A University of Westminster Lecturer has been named the New Speaker of the Year by the Academy for Chief Executives.

University of Westminster flag

The business leaders’ learning group with branches around the UK and overseas has been awarded to broadcast journalism lecturer Michael Dodd who has been teaching at the university for the past ten years.

Michael also does media training work for university clients through its Westmedia arm.

Michael - who began his broadcasting career as a political reporter in Australia – is best know to British audiences for his newspaper reviews on Sky News which he’s been doing over the past twelve years.

He was selected for the award from hundreds of speakers who address groups of the Academy each year in Britain and in its new overseas branches in India, Ireland, Gibraltar and Malta.

Versatile Speaker

Michael has been speaking at events for the Academy on how to give great answers to tough questions – a topic based on his experience of asking probing questions in live broadcasts to politicians, business leaders and other public figures

He says “Australian journalists pride ourselves on what has been called ‘blowtorch-on-the-belly questions’ and this has been helpful in showing Academy members how to stand up the rigorous questioning which chief executives face from many directions,”

Founder of the Academy, Brian Chernett, described Michael’s speaking sessions as ones which generated much noise and learning amongst chief executives because everybody in the Academy “got it” when he addressed them.

The Academy’s director responsible for its speaker selection process, Phil Jesson, said the chief executives were impressed by the level of research that Michael did on members before his talks.

He said this helped the business leaders to be thoroughly tested out on the kinds of difficult questions they had to deal with on their feet in their daily work.

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