Case Study


What happens in Vegas,
CAN’T stay in Vegas

The challenge: 

I was asked to develop the main stage keynote presentation on the topic of information security for the first woman to present on the main stage for Dell Technologies, in Las Vegas, during sales training. In the front row would be Michael Dell, and in the audience, 3,000 of Dell Technologies top sales leaders. This training needed to be highly memorable and repeatable for people to take back to their teams. What they learned in Vegas couldn't stay in Vegas.

There were associated challenges. One, salespeople tend to avoid customer conversations on any topic about which they do not have an acute understanding. Security tends to be such a topic. Two, the presenter is a brilliant CTO and a dynamic presenter. I had to find a way for her to present herself, and the material authentically, leveraging her strengths. Lastly, the keynote time slot was the last of the day. It would need to be upbeat and engaging to hold attention.

The solution:

I combined specific elements that were unique to the location, the presenter, and the marketing strategy. Because entertainment and showmanship are part of the Las Vegas experience, and our audience was international, we used rock music from all over the world interspersed for emphasis on specific content points. We used the example of a negative impact when a four-member rock band is forced to go down to three. Security is like that fourth band member. Security is essential.

Emoji is an international language, so I used emojis as an efficient way to make specific points. 

The presenter and I worked together to leverage her humor and insights so that the material was both informative and memorable – and critical to me – unique to her.

The results:

'A+ Brilliant,' was a text from a key reviewer. The survey results from sales were some of the highest ever. Never before at global sales training had the collaboration between a content creator and a presenter resulted in a keynote that so accurately represented the personality of the presenter, the elements of the location, and the key learnings and insights on the topic. 

The presenter's opportunity to take and own the main stage for those 50 minutes was a significant achievement for her and me. She is now highly sought after as a keynote presenter. The experience motivated me to become more purposeful in advancing women through speaking opportunities. I've gone on to co-lead the speakers bureau for Women In Security & Privacy (WISP), a national organization that advances women in the profession.