In-sighting Incident

It’s the spring of 1986, I’m preparing for my thesis presentation in Environmental Studies and I can’t shake the nervousness in anticipation of standing before all faculty and students. The closer the presentation the more intense the anxiety became. In the days prior to the presentation I became delusional, hoping, expecting, that some catastrophic event would happen and the presentation would need to be cancelled. That didn’t happen. There was no supreme intervention to escape what I feared most – as it rarely happens.

Many people finish a presentation and think, “that wasn’t so bad.” I couldn’t think that. Hiding behind a lectern didn’t help much. My mouth dried up and lips would stick together and my legs trembled. Trembled to the extent that I was concerned about collapsing. I leaned against a table that was positioned behind me and against the wall. Back then, the tables were metal and the walls concrete. My trembling legs transferred through the table and rattled against the concrete wall. Now my slightly visible nervousness could be heard as well.

Despite this horrific presentation, my content was good and I graduated. Sometimes we need an incident like this to bring about the insight to motivate life-altering changes.

The Personal Transformation

That incident, even though left behind continued to haunt me. If this fear, not in full awareness until the incident, affected me so drastically in the presentation, is it possible that it was limiting me in other areas in my life?

Within a year I decided to take massive action to correct this fear of public speaking. I returned to University to explore the psychology around speech anxiety. joined Toastmasters International to practice public speaking, hired a voice coach and an acting coach to help me through skills development, and participated in Improvisational workshops.

By the spring of 1989 I finished my degree in psychology, completed the advanced Toastmasters program, presented at two conferences, and had functioned as executive in Club, Area and Division positions. In transitioning from acquiring skill to helping others overcome the fear of public speaking I participated in workshops through the Ontario Society for Training and Development, studied Adult Education at Brock University.

Becoming Professional with the first Podium Communications company

In 1992, along with two others, we created Podium Communications to present training in public speaking, marketing and public relations. I created the Essence of Public Speaking course that was presented until 1999 through Podium Communications and then personally until 2005.

Hiatus in Costa Rica

In 2005, semi-retired, I moved to Costa Rica where I continued with speech training helping management in various companies that pitch their services to prospective American companies.

Return to Canada and the New Podium Communications

In 2011 I returned to Canada and took a new approach to coaching public speaking. The old model of developing confidence by working through the fear of each presentation was no longer good enough. The new approach was to destroy that fear of public speaking up front so that skills can be developed with confidence. To design this new program was developed through my re-education to become an NLP Practitioner, my training to become a Strategic Intervention Coach and a Breakthrough Coach. I had the opportunity to return to Toastmasters Clubs to practice the new approach and within the year I receive the Mentor of the Year award and was serving on the District Council. I was able to buy back the Podium Communications name and started again with the workshop called Turbo Charge Your Public Speaking. Participants in this workshop developed the ability to approach the front of the room with complete confidence, even if they were not skilled yet. They also learned the process of creating an entire 20 minute presentation or speech within 10 minutes.

3 Podium Communications Workshops

Turbo Charge Your Public Speaking

This workshop helps one to learn to bust through the fears of public speaking within a one day workshop. With a new found confidence, they continue to learn to organize and speak their speeches with only minutes of preparation. This is the think and speak on your feet on steroids.

The Essence of Public Speaking

This training is the essence of public speaking skills development, it’s the fine tuning of organization and delivery, the creating presence with the audience, interacting smoothly with the audience and refining techniques of communicating and persuading. Turbocharge your Public Speaking is recommended as a prerequisite as by eliminating the fear of public speaking and replacing it with an empowering stance, we can now focus on rapid skill development paying close attention to objective results rather than fighting through the anxiety each step of the journey.

How Your Voice Works and how to make it work for you

Originally created in 1996, it has been updated and made even more effective. The voice tells everything that you are experiencing within. The tone, resonance and pitch is affected by your current state in presenting but it may not be apparent. More likely people will “have a feeling” about you and your presentation. This workshop is designed to help you develop a powerful confident speaking voice that resonates with authority. Originally created from the combined knowledge from working with private speech coaches, voice over coaches, taking voice workshops through ACTRA and finally experience in voice over narration. Having come from a monotone vocal quality, the strict senior stuffy boardroom executive sounding stereotype, I documented the most important and effective lessons along the path of rebuilding the voice until now I have the most updated and effective approach that has been more recently influenced by NLP and Breakthrough Coaching.