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Communication training for managers

We offer the following modules about the use of language specifically in the field of business and office communication. As managers rise through the ranks, the importance of their abilities in both internal and external communication magnifies. Communication in its widest sense is one of the cornerstones of success in the workplace. The modules, usually lasting half a working day, can be adapted for different levels of management. They can also be delivered either in a lecture environment or on a one-to-one basis.

Effective Writing for Executives

Neither schools nor third level educational institutions habitually teach business writing skills. If they deal with the subject at all, it is often taught by people who, however well intentioned and however good as educationalists, have little meaningful experience of a business environment.

This module teaches the basics of writing good letters and reports. It illustrates the importance of structure, layout, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation and how to use them within an organisation's house style. Letters and reports are often the first indications to outsiders of what your organisation is like. In larger organisations, they are often a major first indicator to staff and colleagues of what a manager is like. And as with all first impressions, they count.


Effective Presentations

Making effective presentations is a skill, too often brought to our attention by its absence. There is still the belief that ideas sell themselves. If two ideas are of equal standing, the one better presented will win in the end. Presentations are about the transmission of ideas and facts, often crucially important in training, marketing, strategies, tactics and policy.

This module teaches those making presentations to avoid the most common pitfalls, to use visual aids effectively rather than as 'cue cards,' to think of form and structure, to use body language, to vary delivery techniques in accordance with the specifics of the target audience. At its most basic, it will impart some of the techniques of teaching.


How to use Public Relations or Media Advisors

Many managers quite suddenly find that they are interacting with, if not actually directing, public relations departments or media advisors, whether internal or external to the organisation. Several things can then happen to new managers who have had little or no experience of public relations: they might proceed with great caution, stifling hitherto effective public relations to a standstill; they might proceed with overweening confidence and cause public image problems; or they might regard it all as a black art and leave the PR people to their own devices. None of these options is good. Managers need to know how to use public relations advisors.

This module will brief managers about what public relations can and cannot do, about how press and television order their perspectives, about how public announcements should be made, why publicity sometimes fails - and sometimes seems to spring unwanted out of nowhere, about the difference between on and off the record, between an interview and a photocall - in short about the conventions of the media world. By this means the manager is given a grounding in what the PR people can realistically be asked to do. It is the prime requirement for the effective management of public relations and media relations.


Techniques for
Public Speaking

Increasingly rising executives and those at the top need public speaking as a tool of their business and of managing their career. We live in an age where it is widely anticipated that those in important jobs, whatever the sector, are able to articulate what they are doing - and would like to do - clearly and accurately. The arenas within which they are likely to be asked to appear are broadcasting and the podium. Superficially these two arenas require the exercise of the same abilities, but while they have much in common, the podium and the studio each make special and specific demands upon the speaker.

These modules are aimed at giving confidence to speakers. How many times have we all seen someone who is competent at communicating to a management team in an office, but who becomes wooden, stilted and altogether less effective when asked to deliver the same information in a public or broadcasting environment? But we have also seen people who perhaps unexpectedly can speak coherently in public. This is due to something they have learnt. It is about techniques of preparation, about writing for speaking (as distinct for reading, as in a report), about the use of voice and expression, about not reading slavishly from a script, about body language, about animation, about pace of delivery. The modules also treat what others are seeing as a significant part of the communication. They aim to put the speakers at ease and in so doing, put listeners at ease.