Real Words Workshops
"Pat is a consultant who coaches, designs and delivers writing workshops, but she does much more than that. She works with her clients (in this case me) to figure out the real need, designs an excellent workshop and then tailors the workshop to the needs of the group in the moment.
We had her work with our professional staff and she improved their writing as well as gave us valuable insight into the groups and recommendations for next time."
MAUREEN HAYVREN, LEAD, ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING, STRATEGIC HR BRANCH, Ontario MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND MINISTRY OF TRAINING, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
"In addition to the positive response we had from participants, I have also received great feedback from "readers" within our organization. Recently our Director requested two slide decks for presentations she needed to deliver on the work of my office, one for an African government delegation, the other for internal MTO corporate directors. My staff quickly outlined the material she might need for each, sat down with her for 1/2 hour to worksop the flow and style of presentation she was looking for and were able to turn around high-quality slide decks quickly that required only minor edits from her office. She was very happy with the improvements and since I was off for a couple of weeks when this took place, was very pleased to hear we got a "well done"!
Just this week we needed to provide a briefing note to our Minister's staff, again short timelines. My writer drafted material, met with the team lead and me to get feedback on how to focus the note, and re-wrote it with assistance from my team lead. I was confident in their skill and had them submit without any further review from me, and the result was fantastic. No edits from the Director's office or the ADM's office. We got a great response from our Deputy's office. They took the time to write back to our ADM that the note was very well written, straight to the point, and the Minister's staff was quite impressed with both the quality and speed. Our Director is really seeing the value of the workshop from my business unit. Thanks so much!"
Dawn Stevely, Manager, Driver Examination Services Offices, Road User Safety Division, Ontario Ministry of Transportation
"In a world of PowerPoint and Twitter's 140-character message, it's easy to forget the importance of good written communication. Patricia Davies' training programs help professionals keep this top of mind with clear points on how to get messages across effectively and efficiently. Her lively and humorous seminars are particularly appealing for those with technical or scientific backgrouds, and for those whose first language is not English. Highly recommended!"
BARRY WATSON, PRESIDENT AT ENVIRONICS RESEARCH House
"Patricia Davies’ facilitation style is inviting. She exudes professionalism and high standards, while being relaxed and very “human.” Her credibility is solid throughout the entire workshop. She clearly positions the purpose of the workshop up front and repeatedly refers to it through the workshop: the purpose of clear writing is to improve relationships. She effectively paces the balance between theory and practice, always ending with the same compelling statement: the purpose of improving writing is to improve relationships.
"The emphasis on improving writing to improve relationships appeared to motivate participants to improve how they write (in letters or email) to enhance their value to the organization, to be more mindful of the author, and to deliver the message not for themselves but for the reader. Judging the reactions of the participants, I sensed this a shift in perspective. Example: 'I thought I was going to learn how to improve my writing. NOW I see how my writing skills (really my speaking in text skills) can work for me or against me.'
"The learning process is very effective. We shifted from theory (the myths about great writing) to the practical (de-bunking the myths with best practices) smoothly. There is ample time to ask questions. The section on email was intriguing. I heard participants talk about email challenges and many of them concluded that more face-to-face meetings should occur instead of email. Having editor buddies permits everyone to share their mistakes in a safe environment knowing they will receive quality feedback. I would position this workshop to everyone."
ELIZABETH WILDER, CONSULTANT, CORPORATE LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT, LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD OF ONTARIO
"Thank you so much for facilitating such a great workshop. The branch was highly engaged and I feel that everyone learned valuable tips and techniques. I have already received positive feedback from attendees. The clear delivery of your presentation and the expertise that you brought to the discussions was definitely noticed and appreciated. I am confident that your workshop will help make my job easier as I think that each employee will try to adopt at least some of the best practices that you shared with us."
CARLENE JACKSON, DIRECTOR, CORPORATE MANAGEMENT BRANCH, ONTARIO MINISTRY OF ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS
"I've heard nothing but positive comments from my teams that you've worked with. The feedback I've had is that your workshop is both practical and informative and provides immediate value to people when they return to the office."
DAVID J. REVELL, SENIOR VICE-PRESIDENT, BANK OF MONTREAL
"I have just received the assessment for the entire Top Talent development program, and the participants ranked your writing workshop 6.2 out of a possible 7, which in our measurement scale means that you substantially exceeded their expectations (and put you ahead of senior bank executives and other trainers in the program)."
