A Leading Perspective

Pragmatic insights for the leader in you

And the Award for Best Presenter Goes To…

I had the pleasure of speaking at two state conferences last week in Illinois and Ohio. I am always tickled to speak in a state that is not my own and am, of course, honored to represent both the State Councils and the HR profession itself.

While I speak at these conferences, I also am “an attendee” and able to take in some sessions to further develop my own competencies, insights and ideas. As a bonus, I get to check out the other speakers – their ideas, their delivery, and their overall presence.

Notwithstanding the fact that I typically compare others to myself, I almost always find someone with whom I would like to emulate.

Julie Pugh
She’s the one – my hands down favorite for the two conferences.

I don’t know if Julie is the smartest attorney in Ohio. I don’t know if Julie is the most personable human in her community. Furthermore, I don’t know if Julie loves her profession as much as I love mine but I do know this:

Julie manages to combine intelligence, personableness/relate-ability and passion into her work.
The combination of these things is addicting!

Julie’s presentation, “Who Are You Wearing? Stay Chic With The Latest In Employment Law” was, quite possibly, the best example of incorporating a conference theme into the presentation itself. (The OHSHRM15 theme was Hollywood Hollywood Hollywood.) Utilizing a fictitious story about Taylor Swift, Julie led her audience through the myriad of court decisions and precedence that are affecting the employment relationship.

Julie had fun with her presentation, and likewise, her audience had fun listening to it. This woman does not underestimate the power in this; Julie knows we will remember that which was entertaining. While I typically live-tweet during presentations, I found myself torn with Julie’s session because I wanted to give her my full, unadulterated attention – it was simply that good!

IMG_3173Speaking of fun, take a look at this picture. While I wore some red carpet worthy shoes during my own presentation, Julie’s microphone adorned a full ball gown! Yes indeedy, this lovely woman was downright stunning! Oh my goodness, how many attorneys can effectively share their employment law prowess while wearing a classic black gown? 

(Side note…I absolutely adore Eric Meyer and enjoy every morsel he shares online and onstage! This post serves as a dare for him to wear an Oscar worthy outfit the next time he presents!)

Julie didn’t just put a hollywood cover onto her information; she incorporated it fully! Her use of examples, vernacular and stories went beyond clever and headed straight to informative and memorable. Whether she knows it or not, her examples, albeit Hollywood Superstar fiction, helped her audience relate to the information and message. Employment law can be confusing to many HR professionals; Julie’s insights and scenarios undoubtably helped her audience understand the risk and the relevance of recent court decisions, precedence, etc.

Julie is dedicated to her career and, indirectly, to the HR professionals who rely upon her expertise. The amount of time she spent on her presentation behind the scenes is noteworthy and, trust me, it proves Julie has a high “give a damn” factor regarding representing herself, her employer and her clients well.

(I’ll go out on a limb here – presenters who pride themselves on throwing stuff together in the last minute are often just telling the audience/conference committees that they didn’t take their job seriously and/or they didn’t care enough to make the conference a priority for their precious time.)

Julie enjoys her career as an attorney – of this I have no doubt. She likes the challenge, she likes the research, and she likes that there is never an easy answer. However, what I think she likes most of all is that her work puts her directly in line with HR professionals. (I wonder if she has to hide this little nugget when she’s with her lawyer wolf pack?)

IMG_3398In Ohio, surrounded by HR folks, Julie appeared to be in her most shining element. Her ability (dare I say enjoyment) of engaging with people, her ease of conversation and light-hearted humor, and her overall energetic demeanor and attitude were qualities that helped make her a Superstar.

May I suggest you connect with Julie via LinkedIn or on Twitter.

Follow her, become a groupie, do whatever it takes!

You won’t regret it.
AccountabilityEngagementHappinessHuman ResourcesILSHRM15LeadershipOHSHRM15Performance ManagementPublic SpeakingSHRMValueWorkforce Satisfaction

Heather Kinzie • September 23, 2015


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