Todd Ramsey with Apples & Arrows visits with Byron West from Luminous Neon, Inc.

Todd Ramsey with Apples & Arrows visits with Byron West from Luminous Neon, Inc. during the January 15 Sunrise Scrambler.

Improve Your PowerPoint Presentations with Three Principles

Todd Ramsey, Chief Strategist for Apples & Arrows, has seen a lot of PowerPoint Presentations over the years and “about 99% of them are bad.” Drawing on his own expertise and some advice from one of his favorite subject matter experts, Nancy Duarte, Todd provided us with three easy principles for improving PowerPoint Presentations.

Principle One
You don’t need PowerPoint.

Don’t use PowerPoint as a crutch. A presentation is the best time to utilize your personal creativity rather than depend on presentation tools. Experiment with other presentation tools that can add some flair to your message delivery. But remember that there is always a possibility that you’ll experience a technology glitch. So practice and be prepared to channel your passion for your subject by presenting without your tools.

Principle Two
Fewer words = better PowerPoint.

Don’t present a document or your script. Limit yourself to 75 words in your slide deck. Your audience will remember images more than they remember words, so incorporate the most memorable photos and videos you can find. Images connect your audience to your message through the emotions they evoke. (Todd is willing to share his “cute kitten” image with you if you need it.)

Principle Three
Stick with three big ideas.

Keep it simple so your audience can absorb and process your three most important ideas.

A few other tips from the Q&A that followed Todd’s presentation include:

  • Check out colourlovers.com or kular.adobe.com for some pre-existing color palettes that will help you make effective choices.
  • Limit yourself to two fonts. Remove Papyrus and Comic Sans from your font style options. They are simply overdone.
  • Comply with copyright laws when using images. Check the Creative Commons area of Flickr for some dynamic photos that you can use with some restrictions. You can also purchase images or grab a camera and take your own.
  • Minimize animation and use conservative transition styles to keep your file size manageable.

For more inspiring ideas, Todd suggested reviewing Nancy Duarte’s book, Slide:ology:  The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations.  And while you’re doing your research, Todd recommends viewing the video, A Pep Talk from Kid President to You.  In the memorable words of Kid President, “Remember that you were made to be awesome.  So get to it!”

Our thanks to Wichita Chamber Board Member Todd Ramsey for kicking off 2014 with some practical advice that we can all incorporate in our presentations this year. We’re also grateful to our sponsors:  Legacy Bank, Wichita Scottish Rite Center, and Southwestern College Professional Studies.

Special thanks to Jim Davenport from the Wichita Scottish Rite Center for providing a building tour following the presentation. There were many in attendance today who were visiting this historic building for the first time. Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about its features and history.

Check the Chamber’s Sunrise Scrambler photo album on Facebook for event pictures. Our next Scrambler is February 19 at the Museum of World Treasures. Aaron Bushell from Bank of the West will speak about how failure can lead you to success in his presentation, Fail is not a Four-Letter Word.

Important Benefits of Joining Your Local Chamber of Commerce

In my position as manager of membership development at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, I am always looking for ways to add benefits for our current and future members. However, there are certain benefits that are inherent for anyone who joins a chamber of commerce.

I found an article titled “Important Benefits of Joining Your Local Chamber of Commerce” by Kathleen Lanza, a freelance writing and strategic communications professional with more than twenty-five years of combined private, public and non-profit sector experience. She outlines several of the automatic benefits chamber members enjoy. Her article is below and I encourage you to take a look.

If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur who is involved with your local Chamber already, we would like to hear from you. What benefits have you experienced by joining the chamber of commerce in your area?  Has your experience been worthwhile and yielded a solid ROI?  Why or why not? Email your responses to kdundas@wichitachamber.org.

Important Benefits of Joining Your Local Chamber of Commerce
From Money News Now – By Kathleen Lanza

Not to be confused with the Better Business Bureau, which represents the interests of both consumers and businesses alike, the Chamber of Commerce solely represents the interests of business owners.  Today there are thousands of these organizations all across the U.S., all of them focused in one way or another on promoting any number of pro-business initiatives.

Today’s Chamber of Commerce organizations range from the all-encompassing and nationwide U.S. Chamber of Commerce all the way down to the state, regional and local levels.  The exact nature and extent of the activity undertaken by the Chamber then varies in accordance with the level at which it operates.

For instance, local Chambers of Commerce are focused on bringing their own business community together in ways that will foster their members’ own growth and support for one another. In many cases, that means working with local government representatives, such as the mayor, the city council and other local representatives to ensure the voices of the Chamber’s actively engaged entrepreneurs and other business owners are heard and that their needs are being met.

