We’ve all had the experience of knowing exactly what we want to say, but then when we open our mouths to say it... As an actor I learned that knowing your ‘lines’ is only the beginning; there are many ways of saying what you want, or need, to say – the skill is in picking the right one, and that’s exactly what rehearsals are for. Whether working with a room full of people or one-to-one I will help you discover the very best way to deliver your very particular message, so you won’t need to cross your fingers and hope that it “comes out right”.
Case Study - BP Global Leadership Conference
The brief for myself and a colleague was to co-design and co-deliver an hour-long workshop to the c.100 conference delegates. The client wanted us to use our performance and story-telling expertise to help delegates tease out effective and impactful ways to communicate the conference’s key messages to their teams on returning to the office. We were also asked to provide some fun for the delegates, as this workshop was the last item of a several day conference.
- During a plenary session the delegates fed back to each other key messages gained over the previous couple of days from the point of view of their individual functions. We observed this and promptly wrote a short scenario between a senior manager and a staff member in which the staff member was trying to gain information about the Leadership Conference but was met with jargon and platitudes from the manager; we wrote the manager’s dialogue almost entirely from phrases we had heard delegates use during the plenary session.
- We performed the scenario and asked the delegates for their opinions on what they’d observed. There was universal agreement that jargon and platitudes were unhelpful and that two essential components to delivering a message are clarity of content and engaging style of delivery.
- Next, we ran a brief ice-breaking exercise and then, working in pairs, delegates practiced delivering a brief, clear message to each other. We selected some pairs to demonstrate their message and facilitated constructive feedback from the observing delegates as to their effectiveness.
- Introducing the style component, we gathered numerous film-genres from the delegates and asked them to deliver their messages, in their pairs, in a number of these different film-genre styles (eg. a western, a horror movie, a rom-com, even Bollywood!). In a short debrief, delegates identified that the more focused their content and the more familiar they were with it, the better able they were to flex their style with confidence – and have fun doing so.
- Finally, we facilitated a brief lessons-learned session and delegates repeatedly identified learnings around clarity of message, familiarity with content, avoiding use of jargon and the importance of enjoying delivering their message; all of which they felt would aid them when delivering messages to their teams on their return to the workplace.
I have delivered a range of Effective Communication solutions to a large number of organisations and below is a cross-section of examples:
Contact David on 07967 187047 or at firstname.lastname@example.org