Free Communication Tips

Developing Natural Communicators

Recent Client Case Studies

Aligning pitch teams and retaining market position – European Investment Bank

Following up with one of our clients we discovered they had moved to a new organisation that had a unique challenge. It had grown very quickly through acquisition and enjoyed the leading market position. There were a number of challenges we were brought into to resolve: getting product and relationship managers to trust each other, improve client presentations and drive greater consistency across the board in client communication. Over the course of our first year we ran a series of two day group workshops involving in excess of 75 delegates and three Clearwater coaches covering: Understanding the pitch process, preparing compelling messages, delivering with impact, handling the interaction and leadership and team dynamics. The workshops were so well received that following up the week afterwards we were invited to run further workshops later in the year.

Major Infrastructure operator – Two international airports in a single year

An investment bank asked if we could help out with one of their clients who were planning the divestment of an international airport. The management team were technically very competent but there was some variation in their experience and it would be fair to say they were not natural communicators. Having carried out a Personal Presence Analysis® on each member of the team we could identify key development areas. In the space of six weeks we advised and coached all seven members of the executive board to present the case for investment and handle probing questions. The sale achieved a final price 16 x EBITDA-in the words of the Managing Director “far in excess of our wildest dreams”.

Later in the same year when the owners decided to sell Stansted Airport they approached us to do the same again. Once again the owners got a final sale price of around 16 x EBITDA amounting to £1.5Bn. We believe our contribution is best summed up by the following testimonial:

“I would say that there is no doubt in my mind that the impact of Clearwater was essential to bring together, in pressured circumstances, a group of managers with varying styles and experiences and quickly produce a coherent, effective and compelling team performance that was very well received by the numerous bidders. In particular the focus on the key messages was critical to maximise the impact and eliminate variance to ensure each bidding party received the same information. I’d have no hesitation in bring Clearwater back to help us again.” – Executive Board Member

Winning hearts and minds & communicating change – Global IT Service Provider

One of our clients provided all the IT support for one of the world’s leading investment banks. We worked with them for over 3 years whilst they were going through a major global transition-supporting them in terms of communicating trust, increasing buy-in and maintaining top relations with their client. A major concern was that if the transition was not communicated effectively staff would leave and the proposition would be worthless. Winning the hearts and minds of the people was critical. One area we particularly focussed on was their regular, formal all staff Town Hall presentations. The transition was 99.1% successful with the vast majority seamlessly integrating with the new parent bank.

Convincing the investment community – Leading satellite services provider

Initially we were asked to help out with a new board member who was not projecting the desired levels of confidence and credibility. Having performed a Personal Presence Analysis® (PPA) we could specifically diagnose areas to work on and raised his performance to such an extent that he was chosen to become CEO of a newly acquired company. Over the last 2 years we have run individual coaching programmes for the rest of the executive board and advised and prepared them for major presentations to the investment community.

Increasing client pitch wins – International Bank

The Energy & Resources and Healthcare Division of a major international bank wanted to increase both the consistency and quality of how they pitched ideas to clients. We ran a series of two day workshops with a team of 50 Directors in the UK and Netherlands and advised in terms of delivery, technique, content, visual material and question handling. Pairs pitched ideas to each other and learnt as much role playing the client as they did pitching the ideas. Their confidence, teamwork and pitch success all dramatically improved as a result of the coaching. They also referred us on to other organisations which we took as a great compliment and indicates how much they value us.

Increasing Internal Buy-In to change – Global Broadcaster

We have worked with a division of a major broadcaster who needed to be able to communicate highly complex technical concepts to the rest of the organisation. Essentially we helped them to change the employee’s mindset as to how they went about their work as a result of these changes. They needed to convince, persuade and sell the ideas so employees could adapt to a fundamentally different broadcasting environment. Being clear, concise and able to communicate technical information to non-technical people was central to what we did here.

Improving Spoken and Written Communication – Major credit card provider

We have worked for over eight years with a major credit card provider at all levels, running individual coaching, group workshops and advising and rehearsing key presenter prior to major internal and external events. Such was the extent to which they valued our advice, we were asked to co-write their in house style guide to increase the quality & consistency of written communications to their members. We run regular programmes in London, Russia, South Africa and UAE.

Increasing the Passion at Internal Conferences – International Bank

Initially the Head of Employer Relations from a leading international bank approached us to assist him in preparing for a major conference event. One of the major challenges he faced was how to take dry HR data and concepts and put them over in both an interesting and memorable way. The event went so well and the individual benefited so much from the work that he wanted to embark on a structured coaching programme aimed at addressing all the situations where he had to influence and persuade others. Fundamental to designing the most appropriate programme was an accurate initial assessment of his personal needs. We did this through performing voice analysis, which highlighted both strengths and weaknesses. Our coaching focussed on getting him to be more emotionally expressive and sound more “fired up” about his subject matter with the result that his audiences found him more convincing, persuasive and interesting to listen to.

Raising Credibility – Leading Private Bank

Clearwater Advisors was approached by a member of a bank’s marketing team to discuss a need that had been identified around presentation and communication. Whilst the team were comfortable speaking to small groups they recognised that larger groups caused anxiety and there were performance issues. In addition to this the team had a number of other challenges included making their material interesting and cutting down the volume of material. Between us we defined specific outcomes as principally raising confidence and reducing the anxiety so that presentations could be taken in their stride rather than feared and avoided.

On the basis of this brief we designed a bespoke programme and came up with a number of delivery options for a group workshop. The group workshop covered Delivery skills, Content & Structure, Visual Aids (PowerPoint) and Question Handling. As the group was quite small, 3, this meant that each participant received a lot of individual practice while at the same time benefited from learning from others in a group situation. Following on from the group workshop each individual was given an aide memoire and received an email giving personal coaching points.

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