Marsha Shandur

In Episode 11, host Trevor Currie talks to Marsha Shandur, a networking and storytelling coach from about the importance of networking and storytelling and how to do both well.

Listening Notes:

1:14Trevor asks Marsha how she explains what she does when people ask that inevitable question. Marsha shares that the answer always depends on the context.
2:25Marsha explains why she loves teaching people how to network more comfortably and tell stories in a more compelling way.
6:35Trevor asks Marsha how people can introduce themselves and talk about what they do in a way that ignites interest, fosters conversation and builds relationships.
7:37Trevor and Marsha discuss how to take the dread out of networking so it can be more enjoyable and fruitful.
10:02Marsha shares why most people hate networking and how you can shift your mindset and approach to connect and communicate more effectively.
10:58Marsha explains why “selling yourself” is not the way to excel at networking.
12:12Trevor asks Marsha how she helps her clients garner the confidence they need to approach the people they’d most like to meet.
14:45Trevor shares how he noticed that his approach to networking is different when he’s speaking at an event versus attending, and how noticing that difference changed how he now networks at every event he attends.
16:53Marsha suggests that the most important thing you can do when you want to connect with important people is to show genuine interest in them. Powerful networking is about inquiry not broadcasting.
18:29Trevor asks Marsha what tips she has to help people stop thinking about what they’re going to say next and focused instead on what the person they’re talking to is actually saying.
19:55Marsha talks about the storytelling traps people often fall into and provides a variety of tips on how to avoid those pitfalls so you can tell more compelling stories.
23:10Trevor asks Marsha to further explain the different aspects of great storytelling: voice-over, montage and action.
24:30Trevor and Marsha discuss the baby steps people can take to start improving the stories they tell when they present.
26:01Marsha takes Trevor through an exercise to demonstrate how powerful stories are in conveying information and insight about people, places and situations.

You can learn more about the TED talk, books, podcasts and other links Marsha mentioned during the interview by visiting

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Connecting with Senior Audiences

In Episode 10, host Trevor Currie and producer Karen Ward discuss the best way to talk to and connect with senior audiences - as in executives not citizens!

Listening Notes:

0:42Trevor asks Karen about her experience meeting with and speaking to senior audiences. Karen talks about the importance of brevity and freshness.
1:58Trevor talks about the importance of sharing your recommendations or most important points first when speaking to executives. Don’t make them wait for the most salient content.
2:46Karen shares a few suggestions for connecting with senior executives and how you might communicate ideas in a fresh way.
7:02Trevor talks about why we often feel trepidation when we sit down with an executive or present to a senior audience.
8:10Trevor offers some suggestions for how best to connect with and present to senior executives.
10:29Karen asks Trevor what we should never do when presenting to senior audiences.
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How to Banish Filler and the Interrogative Tone


In Episode 9, host Trevor Currie and producer Karen Ward talk about the various types of filler language that can creep into our speech when we’re presenting. When you speak with a lot of filler words and overuse the interrogative tone, it can undermine your credibility so it’s worth listening for and eliminating.

Listening Notes:

1:00Trevor defines the interrogative voice (or tone) and describes why it holds us back when we’re delivering a presentation or having a conversation in a professional context.
2:57Trevor and Karen talk about the prevalence of “uptalk” in contemporary communication and why the interrogative tone has taken root in our modern culture.
5:35Trevor shares some tips about how to reduce the interrogative tone.
9:20Karen asks Trevor how he responds to people who are reluctant to modify their interrogative tone because it’s just the way they authentically talk.
13:31Trevor explains what filler language is and how it affects the quality of our discourse.
15:22Karen and Trevor talk about why and when filler language can work and discuss the radio program This American Life as an example.
18:37Trevor provides some tips for how to reduce the filler language in your oral communications and why doing so matters.
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Bruce Sellery


In Episode 8, host Trevor Currie and guest Bruce Sellery have a wide-ranging conversation about the power of brevity in communication, the importance of preparation when you’re interviewing a guest or speaking and how to effectively engage an audience when your content is a bit dry or abstract.

Bruce is a personal finance expert, business journalist and best-selling author of Moolala: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things With Their Money and The Moolala Guide to Rockin' Your RRSP. He appears frequently on TV to talk about personal finance, he writes regular columns for MoneySense, Chatelaine and Today’s Parent and he’s a sought-after professional speaker. 

