We’ve supported more than 4,000 women in a wide range of fields to enhance their ability to communicate and broaden the audiences they reach. Our highly-rated interactive workshops teach practical skills that have achieved demonstrable results: many hundreds of our “grads” have subsequently responded to media interview requests or published commentaries that shifted attitudes, changed policies or led to board appointments and career and business expansion.
WRITING 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.
MEDIA INTERVIEWS 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 how reporters, columnists and talk show hosts operate;
- 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.
HOW TO POSITION YOURSELF AS A 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.
INCREASING YOUR ABILITY TO PERSUADE
Our effectiveness in both personal and professional situations often depends on our ability to convince others to approve our proposal, to adopt our approach, to think or act differently. But most of us are never taught the principles of persuasive communication. This interactive workshop makes conscious the insights you’ve already absorbed by osmosis so you can deploy them more deliberately, and supplements them with other proven strategies. Participants are encouraged to come to the workshop with a specific challenge in mind so they’re ready to:
- Apply a strategic communications frame and anticipate obstacles
- Identify research-based persuasive strategies best suited to their context
- Test their proposed approach with a supportive audience in a no-risk environment
PRESENTATION SKILLS TO ENHANCE IMPACT
This highly experiential presentation skills workshop allows women to gain confidence in expressing themselves authentically and effectively in formal and informal meetings and presentations. It offers a safe and supportive environment in which participants can adapt and apply proven tools and strategies to their own communication contexts. The course includes video-recording and customized feedback to cement learning, and the group size is limited to optimize interaction aimed at helping participants to:
- Recognize and build on existing strengths
- Tailor messages to audiences, and engage from the first word
- Organize material to enhance clarity and delivery
- Integrate stories and leverage concrete language
- Use their full vocal capacity
- Overcome dependence on written text and improve visual aids
The content covered in Mastering Presence is essentially an extension of Presenting Skills to Enhance Impact, and can take the form of a one- or two-day group workshop for 3 or 4 people, or individual coaching, spread out over several days or weeks to permit practice and application in between sessions. It is designed to provide more experienced speakers with in-depth personal feedback that will build on their existing strengths and help them reach the next level of authority, comfort and charisma.
ENGAGING AUDIENCES BEYOND THE IVORY TOWER
This interactive and applied workshop provides scholars across disciplines with practical tools and research-supported communication strategies aimed at increasing their capacity to make clear the value of their research and ideas. Mastery of subject matter is less useful if it can’t be successfully relayed to non-experts in a way that compels engagement. Convincing decision-makers and funders not already concerned about your issue, or familiar with its nuances, to care requires more than data. This session helps participants to think differently about their research, and to identify ways to share its potential impact more accessibly and creatively. Content covered includes:
- Why your future depends upon being able to reach beyond the “ivory tower”
- How to overcome “imposter syndrome”
- Four principles of effective messaging and how to apply them
- How to structure presentations, and marry data with stories to engage and persuade