homepage_name! > Editions > Number 106 > Business Thought - Alan Stevens

Alan Stevens

Building & Protecting Your Reputation

He is a speaker, PR expert, author and journalist. He has been both a TV presenter and expert interviewee. In the latter capacity, he has accumulated over 2,000 radio and TV interviews, and is uniquely placed to give insights about the media and how organisations and individuals are best able to enhance their image.

Alan Stevens is an exceptional speaker. In recognition of this, he became one of an exclusive group – a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association (PSA of the UK). This is the highest earned measure of success in the British speaking community. In 2008 he served as PSA President. He is held in high esteem internationally by the Global Speaking community – so much so that he was elected to serve as President of the Global Speakers Federation in 2010-2011, a term he served with distinction and remarkable dedication, literally putting his own successful career on hold for a year. He has attended over 50 professional speakers conventions globally and has witnessed many of the world’s very best and highest paid speakers strutting their stuff in front on the toughest audience imaginable – fellow professional speakers. So on the topic of speaking, Alan’s opinion and advice carries substantial weight.

A journalist with 40 years’ experience including well over 2000 interviews on TV and radio as an interviewee, Alan Stevens is known internationally as The Media Coach. He spent 21 years with the Consumers’ Association, appearing on BBC TV News, CNN, Bloomberg, Sky News, Radio 4 and 5Live. He’s appeared on every ITV regional programme, dozens of local radio stations and has been quoted in every UK national print newspaper, The New York Times, Forbes magazine, The Economist and on the internet.

He was the project leader and first Editor of one of Europe's earliest online social networks (Which? Online), that launched in November 1996. For over 25 years, Alan has been a regular media commentator on communication issues, and also co-presented a technology show (The Buyers Guide) for two years on Sky TV.

In April 2012, he was named number 66 in the "Top social media experts to follow on Twitter" by influential blogger and commentator Evan Carmichael.

Alan is the author of 3 business books, The Pocket Media Coach (2006), Ping (2009) on practical social media tips and Media Masters (2009) with Jeremy Nicholas. The latest book, The Exceptional Speaker, co-authored with Paul du Toit, was published in September 2013. He is an addicted twitterer, serial blogger, and active participant in top level discussion groups relating to professional speaking and media. He publishes 5 daily electronic specialist newspapers. His Media Coach eZine arrives every Friday in the inboxes of his devoted subscribers.

His company, MediaCoach, provides coaching in broadcast and social media skills to CEOs, politicians, celebrities and communication professionals, as well as providing consultancy in reputation management. Alan also specialises in helping companies define and deliver their messages to their target markets - often for a tiny fraction of their marketing budget.

Media Coaching

Helping you build your reputation on air

He thinks that our reputation depends on how we are perceived, and radio, print and TV are all channels that create and maintain the image of us and our brand.

Delivering a message confidently on TV or radio is an essential business skill, and the benefit to business can be huge. If we perform well, we will be seen as trusted and reliable, and will win more customers as a result.

Exceptional Speaking

Helping you deliver sensational speeches

Delivering a great speech is a massive accomplishment. For an audience, experiencing a stirring rendition is both exhilarating and uplifting. Because a great speech appears so effortless, it is too easy to assume that delivery is a simple matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those who have mastered the art of successful speaking know very well that it is rarely an overnight phenomenon. Great speeches may be written in just a few days – but the delivery is what can make them great. That ability takes years of experience to hone. The stark reality is that delivering speeches is fraught with pitfalls almost guaranteed to unhinge the novice.

An exceptional speech never, ever happens by accident, even though it may appear so. It is always the result of a delicate combination of trial and error, intensive coaching, and ultimately experience – depending upon the speaker. Just as exceptional sports people always have a great coach close at hand, so too do exceptional speakers.

Crisis Media Management

Saving your reputation

A few seconds can make or break your reputation. How would you react if a film crew arrived on your doorstep at 6am asking you to comment on a crisis affecting your company? What you do in those brief moments will affect the reputation of your company, and your position within it. These days, every business continuity plan must include crisis media training.

One of his specialities is helping companies deal with bad news. Although many organisations now have procedures to recover from a disaster, the media impact is often overlooked. However, it is highly likely that if a crisis occurs, your company’s media profile will be raised dramatically, and your future business success and survival will depend on how you deal with the media.

His clients include MPs, TV presenters and sports stars as well as companies including Virgin, BP, O2, The Dorchester, Sony Ericsson, Guinness World Records, The Dubai Stock Exchange, BMW and Mumm Champagne. The Independent newspaper listed him as "one of the top 10 media experts in the UK".

Alan’s client list reads like the Who’s Who of the United Kingdom, including the Cabinet Office. He speaks regularly at conferences and meetings all over the world on Reputation Management, Media, Presentation, Interviewing Skills and Social Media and has been doing so for more than a decade. He has been honoured with some designations which he is quite proud of, since they represent a high level of professional achievement. In December 2013, he was part of the first group of twenty-one speakers to receive the CSPGlobal designation (Certified Speaking Professional, Global). This award is given only to experienced international speakers who have proven mastery of the core global speaking competencies over a number of years, received favourable reviews by the clients who hired them, demonstrated sustainability as a global presenter, presented professionally in a range of countries and satisfied a panel of peers of their competence.

He is also a Past President of the Global Speakers Federation, and a Fellow and Past President of the Professional Speaking Association of the UK and Ireland (PSA UKI). And he is honoured to be one of only ten UK speakers who hold their highest professional designation, The Professional Speaking Award of Excellence (PSAE). Coincidentally, he is the only accredited professional speaker in Europe who is also a qualified public relations professional, being a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

He is a regular conference host at UK and international events across a range of disciplines including leisure, human resources, communication and manufacturing Industries, providing creativity, peace of mind and reliability. In the past ten years, he has chaired or spoken at conferences in Europe, America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

When away from home, Alan usually packs his running shoes and can be seen loping about town at a more than respectable pace for an hour or more at a time on his own personal unguided tour. “On foot is the best way to get to know a place” he claims “and by running you cover more ground than by walking.” He also has the quirky habit of visiting the quaintest back street coffee shops and breakfast nooks, because (he states) that’s where one finds the best Eggs Benedict and the strongest coffee. It is usually after one of his international speaking trips that one can expect an update to the “Tall Traveller” blog. Few shabby establishments escape a rap over the knuckles, but he’s quick to complement those that fixed the shower nozzle high enough.

Alan lives in East London, England with his wife and Business Manager, Heather and their delightful daughter Ellie. It is also interesting that his great-great-great grandmother’s aunt was Mary Shelley, writer of Frankenstein, and his mother and father were ballroom dancing champions of London back in 1946.