Expedia operates several international global online travel brands, primarily travel metasearch engines and travel fare aggregator websites. The business came to City Academy with a requirement to develop the pitching skills of one of their senior project teams.
This Expedia team manage various internal relationships and external partnerships for the e-commerce giant, so the company sought to enhance their general communication skills as well as their ability to deliver presentations with impact.
They wanted information to be conveyed in an engaging manner, transforming facts and figures into compelling and memorable stories.
A storytelling and presentation skills workshop was clearly the right route to go down, as not only a valuable and practical activity, but also a fun experience to bring the team closer together.
Communication SkillsStorytelling for Business
In this business case study , the day was split into two three hour sessions: the first part gave the group hands-on experience of the power of business storytelling , and imparted the practical skills to apply this in the context of their roles.
Human beings are hard-wired for the story - we retain information in more detail and for a longer period of time when it is delivered as a narrative. Skills such as logic flow, delivery variation, individualisation and metaphor can make all the difference, especially when you need to stand out in an information-rich environment such as the workplace.
Through a series of exercises, the group worked on developing their own styles, enabling ownership over their narratives. They practised building confidence, being creative and telling coherent stories for business, with multiple opportunities to apply and assimilate techniques. They worked together imaginatively and, using each other as sounding boards, were able to more easily identify the impact of what they’d learned.
The second session built upon the morning workshop, providing everyone with the expertise to present with clarity and conviction, and a safe space in which to try and to experiment. Each individual explored vocal techniques such as breathing, pace and pitch, and picked up tips on positive physical communication, focusing on channeling their own unique body language to create a strong and enriching presence.
Together, they worked on conveying authority, managing nerves, understanding the role of status and power-play, and making a genuine connection with their audience.
It was great to understand the importance of tone and pace to deliver a good presentation. I also enjoyed the exercise to inject passion into a subject that you might not be overly passionate about. The course had practical tips improve delivery, beat nerves and deliver a fluent presentation. It was also fun and I liked that we were comfortable together as a team to experiment with speech etc, which is normally way out of the comfort zone for me
– Expedia Employee