great life skills.   Invaluable in the board room and perhaps even more important when it comes to managing our personal relationships.

Here are some common mistakes that can really hinder the communication process:

1. Ambiguous body language:  We are visual beings and so words never override body language.   When expressing excitement you want to look and sound excited.  If you’re sorry you need to express that in your tone and demeanor.  In conversation, if you stand with your back half turned to someone then it’s likely your body language will send a signal that you’re not interested in talking.

2. Silence is golden:  The next time you speak to a colleague, think about how often you remain quiet.  When you do this you allow for feedback.  Periodice silence gives people a chance to ask questions and offer ideas, thoughts and observations.

3. Fidgeting:  Do you scratch, strum your fingers, adjust your clothes or fidget with a pen?  These mannerisms are often unconscious but they can be very distracting and diminish what you are saying.

4. Eye contact: When you make eye contact, you are giving the other person your attention.  You are telling them they are important and that you want to hear what they have to say.  Poor eye contact can make you seem unapproachable and/or disinterested.

5.  Overspeaking:  Think about the point you’d like to make and then go ahead and make it!  Being verbose and long winded is often a symptom of speaking before you think.  Plan what you want to say and then get to the point!

6.  Interrupting:  It can be difficult sometimes to wait for someone to make their point (especially if they are guilty of overspeaking) however by cutting others off, you not only send a message that you don’t care about what they’re saying, you also cut yourself out of the conversation.  Remember that we learn more from listening than from speaking.

#publicspeaking #communicationskills #presentationskills #presenting
#bodylanguage #confidence+publicspeaking

Media Training Tips: Slow Down!

Media Training tips and hints.

Whether its print, radio or television it’s incredibly important to slow your delivery down.  Not only will this help the journalist and his/her audience keep up with you and process what you are saying, it’s also helpful because;

* many print journos still use note taking and shorthand to record interviews.  If you speak too quickly you’ll make it harder for them to keep really accurate notes.

* radio and television journalists might want to shorten your answers by editing your responses. It can be very difficult to find edit points when people speak very quickly.  In my experience these “fast talkers” don’t just speak quickly, they also forget to pause.

If you have a tendency to speak very quickly, particularly when you get nervous try to remember to breathe!  Taking a breath will force you to pause.  And don’t be frightened to make your point and then stop.   Journalists leave those awkward, pregnant pauses for a reason….. It’s a strategic ploy to get you to say more than you would like.  Make your point.  Stop.




How to be a great media spokesperson.

What’s the secret to being a great media spokesperson?

1. You need to be authentic.

2.  You need to be an expert on the topic.

3. You need to tell the truth!

It’s that simple.

When it comes time to talk to a journalist hopefully you will have prepared.  You will have constructed 3 or 4 key messages that will help get your point across succinctly and effectively.  Then, once the interview starts, you should feel confident enough to really trust yourself to speak from the heart.  Your key messages should just roll off the tongue and you should believe in what you’re saying.

If you are authentic your audience is more likely to engage with you.  Whilst they may not agree, if they trust you then it follows that they will listen and consider your point of view.

But beware of spinning the truth.  Audiences are more media savvy than ever and can detect a tall story from a mile away.

If you’ve made a mistake often the best way of minimizing more damage is by simply admitting the error and apologizing.  But apologize properly.  Don’t just utter the words.  Say “I’m sorry” like you really mean it.

As a great example of what NOT to do, take a look at the clip below, which features the former CEO of BP.  Note that this was just one of several media PR disasters that ultimately cost him his job.

BP CEO life back