Bess Gallanis is the founder of Speaking with Power and Persuasion, an executive communications consulting firm based in Chicago. She is a communication coach, speaker, journalist, a student of yoga and insight meditation and the author of Yoga Chick (Warner Books, 2006).
In this conversation, Bess discusses The Firestarter Experience, her new workshop on communication and presentation skills.
See Also: Bess Gallanis on Indezine
Geetesh: What is the Firestarter Experience workshop, and who is the typical participant who can benefit from this program?
Bess: The Firestarter Experience is a fast and focused two-day professional development program in leadership communication and advanced presentation skills. It is for people who want to make a bigger impact, whether it is around a conference room table or from a conference stage.
There has never been a more exciting time in the history of communication technology. Around the world, more people own a cell phone than a toothbrush. However, human nature has not changed and it would be a mistake to think that all this connection results in effective communication. This is the challenge that The Firestarter Experience was created to address. It changes attitudes and behavior about communication as a relationship skill.
Firestarter is designed around three interconnected sets of attitudes and actions: presence, presentation, and performance. Over the course of two days, Firestarters develop their unique leadership voice and presence, create a compelling business story, and learn a few simple and powerful delivery skills that will enhance their impact. The program empowers participants with the tools and support to manage what they say and how they are heard. This is what creates a competitive communication advantage.
The format is really innovative. The workshop revolves around creating and delivering a three-minute business story. Most communication programs include video feedback. We raise the stakes by creating The Firestarter Experience, a presentation event that is modeled on the TED and Ignite conferences. We create an informal stage, outfitted with lights and mikes, where each participant presents their story in front of a live audience and a professional videographer. Today, every business communicator needs to know how to project a professional image on video and other technology platforms.
The Firestarter Experience is appropriate for high-potential employees who are effective in the technical part of their jobs and could make a bigger impact with improved communication and presentation skills.
It also is appropriate for anyone who is in the business of pitching ideas: entrepreneurs, innovators and consultants. These are the people who need to be weaned off technical language so the rest of the world can understand their brilliant ideas!
Geetesh: When you say “your communication performance can be a game changer - or a deal breaker”, what do you mean? Can you tell us more.
Bess: Communication ability is the most critical skill needed to stay competitive in your career. This is the conclusion reached in the most recent 2010/2011 survey results from the American Management Association, which surveys trends in the broad workforce, and the International Recruiter Survey, which surveys a global audience that hires MBAs.
What does this mean? Today more than ever before, your career success depends on the cooperation of other people. Value in the workplace is created through strategic thinking and problem solving, teamwork and collaboration, and creativity and innovation. Work itself is unstructured across organizational, global and cultural borders.
An important moment in your professional development is when you realize that to get the results you want, your communication must be strategic and intentional. Effective communicators are in command of a tightly interconnected set of skills: self-awareness, emotional management, situational awareness, intention, flexibility, an understanding of human nature, knowledge about how people process ideas and information, persuasion, storytelling skills and a little bit of dramatic flair.
Add to the list above a few new skills. Today, every business communicator must master a range of media, tools and formats to connect, engage and communicate with people. Sensitivity and specific training may be required to effectively interact with a globally diverse audience. Add in the pressure to demonstrate and articulate that your results meet your department’s immediate goals and your company’s broader business strategy.
Categories: interviews, presentation_skills
April 2003 | May 2003 | December 2003 | January 2004 | February 2004 | March 2004 | April 2004 | May 2004 | June 2004 | July 2004 | August 2004 | September 2004 | October 2004 | November 2004 | December 2004 | January 2005 | February 2005 | March 2005 | April 2005 | May 2005 | June 2005 | July 2005 | August 2005 | September 2005 | October 2005 | November 2005 | December 2005 | January 2006 | February 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006 | June 2006 | July 2006 | August 2006 | September 2006 | October 2006 | November 2006 | December 2006 | January 2007 | February 2007 | March 2007 | April 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | August 2007 | September 2007 | October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 | January 2008 | February 2008 | March 2008 | April 2008 | May 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | August 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | November 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | February 2009 | March 2009 | April 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | October 2009 | November 2009 | December 2009 | January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | April 2010 | May 2010 | June 2010 | July 2010 | August 2010 | September 2010 | October 2010 | November 2010 | December 2010 | January 2011 | February 2011 | March 2011 | April 2011 | May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011 | September 2011 | October 2011 | November 2011 | December 2011 | January 2012 | February 2012 | March 2012 | April 2012 | May 2012 | June 2012 | July 2012 | August 2012 | September 2012 | October 2012 | November 2012 | December 2012 | January 2013 | February 2013 | March 2013 | April 2013 | May 2013 | June 2013 | July 2013 | August 2013 | September 2013 | October 2013 | November 2013 | December 2013 | January 2014 | February 2014 | March 2014 | April 2014 | May 2014 | June 2014 | July 2014 | August 2014 | September 2014 | October 2014 | November 2014 | December 2014 | January 2015 | February 2015 | March 2015 | April 2015 | May 2015 | June 2015 | July 2015 | August 2015 | September 2015 | October 2015 | November 2015 | December 2015 | January 2016 | February 2016 | March 2016 | April 2016 | May 2016 | June 2016 | July 2016 | August 2016 | September 2016 | October 2016 | November 2016 | December 2016 | January 2017 | February 2017 |
Microsoft and the Office logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.