Michael Dodd | Vistage UK
Speaker Bio

Michael Dodd

Michael Dodd is an international communications-boosting speaker and one-time broadcast journalist who helps business leaders and other professionals to get their message across – face-to-face, through the news media and across the web.

He’s had speaking engagements on six continents, running workshops for Vistage groups around the United Kingdom and Gibraltar and for Vistage Brazil in Sao Paulo.

His book “Great Answers To Tough Questions At Work”, published by Capstone, and has been short-listed for the Management Book of the Year Award and been given “Management Gold” endorsement by the Chartered Management Institute. The Express newspaper says “Every briefcase and bookshelf should have a copy.” 

He helps clients boost their presentation and media response skills and give great answers to nightmare questions – from journalists, customers, prospects, team members, shareholders and government officials.

Michael draws upon his experience as a political reporter and foreign correspondent to ask “blowtorch-on-the-belly” questions – and to show clients what’s needed to answer them with aplomb.

Michael speaks with audiences of officials in United Nations agencies to prepare to face tough media questioning on international issues.

He runs master classes on communications and media response skills for senior civil servants and diplomats in embassies, consulates and high commissions around the world. 

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Michael has been Berlin and London Correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and has filed reports from all the major European countries and the United States. He covered Eastern Europe before, during and after the 1989 revolutions for the ABC, Radio New Zealand and the BBC World Service.

He has worked as a political correspondent in the Australian capital, Canberra, for national and international current affairs broadcasting programs.

He has a BA Communications degree from the University of Technology, Sydney, and has done lecturing work at the University of Westminster for broadcast journalism students at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Michael is a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association and completed two terms as President of the association’s fast-growing London Region.

Michael joined the Vistage Speaker Bureau in August 2018 from the Academy of Chief Executives.

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Give Great Answers to Tough Questions

Michael's workshop equips business leaders to get off the back foot and onto the front foot. It enables them to enhance the content, structure and delivery style of their answers - and boost their confidence and effectiveness under pressure along the way.

Read more

Give Great Answers to Tough Questions

Overview:

The higher you climb in business, the tougher the questions. Think of the questions the bosses of Facebook, the directors of Carillion and those running Cambridge Analytica have had to face. The questions for the leaders of less prominent companies than these may be less visible to the public, but when the going gets rough they can be just as challenging.

This workshop helps business leaders deal effectively with the challenging questions that swirl around them in good times, bad times and in times of big change.

As a broadcast journalist, Michael Dodd was trained to ask what are known as “blowtorch-on-the-belly” questions in the world of Australian business and politics and the world of foreign correspondents. He now focuses on helping business people answer these questions – whether they are from clients, prospective customers, staff members or the media.

Michael is the author of “Great Answers To Tough Questions At Work” published by Wiley and shortlisted for the “Management Book Of The Year” by the Chartered Management Institute.

Michael’s research among business leaders’ groups shows the toughest questions for chief executives, managing directors and other business leaders most commonly come from their customers, their prospects and their own teams. In addition, they need to be ready for nightmare questions from bank managers, officials, shareholders, suppliers, company chairmen and journalists.

Give Great Answers To Tough Questions equips business leaders to get off the back foot and onto the front foot. It enables them to enhance the content, structure and delivery style of their answers - and boost their confidence and effectiveness under pressure along the way.

Key Points :

  • Examine answers to questions which are troubling members
  • Discover the “Golden Formulae” underpinning great answers to tough questions
  • Improve the members’ answers to their toughest questions which are elicited through pre-session questionnaires.
  • Practice tough conversations, record them, play them back and analyse what’s required to improve the content, structure and delivery style of the answers.
  • Plan the best possible answers for each members’ toughest current questions or possible future situation.

Objectives of the Session:

This workshop will equip participants with tools and techniques enabling them to:

  • Formulate the right key messages before tough conversations that are valuable for both their questioners and their company
  • Put into practice the “Golden Formulae” for structuring great answers
  • Illustrate answers with powerful stories, figures and examples
  • Deliver impressive answers while looking right, sounding right and feeling right.
  • Go into tough conversations with increased confidence
  • Remain composed and effective during hostile, unfair and tricky questioning.

