Broadcasters team up to coach speaking skills

Atholl Duncan, Zara Janjua, Tim Reid, Neil Henderson (pic supplied)

Four seasoned broadcast professionals have joined forces to offer a service to those wanting to improve their presentational skills.

They have come together in an expansion of The Edge Consultancy, whose founder is former BBC head of news and current affairs, Atholl Duncan.

He is joined by ex-BBC colleagues Tim Reid, who now heads a PR, crisis communications and media training business; former BBC sports journalist, Neil Henderson, who is a communications director, based in Zurich; and Zara Janjua, a broadcaster, comedian, actor, and newspaper columnist.

Mr Duncan said: “We all share a passion for tackling the epidemic of poor presentations in businesses across the land. 

“Never before has so much ineffective talk been spouted by leaders at all levels.  Never before has it been more important for leaders to become genuinely inspiring as businesses face an unprecedented volume and pace of change.”

According to a State of Business Communications 2023 report, 38% of business leaders note the financial impact of poor communications, while the Communications Statistics report 2023 highlights poor business communication as a reason for poor customer experience (30%), lost customers to competitors (12%) and lost employees (10%).

A recent report from Axios HQ, which surveyed 540 business leaders and over a thousand employees, places the cost of ineffective communication close to $2 trillion annually in the US alone.

The Edge has been providing training and coaching on presentation and speechmaking over the past three years, but this expansion marks a growing demand from the corporate world.

Mr Duncan, who also authored the book “Leaders in Lockdown” in 2020 about business chiefs leading the corporate world’s fight against Covid-19, added: “One of our most popular pieces of work is the ‘Seven Secrets of Inspiring Presentation’.

“For too long, the art of a good presentation has been neglected in the armoury of training in the corporate world. We are passionate about helping leaders to move from transmit to inspire.”

The Edge also helps businesspeople to deal with the anxiety which often goes hand in hand with public speaking.

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