Frequently Asked Questions

What’s with the name MillsWyck?

Peculiar name, isn’t it? Google even says it’s UNIQUE (the major motivation for choosing it). The names Mills and Wyck(liffe) are the middle names – both family names — of our company founder’s kids. He used those names in the company name to remind him on a daily basis of the people that he most wishes to train and influence and the importance of the skills we teach.

How much does your training cost?

Our classes range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on what and who and how and how long the training entails. Let’s agree to a scope of work and the change we desire and the money will be easy to figure out.
Regardless of how much you invest, we believe that you will get more out of the course than you put into it. For example, in a class of salesmen (and women) hawking $50,000 software packages, only one person in class needs to make one additional sale to make the whole class pay for itself. We usually have about 90% of our sales people tell us this will impact MANY more sales per that in the first month.  Please understand that money is not the primary reason we teach. Giving people the skills and confidence to impact their world is much higher on our value list.

How many people are in a class?

<snarky answer>However many show up! <snarky answer>

For skill development classes (where participants leave demonstrating the skills we teach), we are really limited to ten people in a class simply because of the coaching time it takes to make the skills stick for each participant. We do teach shorter versions of our courses, but these usually sacrifice the one-on-one coaching time in favor of exposing a larger number of people to the skills.

It’s important to determine for you and your staff what your goals for attending are before signing up for one or the other. MillsWyck Communications will help you ascertain your needs and guide you to the course that is right for you. Shorter is not always better.

Does it really take two (three, four) days?

To lay the groundwork to get the skills to become habits, yes. We will teach shorter courses, but with a firm understanding that the course objectives are fundamentally different.

Do classes last all day?

Yep – all day. But we won’t run over, either. Please plan to attend and be fully present and to stay to the end of class each day (plan flights and meetings accordingly). If you have special departure needs that cannot be avoided, please let your instructor know on the first day of class.

Do non-words really matter? Can you get rid of them for me?

Non-words (the most notable is “um”, but there are many others that have the same effect) are the easiest measurable metric in our speaking delivery. We don’t believe that non-words are the true measure of a speaker’s effectiveness, but it is indicative of other problems that are easily fixed.

The elimination of non-words is also probably the easiest thing to fix in a speaker’s skill set. Many students are amazed at how quickly they can be eliminated. Now, about those hand movements…

How long does it take to make the skills you teach part of my life?

Everybody wants to see immediate results, and you will see a difference (on video you get to keep) in your speaking delivery by the time you leave class. To make them so much a part of your habits that you do them without thinking, well, that just depends on how hard you work at it. We know from personal experience that it can be done immediately as a continuation of class.

We know that some people never master the skills because they don’t make it a part of their lives and practice to develop habits. It’s a lot like dieting (average weight loss in the United States despite $40B in weight loss products = ZERO pounds!). Making the commitment, setting up a support network, and monitoring the results regularly are the best ways to accomplish any change.

Is effective public speaking a skill (learned) or a talent (inborn)?

This sounds like a topic for a long dinner conversation. Short answer – skill. Even people who are naturally gifted speakers seldom exhibit the skills we teach. And everyone we’ve ever asked who showed a mastery of these skills admitted to being trained and applying it through practice.

Do you have to videotape me?

Well, perhaps not. But it’s the most effective (and only?) way for a student to see what the world sees in them. Watching video of ourselves is a humbling and compelling way for us to want to change and know what to change. We videotape our instructors at least once a year for continual improvement.

Do you teach sales methodology?

Everyone is in sales. And sales is fundamentally about communications. Therefore, everything you learn in our classes is directly applicable to sales. But we don’t teach any particular sales methodology. Whatever method you use – Solution Selling, Customer-centric selling, Miller-Heiman – will be more effective when you implement the skills we teach.  If you have a sales team that requires a specific methodology, we have several trustworthy sales training vendors we can recommend.

Do I get any materials?

Every MillsWyck Communications course comes with a comprehensive notebook and course materials designed to help you both in class and after class. Since all our classes are experiential – you’ll be working and participating in class – the course materials help you connect with what you learned when you return back to the job.

What if I need/want additional help?

Class doesn’t end when we break the final day. MillsWyck Communications is committed to your success with ongoing coaching, email tips, and the availability for review of video and presentation collateral.