This learning-by-doing session starts with a look at the tough questions participants have faced and are expecting to face in the future. These questions will have been elicited in pre-session questionnaires. Participants discuss how they’ve fared when dealing with tough questions in the past. This ensures the workshop is tailored to the precise needs of each specific group and pitched at the appropriate level. The participants then give their normal answers to their own toughest questions. These can be recorded, played back and analysed. Participants get to see and hear themselves as others see and hear them, and by doing so discover what to do to enhance the way they come across. Their answers are scored by colleagues.

After the learning and analysis, participants then have a second shot at answering their question. This is also scored by their colleagues. The differences between their first and second answers are dissected. Scores are revealed showing how far they’ve improved during the workshop. There’s a prize for the biggest improver. Learning points are identified and reinforced.

 Value and Takeaway Tools:

  • Knowing what to say when challenged by their toughest questions – and how to apply the techniques to their other difficult professional conversations
  • Understanding the importance of planning, preparing and practising for vital conversations where nightmare questions can often be anticipated
  • Enhanced ability to get off the defensive and be as positive as circumstances allow when questioned
  • Knowing how to apply the golden formulae for answering tough questions
  • Arming themselves with what to say when they don’t know the answers
  • Upgraded content, structure and delivery style of answers
  • Greater confidence when facing up to future tough business questions.

 Actions members are expected to make when applying the takeaway tools to the real world:

  • Do more effective planning for situations where they know tough questions are likely or possible
  • Preparing great answers in advance to expected questions
  • Having messages about tough situations worked out in advance so they can be incorporated into answers to questions that are unexpected
  • Practising prepared answers in advance so members look right, sound right and feel right when in critical situations like board meetings, client negotiations, safety inspections, public inquiries, employment tribunals and media conferences

Your Message in 60 Seconds

However fantastic your products, services and overall business, you won’t get far if you can’t effectively tell the world about them. In this workshop Michael Dodd equips members to make their point in the time it takes to cook a piece of toast.

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Your Message in 60 Seconds

Overview:

However fantastic your products, services and overall business, you won’t get far if you can’t effectively tell the world about them. In this workshop Michael Dodd equips members to make their point in the time it takes to cook a piece of toast.

By doing so, “Your Message In 60 Seconds” takes on the business communication challenge of our age - getting your message across when you and your audiences have more and more pressures on your attention. Michael became used to doing this challenge as a foreign correspondent who had to convey key points on radio and TV in a minimal time frame. He utilizes this experience to equip members to convey powerful, succinct and effective messages that stick.

Members focus on outlining what their company does, or some other vital message they need to get across to a specific audience. Messages can be designed for large or small audiences - or to utilize in one-to-one conversations. They can be for delivery face-to-face, over the phone or through a webcast. Early in the session members demonstrate what they normally do when seeking to get their point across in 60 seconds. This can be recorded by a video operator and played back – so everyone gets to see themselves as others see them, and make appropriate adjustments. Performances are discussed, analyzed and critiqued.

Members are shown how to select their ideal content, utilize the right structure and boost their delivery style. They then get the opportunity to perform at an enhanced level with their new version. Members secretly score each other’s performances. Towards the end, the difference between their first and last performances are revealed. The member with the biggest improvement jump wins a prize.

This session boosts the power, effectiveness and performance of members' introductory pitches at networking events and other business meetings as well as those chance encounters in lifts. It helps members attract new prospects and impress existing clients. This is a confidence-enhancing session which upgrades – and sometimes revolutionises - the content, structure and delivery of what members say in crucial moments.

Key Points :

  • Enables members to pin down and refine what’s at the heart of the message they need to get across.
  • Shows the importance of backing up messages with the right examples, stories, facts and/or figures.
  • Equips members to prepare their 60-second message in a way that grabs and holds attention – and makes it memorable long after they’ve concluded.
  • Gives members the opportunity to hone the content and structure of their messages – and adjust how they personally look, sound and feel when conveying them.

Objectives of the Session:

  • To maximize members’ prospects of success through powerful verbal communication and persuasiveness.
  • To enable members to put the right pictures in the minds of their audiences.
  • To upgrade the content, structure and delivery style of members’ performances in meetings, conferences, webcasts and one-to-one conversations.

 Value and Takeaway Tools:

  • How to pick the best content for each target audience.
  • Learn and utilise the “sandwich structure” for boosting your message - by knowing what to put at the start, in the middle and at the end.
  • Guidance on boosting body language and voice delivery to maximise your impact and the memorability of your message.