Listening Notes:

2:17Bruce and Trevor discuss Bruce’s experience working at P&G early in his career and how it shaped his approach to communication.
5:06Bruce talks about the magic of a Post-it Note when you’re developing (and working to simplify) your message.
6:16Bruce outlines the steps he took to make the move from consumer packaged goods marketing to business journalism, including important conversations with two of Canada’s most prominent journalists and a powerful insight from a book.
10:46Bruce talks about the lessons he learned—including the importance of preparation—from interviewing business leaders like Martha Stewart.
17:22Bruce shares the process he uses to prep for an interview with a guest on a TV show or a panel at a conference.
19:10Bruce shares for his tips on how to build rapport with senior business leaders before and during an interview or conversation.
21:28Trevor asks Bruce for advice on how to prepare for a TV appearance or panel interview at a conference when you’re the guest.
26:08Bruce provides some additional tips on how to put your best foot forward when shooting business videos.
27:53Trevor asks Bruce how he engages audiences in topics that are dry, abstract and a bit inaccessible.
31:10Bruce talks about his experience as a young speaker and the skills he’s developed over the years to build his confidence and capability as a professional speaker.
39:11Trevor and Bruce talk about the importance of storytelling in compelling communication and how to tell a great story when you’re at the front of the room.
48:54Bruce shares his thoughts on speaking and authenticity.

You can learn more about Bruce and his work on Twitter @brucesellery and at his website at

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John Warrillow


In Episode 7, host Trevor Currie and guest John Warrillow talk about the allure and adventure of entrepreneurship, the importance of curiosity and asking great questions and how to use stories, personalization and spontaneity to engage an audience.

Listening Notes:

1:52John talks about his early interest in entrepreneurship and why he wanted to build and run his own business.
5:00John describes how his interest in and insight about entrepreneurs led him to work with larger corporations and help them market more effectively to small business owners.
6:10Trevor asks John about the key, common threads that have woven through his professional life.
8:10Trevor and John discuss curiosity, great questions and deep listening as key communication behaviours.
10:17John offers some tips on how to engage and connect with people when you're speaking with or interviewing them.
14:31John talks about the importance of staying tuned into what a person is actually saying—versus thinking about your next response—if you want to be a great listener.
17:55Trevor and John talk about why it's challenging to keep a remote audience (on webinars and conference calls) engaged and how to do it more effectively.
21:10Trevor and John discuss The Warrillow Summit, John's contribution as a speaker and what's important when curating a group of speakers for an event.
25:03John offers some tips on how moderators can get the most out of panelists.
28:31John talks about what he does to prepare and boost his confidence prior to an important speaking engagement.
31:10John shares a disappointing experience he had at a Van Halen concert many (many) years ago that, for him, really underscored the importance of customization and spontaneity during a presentation.
34:30Trevor and John talk about the power of parables, stories and examples when communicating and connecting with an audience.
39:45John shares his experience and advice about how to change to a new business model successfully.
45:32John talks about his current business and the process he uses to help small business owners increase the value of their companies.
39:45John shares the experiences that have influenced his life and work the most.

    You can find John at and on Twitter at @johnwarrillow.

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The Importance of Language (and Using All of It)


In Episode 6, host Trevor Currie and producer Karen Ward talk about the importance of language and why developing a great vocabulary and using it well will improve your effectiveness and credibility as a speaker.

Listening Notes:

1:00Karen talks about how her passion for language doesn't always translate to its use when she's presenting.
3:15Trevor explains why many of us tend to default to the same set of words and expressions in our communication.
5:15Trevor and Karen discuss why it's important to expand our vocabulary and to use all of the language we have at our disposal. And why it can be hard to do so.
7:00Karen and Trevor talk about the vocabulary contraction that can take place when an individual or group acquires a level of deep expertise in a domain and why expertise can lead to lazy language habits.
9:21Trevor suggests that we watch any tendency we might have to use big, fancy words in an attempt to impress or sound smart.
11:30Trevor offers a variety of vocabulary building tips.
16:12Trevor shares a number of ways we can practice using new vocabulary before it might be needed in a big presentation.
17:30Trevor makes some final suggestions about how best to unleash your new and improved vocabulary.
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How to Rehearse (and Why You Must)


In Episode 5, host Trevor Currie and producer Karen Ward discuss the importance of rehearsal and how to rehearse in ways that are efficient and effective.

Listening Notes:

0:41Trevor asks Karen about her rehearsal habits and Karen makes a confession.
2:10Trevor shares the many, often funny, lies people tell themselves about rehearsing.
2:40Karen and Trevor discuss why people hate rehearsing so much - and why it's so important.
3:45Trevor explains why time spent rehearsing always produces a better return on investment than polishing up your slides for the 12th time.
5:12Trevor provides some great rehearsal tips to help ensure the best possible presentation.
8:51Karen asks what a speaker is to do when time actually is an issue, when there is very limited time to rehearse.
9:46Trevor shares his own presentation rehearsal habits.
10:34Karen asks how and why rehearsing can help managing the pre-presentation jitters.
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Ron Tite


In Episode 4, host Trevor Currie and special guest Ron Tite, Founder and CEO of The Tite Group, have a wide ranging conversation about stand up comedy, professional speaking, creativity, the importance of preparation and rehearsal and how to connect with your audience to leave a lasting impression.