Lin Fines, Bank of Montreal
"Excellent and fun course. Will definitely be able to use what I have learned."
"A very effective facilitator, a well-structured course."
"Facilitator is personable and knowledgeable. No suggestions for improvement - the course is great just the way it is."
participants, BANK OF MONTREAL
"Excellent - great pace, very useful, relevant material. Great best practices."
"A good brisk pace and enjoyable learning environment."
"Pat's format for the day was excellent. She is very personable and approachable with questions."
participants , METROLAND PUBLISHING
"Pat's relaxed approach coupled with her knowledge and experience add considerably to the impact of her sessions."
STAFF RESOURCE CENTRE, GEORGE BROWN COLLEGE
"The things I liked most about this workshop include: the interactive nature; examples and demonstrations with the theory; the added humour and real-life examples."
"Thank you, once again, for a super workshop. I learned a lot."
"Not only great information, but also fun!"
participants, THE MICHENER INSTITUTE
Writing, Editing and Consulting
"As Senior Vice President and Head of Development for BMO Financial Group, I worked with Pat from 2003 to 2009 in her role as a communications consultant and writer. She created and wrote a quarterly report that highlighted my division's strategic goals and the projects, initiatives and employee achievements that moved us toward those goals.
Pat is a gifted story teller with a rare ability to translate technical language and jargon into easy-to-understand words and concepts. She helped me raise the profile of our entire division, telling our stories in a clear, compelling way that showcased our value to the whole organization. She was always able to craft a strong personal message from me that captured my voice, thoughts and priorities in a concise note that hit the mark.
As a communications partner, she was reliable, quick, always hit deadline and smoothly produced a complicated report with minimal direction and time on my part. I hope we have another opportunity to work together."
David J. Revell, Senior Vice President, Rogers Communications Inc.
"I engaged the services of Patricia Davies as a senior editor for a Web site about the business of making film and television in Canada. Through the conception, design, production and launch phases of the project Pat provided leadership through her astute focus on clarity of narrative construction, organization of ideas, and simplicity of language choice. She demonstrates considerable understanding of the role of storytelling to convey complex ideas. Moreover, she delivers on time and on budget."
Susan Bower, Project Manager, Canadianfilmmaker.com
"I had the pleasurable experience of working with Pat Davies when I was Manager of IT Operations at the Ontario Government. We had recently completed a benchmarking study of our IT Operations and needed to present it to the executive team. This team included other non-IT corporate services management (from Human Resources, Finance, etc.), as well as the Deputy Minister.
Pat worked with me to scale down a 95-page, heavily technical report from our benchmarking consultants into a 4-page, plain language summary for the executive team, clearly highlighting key activities, results and recommendations. It was easily understood, and helped to clarify the business issues and decisions to be made.
I found Pat very easy to work with. With very little effort on our part, she joined in as a member of the team, absorbed and translated some highly technical content, and kept her part of the project running. Her positive approach and her efficiency was very much appreciated. I would welcome the opportunity to work with Pat again, should the opportunity arise."
Karen Watson, President, KM Watson Consulting
"Pat knows how to pull information from groups and is a star at making complex ideas understandable and usable. She is a strong facilitator and excellent project manager who understands process and speed and knows how to get things done in a collaborative way."
Nicki Weiss, Saleswise
"The second issue of the newsletter looks even better than the first. Great Job!"
Annette Gearing, Bank of Montreal
"Our readers will remember award-winning writer Patricia Davies for her trademark blend of intelligence and wit... "
Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail
"As I reflect on all the professional development activities and training experiences I have participated in over the years, your writing workshop is certainly one that takes centre stage... the manner in which you present your workshops enhances significantly the message you convey. Your relaxed approach coupled with your knowledge and experience add considerably to the impact of your sessions."
Leo Spindel, George Brown College
"It seems that nearly every business person we have been in contact with during the past two weeks has read and enjoyed your article in the magazine That's All About Small Business."
Grant Loving, Company's Coming Publishing Ltd.
"Thank you for the great article you did on what we are doing at the Bank to help our employees balance their multiple commitments. It was well written and expressed our undertaking in this respect with great clarity."