“Image isn’t everything… it’s just what everyone notices!”
Our clients have achieved their goals by strengthening their personal and professional image.
Our success stories reveal the goal of our mission to foster:
Image Awareness • Individual Improvement • Personal Power
These success stories will give you a good sense of the kind of problems we work with, how we approach them, and the kind of results we get.
An Executive Success Story
Wardrobe Power for a LeaderAccepting the position as General Manager of a Hotel and Golf Club meant moving to a new country and fitting into a different culture. Sarah quickly assessed the situation and realized that she needed an updated image which would help her fit in locally and allow her to successfully represent her organization internationally.
After attending Marion’s workshop on Image-Building for Professionals, Sarah sought out her services to assess the clothing in her closet. According to Sarah, it was then that “Project Closet Clean Up” began. Marion offered advice about which clothing and accessories should be kept and which should go, and made recommendations about clothing colors and styles that best suited her. In the end, Marion touched every item in her wardrobe, top to bottom.
It was Marion’s ability to listen to Sarah’s needs and her sensitivity to the emotional pieces in her wardrobe that gave Sarah the encouragement to make changes. Sarah said,
“She did not give up on me! And, she always thanked and complimented me on my baby steps as I worked my way through this process. Her positive reinforcement helped me let go of the past.”
Today, Sarah can’t say enough about the positive impact that working with Marion has had on her work.
“She taught me how to dress the part, blend accordingly with the professional landscape, and yet never lose the essence of Sarah. Now I make the right statement when walking into a room. I am able to dress for any occasion and feel confident and comfortable. My role constantly changes; I have to easily switch from being in the field to being at the boardroom table, move from lunch receptions to cocktail receptions . . . and dress for all occasions. Marion has created within me a powerful presence and a calm confidence.”
A Workshop Success Story
Professional Power for Ambassador Sales Team
When the Director of the People to People Student Ambassador Programs first contacted Marion Gellatly, he was looking for a competitive edge that would enable his sales teams to recruit over 30,000 students annually.
The problem was that many on the team lacked polish and professionalism in their dress and presentation. Most of the younger members needed to master basic image skills, while the successful senior members wanted help identifying the refinements to their image and communication that would improve their performance.
Marion’s customized presentation demonstrated the importance of image as a powerful influencing tool. Students learned to read the demographics of an area, and choose fabrics and styles that suited themselves and their audience. They learned to make image decisions that demonstrated their professionalism, built credibility, enabled them to build rapport with parents and students, and positively reflected the values of the organization they represented.
As a result of Marion’s ability to make the workshop relevant and her coaching seem like that of a trusted friend, participants felt comfortable adopting a new, more professional style. Her warmth and ability to immediately connect with people inspired them to take the steps necessary to turn up the power of their own presentation skills.
The Director of the Student Ambassador Program reported that the program had its best season ever. In fact, it was so successful that Marion has been invited back again and again to prepare the next generations of road warriors for more stellar years.
Paul Chapin, the Senior Director of People to People Student Ambassador Programs says this about Marion’s teachings:
“Marion’s insights are profound. They are clear, concise, and practical, and help a speaker present an image that is a living message of success. We used her insights immediately for our presentation teams in all 50 states.”
A Corporate Training Success Story
Communication Power for Financial Advisors Nationwide
Debbie Hyner, VP of Broker Marketing at AIG –Sun America, was looking for a unique, memorable, innovative, value-added approach to market AIG financial products. What she found was Marion Gellatly, a master-level certified image and etiquette professional.
While Marion’s qualifications were impressive, it was her integrity, professionalism, and commitment to business excellence that convinced Debbie to expand her vision of a single local workshop to a series of National Education seminars designed to help financial advisors attract high-net-worth clients. Marion’s custom-designed workshops created ‘buzz’ and attracted audiences of more than 1000 advisors at National Education Conferences across the United States.
Attendees gained valuable tips about how to immediately connect with, cultivate, and most importantly, communicate effectively with potential clients. Participants said Marion gave them a new way to set themselves apart from other financial advisors and ensure that there were no barriers between themselves and their clients. AIG –Sun America gained credibility, a reputation for innovation, and a ready audience at future National Education Conferences.
Debbie Hyner says this about Marion’s work for AIG –Sun America:
“Working with Marion was a wonderful experience. Her willingness to get to know our business and design presentations that met client needs is a testament to her professionalism. Marion provided our clients with practical tools and valuable insights regarding non-verbal cues and appearance that they could immediately apply to their personal and professional life.”
