powerpointI would like to share my experience at an event I was fortunate to attend last week- a hands on training, Duarte VisualStory™ Workshop sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. This exclusive education session was hosted by Dr. Sally Saba, Executive Director of National Supplier Diversity for Kaiser Permanente and presented with the help of the Supplier Diversity team. Scott Vowels, the President/CEO and his team of Northern California Minority Supplier Development Council did a wonderful job coordinating the event and generously extending it to the larger MBE community. One of NCMSDC’s strong beliefs is “training is valuable for all businesses, regardless of scope or capacity.” What a great opportunity!

The focus of the event was to teach suppliers the secrets of creating a “wow” factor with their presentations and show them how to create effective, engaging, results-driven presentations which could potentially gain them more business with Kaiser Permanente and other global Fortune 500 corporations. Dr. Sally Saba opened up the morning by sharing her views on the importance of education and by inspiring the crowd to never stop learning. This training not only provided everyone with the opportunity to learn and improve our methods of delivering information, but it also helps keep us current and up to date.

Laura, the VP of Training and Marketing with Duarte did a superb job! We stayed engaged and had the opportunity to work hands on with others we met. We formed teams and created charts and graphs to present in front of the “audience” of other participants. One important lesson I think we all took away was not to be intimidated by the blank sheet of paper because that is where great ideas come from! It was amazing to see how many different ideas were brought to the table and presented by each group even though everyone was dealing with the same subject. Let’s just say there were many “ooh and aah” moments. It was a great reminder of all the creative and diverse ideas that Minority Business suppliers bring to corporations. When everyone works together, everyone benefits!

Tips were provided on how to contrast and develop content so your audience is looking at the right place at the right time when you are conducting a presentation (the size, shape, shading, colors, and proximity all matter!). One key piece of advice was to know and research who you are speaking to so you can craft your message and deliver it in a way your audience wants to hear. This will allow you to get your ideas across but in a way that resonates with your audience. It’s not telling them what they want to hear, it’s telling them what you want to say in a way they want to hear. Ask how you can identify common ground. As Laura stated in her session, “information does not equal a story. You need to motivate, inspire, and persuade because your audience gave you the gift of their time.”

All in all, the event was a huge success! It was well run, allowing time for us to keep in touch via email to the outside world and the venue and food were great. I was impressed by the turnout too! It was nice to connect with new people, some that even flew in from out of state. I am positive these individuals went back feeling more confident in their ability to impress customers with a powerful presentation because I know I did!

Finally, it is always rewarding to be part of a growth experience and that’s what this event turned out to be. Whether it’s a new business relationship, a new idea or just the mental growth from the overall training experience, it’s all a positive. We thank both Kaiser Permanente and the NCMSDC for the opportunity as it would not have been possible without their generosity, commitment to the business community, and support for diverse businesses to succeed. I very much look forward to reading my new book, Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations!

I would like to close with Duarte’s Golden Rule – “Never deliver a presentation you wouldn’t want to sit through.” Great advice!

Angelique Solorio
Corporate Outreach Manager/Supplier Diversity
ATR International

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