Why do I need to attend an assessment and what can I expect?

The essential first step for all clients is a detailed 1.0 – 1.25 hour assessment of your/one of your team members’ communication skills.  This allows Lana to gain important insights into your particular goals, your areas of strength and those areas that you wish to fine-tune.

The assessment includes:

  • Introduction to Word of Mouth & Lana McCarthy
  • Brief interview
  • Detailed communication assessment including audio and/or video recording
  • Verbal summary of assessment findings, training objectives, practice commitments and expected outcomes
  • Estimate of the number and frequency of coaching sessions
  • Viewing of relevant training materials
  • Time to address questions
Will I receive a written report or summary of my assessment results?

If your program is employer-funded, a written training proposal, including your specific training objectives and the investment for your program is forwarded to you, your manager, Human Resources and/or Learning & Development Manager following the assessment.

If your program is self-funded, a summarised list of your coaching objectives will be discussed with and provided to you at your first coaching session.

How many coaching sessions will I need?

Lana can usually make an initial recommendation about the approximate length of your coaching program prior to the assessment, once you have provided some information about the areas of your communication you wish to polish.  This estimate however will be confirmed once the assessment has been completed and the training objectives clarified.

How long are the coaching sessions and how are they structured?

Most coaching sessions are 1 hour in duration.  Longer sessions can be arranged if required.

A typical coaching session starts with a 10 – 15 minute review of the specific objectives targeted in previous session(s).  This includes a discussion about independent practice and any of your particular successes/ challenges, handling questions, role playing scenarios and critiquing of audio and/or video recordings, feedback about progress and areas for ongoing focus.

A new objective or combination of objectives is then jointly selected and introduced with relevant training materials, hand-written notes, tips, techniques and practice.  At the end of the session a verbal summary of progress and areas for particular focus are discussed together with ideas for independent practice over the subsequent week or fortnight.

What will be the objectives of my coaching program?

Your individualised coaching objectives will be developed by Lana once your assessment is complete. They will include the specific ways in which coaching with Word of Mouth will improve particular aspects of your communication. The coaching objectives form the ‘road map’ for your program. They are the main criteria by which Lana will monitor and measure your progress and the outcomes of your program.  They are regularly reviewed with you and your manager (if your program is employer-funded) throughout the program.

What sort of training materials are used in the coaching sessions?

All of the coaching materials for your program are included in the investment for your program, which ever program type you decide on.  These may include handouts, notes and audio/ video recordings written and produced by Lana McCarthy.

How frequently should I attend the coaching sessions?

You can decide how frequently you attend coaching sessions.  Lana usually recommends weekly or fortnightly sessions initially and these may move to monthly as your program progresses.

Will I have to practice between sessions and how frequently?

Practice between sessions is fundamental to effect the change you are seeking with your communication skills. Breaking down old habits and mastering new ones is very achievable but takes disciplined, regular practice and mindfulness.

The amount and quality of your practice determines your progress and the outcomes of your program. Through a combination of structured practice using the training materials Lana will provide you with, backed up with integration practice of your new skills into work and social contexts, you will reach your potential.

Lana will provide specific ideas about how and what you should practice between each coaching session and the regime you should aim for. This usually involves approximately 30 minutes of your time/ focus each day.

If I have questions either after my assessment or between my coaching sessions what is the best way for me to contact Lana?

Lana welcomes questions and feedback at any stage of your program. She will always be the person you will be in touch with from your initial enquiry, through to booking and attending sessions, asking questions and for follow-up.

Given Lana works with clients during most of the day, she may not be able to take your phone call immediately. Always leave a voice message with a suitable time that Lana can call you back and she will endeavour to return your call, on the day you call.

Alternatively, you can email Lana through the Contact page of this website and she will respond promptly either via email or phone.

Is group training possible?

In-house, customised, group programs are available for clients working in the same organisation. The focus of the programs is on fine-tuning particular areas of communication, thus enhancing participants’ personal impact, presence, effectiveness and success they create with clients and colleagues. These programs range from two-hour to two-days in duration.

Combinations of in-house group and coaching programs are also available. As an example, this may start with a group program and conclude with individual coaching sessions for all/some of the participants to allow continued focus on specific communication areas identified in the group program.

