Blog Archives

Can your leader lead like this?

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Media training for CEOs

Stand and deliver or be caught in the crossfire.

Chief of Army David Morrison scored universal plaudits for his uncompromising, weasel-word-free video.

While your chief may not need to address endemic sexual abuse and discrimination, she should still be able to cut the mustard when crisis hits.  Which reminds us

With some very simple technology you can video blog cheaply, speedily and effectively.

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Good talent can sound so, well, normal

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Brett was on his way to deliver Speak Savvy 101 to the campaigners at Australian Conservation Foundation when he heard this interview with child safety campaigner Katherine Plint of Hannah’s Foundation. If he could, Brett would have taken Katherine with him to the workshop as she is unusually good talent. She sounded so…normal. Normal but passionate – not strident, preachy or precious. Katherine has lots of other good habits too:

Offers multiple varying examples thus creating more liklihood of resonating with audiences which often don’t want to acknowledge that your advice is relevant to them;

“Sadly we see too many kids get through broken gates, broken locks, they stand on the gate, the gate will drop, broken fence panels where they push them, wooden fences deteriorating so the panels can be pushed through.”

media training advice

An unusally savvy speaker.

Strong opinions and messages galore: “This is huge, it’s a massive decision.” “The laws have failed everybody in this case. “This story could be you.”  “I’m still accused of the murder of my daughter and that’s just something that I have to live with every day.” “New South Wales had a horrific year last year for pool, backyard pool drownings.”

She’s down to earth – not someone who doesn’t ‘get’ how things really are:“I mean kids are clever.”

Identifies a specific audience / issue: “Look, at the moment we’re seeing a lot of breaches through rental properties.”

Guess who media is going to call for comment on child safety henceforth? Being good talent is the best publicist you could have. Kudos Katherine.





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Media training for ChildFund Australia in Sydney

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Brett has been commanded to perform a second Speak Savvy media training workshop for ChildFund Australia in Sydney Thursday August 2. Our first session was in 2010. It’s good to be invited back – and not just because Brett suspects he may have left a good-as-new BIC GripRoller pen there and wants to see if he can find it. As before, Brett will work with approximately 10 country directors and program managers to prepare them for the world’s media. Anyone in Sydney interested in training Wednesday August 1 or Friday August 3?

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media training advice: avoid performances like this

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media training advice

Ok - gimme a minute. Which one is Libya again?

Republican nomination candidate Herman Cain has had a bad fortnight what with detailed sexual harassment allegations from multiple sources and whatnot. Libido management issues aside, his credibility as a candidate was not helped by this performance which you can view by scrolling down a tad from here. It’s actually quite awkward to watch. But not nearly as it would have been for Mr Cain. Our advice based on this? Communications Commandment #3 Know thy Message – both what you want to say and how you want to say it.

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Public speaking advice from the Govenor General

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speechmaking advice

You try telling the GG that her speech needs toning down.

If you didn’t switch off during the botched post-race horseback interview you may have seen Her Excellency the Govenor General’s speech at the Melbourne Cup.

We have watched these speeches grow in both length and verve in recent years. In short, we give top marks to Quentin Bryce for attempting to inject some poetry into a staid presentation.

She is as stylish in her speech as she is in her couture and she really took a chance talking about “gallons of rum, two up and our troops in Afghanistan.” It wasn’t a speech it was a bush ballad. See if we’re wrong

It had the hallmarks of a new speechwriter trying to make his or her mark with the boss.

However it was too long, too indulgent and plain inappropriate for a mass audience, with low fidelity speakers and high blood alcohol content. It was wasted on an inattentive audience in the midst of an anti-climax. It was also a speech that may have read smoothly enough to the author in private but was a true challenge to read aloud.

Lessons for speechmakers everywhere:

  • keep it short as possible;
  • consider if the audience is there to hear you or if you are a necessary evil;
  • make sure that what flows well in your head can be read aloud equally smoothly.

It is harder and harder to assume common knowledge among large mainstream audiences. How many of the 100,000 revellers knew (or cared) about “expatriation for poaching” or the battle of Beersheba? To many in attendance, a Beersheba sounds alluringly like a drink. “Dumb bogans, the lot of them.” commented Squiggle. We concur.

Communications Commandment #2: Know they audience. Communications Commandment #4: Know thy medium.


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media training in Sydney

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media training in Sydney

A double dose of media training coming their way. Lucky sods.

More media training in Sydney – this time with disability support service Ability Options.

Over two days in November, Ability Options will gather its posse for Media Savvy 101 and Speak Savvy 101.

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speaker training and video production project in Melbourne

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Media trainers Hootville Communications has an interesting February approaching after its engagement today by Marriott Support Services in Melbourne. Brett de Hoedt will be training Marriott’s 15+ ambassadors. The ambassadors are all young adults with disabilities who speak publicly in various fora about making the transition from school to work / life / further study.

speaker training for people with disabilities

The Mayor will be given Ambassadorial treatment.

Brett will be holding two group sessions with the ambassadors a month apart during which he will put the speakers through their steps, looking for additional content and new stage techniques. Between the group sessions will be one-to-one sessions.

On top of the speaker training Brett will be producing 15 three-minute video profiles of the ambassadors aimed at securing more gigs in 2012. Brett is currently investigating legitimate ways to justify his onscreen presence in the 15 videos. We’ll keep you posted.

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Listen and learn

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We’ll be reguarly posting reviews of media performances with a break down of what is good and what ain’t. Our first is Peter Stevenson chief policy adviser to the UK-based Compassion in Farming which advocates for the end of cruel and inhumane practices that form the bulk of our farming (aka food production) today. He’s good talent. You’d be at least this good if you booked a Speak Savvy 101.

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Advice for facilitators

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With conference and AGM season approaching we’ve assembled a collection of do and don’ts for those of you who may be called on to facilitate a discussion session. This is often a part of our Speak Savvy 101 workshop.

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Media training in Melbourne

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Hootville Communications’ Brett de Hoedt will be delivering a version of Speak Savvy 101 media training in Melbourne for the Multifaith Multicultural Youth Network funded by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship. The workshop will train a group of young people to be stronger facilitators ahead of the Young people, identity and the refugee experience forum.

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