An Interview with Vince Stevenson, Founder and Education Director of the College of Public Speaking.
Tell me about your Speaking?
I am a founder of the College of Public Speaking. In three years of operation we’ve worked with BT (we are a niche supplier to BT), Ministry of Justice, Buckingham Palace, The Land Registry, HM Treasury, Deutsche Bank and lots of other large organisations and smaller organisations. Size it not an issue with us. We are determined to help anybody who has a desire to improve upon their communication skills. We also do a lot of pro bono work with charities, Oxfam, Marie Curie Cancer Care among others to assist their internal development.
Why are we successful? Because we understand people and their desire to be the best that they can be. We utilise tried and trusted techniques for improvement and deliver exceptional results.
What was your first Talk?
My first professional presentation as a new team leader 25 years ago (to the Board of the CWS in Manchester) was a disaster. I was overcome with fear and nervousness and made a right hash of it. At that point I decided that I had to do something positive if I wanted to get my point across and climb the management ladder. I think that my ability to empathise with nervous novice speakers helps to build a relationship of trust. I can guide and nurture them through the minefield of effective communication. I do not want to see anybody die on stage as I did.
What is the biggest tip you would give to a newbie Speaker?
Be yourself. Bring your personality and personal creativity to the table.
Take the opportunity to really express yourself in a positive manner.
What do Speakers do that you wish they wouldn’t?
Talking too quickly, reading from their notes (Did you see Micheal Martin’s resignation speech?), poor body language, overuse and inappropriate use of PowerPoint, poor structure, lack of preparation, and a lack of vocal energy. I could go on…
What was your most successful aspect of offline PR last year?
A couple of items spring to mind. We did some pro bono training with 30 marketing staff at Oxfam in Oxford. That was great fun. We also ran the inaugural College of Public Speaking Corporate Challenge at St Mary le Bow in the City of London. We are the first company to bring together the best speakers in industry and commerce across all sectors. We’re running it again this year in September and we have a fantastic line up of speakers. College of Public Speaking Corporate Public Speaking Challenge If you would like to enter, please accept this as your invitation.
What would you like to do to change the world?
One of my best friends is an international educationalist. He travels the world setting up educational projects and evaluates the effectiveness of other organisations’ educational work. He has worked in over 80 countries. Now that’s what I call a challenge. If education was ‘universally’ available, I’m sure the world would be a better place.
What do you do that is green?
I live between Bromley and Beckenham and I always walk to either of them. No matter the weather, I never take the car or the bus. I enjoy walking and the benefit of the exercise..
Where were you born?
A Brazilian wife and a 6 year old daughter
What is one thing about you that not many people know?
In 1995, I took a sabbatical. I went to south and central America for five months, travelling on a truck from southern Argentina all the way up to Mexico City. 5 months, 14 countries visited and a thousand adventures.
What’s your favorite book?
Our man in Havanna – Graham Greene
What is on your iPod?
Billy Idol, Coldplay, Aha, BBC Complete French, Bach, Vivaldi, Verdi, Puccini, Purcell. Bit of a mixed bag.
What are your contact details (email, company, blog, facebook, myspace, forums, etc)?
College of Public Speaking
What events do you go to?
I’ve been attending a few networking events recently, Econsultancy, Business Link, Daily Telegraph Business Club.
How do you prefer to communicate?
Face to face is always the best – email is great, and I’m a big fan of Twitter.
What is one thing people can do for you?
Please follow me on Twitter – getting lots of positive reaction to my postings.
Thanks to Vince Stevenson, Founder and Education Director of the College of Public Speaking !