Becoming a Local Chamber of Commerce Member

Okay, so it sounds like a no-brainer that any small business owner should get on board, join up and join in, at the very least where the local Chamber of Commerce is concerned, but not so fast!

Before you do, you need to understand going in that becoming a member of your local Chamber of Commerce will cost you some money.  That’s right, paying dues of some kind is required.  And while those dues will constitute a tax write off for you and your business, given that joining the Chamber isn’t free, it begs the question: “Is it worth it?”

We’ll get to that in a bit.

For now, just know that conducting a straightforward cost-benefit analysis is only part of the equation when it comes to making this decision.  It’s also important to understand that getting the best return on your investment will require something you may already believe you don’t have enough of these days…time.  Joining the local Chamber if you’re not going to take the time required to become an active member is probably not going to pay off much for you, certainly not in the long term.

Yes, joining your local Chamber of Commerce is essentially about your own business’ growth, that’s for certain, not just initially but well into the future.  It’s also about building relationships over time that will take time, but that will also have a tremendous positive impact on your professional and personal growth, as well as that of your surrounding community.

Chamber of Commerce Membership: Benefits from the Consumer Perspective

When it comes to describing the benefits of doing anything, there’s a tendency to rely on what would be considered more anecdotal evidence, especially where there’s been little research conducted or a lack of more scientifically driven information is available.

Thankfully that’s not the case when it comes to understanding the value of joining a local Chamber of Commerce from a consumer and customer relations standpoint.  On this subject, the findings are pretty clear.

In fact, a recent study designed to measure consumer perspectives on this topic yielded some pretty impressive numbers for building a persuasive argument as to why businesses and companies that don’t join their local Chamber may be doing themselves a tremendous disservice.  It was conducted by The Schapiro Group and Market Street Services using a scientific web-based survey of 2,000 adults across the country.

First among the most telling results?  When consumers know that a small business is a member of their local Chamber of Commerce, they are 44% more likely to think favorably of it, and they’re a full 63% more likely to purchase goods or services from that company in the future.

Talk about brand awareness and image enhancement!

Additionally, a high level of involvement in the local Chamber by a business grants it a certain level of trustworthiness and a competitive edge in the local marketplace. In fact, those businesses are automatically perceived by many to be industry leaders.

Furthermore, Chamber membership confers a higher level of distinction on certain types of businesses in particular, including restaurants and insurance companies.  And it results in all companies being more highly perceived as users of good business practices, reputable, caring about their customers and being more involved in their communities overall.

Chamber of Commerce Membership: Benefits from the Business Owner Perspective

So we’ve pretty much established that joining the local Chamber of Commerce carries a certain level of cachet where consumers’ perceptions are concerned.  And that alone is a great reason to get involved, no question.

But remember those more “anecdotal” benefits we referred to earlier?  They’re every bit if not more important to you as a small business owner because they represent the nuts and bolts of how your joining the local Chamber can yield measurable and positive results for you and your specific business over time.

Here they are:

Promotions and publicity—Many local Chambers run programs that offer promotional materials, events and activities to welcome new residents and businesses to the area, ensuring that your business is front and center and ahead of the local competition with this very valuable target audience.  Additionally, business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) advertising and publicity opportunities are oftentimes available to members exclusively, and mailing list access alone could be worth its weight in gold.

Networking—While today’s technology and the ability to network online may have you wondering if the local Chamber of Commerce way of doing business in person is obsolete, think again.  There’s still nothing as strong as face-to-face communication where building trust, respect and name recognition is concerned…nothing.  And it’s only through building that level of relationship over time that you are likely to acquire customer referrals and find the most suitable vendors, consultants and distributors you need to help you grow your small business long-term.

Mentoring—We’ve talked a lot in these pages about the incredible benefit of having a mentor when you are starting or trying to grow your own small business, and the local Chamber of Commerce is a great place to find one.  It’s also a great place for you as an established small business owner or entrepreneur to offer your services to an up and comer in this regard.  Nothing pays you back like paying it forward, and mentoring is no exception to that rule.

Events and programs—The local Chamber of Commerce will likely facilitate a whole host of activities and events over the course of a given year, each designed to help you as a small business owner to either get to know your peers, your competition or your customers that much better.  These kinds of programs provide tremendous business opportunities for people to get to know one another and expand their prospect base and generate great leads.

Members-only discounts and services—Oftentimes, local Chambers of Commerce will negotiate deals with companies and businesses that provide the products and services that businesses need most, such as phone and internet service, computer hardware and software or other vendor products and services.  And don’t forget health care insurance access.  These discounts alone can mean hundreds of dollars in savings to the small business owner in particular, making the cost of dues almost negligible by comparison.

