Program Recap

First Impressions & Building Credibility Workshop

May 10, 2016

While technical skills may get your foot in the door, people skills are what open the door initially.  And everyone needs a brush up, a reminder, a honing of those abilities no matter your age or stage of life or your position within your profession or industry.

With nearly 20 years in the AEC industry, Dena Wyatt, principal of Marketing Evolutions, works with technicians who have the ability to do the work yet may need developing soft skills such as credibility, image, messaging, creating buy-in and strategic thinking.

Recently, at a combined SMPS/Fort Worth and SMPS/Dallas workshop at the CR Smith Museum, Dena taught a room full of business development, marketing and other professionals from the AEC industry about the importance of  work ethic, attitude, communication skills, emotional intelligence and a whole host of other personal attributes crucial for career success.

As Dena encouraged the workshop participants, these soft skills are essential to develop and excel as a leader, and the typical management-type responsibilities of problem solving, delegating, motivating and team building are all much easier if you have good soft skills. Knowing how to get along with people – and displaying a positive attitude – are crucial for success.

Because the importance of these soft skills is sometimes undervalued, there is far less training provided for them than hard skills. For some reason, organizations seem to expect people know how to behave on the job. They tend to assume that everyone knows and understands the importance of being on time, taking initiative, being friendly and producing high quality work. 

Professionals need to take charge of their own training and seek out opportunities to learn these skills as well as help teach it to others.  Some key points from Dena are:

  • Formulate your content before delivering a presentation. Use the “sandwich” analogy – top bun (the hook), filler (points to build credibility), bottom bun (the solution)

  • Avoid “wimpy” words like – think, maybe, kind of, just

  • Practice strategic thinking – define a direction and pick your framework

  • Conduct your own personal SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats

  • Remember your five power bases: personal characteristics, performance, reputation (personal brand), allies/resources and position




Dena L. Wyatt

Marketing Evolutions, Inc. 

With close to 20 years in the industry, Dena Wyatt brings a wealth of knowledge to this education event. As Principal of Marketing Evolutions, Inc. Dena works with architects, engineers, contractors, accountants and attorneys to develop marketing and business development strategies that lead to increased sales, more profitable client relationships and differentiated brand identities that create competitive advantages. With a team that works exclusively with professional services firms, Marketing Evolutions understands the complex nature of selling services like few other firms and can deliver the results service firms demand in today's competitive market.


Article Written By: Andi Sims, Director of Marketing and Communications with HPM  

What does HPM do?

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Member Spotlight

Shauna McMahon

Sales Manager | Jacobs

Why did you join SMPS?

To network and continuously learn new skills.

Fun Fact About You / Hobby

She competes in barrel races.

What is a marketing challenge that you overcame and how?

She led a pursuit that they won where the company had previously fired the project manager for the client.  They followed their process through opening, middle and end game to the letter and won him over. They won the $8M project and the client became a client for life.

What is your top marketing tip?

Relationships with your client are everything.

What is your personal professional goal for this year?

To integrate seamlessly with my new team at Jacobs and contribute towards increasing our win rate on project specific TxDOT pursuits.

What was the best tip anyone ever gave you regarding your profession?

Make sure you maintain a work/life balance.


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