 Actions members are expected to make when applying the takeaway tools to the real world:

Members will be equipped to shine out in a way that makes their crucial business messages live on - long after each interaction is over. They leave with one specific business message which has been practiced, tested and polished and which they can utilize in every verbal encounter it’s been planned for. If they use the opportunity to perfect their “oral business card”, they can utilize a version of it every time they need to explain what their company does.

Members will also be able to apply the learning to a wide range of individual communications challenges they currently face – and will face in the future.

Presenting with Confidence, Impact and Pizzazz – Performing without Slides

As the first in a what can be run as a two-part series, this initial session focuses on presenting without slides. It enables participants to enhance their effectiveness in connecting with and persuading their audiences

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Presenting With Confidence, Impact And Pizzazz – Performing Without Slides

Overview:

Giving fluent, captivating and persuasive presentations can make a big difference to business results and career prospects.

Enhanced presentations enable participants to showcase themselves and their business in an exciting, powerful and persuasive way.

This session works on supercharging the presentation skills of participants by:

  • Enhancing the content of what they say to target the win-win point between them and their audience
  • Improving the way they structure presentations to maximise impact
  • Boosting how they look, sound and feel when they perform in front of an audience.

As the first in a what can be run as a two-part series, this initial session focuses on presenting without slides. It enables participants to enhance their effectiveness in connecting with and persuading their audiences – without the added complication of utilising slides which, if when not deployed well, so often get in the way of presentation performances.

The strategy is that when participants have raised their presenting skills to a new level, they’re then better placed work effectively on introducing slides into the mix which can be done in the follow-up session.

This session works for participants of all levels - whether they need a major overhaul or a touch of additional polish. Everyone finishes looking, sounding and feeling way better than they started.

It makes speaking to audiences easier, more enjoyable and more effective for participants while taking their performances to new heights.

Key Points:

The workshop demonstrates that intelligent people who are masters of their subject – typical Vistage members, guests and clients – can take their presentation skills to an impressive new level in a short time-frame. This enhances their overall confidence along the way – and this is augmented with specific confidence-enhancing techniques.

Participants learn how to grab audience attention in the opening seconds and hold it throughout their presentations. They work on maximising their ability to get audiences to think, act and feel in the way the speaker is urging for them to do.

There is an option to have members’ performances recorded and played back by a video operator so that they benefit from perceiving themselves as others perceive them. This makes adjustments to their style - especially to physical aspects like body language and eye contact - easier to implement. Having a video operator also enables copies of performances to be made and handed to participants for further review after the session to further embed individual learning points.

Objectives of the Session:

This session enables participants to:

  • Upgrade their content, structure and delivery style
  • Utilise the golden preparation formulae provided - contained within a worksheet - for efficiently planning and structuring their presentations
  • Grab and maintain audience attention and maximise the participants’ prospects of getting the right audience outcomes in every future presentation
  • Reduce or eliminate reliance on notes
  • Identify their key messages and illustrate them with stories and examples that stick in the minds of the audience
  • Enhance their body language, eye contact and breathing techniques
  • Benefit from guidance on key aspects of voice delivery - pitch, pace and pausing
  • Utlilise confidence-enhancing techniques ahead of and during presentations
  • Apply the principles learned during the session to plan and deliver enhanced presentations on other topics in future
  • Be well-positioned to partake in the follow-up session on Presenting With Confidence, Impact And Pizzazz Part 2 – Performing With Slides

Value and Takeaway Tools:

Participants come away:

  • With a way of identifying the best potential presentation content for their audiences
  • A knowledge of how to identify their key messages and illustrations for whatever future presentations they need to prepare
  • An effective format for structuring their future presentations
  • Enhanced delivery style
  • Confidence enhancing techniques
  • A knowledge of what make effective slides in future presentations and for the Part 2 session.

Presenting with Confidence, Impact and Pizzazz – Performing with Slides

This session enables participants to effectively harness the power of well-planned and well-deployed slides to impress, persuade and wow audiences.

Read more

Presenting With Confidence, Impact and Pizzazz – Performing with Slides

Overview:

This session enables participants to effectively harness the power of well-planned and well-deployed slides to impress, persuade and wow audiences.

In doing so, it adds a new dimension to the skills enhanced during Part 1 - Performing Without Slides.

