Award winning training

Dramatic Solutions’ End of Life Communication training programme has won an award from the International Journal of Palliative Nursing (IJPN).

Dramatic Solutions and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust developed the programme in partnership. The need to improve communication with patients nearing the end of their lives, and with their relatives, was identified by a consultation group. The group, which was organised by the Trust, comprised patients, carers, doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. We were invited to meet with this group to hear their views and to work with them to develop a training programme for a very sensitive subject area.

Mary Fisher,  Palliative Care Team Lead Redditch and Bromsgrove for the Trust and Dramatic Solutions’ Project Manager, Helen Timmins devised the programme. They used the Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People’s “One Change to Get It Right” document as a guideline.

The session used drama based scenarios to look at the problems associated with having open and honest conversations with people who are dying. It gave delegates the opportunity to practice new skills through one to one role-play using Dramatic Solutions’ actors as the simulated patients and relatives.

Worcestershire Trust made the training available to all staff who might be involved with such difficult conversations and a wide cross section of Health Professionals were represented in the sessions.

Following the success of the programme at Worcestershire the programme was taken up by Health Education England and was rolled out in the counties of Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

NHS: End of life communications

We have recently worked with an NHS organisation to improve the experience for those patients who are approaching the end of lives. Communicating with patients, their families and carers, in an accessible and sensitive way is crucial. Yet poor communication is cited in more than 50% of the complaints received by the Health Ombudsman. NICE have recently created new guidelines to help NHS staff improve these crucial skills.

The events were delivered to a range of patient-facing staff and focused on how we could improve their communications.  We used facilitated discussions, theatrical scenarios that staff recognised from their working lives and Forum Theatre, where the staff were in control of the theatre and how the scenes evolved. This interactive learning style changed behaviours and dramatically increased skills.

Learning outcomes:

  • An understanding of commonly encountered issues relating to communication in practice
  • Participants reflected on their own practice, recognising strengths and weaknesses
  • Development of knowledge and communication skills through observation and participation in the training
  • A ‘tool kit’ and strategy to use in practice
  • Increased confidence in engaging in end of life conversations in line with the 5 Priorities of care outlined within the ‘One Chance to get it Right’ document.


When asked whether staff had the effective strategies to help them in conversations relating to end of life care, pre and post training evaluations showed a 67% increase in confidence following our training.

Our training programme saw a 50% increase in confidence in facilitating a discussion with a patient and their family about the probability of dying.

Pre and post training evaluations revealed that staff at the Trust were 40% more confident in responding to questions that arose about the probability of dying.

NHS staff were asked before and after the training, how confident they were in eliciting and actively exploring a dying person’s needs and wishes and ensuring they are fulfilled. The post training evaluations revealed a 47% increase.

To find out more contact us today.

To find out more about the techniques described above click here.

EoL 1b

Presentation Skills Blog Launched

We are delighted to announce our new Presentation Skills blog, Presentation Skills Expert.
The aim of the blog is to share our knowledge and expertise in an informal way. Each blog post will address an individual part of presentation skills. It’s searchable by subject area, so if there’s a particular thing that you want to know about you can search for it.
You can also subscribe to the blog so that you will be notified by email whenever a new post is published.
For the most part the blogs will be written by our Managing Director and all-round presentation skills enthusiast Colin Rote, but there will also be occasional blogs by our other course leaders. An additional feature will also be occasional blogs from speakers who have benefited from training in presentation skills with us, so that they can share their personal insights from the real world of presenting.

Check out the blog at

Powerful Presentation SKills eBook

10 Tips Top Presenters Use To Improve Presentation Skills

Presenting is a technique that can be improved through presentation skills training. Whether you need to improve your technique for presenting to an audience of ten or a thousand people these tips that top presenters use are guaranteed to help you improve!


10 tips to improve your presentation skills



  1. Get emotional – great speakers use the emotions of their audience to motivate them to listen and act.
  2. Start with a bang. They grab the attention of the audience in the first 30 seconds of their presentations.
  3. Use the rule of 3. 3 is a magic number for getting people to remember things so they break their presentations into 3 sections and have 3 points to support each major point.
  4. Rehearse – no great speaker “wings it”. Mark Twain said it took him 3 weeks tomprepare an impromptu speech.
  5. Never rush. Great speakers know it’s more powerful to say a few things slowly than to say a lot of things fast.
  6. Repeat yourself.  Repetition makes key messages lodge in the brains of the audience – Remember Martin Luther King Jnr’s I have a dream speech?
  7. Talk with your hands. Using hand gestures helps us to understand what’s being said.
  8. Play with words. Using work patterns, rhymes and alliteration helps a message stick.
  9. Make sense of big numbers by using commonly understood comparisons. Like, if all the people in the world who don’t have clean water and sanitation were in one country it would be the 3rd most populated country in the world.
  10. Finish with a call to action. Great speakers never let their speeches peter out at the end. They finish with a strong statement which is often a call to action – telling the audience what they should do.

Dramatic Solutions are experts in using actors to help your staff improve their presentation skills. Offering training courses on leadership and management too we can help give you dramatic results!

presentation skills training

What is unconscious bias training?

The learning and development world is abuzz with the need for unconscious bias training. But what is it and why is it to so important?

We all have biases. We make instant decisions about people based on our own experiences. This means we are communicating and judging situations based on in-grained stereotypes. This is in contrast to what we consciously believe. Most of UK workers believe they are not biased. After all they have gone through diversity training. Unconscious bias means that the thoughts and ideas going on without our knowledge may make us unknowingly prejudiced at work and in our personal lives.

