Articles | Spoken Word Communications

Preparing for the Real Situation: TSPRA’s New Media Training Series

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Spoken Word Communications is excited to partner again with TSPRA, the Texas School Public Relations Association, to provide a unique media training series for TSPRA members.

Five online sessions filled with tips and techniques are designed to help you when the real situation arises. The course will prepare you to take questions from the media, respond to crisis situations, deal with an angry public, and give powerful presentations.

The series includes the following one-hour courses:

1.     Preparing for a media interview

2.     Powerful messaging

3.     Giving a press briefing during a crisis

4.     Handling an angry public

5.     Delivering a powerful presentation

This series is appropriate for first-time participants as well as for repeat participants as a refresher. The first course begins on March 23, 2021.

TSPRA members can check the schedule and register here

Searching for a Main Character

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The Value of Storytelling


For more than five decades, in many American households Sunday evenings were characterized by an emblematic stopwatch with the sound of its unstoppable needles. Early in my journalistic career, this sound meant one thing: drop everything, sit down and pay attention.

Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick. 60 Minutes was about to begin.

The CBS television news magazine stories were riveting. Watching 60 Minutes was the equivalent of taking a master class taught by the best investigative journalists of the time. From the depth of the stories to the interviewing techniques to the use of hidden cameras, this gotcha journalism was inspiring. How invigorating to see our profession making an impact in society! How exhilarating to see that, as journalists, we gave a voice to the voiceless and served as a tool for change.

While the 60 Minutes pieces emphasized the work of the correspondents, I knew that behind each story there was an army of producers. One of them–Ira Rosen, a now-retired senior producer– just released Ticking Clock: Behind the Scenes at 60 Minutes. His book is a memoir of his professional journey and a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how the stories were built upon a main character.

Rosen, who started working for the show in his late 20s was responsible for investigative stories when the internet and social media were non-existent. His technique to develop compelling stories came by identifying outstanding storytellers—individuals who spoke with energy, ease, and assurance. Rosen knew that these abilities made them jump out of the screen!

For Rosen, what better place to find these storytellers than in Washington D.C.! He spent long hours in and around government buildings talking with legislators and other federal officials. He created a file of superb storytellers, which he labeled “officials in search of a story.” Later, he tried to attach a story he was doing to each of them.

What did these storytellers have in common? They all spoke the language of the living room. They were conversational, energetic, and most importantly, believable.

Storytelling has reemerged as an important communication tool. While not everybody is born with such natural attributes, particularly in this age of virtual meetings, companies that encourage and empower their employees with opportunities to enhance their storytelling abilities reap the rewards. While their storytellers may not be cast as the main character on an investigative television story, they will achieve the same basic intention of every communication: for the listener to drop everything, sit down, and pay attention.

For more information on our training programs, contact us.

Are You Loyal to Your Loyal Customers?

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Finger about to press customer loyalty button.

Did you know it costs five times as much to find a new client than retain one?

And, only 40% of companies and 30% of agencies have an equal focus on customer acquisition and retention?*

The need to attract new customers is an important aspect of growing any business but can sometimes be to the detriment of existing ones. How many times have you seen adverts with attractive product and service offers that are available only to ‘new’ customers! 

To avoid alienating your loyal customers with this type of tactic, you can use a range of communication methods to help strengthen existing relationships, reiterate the benefits you bring to their organisation, and show how you are helping them achieve their goals.  

High on the list of ways you can retain customer loyalty include:

  • Having regular dialogue with customers on your performance
  • Personalizing new products and services to meet their needs
  • Monitoring and updating customers on market developments, competitor activity, and any industry changes pertinent to their business
  • Targeting media and speaker opportunities to position customers as thought leaders and industry experts

At Spoken Word, we teach people the core skills to sharpen communication skills, build confidence and credibility, and deliver powerful presentations at business and sales meetings, conferences and media interviews. We can help you learn the techniques on how to present in front of an audience or on a laptop and give you the confidence to impress your audience at that make-or-break delivery — assuring you a favorable outcome in any interaction involving the spoken word.

To learn more on how Spoken Word’s presentation training programs can help retain customer loyalty, contact us.

* These are among a number of key findings highlighted in a recent blog by digital marketing consulting firm, Invesp.

What We’re Reading

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The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand Out From The Crowd by Allan Dib

This book has something of interest for everyone in marketing. It is straight-talking, easy read, and shows how to create a marketing plan for growing your business on just 1-page. It focuses on identifying the core elements of your business and using them in ways to make them memorable and real to customers. The author, Allan Dib, sums up the essence of his book as, “the fastest path to the money.”

– Clive Hawkins, Senior Counselor

Ticking Clock: Behind the scenes at 60 minutes by Ira Rosen

A master class in how TV news is made, Rosen shows readers how 60 Minutes puts together a story when sources are explosive, unreliable, and even dangerous.  This book is the inspiration for my article Searching for a Main Character: The Value of Storytelling.

– Claudia Deschamps, Senior Counselor

Presence  by Amy Cuddy

Body language, communication and power poses—I dusted off my physical copy and again enjoyed this 2015 bestseller. Just be careful not to sport that power pose during a press briefing!

From the jacket: By learning to access our personal power we can achieve “presence,” the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we’re making on others and start being our best selves…Harnessing the power of presence is as simple as learning to tweak our body language, behavior, and mind-set in our day-to-day lives.

-Mary Jo Hansen, Senior Counselor

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