CTL 2016 – “Strengths Finder” on Public Speaking

I just spent 2 days at the Career Thought Leaders Conference in Denver and presented alongside a talented group of business owners. When I was in the audience, I was able to engage in one of my favorite activities: Watching speakers, and finding their strengths. The speaker lineup was excellent overall. Here’s a rundown of 5 elements that mark excellence in public speaking, and who displayed them in spades at CTL 2016.

Presence: Vaneese Johnson, The Boldness Coach, has a presence most professionals strive for years to achieve. It’s a natural gift, and she comes to the stage with a strong voice, confidence, and well, boldness. It’s a boldness that’s energizing, not in-your-face. She allows her fiery yet warm personality, bold fashion, and southern culture to enhance her message. And it doesn’t matter where you’re from or how you dressed – she’s somehow relatable to everyone in the audience. That’s not an easy balance, but Vaneese makes it look easy. (And for her, I think it is.)

Storytelling: New CTL CEO Marie Zimenoff delivered on the expectation that stories should develop 3 key elements in depth – challenge, struggle, and resolution. She brought us into her experiences, let us sit with her in some tough moments, and we cheered inside when she triumphed. Her keynote was well-balanced with story, a practical goal-setting exercise, and an inspiring video to close.
In one of her breakout sessions, Ruth Winden shared a personal story about culture challenges that emerged with one of her international clients. The example was spot on. Ruth made us re-think how culture impacts coaching, and how we can improve those conversations.

Audience Adaptation: Susan Whitcomb and Deb Dib know how to work a crowd and get them thinking. Their questions enhanced self-reflection and allowed the audience to look at themselves, their businesses, and their clients on a deeper, more interior level. Drawing from her strength as an MBA, Ruth Pankratz provided practical tools we could easily use at our tables to simply circle or check parts of our businesses that need attention.

Vocal tone and variety: When Beth Kennedy speaks, her audience listens. Her voice is strong and her energy is high. My guess is that she practices what she preaches, and does those mindfulness and recharging exercises she teaches in her sessions.  Beth is engaged in her message, uses speaking space well, and has strong eye contact. All signs of a speaker who takes time to prepare.

Content/Use of Visual Aids: Elisabeth Sanders-Park and Kristen Sherry delivered well-organized content on goal setting and assessments, and their visual aids provided strong support (I especially liked the iceberg image).  These women knew their material and had specific examples at the ready to further enhance their messages.

I enjoyed the opportunity to meet and present with this inspiring group. #CTLConf #PublicSpeakingTips  @CareerTL

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Cindy was selected to present at the Career Thought Leader Conference in Denver. I attended her session and was impressed with her presentation and content marketing expertise. I have been a trainer for over 20 years and her presentation added specific impactful strategies that I will include in my next training. Cindy has a natural engaging style that is persuasive and professional. I would highly recommend working with her if you are looking to increase your business presentations.

Beth Kennedy, Executive Coach

“Cindy, Your coaching was fantastic. You are so good at this. I have done a lot of this too, but I am in awe of your approach, the simplicity of your suggestions and your general professionalism. Thank you.”

Susan Strong, Director at SAGE Boulder

“The On Point ‘Investor Pitch as Story’ online course was a great fit because of my heavy travel schedule. It gave me flexibility as a student to learn and connect with Cindy as necessary. The videos and homework helped me to prepare strong, compelling presentations for potential customers (coaches, directors, school districts) and becoming investor ready.”

Justin Fleming | CEO at MyPerforma

“Cindy was truly instrumental in getting a compelling, professional pitch deck put together. Without her structure and guidance on how to tell a compelling story, I know we wouldn’t have had nearly the success and traction that we have. I look forward to continuing to work with Cindy and making our pitch evolve alongside our business.”

Jennifer Henderson| CEO at Career Allies

“Last year, I reached out to Cindy to help me with a sales deck I use frequently. I learned how to personalize my presentation in an authentic and informative way, making it more interesting to deliver and for my audience to observe!  Cindy was professional, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable and her suggestions were spot on.  If you want to enhance your communication skills, gain confidence in speaking, and improve overall delivery, I definitely recommend working with On Point!”

Nicole Steed, Global Account Manager | Helms Briscoe