The evening event started at The Apollo Apartments with signature drinks and a tour of the beautifully designed common spaces and model unit. The panel discussion was held in the community’s roof top space with a view of Capitol Hill on a warm 70 degree February evening. The discussion was organized by the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) of ULI Washington and was moderated by Caroline Kenney of Urban Atlantic with panelists Stephanie Williams, President at Bozzuto Management Company, and Nan Tolbert, Executive Communication Coach at The Communication Center.
The panelists discussed major pitfalls for effective communication and offered suggestions for women and men alike on how to connect with your audience. Ms. Tolbert shared that effective communication means connecting the dots to value, and that most people are never quite concise. She shared the acronym PREP as a method of remembering how to communicate in a concise way.
P – Point – Give your point.
R – Reason – Give you reason.
E – Example – Provide an example.
P – Point – Wrap up your point memorably.
Ms. Tolbert also shared an acronym for persuasive communication, ANSA, and how most effective marketing follows these steps because the order is familiar to our brains.
A – Attention – Propose a question.
N – Need – State the problem.
S – Solution – Give a solution.
A – Action – State a call to action.
Ms. Tolbert and Ms. Williams suggested that all women need to stop qualifying their statements and recommended sharing ideas by emphasizing the value they provide without apologizing. One way to effectively communicate your idea at a meeting is to start by stating the individual you are addressing’s name, provide a compliment and then offer your idea. Know what you intend to say, do not use filler words, speak in shorter sentences and take a pause between sentences.
Both women stated the most important thing is to be comfortable with who you are as an individual. They shared the importance of making eye contact when communicating and being conscious of your tone and the personality of the person you are speaking with.
Ms. Williams shared how she found her sense of style and recommended women have fun with their clothing, be comfortable, and also noted that not all professional dress had to be a suit.
Two stylists from Ann Mashburn shared some styling tips and how finding the right pieces is key to an easy wardrobe. A makeup artist with Follain also gave a few beauty tips (lipstick is a fast way to pull a look together). The presentation concluded with three women from Suited with Change. They shared the non-profit’s mission and how it has impacted their life and their careers.
The evening ended with networking and the opportunity for style consultations and donations to Suited with Change. The event raised $10,959 for Suited with Change and will allow the organization to operate on one additional weeknight to provide services to women who are currently working and cannot participate during the day.