Testimonial: Email Communication Class at TriHealth

Testimonial: Email Communication Class at TriHealth

Below is a recent testimonial about CommuniSkils’ email communication class.

“The email class Tom developed and implemented for TriHealth was a huge improvement in our internal communications effectiveness, and was well received by both our senior management and front line employees alike. 

“The way I look at it, why wouldn’t we employ the same discipline and evidenced-based tools in our primary business communications tools as we do our clinical decision tools?  Tom and Communiskills really jump-started that for us.”

Stephen L. Schwalbe
Senior Vice President
Strategy, Communications & Public Affairs

We can improve email communications for your company, department or team ensuring effective communication, increasing productivity and protecting against legal liability. Contact Us Today.

Three Elements of a Successful Meeting Opening

Three Elements for an Effective Meeting Opening

Ensuring a successful meeting starts with a successful and effective opening. Here are three tips for developing a meeting opening:

Get the Audience’s AttentionThree Elements of a Successful Meeting Opening

Audience’s aren’t always ready to start when you are. The larger the meeting, the more opportunity there is for side conversations and extended greetings among participants.  Grabbing their attention right away ensures you get started on time.

For most meetings, a simple statement such as “Good morning, and thank you all for coming” should be sufficient.  For a very large audience, you might need something more dramatic to get everyone’s attention.  Consider a relevant quotation or piece of related trivia.

Orient the Audience

After a quick greeting, quotation or piece of trivia, put the meeting on the right track from the beginning by answering the questions on the minds of the participants.

  • What is the purpose of the meeting?
  • Why is that important?
  • When will we be done (and other key timing questions?)

If you used a meeting PAL, then this orientation should reinforce what you’ve already told the audience members when they were invited or received the agenda in advance.

Forecast the Main Ideas & Points

The third essential piece of a successful meeting opening is giving a brief overview of the main ideas that are to be covered in the meeting. Especially for longer, larger meetings it is important to offer this upfront roadmap so audiences can understand what portions are most relevant to them and be prepared to contribute as necessary.

With these three elements, you can prepare a meeting opening that starts your next meeting right. The meeting opening deserves more preparation that it usually gets, because the opening establishes the tone for the rest of the meeting. Make meeting openings part of your standard meeting prep.

Planning a successful meeting

Tips to Planning a Successful Meeting – Bring a PAL

Planning a successful meeting

Planning a meeting? Bring a PAL.

All of us have attended meetings that lack a sense of focus, organization or purpose. That’s why we recommend you plan all meetings with a PAL - Purpose, Agenda & Length. A PAL lets the meeting attendees prepare for the meeting and clarify key elements.


Con firm the meeting’s objective in terms that reminds the audience of the important results the meeting will accomplish.


List the key topics planned for the meeting. When appropriate, include who is responsible for each topic.


Clarify how long it should take. Be as considerate as you can of others’ time, while still being realistic.

Also include any other information that helps participants prepare for the meeting. This could include information about attendees or preparations by participants.

Distribute the PAL early enough that participants can get meaningful value from it. Allow at least 24 hours for attendees to review.

Need an example?

Bonus Tip: 

Be sure to include any administrative assistants on the PAL distribution. The AAs can help executives prepare items and let them know if they are on the agenda and for what. It’s never a good idea for an executive to be surprised to find their name on an agenda when they arrive at a meeting.

Brand Marketer at P&G and Commercial Manager at GE

“I use the concepts I learned from Tom’s CommuniSkills curriculum on an daily basis. It is the singlemost important training of my professional career. It was so valuable to me at P&G that I introduced Tom to GE, and CommuniSkills is now part of GE’s leadership program curriculum. Tom’s communication training is a “must have” for professionals who rely on written and oral communication to influence others.”

Senior Finance Manager at P&G

Upon rewriting our contractors’ communication templates based on his training:

  • Response time from stakeholders on feedback requests reduced by more than 80%.
  • Feedback quality improved so that the first response was routinely actionable.
  • Typical request approval cycles shrunk to 3 days, vs. 10+ previously.

The improvements were so immediate and dramatic that within a week of implementing them on a pilot project, our team began redesigning communication templates on other projects within our overall service.”

Year first hired: 2008 (hired more than once)
Top Qualities: Great Results, Expert, High Integrity

Snap Your Way to Success!

Thinking Positively Leads to Superior Performance
Psychologists and motivational coaches often recommend a practical approach to help their clients banish the negative thinking that can paralyze performance:  wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it whenever you catch yourself thinking a negative thought (“I’m not going to do well in the job interview because I’m so nervous”) or on the verge of indulging in a habit you are trying to break (eating sweets, smoking, complaining). It reminds you to replace that thought with a positive, solution-oriented one.

