Client Case Studies
Client: Software Developer Company
Challenge: Improve the presentation skills of their technical team
A world renowned software developer’s technical team, who are the evangelists of the solutions and ongoing updates they offer, are expected to deliver compelling presentations to their user community. Presenting technical information to these audiences requires them to not only be technically knowledgeable, but also be able to think on their feet, deliver dynamic stories, and listen to their audience to ensure their message is being heard.
Solution: Through a series of experiential exercises customized to their specific challenges, the evangelists learned techniques to improve their ability to understand the real meaning of objectors and hecklers.
Outcomes: They can now respond in the moment in a professional and informative way, incorporate humor as a tool to diffuse these situations, and illuminate their unique personalities to create win-wins for everyone.
Benefits: Their increased ability to communicate effectively, maintain the focus on the information about the product, and connect with their audiences resulted in increased usage of their solution and stronger relationships with their user base.
Client: Public Utilities Commission
Challenge: Internal communication
Worked with a staff of 20 who were expert communicators with their external stakeholders, but struggled to improve their internal “team” communications. This disconnect created a negative impact on team morale. An overriding imperative voiced by the team in advance? It better be fun.
Solution: A team retreat was designed to provide exercises for improved internal strategic communications and relationship building among the group. Improv exercises were chosen specifically to challenge the team to take risks, risks that would ultimately contribute to opening up new methods of communication.
Outcomes: Improv helped them train their minds to be more fully present and responsive in human interactions. The team learned to cultivate self-awareness, self-management and social awareness.
Benefits: Through laughter and a willingness to try something new, the team gained tools to support a new strategy for teambuilding.
Client: International Cosmetics Company
Challenge: Interfacing with many audiences - short amount of time to deliver bold and confident messages
Working directly with the public, members of these teams interface daily in situations requiring them to think on our feet and remain positive and easy going, even when they face demanding clients, the media and business executives.
Solution: Designed and facilitated a four hour presentation class to support two segments of the sales staff. Exercises were designed to be energetic, experiential, and highly interactive.
Outcomes: Some of the lessons learned included: landing key messages even when in a challenging or stressful situation; risking failure to find success; asking clarifying questions and active listening; and, gaining increased confidence and techniques to warm up before having to go in front of groups. The final portion of the training used company specific scenarios, providing team members with opportunities to think on their feet and respond extemporaneously.
Benefits: Participants were able to incorporate what they learned during the session to real life situations they are likely to face and be more comfortable addressing in the future.
French Energy Company with US holdings
Challenges: Engineer types, who are shy or more reclusive, using English as 2nd language needed to improve language and presentation skills.
Their director described his team as some of the smartest people he had ever worked with. However, he noticed that when they were interacting with potential customers, or even other colleagues, their body language and non-verbal communication was antithetical to their intelligence. Director decided they needed a non-threatening, yet enlightening way for them to see this inconsistency.
Solution: Design a half-day training for a team of engineers who were bright and highly experienced, yet awkward and uncomfortable with public speaking. The off-site improv meeting opened with several fun ways of identifying how/what body language communicates and how to make it ok to fail, and to find humor within language barriers.
Outcomes: During the session the team saw what their body language had been saying and were open to changing immediately!
Benefits: The team learned how to embrace mistakes when speaking their 2nd language and use those mistakes to create unforgettable moments.