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Sharpening Your Communication Edge: the art of Listening, the Power of Speaking

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In the age of empowerment, teamwork and constant change, there is no more valuable skill for leaders to develop than effective communication. In this workshop you will learn how to quickly connect with an audience, how to sell people on listening, how to keep your presentation from sounding rehearsed even when it is, and how to craft a message that gets results. You’ll learn how to deal with tough audiences and how to use humor, participation and stories effectively. You won’t have to speak in front of the group, but you will participate in exercises during the day that will help you make others take notice whether you are presenting new ideas to your boss, contributing to a discussion, or trying to persuade an audience to action.

Time Allocation - Topics

50% Developing the listening advantage

  • Make a conscious choice to work at listening
  • Be aware of your flapper valve and the need to listen louder
  • Have others use phrases that unlock your listening skills
  • Know your own "tune out buttons"
  • Listening for free information--content and process
  • Learn the art of disarming anger
  • How to generate and use enthusiasm
  • The listening leader and smart questions

50% Preparing and delivering high-impact presentations

  • Assessing your audience to craft your message for impact
  • Turning speaking anxiety into focused excitement and friendly audiences
  • Getting the audience to listen by using a good introduction and strong opening
  • Connecting to your audience with humor, stories and humility
  • The power of participation—using questions, exercises, and Q/A
  • The use of eye contact, body language and gestures
  • Dealing with interruptions, hecklers and other unexpected distractions
  • Keeping it going—how to continue to improve your public speaking skills


Primary -- LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: Communication, Empathy, Interpersonal Relations, Judgment, Use of Time, Handling Conflict, Customer Relations

Secondary -- PLANNING/ORGANIZING: Problem Identification, Selecting and Organizing Information, Analysis, Generate and Obtain Plan Support

Tertiary -- EXECUTING/CONTROLLING/EVALUATING: Direction, Coordination, Guidance, Follow Up, Results Analysis, Evaluation


Dr. Terry Paulson is a PhD psychologist and author of The Optimism Advantage, Leadership Truths One Story at a Time, They Shoot Managers Don`t They, Speak Like a Pro, and Favorite Family Lectures. He’s featured in Nightingale-Conant’s audio series, “The Optimism Advantage” and “Napoleon Hill 17 P...


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