Our latest podcast episode on How to Own the Room (available on all podcast platforms) is an interview with Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton about their experiences with public speaking. We cover confidence, stress, preconceptions that women face as speakers, handling judgement and criticism and more. For a behind-the-scenes take on the episode, plus all the notes and advice from the interview including my notes and advice, you can sign up for a Cut-Out-and-Keep takeaway guide here. I designed this PDF as something people can download and hang on to (as a digital file or as a print-out) so that if they’re listening to the podcast while they’re out and about (or even — God forbid — running, as many people seem to be when they’re listening to this podcast) they have all the notes saved and written down in advance. Enjoy!
My new book Lift As You Climb: Women and the Art of Ambition is coming out March 5. Order here. It’s a companion volume to HOW TO OWN THE ROOM and looks at everything in our working lives that goes on behind closed doors and inside our minds… How can we make ourselves heard in meetings without feeling pushy? How can we help other women speak up? How can we cultivate mentors and role models? How can we ask for more money and get a “yes”? How can we use our ambition for the things we want — balance, space to think, creativity, travel, family — as well as for our work goals? We all know the expression “There is a special place in hell reserved for women who don’t help other women” but what do we really think about that? What does that look like in practice? And why don’t we put that pressure of “lifting others” on men? It’s full of practical advice, hints, tips, takeaways and loads of provocative ideas and questions. You can also order on Kindle here. Audio coming soon.
Very excited to feature Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton on the How to Own the Room podcast. They were open, funny, candid and surprisingly charming. I was expecting some frostiness at some point but there was none — until my final question about whether Hillary is thinking of running in the 2020 election… Check out the podcast on iTunes and all podcast platforms: “Are you owning your individuality? Hillary and Chelsea Clinton talk to Viv Groskop about our narrow notions of what female speech and power should be – and how they must be expanded. They discuss The Book of Gutsy Women (co-authored by the Clintons), plus pant suits, press bullying, Greta Thunberg and Hillary’s very first public speaking “trial by fire”.”
Writing in this week’s Observer about the cultural phenomenon that is Frozen. “The original 2013 movie took more than $1bn at the box office and more than that in merchandising, became Amazon’s bestselling children’s film DVD of all time, solely based on pre-orders, and pushed Elsa, the name of the ice princess who can’t control her powers, into the top 100 names for British babies. At the height of Frozen’s success, the waiting time to see Elsa at Disney World, Florida, was four hours. Serena Williams once claimed to have watched the film 3,000 times.
It has been one of the great joys of my life to judge the 2019 David Cohen Prize, a lifetime achievement award of £40,000 for a great body of literary work. After long and fascinating discussions we had to give the award to Edna O’Brien: there was just no contest. To come out with a book like Country Girls (about rural life in Ireland) sixty years ago and then publish a book like Girl (about Boko Haram) just this year… That alone is a huge achievement. And then there are the dozens of other works, including one of the most mesmerising memoirs I’ve every read, Country Girl.
I’m thrilled to announce that I’m judging the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction. I have SO MUCH READING to do… This is the third prize in a row I’ve judged after the Wellcome Prize and the David Cohen Prize so I am now well drilled in the art of getting through a massive reading list. Good job I like sitting still.
When the dog bites, when the bee stings, don’t feel bad, just listen to Julie Andrews on the How to Own the Room podcast! This was an extraordinary encounter with a woman whose iconic voice has not changed in seventy years… I loved meeting her and was thrilled by her humility and resilience. Listen to the podcast on iTunes and all podcast platforms: “Have you done your homework? Actress, singer and writer Julie Andrews tells Viv Groskop that you never know when something quite wonderful might happen – so be prepared. She talks being inspired by the excellence of others, being flattened by a helicopter – and how discipline is the foundation that leaves her free to fly.”
How to Own the Room just hit 100+ reviews on Amazon! A huge thank you to everyone who has bought the book and taken the time to review or give feedback of any kind. This kind of reader interaction makes a massive difference to the life of a book: it prolongs the book’s significance and it really makes sure that the book falls into the right hands. I am so grateful and a bit weepy.
Please do not be alarmed by this enormous picture. What can I say? It’s a big show with big dreams.
My new Edinburgh show Vivalicious is currently previewing all over the place and booking at Underbelly Med Quad for Edinburgh Fringe 1-26 August (13 Aug off) at 4.10pm opens this weekend here: http://www.underbellyedinburgh.co.uk.
The theme? Being your best self in preparation for the coming era of President Oprah Winfrey. Is there ever really a point to self-improvement or is it time for us (ie. me) to accept that we are all a bit rubbish and we (ie. I) quite like it that way?
BRIGHTON FRINGE: 11, 12, 25, 26 May, 1, 2 June 8pm, The Claremont Hove. Tickets here.
TWICKENHAM: 23 MAY at The Exchange. Tickets here.
BRISTOL: 30 MAY at White Rabbit Bristol. See here.
CATFORD FRINGE FESTIVAL: 5 JUNE at Broadway Theatre. Tickets here.
BIRMINGHAM: 7 JUNE at The Hexagon. Tickets here.
KINGSTON: 29 JUNE at Crack Comedy. Tickets here.
BARNES: 5 JULY at OSO Arts. Tickets here.
CENTRAL LONDON: Museum of Comedy: 9, 10, 24, 25 JULY. Press preview 10 July. (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for press tickets.) All at 7pm except 24 July at 8.30pm. Tickets here.
GUILDFORD: 17 JULY at The Star Inn. Tickets here.
TEDDINGTON: 12 JULY at The Anglers. Tickets here.
FROME, SOMERSET: 14 JULY at The Merlin Theatre. Tickets here.