133 episodes

Want to own the room? Comedian and radio and TV presenter Viv Groskop talks to inspirational women about the secrets of brilliant speaking. They share the tips and tricks that will get you the attention you deserve.

How To Own The Room Viv Groskop

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 37 Ratings

Want to own the room? Comedian and radio and TV presenter Viv Groskop talks to inspirational women about the secrets of brilliant speaking. They share the tips and tricks that will get you the attention you deserve.

    Kit de Waal, Writer

    Kit de Waal, Writer

    How do you find your authentic voice? Viv Groskop talks to the writer, Kit de Waal, who found success later in life with her book My Name is Leon. Kit tells Viv how she reconciled the different parts of her Birmingham childhood, born to an Irish mother and African-Caribbean father, in her recent memoir - Without Warning and Only Sometimes: Scenes from an Unpredictable Childhood. Not expecting to even make it into adulthood, Kit says that every day has been a bonus. Although she was brought up in the ‘oppressive and joyless’ Jehovah Witness religion, she tells Viv how it prepared her for one thing – and that was public speaking. Talking to a literary crowd was, however, another matter. Overcoming self-doubt and nerves, she shares her secret with Viv: know your subject, and the rest will flow.
    Find out more about Kit de Waal’s memoir: Without Warning and Only Sometimes: Scenes from an Unpredictable Childhood.
    A new updated edition of Viv's book, How to Own the Room is out now.
    @vivgroskop

    • 34 min
    Marisha Wallace, Musical Theatre Performer

    Marisha Wallace, Musical Theatre Performer

    Do you believe in yourself? Viv Groskop talks to the musical theatre performer, Marisha Wallace, best-known for roles in Something Rotten, Dreamgirls, Waitress and Hairspray. Marisha tells Viv that she was drawn to London six years ago for work and has never left, enjoying the freedom it’s given her to try different roles. She explains to Viv why she resists the ‘strong Black woman’ stereotype and that it’s ok not to be a superhero. Marisha nurtures her confidence by drawing on her spirituality, while leaving the more constraining aspects of the religion she was brought up with behind. Viv and Marisha reflect that bravery is feeling your insecurity and fear of judgment and putting yourself out there anyway.
    Find out more about Marisha Wallace on her website.
    A new updated edition of Viv's book, How to Own the Room is out now.
    @vivgroskop

    • 32 min
    Sadie Jones, Writer

    Sadie Jones, Writer

    Are you reluctant to be in the limelight? Viv Groskop talks to the writer, Sadie Jones, who made her name with The Outcast, winning Best First Novel in the Costa Book Awards. Sadie is a self-confessed introvert who would much rather not leave her room, and certainly not own public ones. But sometimes her job as a successful author requires her to do so. She shares with Viv the tricks and techniques that she’s taught herself over the years to overcome her shyness and give back to readers who have come to hear her talk. Interestingly, she reveals how she even surprised herself during the pandemic by actually missing the nerves of going into a crowded room.
    Discover Sadie Jones’ latest novel Amy and Lan.
    A new updated edition of Viv's book, How to Own the Room is out now.
    @vivgroskop

    • 36 min
    Sheila Hancock, Actor

    Sheila Hancock, Actor

    Can you manage your nerves? Viv Groskop talks to legendary actor, Dame Sheila Hancock, ahead of a theatre audience to share reflections from her second memoir Old Rage. Dame Sheila reveals how she has always suffered from chronic stage fright and remains terrified until the end. They discuss how nerves are normal and getting through them. Dame Sheila is frank about shocking stories of sexism in the stage and screen world with overwhelming pressures to conform to a typical look or height. She talks about the experience of being spotted by Theatre Workshop’s Joan Littlewood and how it was a liberation to be herself. Viv reflects that it’s a constant struggle not to pigeon-hole yourself and how important it is to resist that pressure, even if others around you are doing it for you.
    Find out more about Dame Sheila Hancock’s Old Rage.
    A new updated edition of Viv's book, How to Own the Room is out now.
    @vivgroskop

    • 33 min
    17.4 Abi Morgan, Writer

    17.4 Abi Morgan, Writer

    Can you tell your own story? Viv Groskop talks to award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Abi Morgan, whose work includes The Split, The Iron Lady, The Hour and Suffragette. Abi has occupied and owned many rooms in her life and career – the solitary writer’s room, the family rooms of bustle, the emergency hospital room, the space on set to direct. In all these arenas she’s adapted herself while keeping a steady eye on maintaining space to tell the stories she wants to tell. Four years ago, Abi and her family’s lives were blown apart by a devastating medical emergency suffered by her partner. How would this sudden and unwelcome plot twist affect Abi’s life and writing? Channelling confusion and pain, Abi turned the lens onto her own life in This is Not a Pity Memoir. She reveals how a space to write has always been essential to her survival and none more so than in these crisis years. But having reached relative dry land, she tells Viv that it’s not over yet. There are more rooms to own and more stories to tell.
    Listen to This is Not a Pity Memoir on BBC Radio 4
    A new updated edition of Viv's book, How to Own the Room is out now.
    @vivgroskop

    • 40 min
    Ellen Nichols, Writer

    Ellen Nichols, Writer

    What are you waiting for? Viv Groskop talks to writer, Ellen Nichols, author of Remember Whose Little Girl You Are. Now in her 70s, Ellen Nichols has published her first book – a memoir of growing up in the Deep South in the fifties and sixties. Ellen shares how her confidence to speak the truth was nurtured from a young age by her father, a Methodist preacher who spoke out against segregation in the face of vicious opposition. One memory of an encounter with the Ku Klux Klan as a young child imprinted itself on her mind forever and she discusses how her mantra: ‘just be honest’ has guided her over the years. Ellen reminds us to seize the day and trust our instincts for using our voice to say things as we see them.
    Find out more about Ellen Nichols Remember Whose Little Girl You Are.
    A new updated edition of Viv's book, How to Own the Room is out now.
    @vivgroskop

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

Salwalla14 ,

Both fun and useful conversations!

I recently finished Viv’s book and was so happy to find out that she had a podcast to go with it! Viv is such a fun, warm and sparky host who asks great questions and hosts inspiring guests! I feel like I’m listening in to a casual conversation over a coffee and always leave each episode with at least one takeaway to try out or feeling inspired like “okay this is possible!”

parisbreakfast ,

Moving and insightful

I was touched by Viv’s interview with Delia Efron. A sharing of the creative process that artists of any medium can find informative and thought-provoking. Thank you Viv.

travisanna ,

Smart conversations, beautifully produced

Viv is such an engaging and dedicated host who leads her guests through engaging, personal, practical, thought-provoking conversations that bring their wisdom, generosity, experience, and humanity to the fore. I love learning how all these very specific women in all their very specific circumstances own the room and teach me how I can apply their lessons in my own room-owning moments.

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