In April 2021, the leadership of San Diego State University’s Division of Student Affairs + Campus Diversity (SA+CD) invited Margie Newman, founding partner of Intesa Communications Group, to develop and lead a series of communications workshops. The goal was to provide leadership with the tools, confidence, and shared language needed to effectively communicate the Division’s value to the SDSU campus community.
Having worked with SDSU since 2015, Margie was well-prepared to help SA+CD communicate its commitment to even elevating the SDSU experience among its students, faculty, and staff alike while celebrating diversity throughout its campus.
In her inimitable way, Margie tailored, created, and executed a unique, eight-week “Communications and Storytelling Workshop” series to help SA+CD settle into its new organizational structure. This included leading the teams through multiple exercises to discover their “superpowers” and help them Communicate with Confidence, in the spirit of elevating and improving the overall SDSU experience for the entire Aztec community. All workshops were conducted in accordance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Over the course of two months, the eight-part, in-person sessions, one of which drew 75+ attendees, featured customized storytelling techniques and team-building exercises. Margie also provided supplemental and proprietary materials. Additionally, all participants received copies of “Trusted Leader: 8 Pillars That Drive Results,” a highly regarded trust-building how-to book written by David Horsager.
In the weeks since wrapping, Margie’s “Communications and Storytelling Workshop” is receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews from program participants. Two days after the series’ conclusion, a post-session participant survey gathered data on the overall feedback and benefits gained.
More than 80 percent of survey participants said the workshops were a purposeful use of their time. Sixty percent of participants reported that they walked away with applicable tools, tips, and an increased ability to communicate with confidence. Participants commented that Margie’s “energy and passion for this work are evident and inspiring” at a time when a morale boost was truly needed. Most importantly, workshop participants were grateful to have “permission to show up as who we are and speak our superpowers proudly” among colleagues. When you’re on a mission to help clients communicate their authentic stories with confidence, there’s nothing more powerful than that.
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San Diego State University is a major public research institution that provides transformative experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its more than 36,000 students. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in 95 areas, master’s degrees in 78 areas, and doctorates in 22 areas. The university’s rich campus life features opportunities for students to participate in, and engage with, the creative and performing arts, a Division I athletics program, and the vibrant cultural life of the San Diego region. This year, SDSU celebrates the 120th anniversary of its founding as a teacher training school. For more information, visit www.sdsu.edu.