Nancy Duarte, an accomplished businesswoman from California, recently spoke at Southeastern University. I had the privilege of hearing her talk about Duarte Design, the business she started with her husband more than 20 years ago. They have been very successful, developing and presenting nearly half a million presentations for various companies, corporations, and businesses. These include, but are not limited to, Hewlett Packard, Apple, Chick-fil-A, and ted.com.
Duarte, after sharing a little about herself, opened the floor to questions. One of the first asked, was: “How can college students benefit from using LinkedIn?”
Her response was very clear and straightforward. She explained how when her company goes to hire a new employee they always check LinkedIn, as well as Facebook and Google, to see what information comes up about the person they are considering. LinkedIn also can provide information about what previous co-workers thought of a person. So, if you are having a hard time nailing down a job interview with just a resume, you may want to try LinkedIn. This way you can share more about your gifts and talents without the on page resume limitations.
Another question of interest was — “What advice would you give to a student who is trying to follow in your steps?”
Duarte said the best way is simply to “Wake up every day and ask God what you are supposed to do that day.” She continued to explain how important it is to be following the Lord in correlation with seeking a profession. She also said, “To go into public relations you have to be a good communicator, and some graphic design classes would help as well.”
A few questions were asked pertaining to how to put together a good presentation, and then what ways are the best for presenting the information.
“You have to know the group you are speaking in front of, and no matter what, you want people to feel that you are warm.” She also added that presentations should be entertaining in order to keep people’s attention. Her basic point was, know your information and know the group you will be in front of. You would present differently to a group of CEO’s than you would to a general public that was coming to hear about a product.
Finally she said, “Know your material and be sharp on your feet. Have a printout to be safe.” Technical difficulties will occur so you should be able to present and hold people’s attention with or without media help.
These are some of the highlights from a wealth of material she presented, following her own advice and holding our attention. If you ever have a chance to go see her “live” I would strongly recommend you take the opportunity. Her years of experience and successful company make her a great source of information.