Training spotlight

Speaking professionally: an art in itself

First certification courses for professional speaker

Mark Twain, the famous author of the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, has said that a good speech has a good beginning and a good ending, both of which are kept very close together. Twain was much feared for his critical comments, and he’d clearly had to sit through too many bad speeches. A successful talk doesn’t just entrance the audience, it involves it. The audience interacts with the speaker, in thought and even verbally. Some people are fortunate enough to be natural public speakers and can captivate audiences immediately with their words and charisma. But perfect presentations can also be learned, as the Steinbeis Transfer Institute GSA at Steinbeis University Berlin (SHB) is showing.

The German Speakers Association (GSA) is the first educational establishment to offer offi-cial training on professional speaking. Last-ing one year, in parallel to full-time work, the certified course is being offered under the di-rection of memory expert Markus Hofmann in partnership with SHB. The final qualification is titled “Professional Speaker GSA (SHB)”.

“We want to make a significant contribution to the ‘professionalization’ of the presenta-tion industry by introducing and safeguard-ing standards. Apart from enhancing per-formance on the pedestal, we also want to focus on managing the business side of pro-fessional speaking,” explains Prof. Dr. Lothar Seiwert, GSA president and initiator of the GSA University. Participants attend 8 weekend modules looking at the core competencies of a professional speaker. These include industry knowledge and experience, presentation skills and performance, marketing, PR and selling, business management, keeping organized and office administration. “I’m extremely excited about the course and am proud to say we’ve found the best people in the industry to give the lectures!” enthuses Markus Hofmann, CSP and director of the Steinbeis Transfer Institute Professional Speaker GSA. The lecturers include Sabine Asgodom, Germany’s leading self-marketing expert, Siegfried Haider, an expert on expert events, high-profile TV coach Dr. Stefan Fradrich, hardselling specialist Martin Limbeck, and Cristian Galvez, a professional host and expert on personality and making an impression.

“Professional Speaker GSA (SHB)” is a higher education qualification that can be acquired through a non-academic study program. The certificate is permanently valid and is awarded at an official ceremony at the GSA Convention to course participants who successfully pass the final exam.


Markus Hofmann
Steinbeis Transfer Institute Professional Speaker GSA (Berlin/München)

Helmut Schneider appointed to family report commission

Kristina Schröder appoints commission members

Kristina Schröder, the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, introduced the expert commission responsible for writing the 8th Family Report to journalists in Berlin on 5 July. This year, the interdisciplinary commission of 8 academic experts includes as a new face Prof. Dr. Dr. Helmut Schneider, holder of the SVI endowed chair for marketing and dialog marketing at the School of Management and Innovation at Steinbeis University Berlin.

The 8 experts in family policy have been commissioned to write a Family Report entitled “Time for responsibility within the family”. The report is being written on behalf of the German Federal Government and is due to be presented to the Bundestag and Federal Council in the summer of 2011. The aim of the report is to identify ways, within the current social context, to create an infrastructure that would enable families to take responsibility for themselves and each other. One of the main focuses will be issues relating to time – such as the importance of family time in everyday life, and issues relating to working hours, social infrastructures and the local community.

Intercultural understanding - a core value

New SHB certification course for intercultural experts

The Steinbeis Transfer Institute for Culture Transfer is launching a new SHB course in November 2010 for people who want to become certified intercultural experts. Intercultural understanding is a core focus of the Institute for Culture Transfer. The center created the course to foster cultural sharing within companies in response to today’s social and economic challenges.

The center sees the course as a win-win project. It is based on the fact that although corporate identity is held up as a key asset in corporate mission statements, very few businesses mention the intercultural aspects of everyday business when describing their corporate values and goals.

Thinking and acting on an intercultural level includes areas like how to formulate recruitment advertisements, job interviews, selecting team members, and other business processes. It is about colleagues accepting each other’s religious beliefs, being tolerant, and respecting other people. Easily avoidable mistakes are often made in communication – especially corporate communication. For instance, pictures in a German brochure may meet with a very different, unexpected reaction if used in brochures intended for other countries.

