2nd Thursday Meeting : Work Smarter not Harder with the ACT Messaging ToolTM

Take Control of Your Most Valuable Commodity – Time

Speaker: Paula Marcondes 

Event review by Nithia Devan

At the 2nd Thursday event in October, PrimeTime members and guests were treated to a lively presentation by Paula Macondes, the founder and principal consultant of ACT.   The event took place at a relatively new hotel on Orchard Road – the Hotel Jen Gateway.

Paula, who is Brazilian, has team of staff in Singapore and associate consultants in Hong Kong and Tokyo.  She has a law degree specializing in corporate law from the University of Sao Paulo and has studied law in Singapore through the University of London. She has worked as in-house counsel for multinational companies. She founded ACT in 1997 and subsequently set up offices in Hong Kong and Korea in 2004 and 2006 respectively.

Paula mentioned that her main areas of interest are corporate and individual resilience. Her work is focused on using “humanagment”* to build more resilience in organizations/ the world. 

(* As defined on the ACT website - 'humanagement' is about turning adversity into positive energy for growth by adopting, supporting, promoting and implementing
thinking patterns, behaviors, practices, policies and systems that foster wellness, learning and sustainability and, therefore, resilience.)

Paula started off by asking us if we could remember when we were first asked to deliver a presentation.  Some of the audience remembered and many of us did not.  Paula shared an anecdote from her early schooldays about when some of her classmates and herself were challenged to make a presentation in Geography class.

She then went on to share the ACT Messaging tool, which she developed.  The tool can help to save you time when you have to make presentations or deliver important messages.  It focuses on planning the presentation and on being mindful.  So how does it work?

There are four elements to the ACT messaging tool:

  • The Listener  - the audience
  • What is the Purpose of the presentation?
  • The Message – what you want your audience to remember and the call to action
  • Benefits – what is in it for the audience?

It was certainly a new way of looking at presentations.  Most of us focus on squeezing as much information as we can on PowerPoint slides.  How often do we stop and think about the audience we are addressing and whether or not our message is effective?

Paula then went on the share the 10-step preparation cycle.  The first step is to determine your audience type.  Paula divided them into four categories: subordinate, friendly, intellectual and dominant.  She then went on to elaborate how one would communicate to each of these audience types.  It’s a way of packaging your message depending on the audience.  This will determine the way you communicate your message, whether you take a direct or indirect approach with information and ultimately, how your audience will react to your presentation. After all, the message is the one thing that you would like your listener to do or remember once they leave your presentation – it’s the call for action.  She also emphasized the benefits to the audience and how one must be clear about how your presentation will benefit the audience – the “What’s In It For Me” factor.

We each had a worksheet that we could fill in using a real or imaginary presentation. It was a very informative presentation with a take-home tool that we will all find useful.  Paula’s style was lively and interesting and we were definitely a “friendly” audience! 

Paula ended her presentation with a quotation from Goethe, the German writer and statesman (She mentioned that she went to a German school and speaks the language fluently):

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.  Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."

Now that is a call for action!

To find out more about Paula Macondes and ACT, please visit: www.acthuman.com

About the event

Do you feel like time is speeding up with each passing year? Do you sometimes feel that there is never enough time to get everything done?

Time seems to be an issue for almost everyone. We all have a lot of things that we want to get done. With so many demands on our time these days it’s easy to feel like we are losing control. Most of us could benefit from practical time management tips. Saving time can help you feel more relaxed and in control.

Join us for a 45-minute express learning session focusing on the application of the ACT Messaging Tool TM. This tool is a thinking framework of 4 steps. If you follow these 4 steps when planning your communications, i.e. emails, teleconferences, meetings, presentations etc. you will be able to save a lot of time in your professional and personal life.

As this talk will be approached as a mini-workshop, you will benefit most if you can apply the ACT Messaging Tool TM to a real-life piece of communication you may have delivered before, or may be required to deliver in the near future. For example a business meeting, presentation or a challenging talk with customers, suppliers etc. 


About the speaker

Paula Marcondes - Founder, Principal Consultant, Executive Coach, MD (Based in Singapore)

Paula Marcondes is the founder and principal consultant of ACT Human & Business Development Pte Ltd, established in 1997. She is an experienced trainer, facilitator and an accredited executive coach.

Business Experience

Paula has a law degree with specialization in corporate law from the University of Sao Paulo and has studied law in Singapore through the University of London. Prior to founding ACT Human in 1997 and setting up offices in Hong Kong (2004) and Korea (2006), Paula worked as an in-house counsel for GEC Singapore (1995-1997) and Glencore Agrocomercial Ltd (1990-1993), when they were Brazil’s largest commodities trader and exporter. She set up the legal departments of both companies and provided negotiation and contract management skills training internally.

Consultant Experience

Paula is an insightful and dynamic consultant with 16 years of experience in the corporate training and 5 years of experience in the executive coaching arenas conducting needs analysis, program planning, curriculum development and facilitation of programs in the areas of, leadership and management development, business communications, sales and negotiation, professional image and customer service. She has worked extensively with key players in the IT and electronics, banking and finance, manufacturing, education and pharmaceutical sectors - most of which are well-known multinational corporations and Fortune 500 companies - and in the public sector -with government boards and government-owned organizations.


This event took place on 8 October, 2015 at Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway. To check out other PrimeTime events, please click here.

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