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Case studies

Jayne Constantinis – Training Case Studies

Here are some examples of how Jayne has helped a variety of different clients with a range of different training needs.

New/senior partners at US law firm – presentation and pitching skills

The Brief

To equip a newly made up partner and a more established partner with the skills to be accomplished and confident speakers in a range of different scenarios – pitches, internal meetings, conference calls, client learning sessions and external conferences/events.

The Training

A three-part package comprising two half-day sessions and one refresher in advance of a live pitch. A combination of theory and hands-on practical experience covering content and performance. Presentations were filmed and reviewed, and strategies developed for each partner’s individual issues (with particular emphasis on pitch situations). These included body language, eye contact, seated posture and vocal variety. We also developed a new approach to support materials (PowerPoint, handouts, notes) in order to maximise their impact and avoid the temptation, common among lawyers, to project and read out a document!

The Result

Higher pitch success rate. A transformation in the technical skills and confidence of these two partners. They each now have the tools to be highly effective speakers, delivering relevant content with impact and flair and thereby supporting the firm’s brand.

Senior executives at international technology company – ongoing programme of professional development

The Brief

To sharpen up the presentation skills of a number of senior and middle ranking executives; to iron out bad habits; to develop their individual communication style; to increase their confidence.

The Training

We are running a series of one-to-one, one-to-two and small group sessions, half-days. All cover the basics of effective presenting – preparation, structuring content, writing techniques, performance, visuals, rehearsal tips and dealing with nerves.

We are also focusing on a number of specific issues, some of which are common in the technology sector – how to make complex content accessible; keeping to time; resonating with the audience; overuse of jargon; anxiety about forgetting content; monotone delivery; overreliance on a script. In each case we are developing bespoke strategies for the individuals concerned.

The Result

A significant, marked improvement in the presentation capabilities and confidence of the individuals. In some cases, old dogs have learned new tricks! Using the techniques learned in the training, they continue to improve, becoming some of the company’s most highly skilled and effective presenters.

Individuals preparing for job interviews/panels

The Brief

To help individuals (in financial services, HR, civil service, the media, accountancy) to be more confident in their ability to perform well in interviews, especially where they feel that their existing interview style/technique is letting them down.

The Training

One-to-one training – one or two sessions of four hours. Tailored to each individual’s requirements but always covering: analysis of current strengths and weaknesses; development of individual communication style/brand; improved preparation techniques; audience planning; tone of voice; subtleties of language; coping with difficult questions. Mock interviews, filmed and reviewed.

The Result

Job success! And, for many, a fundamental change in approach to interviews and how to prepare for them; improved ‘technical’ skills around story telling, body language, pace and pauses. Increased awareness of how to resonate with and persuade an audience. Greater confidence and new habits which are applicable to other communication scenarios.

Groups and individuals in financial services – intermediate and advanced communication skills

The Brief

To help people (who have taken on a new, senior, managerial role or those who want to take their career to the next level) to feel more confident in their communication skills. To fine tune the skills and approach of client facing groups (eg personal bankers, traders), to give them a competitive edge.

The Training

One-to-one sessions for the individuals to give them a set of technical skills (preparation, audience planning, body language, content/structure) as well as increasing their confidence. We develop a strong personal brand for them, and role play relevant scenarios on camera, to identify strengths and weaknesses (eg an internal meeting with a new team). Practical strategies are agreed and improvements made immediately. Common issues which emerge among this group are: dealing with challenging colleagues/subordinates; establishing your credentials with a new team; ‘imposter syndrome’; communicating with gravitas while remaining authentic to your own personality. Group sessions tend to be half or full days for a maximum of 6 people.

The Result

For this group the results have been subtle but significant. They are putting into practice their new communication habits in their everyday working lives – having greater impact in internal meetings; solidifying relationships with clients; winning new business. But most important of all – they are feeling more confident and more in control.

Publishing CEO for appearance on Question Time

The Brief

This high profile figure in the publishing world (V) wanted to feel more confident about a forthcoming appearance on Question Time and to ensure that his delivery was as effective as possible. He particularly wanted to be able to field difficult/hostile questions in an assured, calm and professional manner.

The Training

Having thoroughly researched the structure of the programme, I was able to brief (V) and his communications team on the likely number of issues and the likely length of answer expected of him. In two half-day sessions, we rehearsed possible topics, worked on key messages and refined (V)’s position on a number of topical issues. We worked on the style and pace of his delivery, use of language and eye contact to ensure that he was able to get his points across effectively. We also prepared for the ‘nightmare question’ scenario.

