Friday, September 30, 2016

Day 9: Presentations with fun not fear

One of the primary reasons I came up with this idea was to encourage my quiet girl to relax and learn that public speaking can be fun.

Up until now, we've focused on math skills (calculating percentages for donations, etc); more thoughtful writing (vision statements) and even social issues (which causes they wanted to support). 

But now it was time to dig into the pile of bags from the consultant kit and get to presentations.

I was running late making dinner so I thought I'd throw the idea out there and see if the girls would be interested. They were.

We talked about how a company like Thirty-One's success is entirely based on communications. They are relying on the consultants to communicate in person and online to sell the product. Therefore, they've hired talented professionals to put together their print and online media in the most compelling, enticing manner possible.

Out of the consultant kit, I chose the Cinch Sac. I chose it for a couple of reasons because: 1. I thought it was one of the more kid-friendly products and 2. I thought it seemed overpriced and not like such a great item from my experience with cinch sacs put out by other companies.I thought this might give them more of a challenge.

Well first off, I opened the packaging and quickly discovered this wasn't close to similar bags I've seen or the kids have gotten for free as promotions at the State Fair, etc. This is actually a really nice bag with a lot of carefully considered finishes that I bet will keep it lasting for a longtime.

Then I gave the bag to the kids. I told them to get a piece of scrap paper and their thesaurus. Their task was to brainstorm, individually, all the attributes of the bag and some good suggested uses to be used as the basis for a 3 minute presentation that I would film. I encouraged them to look up new and better adjectives and to consider their audience. Were they talking to the moms who would do the buying or the kids who would put it on a wishlist?

Immediately, they began taking turns carefully investigating the bag's features and then scribbling down notes. See the photo above. They were laughing, hiding their ideas from each other and filling their pages with writing - even the 7 year old. Getting the 7 year old to participate was great because she tends to be a perfectionist and if she can't write the entire page without a spelling error, she's not interested. But somehow, she got caught up in the fun and was writing away.

So the plan is that sometime this weekend we will film their first "draft" of their presentation. The older two need to give me their presentations written up also.

Then they'll watch their own. After, I'll show them some of the videos the home office provides for consultants and ask them to compare and contrast. What did they communicate well? What could use improvement? How was their delivery? Did they effectively reach their target audience?

Using their self-critique, they'll get a chance for changes and a second filming. 

My hope is that there is a vast improvement between each one's first and second draft, that they'll feel a little less self-conscious with an item to focus on and they'll ask to do more. 

Could we accomplish this without the actual bags? Of course. We could go to the pantry and pick out any product and pretend to sell it. However, we wouldn't necessarily have the professional marketing material to compare and contrast. You could look at a commercial but that's sort of the final product. What we have access to is more of the how & why to present the item as deemed by the company. And then there's the added fun of raising money for the non-profits they chose and the family goal (which still hasn't been determined).

I'll let you know how it goes. 

I'm so pleased that this project brings out laughter with them. The bad news is that they've made me promise not to post their videos here or on fb. Maybe if they come out really well, the girls will change their minds. 

Oh hey - great news! Thirty-One is running a special for the first two weeks of October. You can now join as a consultant for just $1. With this option, you don't get the kit of goods but you can quickly earn some product with your first sales. 

The way Thirty-One works you pay a $14.50 per month fee to access your online website. But you could sign up for the $1, pay the first $14.50 and then cancel before the second month kicked in if you just wanted to try it for a little bit and see if it's worth it. 

Or who knows, you might get hooked and love to earn the 25% commissions for some extra holiday cash. Plus, you also might just sign-up to get the discount for your own holiday shopping. Send me an email if you have any questions: mylifewithpurls at

Here is a link about the $1 sign-up. We sure would appreciate you signing up under me, Becky Smith, to support Project Toteschooling. 

Oh - if you're interested in the Cinch Sac above, here's a link. They are $20 each and really are nice - grommets at the openings where the cord goes through; the cord is squishy and much softer than that hard cord some on the market have and there's a huge zipper compartment on the front. The fabric is multiple thicknesses with the pocket and really easy to wipe clean. This isn't just a kid's bag by any means. 

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