Government access and impact—Because the local Chamber of Commerce speaks with a united voice, one very much in favor of business interests, members are more likely to have an impact on government decision-making as part of a larger body than they would on their own.  Additionally, elected officials are much more likely to entertain an audience of concerned local Chamber of Commerce members than they are any one individual business owner, especially if he or she is not representing a very large concern or at the very least a large contributor.

An Office Away from the Office—Small business owners, especially those who work from a small home office, will have a place they can go to congregate with other professionals when and if the need for human interaction and exchange becomes preferable.  Moreover, they can oftentimes use the Chamber’s facilities to host clients and hold meetings, ensuring they have a more professional office environment available to them that may even be available at a moment’s notice.

For More Information:

Looking for more insight on what belonging to your local chamber of commerce might mean for you and your business in terms of consumer appeal? We invite you to contact me, Kresta Dundas, at 316-268-1115 or kdundas@wichitachamber.org

And if you’d like more information about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, you’ll find it here at http://www.uschamber.com/.

Kresta Dundas
Manager of Membership Development
Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

 

Photo: Gary Plummer, Tim Witsman of WIBA

PlummerWitsmanChamber President Gary Plummer and WIBA President Tim Witsman paused for a photograph at a holiday reception sponsored by the Non Profit Chamber of Service on December 5 at Abode. Plummer and Witsman have forged a partnership between the Chamber and WIBA on several fronts, including a joint Military Affairs task force and the Washington, D.C. Fly-In earlier in 2013.  The Chamber and WIBA also cooperate on candidate forums and on educational offerings for members of both organizations.

“We share a lot in common with WIBA and look forward to continuing a positive partnership with the organization in the future,” said Plummer.

(Photograph courtesy of Michael Monteferrante, Envision)

This is My Town

Last night nearly 1,000 area business leaders had the opportunity to hear the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, Jim Clifton, share his thoughts about how to stimulate job growth.  Mr. Clifton’s presentation was part of the Chamber’s Annual Meeting program.

We’ve covered many of Clifton’s ideas in previous posts.  Here are a few additional thoughts that Mr. Clifton provided for us to consider.

  • The start-up conversation is very different in communities that encourage job growth. It’s all about leadership. You need about 100 people in your city who gather together and say, “This is my town and I’d rather die than lose it.”
  • Americans are still an exceptional tribe of people. Winston Churchill said, “You can always count on Americans to get it right—after they’ve tried everything else.”
  • We have to “out-enterprise” the rest of the world if the U.S. is going to rise again.
  • The next group of leaders must have enormous talent for developing people—moving our workforce from unengaged to engaged.

You can follow these links to articles, photos and videos that provide coverage of the event.

Annual Meeting 125

 

Recap of Recent GWEDC Happenings

Last week your GWEDC team hit the trifecta of high-profile marketing events aimed at stimulating job creation and investment in the region.   All three events just happened to be in and around the Las Vegas area making this a very cost-effective week for promoting Wichita to specific targets.

CoreNet GlobalI attended the opening gala for the Corporate Office Real Estate Network’s Annual meeting on Monday, October 21.  This is the world’s leading corporate real estate event. If you are the VP of real estate for a large company this is the where you go to network with 2,000 of your peers and take advantage of continuing education.  We had a booth at the trade show depicting all the real estate solutions in the region with a special focus on the soon-to-be-vacant Boeing properties.

Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing Summit – Debra Teufel and I met with 24 aerospace and defense companies for 30 minutes each on October 20-21.  The general purpose of these meetings was promoting how companies can take advantage of Wichita’s attributes and we were pleased to uncover several recruitment opportunities. Our presence at this event was further enhanced by Paul Jonas, Director of Environmental Test Labs and Special Programs at Wichita State University for the National Institute for Aviation Research. Paul made a presentation at the summit about innovative partnerships and tailored solutions the Institute provides for the aviation industry.

NBAA – Coinciding with CoreNet was the National Business Aviation Association’s Annual meeting, October 22-24, with some 30,000 attendees.  Your GWEDC staff and seven partners worked a large booth at this event which is promoted as the world’s largest civil aviation show.  GWEDC was one of 1,000 exhibitors, including about seven states and cities pitching to this amazing audience.  We aggressively marketed for new jobs and investments to the business aircraft industry product, service, part, and manufacturers in attendance.

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Our thanks to all of our investors and trade show partners for making these valuable marketing and recruitment opportunities possible.

Our local media provided extensive coverage during NBAA and the links below will connect you with some of their stories, photographs, and videos.

Tim Chase
GWEDC President

CliffsNotes on Clifton: Part Two

Best Take-Aways from “The Coming Jobs War” – Part Two

Every strategy about everything Wichita does has to relate to small-business creation and acceleration.

As promised, here are some of the best take-aways from chapters seven through twelve of Clifton’s book, to familiarize you with some of his ideas prior to hearing him speak on November 5, at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting.

