Presenting power

Today’s multi-platform media environment creates unique issues whether you’re navigating a communications crisis or building your brand. When your audience is diverse—culturally, generationally, geographically, or philosophically—agility in messaging becomes even more important. Designed for professionals who seek to increase their influence, Communication for Leaders teaches disciplined communications strategies that can improve your performance in different contexts. Experience with social media is not required.

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"Taking Dorie Clark's class on Communication for Leaders was the highlight of my Certificate program at Duke. Dorie provides a sophisticated and well-rounded approach to communication and incorporates tips and tricks that one can apply to in any situation using any channel. I particularly liked that she was able to guide and provide helpful feedback on our individual communication styles. Incorporating the importance and tips on navigating through newer communication channels like social media and blogs was the cherry on top."

- Priya Gandhi, Director, Product Management, Fidelity Investments, pursuing the Duke Certificate of Leadership and Management


Instructor Dorie Clark describes the importance of executive presence, a concept she discusses in depth in Communication for Leaders, in this video:

Dorie Clark on Communication for Leaders

Who Should Attend?

Professionals who interface with the public or other stakeholders, tailor their message to their various audiences, or those at any level who want to command attention and increase their personal and professional presence.

More About the Program

Over 3 days you’ll learn from a mixture of lecture, class discussion, and interactive exercises. You’ll have opportunities to practice and refine public speaking skills, manage Q&A, address the media, and work through a crisis situation, ensuring you gain practice in working with course concepts.

As a leader, what you say can inspire, persuade, and influence when you embrace the opportunity to communicate with confidence and credibility. This program will enable you to command attention with confidence and clarity, tailor your message, answer tough questions from multiple sources, and define your public persona via social media.


Presenting with Power

  • Prepare and present a 5 minute presentation on a topic related to your professional life for videotaping.
  • Receive immediate feedback from faculty and cohort members.
  • Watch videos of other leaders’ speeches to analyze self-perception versus audience perception of presentations. 

Leading and Communicating Through Crisis

  • Determine communication weak spots and how to protect your brand.
  • Master how to prepare for and recover from a crisis.
  • Rehearse how to control the media's agenda.
  • Learn when and how to release negative information.
  • Practice message discipline throughout your organization.
  • Develop communications strategies for dealing with crises.

Embracing the Power of Social Media

  • Which social media channels have the greatest ROI.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile that sets you apart.
  • Create relevant and engaging content for blogs and other outlets.
  • Determine if your social media efforts are successful.
  • Balance your online personal brand with your organization's brand.
  • Review and analyze your online influence level.
  • Position yourself as a thought leader through social media.

Answering the Tough Questions

  • Prepare for media interviews or any difficult meeting where your leadership may be challenged.
  • Develop and stay on message.
  • Crowdsource questions.
  • Handle difficult questions.

Program Objectives

At the conclusion of the program you’ll be able to:

  • Build personal and corporate trustworthiness and credibility through communication.
  • Refresh and practice presentation skills for engagement and impact.
  • Incorporate feedback to increase your confidence.
  • Develop communication strategies that are consistent and disciplined.
  • Manage "hot-seat" questioning from sympathetic and adversarial audiences.
  • Create a crisis communications strategy.
  • Evaluate which social media channels will give you the best ROI.
  • Learn how to use LinkedIn and Twitter to support your communication strategy.
  • Analyze your online influence level.
  • Position yourself and your organization as experts.
  • Balance your online personal brand with your organization's brand.

Sample Schedule

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Check-In Available
3:00 pm

Welcome Dinner
6:00 - 8:00pm

Day 1

7:00 - 9:00am

Presenting With Power
9:00am - 12:15pm

12:15 - 1:15pm

Presenting With Power (cont.)
1:15 - 5:00pm

Optional Campus Tour
5:00 - 6:30pm

6:00 - 8:00pm

Day 2

7:00 - 9:00am

Leading and Communicating Through Crisis
9:00am - 12:15pm

12:15 - 1:15pm

Answering the Tough Questions
1:15 - 4:00pm

6:00 - 8:00pm

Day 3

7:00 - 9:00am

Embracing the Power of Social Media
9:00am - 12:00pm

12:00 - 1:00pm

Embracing the Power of Social Media (cont.) / Program Review
1:00 - 2:00pm

Program Close
2:00 - 3:00pm

Communication for Leaders



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Program Location and Accommodations

JB Duke Hotel
During your time in Durham, you’ll live and learn in the four-star JB Duke Hotel, a contemporary and tranquil retreat on Duke’s campus with state-of-the-art learning facilities.

Leadership Traits

What does Dean Bill Boulding mean by triple threat leadership?

Access this HBR article now to read about the trait so critical today.




Dorie Clark

Dorie Clark

Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant who has been recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press and Fortune. She was a former presidential campaign spokeswoman, a contributor to the Harvard Business Review and Forbes, and has consulted with and presented to Google, the World Bank, Microsoft and the Ford Foundation. Ms. Clark is an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at Fuqua.


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Certificate Requirements: Attendance to the Duke Leadership Program and three electives within a three year period. More