Message Development and Delivery Workshop

, Clear and concise

This two-part workshop is designed to help you craft and deliver your message(s) clearly and concisely--whether it's a pitch to investors, a speech to community members, or an appeal to your roommate for why you should rescue a dog.  We will begin with a review of the elements of good messaging, the common pitfalls, and the delivery techniques that maximize engagement and resonance and then dive into the workshop.

Effective presentation follows three steps:

  1. Brainstorm in analog: identify your content
  2. Plot your story: compartmentalize and order your content
  3. Design and delivery: separate the verbal and visual and build engaging slides 

In the first session, we'll work through steps 1 and 2, and in the second session, we'll focus on step 3.  Students will bring an idea, a topic, an outline, draft, or any other material to serve as the foundation of their message, and we will workshop everything from key messages to the delivery.

In the first session, we will clarify the goals of your message, determine the key talking points, and craft an outline for the delivery.  If you have data, we will review that and determine the best way to incorporate these findings into your message (hint: it's less than you probably think).
 
Students will then be asked to take their outline and create a first draft of a presentation between sessions.
 
In the second session, we will take that evolve that presentation to combines visual engagement and effective delivery.  That presentation could be slides, or it could be a pamphlet, brochure, or other piece of collateral.
 
Please note: In the interest of privacy and protecting people's ideas, I will bring a non-disclosure agreement to these sessions.
Prerequisites
It's helpful, but not required, that you take my other class, Bullets are for the NRA: Making Great Presentations in PowerPoint, before this class. In that class, I cover basic presentation theory and design guidelines that we will put into practice during this course. Please note: It is not my intent to pigeonhole everyone into presenting their ideas in PowerPoint, but the fact remains that visual aids, particularly PowerPoint, remain extremely common companions in the world of messaging.
Schedule
  • Session 1: What Are Trying to Say?

    TBD

    Coming soon...

    This session will open with a brief discussion on message strategies that work, integrating aspects like an emotional appeal and call to action, and why messaging sometimes fails.

    Then, we'll go into a workshop and address the following questions:

    • What is the topic of your presentation?
    • What is the purpose of your presentation?
    • To whom are you making this presentation?
    • What are you asking of the audience?
    • Why were YOU asked to give this presentation?
    • Which relevant concepts are most critical?  Most complex?
    We will close the session with a review of effective presentation styles and theory.  You will leave with your key messages identified and an outline for a presentation/talk.
     
    Your homework is to create the slides that support your talk using one of the theories discussed.
    7
    TBD

    Coming Soon...

  • Session 2: How Can You Say This Better?

    TBD

    Coming soon...

    This session will open with a review of effective presentation design and delivery, including slide design, effective use of data, and tips for audience engagement.

    Then, we'll workshop.  We will review the overall look and flow of everyone's presentations, and we will get hands on with 5-10 "trouble" slides from each student.  In doing so, you will not only improve the effectiveness of your message, you will see advanced PowerPoint techniques including:

    • Data visualization (charts and pictographs)
    • Object formatting and arrangement
    • Animations and builds
    • Image editing
    • Text manipulation
    You will leave with a strong draft of your presentation, greater comfort in your key messages and delivery, and the skills to continue developing both on your own.
    7
    TBD

    Coming Soon...

Adam Sigel

Clear and concise

During the day, I am a strategic communications consultant, working directly with CEOs and other executive managers on everything from investor relations to brand management to employee engagement.  That means knowing what to say, how to say it, and to whom it needs to be said.  (At night, I am, of course, a masked vigilante.)  

I am a big advocate of clear and simple communication, and all too often I find that people struggle to translate their own deep knowledge and expertise on an issue to their audience because they cannot put themselves in another person's shoes.  I've seen plenty of CEOs who are unable to explain why a company is a good investment, or what the corporate strategy is.  I've heard business managers fail to elicit in less than 20 seconds what they do for a living.  

Great communicators appear to have a casual, flawless delivery, but that comes with extensive practice, careful crafting, and complete comfort in the issue.  They know how to connect with an audience on a variety of levels--from the logical to the emotional--and this course is meant to give you these foundational skills.

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