Thursday, February 21, 2013

Will you leave communications training money on the table this year?

Will you leave your professional development training money on the table by not spending it in time this year? Gosh, I hope not. But at the end of every fiscal year--whether that just happened for you in December, or will come up in the summer--I have clients who call and say, "Quick! We need to spend our training budget. Can you hurry up and...."  I'm always happy to help, but you and your team members will get much more from training that's part of a larger plan and tied to your goals.

Right now, early in the year, it's a great time to plan how you want to spend that training budget, and build into your calendar the opportunities to do so. Without a plan for training, you might as well take the money and leave it on the sidewalk or in the back seat of a cab.

If your answer is "Training money? What training money?" remember, it's still important to have a plan ready. If training was cut from your budget, but you're not ready to say why it should be restored, or how you'd spend it if it were brought back, you might wind up missing a major opportunity. Use those unfunded months to stay on top of what you and your team need to learn, so you're ready when that door opens again.

You also may be surprised at the value you can get in one-on-one coaching or a training tailored directly to your team's needs. Rather than sign up for a cookie-cutter offering that doesn't quite meet your situation, try a more customized training. I'd love to work with you to come up with something that fits into your plans and helps your team achieve its goals in 2013, no matter when your fiscal year ends. Email me at info[at]dontgetcaught[dot]biz to set up time for a consultation. Here are some examples of the training work I do for my communications clients:
  • Social media content development training on things like how to launch, plan for or mature a blogs; develop an editorial calendar for your social posts and learn ways to easily come up with content ideas; developing a strategic Twitter feed and how to manage it effectively; or any other social network you prefer;
  • Retreats for communications teams, to help a new team or new leader come together as a group, to re-orient the group's approach to changes in communications or staffing, or to assess the year just past and the year ahead. Some teams use such a retreat to gain a joint understanding of and approach to social media or media relations;
  • Coaching for communications directors or managers to work on their professional development goals, build teamwork, and help their operation shift from traditional to social media, or a mix of both, effectively;
  • Workshops to train scientists and engineers to translate technical topics into clear, concise messages for public audiences without "dumbing down" the content or losing needed detail, for experts based at universities, government agencies and corporations. For the communicators who work with experts, I offer a targeted workshop on how to work better with your experts;
  • Pitching workshops for media relations teams to practice skills needed to reach reporters effectively, with data on what reporters expect and want from those exchanges and how to add value to them;
  • Extemporaneous speaking workshops to help executives learn how to present without a script or notes, develop memorable messages, handle audience questions on their feet, and incorporate gesture, movement, visuals and props effectively into a presentation or speech. In some cases, I do workshops to help an entire team up its presentation game and update its skills in this area; and
  • One-on-one coaching for public speakers to address issues better suited to private training or to focus intensely on improving a specific presentation or talk. I've helped people make it to partner in their firms, give their first big talk at all or a bigger TED talk, or just learn how to handle a board meeting, committee presentation or panel moderation better.
Learn more about my retreats for communicatorstraining for communicators, or training for your experts, executives and scientists. How can I help you advance your skills in 2013?

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