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Virtual Coffee with Vets:"The Art of Public Speaking" with Jim Axelrod

In August 2023, participants of the Paramount Veterans Network Veterans Immersion Program (VIP) and VetNet members attended a Virtual Coffee with Vets session with Jim Axelrod, Chief Investigative & Sr. National Correspondent, CBS News and Paramount VetNet Advisor. The focus of the event was “The Art of Public Speaking”. Jim shared many insights on preparing and delivering a presentation and tips to calm any nerves that may come up during your presentation. VIP participants shared their experiences and asked thoughtful questions, making it a truly enriching and informative event.


Some key takeaways:

  • Be Earnest, Honest, and Authentic

  • Communication is a connection.

  • Speak in conversation. If you use words that your audience does not understand, it will create a barrier.

  • Pick one word in each sentence that is the most important.

  • If you’re nervous, acknowledge it - let the audience know. You’ll start to feel better, and the listeners will understand.

  • Repetition is key. Practice and go over your speech repeatedly. Get to a point where you lose count of how many times you have gone over your speech.


The veterans had the opportunity to interact with one of the most decorated and professional journalists in the business. Jim shared fundamental insight and gave some personalized tips to a few veterans preparing to deliver a speech to the CEO of Paramount, Bob Bakish, later this month.

“Jim Axelrod is always generous with his time, not only speaking to the veterans but also listening and offering support. We always learn a great deal from his talks!” -Chris Barrett, Marine Corps Veteran


“It was truly an honor and pleasure to have Jim come back another year and speak to our latest VetNet cohort. There were so many valuable nuggets of information, including a few anecdotes from his illustrious broadcasting career, that can help anyone, even the most seasoned speakers, improve their public speaking skills. We value Jim’s advice and look forward to implementing these skillsets into our public speaking engagements.” -Betty Diaz, Paramount Veterans Network.


"Feeling incredibly honored to have heard from the remarkable journalist Jim Axelrod. His wisdom and insights are a true inspiration to anyone, especially those like myself who wish to follow a similar career path. Id like to extend a heartfelt thank you to both, the Paramount Veterans Network and to Jim, for their unwavering support to our veterans, reminding us that with the power of preparation and passion for our crafts, anything is possible." -Will Kelso, Army Veteran

"I was truly amazed and impressed with Jim Axelrod's presentation to veterans during the Paramount VetNet Art of Public Speaking webinar. Mr. Axelrod offered personal and professional approaches to public speaking that were insightful and useful to the veteran audience. His incredible background and accomplished career in journalism were made available to veterans seeking careers in public speaking." -Mike Meyers, Founder and Commissioner, MBA


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