You are here

2019 PSA World Conference: Pre-Conference Workshops

Free Speech of the Week Signup NowFree Speech of the Week Signup Now

Workshop A (8:30-11:00): Five Steps to Prep: Crisis Communication Planning for Executive Communication Pros

Helping your executives be their best on potentially their worst day requires preparation and practice.

Have you done yours?

Your news conference statement should have the thoughtfulness, empathy, and call to action found in a great speech.

You know how long it takes you to write a great speech. Do you think you will instantly crank out brilliance on the day of the crisis, and do it in a way that gets legal and executive approval in record time?

Not the way to bet, says international crisis communication expert Gerard Braud. In this hands-on workshop, he’ll teach you his Five Steps to Effective Crisis Communications, and you’ll prepare on a sunny day for what might befall you on your darkest day:

  • See into the future to understand what might hit the fan in your organization.
  • Build a library of pitch-perfect pre-written statements—mini-speeches, that can be adapted on the day (rather than composed in a panic).
  • Lock down an agreed-upon protocol for meeting with leaders, gathering information, confirming information and disseminating information.
  • Establish a training and preparation regimen—for you, and your leaders, so you make mistakes during drills, rather than during a real event.

When “it” hits the fan, you’ll have an executive communication plan.


Workshop B (11:30-2:00): Open Your Eyes: Data Visualization for Speechwriters

As a speechwriter, you’ll agonize over every word. Why take whatever pie chart or bar graph Microsoft Excel spits out by default? Whether your speaker wants to be a multimedia rock star or deliver an understated but powerful point, you can make much more effective choices about how to visualize data—even if you aren’t an artist.

The most effective data visualizations tell a compelling story quickly and across different media. This pre-conference session will explore strategies for how to narrow content, how to apply key graphic design principles, and how to take your data visualizations from speeches to the printed page to the digital realm. You’ll see many examples, engage in hands-on activities and offer your own critiques of sample visualizations.

Dr. Vincent Rhodes, Assistant Vice President and Chief Communications & Marketing Officer at Eastern Virginia Medical School, will open your eyes to innovative uses of data visualization and share simple tips for improving even the most mundane charts and graphs.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Describe the design principles that improve the likelihood that content will be understood by viewers.
  • Compare and contrast explorative and narrative data visualizations.
  • Develop your own taste in infographics and data visualizations.
  • Conceptualize and create data visualizations to effectively target particular audiences and achieve specific outcomes. 


Workshop C (2:30-5:00): Storytelling: Next

Storytelling is “the most powerful form of human communication,” according to Peg Neuhauser, author of Corporate Legends and Lore.

But you know that.

How do you convince your clients? Not by arguing, but by doing: probing for, drawing out, developing and writing stories so compelling that the leader will never go back to her charts or his PPT slides again.

Ann Wylie, CEO of Wylie Communications, has taught thousands of writers from all realms of journalism, public relations and corporate communication—and she’ll teach you, how to:

  • Find the aha! moment that’s the gateway to every anecdote.
  • Elicit juicy stories with the key question to ask during an interview.
  • Organize your material into a powerful story in just three steps with our simple storytelling template.
  • Start an anecdote with a bang—instead of a whimper.
  • Find anecdotes in the making with “WBHA.”

You’ll leave this session with new set of tools for helping leaders grab attention, boost their credibility, and make their messages more memorable and communicate.

Back to PSA World Conference agenda