• An average sound bite

  • is 20 seconds

  • Just 60 words

  • Get your message across

  • on TV and Radio

About 20 Seconds Media

Communication that's clear and concise

20 seconds are the most you’ll have to get your message across on TV and Radio.



20 seconds, just 60 words. That’s the length of the average sound bite, so it’s vital that you know how to communicate clearly and concisely using imagery and words the public will respond to.

Suzanne Yates


Suzanne Yates is a former journalist and broadcaster with one of the world’s leading broadcasting organisations, the BBC. She specialises in media training, writing and TV & radio consultancy.

Suzanne Yates


In all areas of communications but especially important in emergencies and disaster relief, experience and training in journalism can help communicate difficult, technical concepts clearly and briefly.

About Us

20 seconds are the most you’ll have to get your message across on TV or radio.  Just 60 words. That’s the length of the average sound bite, so it’s vital that you know how to communicate clearly and concisely using imagery and words the public will respond to.  Furthermore, those 20 seconds are wasted if you haven’t paid attention to how you look and how you sound.  The same rules apply to anyone making a presentation to other people – whether they are clients, colleagues or a job interview panel.

We specialise in coaching those who need to communicate difficult, technical concepts clearly and briefly, especially in the health, development and financial sectors.  We provide media training, including managing communications during crises, for CEOs, UN staff, senior politicians, and experts to appear on radio and TV. We coach business people in public speaking and personal presentation.

We also offer coaching in how to work in cross-cultural settings; how to minimise and neutralise misunderstandings that inevitably occur in a global workplace.

We are highly-experienced communication professionals who have worked at the highest levels in international external relations, journalism, training and career development. We have worked for many years in the United Nations, BBC broadcasting and international non-governmental organisations.  Our communication expertise is drawn from experience in emergencies (natural disasters & complex crises) with international development agencies (including UNICEF, AusAID and Save The Children), and as news programme editors at the BBC.

As senior managers we have pioneered new ways of working by setting up new teams and ways of working (part of the team that set up BBC News Online,  and televising the UK House of Commons).

We are currently based in London with clients, globally.


suzanne-yates-web-size-2Journalism, Broadcasting and Training

Suzanne Yates qualified in the UK and worked as a newspaper journalist in Britain and the Arabian Gulf.

She moved to the BBC as a reporter then producer, rising to senior duty editor on the national Six O’Clock News.  She was a senior member of the team who introduced TV cameras to the Houses of Parliament.She ran training programmes for BBC News in London, becoming manager of Journalism & Production training at BBC World Service Radio, based at Bush House in London.

International Development And Communications

After the Asian tsunami, Suzanne moved to Indonesia. She was hired by the Australian government’s aid programme to find and write stories about their reconstruction projects in Aceh.

She led journalism training courses for the BBC World Service Trust and United Nations Development Programme in Java.

She ran UNICEF’s emergency media campaign to halt the outbreak of polio in Indonesia.

Media Training and Presentation Skills 

Suzanne is an experienced trainer in media and presentation skills, working with company directors, NGOs, health activists and the heads of UN agencies in Asia, Africa, the US and Europe.

Career Counselling and Career Development

Suzanne is a qualified careers’ counsellor and offers coaching on a one-to-one basis or in small groups.  She works with individuals, companies and informal networks of friends.  She founded the Colombo Skills Exchange for highly qualified individuals  seeking to change direction.

She can also act as a consultant to businesses, developing careers’ strategies to help them retain skilled staff.

Writing Services

Suzanne is an experienced feature writer for international agencies.

She  enjoys editing and proof reading university theses. She specialises in working for masters’ students who are writing in English but who are not native speakers.

On an unpaid basis, she provides writing services for NGOs and small charities.

English Teaching

Most of Suzanne’s media clients are non-native speakers and she qualified as English language teacher (CELTA) in order to support them better. She also gives formal English lessons.


Journalism, Broadcasting and Training

Mervyn Fletcher is a highly-accomplished communication professional with a wealth of experience at the highest levels of global diplomatic, aid and news organisations.

For many years, Mervyn was a BBC News editor and producer. He started his BBC career as a television news producer, before being part of the small team that set-up BBC News Online.

