VANS Success Story
Presentation skills coaching empowers executives to deliver impactful messages
Vans is a leading action sports footwear, apparel and accessory company and an iconic youth culture brand that’s distributed in more than 170 countries worldwide. The challenge of delivering a lifestyle brand driven by creative self-expression demands a clear understanding of company goals and initiatives across the organization.
Each year, Vans brings together over 400 employees for a global positioning event called GPS Day. This day is dedicated to communicating the company’s plans for the year, aligning goals by department, building trust and generating enthusiasm. At this all-important meeting, top Vans executives are tasked with delivering a message that will resonate for company employees and inspire action throughout the year.
“Our GPS event is critical in ensuring we gain understanding, trust, and confidence across our business,” says Cheryl Van Doren, VP of Human Resources and a daughter of Vans’ founder. Each year since 2011, Cheryl has engaged Stephanie Scotti of Professionally Speaking to work with Vans’ top talent leaders to enhance their executive presence and prepare them to deliver an impactful performance on GPS Day. Stephanie provides one-on-one coaching to executives to help them develop a clear message and hone their presentation skills.
Cristy Johnson worked with Stephanie after she was promoted to VP of Retail Operations in 2011. According to Cristy, she was so afraid to make a mistake on stage that she over-prepared and memorized her speech, which made her come across as less authentic.
Stephanie’s coaching gave Cristy the tools she needed to feel more confident and in control. They worked on crafting her message, developing a more visual presentation, and even refining her stance on stage. As a result, Cristy has learned to be more comfortable in the moment, to be flexible, and to truly connect with her audience. She now spends 90% less time preparing and gets results that are better than ever. After a recent manager’s meeting, Christy’s boss praised her performance as the best she’d ever done.
Vicki Redding faced a difficult challenge when she first joined Vans as VP of Apparel in 2013. Just 7 weeks into her new position, she was asked to present the company’s strategic initiatives at GPS Day. Over a period of several weeks, Vicki worked with Stephanie to develop a clear, concise and memorable message that told a story rather than relying on facts and figures. They rehearsed both virtually and in-person to help Vicki improve her storytelling, calm her nerves, and excel in her delivery.