Thank you to Mr. Vera and Mr. Canada from the USAID OSDBU Office for inviting me to keynote at the third annual USAID Veterans International Small Business Opportunities Conference (VISBOC) yesterday.
I very much enjoyed spending the day with fellow veterans across all of the services. (Of course, I poked a little fun at them as well)
My topic was "Awaken the Storytelling Giant in You."
Description: What if the right story inspired government offiicals (both USAID and international), prime contractors, partners, and country managers to invite you to hear your ideas and your company's capabilities? What if the right story prompted the small business program manager or contracting officer to recommend your company? What difference could that right story mean to your company? Join Ira Koretsky for a lively and insightful keynote on how to turn your experiences into powerful stories that engage and inspire stakeholders throughout the USAID Community, nationally and internationally.
I shared three main ideas: 1) Think DeliberatelyTM; 2) Make Me Care; and 3) Awaken Your Giant. Several of my favorite videos were also shown including Historia de un Letrero (The Story of a Sign) and Jeff Hoffman's The Power of Wonder (You can find them in the playlist on my YouTube Channel here).
And ended with Treat Everyone Like a CEOTM. This is a high-energy, on-your-feet exercise where I challenge you to think very differently and very deliberately about how you engage people and then maintain relationships with them. (YouTube Channel).
A Navy veteran said to me, "You were really great. I especially liked how applicable your videos were. And I appreciate your energy and passion in helping Vets." A fellow Army veteran said, "Hooah! Your Treat Everyone Like a CEOTM Exercise was the best I have seen in all my years. It was fun, educational, and really, really made me think about how I use my words and actions."
Here are a few pictures...