As one of my learned colleagues mused this morning, “before we know it, it will be time for the KDPR Christmas party again”. I think that’s a sign we do festive well around here. It is about this time every year many people start to doubt their ability to follow through on their resolutions, their big plans for the next nine months. Don’t even suggest it is a 12 month plan, we all know that in Oz it’s all over for the year from Melbourne Cup Day.

For many, this year will be the one for conquering the digital media landscape; for finally getting a grip on the many and varied social media platforms available both personally and professionally. For facing up to the need for a corporate online strategy, integrated across the digital world. There are a very few companies that would not benefit from a digital strategy, let alone need one to maintain and protect their corporate reputations.

And there is another trend I am witnessing as being top of the pops for corporate development this year, and it is as far removed from technology as possible. And that is a keen desire to gain confidence in public speaking, whether it’s in the boardroom, on stage or on camera. I always quote Jerry Seinfeld in my presentation training workshops, who observed that speaking in front of a crowd is considered the number one fear of the average person. And number two was death! “That means to the average person if you have to be at a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

…speaking in front of a crowd is considered the number one fear of the average person. And number two was death! “That means to the average person if you have to be at a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

How true for so many people, but it really doesn’t have to be that way. With the tools for developing a powerful speech structure, and some coaching to get the best out of your own style, speeches can be something you actually look forward to. Apart from being a key corporate skill, being able to pull out a cracker speech without notice at a Wedding or birthday, is also a great thing.

And given how competitive it is for business out there, and the fact that it is how you say it not what you say that counts, it’s hardly surprising the gift of the gab is on everyone’s wish list for 2013.