Listening Notes:

1:32Ron talks about his work at The Tite Group and his speaking, producing and writing projects.
2:55Trevor asks Ron about the common creativity thread that is present in his various projects and Ron shares why he thinks creativity is important for everyone.
4:35Ron talks about the connection between comedy and business.
5:45Trevor and Ron discuss the importance of differentiation and why it's critical to develop your own authentic voice and point of view.
7:18Ron offers a variety of helpful tips about how to connect with an audience so your content and ideas breakthrough.
12:55Trevor and Ron talk about the importance of "referencing back" and why really being present to—and using—what's happening in the room is so critical to building trust.
16:33Ron discusses how to effectively add humour or a sense of levity to your next presentation (and why it's not always necessary).
18:58Trevor and Ron discuss the importance of aligning your body language and gestures and with intent of your content. And why imperfection can actually support the quality of your delivery.
22:28Trevor asks Ron what a "beat" is and why paying attention to timing and tone is so important in the context of both comedy and speaking.
27:34Ron and Trevor talk about why storytelling is critical to effective communication.
35:29Ron shares his process for developing, rehearsing and delivering new presentation content.
44:20Trevor and Ron talk about why giving up the need to be comprehensive (and perfect) will contribute to your ability to be clear and compelling.
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The Power of Pace


In Episode 3, host Trevor Currie and producer Karen Ward discuss the importance of pace and how to use pace effectively to make your point and keep your audience engaged.

Listening Notes:

0:43Trevor and Karen play with pace as they introduce the topic of pace.
2:00Trevor explains what pace is and how it can help us or hold us back when we want to speak effectively.
3:39Karen asks if there is such a thing as “perfect pace”.
6:23Trevor discusses why it’s important to keep your exploration of pace authentic to you as a speaker and relevant to the content you are sharing.
7:59Trevor suggests experimenting with pace when the stakes are low.
8:51Trevor recommends watching Candy Chang’s TED Talk about her “Before I Die” project to experience how a slower pace can help to communicate emotion. And Tony Robbins is a great example of how infectious and invigorating someone can be when he speeds up the pace of his delivery.
11:04Karen asks about the common mistakes people make when they are trying to get pace right. (The number one mistake: they don’t try at all!)
12:50Trevor provides some final tips about how to effectively push and pull the levers of pace in your next presentation.
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Habituation (or How Not To Bore Your Audience)


In Episode 2, host Trevor Currie and producer Karen Ward talk about habituation and why it's so important to change things up if you want to keep your audience's interest and attention.

Listening Notes:

1:04Trevor shares the definition of habituation and how it relates to speaking well.
1:55Karen asks about the various ways speakers can fight against habituation so they can keep their audiences engaged.
2:45Trevor talks about Jeffery Toobin, an American lawyer, author and legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker, and how he mixes things up during an interview on NPR's Fresh Air.
3:42Karen shares her reflections on the radio program This American Life and why it is such a good example of how to fight habituation when you speak and tell stories.
4:36Trevor talks about Radio Lab, another radio program, and how they fight against habituation by using different voices, pacing and sound effects.
5:35Trevor talks about the importance of planning your content in a way that prompts you to use a different element of your voice or approach to delivery.
6:53Karen asks if there are contexts when it doesn’t make sense to switch it up too much when you’re speaking.
9:11Trevor clarifies that fighting habituation is not about trying to be an actor. It’s about being yourself and planning your content so you naturally change your inflection, delivery and pace.
10:22Trevor talks about how nerves can lead speakers to speak more formally and technically and become “tight”. This often translates to habituation – and a bored, disengaged audience.
11:17Trevor shares his best habituation-fighting tips.
14:28Trevor suggests David Pogue’s TED Talk as a great example of an animated, anti-habituation presentation.
15:52Trevor reminds us that variety is the spice of life. Add some to your presentation!
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Why Speaking Matters


In this introductory episode, host Trevor Currie and producer Karen Ward discuss the importance of speaking as a "signal skill" and what you can start (and stop) doing right now to improve your impact as a public speaker.

Listening Notes:

1:20Trevor talks about the goals he set for 2015 that led to The Podium Project podcast.
3:23Karen asks Trevor why speaking matters and Trevor discusses the importance of speaking as a “signal skill” and why it’s accessible to everyone.
5:25Trevor talks about the various applications of persuasive communication in both personal and professional contexts.
6:40Trevor outlines the different types of client he works with and the common challenge they share—their expertise.
8:33Trevor talks about the limitations of public speaking as a medium and how presentation performance always improves when a speaker focuses on sharing a few keys points, well illustrated, instead of trying to be comprehensive.
10:00Karen asks Trevor to share a couple of great presentation tips for the audience to act on right away and they are: (1) content is king and (2) less is more.
12:40Trevor talks about author Dan Pink’s TED Talk about motivation as a great example of providing an audience with a few key, well illustrated points, not all of the insights from his book Drive.
14:18Trevor explains why it’s often counterintuitive for professionals to be less comprehensive when they present and why it’s so critical that they are focused and selective when they share their knowledge.

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