[On] Point to Ponder: Insights from Loveland Startup Week

Last week, I presented “The Entrepreneurial Artist’s Business Model Canvas” with Harrison Hand and Ariana Friedlander at Loveland Startup Week. We had a great turnout – the room was packed at over 50 attendees, many of whom lingered long past our 90 minute time limit to continue side conversations. To what can we attribute the event’s success, and what can we glean for future talks?

  1. Preparation is Paramount.

Harrison Hand did a fantastic job setting up the event and thinking through its purpose and objectives. An artist and author himself, he is steeped in the local artist community. He specifically designed this event so that it would help other local artists. He wants them to have the tools he now has but wished he had earlier. He was simultaneously giving back and paying it forward.

Preparing with my fellow speakers beforehand.

2. Content (and Collaboration) is Key.

With three total speakers and a 90 minute time limit, we gathered before the talk to sketch out our larger “story” – identifying where would each add value, provide growth to the message. We formed a path we hoped would build a strong story for the audience. We told stories that resonated. We kept the slide deck minimal and simple. We brought handouts. We tried to sit in the minds of our audience and feel their problems, understand their barriers to success and foretell questions they might ask.

Introducing artists to Effectuation.
Ariana teaches the Business Model Canvas.
Harrison Hand’s “Skylar Tortuga.”

3. We fed them.

It sounds trite, but we fed them. We supplied both food and intellectual content. Audiences come hungry, in both senses of the word. When they walk away feeling satisfied, they are compelled to apply what they learned, network with those they met, and pay it forward as they grow their businesses.

For me, it was a pleasure to collaborate with other professionals in our area and put together a “crazy quilt” of material that would resonate. I look forward to future Startup Week events and those like it; these events don’t just “feed” the audience, they also feed the speakers and the community at-large. Until next year, Loveland!

Cindy Skalicky holds a master’s degree in Rhetorical Criticism and is the owner of On Point Communications, LLC. She coaches speakers – in person or virtually – on storytelling techniques, speech writing, presentation presence and overall content development. Master the Message with On Point. Contact Cindy today at: info@onpoint-communications.com 

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Tim Ash, Agent at The Group Real Estate

“Cindy, I’m in your Career Thought Leaders Conference session right now and you’re absolutely delivering on what you promised when we first met! I’m so excited to keep making progress in developing my brand story.”

Mashaal Ahmed|DC Career Coach

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

“As a professional speaker, I know the value of getting feedback before giving an important speech. As I prepared my TEDx talk, Cindy was the perfect person to give me outside perspective. She did a beautiful job taking the many ideas I had floating around in my head and helping me select what to use, how to organize them, and how to tie it all together.

I love the way she coached, not trying to make her words my own, but instead, considering what I was trying to achieve and helping me stay true to my voice. If you have to stand and deliver a great talk, working with Cindy can help you ensure you’re at your best!”

Tanis Roeder, Elevate Your Communication

When speaking at the CTL conference this spring, I had the privilege to sit in on Cindy’s Storytelling talk. Cindy has an impressive background, and a wonderful approach to helping you present more effectively. Telling a compelling story is crucial for effective presentations that connect with your audience, and Cindy can equip you to prepare and present in a structured, but seemingly unrehearsed way.

Kristin Sherry, Author|Speaker|Coach