Which Presidential candidate is most likely to inspire Irish voters?

I was listening to a Presidential hopeful on the radio this morning as he talked of his vision for the evolving role of the Presidency of Ireland. And I was struck by how much has changed in the advent of Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese assuming the office. These women fundamentally altered what we expect of our ‘Head of State’ and have been truly inspirational – both to the credit of themselves and the Irish nation.

Prior to the 2 Marys, our Presidents almost exclusively confined themselves to ceremonial duties and one would be hard pressed to locate a single inspirational speech given by Messrs. Hyde, O’Kelly, de Valera, Childers, O’Dalaigh or Hillery while residing in the Aras. In saying this, I am purposely ignoring the infamous ‘thundering disgrace’ incident that lead to Cathal O’Dalaigh resigning in 1976.


Which Apprentice will be pitch-perfect for Sir Alan?

And so we reach the final four in the latest Apprentice Series by the BBC. All that remains after 12 gruelling weeks is a battle of the pitches by Susan, Tom, Helen and Jim on Sunday. Who will emerge victorious?

Delivering a great pitch can be daunting, as evidenced by the myriad difficulties and palpitations experienced by those who have entered the Dragons Den or faced a Venture Capital team.

With so many businesses vying for limited investment, how can they (or indeed you) get an edge over others? Is there an art to pitching?


How to improve your presentation before you say a single word

You have spent many hours, if not days, preparing to give a big presentation at a conference or event. You have researched your topic, you are confident that your material will be riveting to your audience. And you have put the hard yards in, having practiced with great diligence. Are you feeling ready?

Are you good to go?

Have you forgotten anything?


“Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to introduce…”. What happens next? Is there any chance you don’t know exactly how you will be introduced?


How to make your accent work for you when you make a speech

Accents – we all have one, even if we think we don’t.

But does your accent matter when you speak in public?

If you have a strong or very distinct accent, is there a case for reducing or even retraining how you talk to become a more effective public speaker?

These are questions I am commonly asked by our clients. And my answers are “yes”, but “don’t be too quick to change your accent”.

How come?