Polly Chandler is a Tiburon California-based coach and facilitator that specializes in leadership development and career transitions. Before starting Chandler Coaching, she coached and taught students and faculty at Antioch University New England, where she served as Program Director for the MBA in Sustainability and Chair of the Department of Management for 10 years. An early Haiku Deck Pro subscriber and advocate, Polly recently shared her thoughts on coaching presentations, storytelling, and how effective presentations make a difference for her practice and her clients.
What makes your approach to leadership and career coaching unique?
My approach is strengths focused, I support people in understanding their strengths so they can build from where their talents, values, interests, and even passions intersect. I work with people to see that most of their challenges come from misapplication of their strengths, 70% of weaknesses are just an over or underuse of a top strength. This is a powerful construct for people to use. I focus on high energy and high performance. I also do team trainings and integrate experiential learning and outdoors as much as possible
How do you use Haiku Deck in your practice?
I use Haiku Deck to illustrate key concepts in a strengths based approach. I have a series of decks that I develop based on a client’s goals. For example, when I was working with First Five, I selected photos to tell the story of strengths through images about children. When I work with healthcare, I select photos to tell their story. Haiku Deck allows me to design customized decks that unfold as stories.
(Here’s an example of a Haiku Deck Polly used to help a group start thinking about how we would be working together)
Imagine it’s January 2017 – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;
How has Haiku Deck made a difference for you and/or your clients?
It’s easy to keep my role as a facilitator, not a lecturer. I use the slides to open dialogue and conversation. I believe that best learning happens with content and discussion, not just content. I design decks so people learn to think about presentations as a story and conversation, not just a list of facts.
Before becoming a full-time coach, you were Chair of the Department of Management at Antioch University. How has your role as a teacher and department leader impacted your approach to coaching?
One of the reasons I left Academia, was because I found my greatest energy and performance came when I was coaching students and faculty. I had talents and strengths in this role and I loved it. I decided to spend more of my time doing what I loved most. This is a great story to share with clients as I encourage them to leverage their strengths to do more of what they love. My goal was to have more “best days at work”. I also was determined to find a way to work outdoors as much as possible. I do most of my coaching outdoors. I do not have an office. I prefer to meet clients in person outdoors. If it is phone call coaching, I work from outdoors in a park or other beautiful setting. Today, I sat on a bench overlooking San Francisco Bay. If there are children playing, birds chirping, or other outdoor sounds, I just explain that I work where it gives me energy. I try to encourage others to do the same.
When you coach leaders, what advice do you give to help them craft and deliver more effective storytelling to their teams, partners, and clients?
Be a guide and storyteller. People get overwhelmed by facts. Design and deliver slides that weave together a story of facts, impressions, learnings, and insights. Be a guide on the side. Form a relationship with the audience through images that speak a common language. Build a connection with the audience by building on shared knowledge. Be a slide guide and customize all your presentations to meet the needs of your audience. Never give the same talk twice. Don’t give canned talks. They sound tired. Come up with new ways of delivering every presentation to meet the needs, strengths and passions of your audience.
You mentioned that you’ve been an advocate for Haiku Deck. How do you describe Haiku Deck to others?
I ask people to tell me…What was your favorite children’s book? (Or if they are a parent, what is your favorite book to read to your child). I then ask, why was it your favorite book. Nine times out of ten the response is, the illustrations were so wonderful and there just was not a lot of need for words. To me, that is Haiku Deck. Finding excellent images to tell the story with as few words as possible. I find I love building the decks now that I am out of the PowerPoint platform. PowerPoint did not have the same creative potential for me, unless I decided to spend a lot of time learning. Haiku Deck was easy, fast and I have had great success with audiences.
To learn more about Polly and her coaching practice, visit www.pollychandlercoaching.com.
Are you a coach using Haiku Deck to deliver impact with your clients? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.