Many professionals with great ideas have difficulty in putting them across. There are many reasons for this.
One common reason is their fear of being put on the spot to face challenging questions. Such a fear cannot be overcome with psychological techniques to build confidence. Instead, it is overcome when these professionals are armed with a new set of skills.
A multinational computer technology company recognised this problem in the early 2000s and soon took steps to address it. This is their story.
Testing a New Programme
The Australian branch of the firm started to offer the Think on Your Feet® programme to new hires to help them prepare for the fast-paced workplace. These young employees gained the ability to communicate clearly, and that immediately instilled confidence in them. As a result, they started coming across as more persuasive and trustworthy, whether they’re answering questions after a presentation, responding to their bosses in meetings, or interviewing with the press. Soon, Think on Your Feet® became so well regarded that the firm expanded classes to the Asia Pacific region to help employees position their Go To Market strategies.
Here’s how an employee describes the experience with Think on Your Feet®: “I walked out of this course and immediately started using the techniques. I already had good communication skills but this has taken things to another level. I can see the difference in the emails that I send and the presentations that I create. I’m recommending the course to everyone, as you can use the structures with clients, your team and with management.”
Launching a Global Rollout
In 2017, the Learning and Career Development team added Think on Your Feet® to the Global Professional Development Portfolio for Individual Contributors. The programme now forms part of the Communication Portfolio of Solutions, aligning with one of the company’s seven core competencies, “Communicating with Impact”. To provide as many employees as possible with the opportunity to improve their communication skills, Think on Your Feet® is now run mainly as an Open Enrolment programme with classes being promoted via global newsletters and internal portals.
As the company received continuous positive feedback, classes were expanded to China, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, Philippines, Japan, Germany, USA, United Kingdom, Greece, Croatia & Denmark in 2018 and 2019. Now, plans are already underway to schedule more sessions for 2020.
Creating Tailor-Made Experiences
What the organisation most appreciates about Think on Your Feet® is the ability to tailor the classes to a company-specific audience. The fact that all sessions are facilitated by locally based trainers who are well versed in local culture and who speak the local language makes the programme even more effective.
For Think on Your Feet®, only the best trainers with the most in-depth knowledge are deployed, which is reflected in a comment from a recent participant: “Excellent course facilitated by a real professional, very knowledgeable in the subject matter and training effectiveness. One of the best courses I have attended in 2018”.
There you have it – a well-tested global programme that can be tailor-made for any group of professionals who have difficulty in putting forth their ideas in ways that are clear, brief and impactful.