(781) 643-7735

P.O. Box 380290
Cambridge, MA 02238-0290

What We Do

What We Do 2017-05-18T14:33:30+00:00

Programs/Workshops/Off-sites

We’ve delivered everything from multi-day off-sites to hour-long talks and seminars. We have extensive experience with designing programs that build skills systematically. We pace programs right and don’t throw everything at you all at once.

We tailor programs based on your needs, interests and budget. We’ll help you figure out what to emphasize, expand, contract or save for another day; when to use company-specific exercises; what the ideal number of participants and composition of the group should be; program length, format, use of video, follow-on options, etc.

The following programs are tried and true. They answer needs we commonly hear from clients.

Dynamics of Presence

Presence is a strange thing to teach executives. After all, it’s a state of being, not a skill. It’s also paradoxical, like happiness: the more you chase it, the more it eludes you, but focus on other things and it might pay a visit.

We’ve incorporated aspects of presence into our training and coaching over the years. More recently, we’ve been offering workshops dedicated to this topic. We draw upon our experience in the arts and understand that stage presence is a by-product of preparation, skill and the ability to engage head, heart and physical energy completely yet effortlessly, moment to moment.

Patterns of Persuasion

Structure and form underlie every good message: a speech, a presentation, remarks at an event. There’s order, a sense of direction and the right amount of predictability so that audiences can easily follow and understand.

Our experience over the years with helping clients develop messages has shown us that everybody defaults into their favorite few formats whether they know what they’re doing or not; that outlining or cutting and pasting slides together can get you only so far; that the wrong format for the occasion short-changes both the messenger and audience.

Presenting to Decision-Makers

Decision-makers are no-nonsense people. Skip the fluff, tell me what you want and why, show me your proof points, answer my questions when I interject, make this worth my time, thank you, next. . . (but they are nice people).

Delivering a presentation to the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, C-suite types and major clients differs from most other speaking events because your job is to make a case. How you prepare demands a special form of homework that entails mapping your logic, using inductive and deductive reasoning, and supporting your argument with an array of evidence that persuades your audience.

Talking to the Media

Talking to reporters is easy enough, as long as you know what you’re doing. When you don’t, the fallout can be unpleasant. People know if they say the wrong thing or are quoted out of context, they can’t take it back. Everything is on record and fair game. This is what makes people nudgy about media interviews.

On the one hand, media interviews are mostly a game of pitch and catch. But they’re not simple. It helps to understand the unwritten rules of the game, question traps and competing objectives for both reporters and spokespeople. The goal is to be real, calm and in charge, when moving from defense to offense and gracefully advancing quotable messages your ultimate audience needs to hear.

Customer-Focused Dialogues

Not everyone sells, but everyone who talks with customers should be well-versed in conversational skills that make customers want to work with you. This means reading people and situations correctly, listening, building and sustaining rapport, handling concerns productively, maintaining composure when the going gets tough and adopting a can-do spirit to solving problems.

Challenging Conversations

These encounters make people uncomfortable. . . . delivering hard feedback, negotiating for something you want, raising thorny issues, delivering bad news, debating an important point. You hope to keep emotions in check and not damage the relationship. You need to know when to talk, how to be direct without being heavy-handed, when to listen, when to keep your mouth shut, when it’s better to pose a question than give the answer.

The Message is You

This program takes many forms, depending upon what the client wants to do. Listening, interpersonal communication and style, what you say and how you say it in various contexts, presence and professional image are all topics that speak to the messenger. We can incorporate assessments before or during the workshop(s) and follow up coaching.