3 - 7 November 2014, London, United Kingdom - Possessing effective communication skills is crucial for 21st century diplomats. As Internet technology propels the evolution of the global media landscape, it is vital for diplomats to be familiar with the latest media and communication trends. Offering strategies to handle this challenge, UNITAR organized a five-day workshop on "Communication, Active Listening, Public Speaking and Working with the Media" in London, at the request of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The workshop took place from 3 to 7 November in the British capital, one of the foremost global media centres, and targeted 15 diplomats from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The participants did not only have the opportunity to enhance their public speaking skills, but also learnt to understand the professional interests of journalists and how to handle difficult interview situations for different kinds of media. The two trainers, Mr. Jérôme L’host and Ms. Claire Doole, encouraged a continually high level of participants’ involvement by the means of numerous practical exercises, including the organization of a press conference. The participants could benefit from the vast experience of both Mr. L’host, a dedicated Senior Consultant based in Geneva and Moscow, and Ms. Doole, a former BBC correspondent and UN spokeswoman. The workshop concluded with a visit to the BBC, one of the world’s most renowned broadcasting houses.

Feedback received from the participants after the workshop was highly positive, with all respondents indicating that they found the training very useful and would recommend it to their colleagues. On average, 94 percent of the responding participants agreed that they had met the learning objectives of the workshop completely or mostly. One diplomat commended the trainers and the learning activities for introducing him and his colleagues to new areas in the field of media relations.

UNITAR looks forward to continuing the excellent cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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Photo: participants in the workshop

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