Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Media Coach 29th November 2013

Reality shows keep going; Is Wales really sexy?; A Professional passes on; A daft burglar; Play from the baseline; Life’s a pitch; Digging deep in Twitter; An interview with Carl Leighton-Pope; Music from Lisbee Stainton

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Speakers - do you watch the soaps and read the tabloids? You should!

Do you know who's been in tears about their looks in "I'm a Celebrity.." ? What did you think of "Day of the Doctor"? What's your view on Jonathan Trott's return to the UK? Do you agree with Russell Brand's call for a revolution?

These are the sorts of questions that your audience members will be discussing. It's popular culture, and my view is that speakers should know what's going on in these conversations. I'm often surprised when I hear speakers say on stage "I don't watch television - it's all rubbish" or "Sport is boring". That may be your personal view, but it doesn't help to make a connection. I prefer Borgen to Corrie and I'd rather read The Guardian than The Sun, but I still know the storylines in the soaps and the headlines on the tabloids.

I'm not suggesting you should spend hours each day watching Holly and Phillip or browsing the Mail Online's sidebar of shame. But you should at least know who or what they are. For me, connection is about referencing things we have in common, whether we're on stage, answering questions, or chatting before and after the gig.

We're communicators after all. Shouldn't we be aware of what popular communication is about? What's your take?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Media Coach 22nd November 2013

The Gettysburg Address; The first ever Klout-a-Thon; Lost in IKEA; A tea party with a lion; The intellectual outlaw; Text yourself on air; Twitter up your event; An interview with Lesley Everett; Music from Lisbee Stainton

Check out this episode!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Media Coach 15th November 2013

The Exceptional Speaker; An online course for brilliant speaking; Harold Percival; A UKIP wreatht; Pendats Unite!; Bait your Hook; Don't throw fuel on the fire; An interview with Sean Weafer; Music from Cory Fox-Fardell

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Al's five-point guide to getting paid speaking gigs

There's lots of understandable chatter in the speaking world about how to get paid gigs. I have a few suggestions, based on my own experience. You may find them helpful.


Al's five-point guide to getting booked:

1) Be very, very good at what you do. That's a given, but many bookings come on the back of a great delivery. Your speaking is your best marketing.

2) Maintain a constant presence. You need to be front of mind for anyone who might book you or refer you. That means being visible. (If you don't know how to do that, call Dave Avrin)

3) Tell others what you do. Yes, blindingly obvious, but if it's hidden in a cryptic title or vague jargon, no-one will understand it. Clarity please.

4) Ask for more business. Your best chance of a booking is from a client you already work with. They love you already. Just ask them what else you can do to help.

5) Eat well. Have breakfast, lunch and dinner with colleagues and prospects (thanks to Matt Crabtree for this tip). Good food fosters good relationships.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Media Coach 8th November 2013

Reality shows hare climaxing; How to deliver a brilliant speech; A champion jockey; The Mayor of Toronto; A speech is a two-way thing; Let’s hold a press conference; Hanging out on Google +; An interview with Jim Lawless; Music from Lisbee Stainton

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Do you copy, emulate or originate?

Do you copy, emulate or originate? Some would say that it's impossible to be original, since there are no new ideas, and concepts are simply recycled. I'm not so sure, though it's certainly not easy to be original. It's also arguable that no-one else has your unique take on things, so in one sense you really are an originator.
Copying someone else in detail can lead to accusations of plagiarism, which is unprofessional and the opposite of original thought. Most of us are emulators, taking elements from the people we meet, the books we read (to paraphrase Charlie Tremendous Jones) and what we encounter on the web.

I make no secret of my admiration for two of my heroes in particular - journalist Alistair Cooke (who presented 'Letter from America' weekly for 58 years - the longest-running radio show ever) and photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson (whose style was coined "the decisive moment"). I base my weekly web radio show on the former, and try to embody the spirit of the latter in my speeches. It's my homage, not an attempt to copy.

It seems that popular chanteur Gary Barlow has decided that emulation is a great idea too, and though he's denied it, he's clearly been listening to Mumford and Sons before releasing his new single.