He was output editor of the ‘World At One’ on BBC Radio 4. His BBC career included covering many international stories and undertaking investigative journalism.

International Development And Communications

Mervyn joined UNICEF in Indonesia in 2005 to manage its communications and external relations in the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami. He progressed to be UNICEF’s regional communication officer in eastern Europe and former Soviet Union territories. This included managing communication during many crises, including the Russia/Georgia war (2008) and anti-vaccination campaigns in Eastern Europe.

He managed UNICEF’s communications in the aftermath of the Sri Lankan civil war.

More recently he transformed how Save the Children conducts its global communications by setting up, and being Head of, its new Global Media Unit. Here too, he managed communication during crises including hostage-taking.

Media Training and Presentation Skills 

Mervyn has many years of experience as a trainer in media and presentation skills. He trained with the BBC as a media coach before working with UN and Save the Children officers across Europe and Asia on how to successfully engage with the media, how to conduct broadcast interviews, and how to communicate during crises.

What they are saying…

  • I wanted to say thank you again for your media training - I put your tips to good use when I was on the radio. I did it while complementing...a community health advocate.

    Web Client

  • "A remarkable course that empowered me with specific media skills." "Very well arranged. Pleasant and convivial atmosphere." “Extremely useful. Should be obligatory for leading WHO staff.” “It was worth travelling every mile to attend this course.”


    TB Champions

  • I really saw the difference Suzanne made in one day, the directors not
 only became more polished in their presentations and thinking skills, but
 also enjoyed the day as well.

    Human Capital Director, PwC

  • Thank you for rehearsing my job interview with me beforehand. As a result, I felt confident when I entered the room and I was offered the job.

    International client, coached over Skype

  • I wanted to congratulate you on the effect of the training you did for J... I cannot fault his work. Thanks to you!

    Communication Director, Environmental NGO, Bonn

  • I so appreciated the effort you went to, to create a realistic job interview situation - even that you got up at 5am to conduct the mock interview over the phone. You thought of questions I'd never anticipated and they all came up in the real thing!

    Diplomat, promoted to ambassador grade

  • I learned how to structure a story in order to produce an effective press release.   It was most useful to learn how to find an attractive ‘top line’ which would interest journalists in our projects.  

    British Council staff, Jakarta

  • I liked the way you pulled out the relevant competencies from the job and helped me see I had all those skills  That was a real help to me preparing answers based on my experience. Thank you.    

    Refugee Camp Manager

  • An hour and a half with Suzanne was better than 20 hours in therapy. I found skills I didn’t realise I had and rediscovered my self confidence.

    Nurse seeking to return to work after raising her children, now moving into public health management.



20 Seconds Media is experienced in offering a wide range of services, encompassing the writing of strategic communication strategies for all scenarios and the production of text materials. Our in-house skills include preparing annual strategies, crisis communication plans, key messages, Q & A documents, news releases and features. Experience in these fields has been drawn from years or working at a senior levels in the United Nations and international NGO sector.

20 Seconds Media also specialises in coaching masters’ students who are writing in English but who are not native speakers.


Suzanne offers the following consultancy services:

Media Training
Image & Presentation
News & Documentary Production
Radio & TV
Broadcast Journalism


20 Seconds Media provides coaching in how to successfully engage with the media; covering rules of media engagement and broadcast interview training.

Suzanne also coaches on how to come through the job interview process successfully. Coaching can take the form of a training course or one-to-one. She also has experience of the international development sector and broadcasting, most notably the BBC, where she qualified as a career counsellor with Career Counselling Services in south west London. She served with the BBC’s in-house service, Careerlink, where her clients came from all craft areas and support services.


20 Seconds Media has considerable experience in teaching many aspects of cross-cultural communication. This has been drawn from many years of living and working in diverse cultures and communities, globally. Additionally, Suzanne gained her Cambridge University certificate to teach English (CELTA) at the British Council, Colombo, Sri Lanka.  She tutors expatriate business people and has also designed courses for Sri Lankan businesswomen which are delivered by local teachers.


Contact Me

Send a message to Suzanne

London, U.K.
+44 7910 655 939
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