Entries by Eric Dixon

Politics as Entertainment

For weeks now, politicians of all colours have been appearing on the big TV debates, ready to be interrogated in depth by the serious news interviewers out there – such as Laura Kuenssberg, Nick Robinson, and Julie Etchingham. These programmes are a regular part of the build-up to a General Election, and politicians prepare for […]

All Presenters Need a Critical Friend

Continually evaluating your PowerPoint presentations is important.  Unfortunately, you may not be the best person to do it. One of the things that every presentation trainer will tell you is that you should constantly evaluate your presentations, to make sure that you update and adapt them as necessary. The theory states that after each time […]

Wrong Note, Right Place

If the act of presenting and public speaking effectively is difficult (which it is), something that many of us find equally tricky is the process of receiving feedback on what we have done – or what actors call ‘notes’. In acting, these are the adjustments that a director or producer gives to the cast during […]

Why Business Presentations Should Be More Like Stand-up Comedy

It’s a bold claim, but one which I stand by: business presentations should be more like stand-up comedy. Does that mean I think they should be funnier? Possibly. More entertaining? Ideally. More impactful? Absolutely. But this will depend on how they are structured. After more than thirty years of working with people making business presentations, […]

Making messages meaningful – the art of getting quoted

One of the core principles at The Media Coach is for media interviewees to wrap their key messages in dynamic language, thereby making them more quotable. This is what we often refer to as ‘sizzle’ in our Media Training and Message Building. Broadly speaking, as long as the words you use stand out, they should […]

Second class delivery: Mr Brand vs the former Post Office Minister

It’s easy to feel deep, genuine anger at the revelations of the Post Office scandal which has come to the fore of the news agenda in recent days. Between 1999 and 2015, over 900 sub-postmasters were prosecuted for theft, false accounting and fraud when shortfalls at their branches were actually due to errors in the […]

Creativity: Why Your First Idea is Probably Your Worst Idea

Let’s face it, being creative is hard. Not only do you have to avoid falling into the trap of thinking in tired old ways (tricky enough in itself), you have to come up with new stuff into the bargain. It can take ages and be genuinely difficult. Plus, it’s a process which might be carried […]

Why Repetition is Risky – Especially When You’re Rishi

Time and again during Media Coach training sessions, we warn about the dangers of repeating the language of the interviewer’s question in your answer. But time and again, out there in the real world, interviewees fall victim to making precisely that mistake. Even if they manage to avoid doing so in the first few seconds […]

Doorstepping and How Not To Do It

Dealing with ‘doorstepping’ is difficult. But giving a flippant answer to a serious question is not the way to do it. Let’s not deny it, dealing with ‘doorstep’ questions from journalists is difficult. This is the name given to the journalistic practice of ‘ambushing’ your interviewee, usually when they are leaving their home (hence ‘doorstepping’), […]

What PowerPoint Presenters can Learn from Tour Guides

Let me introduce you to Vic. He’s a tour guide. And last month I had the good fortune to be part of a group of visitors he was leading around the remarkable Copped Hall in Essex. It’s an astonishing Georgian mansion in Epping, briefly visible from the M25 as you approach Junction 26 going anticlockwise […]