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Effective communication skills: How planners can speak so people will listen

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 at 9:30AM - 4:30PM
The Hatton (etc Venues), 51-53 Hatton Garden, London
£349 for RTPI members (From £199 with a season ticket)
£199 for licentiate members and independent consultants; £140 for students, unemployed and retired; £449 for non-members
RTPI Conferences

Planners have an important role that is often under-valued by colleagues, members and the public.  And you have important but sometimes complex information to communicate, which needs to be listened to and understood. 

How can you grab attention, hold it, and get your message across?

How can you make your message compelling, persuasive and powerful, ensuring taht people do not just listen; they understand and they act upon it to?

This personal skills masterclass addresses your need to be listened to in conversations, in, meetings and when speaking in public. 

Benefits of attending

This personal skills masterclass will help you:

  1. Be able to get attention from your audience, and hold it
  2. Know how to create a message that has a compelling structure, a persuasive argument and uses powerful language to get results
  3. Understand the basics of personal influence and the psychology of persuasion
  4. Learn simple techniques to make what you say memorable to the people listening
  5. Become effective in meetings - whether attending them or chairing them
  6. Learn the simple techniques that make you a credible witness who will be believed
  7. Be able to develop a speech or presentation that persuades an audience
  8. Know the essential elements of style that allow you to come across professionally
  9. Learn the techniques of effective delivery of a presentation or speech
  10. Know how to handle questions and objections with grace and professionalism

 Who should attend?

  • Policy planners and officers
  • Team leaders and managers
  • Development control managers 
  • Planning consultants and specialists
  •  Anyone charged with getting your message across



1 The basics of spoken communication

How can you make a positive impression that gets you the attention you need, to convey your message? And then, how can you hold that attention, while you get your message across? And how you get your message across is equally important: you need to make it compelling to your audience, so they continue to listen, persuasive, so they understand and accept your arguments and powerful, so they are able to remember what you say and are motivated to take action.

  • Presence and charisma
  • Attention grabbers
  • Three secrets to holding attention
  • Simple Structured Response Frameworks to build compelling off-the-cuff remarks
  • How to Build a compelling presentation
  • The three elements of a persuasive argument
  • How to use language to give your speaking power

2 Powerful Communication

Powerful communication demands people do more than just listen. You also need to influence and persuade the people you are speaking to. And you will also want to be able to lock the key points of your message into their memories.

  • Six experimentally tested psychological methods to influence and persuade
  • The six persuaders - the reasons why people choose to say "yes"
  • The five ways you can make what you say memorable

3 Meetings and Conversations

Much of your time is spent in conversation with colleagues, members and the public, so understanding the art of conversation - in a professional setting - is vital. And the reality of modern work is that you doubtless also spend a lot of time in meetings. Whether you chair them or are just one of a number of participants, how can you make them work for you?

  • Starting the conversation and holding attention
  • How to build rapport
  • Brilliant listening skills
  • Telephone tips
  • The five types of meeting
  • Preparing and conducting a meeting you will chair
  • Make a positive impact at a meeting you will attend

4 Presenting and speaking in public

It comes to us all: the need to speak in public or make a presentation. And, whist it is not true that most of us rate this worse than death, many do not welcome it. Yet the skills are all learnable, so there is no need to be nervous.

  • Putting together a talk speech or presentation - Applying the classical principles to a 21st Century local government environment
  • The essentials of style - How to come across clearly, understandably and professionally
  • Preparing to speak - What to do to prepare yourself materially, physically, mentally and emotionally
  • Delivery: Your body, your hands, your voice, your eyes and your props
  • Calmly handle questions and objections - whatever comes from insightful to idiotic; and from supportive to hostile.


Trainer: Dr Mike Clayton, Independent Trainer and Performance Coach Author of "Brilliant Influence", "Smart to Wise" and the forthcoming "How to Speak so People Listen"