Thu 05 Dec 2019
Since 2015, following the General Election, Dods Training has delivered around 90 courses and trained over 1,200 members of staff in the UK Parliament. Due to the result of the election, there were many new faces within the walls of the Houses of Parliament and a great opportunity for us to upskill them in Minute Taking, Essential Writing, Media Handling and Social Media, and Speech Writing.
Building on the strong links we have nurtured over a century with the UK Parliament, we are able to tailor our learning materials and courses content appropriately for staff so that they are able to meet both Houses’ organisational aims and objectives and the delegates’ own personal development needs.
As part of our training offering in Media Handling and Social Media skills, our trainers start by clarifying communication objectives with delegates by firstly strengthening their understanding of traditional and online media platforms, and how the roles they perform within Parliament is influenced by the complex modern media landscape. Participants spend time delving into the world of social media including blogging, web content creation, and twitter. Subsequently, they look at how they can best prepare themselves or a colleague, whether it be an MP they work for or a subject matter expert, for an on-screen interview. Our expert trainers share their top tips for looking and sounding good on live radio and TV interviews and at press conferences, and how to handle hostile questions.
Our Essential Writing skills and Minute Taking course looks at the principles of good writing, using Plain English and the POWER model, and it includes practical exercises on writing a letter, writing a Brief to MPs and constituents, summarising, proofing, and editing a document in a concise and jargon free manner.
The speech writing course we deliver looks at the principles of speech-writing such as the use of rhetorical devices and the need for a strong opener, then moves to look at some well-known speeches and how they are structured (text plus video), and ends with a practical speech writing exercise based around funding for the next Olympics. Using these examples helps bring the training to life.
As a result of all training we have delivered for House of Commons staff, delegates have improved their knowledge and understanding of how to effectively communicate with their MPs constituency, improved their understanding of the current media environment and can now use this knowledge to their advantage. They are better equipped to produce clear messages that are appropriate, effective, and strategic and can be more effective in interacting with the media.
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