CASE STUDY: Presentation Skills Training

AIA 600x314 (2)The case studies outlined in the “Athena In Action” series are being shared as examples of the variety of solutions we have provided to our clients for over a decade.

TOPIC: Presentation Skills

INDUSTRY:  Manufacturing

ASSESSMENT/SITUATION:  I was call in to talk to the Director of Human Resources about the engineer’s ability to effectively deliver their monthly reports.  The President flew in from the US every month for a meeting where all the department heads provided presentations on their activities and results. The engineers were technically fantastic and knew their jobs but were very poor at presenting.  They often had too much information on their slides and they would read from them.  Some of them were visibly very nervous and some others were unfocused and would go off in a different direction.  The President also felt the format of the meeting was ineffective and asked the Director of Human Resources to arrange for  training for the engineers.

ATHENA PARTNER MATCHING:  Since this audience was perfect for my  “Make Your Point” presentation skills program, I submitted my program as a possible solution.  Once the Director of Human Resources read through the details of my program, she agreed it was a great fit.

SOLUTION: I delivered my one day Presentation Skills program that provided the development of the engineers Presentation Skills ability. Specific areas addressed included:

  • Handling nervousness
  • Structure of a good presentation: Opening, Body and Closing
  • Understanding the needs of your audience
  • Presentation skills – Tips and Techniques
    • Handling questions
    • Body language/gestures
    • Using voice and tone effectively – characteristics of a good speaking voice
    • Eliminating distracting mannerisms
    • Using stories effectively to communicate your message
    • Facial expressions – eye contact
  • Using PowerPoint & other visual aids effectively

This program provided significant opportunity for participants to practice their new skills that were introduced within the program. It also provided the participants with the opportunity to interact with each other in a fun and collaborative way.

RESULTS:  We accomplished the objectives through a program delivery format that was highly interactive and provided tangible outcomes in the form of awareness, tools, and new skills that were immediately applied back on the job. Participants were able to practice their presentations twice during the program and receive valuable verbal and written feedback for improvement.  Everyone left saying they felt more confident to deliver their presentations the following month. In addition to learning new presentation skills I addressed the issue of the inefficient meeting. We changed the format from having one person be the MC and get up and announce each presenter, we had each presenter invite the next speaker on the agenda come to the front.  This shaved 15 minutes off the overall meeting time. The President was very pleased at the next meeting, not only because the presentations were more professional and also how efficient the meeting was run.

Confidentiality is very important to us at Athena Training and Consulting Inc.  The company names and individuals have been kept private in these case studies in compliance with our Privacy Policy.

About the Author:  Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC I have an unquenchable passion for life-long learning and continuous improvement. I am a Training Agent, Certified Coach and Facilitator. I work with organizations to simplify the process and reduce the risk of outsourcing training, coaching and HR Consulting.  I provide a one source solution to finding the “Perfect Fit”​ training solution for sustainable results. I believe contributing to the strengthening of my client’s most powerful asset, their employees, is today’s most valuable investment.

cstradling@athenatrainingandconsulting.com  www.athenatrainingandconsulting.com  416-290-5227

 

 

CASE STUDY: Excel Training

The case studies outlined in the “Athena In Action” series are being shared as examples of the variety of solutions we have provided to our clients for over a decade. 

TOPIC: Excel trainingAIA 600x314 (2)

INDUSTRY: Manufacturing

ASSESSMENT/SITUATION:  I received a call from the VP of Human Resource of a manufacturing company.  I had introduced them to other Alliance partners in the past and she felt confident that I would be able to help her with this particular need.  She wanted to run a one day course on Excel training for 12 of their employees.  These employees were from a variety of departments and had varying degrees of experience in working with the program.  My client`s concern was finding one course for everyone both novice and intermediate at the same time.

ATHENA PARTNER MATCHING:  I have several partners that offer outlook training and the one I chose for this client was one that did an assessment up front to see where everyone`s skills level was.  Often participants are not 100% sure of their skill level and this assessment determines exactly where they are and it identifies areas for growth. This particular Athena Alliance partner also includes the option for participants to ask questions up to 30 days after the training.

SOLUTION:  A one day program was delivered and it was designed to teach the participants at both the novice and intermediate levels. The Athena Alliance partner always delivers very interactive programs and each participant was encouraged to bring in a project they were working on to work on so it was very relevant to their jobs.  Having the program designed so each person gets the tools they need regardless of their skills level really helps deeper learning take place.

