Authoritative, Persuasive Responses to Tough Customer Questions

Client — Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, a global leader in the design, development, systems integration, production, and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies

Strategic Goals

To win the contract with the U.S. government to build the Joint Strike Fighter plane—the largest defense contract in U.S. history

Communication Challenges

  • Briefing large groups of government officials about ongoing research, design, plans, and progress for a multi-year project
  • Responding authoritatively to difficult questions posed from technical specialists from a wide range of disciplines
  • Persuading technical specialists to accept design recommendations
  • Instilling confidence among decision makers that Lockheed could produce a superior plane on time and within budget


Booher’s solution included:

  • Interviewing senior executives about customer feedback given after recurring briefings
  • Observing day-long briefings delivered by the senior project managers
  • Identifying skills gaps among individual presenters
  • Analyzing and evaluating the structure, language, and visuals selected to convey important messages
  • Tailoring our Presentations That Work® training program to address specific issues related to government requirements
  • Coaching senior executives individually
  • Preparing appropriate responses to difficult questions
  • Creating a custom training program, Visuals: Their Design and Use, to assist company communication specialists to prepare appropriate visuals with a clear message


Lockheed Martin was awarded the $220-billion Joint Strike Fighter contract, the largest defense contract awarded in US history.

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