Practical workshop for experienced and novice managers with communication responsibilities


Discover the Secrets for Persuading Sponsors, Senior Executives and End Users to Support Your Project


  • How to re-engage senior executives and win their involvement
  • How to persuade end users that your project benefits them, their colleagues and their customers

Proven tips, tools and techniques to help you win the support of your key audiences


Only 15 places available per workshop
Next open workshop 23-24 March 2011


 In-house workshops delivered globally 
+44 (0)20 8771 4050

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This workshop is very practical and directly relevant to the issues and challenges you face in your current role.

Over two days you will develop strategies, activities and new communication skills to persuade key audiences to become involved in your project or programme.

Plus you will have a greater understanding of the different interests, expectations and influence of your sponsor, senior executives and end users.

Each day you will leave with at least four tangible relationship-building tools you have developed that are tailored to your audiences as well as your team’s capabilities.

There will be lots of time working with your workshop leaders one-on-one and in small groups to resolve any implementation issues and make sure your plan and schedule work for you.

These two days are directly relevant to people who lead teams. We’ll be sharing lots of tips, techniques and tools that professional communicators and HR consultants use on a daily basis. You won’t need theoretical knowledge or qualifications to use them as well.

Here are just some of the problems this workshop solves

“There’s no point as no one listens to what we say”
Discover techniques for putting yourself in your audiences’ shoes and learning how they like to be communicated with, as well as what keeps them awake at night. When you know this you can tailor your communications to their preferences and they’ll pay attention.

“We have different communities of stakeholders who have different agendas”
Congratulations on realising you need to tailor communication activities to your different audiences. Join us and you’ll learn different ways to tailor activities so you keep their attention, overcome any resistance and persuade them to support you.

"There is lots going on, lots of priorities and sadly communications is seen as peripheral rather than core”
When we are under pressure it is easy to put our heads down and focus on tasks. But it is relationships between people that are at the heart of every project’s success. We’ll be sharing a variety of techniques that you can easily use to win and keep the support of key people.

“Knowing what to communicate and to who, who are the key stakeholders who need to know information now, and what actions do we want from them?”
We cover each of these areas in depth during this workshop; you will leave with much greater understanding of how to build relationships with your key audiences that win their support and involvement

“We’re battling cynicism following the unsuccessful delivery of a similar project five years ago”
Most end users will be sceptical until you show how your project helps them their colleagues and customers. We look at techniques for overcoming resistance and creating desire for change.

“Some people don’t like change”
True, but they are probably only a small portion of your audience. Most people accept change once they are convinced of the benefits for themselves and the people they care about. Regular communication is one of the best tools to overcome such resistance.

“In the past we have not engaged directly with senior stakeholders”
It is never too late to start. You will leave this workshop with a range of practical techniques and guidelines that will enable you to reengage your sponsors and senior executives, winning their support and involvement in your project.

“We want to better understand what makes senior executives tick”
Visible support from executives is one of the key factors in successful project delivery. During this workshop we will look in depth at how to build relationships with key people so they are willing to get involved in your project.



What we’ll cover each day


Day one – Re-engaging Senior Executive Support

Building personal credibility
  • Easy-to-use web tools to find out what they really think of you
  • Developing trust and understanding the things that increase or decrease trust in your relationships
  • Understanding the dynamics of your relationship and strategies to improve openness towards you
  • Achieving shared and sustainable outcomes through advocacy and regular feedback
Understanding their perspectives
  • Uncovering what they are most interested in
  • Balancing their needs against the needs of end users
  • Identifying and understanding shadow issues that influence the decisions they take
  • Understanding balance of power between opinion formers, influencers and decision makers
Getting executives involved in your project
  • Ways to capture their attention and interest including the elevator pitch, networking and formal presentations
  • Developing ongoing communications tailored to their needs and interests
  • Techniques to help them connect with day to day issues and what is really going on
  • Asking for and getting their active participation
Demonstrating the benefits for them and the business
  • Explaining the link between your project and their performance objectives
  • Identifying where value will be created through increased revenues, reduced costs, more effective staff, or better use of assets
  • Confirming how your project helps the organisation differentiate itself from its competitors
  • Assessing and managing risk to reduce the impact of uncertainty