It builds on guidance flagged up briefly during the first round on what’s required to construct effective slides - with an emphasis on utilising slides with maximised pictorial content and minimised words.

The session gives participants the guidance and opportunity to work with slides in order to enhance – rather than get in the way of – the presenter’s message.

These skills are desperately required in today’s business world where, sadly, it’s a near-universal experience to have been on the receiving end of overly-dull, overly-wordy, overly-numerous slides used ways which demotivate.

This session seeks to combat the phenomenon underpinning that modern cliché - “Death By PowerPoint” - by working with participants so they can use presentation slides to inspire and enlighten.

In doing so it further builds on the skills developed in the initial session to take participants to a new level of presentation competence, confidence and effectiveness.

As with Part 1, a video operator can be involved to show participants how their performance and their slides come across together on screen. This enables participants to see themselves and their slides as others see them and make adjustments along the way.

A video operator would provide an individual copy of the material for each performer to further embed learning points after the session.

Key Points:

The workshop seeks to tackle the fundamental mistake which underpins so many horrendous slide presentations.

This widespread error is to start planning the presentation around the slides - which are so often handed over by others or re-used unthinkingly from a previous occasion without due regard to the requirements of different audiences.

Instead, the desired starting point is for participants to first determine the messages they need to convey and to consider they want their audience thinking, doing and feeling at the end of their presentation.

Participants are therefore encouraged to make decisions on slides only after they’ve established an initial plan for a specific audience.

In this way slides are selected or designed specifically in order to achieve the presenter’s desired audience outcomes.

In line with guidelines for slides foreshadowed during Part 1, some or all participants are encouraged to arrive for the session ready to perform with a newly-planned slide presentation.

These can be tried out - in whole or in part - during the session and critiqued with the notional audience in mind.

Objectives of the Session:

This offering enables participants to:

  • Learn how to plan an impressive presentation involving slides
  • Know what makes an effective slide – and slide sequence
  • Deploy pictorially bold slides to enliven presentations
  • Utilise eye contact and body language to interact effectively with both their audience and their slides
  • Understand when a slide should best appear and disappear from the screen or be superseded by a subsequent slide
  • Avoid the common trap of routinely looking at the screen as a memory prompt
  • Build on part 1 (performing without slides) to take presentation skills to a higher level

Value and Takeaway Tools:

Participants come away:

  • Knowing when in the planning phase of a presentation to consider the use of slides
  • Realising what constitutes an excellent slide and what constitutes an atrocious one
  • Equipped to design and utilise slides to enhance the audience experience
  • Taking their presentation skills to a new high

Position Your Business For Free Media Publicity

This workshop shows members the key elements to getting this free publicity and raising their company’s profile and value as a results. It shows members how they can boost their own and their company’s profile.

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Position Your Business For Free Media Publicity

Overview:
The amount of free publicity Vistage members can get for their companies through the news media is usually way bigger than they realize. And the value of this free publicity – which has far more credibility than paid-for advertising – is also much larger than they normally imagine.

This workshop shows members the key elements to getting this free publicity and raising their company’s profile and value as a result. To achieve this, Michael Dodd draws on his experience as a journalist on local newspapers, a foreign correspondent, a business reporter, a political interviewer, a programme presenter and as a newspaper reviewer on Sky News and the BBC.

Members will understand why the media often go back to the same news-makers, like Sir Richard Branson, time after time. The starting point for helping Vistage members get the business publicity they deserve is for them to understand what makes news…

If a bunch of dog-owning celebrities taught their pets to ride skateboards, then raided a pet-food company deploying the skateboarding dogs to escape with the produce, it would make big news.  But lots of other stories – many about businesses – also become news.

“Position Your Business For Free Media Publicity – By Understanding Skateboarding Dogs” helps members understand why these stories make it – and why so many other happenings are ignored by the media.

It shows members how they, too, can boost their own and their company’s profile – in their local media, in the trade press, on-line and potentially in the national and international media beyond.  Knowing this enables members to leave with a plan for attracting positive publicity for newsworthy things their business is doing – and could potentially do in the future.

Key Points:

  • Members get the opportunity to boost their company’s media coverage by understanding how journalists think.
  • When they know this, they’re better placed to give journalists what they need in a form that’s most likely to be utilized.
  • Members can use this understanding to spot what's positively newsworthy in their business and take appropriate steps to maximize the attention it receives.

