Business Acumen

Business acumen presentations, tailored to your needs

Donnelly-Shelagh-2018-Copyright-Shelagh-DonnellyEvent planners: Here’s a sampling of Shelagh’s business acumen presentations, any of which she’ll happy customize for your conference or onsite training needs.

For details on any presentation, just click on the “+” sign alongside the topic title. To collapse a presentation abstract, just click “-“.


You’ve heard of risk management and you may have some understanding of enterprise risk management (ERM), but you’d like to learn more. That’s good, because ERM is an important strategic business discipline that can make a difference in your organization’s ability to execute on its strategic plan.

ERM done well results in informed decision making, and it reflects a series of processes put in place to manage risks. There’s also integrated risk management (IRM), and Shelagh will explain them both. She’ll walk you through risk processes and the respective roles that employees, management and the board hold in an organization’s risk management. We’ll explore different types of risks and terminology such as risk appetite, ownership and tolerance before moving on to internal controls, internal audit and mitigation strategies.

As we discuss the balancing of risks and returns, we’ll also look at risk monitoring and tools such as risk registers and heat maps. Shelagh will provide you a clear, elevated understanding of risk management’s role in your organization’s success.
You continually strive to perform at a high level in your role, which may involve preparing or polishing some of the materials that ultimately wind up in front of the board of directors. Or perhaps you want to gain strategic insights to ensure you add value as an assistant. In either case, it’s helpful to build your understanding of governance. If you’ve ever wondered how a board functions, or why directors may challenge management and ask questions, this session will provide insights on the strategic nature of governance.

Shelagh, who spent more than a decade in the governance career and writes weekly about governance matters, will walk you through that world. Learn how a board distinguishes its role from that of management as directors bring expertise and oversight to multiple matters – value creation, audits, compliance, disclosure, transparency, risk management, diversity, cybersecurity and other tech issues as well as enterprise, social and corporate governance (ESG) and more. Boards and directors carry significant responsibilities and accountabilities, and they need concise, quality reporting.

Be prepared to enhance your insights on the principles of governance in this climate of stakeholder and shareholder activism, and learn why respectful debates and some healthy tension are signs of good governance. You can also be prepared to apply these insights to communications, presentations and reports you and your principal may prepare – not only materials intended for the board, but also those destined for management and other colleagues.
Assistants often negotiate on behalf of their employers, and your ability to do so effectively is one more means by which you make yourself valuable.

Your readiness and ability to negotiate can have positive impacts on two key resources: time and finances. A good assistant will negotiate the most favourable possible terms when sourcing services, events and venues. Skilled assistants can also alleviate frustrations as they deploy their negotiation skills in scheduling and rescheduling meetings, implementing change, resolving or preventing sticky interpersonal situations, and securing sought after seats, reservations and bookings.

You may already know that Shelagh left the administrative role for a few years mid-career. She built an award-winning career as a sales rep for the same corporation in which she’d been first an executive secretary and then a trainer. She’d already accrued negotiation skills working in those C-level offices, but honed them even further in bringing parties together to achieve mutual wins.

The extent to which you’re comfortable and effective in negotiating on your own behalf can also impact you personally and professionally. Join Shelagh in exploration of principles and techniques for effective negotiating strategies. We'll also look at why and how you should plan to develop and draw upon negotiating skills when it comes to interviews, performance planning and career satisfaction.

To have Shelagh contact you for a discussion of your needs, click here

Click here if you’d like to see what assistants, conference organizers and clients have to say about the training Shelagh delivers.

Shall we talk? To discuss your plans and needs, drop an email to or click here to send an online request.

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