RESULTS:  This Athena Alliance partner spends a lot of time during the session interacting with the students, showing them tips and techniques that can save them time (I always get positive feedback on her ability to engage the participants). A few people did use the option to contact the Athena Alliance partner with questions after the session, which also went a long way to enhance the learning.

Confidentiality is very important to us at Athena Training and Consulting Inc.  The company names and individuals have been kept private in these case studies in compliance with our Privacy Policy.

 

CASE STUDY: Coaching for Results

The case studies outlined in the “Athena In Action” series are being shared as examples of the variety of solutions we have provided to our clients for over a decade.

 TOPIC: Executive CoachingAIA 600x314 (2)

INDUSTRY:  Advertising

ASSESSMENT/SITUATION: I had met with the HR Director of this organization several months before I received a phone call requesting a coach for one of their managers. The HR Director was looking for someone to work with this very high-potential woman and help her develop her communication and leadership skills, as she was being considered for a promotion as part of their succession plan.  I knew immediately that the coach would be a perfect fit.

ATHENA PARTNER MATCHING:  I connect the HR Director to the Athena Alliance partner  who had extensive experience working with managers in this situation.

SOLUTION: The most important thing when selecting a coach is the fit. It is imperative that there is trust and that there is a connection.  I arranged for my partner to meet with the manager, and they had an instant connection.  My partner outlined a 1-year program that started with an assessment and included a combination of face-to-face meetings, Skype calls and books that needed to be read.  Everyone agreed that in order for the manager to make the necessary changes, it would take time and practice. The manager was grateful for the opportunity and expressed her commitment to do what needed to be done.

RESULTS:  This match was incredible! The manager embraced the coaching and did above and beyond what any of us expected.  She has now been promoted to a Director level, and there is even talk of her moving to a VP position in the next few years.  She still works with this coach on a less-frequent basis; in fact, she is now coaching some of her managers.

Confidentiality is very important to us at Athena Training and Consulting Inc.  The company names and individuals have been kept private in these case studies in compliance with our Privacy Policy.

CASE STUDY: Productivity

AIA 600x314 (2)TOPIC: Productivity

INDUSTRY: Manufacturing

ASSESSMENT/SITUATION: My client, with whom I have been working with for over 6 years, called me one day, frustrated at the lack of productivity within her HR team.  They had a very in-depth in-house program for the other departments and company leaders that was working very well.  Over the years, she had used several of the Athena Alliance partners to complement their internal programs. This day, my client was particularly concerned about the amount of missed deadlines and generally what seemed to be the lack of commitment within her own department.  We talked about various possible solutions; we knew they needed to have a shift in how they were working.  I interviewed a few of the team members, and it became clear that they needed help in learning how to prioritize their heavy workload.

ATHENA PARTNER MATCHING:  I had the perfect partner for them. This Athena Alliance partner had 20+ years’ experience in leading people on how to become more productive in their day-to-day activities.

SOLUTION: The Athena Alliance partner recommended a one-day productivity program to start with and with two half-day follow-up programs over the next six months.  He also recommended that each of the participants join with an accountability partner who would support each other on a weekly basis. They agreed to a 15-minute call once a week to check in and support each other.  The Athena Alliance partner provided the participants with a template of questions they would ask to each other.

RESULTS:  Just before the final half-day follow-up session, I was speaking with my client.  She said she was very happy with the way things had shifted over the past few months.  Although they were not perfect, the department had formed some new habits and positive mindsets that were producing tangible results. My client said she knew that over time, they would get better, and she was very pleased at how everyone embraced the training.

Confidentiality is very important to us at Athena Training and Consulting Inc.  The company names and individuals have been kept private in these case studies in compliance with our Privacy Policy.

CASE STUDY: Sales Training

TOPIC: Sales Training

INDUSTRY: Banking

ASSESSMENT/SITUATION: During an introduction meeting, I was asked if I did sales training. I said that I did and proceeded to learn more about this need. Once I had all of the details of what they were looking for, I booked a follow-up appointment to meet with their VP & Director of Sales.  This program was for a group of newly-hired mortgage advisors who had never worked in a role that required them to be their own bosses. Some had sales experience, but the majority of them did not.  The VP and Director of Sales wanted them to learn sales skills, plus gain an understanding of what it is like to work as an entrepreneur.

ATHENA PARTNER MATCHING: On occasion, when the need is a fit for my offerings, I will submit my personal proposal.  This was the case for this client.

SOLUTION:  I designed an interactive program that included sales skills, networking skills (including a mock networking event), objection handling (including practice in handling their most common objections), designing their unique selling propositio, understanding their mindset and how it affects their results, the importance of tenacious self-leadership and continuous follow-up.  I included exercises that had them identify their centres of influence, as well as new and creative ways to prospect.  Both the VP and Director thought I hit the nail on the head with the program content.  We decided to run a pilot first before rolling out across Canada.