Objectives of the Session:
After this workshop, members will be able to:

  • Identify what their businesses are doing that can potentially get them free news coverage
  • Position aspects of their business so they can attract positive media attention in the future
  • Guide their team to pitch and present news about their business in the way that maximizes media interest
  • Understand how their company can structure press releases, set up photo opportunities and generate its own newsworthy material to earn greater prominence
  • Further capitalize on the free news coverage they gain by spreading it more widely on social media.

Value and Takeaway Tools:

  • Being able to identify the factors which make something newsworthy in a particular region or a particular sector at a particular time
  • Providing easy-to-complete worksheets which can enable members and their teams to present news to the media in a way that maximizes their desire to cover it
  • Skills in pitching news tips directly to newsrooms and editors in a way that inspires interest
  • Understanding the factors which make an effective news picture and photo opportunity that can increase the amount of coverage and emotional impact of a story
  • Knowing the steps to take to become a “go to” person for the media in their industry and their area of expertise
  • Guidance on how to prepare for media interviews which accompany a successful publicity drive.


Here’s what the former Head of Corporate Marketing for UK Trade and Investment, Brian Underwood, says about the global impact of Michael’s sessions.
"Michael Dodd has worked with our people around the world in countries as diverse as Brazil, Russia, China, Japan and over 30 other markets throughout Europe, South America, The Middle East and Asia, helping our commercial teams, diplomats, marketing managers and key spokespeople to capitalise on opportunities for getting their messages across through the news media. His unique, practical style of master class is not only fun and highly regarded by all who have attended, but furthermore has helped us to realize genuine, measurable benefits following his support. Particular examples include his interactive sessions with our embassy team in Beijing, and our Asia-Pacific marketing staff attending our conference at the High Commission in Singapore. I have no hesitation in commending the outstanding work that Michael has delivered for our organisation."

Actions members are expected to make when applying the takeaway tools to the real world:

  • Members leave this master class being able to identify what it is about their companies’ activities and themselves as business leaders in which the media could potentially take an interest.
  • They take away initial plans to put this into action to project their current and future newsworthy activities in a way that maximizes their attractiveness to the media.
  • Members will see why that news magnets like Sir Richard Branson don’t just get publicity for their business activities through luck.
  • They’ll be equipped with the potential to shine out in the media and project themselves and their companies in a way that journalists can be enticed to come back to them as a news source time and again.
  • This session enables the businesses of your members to get the publicity they deserve - week after week, year after year.

Give Great Answers to Tough Questions

Michael's workshop equips business leaders to get off the back foot and onto the front foot. It enables them to enhance the content, structure and delivery style of their answers - and boost their confidence and effectiveness under pressure along the way.

Read more

Give Great Answers to Tough Questions

Overview:

The higher you climb in business, the tougher the questions. Think of the questions the bosses of Facebook, the directors of Carillion and those running Cambridge Analytica have had to face. The questions for the leaders of less prominent companies than these may be less visible to the public, but when the going gets rough they can be just as challenging.

This workshop helps business leaders deal effectively with the challenging questions that swirl around them in good times, bad times and in times of big change.

As a broadcast journalist, Michael Dodd was trained to ask what are known as “blowtorch-on-the-belly” questions in the world of Australian business and politics and the world of foreign correspondents. He now focuses on helping business people answer these questions – whether they are from clients, prospective customers, staff members or the media.

Michael is the author of “Great Answers To Tough Questions At Work” published by Wiley and shortlisted for the “Management Book Of The Year” by the Chartered Management Institute.

Michael’s research among business leaders’ groups shows the toughest questions for chief executives, managing directors and other business leaders most commonly come from their customers, their prospects and their own teams. In addition, they need to be ready for nightmare questions from bank managers, officials, shareholders, suppliers, company chairmen and journalists.

Give Great Answers To Tough Questions equips business leaders to get off the back foot and onto the front foot. It enables them to enhance the content, structure and delivery style of their answers - and boost their confidence and effectiveness under pressure along the way.

Key Points :

  • Examine answers to questions which are troubling members
  • Discover the “Golden Formulae” underpinning great answers to tough questions
  • Improve the members’ answers to their toughest questions which are elicited through pre-session questionnaires.
  • Practice tough conversations, record them, play them back and analyse what’s required to improve the content, structure and delivery style of the answers.
  • Plan the best possible answers for each members’ toughest current questions or possible future situation.

