Media Training, Presentation & Speech Coaching, and Executive Presence Coaching
Jeff Leshay’s highly-acclaimed, customized training sessions have equipped executives, entrepreneurs, technologists, physicians, lawyers, thought leaders, company spokespeople and PR professionals to deliver compelling, persuasive messages in even the most challenging of media interviews, presentations and other forums.
Presentation & Speech Coaching
Message Development & Story Creation
At the heart of the most compelling communications are succinct and persuasive messages that prompt action. However, simply making bold, and too often hollow, statements about the organizations and brands we represent doesn’t cut it.
The media, analysts, customers, partners, consumers, shareholders and other target audiences are constantly bombarded with promotional claims. In order to cut through the clutter, truly distinguish our organizations and engage stakeholders, we must support our claims with persuasive facts, statistics, examples, anecdotes and third-party support. In other words, we need to build and communicate a compelling, yet concise, body of evidence that substantiates our claims.
Leshay Communications’ strategic message development process typically includes the following activities:
- Review of the client’s business objectives and any existing messages, positioning statements, marketing materials, research, analyst reports and media clips
- Identification of target audiences whose actions are necessary to achieve the client’s business goals, and the biggest challenges in getting through to those stakeholders
- Facilitation of a customized, three-to-four-hour message development workshop, including participation of executives from key functional areas in the company. This session focuses on:
- Identifying the most important and differentiating claims necessary to engage target audiences and prompt them to take supportive action
- Building a body of evidence, or “proof points,” that support those claims and truly distinguish the client, i.e., key facts, statistics, research, examples, anecdotes and third-party support
- Follow-up refinement and presentation to client of persuasive, flexible messaging platform that will serve as the foundation for consistent and effective communications
- Additional options include:
- Development of a message map – a single-page graphic summarizing the messaging platform
- A “60-second elevator speech” to ensure the company’s executives are equipped with a clear, concise and compelling synopsis of the story that can be quickly told – anytime, anywhere
Facilitation & Hosting of Corporate Events and Videos
During his more than 25 years in television news and public relations, Jeff Leshay has facilitated hundreds of strategic planning, team-building, message development and creative brainstorming sessions. Jeff’’s extensive preparation for these programs means he is able to challenge participants with insightful, thought-provoking questions that advance the agenda. His personable approach engages all participants in the process. And his leadership skills ensure that intended outcomes are achieved.
Jeff has frequently served as a moderator of panel discussions and “town hall” meetings featuring senior executives, government officials, physicians, scientists, educators, authors and journalists – always ensuring that information is delivered in compelling, entertaining and memorable ways. He has often served as a featured speaker himself, addressing issues, trends and best practices in reputation management, public relations and the media.
Coaching for Earnings Calls & Investor Days
When it comes to demonstrating value and managing reputation, quarterly earnings calls present tremendous opportunities. Savvy leadership teams distinguish their organizations, get ahead of and shape perception around challenging issues, and build credibility through effective financial storytelling. Yet too often these opportunities are missed because of insufficient preparation and practice. Or worse, poor preparation results in an inadvertent, incorrect or misleading disclosure.
The most effective quarterly earnings calls are those for which a company’s leaders are well-prepared – comfortable with the script; conversational in the way they’re able to deliver the information; and confident in their ability to respond succinctly and credibly to even the most challenging of questions and “bridge,” or segue, to positive data and perspective.
Investor days present similar opportunities for companies to paint a clear and vibrant picture of their vision, strategy, progress, and key milestones. Given that both the quality of the information shared and the way in which it is delivered can influence valuation and investment decisions, the right kinds of preparation and practice for investor days are critical.
Jeff Leshay has successfully coached leaders at dozens of Fortune 500 and many other companies in preparation for quarterly earnings calls, investor days, annual meetings, keynote addresses, and media interviews – in good times and bad. As an award-winning on-air business and financial correspondent with CNBC and FOX News, Leshay dug deep in his coverage of public companies and the financial markets. During the nearly two decades since, he has paired a knack for anticipating tough questions with his highly acclaimed ability to teach leaders to turn even the most challenging of “hardball” questions into reputation-enhancing opportunities.
Leshay’s real-world, practice-oriented approach consistently results in clearer, more compelling scripts and talking points, and polishes the financial storytelling skills of individual executives.
Leshay has garnered plenty of experience himself in addressing testy questions from analysts and media. He has served as the head of communications at two public companies, as a leader at three of the world’s largest PR firms, and now as president of Leshay Communications, the consultancy he founded in 2011 to focus first and foremost on executive communications coaching.
Leshay Communications works with clients to protect and enhance their reputation by anticipating, preparing for and managing difficult business challenges. Jeff Leshay has counseled numerous Fortune 100, mid-sized and small companies, as well as not-for-profit organizations, on how to respond to crisis situations quickly, transparently and effectively. He regularly engages with clients in the following crisis management initiatives:
- Risk assessment of potential issues and crises
- Crisis preparation, training and simulations
- Development of issue-specific and multi-issue crisis plans
- 24/7 support during crises
- Direction and support in recovery of reputation
Jeff’s has worked with companies in many different industries to manage crisis situations, including but not limited to:
- Allegations of false and misleading advertising
- Product recalls and failures
- Class-action lawsuits
- Government investigations
- Corporate restructurings and reduction-in-force initiatives
- Labor relations
- Breach of data privacy
- Challenges presented by NGOs and other activists
- Workplace injuries
- Workplace violence
- Natural disasters
- Environmental issues
- Allegations of financial malfeasance
- Allegations of sexual and racial discrimination
- Trademark disputes and allegations of patent infringement