Originally designed for training of outreach political activists, this three-hour Commonweal Institute workshop provides new tools for reaching the uncommitted, the wavering, and people unlike oneself. It is beneficial for politically-interested individuals, regardless of whether they will be talking to the public, family members, neighbors, &/or work colleagues.
Workshop participants learn how to:
Workshop participants become more effective in talking with others and are better able to move them to action. They learn how to apply lessons from social psychology and personal experience in discussing politics with strangers, acquaintances, and relatives of differing ages and backgrounds, and also share their own practical knowledge with each other.
This Commonweal Institute workshop is nonpartisan; it does not advocate any particular political party, candidate, or pieces of legislation. The communication techniques we present are equally useful for a wide range of applications. As a result, the workshop is beneficial for just about anyone interested in social change and/or politics.
Contact  us about scheduling a workshop.
Read an article about the Talking Politics training .
Watch a video  of a Talking Politics training (82 minutes).
Check out some resources for talking politics .
In order to multiply the effectiveness of progressive outreach, the Commonweal Institute offers training-of-trainers services to large organizations and coalitions that have their own trainers, so that they can multiply the value of this workshop for their full memberships.
The one-day training-of-trainers workshop provides:
· Training outlines
· Experiential techniques
· Books, training and presentation materials, and handout templates
· Ways to maximize application of learnings in everyday settings
· First-person experience for trainers in going through the training process themselves.
Contact  us about scheduling a Talking Politics training-of-trainers workshop.
Dr. Katherine Forrest, the public health physician who developed this workshop, has extensive experience as a trainer and as a trainer of trainers, based on her work at Harvard School of Public Health, Yale University, University of Connecticut, and Planned Parenthood. She is a Co-Founder of the Commonweal Institute.
“I took one of these valuable seminars….shortly after the California primary ended. I have often used the info I learned, and believe it has enabled me to campaign more effectively…. Dr. Forrest covers high quality techniques for (and practice with) how to talk about the election with people who are somehow different from yourself including those who might see the world differently from yourself -- and then how to maximize the likelihood that you might persuade them through the interaction(s), even if this entails some sort of shift in the other person's views. This seems to be a critical skill set for those doing outreach to conservatives and independents….”
“You are a real pro. You know your subject matter and did a great job of leading the discussion. We may not agree on our politics but I am proud of the job you are doing.”
“[Our recent political] event for entrepreneurs and investors concerned about the environment raised over $20,000! One exciting aspect of this event was that there were at least 6 or 7 Republicans there, some as guests and some who paid their own way. They were so happy to know that there are other Republicans appalled by Bush's performance and eager to have [someone] fiscally responsible in office….I was able to think of including Republicans because of Kate's workshop on how to talk to people who (you think) don't agree with you -- with respect and interest and not evangelizing!”