Why can’t I just read a book to learn what you teach?

For the same reason that reading a book about basketball (or piano, business management, politics) doesn’t make you a better player (artist, leader). These skills are something that virtually no one is aware of without coaching. One of the key elements of our training is a comprehensive evaluation and peer feedback that lets you know where you stand. Then we add to that coaching and direction to get you to where you want to be, and a roadmap for how to acquire those habits. Lastly, it is worth noting that virtually no one reads books on presenting/speaking well, and most of those books are focused on content, and not delivery skills. Hundreds of students have said they have taken public speaking classes before, and not one has said they’ve ever seen the skills taught as they are in MillsWyck Communications courses.

What books can help reinforce the skills I learn?

Keeping habits at the forefront of our mind and trying to learn new things is a great way to solidify the skills you will learn from MillsWyck Communications. Of course, we’d highly recommend our own book that is filled with over 100 speaking tips that you can implement and is a companion book to the courses we teach. The book is entitled Presentation Sin: The Practical Guide to Stop Offending (and Start Impressing) Your Audience and you can purchase it directly on Amazon. We also have a Recommended Reading list on our Resources page.

What makes MillsWyck Communications different? Why should I buy from you over one of your competitors?

We are typically not ‘competing’ with another training provider, but competing with apathy. Most people are content to do what they’ve always done. Our classes transform your actions, thoughts, and results from whatever communication situation you encounter. If you are making a decision between MillsWyck Communications and another vendor, we ask you to consider our experience, our client satisfaction, and the ongoing relationship you will experience as deciding factors in choosing us.

How long does this training last before people once again go back to their old habits?

Lasting change is hard. Since we are trying to make people change, there are no guarantees they will receive what we offer. Most students find that the habits we are teaching can be achieved rather quickly. Most are motivated to change drastically. Since the world around us serves as motivation to improve ourselves and we can practice literally all the time, these skills can be achieved rapidly. But without ongoing practice, we know that old habits will reappear. That is why we offer ongoing awareness and practice for all former students.

What real, tangible effect have businesses realized from this training?

The communication skills learned in MillsWyck Communications courses are applicable to virtually all walks of life.
1. Present communication that effectively and diplomatically engages customers, peers, staff member, team members, senior management, and your immediate boss.
2. Developing professional responses in a wide range of situations, even outside of your comfort zone.
3. Enabling you to handle difficult and challenging questions with calm demeanor, appropriate words, and the right emotional content.
4. Demonstrate confidence, conviction, and commitment to your audience.
5. Improve your awareness and role in communication.
6. Learn to generate favorable agreement and cooperation.
7. Reduce confusion and miscommunication through clarity, conciseness, and conviction.
8. Create suspense and interest through pauses and proper voice variations.
9. Provide more memorable content through personal examples, stories, and the appropriate use of humor.
10. Incorporate new habits that enhance interest in listeners and create and project confidence in your own presentations.

How are your courses different from AMA courses?

MillsWyck Communications courses are honed from practice and experience, not a canned methodology. Since MillsWyck Communications answers to the client alone, our courses are constantly adapted and take participant feedback into account. Also, since the goal is connection and relationship with the client and not volume, classes are designed for interaction and change.

We already have a corporate training department. How can we justify going outside and paying for something when we already staff and internal resources?

We have experience training inside corporate training departments, and their advantage is in training about things that are particular to that company. While it’s entirely possible that your corporate training department can and does train your staff on the skills we teach, that is not usually the case. In fact, we have NEVER done business with a client who said that it overlapped existing internal training. If it does, then you may rest easy in our satisfaction guarantee. It’s far more likely that the personnel of your training department NEEDS this training (our founder was a very successful corporate trainer for years before being introduced to these skills, and they changed his life and every bit of training he has done since).

Also, because public speaking is inherently personal, it is often best to have an external trainer who does not have a vested interest or perceived conflict of interest to dive into these matters.  We have one goal: to make our clients world-class speakers.  We aren’t terribly concerned about the next layoff cycle, the person who no one gets along with, or remember the last presentation that the student bombed.  When giving feedback, an unbiased base is key to reception by the student.

Who have you done business with?

See a partial list of satisfied MillsWyck clients.