Public Speaking

Zurich Insurance Group is one of the world’s largest insurance groups, and one of the few to operate on a truly global basis.

Lord Leitch served as Chief Executive Officer of the UKISA and Asia Pacific Business Divisions within Zurich. Since leaving there he has held many senior positions including Chairman at Scottish Widows plc, Deputy Chairman at Lloyds Banking Group plc, and a member of the Board of Old Mutual Wealth.

CHALLENGE

It was his promotion to Chief Executive of Allied Dunbar in 1993 that prompted Sandy Leitch to contact communications experts, Aziz Corporate.

Although already an accomplished communicator, his new position entailed a heavy schedule of speaking engagements to audiences of all sizes around the country, culminating in an annual presentation to over 2,000 top achievers in the massive auditorium of Wembley Conference Centre.

 

BENEFITS

Lord Leitch put what he had learned into practice immediately and noticed a significant improvement in his delivery to groups of all sizes. He was able to delivery confidently, with his new awareness that it wasn’t just about what he said, but how he came across to the audience; that enthusiasm, posture and confidence are all equally important in getting the message across.

OUTCOME

“As a busy chief executive with a million things to do, it would have been easy to neglect spoken communication skills. But speech making is a vital part of a chief executives job and I could not afford to be complacent. Aziz Corporate’s tough programme of one-to-one tutorials ensured I got maximum benefit from their expertise. The course really tested my abilities but brought immediate and noticeable results.”

Challenge

It was his promotion to Chief Executive of Allied Dunbar in 1993 that prompted Sandy Leitch to contact communications expert, Aziz Corporate. Although already an accomplished communicator, his new position entailed a heavy schedule of speaking engagements to audiences of all sizes around the country, culminating in an annual presentation to over 2,000 top achievers in the massive auditorium of Wembley Conference Centre.

The Aziz Programme

Aziz Corporate devised a personalised programme for Sandy, carefully tailored to his capabilities. Intensive half- day sessions took place over a four-month period and were recorded so that he could see himself in action. In addition, his coach, Khalid Aziz, provided objective criticism in a way that colleagues could not, ensuring clinical scrutiny of his performance.

During the course of the coaching, Sandy commented “As a professional from outside the company he (Khalid) could look at me objectively as an individual. He could be very direct and hone-in on my idiosyncrasies, ” recalls Lord Leitch. “I clearly remember my first tutorial – it was somewhat robust! But criticism was always constructive, designed to improve how I presented myself.”

Having always delivered formal speeches from written scripts, Aziz Corporate encouraged Sandy to discard this prop. “My norm is now to speak from bullet points written on cards. It means I can ad lib, relax, adapt to the audience and be myself.”

For the 40 minute Wembley presentation, which involved videos and slides, he also learned techniques that helped him use an autocue more effectively.

Benefits

Leitch put what he had learned into practice immediately and noticed a significant improvement in his delivery to groups of all sizes. He was able to deliver confidently, with his new awareness that it wasn’t just about what he said, but how he came across to the audience: that enthusiasm, posture, and confidence are all equally important in getting the message across.

Our Communications Coaching Expertise

We offer expertise on all themes of communication skills through our team of subject matter specialists which includes experts in presentation skills, storytelling, difficult conversations, media training, written communications, influencing and personal impact.

Senior Leadership Challenges

Often we are asked to provide communication support in advance of a conference, a financial roadshow, a results presentation or an AGM. A typical client has often just been promoted into a bigger leadership role and finds themselves having to step out of their comfort zone, communicating with a broader range of audiences (and often more senior), with a more business critical agenda and in a more pressurised environment. The goal might be preparation and rehearsal for a set piece event, help with getting your voice heard around the Boardroom table or handling challenge and conflict without getting too emotional.

Our Approach to Communication Coaching

We offer both unique 1:1 coaching programmes for senior leaders needing to polish their communication skills as well as bespoke in-house group workshops and both as face-to-face classroom-based sessions and virtually.

Communicating well from the top of an organisation is crucial. It sets the direction, tone and style and it gives a key competitive edge.

I clearly remember my first session – it was somewhat robust! But criticism was always constructive, designed to improve how I presented myself.

For a non-salesy, no obligation conversation to find out whether we're the right solution for you and your organisation, give us a call.

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