No Passport Needed to Get to This Client

Enjoying Lunch with Client CEO Bob Pennington
Enjoying Lunch with Client CEO Bob Pennington

Ever since I started my company, Championship Communication, in 1997, I have welcomed opportunities to speak, direct seminars, and serve as a Speech Coach in many distant, fascinating places. Among them:

–Whistler, BC, Canada: gave the keynote speech and directed a seminar for the British Columbia Legal Management Association

–Cancun, Mexico: Provided a 90 minute motivational program for the Ritz-Carlton Cancun’s management staff

–Bermuda: served as Enrichment Lecturer for Celebrity Cruises

–Boston, MA: On several occasions, helped two top-ranking Gillette executives improve their speaking skills

–Colorado Springs, CO: Directed an all day Customer Care seminar for CenturyTel, the eighth largest telecommunications company in the U.S.

Certainly I enjoyed these client engagements, among many others in diverse locales. Yet a couple of weeks ago, I welcomed the privilege of working with a hometown client, based in Gainesville, GA, less than five miles from my office.

The logistical advantages are obvious: no flight delays because of weather systems, no extra charge for carry on luggage, no TIA inspections, and no blaring TV from an adjacent hotel room.

However, my local client—Willis Investment Counsel—provided advantages that went well beyond the benefit of its proximity:

–Clearly Defined Goal
The investment firm’s Annual Meeting was approaching. One hundred clients and prospects would attend a reception hosted by the firm, and remain for a session describing the economy and the firm’s services. The goal: To maximize the opportunity with this top-tier audience, by giving superlative presentations.

–Coaching Clients Committed to Learning
Bob Willis and Jay Kilroy prepared thoroughly for their learning/practice sessions with me. They responded maturely and creatively to my recommendations, and to what they saw in our video replays. Nothing pleases me more than leaders who are eager to keep on learning.

–A Follow Up Plan
From my observation, many corporations miss the mark when they sponsor training, coaching, and presentations as “one-shot” events. Fortunately, Willis Investment Counsel had agreed on a well-structured plan for meeting with clients and prospects individually soon after the event.

As you can imagine, this level of corporate commitment generated highly visible results. Bob and Jay, my Speech Coaching clients, excelled in their ten-minute presentations. They charged the atmosphere with fluency, energy, confidence, and professionalism, along with tasteful, low key humor.

In the photo above, Bob Pennington—the firm’s President and CEO—smiled as he talked with me about the success of the Annual Meeting. He was pleased that Bob and Jay implemented my coaching recommendations, and even enriched them. “We’re beginning to see solid numerical evidence that the program was a winner,” Pennington commented.

Thanks to Bob Pennington for selecting me to work with his talented group. For him and his colleagues, I’d even be glad to arrive at an airport two hours early, eat cold sandwiches, and sit by a passenger who is determined to share his or her life story. . .with or without my encouragement.

For more about my Speech Coaching service—available wherever you live and work—please visit this page on my Web site:

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