Cycling & Podium Presence
37“My father phoned me to tell me to continue racing, and I will take the winner’s bouquet from today back to Italy to lay on her tomb.” Guido Trenti, dedicating his Vuelta stage win to his Grandmother
A class act example of podium behavior is all the public may know of a rider off his bike. This moment is a very important one to inspire crowds, please sponsors, thank teammates, and send a winner’s message of grace and gratitude. The podium pro stands on the top step and looks at the shutter of every camera pausing for the perfect shot, slightly altering position to peer into every lens. The famous know to look at the camera as if facing a best friend during these structured shoots. Hundreds make their living based on this shot and your interview savvy.
While racing in France, my association on a racing squad famous for historical development taught me much about public speaking. Every regular team meeting at club headquarters, we were required to stand before our peers and give an account of our recent performances. The French press spends endless time talking to their cyclists in a public forum. What these riders discuss isn’t fluff but full of useful information that reveals their thoughts, personalities, race details and strategic insight. Perhaps the analytical public demands reasons for everything but the result is great interviews and cyclists who are savvy at speech. A bit is learned of the rider. Some of the race mystery is revealed to nurture an interested public, and this promotes cycling.
To witness a bit of the private person in public delights: a winner kissing a podium girl who happened to be his wife; a win dedicated to a supporter; a bouquet delivered to team staff as thanks; a credible interview in clear voice rallying popularity. Deals are made and broken based on the savor of this key celebration– will you smell like a rose from the victory bouquet or a skunk cabbage?
Prayer for Podium Presence
“To the latter it is an aroma…the smell of doom; to the former it is…a vital fragrance, living and fresh. And who is qualified for these things?” 382 Corinthians 2:16
We are glad for opportunities to shine. We confess celebrating publicly increases our vulnerability. We pray for a powerful and pleasing podium presence and good interview and media skills.
Ponder Can I discuss a race intelligently and speak well in public? Affirm I speak to the masses with a grateful demeanor and choice words of explanation. Watch the crowd for cues to speak or pose.
37“Trenti takes easy win,” posted 28 September, 2001 on BBC Sport Online www.news.bbc.co.uk