Archive for the ‘Cycling’ Category

Lessons we learn from Lance and Oprah

January 19, 2013

Lance Armstrong & OprahThe whole world was watching, as Lance Armstrong confessed all on Oprah about his doping allegations, which he stated helped him secure 7 Tour de France wins – he could not have done that otherwise, he answered Oprah.

No matter how you feel about what he did, you couldn’t envy him ahead of that interview – would he continue to deny the allegations, would he come clean? Would she break him? Would he come out with any shred of integrity?

Lance ArmstrongBut he was ready.

Even Oprah said it. He was so prepared, so polished, so sincere, that the world felt a tingle of … pity?

No. Understanding.

After all, you can’t argue with the truth can you?

Lance must’ve been stomach-churningly nervous, and rightly so, but the only card he could play, was to be prepared.

We all dread speaking in public. No one likes getting up in front of their peers/strangers/a camera, to talk about their business. In fact, it makes most people sick with nerves. But in this climate, honing your presentation skills and your media training acumen is important, because if an opportunity to profile your business presents itself, you have to grab it!

The only advantage Lance had over Oprah, was that he knew more than she did about the whole thing – and she didn’t know what to expect. Lance did.

You know your business, your job, your area of expertise, better than anyone else. So next time you’re preparing for, (and dreading!) your next presentation, or television interview, remember this- you’re the expert on what you’re going to say – so be prepared!

A great trick I recommend to people is to practice your presentation (your pitch or your key messages for interview) standing in front of a camera or iPhone and watch it back.

Is it terrible? Do it again. And again, and again, until it’s good. Keep repeating until you sound convincing, until you are delivering the exact message you want to communicate!

Ask yourself this question before you start – what do I want to get out of this interview/presentation?

Boost the profile of the company? Tell people what you do and what makes you special? Make sure people know we don’t just service Dublin clients?

Whatever it is, make sure you don’t leave that interview/presentation stage, without telling people what you came to say.

Then decide on two or three key messages, and try to communicate those effectively.

Keep practicing those messages, along with a brief introductory sentence about your business (say it even if the interviewer doesn’t ask), and then sum up at the end by reinforcing your bottom line, your key message. Don’t aim to tell the interviewer/audience every facet of your business – they will switch off!

Lance Armstrong

Ready?

Remember, you’re not trying to win an Oscar.. you just need to be best version of yourself!

You probably hate what Lance Armstrong is all about but he did do a good job on Oprah ..

Jill Collins is an account director at Fuzion.

Jill Collins conducts presentation skills training and media training in both Cork and Dublin.

Patrick’s Hill, Heroes and Villains

August 17, 2011
Tour de Munster - Down Syndrome Ireland

The Anticipation

We anxiously waited on Patrick’s Hill in Cork alongside partners, children, other family members, people from the charity, collectors, sponsors, spectators, cycle fans and curious onlookers.

This was the finale of the Tour de Munster, one last leg of the gruelling 600km cycle around Munster in just four days. The 150 cyclists were delayed as there was a nasty tumble earlier in the day when one of the guys had a bad fall and suffered concussion – this left the schedule about an hour behind.

Every year Paul Sheridan and his team of cycling and fundraising enthusiasts endure this four days of madness for a different charity. For the second year in succession Down Syndrome Ireland are the chosen recipients for all the fundraising efforts, which already look like they are going to break all previous records.

Months of organisation, training, discipline and endurance have gone into this and every other Tour de Munster, which is now in its 11th year. Paul Sheridan is a tough task master and every year for months in advance he drives this team of cyclists hard, preparing them for these gruelling four days.

Tour de Munster - Down Syndrom Ireland

Who said this would be easy?

There are some seasoned cyclists in the troop but the 150 is also made up of a random mix of all sorts who have committed themselves to this crazy challenge. This includes parents of kids with Down Syndrome who are literally cycling for better facilities for their children – these aren’t superb athletes, just ordinary folks with ordinary lives doing extraordinary things.

The excitement is building on Patrick’s Hill and then we have the most awful incident – Ger McCarthy the professional press photographer while preparing to capture images for the newspapers the next morning turns his back for two seconds and discovers that both his expensive Nikon cameras have been stolen (Nikon D3 & D3s).

Did anyone spot anything? – this was done so swiftly and so professionally no one really realised the seriousness of what was happening around them. Basically a car (reddish/maroon old model Toyota) with a few opportunistic men (I don’t want to be racist but these guys have been described as Hispanic looking) drove up Patrick’s Hill, spotted the cameras on the ground behind Ger, did a quick u-turn, pulled in just him and quickly snatched the cameras and sped off… well done boys, aren’t you just fabulous!

Thankfully Griffith College have cameras outside their building and our two opportunists have been captured on camera – hopefully this will result in them getting what they deserve.

I must admit I was so furious and really upset about this – in the middle of all this “goodness” these thieves just turn up and show us all the other side of life.

A few phone calls later and Ger, the ever professional has a replacement camera and we have contacted the Gardai, the newspapers and radio stations and also been busy getting the message out on Twitter and Facebook.

Ger puts the incident to the back of his head and readies himself for the cycling troop.

Sean Kelly - Tour de Munster
Sean Kelly leads the Heroes up Patrick’s Hill

The excitement continues to build and eventually the 150 troop are spotted coming across Patrick’s Bridge escorted by a Gardai motorbike team. They stop at the end of the bridge while the Gardai manage the traffic to let the cyclists through. Led by the absolute Irish cycling legend Sean Kelly who stayed with the team for the full four day cycle the cyclists burst from the bridge, up Bridge Street and start the determined and punishing climb up Patrick’s Hill with hundreds of friends and spectators cheering them on and encouraging them to the summit.

Some at their own manageable pace and some sprinting to the top – the daunting hill is a little bit too much for some of the cyclists after the 600 kilometre, four day test and they carry their bikes up the hill.

The last leg is a short journey to the Silversprings hotel for family reunions, refreshments and celebrations – in the comfort of our car we make our way to the hotel and pass four of the cyclists who stopped to help one of the guys fix a puncture literally one minute from the hotel – this cycle is about something very, very special.

The courageous efforts by these heroes will benefit the many heroes in Munster affected with Down Syndrome.

Unfortunately as in every other walk of life for all of the heroes we have we also have too many villains.

Villains – take a good hard look at yourself and realise what you are doing to good people … don’t forget you were caught on camera!

Heroes – I salute you.

Ger McCarthy – thanks for being a total professional as always & we all hope you will get your gear back.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

*Great Update – on Wednesday17th August (just 3 days after the incident) the cameras were recovered as a result of a house raid by the Gardai – this was possible due to the cameras, the help from the public, the help from the media and getting the story out on social media – all of this culminated in our friends being identified.

Good wins out in the end !

 


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