When a highly regarded firm in the creative industries became part of a group of companies, the staff had to adjust to a new regime. They were now small fish in a big pool, and some of the ‘cosiness’ went out of working life.
The staff were talented, experienced and committed, but they were used to getting on with their jobs without a great deal of formal scrutiny. Now, however, senior people were expected to give incisive presentations to the top brass whenever they visited from group HQ. They needed to learn how to perform with assurance and impact under pressure, conveying information and ideas in a compelling style and responding well to questions. All staff had to adapt to changes, regain their confidence and regroup.
The company approached VOX for two kinds of support:
- Presentation-skills training for the senior team to enable them to discharge their new reporting duties with greater authority
- Input to the planning and delivery of a one-day conference for all staff aimed at reinforcing unity and raising morale in a period of uncertainty
At the conference, VOX delivered one plenary session and two breakout sessions. In the plenary, the coach explored in an entertaining and engaging style some of the key determinants of effective face-to-face communication. The breakouts, which were chosen by the client from a list of possibilities, complemented the plenary and included practical exercises designed to develop participants’ communication skills and reconnect them with the creativity that was at the heart of their work.
All the feedback showed that VOX’s plenary session energized the delegates and set a positive tone for their conversations throughout the event. The breakout sessions were judged by the participants to be absorbing, stimulating, informative and useful. People felt more confident about the future and their role in it.
The separate training day on presentation skills for senior staff was equally well received. The bigwigs from the new parent organisation seemed duly impressed by the clear, succinct and powerful presentations they received on their next visit.