No one can do what Amy does “As we built the foundation of our new grassroots program, we knew our franchisees would be the most valuable part of it. They are a willing audience, but we needed to train them for the unique needs of grassroots organizing in a corporate franchised system. Amy kept them engaged, provided hands-on coaching and new tactics to help them be successful at influencing policymakers and their franchise colleagues. No one else can do what Amy does because she understands corporate and political realities as well as how to bring out the best from our grassroots leaders.”–Mary Schell, Senior Vice President, The Wendy's Company, Inc.
The TSG Training Approach
- Staff Development Workshops
Prior to starting her consulting practice, Amy managed the Nationwide Civic Action Program for nine years. Under her tenure, over 2,000 public affairs professionals in the country rated it as one of the top two corporate grassroots programs in the country. (Ed Grefe and Martin Linsky, The New Corporate Activism). At Nationwide, she collaborated with and hired consultants and trainers to help develop her grassroots members’ political acumen and motivation. While she experienced many successful collaborations, she realized that many of the speakers were either reading their text, or providing the exact same speech year after year-complete with the same tired jokes. Amy knew that audiences today are sophisticated, demanding, and require interaction and innovative content. She also recognized that audience members need to know not just how to communicate with and educate lawmakers, but more importantly, how to influence them.
- Science of Influence Workshops for Lobbying, Grassroots & PAC Professionals
Unlike other organizations, TSG does not consider “customized training” to be programs that are pulled off the shelf and presented with your organization’s name thrown in during the training. You tell us your highest priority outcomes and we reverse–engineer the process to design a curriculum that produces your highest priority outcomes.
All of our efforts are custom-designed based on learning outcomes that reflect comments and feedback from the actual trainees and staff that we collect prior to the training. We do, however, offer numerous signature programs that use formats we have refined over time as the starting point for your custom-designed effort. Several of our workshops are based on proprietary TSG grassroots research offered only through The Showalter Group, Inc.
- Grassroots & PAC Advocate Workshops
Awesome and Quite Entertaining "Amy is awesome and quite entertaining in her PAC presentation on how to "just ask!" –Bette McTamney, President Elect , Pennsylvania Association of Realtors®
“We take our clients from activity to achievement. We don’t believe that “grassroots advocacy” or “PAC fundraising” represents what should be your ultimate goal: grassroots and PAC persuasion. We believe it’s about the result, not the activity. Here’s how we do it.
- Persuasive Presentation Skills For Public Affairs Staff
How many times have you or your staff made the ubiquitous “legislative update” or PAC presentation? How many times have you left feeling your audience did not understand, and certainly did not appreciate your message?
If you are adequate, your audience will say, “I learned a lot from that presentation.” If you are better, they will say, “I want to know how I can help.” If you are good and that means moving them to become grassroots evangelists, (the apex for all grassroots leaders), they will say, “I am so motivated to do something right now. I am going to go recruit several new members and others to serve as Key Contacts!” If you are really good, the Vice President of Sales/Membership asks, “Would you work for me?” Which response do you usually receive?
Amy's thorough and thoughtful approach to presentation coaching enabled me to deliver a major presentation with great success and high-impact results. Amy challenged me to highlight key points with proven techniques instead of just saying words. I've never delivered a presentation with so much confidence and credibility. As a result of this presentation, I have unprecedented support for my strategic plan and am working to build a movement within our grassroots program.”–SUZANNE PECHILIO POLIS, Trust for America's Health, WASHINGTON, D.C.
I loved the multi-dimensional format. I have participatd in public speaking workshops and media training, but never as in depth as this. It was more supportive, effective, and less stressful than other workshops I've taken."–Kim Calder, Director of Health Policy, National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The small group size and personal attention was nice. I feel more confident. I love this workshop because it was very fun and very helpful. I only wished it lasted longer.” –Joseph Russell, Policy and Advocacy Director, Ohio Association of County Boards of DD
Amy shared new, up-to-date concepts, but what really made this event stand out is that we had the opportunity to practice what we learned and insert it into our own presentation. It was extremely collegial. Amy made it comfortable for us to get up and try new techniques on the fly. Her input was excellent, and getting the impressions of other classmates was an added benefit."*
The way to establish credibility before you even open your mouth was very valuable. I'm working on that (and also for my staff) immediately."*
Great workshop. I'm looking forward to my next presentation, and I never feel that way. Amy does a great job of personalizing the workshop experience and making you feel comfortable. I loved the section on how to make the presentation your own by using humor and authentic stories. I started my 'Humor Journal' over the weekend!"*
Practicing in front of my colleagues and getting constructive criticism has rocked my world. Also the tips to structure your presentation differently by not doing the typical Q&A at the end of a presentation is brilliant."*
I wish this were a two-day course v. a one-day course."*
*contact information available upon request
Abundance Dilutes Impact
Being able to galvanize stakeholders beyond your printed materials will give you an advantage over your opponents. Your opponents likely use the same tools that you use to motivate and organize your stakeholders. Thus, the abundance of the same techniques on both sides of an issue dilutes the impact of each technique! What can differentiate equal amounts of money, staff resources, and strategy is a person who can motivate and coach their grassroots activists to become raging, relentless grassroots thunder activists.
