By Keri Herlong, CPCU, CIC, CRM, CISR, ACSR, AIM, CIIP, CLP-A, DAE, CRIS
The Education Task Force recently completed the brand-new Confidence While Communicating® Essentials course. We took the full ten-class CWC and condensed it to focus on presentation skills and developing a comfort level with speaking, rather than training to excel in a speech competition.
The first course was taught in April 2023 to employees of one of our carrier partners with glowing reviews!
CWC Essentials is only four classes. Here is what you can expect from each class:
Purpose of effective communication
Effective listening skills and the correlation to improved speaking
Lexicology/vocabulary – word choice when speaking, including commonly misused words
Homework: Find and watch videos of prepared speeches online
How to prepare and present material in varied speaking settings
Coping with anxiety before and while speaking – preparation and practice techniques
Voice attributes and using proper breathing for effective speaking
Homework: Find and watch videos of impromptu speeches online, prepare for practicing impromptu speaking in the next session
Practice impromptu speaking
Creating biographies – brief, job specific, and detailed
Preparing for virtual presentations
Presenting virtually, including PowerPoint tips and other best practices
Homework: Find and watch TEDx talks – one about a subject you like, one about a subject you don’t like, compare them
Practice impromptu speaking
Practicing impromptu speaking with the group is an essential part of this course, even if the goal is not to compete. Students can read the study guide, listen to lecture, and observe others speaking; but putting it to practice in front of others in the group is crucial for improving speaking and presentation skills. This “essentials” class is geared toward getting people generally more comfortable with speaking. It does not have to be the first step in getting them comfortable “on stage”, although that could be a natural progression. Challenging students to think on their feet in a controlled environment starts building the muscle memory necessary to be able to contribute professionally and calmly in team meetings, visits with partners, explaining coverage or claims denials, and other challenging speaking environments.
For more information on offering the CWC Essentials at your company, please contact Amanda Hammerli at email@example.com.
Keri Herlong is a commercial underwriting consultant for Acuity and has been in the insurance industry for nearly 30 years. She has been a member of IAIP for over ten years and is a Nevada Member-at-Large. Since joining the association, she has served at the local level as Secretary, President-Elect, and President. She is Education Liaison for Region VII and serves on the International Education Task Force.
Keri has earned several awards from IAIP, including International Client Service Professional of the Year 2023 and International Risk Manager of the Year 2021. Her most recent accomplishments include revising and refining the Confidence While Communicating® course and condensing it to create CWC Essentials.
Keri is pursuing a bachelor’s in applied management at Grand Canyon University.
In 2021, she published her first book, Hindsight 2020, under the pen name Jessie Jericho.