Event Recap: Welcome to Coach U - Teaching Presentation Skills the Graceworks Way

Carol Doscher, President and CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) of Graceworks led the first SMPS CT program of 2019 - Welcome to Coach U: Teaching Presentation Skills the Graceworks Way. As marketing professionals, we are often faced with the challenge of successfully leading our teams during interview preparation. Carol shared her process of preparing a confident team that's ready to knock it out of the park come interview day. Top of the list was the importance of putting the client first, and focusing on 'what's going to help the listener?' as the basis for decision making through the preparation process. The attendees of our program were taken through the steps of developing compelling story boards, while making sure to address the client's main concerns. 

As coaches, it is our responsibility to accentuate the positive in our teams, and provide constructive input. To help our attendees with this task, Carol provided tips and tricks and how to address common interview mishaps and how to best utilize practice time, such as putting story ahead of graphics, and not being afraid of 'ugly rehearsals.' 

Ultimately, the key takeaways included:

  • Make it about your client
  • Strategize and develop a story before you develop the graphics
  • Practice out loud - don't be afraid of 'ugly' rehearsals 
  • Body language is key

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Event Recap: Confessions of a Content Whisperer and Google Analytics Guru

Getting content from your technical staff isn't easy. Whether it's proposals, social media, or presentations, having the right strategy and game plan can make all the difference. At our October program, Danielle Gray, Owner of DG Marketing Company, equipped our attendees with tools to get content from their technical team, measure online presence utilizing Google Analytics, and apply your findings to your overall strategy.  The program started with a discussion of identifying the correct content. To ensure that you are getting meaningful content, it is important that it address these questions: What? So What? Now What? As important is identifying the various technical and work personas and developing a communication strategy for each of them. Having the appropriate approach for each of these personas can make all the difference in the quality of your content. 

Utilizing Google Analytics can help you determine if the content you created is having an impact with your desired audiences. Data pulled from Google Analytics can be analyzed to show where your strengths and weaknesses are, what's working and what's not, give you insight into your core audience, and inform your overall strategy. It is important to report the data back to your company and it "digestible" so that it is easily understood and communicates key points. 


The key takeaways from the program include:

  • Focus on the goal
  • Everything starts with content generation
  • Remember your technical personas
  • All content should be customer-focused
  • Measure everything
  • Use data to communicate points
  • Present 2 + 2, not 4


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Event Recap: Reading the Room - The Dynamics of Emotional Intelligence in Action

We kicked off our 2018/2019 program year with an interactive, experiential learning workshop, Reading the Room: The Dynamics of Emotional Intelligence in Action, led by the Bolder Company.

Keynote Speaker

The program opened with a keynote speaker:  Liz Dederer, Selling with Service. Liz spoke about sales conversations and decoding your client's sales language. The #1 mistake everyone makes in sales conversations is presenting financial decisions to another party in our own financial language -  we need to take the time to listen for what drives someone's decisions. 

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is generally said to include three skills: emotional awareness; the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes regulating your own emotions and cheering up or calming down other people. Attendees of our September program were led by Bolder Company's Founding Partners Ellen Feldman Ornato and Jenny Drescher through a series of exercises that built their self-awareness and self-regulation including Rule Breaking and Catastrophizing. Concepts such as cognitive distortions, which are biased perspectives, and practicing minful responses, which allows us to take a take a step back and assess a situation before reacting, were explored during the program.

Overall, everyone came away with a set of skills to help them tune into facets of emotional intelligence that will help them better navigate challenging business and personal situations. Take aways included:

  • Get out of your own head.
  • Open up the communication and have a conversation.
  • Be prepared for different outcomes.
  • Be BOLDER.
  • Take a longer pause if needed. Deep breaths.
  • Don’t be reactionary.


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Thank Goodness It's Summer - TGIS Membership Drive

In celebration of the warm weather, SMPS CT is offering a Thank Goodness It's Summer (TGIS) Membership Drive with discounts for new and returning members. Take advantage of all the benefits TGIS has to offer before August 31st!

Discounts include:

  • $100 discount available to any enrolling New Member (total fees of $340 versus standard $440)
  • $100 discount available to any re-enrolling Encore Member whose membership expired prior to December 2015 (total fees of $340 versus standard $440)
  • 3 webinar programs scheduled for July and August, at no charge to enrolling New Members or re-enrolling Encore Members
  • 3-month membership extension award available to any Current Member recommending a New Member who joins before August 31, 2018


For more information contact Ruth Millward, Cathy DeFrances, or Ron Paolillo.


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Lending Library Summertime Reading List

By: Jessica Osborne, CPSM - Marketing Manager, BL Companies

Summertime to me means longer days, sunny skies, and (hopefully!) time spent traveling or relaxing – which allows for some extra time to catch up on some reading, personal or professional. Whether you’re listening to an audiobook while on a road trip, or getting lost in a book while lounging on a beach, books are a great way to pass the time! No matter how you like to get your reading in, I’d love to suggest some materials from the SMPS CT Lending Library. Below are a few of my recommendations:

  • Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Susan Cain)
  • TED Talks Storytelling – 23 Storytelling Techniques from the Best TED Talks (Akash Karia)
  • Tips, Tricks, & Tidbits – for marketing executives forced, against their will, to be graphic designers (Clockwork Design Group)
  • Knowing Your Value – Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth (Mika Brzezinski)


Do you have any you’d like to add to this list? Better yet, feel free to contribute some of your favorites to the Lending Library and give our members the opportunity to get lost in a great book (to me, there really isn’t a better feeling!).

For more information on check out procedures and donations, visit our lending library page.


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Event Recap: SMPS CT Strategic Planning


As part of this year's strategic planning retreat, SMPS CT was joined by Inspire Corps. Acting as facilitators, they led SMPS CT members on a journey through time to discover the past and future of the chapter. From humble beginnings as a satellite office to the Boston chapter to various accolades and recent growth spurts, SMPS CT has a rich history that has that helped form the chapter as it is today. Our members came away with an understanding of how SMPS CT started and the various factors at play during it's growth stages.  

Inspire Corps illustrating the history of SMPS CT from our beginnings in the early 1980's to present day. 

With a clear view of the past, we were able to start planning for the future. As part of the discussion we took time to relflect on the SMPS Mission & Vision and benchmark our goals against both:

The SMPS Mission: To advocate for, educate, and connect leaders in the building industry. 
The SMPS Vision: Business transformed through marketing leadership. 

Attendees were able to use their creative thinking skills as we discussed critical path items and set goals to make our 2018-2019 program year the best it can be.

SMPS CT members discussing the vision and mission of SMPS.



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It's Our 35th Birthday!

Today is SMPS CT’s 35th birthday - on this day in 1982, SMPS CT was officially chartered as the 22nd chapter of SMPS. As part of this monumental occasion, we are starting a blog to share with you all the incredible things our chapter and its members are up to. It’s been a journey filled with achievement and accomplishment for our Connecticut chapter over the past three and a half decades – including recently graduating to a Large Chapter and winning the SMPS Membership Derby at the 2017 Regional Conference. We have grown into an industry-recognized organization known for its top-notch programing and professional development. More importantly, we have become a source of knowledge and career advancement for our members.

Check out the video below to learn more about our recent accomplishments! There’s a lot to celebrate!

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