Case Studies

Discovery Channel Case Study


The Brief
Discovery Communications Europe Ltd. are part of the world’s leading producer and distributor of non fiction television programmes.  They have a firm commitment to optimising a working population whose talent and passion are a congruent representation of their brand values.
They partner with the Propeller Group for the provision of their Europe wide presentation skills training. The needs of the group are diverse. There are senior executives looking for extra polish through to new recruits who have never had to use platform skills. In between are a myriad of differing abilities and a range of presenting scenarios. Some presenters have to share potentially uninspiring information on viewing figures and scheduling whilst others may be pitching a new innovation or creative solution.  The collective list of challenges that many employees face include:- situational nerves, an over reliance on powerpoint, a lack of structure, varying levels of energy and connection with the audience as well as feedback from colleagues about a variety of erroneous habits when presenting.
The Solution
Propeller worked with the Learning & Development function to initially produce a two tier approach. An introductory day was pitched at people who were relatively new to presenting whilst a more profound two day workshop was also designed to assist seasoned presenters in growing.
For both programmes, Propeller designed a unique and colourful approach which reflected the client’s creative working practices and innovative / fun culture. There were empowering pieces of personal development and psychology that were used to leverage a traditional set of presenting tools. These were in turn bolstered by lively dissections of the world’s greatest presentations as well as fast moving exercises that integrated the learning in an effective way. As well as quality mentoring from the expert trainer, participants also grew in stature by consistently giving and receiving feedback from each other.
The Result
The first tangible outcome from the two courses was that the participants visibly grew in stature during the training itself. Unlike some programmes that aim to give participants ‘quick fixes’ to mask nerves the Propeller approach was to actually have delegates move beyond fear. The second positive output was the groundswell of enthusiastic feedback which led to a flurry of ‘word of mouth’ enrolments on subsequent deliveries.
These positive results led to the 2010 programme being extended into a three tier offering. Previous participants requested a one day Master class where they could learn even more advanced material and other members of the Discovery community wanted a more basic starting point where they could gain the confidence to present in front of their peers in the first place. The master class uses recording equipment so people can see the difference between their self perception and reality and contains even more detailed trainer mentoring whereas the new ‘entry level’ programme covers more ground on confidence building so participants see themselves as a credible presenter.