SPEAKING & WORKSHOPS
ENGAGED. VALUED. INSPIRED.
I don’t ever want to stand in front of people and talk AT them… I want to ENGAGE them… maybe in a conversation. Perhaps through an activity. Likely in something fun that pushes us all a little out of our comfort zones for a moment…
Why? As entrepreneurs, we’re constantly self-motivated to learn, learn, learn… to the point that we forget to enjoy ourselves in the process. More education, more knowledge… isn’t our problem. We have the proverbial world at our fingertips and in our back pockets.
But sometimes you just have to put the phone down and learn another way…
I believe one of the best ways to learn is through something we ENJOY without any PRESSURE. Speaking is my opportunity to create that experience.
No stress. No pressure. Simply inspiration, fun, and REAL solutions to real business problems.
In any opportunity I am privileged to have, my goal is for people to leave feeling confident, valued, and inspired… with more clarity than they had before.
I started speaking in 2017. I’ve had one paid presentation, one weekend conference breakout session, and one workshop. I will also be presenting at Alt Summit in 2019!
(NOTE: the following examples reflect opportunities I’ve had for both of my businesses – one in branding and marketing, the other in art and surface design.)
TOPIC: BRAND & SALES STRATEGY
2017 | DRUPAL CAMP WEEKEND CONFERENCE
This was a breakout session at a Drupal developer weekend conference. Drupal is an open source platform used by many agencies and freelancers, often for clients with a variety of broad and deep technical needs, such as government agencies, educational institutions, etc.
I’ve worked with many developers over the years, and I understand that marketing and brand strategy aren’t necessarily their favorite topics. So, I made the decision to speak about it from a big picture / sales-oriented perspective…
In other words… how to land better leads, contracts, and clients.
I framed the presentation around the business owner’s own talents and strengths… many of which are rooted in the ability to think deeply about complex issues and develop solid solutions. I explained how to translate these strengths into conversations that communicate their ability to solve their clients’ most pressing problems.
My session was focused on connecting the dots between their own talents and strengths, and their ability to build the business they want with the clients they want. I created a sales strategy engine to visually represent these connections.
HOW I ENGAGED THE AUDIENCE
Okay. I maaaay have sung part of a Coca Cola commercial from the 80s. There’s no recording of it, so it’s their word against mine. 😀
I wanted to make a point about their own brand / marketing strategy:
It’s memorable. It creates feelings… yes feelings.
For me, the feeling of freedom as a kid (singing that commercial at the top of my lungs on the swingset with my brother) is a memory I’ll never forget.
(In fact, the lyrics say “you can’t beat the feeling…”)
It was a personal example, but I’ve never forgotten those lyrics! Throughout my presentation, I wanted to stress this importance… yes. Their clients need technical solutions, not feelings. However, the technical part is often the easiest for this crowd… they have results, they have numbers, they can easily convert a dead site into a powerful lead generating machine…
But how they make their clients feel is important, as well. Their conversations and relationships are just as important as the technical solutions they provide… indeed they are a key component of the very foundation that serves for testimonials, recommendations, and ultimate business growth.
I didn’t write down or ask for direct feedback, but afterward, a few of the developers told me I should write a book on my strategy engine… who knows… maybe I will!
TOPIC: BRAND & MARKETING STRATEGY
2018 | SOLA SALON STUDIOS
This was a 3-hour workshop co-hosted with a 30-year salon professional and New York salon owner, Theresa Weinberg.
My role was to address brand and marketing strategy from a best-practices approach… what it takes to grow a business and get dedicated repeat clients. Her role was to relate the key principles to the specific needs within the beauty industry.
Our audience consisted primarily of beauty salon owners, med spa service providers, and estheticians. We also had a couple of other franchise owners in attendance.
HOW WE ENGAGED THE AUDIENCE
Theresa and I had great energy together. We actually started off with a mini dance party. It was 9 a.m. in the morning, so…. you know. It was good to have something other than coffee and snacks to energize everyone!
We ran this workshop quite casually, with plenty of question and answer time throughout. We also had mini journals and pens for people to write down ideas and answers to pre-planned questions we gave them. We wanted them to walk away at the end of the morning with practical ideas they could implement right away.
At the end of our workshop, we provided feedback forms. On all the forms we received back, we scored Excellent across the board with all the attendees. In fact only one franchise owner ranked a couple of items as Very Good. (We were so happy to see what he ranked that way… if everything was Excellent, what could we improve upon??)
Here were some of the comments we received:
Great! Loved the activities. Made me really think about who I am and why I started a business. I needed this. I need to write down my thoughts, ideas, and goals more often.
You ladies did a fantastic job!! Thank you! My why and my goals are two things I really should focus on.
Very good – I needed this to see where to go with my business. The video exercise was a big eye opener.
TOPIC: SURFACE DESIGN & ART LICENSING
2017 | GILBERT VISUAL ARTS LEAGUE
This was a paid presentation for an audience consisting primarily of traditional fine artists… painters, mixed media artists, collage artists, etc.
I knew engaging this audience would present a unique challenge… most of the artists were unfamiliar with the world of pattern design and art licensing. Only a portion of them worked digitally. I knew I needed to educate them about surface design, and inspire them with a vision for their own potential in the market, as well.
I decided to give them an overview of how the industry works, and the opportunities even fine artists have (whether or not they work digitally.)
I broke my presentation down into two categories… surface design + art licensing. Within each category I discussed topics such as substrates, themes for design, tips for acquiring clients, as well as a brief overview of how different licensing contracts work.
HOW I ENGAGED THE AUDIENCE
I had a fun and practical exercise that got everyone out of their chair and engaged in an activity they’d never tried before: making a seamless pattern by hand. At the end of the night everyone left with their own seamless pattern. (Seriously, if you’ve never tried this before, ask me to show you how… even if you’re not an artist, it’s a lot of fun!)
My goal was to show them how they could turn their own motifs into a marketable surface pattern.
Thanks again for your great presentation at our GVAL meeting. Many members commented
that yours was the best presentation we’ve ever had! I know you put a lot of effort into the
preparation, and we most appreciate it.
– Stevie Denny, GVAL Organizer