You’ll see Dyana Valentine all over the place during the week of HOW Design Live. She’ll be presenting a workshop, Pitch Perfect: Never Be a Deer in the Headlights Again, on Friday, June 24 and then leading the morning networking session at the InHOWse Managers Conference on Saturday. Fortunately, because we know Dyana well, we can vouch for the boundless energy that will carry her through her multiple sessions! We recently did a Q&A with Dyana. And if you want more of her enthusiasm and inspiration, check out my live Twitterview with her at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 31; follow @HOWBrand and search the #HOWLive hashtag. Dyana’s a hoot: trust me, you won’t want to miss this!
Do you have a pet project – a side business or a charity to which you donate time or services?
I’m on the board of two great nonprofit organizations and volunteer at a local after school reading and writing program. I found that after years of being of a certain kind of service, to clients and students, I felt drawn to be of service to a larger effort or cause. I participated in fundraisers here and there, tithed my income in multiple directions, but it wasn’t satisfying. I wanted to be part of something, be more involved. So, when I was invited to join two working boards, I made the time and am so deeply fulfilled by the action. It feeds my creative service hunger!
What does Chicago bring to mind? What do you plan to do while you’re there?
I’m committing myself to soaking in the multiple HOW Design Live conferences, and with five speaking gigs during the week, I’m not sure I’ll get out of the hotel much. I am open to adventures and invitations, though. One of the biggest treasures of being in a group of self-selected, like-minded creative folks is that we create on the spot collaborations (including play time!). For SURE, I’ll be joining a morning walk crew every day of the conference, so keep your eye on the Twitter feed for meeting times.
Can you tell us a little more about your Conference topic? What personal or professional experiences led you to this topic?
Well, to be perfectly honest, I couldn’t talk my way out of a paper bag during the first few years of my business. I would stutter and ramble when someone asked me “What do you do?” I saw many of my clients do the same thing—it was painful to watch. I got so frustrated always changing what I said, trying to read other people’s minds (what would sound good to them? What might they want to pay me for?)—it was totally exhausting and rarely went well. I started to do mini workshops with clients and teams on how they talk their walk. It started out as a tutorial on presentation skills—but really, when it got down to it, everyone (and I mean every one of my clients) needed help translating what they were really good at into conversational language that they could use to introduce themselves, sell their services/products and to cultivate compelling marketing language. So, over three years and 500+ clients later, Pitch Perfect™ was born! See you there.
Plus, meet Dyana Valentine in her Design TV video, How to Bring Out Your Best.