Day two – Persuading End Users Your Project Benefits Them

Understanding resistance
  • Overview of the Y-Curve change model and its implications for communication activities
  • Common reactions when people have change imposed upon them
  • Communication options along the change spectrum from empathy to command
  • Segmenting end users according to their resistance to change and how they will be impacted by the change
Reducing the risks for them
  • Building relationships based on respect and trust
  • Explaining, putting things in context and giving feedback on both the big picture and fine detail
  • Creating mechanisms to respond to their issues, concerns and expectations
  • Understanding how the psychological contract between employer and employee impacts your project
Creating desire for change
  • Moving you audiences along the communication escalator from awareness to commitment
  • Connecting your messages to their interests, wants and needs
  • Using storytelling to create pictures of a better future that they can relate to
  • Finding advocates whom your audiences respect and who will speak on your behalf
Creating opportunities for end users to get involved
  • Listening to their views and the level of information and involvement they want
  • Participating in processes to identify alternative solutions
  • Identifying end user representatives who can keep the project team connected to their views
  • Providing opportunities for them to participate in project activities including communications



What’s included

You will receive individual coaching and feedback during each day, as the workshop is limited to 15 delegates. This ensures that we can meet your individual needs.

Course manual

You’ll take home an invaluable manual containing detailed background information, plus plenty of room for your own notes. Everything you learn will be at your fingertips long after the workshop ends.

Follow-up support

A follow-up session two weeks after the workshop to help you work through issues implementing your communications plan and schedule of activities.

Ad-hoc email support from the workshop leaders.

 Critique of Feedback Mechanisms

A comprehensive overview of the most popular feedback mechanisms, including how to create and manage them.

Improve Your Active Listening Skills

A guide to help project managers listen to what others are saying and respond appropriately.

Newsletter subscription

Weekly CommsAbilities ezine containing practical advice on turning projects around using communications.


Introducing your workshop leaders

Jo Ann Sweeney BA FCIM(Dip) FCB Journalism(cert)

Jo Ann Sweeney is a communications consultant who helps project teams win the support of their sponsors, senior executives and end users. She is known for her ability to clearly communicate technical and complex information so audiences understand both the detail and relevance to themselves.

Jo Ann specialises in helping clients develop communication plans that they are able to implement with the resources they have. Her results-focused approach ensures communications achieve their objectives, meet audience expectations, make best use of resources and deliver value to reputation and the bottom line.

Projects have spanned skills development, new product launches, office relocations, redundancies and redeployment, political lobbying, technology rollouts and brand makeovers for a number of corporates including BT, O2, Federation of Small Businesses, London Councils and Transport for London.

She has more than 25 years experience and is a trained journalist, chartered marketer and fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, fellow of the British Association of Communicators in Business and member of the Institute of Directors.

Sarah Coleman BSc(Hons) MBA MAPM FCMI MIBC CIM(Dip)

Sarah is an award winning business coach, business consultant and lecturer. She specialises in strategic change programmes and leadership coaching and has been recognised for her coaching successes by emda and the Institute of Business Consulting.

Prior to setting up her own consultancy in 2007, Sarah managed major change and improvement projects for central government, medium-sized enterprises and corporates including BT, Experian and Xansa.

Typically she was responsible for leading high-profile and complex ICT implementations, cost transformation and change programmes. These roles have given her extensive commercial, information systems and people management experienceSarah is a guest lecturer in implementing strategic change at Cranfield School of Management and on Nottingham Law School’s MBA courses.

She holds diplomas in Strategic Business Consulting, Personal Coaching and Marketing. She is a PRINCE II Practitioner, Programme Management Practitioner and NLP Practitioner. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and member of the Association of Project Management, Institute of Business Consulting and Institute of Directors.

Dates, locations and fees

Open workshops

Open workshops are held in central London at four-star venues and include morning and afternoon refreshments as well as a two-course lunch.

Next open workshop 23-24 March 2011

The delegate rate is £994 + VAT per person

Early bird discount of 20 per cent for payment in full by 18 February 2011 – meaning you pay just £795.20 + VAT per person.


In-house workshops

In-house workshops are run at a venue of the client’s choice and can be delivered anywhere in the world.

Fees are dependent on number of delegates and location.

Contact Jo Ann Sweeney for more information

+44 (0)20 8771 4050

Download brochure


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