The SHB certification courses allows companies to train talented employees as intercultural experts – so they can examine their company’s intercultural sensitivity, change mentalities, launch new projects, and make thinking and acting on an intercultural level a core value. This is a refreshing and inspiring task for managers and supervisors working in management, HR and organizational development, organizational and industrial psychology, diversity and corporate communications. New professional skills are taught by leading instructors from the fields of cultural studies, philosophy, corporate communications, communication psychology, intercultural conflict management and mentoring.


Prof. Cordula Beelitz-Frank
Prof. Heidemarie Kurtscheid
Steinbeis Transfer Institute Culture Transfer (Berlin/Stuttgart)

The Steinbeis Management Series

Series of events on professional management at School GRC

The School of Governance, Risk & Compliance (or “School GRC”) at Steinbeis University Berlin is inviting Steinbeis associates, students and anybody else who is interested to the Steinbeis Management Series which started in September. Each event will be attended by representatives of politics and industry, who will take part in a panel discussion and answer audience questions on a variety of topics.

The next event, which takes place on 8 December in Berlin, is titled "Forensic Management – Investigations under data privacy". The panel will be made up of Bertram Raum (department III Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information), Erik Liegle (Head of investigation, Deutsche Bahn AG), Barbara Scheben (head of the Frankfurt forensic team, KPMG) Alexander Geschonneck (associate und head of Forensic Technology, KPMG). The panel host is Birgit Galley, Director of the School of Governance, Risk & Compliance. The next event in the series will take place 9 February 2011 and tries to answer the question "Can you actually manage values?"

Complementary medicine at Steinbeis University

Physical therapies on an academic level

Laws in Germany are strict: it is forbidden for an unregistered foreign doctor or non-medical practitioner to use traditional Far Eastern, native American or African healing methods unless they have successfully completed complementary medicine training. This is despite the fact that even the highly critical German public health bodies are not entirely hostile towards complementary medicine.

German social law refers to complementary health practices as “special therapy centers”, a term encompassing all types of long-established, widely accepted medical treatment that fall outside the realm of conventional medicine. The Steinbeis Transfer Institute for Body-Related Therapy at SHB focuses on forms of complementary medicine that involve “manipulating” the body, such as massage, osteopathy and chiropractics.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), insofar as it has a scientific or scientifically researchable basis, complements conventional medicine in areas such as the treatment of patients with chronic conditions. This is precisely where the training offered by the Steinbeis Transfer Institute for Body-Related Therapy steps in, as there is currently a lack of professional training in this area in Germany. To be recognized by the government as “special therapy centers”, alternative medicine practices have to maintain an up-to-date standard of general medical knowledge. The Steinbeis Transfer Institute investigates and supports therapy centers with the potential to gain official approval.

Representatives of these centers already work as authorized experts on medicine approval councils due to their scientific knowledge and practical experience in medical fields such as phytotherapy, homeopathy and anthroposophy. Until now, there were few avenues to pursue university-level training in this area in Germany. The Steinbeis Transfer Institute aims to close this gap through its teaching and research activities, and by offering academic training to successful CAM practitioners.

Media management for booksellers and publishers

SHB creates new B.A. course for the book industry

22 participants from publishing houses and booksellers embarked on their studies at “mediacampus frankfurt” in July of this year, marking the beginning of the first executive bachelor’s program for the book industry. The degree has been set up as part of a cooperation between the School of Management and Innovation at SHB and “mediacampus frankfurt | die schulen des deutschen buchhandels”.

The degree covers the areas of bookselling and management, as well as publishing and media management. Participants take the degree to dovetail theoretical aspects with everyday practice. “I want to be able to apply what I learn to my business, while learning theory through real-life examples”, explains Heike Fechter, a bookseller at RavensBuch. Course participants also relish the opportunity to compare notes on issues in the publishing industry as well as those covered in the course.

Jointly organized by the School of Management and Innovation (SMI) and mediacampus Frankfurt, the B.A. program addresses the needs and opportunities presented by industry trends, through a business-oriented degree designed to foster careers. The SMI sees itself as a modern business school within the SHB, with a focus on the media and communications industry through its work with the SMI Center for Marketing, Media and Creative Leadership. “mediacampus frankfurt | die schulen des deutschen buchhandels” is the central training and employee development body of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association and its regional associates.

Share this page