Objectives of the Session:

This workshop will equip participants with tools and techniques enabling them to:

  • Formulate the right key messages before tough conversations that are valuable for both their questioners and their company
  • Put into practice the “Golden Formulae” for structuring great answers
  • Illustrate answers with powerful stories, figures and examples
  • Deliver impressive answers while looking right, sounding right and feeling right.
  • Go into tough conversations with increased confidence
  • Remain composed and effective during hostile, unfair and tricky questioning.

This learning-by-doing session starts with a look at the tough questions participants have faced and are expecting to face in the future. These questions will have been elicited in pre-session questionnaires. Participants discuss how they’ve fared when dealing with tough questions in the past. This ensures the workshop is tailored to the precise needs of each specific group and pitched at the appropriate level. The participants then give their normal answers to their own toughest questions. These can be recorded, played back and analysed. Participants get to see and hear themselves as others see and hear them, and by doing so discover what to do to enhance the way they come across. Their answers are scored by colleagues.

After the learning and analysis, participants then have a second shot at answering their question. This is also scored by their colleagues. The differences between their first and second answers are dissected. Scores are revealed showing how far they’ve improved during the workshop. There’s a prize for the biggest improver. Learning points are identified and reinforced.

 Value and Takeaway Tools:

  • Knowing what to say when challenged by their toughest questions – and how to apply the techniques to their other difficult professional conversations
  • Understanding the importance of planning, preparing and practising for vital conversations where nightmare questions can often be anticipated
  • Enhanced ability to get off the defensive and be as positive as circumstances allow when questioned
  • Knowing how to apply the golden formulae for answering tough questions
  • Arming themselves with what to say when they don’t know the answers
  • Upgraded content, structure and delivery style of answers
  • Greater confidence when facing up to future tough business questions.

 Actions members are expected to make when applying the takeaway tools to the real world:

  • Do more effective planning for situations where they know tough questions are likely or possible
  • Preparing great answers in advance to expected questions
  • Having messages about tough situations worked out in advance so they can be incorporated into answers to questions that are unexpected
  • Practising prepared answers in advance so members look right, sound right and feel right when in critical situations like board meetings, client negotiations, safety inspections, public inquiries, employment tribunals and media conferences

Your Message in 60 Seconds

However fantastic your products, services and overall business, you won’t get far if you can’t effectively tell the world about them. In this workshop Michael Dodd equips members to make their point in the time it takes to cook a piece of toast.

Read more

Your Message in 60 Seconds

Overview:

However fantastic your products, services and overall business, you won’t get far if you can’t effectively tell the world about them. In this workshop Michael Dodd equips members to make their point in the time it takes to cook a piece of toast.

By doing so, “Your Message In 60 Seconds” takes on the business communication challenge of our age - getting your message across when you and your audiences have more and more pressures on your attention. Michael became used to doing this challenge as a foreign correspondent who had to convey key points on radio and TV in a minimal time frame. He utilizes this experience to equip members to convey powerful, succinct and effective messages that stick.

Members focus on outlining what their company does, or some other vital message they need to get across to a specific audience. Messages can be designed for large or small audiences - or to utilize in one-to-one conversations. They can be for delivery face-to-face, over the phone or through a webcast. Early in the session members demonstrate what they normally do when seeking to get their point across in 60 seconds. This can be recorded by a video operator and played back – so everyone gets to see themselves as others see them, and make appropriate adjustments. Performances are discussed, analyzed and critiqued.

Members are shown how to select their ideal content, utilize the right structure and boost their delivery style. They then get the opportunity to perform at an enhanced level with their new version. Members secretly score each other’s performances. Towards the end, the difference between their first and last performances are revealed. The member with the biggest improvement jump wins a prize.

This session boosts the power, effectiveness and performance of members' introductory pitches at networking events and other business meetings as well as those chance encounters in lifts. It helps members attract new prospects and impress existing clients. This is a confidence-enhancing session which upgrades – and sometimes revolutionises - the content, structure and delivery of what members say in crucial moments.