If you believe, “It will never change, they just don’t understand what we do,” you are mistaken! Remember—effective testimony to a local, state or federal agency is not the same as making a compelling presentation to those you also need on your side – your employees or members.
Improving your public speaking skills has many tangible results, including:
- more motivated grassroots members;
- increased grassroots participation because of members who become evangelists for your cause;
- increased internal organization support for your efforts; and,
- higher personal and departmental visibility within your organization.
How We Do It
In this intense, yet comfortable, confidence-building session, you will be asked to participate in active learning exercises which will teach you:
- how to reduce fear on the platform by capitalizing on your innate speaking style and strengths;
- how to create original material that motivates your audience;
- how to use questions and follow up to maximize learning retention among your audience;
- how to make your role and complex legislative issues understandable to your audience;
- the three ingredients of any successful presentation; and,
- how to handle hostile questions, audience negativity, and “hecklers.”
We are so confident of our ability to improve and transform your presentation skills that this service comes with a full money back guarantee.
Amy Showalter is a highly rated presenter who has galvanized thousands of grassroots enthusiasts, PAC peer recruiters and public affairs staff to advance their cause politically. She is the only grassroots and PAC trainer who has actually lead, motivated and coached PAC recruiters and grassroots volunteers in the real world. She knows your challenges because she has lived through them.
More Trainee Comments
“I found the video of myself and the group critique very helpful. Amy has a lot of helpful suggestions such as using personal stories and how to use them effectively. She's a great communicator and makes it fun.”
“Amy taught me how to be myself on the platform. It's easier, and it makes me much more credible. Amy herself has great eye contact and controls the momentum in our sessions.”
“I'm going to use this information to have fun in speaking. Coming up with good stories to tell people will make my presentations even stronger.”
“Amy creates a very comfortable learning environment”
“Amy has found her calling!”
“Great for all levels—she improves the skills of the developing speaker and the experienced ones also.”
- What's the business case for a presentation by Amy Showalter?
The Business Case for Amy’s Presentations
We know that you have to justify every meeting investment. Your reputation and stakeholder involvement are “on the line” in many conferences. It is imperative for government relations professionals to show a training ROI. Here’s how we help you get the most for your investment.
1. Willingness to Measure Training Results – Amy knows that you put your reputation on the line every time you hire a speaker. The goal of her presentation is behavior change, and she will measure the “before and after” habits of your attendees to ascertain the true ROI of your training investment.
2. Audience Recognition — Amy will interview your meeting attendees in advance so that she can feature their successes and challenges during the presentation. This makes your meeting participants an integral part of the presentation, and provides meaningful recognition to your star volunteers.
3. Thought Leadership — Amy’s insights have been featured in over 500 publications. Her blog “Politicking the Bottom Line” appears on Forbes.com, and her work has been featured on CNNMoney, cnbc.com, Foxnews.com and Politico. She is also the author of five books, including The Underdog Edge: How Ordinary People Change the Minds of the Powerful… and Live to Tell About It (Morgan James), and “The Art and Science of the BFF: 105 Ways to Build Relationships on The Hill, at The State House, and in City Hall” which has sold over 17,000 copies.
4. Amy Has Been a Government Relations Practitioner — Amy is the only grassroots expert who has actually led a highly esteemed grassroots organization which was ranked as one of the top two in the nation. (Grefe & Linsky, The New Corporate Activism) She knows about the challenges of gaining internal supporters, internal politics, and implementing new programs because she has lived through them.
5. Proprietary Content — Our methodology , strategies and techniques are based on primary research and are not in the public domain. This helps clients execute evidence-based strategies for long term success. Amy feels great when an audience member (usually a government relations professional) says: “When I hear Amy speak, I always learn something new.”
6. Focus on Creating Internal Evangelists — Amy’s methodology empowers and equips your stakeholders to create momentum and motivation you need to propel your movement. By having them share their persuasive PAC narratives or their grassroots story, Amy helps your stakeholders multiply their impact.