The Soil Association is a charity that works across the UK to transform the way we eat, farm and care for our natural world. Best known as one of the major certifiers of UK Organic produce, the team at the Soil Association also campaign tirelessly to improve food and farming, supporting the implementation of practical, effective solutions.
This wide remit means that the Soil Association team face a range of communications challenges daily. They need to be able to inspire, persuade, inform and explain technical concepts to a range of audiences. To cover all of these needs, required a unique presentation skills solution for the charity.
Could we deliver a solution that could give the team the skills to achieve all of these varied goals, with just two official training days available for us to utilise?
The Tailored Solution
A unique two-day course was developed that provided an introduction to key techniques that would support the participants to achieve their goals of inspiring through storytelling, persuading, informing and explaining technical concepts.
Research prior to the course (via online questionnaire and follow-up conversations) indicated that the training group was generally comprised of experienced speakers that required advanced techniques to move their presentation skills from good to great.
The sessions introduced advanced presentation skills, explaining the science behind them and how to apply the different techniques and models to various challenges. But, most importantly, the sessions included regular 'live' practice of each skill, with participants applying their new learnings to real communications challenges that they face on a daily basis. This ensured that the Soil Association team understood the power of what they were learning, and could practice in a safe, supportive environment.
Every participant was filmed presenting (twice) during the sessions and received feedback on the day from their peers, as well as further notes and advice following the session from Rich.
To ensure that the learnings from the sessions were fully embedded, every participant received a 30 minute coaching session in the months that followed the training. This allowed everyone to ask further questions after having used their new skills in 'real-life' and further refine their presentation performance.
It has been the most useful course that I have attended. So many of the areas I will be able to implement - thanks so much Rich!
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