The Result

A very successful appearance on Question Time. An assured performance in which (V) was able to communicate his views effectively and confidently. Even difficult questions were fielded with skill.

Senior associates, London law firm – presentation/communication skills

The Brief

To equip these lawyers with the skills and confidence to be effective communicators in both formal and informal scenarios, client facing and internal. To enable them to become ambassadors for the firm’s brand, raise their profile and develop their own individual communication style.

The Training

An ongoing programme of small group sessions for this firm – 4 people, 5 hours, to cover all the fundamentals of effective communication: preparation, content, structure, story telling, PowerPoint, rehearsal, performance. Lots of one-to-one attention so that each lawyer can address their own individual challenges (eg pace, eye contact, inability to edit and simplify, fear of presenting to senior colleagues). We devise strategies and techniques which are unique to each individual. Sample presentations are filmed and reviewed during the session.

The Result

For many, a new set of career-enhancing skills with which to approach every communication/presentation opportunity. For all, heightened confidence that they know how to create and deliver an effective piece of communication. Considered by attendees and their managers to be an indispensible session.

High-profile Olympic athletes – presentation and media training

The Brief

To prepare these high-profile, celebrity sports stars for the conference/corporate event circuit. To give them the technical skills and the confidence to be able to prepare, structure and deliver content to a variety of different audiences; to help them achieve a long-lasting speaking career.

The Training

I worked with each Olympian one-to-one. In two half-day sessions I introduced them to the fundamental principles of effective preparation. We devised a preparation framework covering key message and audience planning, structure, visuals, rehearsal and performance tips. For these individuals, more than most, it was important to maintain a freshness and a naturalness in their style of delivery. The key was to allow their personalities to shine through, while also giving them the tools to be professional and polished. We also included some media training (TV, radio and print), anticipating likely topics, preparing effective responses and rehearsing a range of scenarios.

The Result

These individuals are household names in the media generally and much sought after for corporate events. They have succeeded in becoming effective, memorable and reliable communicators.

Group of executives from global logistics company – general communications and crisis training

The Brief

This group of senior executives from across Europe wanted to be more confident in their dealings with the media; to improve their presenting skills and to acquire the tools to be able to effectively handle a crisis scenario.

The Training

A one-day group session comprising three modules: 1. The basics of media interviews – audience and key message planning, the art of the soundbite, dealing with difficult questions, maintaining control. 2. The principles of effective face to face communication – preparation, memorable content, assured delivery. 3. Guidelines for crisis communications and rehearsal of possible scenarios.

The Result

Significantly increased confidence in their ability to communicate with the media and to live audiences. A range of new technical skills. More control. The foundations of a crisis communications strategy firmly in place.

Pitch rehearsal and presentation training for PR/creative agencies (PRCA)

The Brief

To train and rehearse pitch teams for specific pitch presentations. To help PR professionals to sharpen up their general presentation techniques. To deliver spokesperson training to in-house PRs on behalf of the PRCA (Public Relations Consultants Association).

The Training

When helping a team prepare for a specific pitch, I focus on two key areas – content and performance. I challenge them on their response to the brief; I help them with audience segmentation and analysis; we work on the structure and choreography of the presentation, the make up of the team, timing, answering difficult questions, the deck. I work with each team member on their individual strengths and weaknesses and I rehearse/analyse/critique the presentation as a whole. I film rehearsals where appropriate.

For general presentation training for PR or creative agencies, the training is delivered in one small group session. The issues which commonly emerge for this sector are: being authentic; putting the audience at the heart of your communication; overly complex visuals; over use of jargon.

For the PRCA half-day sessions I train in-house press/publicity officers to be more effective communicators themselves but also to be able to brief and support their spokespeople for a media situation. The focus of this training is therefore on techniques for TV/radio/print/online as well as on face to face presentations.

The Result

A higher pitch conversion rate! PRs with greater confidence in their own communication skills (with clients/journalists) and in their ability to help clients achieve better outcomes from media interviews.

Confidence in communication training for individuals

The Brief

Many people, regardless of seniority or sector, experience anxiety in face to face situations whether it’s a board/team meeting, a one-to-one with a colleague or an informal cup of coffee with a client. I’ve worked with many such people who want to be able to communicate with more confidence and perform to their best ability.

