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.



9:30     Registration & Refreshments

10:00   Introduction

  • Timetable
  • Aims for the day

10:15   The challenges of speaking and presenting

  • Overcoming fears and concerns
  • What are you communicating?

     Planning your speech

  • The outline of your speech

11:00   Morning break

11:30   Planning your speech (cont’d)

Dealing with the unexpected

  • Adapting and improvising

12:45   Lunch

13:15   Working with your audience

  • Building rapport
  • Why are they here?

     PowerPoint, notes and handouts

  • Things to do (and to avoid)
  • Best practice

14:15   Afternoon break

14:30   Non-verbal communication

  • Body language and delivery

     From nerves to having fun

  • Delivering your speech

15:30   Close


Malcolm Powers is a former Councillor and Cabinet Member in a Unitary Authority. He has over fifteen years experience delivering training to to local government members and community campaigners. He specialises in communications at all levels and stakeholder engagement.

Who should attend?

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