Welcome

Welcome to my home on the web. I'm the chief executive of LionsDen Communications. Based in London, I work all over the world chairing, facilitating and moderating meetings.

Many of them are on medical and scientific topics, though my broadcast journalism background has equipped me to tackle almost any subject.

You may want me on stage in front of a live audience of hundreds and the same number again joining via the web. Or in a TV studio, interviewing a panel of experts. Clients often ask me to facilitate sensitive internal meetings, or advisory boards of key opinion leaders.

You'll often find me presenting webcasts and podcasts. I also chair press conferences and media briefings, where I can help the experts get their messages across and ensure the journalists get the story.

I'm at home in all these situations. People are so accustomed to TV production values now that they expect similar levels of professionalism at live events. I help that happen. I bring the skills of broadcast journalism to the corporate, medical and scientific worlds.

I have a particular expertise in the pharmaceutical industry, on whose behalf I've stood in front of literally tens of thousands of physicians, scientists, nurses, senior executives and marketers over the last 18 years.

You'll find details of my approach and expertise and examples of my work around the site.

Click here to watch my video tutorials on presenting your data and pitching your story.

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LionsDen - The specialists in spoken medical communication... Click here.

Event Hosting

Moderating a media briefing or hosting a press conference is a delicate balancing act. You need to ensure the expert panel put their points across and the journalists get their stories. You also need to steer the discussion back to the key points where possible, and make sure that when the memorable soundbites come out, they're noted by the reporters.

Medical events pose particular challenges for the organisers... and for the moderator. The audience, primarily physicians and scientists, are suspicious of razzmatazz and quick to accuse the sponsors of hype or favouring style over substance.

Yet they're used to seeing sophisticated production values on TV and at other non-medical events. So subconsciously they associate the look and feel of the event with the quality of your product.

On top of that, your medical meetings need to pass increasingly stringent healthcare compliance tests.

I was a journalist for 18 years, and have been moderating medical and media events for more than 10. This 'foot in both camps' attitude is the basis of my success as a moderator.

Doing it successfully involves asking pertinent questions, clarifying points, summarising arguments and putting statements into context.

When a media briefing goes well, it's a classic 'win-win' situation:

  • The expert speakers make their points in a newsworthy way, with good quotes.
  • The journalists get the strongest story possible, and get many of their questions asked.

Much of my work - including media briefings - is transmitted via the internet. Recorded or live, webcasts reflect the fact that spoken communication is becoming increasing important for a range of audiences, including media, analysts, customers and staff. And in those circumstances, a skilled moderator can be the difference between success and failure.

LionsDen can help you prepare your speakers for medical events... Click here.

Media Briefings

Moderating a media briefing or hosting a press conference is a delicate balancing act. You need to ensure the expert panel put their points across and the journalists get their stories. You also need to steer the discussion back to the key points where possible, and make sure that when the memorable soundbites come out, they're noted by the reporters.

I was a journalist for 18 years, and have been moderating media events for more than 10. This 'foot in both camps' attitude is the basis of my success as a media moderator.

Doing it successfully involves asking pertinent questions, clarifying points, summarising arguments and putting statements into context.

When a media briefing goes well, it's a classic 'win-win' situation:

  • The company gets its messages across, clearly and within the appropriate regulations.
  • The expert speakers make their points in a newsworthy way, with good quotes.
  • The journalists get the strongest story possible, and get many of their questions asked.

Much of my work - including media briefings - is transmitted via the internet. Recorded or live, webcasts reflect the fact that spoken communication is becoming increasing important for a range of audiences, including media, analysts, customers and staff. And in those circumstances, a skilled moderator can be the difference between success and failure.

LionsDen can help you prepare your speakers for media events...Click here.

Speaker Coaching

In addition to my work as a facilitator, I coach senior executives and opinion leaders on presenting effectively. Most of this work falls into one of two categories:

  • Presenting medical data
  • Presenting corporate or brand strategy

I'm comfortable at senior levels in multinational corporations and can handle the challenges of working with internationally-renowned researchers. Typical projects include coaching:

  • Principal Investigators and study authors for plenary presentations at major medical congresses
  • Board members for market-moving corporate announcements
  • Marketing or brand directors for major product launches
  • Pharmaceutical executives for regulatory submissions

My understanding of clinical trials, drug discovery and development and the changing healthcare environment enables me to help clients to present the strongest case possible in a memorable way.

My approach is to get away from the traditional idea of 'talking through the slides' to 'telling the story and explaining the significance of the data'. I have built ongoing relationships with many key people in the healthcare world, who rely on my guidance to ensure their presentations have impact and 'stickability'.

LionsDen can help you prepare your speakers for media events... Click here.

Facilitation

The word facilitate comes from the Latin facilis, meaning easy. That's a good starting point to define the role of a facilitator... to make simple, or to make easy. It applies to a process or meeting format, usually where a decision is required or advice is requested.

It also makes clear that the facilitator is responsible for the journey, not the destination.

I am often asked to facilitate advisory boards, or high-level internal meetings. It's a skilled job which involves a number of important elements. They include:

  • Ensuring the sponsor's objectives are met.
  • Injecting energy and enthusiasm into the meeting.
  • Keeping discussions focused and on track.
  • Ensuring all participants have the opportunity to make their points, and preventing over-bearing participants from dominating.
  • Summarising appropriately to move the discussion on.
  • Challenging statements and probing positions where appropriate.
  • Attempting to gain agreement where possible.
  • Keeping time and tempers in check.

But skilled facilitation is about more than a list of bullet points. It requires intuition and judgement, knowing when to push and when to pull back. It demands developed interpersonal skills, so you can read the group and sense its mood.

I aim to bring those qualities to every meeting I facilitate.

LionsDen can help you to become a better facilitator... Click here.

Clients

Since 1992 I have been working with many of the world's major pharmaceutical, vaccines and biologics companies. I have hosted, facilitated or chaired events in Europe, the US, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Russia, Malaysia, the Philippines and South America.

I have hosted corporate, branding and launch events in many countries around the world.

I have chaired media briefings and expert panels at many major medical congresses including ESC, ACC, ASH, ADA, ESMO, ASCO and ERS. I have chaired many online discussion panes on medical and scientific topics.

I have delivered keynote speeches on various aspects of communication at a wide range of company-sponsored events.

The details are of course confidential but the clients include:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Bayer Schering Pharma
  • Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Lilly
  • Merck and Schering-Plough
  • Novartis
  • Pfizer

LionsDen - The specialists in spoken medical communication... Click here.

Articles

I write frequently on healthcare communication matters and have a regular column in PM magazine on how the media covers the pharma industry. Here are some examples:

I'm also the author of a number of books, which you can find here: