Andy Halatei for the Presentation Program

June 12, 2023

Hear from one of Portico's clients about their presentation training program - what it's like, how we work, and the results you can expect.

Video Transcript

Speaker: Andy Halatei, Executive Vice President for Government Affairs, Information Technology Industry Council

How important are presentation skills for achieving your business goals?

Andy Halatei: Well, for us in the Trade association space presentation skills are really a huge piece of the puzzle. You know, our team does great work and we advocate for our members on their behalf. But if we don't convey that work and that advocacy and those successes in a way that our member companies understand and are interested in hearing, then we really haven't accomplished that much for them at all. It's like the old expression. If a tree falls in the woods and no one's there to hear it, did it really fall? Well, if you do great work for your members and the people you report to and they don't digest the information in a way they like, it's almost as if it didn't really happen.

What were the challenges your team faced with presentations?

Andy Halatei: I think the two biggest challenges we faced when we started uh professional training on presentations was one people's mindset and we hear it all the time is, is I'm not very good at this. So the chances are I'm not going to get better. And Megan's team at Portico really helped us change people's mindset to realize that they could get better little by little. It wouldn't happen overnight, but there was a case to be made for improvement. The second thing is also just getting people to understand that they may be a subject matter expertise or they may be doing great work. Um But they really have to convey that work in a way that resonates with people and that they'll pay attention to and they'll understand so that people will value their work. So really um no matter what your job description is and no matter what you do for the organization, everyone has a communications function and getting people to understand that uh was a key uh success for us as well.

How did Portico work with you to resolve these challenges?

Andy Halatei: Well, one of the first things that Portico did when they came on board was really just to take the time to understand our goals and what success looked like for us. And the way they did that was really to dive in to understand our industry, what we do as a trade association and really what would resonate with our members and what they would find valuable. You know, the other thing Portico um does that is tremendously helpful is they meet each employee where they are, everyone is on a different public speaking journey and did not come in with a one size fits all approach. They coached each employee to help them get a little bit better every time we met and to help build their confidence. And I, I'd say the last thing that uh Portico really does for us that's helpful is they give us applicable frameworks and techniques that we can use in our day to day presentations. Uh It's not academic and esoteric where we don't understand what things mean, but it's stuff we can put into practice right away.

What results did you see?

Andy Halatei: Well, I remember one of my first meetings with Megan. She came into the room and said, raise your hand if you can't wait for your next public speaking opportunity and suffice to say no one raised their hand. And while during the time we've been working with the team at Portico Public speaking may not be our favorite thing to do. I can say that everyone's gotten better to the point where we look forward to the opportunity to convey our knowledge and expertise and public speaking presentations are no longer something we dread. Everyone on the team has improved a little bit throughout time and gotten better and better. And while they may not be public speaking masters just yet, I think everyone understands what makes for a good presentation and where they need to grow and get better.

What should people keep in mind when they think about investing in presentation training?

Andy Halatei: I think it's natural for a lot of employers to really only focus on the core competencies or skills of a particular employee, but not really focus on helping that employee grow to convey their particular value or their particular expertise. Um One of the things that Portico did when we brought them on board was really to get our employees to buy in that they weren't gonna have just somebody who was a critic and give them tips, but to really have a friend and a partner that would help them get better along the way. Now, our employees look forward to our training sessions and they see it as an opportunity to get better and learn new techniques and new frameworks that other people may not have. I think for us, one of the things we've also looked for was a tremendous wealth of expertise. I would say public speaking is a true science. And when you look at the years that the Portico team has spent on this, you really have a sense and a a good feeling that you're getting the latest information, the latest techniques that's really tied back to how people respond to compelling presentations.

Produced with Vocal Video