Chapter Seven – Entrepreneurship vs. Innovation
The precious connector between innovator and customer is the almighty entrepreneur:  the person who envisions a value and a customer and then creates a business model and strategy that create sales and profit.

Chapter Eight – High-Energy Workplaces
Going from 30 million engaged workers to 60 million engaged workers would change the face of America more than any leadership institution, trillions of stimulus dollars, or any law or policy imaginable.

Chapter Nine – Customer  Science
Talent and relationships can almost always beat low price – they inspire customer engagement.

Chapter Ten – K-12 Schools – Where Entrepreneurs are Created
Student graduation is one of the most definitive predictors of your city’s future innovation, entrepreneurship, and subsequent job and GDP growth.

Chapter Eleven – Fix Healthcare or Destroy Job Creation
There is no single act of leadership that has bigger money implications than simply doubling the number of fit Americans.

Chapter Twelve – Global Wellbeing
America can’t lead the world economy without a disproportionate market share of the most talented people in the world. The next big economic city empires will rise up where the most talented entrepreneurs migrate and stay.

Conclusion
The next biggest job source is the approximately 5% of existing small companies that shoot up to big success. Cities have to create environments where this is highly encouraged, supported, mentored and celebrated. Every strategy about everything has to relate to small-business creation and acceleration.

Gary Plummer
President & CEO
Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

Input needed for Wichita Area Technical College (WATC) Accreditation Evaluation

WATC has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association since 2008. The College is currently seeking comments from the public in preparation for an accrediting evaluation in early 2014. Comments may be submitted on the Commission’s website by following this link. All comments must be received by December 31, 2013.

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Hosting Chamber Executives from Across South Central Kansas

This week the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce hosted a group of 15 Chamber executives from across South Central Kansas. The group hadn’t formally met in several years. We assembled to discuss whether we should resurrect our regional group and begin meeting formally again.

We shared some of the challenges facing our communities and enjoyed learning more about upcoming events that our colleagues are planning to stimulate business growth. In a fairly short time we reached consensus that we would all benefit from quarterly meetings in 2014. Chamber executives from Wellington, Kingman, and McPherson graciously volunteered to host the group next year to exchange ideas and network.  The Wichita Metro Chamber will host the group during the fourth quarter of 2014 with a focus on advocacy and to discuss the upcoming 2015 legislative session.

This is a dedicated and talented group of people who are very passionate about growing their communities.We are all looking forward to learning “best practices” from each other about how to improve member services, retain members, build community with social media tools, and keep membership services affordable.

In 2014 we hope to attract more area Chamber executives to the group as we learn from each other about ways to strengthen the business environment in our own communities, and ultimately strengthen the economic viability of South Central Kansas.

Gary Plummer
President & CEO
Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

SCK Chamber Execs

Celebrating Milestones With Our Members

There are few things as rewarding as celebrating important milestones with our Chamber members.  Milestone events help companies mark their progress in a very public way for their own employees as well as the rest of the community.

This year we’ve assisted with almost forty ribbon cuttings for Chamber members. We’ve celebrated new business openings, expansions, relocations, and anniversaries. Each celebration was the result of a great deal of dedication and work by local visionaries. These achievements were also essential components for moving our entire business community forward and inspiring others to consider making investments in our community.

Congratulations to all the visionaries and entrepreneurs in our community who have given us a reason to pause and celebrate in 2013. You’ll find a complete listing on our website.  And don’t forget to check our Facebook page for photos of these events.

We’d also like to thank everyone on our Member Relations Committee who has taken time out of their busy work day (and sometimes even weekend) to attend these events in support of their colleagues. Your presence at these celebrations reinforces and strengthens the value of Chamber membership.

If you have an upcoming event that you’d like us to assist with, please contact Kresta Dundas at 268-1115 or Nicole Robinson at 316-268-1116. We’re happy to help.

GLOBAL INSIGHT. LOCAL ACTION.

The op ed piece in the September 29 edition of The Wichita Eagle, Local action needed in global jobs war, by Wichita Metro Chamber Chair Debbie Gann, couldn’t have been timelier. The front-page story of the same edition, Layoffs leave Wichita with a smaller workforce, was another sobering reminder that our friends, family, and neighbors have been suffering from job losses.

It is critical to maintain the jobs that we currently have in the metro area and develop a culture that fosters innovation and creates new jobs. The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce is inviting community leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, volunteers, educators, elected officials, and business leaders to become more engaged in developing a local battle plan for addressing this issue.

Attending the Chamber’s Annual Meeting on November 5 is a great place to start. The featured speaker, Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton, will share his insights into how we can jumpstart job creation in Wichita.  Printed invitations are being mailed this week or you can register here for the event.