A One-on-One Success Story
Personal Power for a Developing Leader
When former tennis pro and young entrepreneur Michael Jessup sought out Marion’s assistance, he did so with the intent of improving his ability to communicate more effectively with clients and potential business investors. After leaving the professional tennis circuit in his mid 20’s he felt out of place when dealing with highly educated, socially adept upper-class clients. He wanted to communicate powerfully, connect easily, and polish his etiquette skills both with clients and business associates from whom he hoped to raise venture capital for a bay area business.
Marion’s warm and engaging coaching style gave him the courage to practice and fine-tune his social and communication skills in a variety of environments. Over the six months he worked with Marion, he learned to communicate effectively, connect and build rapport easily, and feel more at home when entertaining clients. Her practical approach and knowledge of business etiquette helped him ask the right questions, actively listen, and convey content, context, and intent during conversations. He learned to make requests and handle complaints with tact and skill.
Today he attributes Marion’s upbeat approach, natural leadership style, and sound business advice to helping him feel more confident in business and social situations. He reports that the skills he gained have helped him create a positive experience for his clients and have resulted in increased business.
When interviewed by The New York Times, Michael said this about his experience with Marion:
"When I left the professional tennis circuit at age 27 to give private lessons in Cupertino, CA, I noticed how smoothly my executive clients communicated what they wanted and how they wanted it done. I decided that if I wanted to be a successful coach, I needed to improve my own communication style, and I found Marion Gellatly. We worked over a period of six months and I credit her with giving me more confidence in business and social situations, and I use much of what she taught me. My favorite lesson was the importance of asking questions when talking to a potential client to gather as much information as possible. Rather than say, 'This is what I can do for you,' Marion taught me to ask things like, "How often do you play tennis? What would you like to accomplish with these lessons? Do you have any injuries I should know about?'" That approach helped me tailor lessons to my clients, which improved their experience with me and fostered more referrals."
A Make-Over Success Story
Image Power for A Baby Boomer
Susan was fast approaching 60 years of age; and in her words, was “feeling old and looking frumpy”. She noticed that her work wardrobe had gotten sloppy and was practically all black. In addition, Susan had decided to let her hair grow out to its natural gray; and all of a sudden, while she really liked her hair, she noticed that everything about her wardrobe was aging her.
She needed to take action, and was hopeful that she could learn to solve her wardrobe problems on her own. She began her quest by studying style books, fashion magazines, and watching “What Not to Wear” on TV. She couldn’t imagine that she needed professional help!
While books, magazines and TV shows were fun and entertaining, Susan came to realize that they didn’t give her what she needed most—the personalized coaching and expert knowledge of a professional image consultant like Marion Gellatly.
In working with Marion, Susan’s goal was to learn how to make smart and exciting choices about her wardrobe to reflect her spirit and inner youthfulness and to flatter her figure and coloring--things that most people are looking for today. After their first meeting, Susan discovered that there’s nothing that substitutes for individualized, one-on-one counsel to bring new-found knowledge of self and added confidence in making excellent choices when shopping, things she wasn’t able to accomplish with books and TV shows.
Susan learned from Marion what colors brought her alive and what textures, styles, garment proportions, and proper fit could do to enhance, refine and reflect a confident image. Marion also recommended Susan to a hair stylist for a perky, sassy cut for her gray hair and to a makeup salon to complete the total package. Susan says this of her experience with Marion:
“Working with Marion Gellatly on my wardrobe and image has made a huge difference in my life. Marion's years of expertise, her wonderful eye for color and style, and her warm personality helped me become a different woman. Now that I know what styles, colors and fit are best for me, and just as importantly which to avoid, I am shopping much more effortlessly and loving what I'm wearing. And when I get stymied or unsure, Marion is available for questions as I continue on this journey of changes. I'm feeling younger, and prettier than I have in many, many years.”
Now that you’ve learned how Powerful Presence has helped others, you might be wondering, “Is Marion really qualified to help me? What’s her background?” Learn more about Marion Gellatly.
Find out how well your professional image is serving you today.
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“We did amazing in recruitment this year. We currently have 33 new members (almost double from last year!!). Thank you so much for all of your help. You made us see where we could improve in our communication and appearance. Our women still say things like "monochromatic" and "great, Great, GREAT!!" so I know it was a success on our end. Thank you again,”