RESULTS: The feedback from the pilot program was fantastic; as a result, for the next 1.5 years, I delivered the program at locations across Canada.  I often get comments on LinkedIn from some of the attendees, thanking me for what they’ve learned and how implementing those techniques have made a difference for them in their sales results.

Confidentiality is very important to us at Athena Training and Consulting Inc.  The case studies outlined in the “Athena In Action” series are being shared as examples of the variety of solutions we have provided to our clients for over a decade.  The company names and individuals have been kept private in compliance with our Privacy Policy.

 About the Author:  Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

I have an unquenchable passion for life-long learning and continuous improvement. I am a Training Agent, Certified Coach and Sales trainer. I work with organizations to simplify the process and reduce the risk of outsourcing training, coaching and HR Consulting.  I provide a one-source solution to finding the “Perfect Fit” training solution for sustainable results.   I believe contributing to the strengthening of my client’s most powerful asset, their employees, is today’s most valuable investment.

cstradling@athenatrainingandconsulting.com

www.athenatrainingandconsulting.com

416-290-5227

 

 

CASE STUDY: Developing Sales Swagger

AIA 600x314 (2)

TOPIC: Annual Sales Conference Options

INDUSTRY: Healthcare

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ASSESSMENT/SITUATION:  I received a call from a client who was looking for a creative way for her sales team to demonstrate more confidence in their jobs.  Most of the sales team had over ten years’ tenure with the firm; due to the seriousness of their product, they had developed a serious approach to sales.  The client wanted the reps to have more “swagger” and excitement in their interactions with their clients.  They had had motivational speakers and various sales training courses in the past and, while they were great, they didn’t address the issue of confidence. This was the type of challenge I love to work on.

ATHENA PARTNER MATCHING:  One of the members of the Athena Alliance is very experienced in delivering Improv sessions. After speaking with my partner, I knew that this would be a great option to help transform the sales team.  Lots of laughter and doing things outside of their comfort zones would help them to shift their perspective.

SOLUTION:  The Alliance partner provided a one-day session using Improv techniques to get them out of their comfort zones and learned techniques to communicate more powerfully and to have more of a presence when they entered the room.

RESULTS:  The Director of Sales was thrilled with the session.  Although a few of the sales folks had some challenges doing all of the exercises initially, they all eventually participated.  There was a lot of laughter, and the Director shared with me that the team expressed their gratitude for arranging this important session.  They felt energized and excited to return to work.  The team also bonded during the exercises in a new way, a bonus as far as the Director was concerned.

Confidentiality is very important to us at Athena Training and Consulting Inc. The company names and individuals have been kept private in compliance with our Privacy Policy.

CASE STUDY: Additional HR help

The case studies outlined in the “Athena In Action” series are being shared as examples of the variety of solutions we have provided to our clients for over a decade.

TOPIC:  Additional HR help

INDUSTRY: Insurance

ASSESSMENT/SITUATION:  During a meeting with a client, she mentioned that they were in the process of implementing a performance system.  She was challenged to have all of the job descriptions updated and entered into the system by their implementation date, 6 months away.  They were a global organization with over 2000 employees.  She was very excited to finally have a formal system, but wasn`t sure she had the manpower to verify and upload all of the job descriptions.  I told her I had several partners with extensive HR experience and would connect her with someone who could help her with this important project

ATHENA PARTNER MATCHING:  I selected the Athena Alliance member with extensive experience when it came to working with performance management software.  Not only did she have experience with the software they were using, she had done a very similar project for several other clients.

SOLUTION: The chosen Athena Alliance partner was given a small office and access to all of the information she needed to complete the project. She worked in my client`s office 3 days a week until the project was completed.

RESULTS:  Within 3 months, all of the job descriptions were confirmed and uploaded into their new system.  My client was thrilled, as she said it would have taken months longer if she only had her internal resources working on it. My client commented that I truly am her one source for all of her training, coaching and HR consulting needs.

Confidentiality is very important to us at Athena Training and Consulting Inc.  The company names and individuals have been kept private in these case studies in compliance with our Privacy Policy.

 

CASE STUDY: Mentoring

The case studies outlined in the “Athena In Action” series  are being shared as examples of the variety of solutions  we have provided to our clients for over a decade.

