The SA Trade Hub held a Persuasive Communication and Negotiation Training from August 18-19, 2015 in Lusaka, Zambia. The training was made available to members of the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program- Zambia (AWEP).
Twenty AWEP members attended – including 11 participants from outside of Lusaka and nine participants based in Lusaka. Women business owners and entrepreneurs from a variety of business sectors attended, including: agribusiness and farming, textiles, crafts, mining and machinery. Participants possessed a range of business expertise and experience with many of the women holding previous careers as teachers, airline attendants, or nurses before deciding to register and begin their own businesses.
The training included an interactive lecture on the central principles of communication, with participatory discussions, activities, and exercises on impact and delivery styles, visual and verbal presentation techniques, goal and audience, how to structure a speech or presentation, confidence and assertiveness, as well as discussions on how culture and gender influence communication. After learning negotiation strategies, participants split into groups and practiced different negotiation role-plays for realistic scenarios they may encounter in business. The second day addressed the key principles of persuasion - including how to establish credibility and trust and six techniques to being more persuasive.
One participant during the impromptu speech exercise trembled as she began to speak and was unable to begin her speech. After deep breaths and questions to prompt her to begin, the exercise went forward. At the end of the impromptu speeches, the nervous participant said, “That wasn’t so bad,” and admitted following the training it was the first time she had ever made a public speech or presentation. Following completion of the two-day workshop, the AWEP participants received a certificate of completion.
Photo: Persuasive communications training participants in Lusaka.