Articles | Spoken Word Communications - Part 2

What We’re Reading

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The Winning Game Plan: A Proven Leadership Playbook for Continuous Business Success by Jamie Rootes

Get a world-class approach to leading a business, any business, to exceptional and sustained success. Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes, shares the principles and ideology that has made the Texans one of the most valuable professional sports franchises, both in the NFL and globally.

-Dave Scallan, Principal, Spoken Word Communications

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

From Amazon: “Number-one New York Times best seller. Brené Brown has taught us what it means to dare greatly, rise strong, and brave the wilderness. Now, based on new research conducted with leaders, change makers, and culture shifters, she’s showing us how to put those ideas into practice so we can step up and lead.” 

– Claudia Deschamps, Senior Counselor

Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: Using the Power of Questions to Communicate, Connect, and Persuade  by Trey Gowdy

From Amazon: “Number-one New York Times best seller. Former congressman and prosecutor Trey Gowdy teaches you how to effectively communicate and persuade on the issues that matter most to you, drawing on his experience in the courtroom and the halls of Congress.”

-Mary Jo Hansen, Senior Counselor

When a pandemic strikes during a major organizational transformation

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For any organization wanting to change how it operates, this can be a major challenge. Imagine being midway through such a program when you are faced with a severe crisis. Do you keep going or stop?

This was the dilemma facing energy company, Centrica, and its partners, Fujitsu and Citrix. They had designed new cloud-based desktop solutions for roll-out to 18,000 employees around the world and were midway through deployment when the Coronavirus pandemic struck earlier this year. Centrica decided to accelerate its plans, and successfully delivered this transformation to achieve its program goals. This project was highlighted in a recent Utility Week webinar. More information is available here.

There are many factors that contribute to change management program success — with internal communications being a top priority. To successfully migrate to new ways of working requires employees to:

  • Understand the journey. Know the reasons for change, alignment with company vision and strategy, and how the organization will benefit.
  • Recognize role modelling. Seeing leaders ‘walk the talk’ and lead by example to encourage others to follow suit.
  • Utilize new systems. Having access to new equipment, hardware and processes.
  • Adapt their skills. Receive training and support along every step of the journey.

If you are planning to make operational changes, the ability to inform, inspire and motivate employees effectively will be key to your project success. No easy feat if you are wanting to change systems that have been embedded in the organization for many years!

To learn more on how Spoken Word’s presentation training programs can help you with your change management projects, contact us.

Think Global, Act Local

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“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” –Benjamin Franklin

These wise words of one of the USA’s founding fathers are well over 200 years old but remain relevant to the communication training requirements of global organizations today.

Any company operating across multiple regions or jurisdictions needs its communications to be aligned, as news and information posted online can be seen around the world in seconds and will influence audience opinion and impact on corporate reputation. Senior leaders and company spokespeople need to be trained on how to deliver powerful presentations, prepare for media interviews, and deal with intense scrutiny especially during a crisis situation.

Challenges and solutions

The challenge is how to achieve a consistent training approach when your employees are spread across countries with different cultures, languages and learning styles.

The solution is to ensure global training practices work hand-in-hand with local communications delivery. At Spoken Word Communications, our trainers share the “Think Global, Act Local” perspective by covering topics such as:

  • engaging your audience
  • developing powerful messages
  • establishing speaker credibility in a consistent manner.

Global consistency, local engagement

Wherever we operate in the world, our delegates learn how to develop and implement these techniques in a way that is relevant to themselves and their audiences, ensuring global consistency and local engagement.

We are a global media, presentations and crisis communications training company with a presence in the US, Canada, Singapore and London. We draw upon our extensive knowledge and expertise to teach people to communicate effectively using the spoken word.

For more information on our training programs, contact us.

The Power of Connection

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The year 2020 will be remembered as the most extensive unintended human communication study ever conducted. As many findings will emerge, one element continues to be clear: delivering effective messages requires a human connection based on truth.

In the Covid-19 era, when technology has practically eradicated the daily face-to-face, person-to-person interaction between working professionals, a connection is paramount.

What have you been binge watching?

You can find a powerful example of this in the popular Netflix biopic “The Crown,” which tells the life story of Queen Elizabeth II. In the Season 3 episode “Bubbikins,” the Queen’s husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, learns a long-overdue lesson in empathy.

Just like you and me

The Duke is determined to generate public support for the royal family by commissioning a documentary inside Buckingham Palace. His goal is to portray the royals as ordinary citizens, just like you and me.

The cameras capture their lives in staged situations as they go from castle to castle and yacht to yacht. The result is disastrous. The documentary solidifies the public’s perception that the royal family is a self-entitled, uncaring, and unnecessary institution.

Full throttle damage control

In his effort to repair the damage and loss of credibility, Prince Phillip comes up with the scheme of offering an interview with his young daughter, Princess Anne, to a prominent newspaper.

While the documentary saga is taking place, Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Greece and Denmark, arrives at Buckingham Palace. She is elderly, partially deaf, and has a history of mental illness. Throughout the filming of the documentary, Prince Philip makes every possible effort to keep his mother out of sight.

Serendipitously, the journalist who was supposed to interview Princess Anne ends up speaking to Princess Alice. She speaks candidly “on the record” about her struggles—congenital deafness, schizophrenia diagnosis and subsequent painful treatments.  She also shares her joy as she describes her work in Athens for years assisting the less privileged.

Once the article is published, public reaction is overwhelmingly positive. One candid conversation with Princess Alice generates all the praise and acceptance the documentary could not.

Royal lesson learned: authenticity is king

We could all benefit from the powerful lesson Princess Alice taught her son—connect with your audience by using truthful, genuine human elements.

No doubt the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to change how companies communicate with their stakeholders—and we will all continue to adapt. We are equally confident that authenticity, and oftentimes vulnerability, will continue to forge powerful, lasting connections between people.

To learn more about how Spoken Word Communications can help build connections and increase communication effectiveness, contact us.

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