What is your relationship with Jennifer Maxson & Associates?
I am a Speak Up & Be EffectiveTM – Momentum alumni and avid reinforcement session attendee!
When did you first experience/learn about Jennifer Maxson & Associates programs?
Many of my Procurement colleagues at the company I work for had taken the program previously, and early in my career had recommended that I do the same. I attended Speak Up & Be EffectiveTM – Advanced (now Momentum) in 2014. I still remember leaving the course and feeling as though it was the single most impactful training I had ever completed (and still feel that way today). My favorite parts were the Key Word Outline and thought process, the video recording and analysis of your presentation, and the conversations around how to apply this in a multitude of settings. I suddenly became aware of my movements and my messaging.
Have you participated in the free reinforcement sessions that Jennifer Maxson & Associates offers?
I am entirely dedicated to attending the reinforcement sessions. I love the regular reminders of the principles of enhancing your credibility as a leader and to take the time to prepare when providing information or giving a presentation so that your message is as impactful as possible. These reinforcement sessions are also a differentiator of this program- many organizations go with the “one and done” model where you absorb as much as you can in a few days, but as the years go by the information moves to the background. I get to keep this information in the forefront and apply it to my job often. I always keep the Key Word Outline handy and the reinforcement sessions are another reminder to pull it out of my drawer and use it!
What has been your personal and corporate success(es) from Jennifer Maxson & Associates Leadership development programs?
I have spoken at several of our Procurement department meetings and I have had the chance to continue to review videos of myself in front of the group. I have noticed that early on I perhaps didn’t feel so comfortable with the subject matter and should have prepared further. I can see great progress in feeling more comfortable in speaking to a larger group and have felt a stronger impact of my messaging and credibility in those presentations. It’s fun to see that the preparation of how to communicate with impact allows others to better hear what I have to say. There is a noticeable difference between how I communicate post Speak Up & Be EffectiveTM versus how I communicated pre-training.
What is your favorite “tip” from a Jennifer Maxson & Associates program?
I have many favorite tips from the Speak Up & Be EffectiveTM – Momentum program.
Likely the one that I think about most often is to return your hands to a relaxed base position at your sides when presenting information in front of a group. I notice that the most impactful presenters have practiced carefully but do not appear rehearsed, and therefore can keep distracting hand movements/nervous fidgeting to a minimum.
I also remember the above halfway/below halfway visual, reminding us to keep our hands at that base position and only allow for intentional, impactful movements to come above that halfway mark. It really drives the point home and ensures you’re only using your hands when necessary.
Lastly (but not least!), I love the Key Word Outline. I’ve coached interns and colleagues on the process using the Key Word Outline and have used it many times myself. This document really helps me to organize my thoughts and really think about my audience. There are so many instances where I’ve just jumped right in prior to examining how I could be most effective, so the Key Word Outline reminds me to take that step back so I can move forward with the most impact.
How do you use the information you learned in a Jennifer Maxson & Associates program in your everyday job?
Above my computer is the Speak Up & Be EffectiveTM card that they provide. It reminds me that in every interaction I have a chance to enhance my credibility as a leader if I begin with that outcome in mind. I use this information when crafting emails, planning for presentations, and being ready for impromptu conversations/presentations as well. I recently was able to share some of what I learned in the course with an intern and really watched her nail her final presentation, too.
I’m thankful that Jennifer, Amy, and Sarah are always there and always open for feedback, continued learning experiences, and topics that are relevant to what we’re experiencing in our jobs currently. I’ve grown a lot through the content that they provide and always look forward to the next reinforcement session.
Written by: Kendra Lisak, Lead Sourcing Manager, Global Indirect Procurement for a local company