Articles | Spoken Word Communications - Part 2

Spoken Word Experts Weigh In: What’s Next for 2020

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We find ourselves at the halfway point of a tumultuous year, with COVID-19, civil unrest, racial injustice and a sharp economic downturn as just a few of the challenges countries around the globe are facing. Spoken Word experts share what steps companies need to think about now to get ready for the second half of 2020.

“I think the biggest thing corporations will face this fall will be a great test in their abilities to be flexible.  For as long as we can remember, corporations have done an excellent job of instituting policies and procedures to guide their businesses.  As we’ve seen these past few months, those are now having to be rewritten on the fly. This is a huge challenge, which I equate to stopping a train once it’s rolling full speed down the tracks. It’s not an easy premise, but those that can adapt and be flexible in a timely manner will see success at a much greater level than those who can’t react in a timely manner.”

-Dave Scallan, Principal, Spoken Word Communications

“The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has brought a profound global change in how society works, learns, and lives. I believe part of the reason why the massive protests in response to the recent cases of police brutality have gained such strength, is due to the anxiety and challenging time millions are facing. While companies have been vocal in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, true change will only happen if actions are set in motion. Will companies incorporate professional development and/or recruitment programs designed to include more minorities? Will we see more members of boards, C-Suite executives, and executive leadership teams who look more like America?

The lock-down brought by the pandemic has also tested technology like never before. Undoubtedly, there will be another pandemic, natural disaster, or social unrest. When it happens, entities may want to question if they have supported their employees enough to perform their duties in a virtual world to deliver their services effectively.”

Claudia Deschamps, Senior Counselor

“In the next few months, what should be ‘business as usual’ planning for all organizations, is fast becoming ‘business unusual’, with any many leaders questioning what lies on the road ahead with covid-19, social unrest, cyber security, economic and political uncertainty – and the impact on employees and their well-being.

To mitigate risks and identify business opportunities, companies need to focus on those areas they can influence directly such as: reviewing their operating practices to ensure they are ethical and deliver value-for-money; monitoring their markets closely for any changes, and maintaining open dialogue with customers, suppliers and staff to strengthen mutual trust.”

-Clive Hawkins, Senior Associate

Public Speaking – love it or loathe it?

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Credit Management professionals across the world have been given top tips from Spoken Word on how to calm the nerves and become an effective public speaker.

Over the last four months, a series of training articles have been published in Credit Management, the magazine of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management and largest recognized professional body in the world for the credit management community. Its 8,000 members received insights from Spoken Word on key topics including: how to craft a powerful presentation, captivating audience interest from the start, and making presentations memorable.

Spoken Word Associate for UK & Europe, Clive Hawkins, said: “As we move out of the COVID-19 lockdown, all organizations will need to re-engage with their key stakeholders. Credit Management and collections professionals need to be confident public speakers and capable of delivering powerful presentations to influence opinion and help position their organization ahead of others, as this will be fundamental to future business success.”

The editor of Credit Management, Sean Feast, commented: “The insight from Spoken Word has been particularly well received at every level. Whether you are new to credit management, or an experienced professional, being able to capture and retain an audience’s attention is essential to relaying important information about yourself or your business. The advice provided will help our members learn new skills, or benchmark existing talents against best-practice.”

For more information on how your organization can benefit from Spoken Word’s training programs,

Midstream company trusts Spoken Word to help prepare for an angry public

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Anger can drive individuals to take drastic, sometimes violent steps. Witness the civil unrest after the killing of George Floyd and the protests after the pandemic state shutdowns.
For oil and gas companies working on large infrastructure projects, several interactions with angry stakeholders may occur throughout the life of a project, and most likely on the front end of construction.
One midstream company approached Spoken Word Communications for its “Handling an Angry Public” Training, as they were anticipating holding several open houses for an upcoming project, and they wanted to be prepared for all types of stakeholders, including angry opposition.
Spoken Word delivered, training 20 project team members how to de-escalate angry citizens through both theoretical and real-world examples, using powerful videos to illustrate the safety risks of angry crowds.
Of course, no Spoken Word training is complete without the opportunity to role play, and the Angry Crowd training includes a whole spectrum of characters that helps prepare executives, managers, operators, and government affairs team members for anyone they may encounter at an open house or other public meeting.
“When people go through this training, it gives them a much broader perspective on how they can relate to others,” said Ralph DeSantis, Spoken Word Senior Counselor. “It’s not just about persuasion –the whole day is about making a real connection. You learn how to demonstrate that you are sympathetic to their concerns, and communicate that we understand and are listening.”
The client agreed, sharing that it was the best training they ever had. To schedule your in-person or virtual Angry Crowd Training today, please email

Destinations with Dave Sydney, Australia: Take a Virtual Tour of the Land Down Under

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If there’s one piece of advice I could give anyone before they visit Australia’s largest city, it would be simply; bring your camera! Sydney is a selfie lover’s heaven, with iconic buildings and views around every corner. Of course, any trip to Sydney must start with a stop at the world-famous Sydney Opera House. Besides being one of the most identified buildings in the world, the Opera House serves as Sydney’s cultural center with performances of various shows running throughout the year. I was there at Christmas time and was fortunate enough to see The Nutcracker and can attest to the amazing acoustics for which the building is famous for.

Next up, for the more “adventurous” ones, is a climb to the top of the world-famous Sydney Harbor Bridge. After suiting up in their special suit (which assures nothing falls from the bridge), it’s time to make the one-hour climb atop the massive steel structure for what can only be termed as one of the best views in the world. I treated my sister to a trip to Sydney for her 21st birthday, so she was more than happy to flash a 21 once we got to the top. And yes, cameras are allowed on the climb but that’s about it for what they will allow you to take up with you.

The Opera House and Harbor Bridge both overlook Sydney Harbor, but there’s also Darling Harbor, which is lined with restaurants and shops and is a must visit as well. Like most major cities, Sydney has a Red Bus tour available for tourists, which I typically frown upon (I like to navigate a city myself), but for Sydney I recommend due to its massive size and lack of good public transportation.

One stop the Red Bus will take you is perhaps the most famous beach in the world, Bondi beach. Packed with people on any sunny day, the beach is “shark proof” out to about 50 yards into the sea. Outside of the shark barriers, swimmer and surfers take the risk of an encounter with Sydney’s most famous underwater predator, and there is certainly no shortage of news stories every year from those who ventured further out than they should have and paid the price.

The only slight negative about Sydney is the prices. It’s one of the most expensive cities in the world, especially when it comes to food and drink. While Australia is a massive country, they unfortunately still must import a lot of their food items, thus driving up the price. However, there are deals if you look hard enough and don’t mind eating somewhere without a view. One thing that was worth paying for when we were there was watching the world’s largest fireworks display from underneath the Sydney Harbor Bridge. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that we will remember forever and was well worth the cost.

You won’t have any trouble finding things to do or places to see when you go to Sydney. It’s an unbelievable city with a culture all its own. I’m sure you will enjoy it just as much as I did. Until next time, safe travels!

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