Setting Realistic Goals is the First Step
While the idea of wearing a rubber band on your wrist and snapping it when you are about to say or do something negative may seem simplistic, almost silly, people who have adopted the technique have successfully overcome everything from nail biting to nagging.  To make wrist snapping an important part of your effort to make a positive change in your life, first assess what changes you need to make and set goals for those changes.  Once you’ve determined what changes you want to make and have established your goals, wearing a wrist band and snapping it can be a helpful tool in keeping you on track to success!

Wrist bands can be especially helpful in your efforts to become a more effective communicator
Negative self talk is a common impediment to successful oral presentations.  Speakers undermine their ability to give dynamic presentations by repeating negative thoughts before a speech: “I just know I’m going to forget something important” or “I am so afraid of getting a question I won’t be able to answer.”  Writers limit their ability to produce successful documents through negative self-talk:  “I never have time to organize my thoughts well on paper” or “I’ve never been a very good writer.”

Snapping a wrist band can stop negative thoughts before they become entrenched in your mind and alert you to the need to “stop, rewind, and rethink” the situation.  You can then replace the negative thought (“I just know I’m going to forget something important”) with a positive self-talk message (“I’m confident that I will remember all the important points in my presentation if I practice it beforehand, and my Power Point slides will be a helpful aid”).

How to get a free wristband
CommuniSkills wants to give you a high-quality, custom-made wrist band with an affirmative message (“Make It Happen!”) free of charge.  Here’s how to place your order:

Write to:

Attn: Marilyn Clark
8749 Apalachee Dr.
Cincinnati, OH



Ohio Women’s Network Chooses CommuniSkills for New Website

Ohio Women’s Network and CommuniSkills are pleased to announce the launch of the new OhioWomensNetwork.org!

Ohio Women’s Network works with womens drug and alcohol treatment and recovery facilities, and chose CommuniSkills to create an online directory for all the counties in Ohio.  The website also includes a forum for women across Ohio to gather and share stories of success and recovery to receive encouragement and needed support.

CommuniSkills began with the creation of a new logo and expanded the to a custom web design and installation.  A CommuniSkills website is more than a static internet “flier” for your organization.  CommuniSkills technology and network strategists work with you to create a dynamic website that is easy to maintain and changes to meet your evolving business needs.  Your website will benefit from modern search engine optimization techniques and strategies to bring more traffic to your site.

Contact us today about how CommuniSkills can create a customized web strategy for you.

New Website Special!

Starting from scratch?  Let CommuniSkills build your organization a custom website.  Act now and we’ll include the entire design, building, implementation and optimization process, 1 full year of web hosting and 1 year of technical support. 

Have a website already but disappointed in the lack of functionality or frustrated by a highly technical and complicated editing and updating process?  Your new website from CommuniSkills includes a modern, dynamic, user-friendly content management system that will allow members of your organization to easily edit and access website content.  After a quick walk-through, your organization will be uploading photos and videos, podcasting important information, maintaining an active events calendar and quickly publishing the most current information vital to your organization.  The freedom to create and edit your own content eliminates the constant headache of “that web guy” who never returns emails and takes forever to change the simplest thing.

Your one year of technical support includes quick access to your specific design consultant to resolve all technical issues and receive help on any content management difficulties. Having your website hosted with CommuniSkills means up to 250 email addresses from your organization’s domain that can be accessed using any email program or mobile phone, monthly traffic evaluations emailed to key organization members and site optimization to improve your site rankings in search results.

Don’t need a full website and just need a web expert?  CommuniSkills can also consult on websites, social networking efforts and other design areas – ask about our special non-profit rates.

Contact us today!

Check out examples of our work:

South Ohio Society of Women Engineers

Ohio Women’s Network

Walnut Hills Anti-Drug Coalition

Red Ribbon Week of Greater Cincinnati

Welcome to the new SouthOhioSWE.org!

SouthOhioSWE.orgCommuniSkills is proud to announce the completion of their most recent project, SouthOhioSWE.org!

The new site is the home of the South Ohio Society of Women Engineers. They contacted CommuniSkills looking for a dynamic, modern, user-friendly website that would a sustainable digital home for their organization for many years.

A CommuniSkills consultant worked closely with their executive team to capture all the organizations needs and implement them using a content management system that members of their organization would be able to easily and freely update – removing the need for long-term hosting and web design contracts.

CommuniSkills can provide the same for your organization. Nonprofits who act before October 31st, can receive a special discount – $500* for a website! Contact us for details.

*Must have current hosting plan and domain with PHP and MySQL access, to add those is less than $100 per year.