Key Points :

  • Enables members to pin down and refine what’s at the heart of the message they need to get across.
  • Shows the importance of backing up messages with the right examples, stories, facts and/or figures.
  • Equips members to prepare their 60-second message in a way that grabs and holds attention – and makes it memorable long after they’ve concluded.
  • Gives members the opportunity to hone the content and structure of their messages – and adjust how they personally look, sound and feel when conveying them.

Objectives of the Session:

  • To maximize members’ prospects of success through powerful verbal communication and persuasiveness.
  • To enable members to put the right pictures in the minds of their audiences.
  • To upgrade the content, structure and delivery style of members’ performances in meetings, conferences, webcasts and one-to-one conversations.

 Value and Takeaway Tools:

  • How to pick the best content for each target audience.
  • Learn and utilise the “sandwich structure” for boosting your message - by knowing what to put at the start, in the middle and at the end.
  • Guidance on boosting body language and voice delivery to maximise your impact and the memorability of your message.

 Actions members are expected to make when applying the takeaway tools to the real world:

Members will be equipped to shine out in a way that makes their crucial business messages live on - long after each interaction is over. They leave with one specific business message which has been practiced, tested and polished and which they can utilize in every verbal encounter it’s been planned for. If they use the opportunity to perfect their “oral business card”, they can utilize a version of it every time they need to explain what their company does.

Members will also be able to apply the learning to a wide range of individual communications challenges they currently face – and will face in the future.

Presenting with Confidence, Impact and Pizzazz – Performing with Slides

This session enables participants to effectively harness the power of well-planned and well-deployed slides to impress, persuade and wow audiences.

Read more

Presenting With Confidence, Impact and Pizzazz – Performing with Slides

Overview:

This session enables participants to effectively harness the power of well-planned and well-deployed slides to impress, persuade and wow audiences.

In doing so, it adds a new dimension to the skills enhanced during Part 1 - Performing Without Slides.

It builds on guidance flagged up briefly during the first round on what’s required to construct effective slides - with an emphasis on utilising slides with maximised pictorial content and minimised words.

The session gives participants the guidance and opportunity to work with slides in order to enhance – rather than get in the way of – the presenter’s message.

These skills are desperately required in today’s business world where, sadly, it’s a near-universal experience to have been on the receiving end of overly-dull, overly-wordy, overly-numerous slides used ways which demotivate.

This session seeks to combat the phenomenon underpinning that modern cliché - “Death By PowerPoint” - by working with participants so they can use presentation slides to inspire and enlighten.

In doing so it further builds on the skills developed in the initial session to take participants to a new level of presentation competence, confidence and effectiveness.

As with Part 1, a video operator can be involved to show participants how their performance and their slides come across together on screen. This enables participants to see themselves and their slides as others see them and make adjustments along the way.

A video operator would provide an individual copy of the material for each performer to further embed learning points after the session.

Key Points:

The workshop seeks to tackle the fundamental mistake which underpins so many horrendous slide presentations.

This widespread error is to start planning the presentation around the slides - which are so often handed over by others or re-used unthinkingly from a previous occasion without due regard to the requirements of different audiences.

Instead, the desired starting point is for participants to first determine the messages they need to convey and to consider they want their audience thinking, doing and feeling at the end of their presentation.

Participants are therefore encouraged to make decisions on slides only after they’ve established an initial plan for a specific audience.

In this way slides are selected or designed specifically in order to achieve the presenter’s desired audience outcomes.

In line with guidelines for slides foreshadowed during Part 1, some or all participants are encouraged to arrive for the session ready to perform with a newly-planned slide presentation.

These can be tried out - in whole or in part - during the session and critiqued with the notional audience in mind.

Objectives of the Session:

This offering enables participants to:

  • Learn how to plan an impressive presentation involving slides
  • Know what makes an effective slide – and slide sequence
  • Deploy pictorially bold slides to enliven presentations
  • Utilise eye contact and body language to interact effectively with both their audience and their slides
  • Understand when a slide should best appear and disappear from the screen or be superseded by a subsequent slide
  • Avoid the common trap of routinely looking at the screen as a memory prompt
  • Build on part 1 (performing without slides) to take presentation skills to a higher level

Value and Takeaway Tools:

Participants come away:

  • Knowing when in the planning phase of a presentation to consider the use of slides
  • Realising what constitutes an excellent slide and what constitutes an atrocious one
  • Equipped to design and utilise slides to enhance the audience experience
  • Taking their presentation skills to a new high

Position Your Business For Free Media Publicity

This workshop shows members the key elements to getting this free publicity and raising their company’s profile and value as a results. It shows members how they can boost their own and their company’s profile.

