News & Articles

Video: Interactive session with 2017 Conference Opening Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp

Watch the entire video for tips and techniques to improve your presentation skills, including the “Fripp 5” speaking techniques, the best way to open and close your presentation, the best way to engage your audience, and much more. At the conference, Patricia will also do an interactive breakout session with opportunities for audience members to get real-time presentation coaching.

Facilitated by Certified Management Consultant and President of IMC Chicagoland chapter, Terry Flanagan.

Viewer tips: Patricia Fripp starts speaking at 9:10; coaching session with Employee Engagement Expert Jennifer Leake CMC for her upcoming association talk starts around 15:00; coaching session with IMC USA At-Large member and Strategy Expert Adam Cherrill about speaking to technical audiences.

Video: Patricia Fripp Keynotes 2017 IMC Conference

You won’t want to miss Patricia Fripp’s keynote presentation, Under the Magnifying Glass: Good to Great Presentations!, at the 2017 IMC USA Conference. Join us October 20-22 in Atlanta, Georgia.


Video: How to be a Conference Commando

Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, has some great tips on how to get more ROI out of any conference you attend. Featuring IMC conference chairman Henry DeVries and conference marketing director Jennifer Beever.


15 Tips from Keith Ferrazzi: Conference Commando

A conference is a huge opportunity to build relationships with extraordinary people, people who might have significant impact on your professional or personal success. To make sure that you maximize the return on your (and your organization’s) investment of time and money to attend, you can’t afford to be a conference commoner. You have to be a Conference Commando.

Get Keith’s tips in the downloadable PDF.

Download PDF

Cool Rules for More Compelling Storytelling

By Henry DeVries, IMC USA Conference Chair

The most important element to include in a book or a speech that attracts clients are stories. But not just any type of story.

Consultants need to share success stories in which they are not the hero. The client needs to be the hero of the story. There needs to be a villain problem that is holding the client back. Finally, you need to be the wise mentor of the story that helps the client hero overcome the villain problem.

As my storytelling mentor Michael Hauge, author of Writing Screenplays that Sell and a screenwriting teacher and consultant to both Hollywood filmmakers like Will Smith and professional speakers, says: “The story must be true, but it does not have to be factual.” In other words, some literary license is allowed to condense the story down to its essence.

Hauge is the author of a new book, Storytelling Made Easy, and he will share the message of the book as the lunch speaker on Saturday, October 21 at the conference.

But why do consultants need to learn how to persuade with a story?

In September of 2008 Scientific American published an article on “The Secrets of Storytelling: Why We Love a Good Yarn.” Please read the entire article, but here is a summary.

According to Jeremy Hsu in Scientific American, storytelling is a human universal, and common themes appear in tales throughout history and all over the world. The greatest stories—those retold through generations and translated into other languages—do more than simply present a believable picture. These tales captivate their audience, whose emotions can be inextricably tied to those of the story’s characters.

By studying narrative’s power to influence beliefs, researchers are discovering how we analyze information and accept new ideas. A 2007 study by marketing researcher Jennifer Edson Escalas of Vanderbilt University found that a test audience responded more positively to advertisements in narrative form as compared with straightforward ads that encouraged viewers to think about the arguments for a product. Similarly, Melanie Green of the University of North Carolina co-authored a 2006 study that showed that labeling information as “fact” increased critical analysis, whereas labeling information as “fiction” had the opposite effect. Studies such as these suggest people accept ideas more readily when their minds are in story mode as opposed to when they are in an analytical mind-set.

Patricia Fripp, Opening Keynoter, Offers Networking Advice

When Patricia Fripp speaks, consultants listen.

Fripp is a past president, and the first female president, of the over 3,600-member National Speakers Association. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance wrote that the 6th best investment in your career is to learn presentation skills from Patricia Fripp.

Fripp reminds her executive clients that in business, you are always in the spotlight.

“Outside your home, all speaking is public speaking,” says Fripp. “There is no such thing as private speaking.”

Fripp, the sister of English rock guitar legend Robert Fripp, is a rock star in the world of speaking and sales presentations.

What is Fripp’s advice on impromptu meetings and on-the-spot interaction? Here are three lessons from a legend:

  1. Focus on others. “In business and life as a basic rule most people, even VIPS, are more interested in themselves than you,” says Fripp. Know what is going on in your company so you can congratulate people on their achievements or refer to a previous conversation. For example, “How was last week’s presentation to the Board of Directors received?” Your sincere interest in people will make a lasting impression.
  2. Ask questions to start a conversation. “A bright but introverted friend of mine has a gregarious wife who often drags him to parties where he doesn’t know anyone,” relates Fripp. “He used to sit in a corner with a drink in his hand, inspecting the carpet, and was perfectly happy doing so! Then we discussed ‘the key to conversation is to ask questions’ technique. At the next gathering, he asked one of their hosts about her work. ‘I’m an emergency room nurse,’ she said. ‘What is your average day like?’ he responded. The host talked for an hour. As the couple prepared to leave, she told my friend’s astonished wife, ‘Your husband is the most scintillating conversationalist I’ve ever met.’ Moral: When you make people feel important, letting them talk about themselves and sharing what they know, you earn a reputation as a brilliant conversationalist, even if you’ve hardly said a word.”
  3. Overcome shyness. “When you find yourself in an elevator with a VIP, forget feeling comfortable,” says Fripp. Her advice is to be cordial, smile, breathe deeply, and take the initiative. Say, “Good morning Mr./Ms. Big Shot. We met briefly at the company January sales meeting. I am Patricia Fripp, and I have the privilege to be a new manager in your communications department.” Then congratulation them on a recent success – a speech, published article, award, or contract. “Your comments on community involvement inspired us to take action.” Then mention very briefly an achievement in your department: “Did you hear how we saved the company a quarter of a million dollars?” You’ve got seconds to connect, so don’t try to pin Big Shot down. Perhaps Big Shot will stop to continue the chat when you reach your floor, but more likely you’ve planted the seeds for future conversation.

Bottom line: “Many people are less intimidated when they prepare for a speech than when they must communicate off the cuff in a more informal setting,” says Fripp. “However, we have more frequent, unplanned conversations on the elevator, or at the water cooler, and when planned for, can do as much to boost your career as giving a formal presentation.”

Conference Begins In








For the last decade, this conference has been a time just for me – to reconnect to colleagues, to meet new people, to listen to top-notch speakers, to learn about trends – it’s a perfect way to recharge my practice!

Loraine Huchler

Chair & CEO (2013 – 2015), Institute of Management Consultants

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