England & Wales Personal and organisational development

Seminar: Effective Communication Series: Giving effective speeches and presentations

Effective communication for councillors and officers

Community leaders and staff have more ways than ever before to engage with and respond to their residents.  This suite of seminars can be attended as stand-alone sessions or as a development suite.


A vital skill for both council officers and councillors is verbal communication, whether briefing individuals, small groups or speaking in public.

As budgets become tighter this becomes ever more vital to help the public understand your message and ensure decisions are made with the right information.  Many people feel a need to improve their confidence in giving verbal presentations or public speeches while others may enjoy it, but wish to build their skills in a supportive environment.

This seminar takes a highly practical approach and includes gentle practice to build confidence in presenting information to groups in a range of contexts.

We’d encourage you to join us whether you are new to giving presentations or wish to brush up your skills

Programme covers:

  • Planning and adapting your message:  Considering your objectives in speaking, using structures and how to prepare for ‘off the cuff’ remarks and to improvise.
  • Audience response – tailoring your message and style, dealing with interruptions, difficult audiences and building a rapport
  • Appropriate use of supporting materials – briefing notes, pre-written responses, PowerPoint.
  • Communication without words – using body language, tone and pitch
  • Using and managing your nerves and enjoying giving your presentation.
  • How to feel confident and communicate your personality and expertise

As part of the day participants will be able to work on real upcoming presentation that they will be making in their role or to use relevant case studies.



10:00 Registration & refreshments

10:30 Introductions

10:45 Identification of challenges
Planning a speech or presentation with a peer exercise

11:30 Break

11:45 “Off the cuff” – dealing with the unexpected and
benefiting from improvising – case study and exercise

12:30 Lunch

13:15 Working with your audience, tailoring your message and
building rapport: exercise

14:00 Supporting materials – preparing and using PowerPoint,
briefing notes, pre-written speeches: case study work

14:45 Non-verbal communication, managing nerves and having fun

15:00 Final case study work and next steps

15:30 Close

Who should attend?

This seminar will be relevant for local government officers and elected members wanting to improve on giving speeches and presentations.


Rachel Eden is an experienced trainer and leading member of a Unitary Authority. As a trainer she specialises in finance, management and social media and is a qualified management accountant. Rachel delivers training to individuals and groups ranging from employees of multinational corporations to volunteers at small charities.