Unconscious bias training is extremely important. Without it all your hard work on diversity, equality and inclusion training may be completely undone. This may mean that your staff may be contravening the Equality Act, even without knowing they are. They may be discriminating unconsciously and may find themselves at the centre of discrimination, harassment or victimisation enquiries.

What can you do? Drama based training offers unique insights into unconscious bias. It allows you to train your staff so that they can see those subtle biases that we all display.  The scenarios are delivered by professional actors. Using drama based training allows your staff to explore their unconscious bias in a safe environment. They can then practice the skills required to handle situations effectively.

Unconscious bias training could form an important part of your wider leadership training programmes, customer service training or diversity programmes. It effects our daily working lives. We all gravitate to people who think like us, look like us and have the same social background. Our own ingrained beliefs should not allow us to make the wrong business decisions. Unconscious bias training is something that every business should invest in, no matter how big or small. Drama based training is a great way to bring this difficult subject to life.

Take a look at our unconscious bias training here


dramatic solutions news

New for 2015: unconscious bias & resilience programmes

We have been busy creating and delivering new programmes for our clients and included some new details on the website. Our unconscious bias training is very much on the HR agenda. It has been created in response to an increasing need to tackle unconscious bias within the workplace and support diversity and inclusion.

Take a closer look at unconscious bias here

We have also noticed that despite the UK economy climbing out of the recession, pressure remains at an all time high. This coupled with the never ending need for change means that managers and their staff need to be better equipped to deal with pressure. That’s where our pressure resilience training comes in. It has been created to ensure staff can better handle change and increasing pressure.

Take a closer look at change management & pressure resilience here




dramatic solutions news

Do you need to create dramatic results from your training programmes?

We recently completed a number of 4 day personal impact and presentation skills training programmes for a large insurance company, based in Europe. We used drama-based training and role play, working with their IT managers to become more persuasive, present powerfully, and communicate across differing cultures as they managed teams remotely across different continents. The training worked on the toughest communication challenges being faced personally by the IT managers.

The results were fantastic:

Following the training the managers found that their communication skills had increased by 22% on average. 96% were certain they would use what they had learnt in the workplace.

Aston University in Birmingham

Customer Service Excellence at Aston University

Aston University, based in the centre of Birmingham, was founded in 1895 and has been a University since 1966. It is a long established research-led University known for its world-class teaching quality and strong links to industry, government and commerce.

Dramatic Solutions were approached by Patrick Buckley, Professional Development Advisor at Aston University. The aim was to dramatically raise customer experience levels in both their busy library and sports centre, known as Sport Aston. Both facilities were extremely popular with staff, the public and students alike. The University wanted to use these fantastic assets as a way of attracting the best students and realised that customer experience was a crucial part of this. They chose to use drama-based training to really engage staff and gain immediate results.

Dramatic Solutions lead facilitator, Phil Croft, worked with managers from the library and sports centre and developed forum theatre scenarios based on real events that the delegates would recognise from their working lives. These scenarios formed the spine of the sessions, which also included input on Transactional Analysis. The forum theatre sessions allowed the participants to compare their approaches to difficult customer service situations. Phil also helped the groups to come to a consensus about how each situation should be dealt with to achieve the very best outcome. This information was used by the groups to develop guidelines for similar situations.

The forum theatre sessions allowed the participants to compare their approaches to difficult customer service situations. Phil also helped the groups to come to a consensus about how each situation should be dealt with to achieve the very best outcome. This information was used by the groups to develop guidelines for similar situations.

The library provides a comprehensive service to support all learning and research needs throughout the University. It houses 1.2 million information resources. Sport Aston provides sport and fitness facilities for students and the general public. The University is ranked 8th overall for graduate employment in the 2013 Sunday Times University Guide. The University is consistently ranked in the UK’s top 40 universities confirming its place amongst the elite.

Swiss Re Group

Dramatic Solutions work with Swiss Re

The Swiss Re Group is a leading wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer. Established in 1863, their global client base consists of insurance companies, mid-to-large-sized corporations and public sector clients.

Dramatic Solutions are delighted to announce we will be working with Swiss Re Group, in Switzerland, to create presentation skills and rhetoric training workshops. Delivered over 4 days we will be focusing on:

• Personal impact and influence
• Difficult conversations
• Job interviews and assessments
• Presentation and rhetoric skills
• Multicultural communication in non-native language

We will be using our drama-based training techniques and roleplay to create lasting change for the global IT department of Swiss Re Limited, part of the Swiss Re Group. The initial 3 day training programmes will be followed by 1 day top up training sessions.

Follow Dramatic Solutions and win a Presentation Skills coaching session

If you are interested in winning and Presentation Skills coaching session, simply start to follow Dramatic Solutions. For every page you follow, whether on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Linked In, you’ll receive a chance to win. The more pages you follow the more chances you’ll get!

Even better, if you tell your followers then we’ll enter you another five times! Simply share the post you will see on our pages for your chance to win.

The coaching session will be delivered in a ½ day (UK only) and will give you the tools and techniques used by top presenters to engage your audiences. Improving your presentation skills dramatically will allow you to be a better leader, sell your products and even help you to get your dream job, or promotion.

Sign up to receive our newsletter and you’ll automatically receive our free eBook – how to become a powerful presenter.

Just search for Dramatic Solutions on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.