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Position Your Business For Free Media Publicity

Overview:
The amount of free publicity Vistage members can get for their companies through the news media is usually way bigger than they realize. And the value of this free publicity – which has far more credibility than paid-for advertising – is also much larger than they normally imagine.

This workshop shows members the key elements to getting this free publicity and raising their company’s profile and value as a result. To achieve this, Michael Dodd draws on his experience as a journalist on local newspapers, a foreign correspondent, a business reporter, a political interviewer, a programme presenter and as a newspaper reviewer on Sky News and the BBC.

Members will understand why the media often go back to the same news-makers, like Sir Richard Branson, time after time. The starting point for helping Vistage members get the business publicity they deserve is for them to understand what makes news…

If a bunch of dog-owning celebrities taught their pets to ride skateboards, then raided a pet-food company deploying the skateboarding dogs to escape with the produce, it would make big news.  But lots of other stories – many about businesses – also become news.

“Position Your Business For Free Media Publicity – By Understanding Skateboarding Dogs” helps members understand why these stories make it – and why so many other happenings are ignored by the media.

It shows members how they, too, can boost their own and their company’s profile – in their local media, in the trade press, on-line and potentially in the national and international media beyond.  Knowing this enables members to leave with a plan for attracting positive publicity for newsworthy things their business is doing – and could potentially do in the future.

Key Points:

  • Members get the opportunity to boost their company’s media coverage by understanding how journalists think.
  • When they know this, they’re better placed to give journalists what they need in a form that’s most likely to be utilized.
  • Members can use this understanding to spot what's positively newsworthy in their business and take appropriate steps to maximize the attention it receives.

Objectives of the Session:
After this workshop, members will be able to:

  • Identify what their businesses are doing that can potentially get them free news coverage
  • Position aspects of their business so they can attract positive media attention in the future
  • Guide their team to pitch and present news about their business in the way that maximizes media interest
  • Understand how their company can structure press releases, set up photo opportunities and generate its own newsworthy material to earn greater prominence
  • Further capitalize on the free news coverage they gain by spreading it more widely on social media.

Value and Takeaway Tools:

  • Being able to identify the factors which make something newsworthy in a particular region or a particular sector at a particular time
  • Providing easy-to-complete worksheets which can enable members and their teams to present news to the media in a way that maximizes their desire to cover it
  • Skills in pitching news tips directly to newsrooms and editors in a way that inspires interest
  • Understanding the factors which make an effective news picture and photo opportunity that can increase the amount of coverage and emotional impact of a story
  • Knowing the steps to take to become a “go to” person for the media in their industry and their area of expertise
  • Guidance on how to prepare for media interviews which accompany a successful publicity drive.


Here’s what the former Head of Corporate Marketing for UK Trade and Investment, Brian Underwood, says about the global impact of Michael’s sessions.
"Michael Dodd has worked with our people around the world in countries as diverse as Brazil, Russia, China, Japan and over 30 other markets throughout Europe, South America, The Middle East and Asia, helping our commercial teams, diplomats, marketing managers and key spokespeople to capitalise on opportunities for getting their messages across through the news media. His unique, practical style of master class is not only fun and highly regarded by all who have attended, but furthermore has helped us to realize genuine, measurable benefits following his support. Particular examples include his interactive sessions with our embassy team in Beijing, and our Asia-Pacific marketing staff attending our conference at the High Commission in Singapore. I have no hesitation in commending the outstanding work that Michael has delivered for our organisation."

Actions members are expected to make when applying the takeaway tools to the real world:

  • Members leave this master class being able to identify what it is about their companies’ activities and themselves as business leaders in which the media could potentially take an interest.
  • They take away initial plans to put this into action to project their current and future newsworthy activities in a way that maximizes their attractiveness to the media.
  • Members will see why that news magnets like Sir Richard Branson don’t just get publicity for their business activities through luck.
  • They’ll be equipped with the potential to shine out in the media and project themselves and their companies in a way that journalists can be enticed to come back to them as a news source time and again.
  • This session enables the businesses of your members to get the publicity they deserve - week after week, year after year.

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