Vodafone is the world’s largest mobile telecommunications company. As Head of Enterprise Marketing, Elaine Roberts manages over 100 people in five separate teams, overseeing areas such as product management, strategy and planning, channel marketing, CRM, brand development and customer satisfaction. The nature of Elaine’s role means that she spends a large amount of time presenting and influencing others, be it the Board, internal teams, clients, suppliers or the media.
When Elaine was offered her current role, her manager identified that as part of Vodafone’s commitment to nurturing their employees, she would benefit from a course of tutorials with Aziz Corporate to help build her self-confidence when presenting.
Elaine was initially offered her current role on an interim basis, and recognised that she needed to prove that she had the competence and confidence to succeed in this high-profile position.
“My new line manager made it clear that whilst he believed I had the skills needed for the role, I needed to demonstrate this to others. To gain the confidence to go along with my abilities, particularly in situations where I needed to convince and influence others through presentations and discussions.”
“These sessions really made me evaluate who I am and how I behave in business situations.”
The Aziz Programme
Elaine took part in eight half-day sessions with Aziz Corporate, each tailored to her own specific needs. The tutorials complemented one another and focused upon areas such as voice development and image, through to stress management and influencing techniques. Amongst them, Elaine found the sessions on voice development, influencing others and cultivating a business image to be particularly useful.
“These sessions really made me evaluate who I am and how I behave in business situations. I was encouraged to think not only about my own point of view, but also about how what I say and do impacts upon my audience.”
Through her presentations, Elaine needs to persuade her colleagues at all levels on various business issues, and also to present on topics such as team’s progress and plans. She learned several techniques to help her interact with her audience, which she can apply to a wide range of situations.
“Even if an audience is only listening, not speaking, there is still a dialogue taking place in their heads. My training has taught me to think about the expectations of my audience, and to find a common ground between what they want to hear and what I want to say.”
The training has also encouraged Elaine to consider all business situations – not just formal presentations – as an opportunity to make an impression.
“Performing in presentations is only a part of my role; each time you are part of a meeting, have lunch with a client or simply bump into someone in the corridor, they are your audience and will be forming an impression of you. I now have more awareness in these situations and am prepared to project myself in any environment, whether business or social.”
“I have a toolkit of reference with which I can approach new situations with confidence.”
Following her training, Elaine has received positive feedback from her peers and has been able to help others in her team by using the lessons she learned with Aziz Corporate.
“My colleagues have commented that I have ‘grown into’ my new role. I am aware of the building blocks which have gone into this transformation, whilst those around me see only the finished product. My self-awareness is heightened and I feel I have a toolkit of reference with which I can approach new situations with confidence.”
The real proof of her success came for Elaine when she was awarded the role on a permanent basis after her six month interim period reached its end.
“I had just made a pivotal presentation to the leadership team (100 people) and the Chief Executive commented, ‘I wanted to know that you could fill the stage, and you more than convinced me.’ At that moment I knew my training had paid off and that I had the gravitas and presence I needed to be successful.”