The Training

One-to-one, half day session. In this training we begin by exploring the underlying causes of the anxiety. This might be a result of eg a change in role (moving from employee to consultant) or being undermined in meetings by a fellow board member. We develop a new mindset for approaching challenging situations; devise practical strategies for increasing confidence, and role play the new behaviours (filmed and reviewed) so that, in time, they can become habits. Practical strategies might involve body language, vocal projection, nuances of language and tone, content, audience planning.

The Result

The feedback from this training is especially gratifying. People talk of increased confidence at work and in their everyday lives; reduced anxiety in approaching face to face communications; more effectiveness in their professional role.

Senior newspaper executive for high profile live TV appearance

The Brief

To prepare this highly respected and very senior figure from the newspaper world (D) for an important and challenging live TV appearance.

The Training

The focus of the training was performance rather than content. Nevertheless, we rehearsed and recorded realistic scenarios with actual content in order to work on tone of voice, body language, facial expressions, eye contact, use of humour, voice projection. We fine tuned some of (D)’s key message to ensure that the overall tone of (D)’s performance was appropriate, honest and ‘on brand’.

The Result

A solid performance by (D) – articulate, well paced, appropriate in tone and manner. Difficult questions were fielded with skill, and content was delivered effectively. It was deemed, by (D) and his communications team, to have been a success.

Group of 70 teachers – networking/small talk training

The Brief

To equip this group of professionals with the technical skills and the confidence to be able to ‘shine’ in semi professional/semi informal gathering (predominantly with parents). Areas of particular concern were answering difficult questions; exiting a conversation; making small talk.

The Training

I presented a 90 minute workshop/presentation-style session to the whole group. I worked on three areas: (1) the teachers’ approach/attitude/perceptions of their ‘audience’ and the relationship between them and (2) content preparation and (3) ‘performance’ techniques. We covered audience analysis, sources of useful content (eg The Week, Radio 4), safe topics of conversation, the power of questions, elegant answers to tough questions, subtle use of language, exit strategies and body language.

The Result

A group of professionals who are more in control, more confident and less anxious about these situations. They feel differently and they have the technical skills to behave differently. While they might not actively welcome these events, they no longer dread them.

200 technology sales people – personal impact and communication training

The Brief

To help this group of experienced and novice sales people to sharpen up their communication skills and to increase their ‘impact’ with internal and external audiences.

The Training

One presentation to the whole group and a number of small (20 people) break out sessions. In the large group session we covered the fundamentals of good communication in a sales context, focusing on audience planning, clarity of message and rehearsal. I encouraged a new, more meticulous approach to preparation and a new perspective on the relationship between ‘communicator’ and audience. I gave guidance on how to develop a personal brand which is achievable, authentic and relevant. In the small group sessions I worked on people’s individual communication challenges – offering practical strategies and tips to each member of the group.

The Result

Very positive feedback from the attendees, who found the sessions of immediate, practical value. The sales teams have adopted new habits and have sharpened up their approach (particularly to informal communication with existing/potential clients). Their managers report a re-energised team.

Individuals preparing for important presentation/talk/webinar

The Brief

To help individuals in a variety of sectors (change management, marketing, property, law) prepare for a potentially career-enhancing presentation/talk. For many it was the first time they’d faced such a challenge. For some they were high profile events.

The Training

Two half-day sessions with the option of a further rehearsal. While the focus of the training is on the specific event, it’s important to build the foundations for all subsequent presentations so in the first session we cover the fundamental principles of effective presenting – how to prepare; audience planning; key message creation; story telling; structure and choreography; PowerPoint; rehearsal. A sample section of the presentation is filmed and we analyse it for performance issues – pace, body language, intonation. We then apply our fundamental principles to the actual presentation, testing the content, structure, visuals etc and reworking it where necessary. Common issues include: slides too dense; insufficient audience focus; unclear structure; poor opening. In the second session there’s a full rehearsal/run through, further fine tuning of content and finessing of performance issues. We often do a second full rehearsal. Some people benefit from a further full rehearsal the day before the event.

The Result

For many, this training is a transformational experience – a totally new approach to giving presentations. A fundamental change in how they prepare and how they feel. Excellent feedback received from their audiences and as a result, increased confidence and a desire/willingness to give more presentations! Importantly, those new habits are now applied every time.

Training testimonials

The things clients have said about Jayne’s training!

Survey results

Fascinating results of Jayne’s survey into the world’s most admired speakers.

CLIENTS

A few of the companies Jayne has worked with