Word of Mouth does not run any public programs.

Where will the face-to-face sessions be held?

The face-to-face assessment and coaching sessions can be arranged in Word of Mouth’s city office in Sydney, Australia, via Skype or in your office (with an additional investment for travel time).

What if I am not happy with my progress or any aspect of the program?

If you have any questions or concerns at all about your/your colleague’s program please contact Lana promptly so she can provide information and together a solution can be reached.

We want to ensure that you get the most out of your program – so you feel you are getting a solid return on your investment of time, money and effort.

How would Skype sessions work and are they as effective as face-to-face sessions ?

Lana schedules Skype sessions with clients in the same way she schedules face-to-face sessions.  Her clients live all over the world.  Many she has never met face-to-face.  She runs all of her sessions on time.

Lana will send you relevant materials prior to or after your assessment or coaching session.  These may include worksheets via email or audio recordings via Drop Box.

You will need to have email and Skype accounts set up prior to Skype sessions commencing. You can register, free of charge to a regular Skype account at www.skype.com.  If you do not have an inbuilt camera and microphone with your computer, you will need to look at purchasing these. Sessions can also be conducted using tablet devices. The quality of Skype is always improving and at times the quality of the video is compromised for short periods where we can revert to audio only and then move back to using video.

Some voice and communication style work is more difficult to conduct over Skype however Lana regularly conducts sessions with a focus on all other areas very successfully. Some clients report that they find Skype sessions just as effective as face-to-face sessions. If your schedule involves lots of travel, you do not need to miss sessions and interrupt your program. We can work effectively together on Skype.

What is the investment for the assessment and coaching sessions?

Please contact Word of Mouth either via phone or Contact Us to enquire about the investment for the Executive and Individual Assessment and Coaching Programs as well as Group Training.

What outcomes can I expect?

Your outcomes are based on your commitment to your program in two ways. Firstly, attending the scheduled sessions and secondly (and most importantly) the amount and quality of practice you put in between sessions.

Lana will work closely with you to ensure both of these happen – team work is essential.  What underpins these commitments, are Lana’s diagnostic and program development and implementation skills, honed over many years that will ensure you have a tailor-made program that will address your specific objectives.

Lana is an experienced, reliable and qualified expert who regularly attends professional development sessions in her areas of work to remain abreast of new advances in the communication field. You will be in safe hands.

Can I schedule any follow-up/ review sessions to keep me on track after I finish my program?

You certainly can schedule any follow-up sessions. Some clients use these sessions to keep their practice ‘on-track’ and they find it helps them to remain committed to the ongoing practice that is required to consolidate new skills learned in their program.  These sessions can be face-to-face or on Skype and are also one hour in duration.

Do you work with children?

Lana is trained to work with both children and adults however her business is geared toward adolescents and adults. The youngest children Lana typically works with are 14 years and older.

I have been communicating like this my whole life.  Am I too old to change my communication?

You will never be too old to make changes in your life! Lana works with clients across the life-span all of whom have the potential to make improvements. Do not let age be a barrier to your goals.

Can my confidentiality be assured?

Client confidentiality is guaranteed.  Word of Mouth is bound by the Australian National Privacy Principles (1998) under the Privacy Act 1988 and always seeks to apply those principles when we deal with you and your personal information. As a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist, Lana McCarthy also adheres to the Code of Ethics of the Speech Pathology Association of Australia.

What hours is Word of Mouth open?

The office hours of Word of Mouth are from Monday to Friday.  Before and after work appointments (outside of normal business hours) are available on particular days. Please contact Lana to discuss your needs and availability.

What payment methods do you accept?

Payment is required on the day of your appointment unless you are attending the assessment as part of the Executive Assessment and Coaching Program which has been approved by your employer.

Preferred methods of payment are credit/ debit card (AMEX or Diners not accepted) or cash. If your employer is sponsoring your program EFT is available. If you live outside of Australia, payment via international bank transfer is preferred. Lana can provide you with the appropriate account numbers and codes. Payment needs to be received prior to sessions.

Take the first step towards achieving your communication goals.