Darek Bell: Presentation skills training helps build connections

Nashville Entrepreneur shares how Dale Carnegie and presentation skills training helped his companies win bids and numerous awards.  Being able to effectively communicate his passion has helped him achieve great success at Bell Construction and Corsair Distillery.

Making Money in a Bad Economy

Anyone can make money in a good economy. In a bad economy you have to work really hard and be very creative.

Hi, I’m Derek Bell. I own two companies: Bell & Associates Construction and Corsair Distillery. I’m the Vice President at Bell & Associates and I’m one of the head distillers at Corsair.

On Corsair:

One of the challenges we have is that we are in the shadows of giants. Our Kentucky distillery has the Bourbon Trail. It has all these great and massive distilleries all around it.  Here in Tennessee we have Jack Daniels and George Dickel and very large and well-known companies.  For us, we’re not going to marketing budgets or have the firepower that they have, so we have to do other things.

Creativity is free and passion is free. That’s what’s great about Dale Carnegie. Tapping into being able to communicate to people and being able to communicate what you love and what you care about.

Dale Carnegie has been huge for me in terms of being able to connect to people and show them what you love and what your passion is. You make something and you think it’s good, but you never really know and when you go into competition with other really good distilleries and really talented distillers and you win, it is such a great feeling.

On Bell Construction

Our business model used to be all about hard bid, low dollar, and cheapest price. Now, we have really seen shift in the market where it’s more about your experience, your team, and your qualifications. You have to present and sell those qualifications and do a lot of presentations.  We have to speak a lot and Dale Carnegie has been fantastic for me and my team.

I think there have been a lot of presentations in the past where we got some negative feedback that we looked uncomfortable or looked nervous. Now, I think that all of us have been doing great. We come in and are standing tall and proud of what we do and are excited. I think that excitement has come across to our clients and we’ve been getting more work.

Music City Convention Center

When you have a large project like the convention center, we have 1,500 employees there today and it’s a massive job, communication is key.  I think that Dale Carnegie has been great for us because we are really connecting now.  I think we all communicate a lot better. We know how to communicate to each other and different personality types and how you have to talk to different types of people. I think that our employee morale is through the roof.

The Convention Center is going fantastic. It’s a great job. It’s very complicated, but it’s on time and under budget. We’re just doing great.