 AIA 600x314 (2)TOPIC: Mentoring

INDUSTRY: Manufacturing

ASSESSMENT/SITUATION: One of my long-time customers called me to meet with him as he was super excited to share with me his new performance model.  He had been using various Athena Alliance partners in different areas globally and wanted to add a new program.  We had already helped them build a very robust leadership development program that supported all management levels, from first-time supervisor to senior executive team.  My client wanted to add a mentoring program, but wasn’t sure all of his leaders had the skills to be able to do this effectively.  He had identified some key people whom he felt would make excellent mentors and wanted to see if I could help him with some training on how to mentor others.

ATHENA PARTNER MATCHING:  This was an easy match for me, as I have in the Athena Alliance a partner who delivers one of the best mentoring programs in the market today.  After I connected the partner to the client, my client said it was an amazing option for them, and he couldn’t wait to get started.

SOLUTION:  After assessing the leaders intended to be included in the mentor training, the Athena Alliance partner agreed that the leaders were excellent choices. The Athena Alliance partner proposed a 3-month program that was delivered in short 2-hour sessions bi-weekly, with homework in between.

RESULTS: This program was so well-received; they saw such immediate results that it has now been added to their senior leadership program.  The client himself participated, and he shared with me that mentoring done right is a very rewarding experience for both the mentor and the mentee.

Confidentiality is very important to us at Athena Training and Consulting Inc.  The company names and individuals have been kept private in these case studies in compliance with our Privacy Policy.

CASE STUDY: LMS System Implementation Support

AIA 600x314 (2)The case studies outlined in the “Athena In Action” series are being shared as examples of the variety of solutions we have provided to our clients for over a decade.

TOPIC: LMS System Implementation Support

INDUSTRY: Retail

ASSESSMENT/SITUATION: During a regular follow-up call with this client, I asked her what was new.  She said they were looking at implementing a new LMS system.  They were in the very early stages, and she was committed to move forward within that fiscal year.  She said she wanted to be sure they chose the right system and needed to find support for the implementation.

ATHENA PARTNER MATCHING:  I shared with her that one of the Athena Alliance partners had extensive experience with both the selection process and the implementation of LMS systems.  She said she was surprised because she had thought of me for her training and coaching needs, more of the “soft skills,” so to speak.  I suggested she speak with my partner to confirm if she would be able to support them with this important project.

SOLUTION:  My client and partner had a long discussion about how she could support them.  They put my partner on the payroll in a part-time consulting position and proceeded to select and implement their new LMS system.

RESULTS:  My client was thrilled with the speed and ease in which this project was completed.  During a recent call, she shared with me that bringing my partner into the company was one of the best decisions she could have made, and her boss complimented her on how efficient everything was implemented.  Everyone was very pleased at the success of this project, and we were happy that we could support my client.

Confidentiality is very important to us at Athena Training and Consulting Inc.  The company names and individuals have been kept private in these case studies in compliance with our Privacy Policy.

 

CASE STUDY: Creating a Customized In-House College

The case studies outlined in the “Athena In Action” series are being shared as examples of the variety of solutions we have provided to our clients for over a decade.

TOPIC: Creating a Customized In-House CollegeAIA 600x314 (2)

INDUSTRY: Construction

ASSESSMENT/SITUATION:  It was 12 years ago when I first met with this client.  They wanted to create and run an in-house college where selected employees would attend a 3-year program where they would learn various topics on leadership. Young high potentials with the ability to grow in the organization were selected for the program.  The program would give them the development needed to move to Mid-Level Management. This company was totally committed to creating a powerful program that supported ongoing learning for their managers.

ATHENA PARTNER MATCHING:  The partner I chose for this client was a facilitator/coach who had extensive leadership skills training programs, a wide range of assessment tools and was an engaging facilitator.

SOLUTION: It took a few months to get the program designed.  It included topics such as leadership, delegation, giving feedback, difficult conversations, communication skills, presentation skills, personal branding, DiSC and coaching.  They have also periodically included other programs such as Outlook and Microsoft Office training.

RESULTS:

To date, they have had 40 Graduates since the program started in 2005.  Of these, 5 have left the company, 35 have been promoted one level and 9 have been promoted multiple levels.   The current VP Operations is an Alumni of the program.  The Program is very prestigious, and graduates stand out in the organization.   The grad event starts with a Grad Ceremony, they attend a dinner with a guest and all of the executives attend.   They stay downtown and attend a Sunday morning breakfast as well.   They all receive company shares when they graduate.

Confidentiality is very important to us at Athena Training and Consulting Inc.  The company names and individuals have been kept private in these case studies in compliance with our Privacy Policy.