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ANU Crawford School of Public Policy

Communicating in a political environment

One-day short course


1st September 2016


ANU Crawford School of Public Policy



This one-day program for senior executives in the public service provides an overview of the skills necessary to improve your presentation performance, examining your personal communication style and providing participants with a heightened awareness of the dynamics of communicating in a politically charged environment. This is an excellent session for those having to brief minister’s offices, through to handling presentations to key stakeholders and the general public.

Course overview

This is an outstanding workshop for those who will be required to speak publicly or address client meetings. It will sharpen your communication style and heighten your awareness of the client’s expectations and requirements. The workshop is full of useful and timely tips and lots of practical exercises to ensure you can immediately utilise the skills you develop.

In the morning the workshop will cover how to develop your pitch and how to handle stakeholders and public forums. Example topics that will be covered include:

  • Structuring your presentation
  • Critical decisions in what to include in your communication
  • Delivering formal and informal presentations
  • How to control nerves
  • What makes a great communicator
  • Handling difficult and challenging questions
  • Using PowerPoint effectively
  • Content: how much is too much
  • Designing support material

In the afternoon the workshop will progress to examining your communication skills, including:

  • Self-awareness – presentation and composure
  • Developing rapport with clients
  • The essential steps for preparing for client questions
  • What’s the best body language
  • How do I use your voice to your advantage
  • How do I avoid being misquoted or misunderstood

At the end of the workshop participants will:

  • Be more self-aware in their own communications style;
  • Understand the needs of their audience;
  • Be able to structure and deliver creative, thought provoking and memorable presentations to groups or clients; and
  • have a greater understanding of how to deal with clients and effectively handle client meetings.

Course convenor

Dr David Marshall, AM

Dr David Marshall has extensive experience in the media, having worked in radio as an announcer/commentator, then as Chief Executive of radio networks in South Australia, New South Wales and the ACT. He also worked with the Channel Nine Network for two years. David resides in Canberra, is currently the director of Talkforce Media. David is also chairman of the Snowy Hydro SouthCare Rescue Helicopter Service Trust, chairman of the Canberra Business Chamber’s Tourism Industry Advisory Council, is a director of CIT Solutions, the National Arboretum Canberra, and a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board.

David is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and received an Order of Australia (AM) for services to tourism, business, charities and health organisations. His doctoral thesis examined how Australian Prime Minister John Howard managed his media and strategic communications responsibilities within the office of the Prime Minister.

Course date:9.30am–4.30pm 1 September 2016
Venue: Crawford School, ANU
Enrol: T 02 6125 2154 E
Cost: $1,100 GST incl; Group discounts applicable

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