By Jennifer Eichenberg

The Christmas holiday is right around the corner; and for many of us, this means giving those special on our list a Christmas gift. This year, I have a gift to give our local and organizational chapters.

First, let me give you some background. Back in April, immediately following the completion of the ISPI conference, there was a CPT-only event that I attended. I just earned my CPT in January, so you can imagine my delight to go to this event.

The event was designed, developed, and hosted by Holly Burkett, CPT, PhD, SPHR. The first part of the session was an ISPI adaptation of the popular reality TV series “Shark Tank.” If you are not familiar with this American TV show, it puts entrepreneurs in front of experienced investors. The entrepreneurs’ goal is to sell their invention or business concept to the investors to make their dreams a reality. You can probably guess from the show’s name that the investors are often blunt and, at times, demeaning. Contestant entrepreneurs must be prepared to make a dynamite presentation and anticipate the investors’ objections so they are ready to win when they enter the shark tank.

Holly recruited three seasoned CPT members to create a 10-minute presentation and a job aid on how to market the CPT. The audience members played the role of the shark tank and critiqued each presenter’s point of view and merits of the job aid. The audience appointed a winner. It was an engaging and educational session. I felt it could easily be adapted for our chapters. With Holly’s permission, I set out to create a template for our chapters to use.

I reached out to Sue Czeropski, CPT, PhD, to help create my vision. This gift would not have been possible had it not been for the volunteer efforts of Sue and Holly. A huge thank-you goes to both of these accomplished women.

So, here is my gift to chapters. We have a Shark Tank educational session for chapters to use. The concept is to create a sales pitch and a job aid selling performance improvement methods in the workplace, whether you are an internal or external expert. We see this educational session attracting seasoned members to participate as the presenters and an opportunity to bring new people into the chapter to see what performance improvement is all about. The bonus for everyone who attends is the takeaway job aids that can be used to bring awareness of these methods to potential clients and those in our organizations who are not yet on-board with performance improvement.

We have included the marketing literature, the scoring rubrics, and the layout and timing of the session; we even have an incentive for the winner. The chapter winner submits an application and the job aid to a Society committee. The committee then reviews the submissions and announces a winner at the April ISPI conference. The winner receives an annual ISPI membership.

We are hoping this becomes an annual event held in March, with the winner announced at the April ISPI conference.

If your chapter is interested in doing this event in March 2016, please contact me at We will be holding a conference call in December and again in January for all chapters interested in the educational session. The purpose of the call is to share the materials and expectations for the session.

Happy holidays, everyone.

JenniferEichenbergAbout the Author
A lifelong learner, Jennifer Eichenberg has taken her passion for enhancing everyday communication and created a business dedicated to improving performance and building stronger relationships. Her business is the synergistic result of her experience in education and training, complemented by two master’s degrees, MA and MBA, and two professional designations, CPT and CTT. Constantly seeking to build her skills, Jennifer completed a year-long study of facilitation skills and a program in coaching skills. She is actively involved with ISPI, both on the chapter and Society level.