Communications Training

Checkmate’s training programs are custom built for you.  Gather up to seven of your friends, buckle up and prepare to stop misinformation in its tracks.  I go to your office, customize a program to specifically meet your needs, and in the course of just one or two days, you’ll learn how to calm a situation, deliver a key message in a trusted and credible way, and leave everyone smiling.

Risk Communications Training
When you want to communicate… and the news may not be good.

If you have a product which can draw ‘negative attention,’ my “Defending Good Science in Tough Times” communications training is ideal.  Let's teach you the skills to handle issues efficiently and proactively, before they become bigger problems. 

There are 7 cardinal rules of risk communication – or as I prefer to call them, “seven rules which can save your butt when **it hits the fan.  There are 14 message traps that will sink you the next time you’re facing a product recall – I'll teach you what they are.

There's a simple rule to follow when you're discussing your product with a man versus a woman – I'll show you how it works.  And I'll show you how and when it changes.

It's fun, it's interactive, and hands on.  If it's not fun, you don't learn.  I show lots of videos, and feel free to interrupt with questions.    Towards the end, we'll break out the video camera and run you through some custom scenarios.  After all – if you can't perform in your own board room, how will you perform in the field?

The best part - I absolutely, fully guarantee my work.  If you feel you didn’t get full value, you get your money back.  No harm, no foul, and no hard feelings.  (In seven years I’ve had to do this exactly once.)

This training isn't for everyone.  If you need to promote a new vacuum cleaner, risk communications training probably is not for you.  But if your product is attracting negative attention and you want to keep things rosy, this is perfect.

Download a sample agenda.

Crisis Communications Training
When it's time to communicate... and the news definitely isn't good.

You may have heard the Chinese have a word for crisis that’s a combination of “danger” and “opportunity.” 

Going through a crisis is NEVER fun.  But with the tools and techniques I walk you through in this one day class, I’ll show you how it can be one of the best opportunities your company may ever have.

Learn how to build confidence, even when you don’t have all the information.  Learn five things to remember when you’re dealing with the media during a crisis event.  And understand the trick to dealing with the simultaneous demands of media, emergency officials, governments, neighbours and internal employees.

This training is not for everyone.  So, as with all of my communications training programs, my work is fully guaranteed.  If you feel you didn’t receive value you get your money back – no harm, no foul.  If your preferred approach to crisis is to “duck and cover,” this training won’t suit your needs.  But if you want to learn how to turn danger into opportunity, buckle up and let’s go.

Communications Training for Non-Dummies
For engineers, scientists and other smart people who don’t have a communications background.

Have you ever thought “People wouldn’t worry about our product if they simply understood how it works?”  Now there’s help.

Your CEO is brilliant, but has a background in accounting, not upset soccer moms.  Your plant supervisor is a leading expert on chemical distribution, but gets uncomfortable dealing with governments.  Your people are brilliant, but you wouldn’t ask a chemist to build you a rocket.   This is why I’ve created a one-of-a-kind training program, specifically built for technically-trained staff.

If your company manufactures a new technology, you need this training.  If you are a trade association and your frontline staff hasn’t had this training, you’re selling yourself short.

Using techniques that anyone can understand, I’ll walk you through how to build a key message that actually works.  I’ll teach you how to describe your product – no matter how complex - in one sentence. 

We’ll put your frontline staff on camera, and then we’ll drill on how to deal with anything from upset neighbours to nosy reporters.  I’ll suggest protocols that help everyone understand who should be talking with whom.  I’ll give you the tools to build trust and credibility.

Media Training
How to stay in control of your key message, especially when there’s a microphone.

Congratulations – perhaps your background is in marketing or sales and you’ve found yourself responsible for media.  Maybe your heart skips a beat when you discover there’s a reporter on the phone.  There is help.

Checkmate’s Media Training is NOT for everyone.  If you need advice on how to craft a perfect pitch call or how to stage a product launch, I can give you the name of some really good companies.  But if you are occasionally dealing with a reactive media, this training is ideal.

I’ll help you learn how to develop a key message – and stick to it.  I’ll teach you when to take control of a media interview, and when to simply sit back and let the reporter dictate terms (hint: never.)

In the words of 60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl, “We’re the media, we’re not your friends.”   There’s no reason we can’t be friendly and polite… but at the end of the day, Checkmate’s media training is specifically designed to let you be in control of the interview, and ultimately, your message.

If you have any questions about our programs, feel free to ask. You can reach me through any of the methods outlined here, email me, or call me at (888)662-4550.