As a key part of our mission, the Truman Center and Truman National Security Project has developed a series of unique and effective training modules including substantive policy briefings, skills-building decks for communications and advocacy work, and deep-dive comprehensive workshops. These trainings have become a popular product that we offer to organizations, elected officials, candidates, and advocacy groups.
Taught by our certified trainers and policy experts, Truman trainers cover everything from cybersecurity to public speaking in an engaging and interactive format. All trainings are modular, and the length and content can be adapted to specific needs.
Substantive Policy Briefings
Worldview: Truman Internationalism in the 21st Century
Truman believes that the lessons of the 20th century have a role to play in shaping how the United States answers the challenges and opportunities of the 21st. This training tells the story of how national security policy has evolved over time. Attendees will walk away with a clear understanding of how the United States can use all of the tools of national power—including diplomacy, defense, development, and democracy promotion—to lead the world towards shared security and prosperity.
The sophistication and scale of the cyber threats facing American companies, critical infrastructure, and government today are unprecedented, but decision makers continue to approach cybersecurity and related issues as standalone challenges. This training recognizes that technical problems require more than just technical solutions. Participants will walk away with a clear understanding of the motives and capabilities of our potential adversaries, the scope of the current threats we face, and the core principles that will apply to cybersecurity debates of tomorrow.
Energy and Climate Security 101
Energy and climate change policy are not only questions of economics, environmentalism, and social justice—they also matter to national security practitioners. This training gives an overview of the threats climate change and single-source dependence on unsustainable energy present to the United States and what steps the military has taken to mitigate them. Participants will walk away with an understanding of how our military and national security leaders are leading the way on resilience efforts at home and technological adaptations in the field to keep our men and women in uniform—and the populations they deploy to protect—safe from a changing climate. Furthermore, each training will provide tailored opportunities for participants to engage on these issues on the local level.
International Development and Security
In an interconnected world, threats to U.S. and international security spring directly from broader trends like poverty, resources crises, and the repression of human rights. This training explores how smart, proactive U.S. development and democracy promotion policies can build a safer world. Participants will walk away with a broader appreciation for the tools of national power and our nation’s frontline civilians, who work in conflict zones the world over to promote U.S. interests.
Only 7.3% of living Americans have served in the U.S. military at some point of their lives, leaving most policymakers, advocates, and everyday citizens with a dearth of knowledge about the military’s organization and culture. Taught by military veterans, this training covers everything from high-level questions about the values of those who serve in the military all the way down to details about the differences between the various branches and ranks. Participants will walk away with a better sense of who serves in our military—and why they do it.
Skill-Building Training Decks
Strategic Communications: Communicating through Values and Emotions
Persuasion is about more than facts and figures; instead, shared values and stories are the key to reaching persuadable audiences in a hyper-polarized environment. This training uses audience engagement, real-world examples, and psychological studies to flesh out a comprehensive strategy of how to connect with the audience. Participants will walk away with a toolbox of strategic communications to build trust and communicate effectively with diverse groups in both the political and corporate arenas.
On-Camera 101 Training
Media appearances can help you reach a persuadable audience, but a lack of polish and preparation can damage your cause almost as much as a great session can help it. This training covers the essentials from wardrobe to camera angles, and makes use of numerous examples to illustrate best practices in both behavior and messaging tactics. Participants will walk away understanding how to put their best face forward and build trust with a television audience.
Even with the advent of social media and the continued reign of talking heads on TV, the written word—both in print and digital outlets—is essential to persuading policymakers and the public. This training is more than a slide deck—in fact, participants practice writing components of an op-ed with live feedback from the trainer. Participants will walk away understanding the essential elements and structure of a persuasive opinion piece.
Social Media 101
The ever-expanding social media landscape can be overwhelming to beginners, but it offers tremendous opportunities to engage with people the world over and promote all manner of content and messaging. This training explores the value-ads of social media and dives deep on how users and organizations can leverage LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to maximum effect. Participants will walk away fluent in the lingo of social media and ready to retweet, like, and share their way to a meaningful presence on the internet.
Bridging the Gap: Tackling Bias, Stereotypes and Discrimination in National Security
A diverse and inclusive workforce in national security is not only necessary to represent our country’s demographic makeup and reflect our common values, but also leads to qualitatively better national security policy. Unfortunately, minorities make up an alarmingly, disproportionately small percentage of the national security field, especially in senior leadership positions. This workshop is an open and honest discussion to help participants tackle the societal and institutional barriers unique to minorities entering and working in the national security field.
What’s your purpose? Why are you here? What does it take to be a great leader? This in-depth workshop encourages participants to answer these questions while looking at their own personal stories as trained facilitators help them explore how values, strengthens, and priorities drive our behavior. Part self-reflection, part team-building exercise, and part strategic planning session, Change Agent helps your organization become more effective by strengthening its individuals one at a time.
Cybersecurity in an International Conflict: A Simulation
In this unique, audience-driven simulation, a cyber-attack brings an ally’s economy to its knees—and the perpetrators are threatening to do the same to the United States. How should we respond? Take a seat at a National Security Council meeting and help the President decide.
The slide from healthy democracy into authoritarianism does not happen suddenly, which means it can be stopped--but that is entirely up to us. This unique training is designed to teach local- and state-level elected policymakers, civil servants, allied organizations, and concerned citizens what they need to know to safeguard American democracy from authoritarian backslide. Sourced from experts who have real experience fighting authoritarianism around the world, this workshop identifies the most pressing threats to our democracy here at home and guides participants through tools, strategies, and tactics to both leverage and defend our most critical institutions. As a result of this workshop and its accompanying toolkits and resources, participants will have the skills, knowledge, and networks they need to respond to the possibility of authoritarian backslide in the United States.