Teaching Leaders to Talk

In a city known mostly for its oil and gas industries, we expect to find a lot of executives here, and we do. What we might not expect is the high number of professional theatres and playwrights the city boasts.

And now, Ken Cameron (Top 40 Under 40 Alumni 2006) is bringing the seemingly disparate fields of business and theatre together.

“It’s not a new idea to use theatre skills in a business context,” says Cameron. After working as a playwright, dramaturge and as the artistic director the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, Cameron has developed a strong sense of how to communicate information. His latest venture, Brave Communications, offers a series of speaker training sessions and one-on-one coaching sessions that teach business leaders presentation fundamentals.

The sessions were so popular with one of Cameron’s first practice teaching subjects that she actually partnered with Cameron to create Brave Communications.

“I did some sessions with Kelly Schuler and she loved it so much she wanted to be involved more,” says Cameron. “So she brought [Brave Communications] in as a division of her company, Desnoyers-Schuler Inc.”

Brave Communications offers a series of four workshops for business leaders covering all the bases for making presentations. The session “Are You Speaking Like a Leader or Are You Just Talking?” uses theatre techniques such as plot development to help craft better, more targeted messages. Other sessions focus on incorporating presentation tools such as PowerPoint effectively, using emotion without getting emotional, and how to use delivery skills to make your point.

The four sessions are designed to be modular, meaning you don’t need to take all of them to benefit from the lessons.

Cameron also offers companies and executives the opportunity to work directly on a specific presentation and communication skills.

“I’ve performed all my life — I’ve been in the theatre for 20 years,” says Cameron. “I’m really, really comfortable on the stage and I’ve integrated the lessons I’ve learned into Brave Communications.”

The lessons learned are reinforced through what Cameron calls “multiple intelligences,” or different ways of learning. For example, the workbook is designed for those learners who get the most out of reading and writing lessons, group discussion helps to suss out different takes and various experiences from the participants, and physical reenactments help kinetic learners commit the lessons to memory.

“Brave Communications is for people who have to communicate persuasively, and I believe everyone needs to be persuasive,” says Cameron. “Imagine if everyone on your staff communicated effectively. Most employees do benefit from that skill.”

Brave Communications offers a series of sessions. To find more information, visit growyourmarket.ca/training.html

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