Posts Tagged ‘Jill Collins’

Time to change the channel!

October 30, 2013

Hector - 2FM

I am an ‘RTE Morning Ireland girl- always have been!

As a PR consultant, and a former political adviser, I have been addicted to the news for a long time. But lately I’ve been finding myself sneakily switching over to Hector on 2fm between news bulletins.

It’s not that I’m not interested in the news, but Hector (somewhat indulgently) calls his listeners ‘soldiers of the dawn’. I’m not sure why this is so appealing, but sometimes when I am in traffic at 7.45am, I feel like a soldier of the dawn!

Isn’t it enough just to be up, to be on my way to work? Do I have to listen to a full 40 minutes of bad news stories before I get there as well?

Hector says things like ‘keep her lit’ and ‘keep it country’, and he plays very upbeat, happy tunes. It’s nice!

Recently I heard Kate Adie, veteran BBC news correspondent, tell a radio presenter, that people don’t sit down at 9pm anymore, to watch ‘the news’, as we once knew it.

We now have news on tap, – iphones, car radios, twitter, facebook- if something happens, you will hear about it -so it’s no longer surprising at 9pm. Whether you are interested or not, you can’t escape it. If something is happening, you will hear about it.

As Kate Adie pointed out, news has a function, whether you care about it or not, it acts as a warning, a heads up. It reminds you to look after your life. That’s a good thing.

Trouble is, sometimes you need to escape it.

A constant diet of personal insolvency, Anglo tapes, dissolving the Seanad, shootings, (and that’s before you’ve had a coffee) can’t be good for you – It is ok to tune out from time to time, to take a break from your life, to unplug from it all.

Sometimes you just need to listen to a song, simple as that.

An MD of a large organisation in the financial services sector recently told me he listens to LyricFm on the way to work. He says it’s good for the soul, and besides, he has the rest of the day to hear all the bad news.

So by all means, listen to the news, get the headlines, as Kate Adie says, take the heads up, and look after your life. But there’s no harm in changing the channel every once in a while.

..You might actually arrive to work in a good mood!

Jill Collins - Fuzion PRJill Collins is a PR Consultant  and Media Training expert with Fuzion PR who have offices in Cork and Dublin

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


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.

First impressions count…

August 8, 2012
Kennedy Nixon televised debate 1960

First impressions count

In 1960, the relatively unknown Senator John F Kennedy debated against Vice President Nixon in a US first television live debate in a presidential election campaign.

It’s widely acknowledged that without that debate, Kennedy would never have been president. Nixon, pale and underweight from a recent hospitalisation, appeared sickly and under pressure, also famously refusing makeup, while Kennedy appeared calm and confident, tanned, robust and healthy, wearing full make up.

Those who listened to the debate on the radio thought Nixon had won. Those who watched it on television, thought Kennedy had been victorious. While Nixon went on to perform much better in subsequent debates (and to look better, due to weight gain), 20 million people watched that first one, and the damage had been done.

For the first time ever in the US, viewers judged presidential candidates on not just content, but style, stage presence, appearance. For the first time, it demonstrated that how you present yourself, counts.

In our working lives we make presentations, give interviews and conduct meetings, leaving first impressions every day. We don’t want to be all style and no substance, but how you present yourself, matters. How you dress, how you shake hands, how you speak at that first meeting, may be the only shot you have, so you have to make it count.

Sometimes we are casual in our approach with business associates, with prospective clients, with colleagues, and we conspiratorially confess that business hasn’t been great, that we couldn’t wait to leave the office to go home and watch the Olympics, assuming we are making friends, but this is not the climate for over sharing- this economic climate requires your game face!

People like to think they’re doing business with a focused, capable, confident person, and that first impression will do at least half the convincing, that you’re the right person for the job.

Nixon himself insisted on campaigning right up to an hour before that famous debate, not having fully recovered from a hospital visit either,  but he never got a chance to explain that in the live debate- the public presumed him exhausted, weaker than his opponent. Not fair, not true, but the rest is history.

Of course we all do our best to look smart going to work, and make a greater effort for important meetings, but we should probably assume that how we present ourselves says more about us than we realise. Bear it mind as you’re getting dressed tomorrow morning- time to get your game face on!

Jill Collins is an account director at Fuzion.

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

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