Valued take-aways, relevant insights, practical tools and personal feedback: this is what we deliver in every Informed Opinions workshop. And it’s why virtually 100% of participants — from academics to non-profit leaders to business executives — say they would recommend the sessions they attend to others. We’ve supported thousands of people in a wide range of fields to enhance their ability to engage and persuade, and to broaden the audiences they reach.
ENGAGE WITH MEDIA
DEVELOP YOUR MEDIA INTERVIEW SKILLS
This workshop provides practical tools to enhance participants’ capacity to turn media interview requests into education or advocacy opportunities, becoming more effective at crafting and delivering their key messages. Learning outcomes include:
- Understanding what producers, reporters, columnists and talk show are looking for;
- Preparing for interviews (print/broadcast, friendly/hostile, long/short, live/taped);
- Crafting concise and quotable messages;
- Bridging from asked questions to important issues and more nuanced context;
- Translating abstract issues into compelling stories and accessible analogies.
Each participant will do a customized mock interview and receive individual feedback. We offer this content in both interactive group workshops and one-on-one coaching sessions tailored to the client’s particular communications needs.
INSIDER STRATEGIES TO BECOME A GO-TO MEDIA SOURCE
Many experts do great work under the radar, and like it that way. But others who have the ability to help the broader public make sense of current issues can be invaluable sources for the news media. This two-part workshop provides a brief overview of the terrain from a journalist’s perspective, including what reporters and producers are looking for and how they find sources. As a participant, you’ll learn concrete strategies for raising your profile, connecting with journalists, and effectively positioning yourself as knowledgeable, accessible and reliable. You’ll also receive coaching on your online presence and feedback on outreach and engagement approaches.
Facilitator: Freelance journalist Jacky Habib draws on a decade of insider knowledge, reporting and producing for CBC, The National Post and others.
WRITE COMPELLING COMMENTARY
This highly interactive workshop builds women’s leadership capacity and enhances their credibility and influence. It provides participants with the confidence and tools to contribute their expertise to the public discourse through compelling, short-form written commentary for newspaper op ed pages and online sites. The session equips women to:
- Own and articulate their authority as experts (recognizing and addressing the entrenched undervaluing of women’s expertise by both society and women themselves);
- Understand the essential elements and format of newspaper commentaries, including how to build a concise, persuasive and accessible argument that is likely to engage a lay audience;
- Increase their publication prospects by linking their expertise to the news and enhancing the relevancy and timeliness of their knowledge;
- Submit their work to online and print editors.
NOTE: We also offer one-on-one editing feedback to workshop participants who send us a draft commentary within three months of attending the workshop (since this significantly increases the publication rate), and expand the audience for published commentaries by posting them on our site and sharing them through social media.
The people we have trained and supported have published hundreds of commentaries. Click here to read some of the analyses they’ve contributed.
INCREASE YOUR IMPACT
TRANSLATE YOUR RESEARCH INTO POLICY IMPACT
This four-hour workshop (delivered in two two-hour sessions) supports researchers in communicating with government decision-makers to exert an impact on public policy related to their fields. It gives participants a deeper understanding of how government works, increasing their ability to identify various opportunities to influence public policy and help advance change. Applied activities support attendees in clarifying and articulating their policy objectives and asks, and identifying who they should engage, and how.
STORYTELLING TO INCREASE YOUR IMPACT
Told well, stories can make both you and your presentations more memorable, more persuasive and more impactful. This workshop series shares insights on how to identify, craft and deliver stories in ways that increase your effectiveness as a communicator.
COMMUNICATE MORE STRATEGICALLY
You communicate multiple times every day and sometimes people on the receiving end respond as you’d like. This workshop breaks down the components of the process and invites you to apply a strategic frame to how you communicate in pursuit of increasing your effectiveness and impact.
INCREASE YOUR ABILITY TO PERSUADE
Our effectiveness in both personal and professional situations often depends on our ability to convince others to approve our proposal, adopt our approach, or think or act differently. But most of us are never taught the principles of persuasive communication. This interactive workshop shares research-proven strategies that participants can deploy deliberately to achieve their goals, and the opportunity to test their approach in a safe and supportive environment.
PUBLIC SPEAKING ESSENTIALS
Everyone can become a more effective presenter, and this workshop offers a clear and practical primer on communicating from the front of a room (actual or online) in a way that increases your ability to compel people to listen and act. In this workshop we: share a strategic framing exercise that helps you clarify what content to include and how to organize it; provide proven tools for engaging audiences from the very first word; and give concrete direction on how to establish maximize the impact of visual aids.
MASTER CLASS IN PUBLIC SPEAKING
What elements help a speaker compel audiences to listen and act? This workshop identifies and unpacks the particular skills that convey presence, offering participants concrete tools and recommended strategies to help them connect with audiences in ways that deepen relationships and deliver lasting impressions. It covers what’s required to show up authentically, overcome reliance on written script, craft and integrate stories, and master the aspects of vocal and physical delivery that support all of the above.
We deliver sessions on strategies to deal with online hate tailored to the needs of clients and participants. Contact us directly to learn more.
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