Advantage team rocks workshop at national conference for Smithsonian affiliates

Advantage Partner Polly Thompson and Consultant Darlene Coker walked their talk as they presented a workshop to Smithsonian affiliates on how to win donors and supporters with winning words at last week's 2016 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference in Washington, DC.

Their session on October 19 —described in multiple comments as the "best professional development session at the conference"— provided directors, educators, marketers and fundraisers with a toolkit to enhance communication and presentation skills for gaining support of key initiatives.

Comments from attendees also included:

  • "I feel empowered. I can do this!"
  • "It gave me clear descriptions of how to reach tangible goals."
  • "It has given me great new ideas and strategies to better our solicitation and donor development."
  • "Extremely valuable and well designed, extremely relevant."

Drawing on ideas from the world’s best presenters, such as TED speakers, corporate executives and military leaders, they guided more than 100 participants from across the U.S.  through concepts and practice exercises designed to help them position their conversations strategically, and to prepare winning presentations that can be used in casual conversations, meetings, and formal proposals.

Attendees also shared via text message their favorite takeaways from the session during a live poll at the event. Their responses were shown on screen and included:

  • Practice!
  • Know who you are talking to
  • Engage audience imagination.
  • It's about the audience not you.
  • Smart storytelling.
  • Don't wing it.

The 2-hour workshop, held in the National Museum of the American Indian, highlighted some of the key concepts from a 1-day customized Present the Smithsonian Workshop Advantage has facilitated for the Smithsonian Advancement Academy Gift Officers and their staff.

Thompson and Coker also were invited to attend to the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the gala dinner at the National Portrait Gallery where Lincoln had his inauguration.

Advantage Performance Group was also a sponsor for the conference held October 17-20, 2016.

Below are some photos from the event. Hover over the photos for more information, or click to view a larger version.

Related resource

The power of storytelling

Say goodbye to bullets and lengthy, boring text! Take your audience on a memorable journey instead.

Make your slide presentations more memorable with these tips from Scott Hodin, Sr. Learning Developer, Sales Practice at BTS, an Advantage thought leader partner.

The Advantage Team

Advantage Performance Group is a professional services firm dedicated to providing a continuous stream of creative learning solutions that equip individuals, teams and organizations to be the best at what they do.

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