MESSAGE DEVELOPMENT TOP

MESSAGE DEVELOPMENT & STORYTELLING

  • What is message development?
Message development is coming up with words, sentences and turns of phrase that help your target audiences, including the media, understand, accept and remember what you want to say to them.  It also helps on those stuck-for-words occasions when you are asked to give an important speech or media interview and you have no idea what you should say.

  • Why is message development necessary?
Anyone who communicates needs content to engage, motivate and inform. However, high-profile individuals are sometimes better at whatever made them prominent than at communication. Scientists, technologists and academics frequently need help translating what they do into words that most of us can understand. Those whose mother tongue is not English often value a ‘language check’ to see if they have said what they meant to say, or have used an idiom correctly. Actors on the Graham Norton Show need gags and funny stories. Business leaders and politicians on Question Time need pithy, considered opinions.

  • How do people get it wrong?
By speaking without thought or preparation. By not thinking through who their audience(s) are, what they want to communicate and why, and what response they would like. By not spotting the potentially interesting parts of their subject or the human stories. By using jargon or language which is too abstract or complex. By overestimating the audience’s interest or understanding. By not thinking through or properly articulating underlying beliefs, policies and objectives.
  • What’s this got to do with storytelling?
Well developed messages are great. But when it comes to engaging audiences, stories are unbeatable. They bring speeches, presentations and media interviews to life.  Every leader and manager could benefit from attending a Storytelling Workshop.  For clarity we should say that these workshops are about stories in the sense of dramatic narratives.  ‘News stories’ – i e sets of facts that get you reported in the media – are a different concept, and are dealt with separately in our workshops on Crisis Communication and Attracting Positive Publicity.

  • Who would benefit from message development?
Anyone who gives an interview to a newspaper, radio or TV reporter or presenter; appears in a video; makes a live speech or presentation; writes or commissions written communications. CEOs, Directors of Communication, Marketing, Sales and HR and anyone else with a strategic comms role.

  • Surely you can’t script a media interview?
No you can’t, because the questions are out of your hands. But we can work with you to determine your main messages, predict likely questions, discuss possible responses and come up with suggested answers and memorable soundbites.

  • What does message development consist of?
For media interviews, we make an audio recording of our initial meeting (live or on Skype) at which we discuss what you want to say, to whom and why. We then record a dry-run of the interview itself, asking and developing answers to all likely questions, particularly the most difficult. The recording is transcribed and used as the basis for a Q&A document. This contains phrasing of key points, likely questions, model answers and soundbites. Takeaways: the Q&A; a recording and transcript of the meeting.

  • Should I also have media training?
You don’t have to, but it’s not a bad idea. Message development covers what to say in your media interview; media training also deals with this, plus the principles of news and how journalists think, and realistic practice at delivery and performance.

  • What about speeches, presentations and videos?
We can script these in full.  And if you want a speech super-fast and in your own voice, check out our innovative service  INTERVIEW-BASED SPEECHES.

HOW WE DELIVER

Free services:

Advice by Skype or phone on any communication topic. No obligation, no pressure.

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All items available in English, French, German and Spanish.

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  • how to become newsworthy
  • making your CEO a thought leader
  • crisis communication
  • presenting without fear
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Paid services:

Set at a BBC or other TV studio with an experienced professional tutor and crew. The ideal media learning experience.

Group size: 1-10 delegates
Duration: 1/2 day to 5 days

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For when there are constraints on time or budget. Any time of day, including before or after normal office hours.

Group size: 1-6 delegates
Duration: 2 hours

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Personal tuition for important interviews. Live or via Skype or other phone. Transcript and model answers included.

Individual tuition
Duration: 1 hour

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Open-ended coaching or consultancy for any communications purpose, bookable by the hour. Live, Skype or phone.

Individual coaching/consultancy
Duration: Min 1 hour, no max

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For those who want to learn, practise and consolidate. Programmes of four weekly tutorials with homework.

Individual coaching
Duration: 4 x 1 hour

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Tony Coll Media Training offers media and communication services of all kinds, ranging from an hour’s Skype tutorial to full consultancy, writing of scripts, speeches and copy, and customised radio and TV studio courses. Whether you have a specific media or communication problem or just want to learn more about media and communication techniques, we’re bound to have a solution to suit your needs and your budget. Give us a call for an informal chat.”][/tagline_box]