It happened by accident. The globe-trotting women didn’t meet in an airport or exotic locale as you might expect. Rather they re-connected over salads at a hometown eatery near Philadelphia on the rare day that they were both in the same time zone.
Karen Friedman, a former television news reporter and Cindy Hoffman, a former television producer never worked side by side until now. Both have single-handedly turned their award winning careers into successful international communications coaching businesses that have taken them to the far corners of the world.
Munching on ideas that would allow them to expand their expertise, the ah-ha moment came when they joked that clients were always asking them to bottle what they teach.
Since bottles are breakable, the entrepreneurs wanted to create an indestructible modern-day communication toolkit that would withstand the test of time. That’s how CommunicApp™, a virtual library of customized communication applications to help even the most seasoned communicator prepare for presentations, interviews, events and more was born.
“I wish I had something like this when I was in college because it’s so hands on.” said recent graduate Jake Ingber. “Unlike the typical boring overwhelming textbook, this is like having a coach on your shoulder to guide you from start to finish.”
That led to top-seller Presenters Pal™, (www.presenterspal.com) an iPAD based step-by-step presentation program with checklists, fill in the blanks, pictures and videos that distills everything these two pros know about condensing information, engaging listeners and influencing outcomes.
While it’s being used by giants like Hilton, Plastic Omnium and will be piloted at a school next fall, don’t think it was an easy sell. Since the business was formed in 2013, the women have had more than a few hurdles along the way. There was the vendor who disappeared with their money. There was a client who tried to reinvent their invention. There was also the developer who couldn’t develop.
But as mothers of boys, Cindy and Karen say they’re used to things being broken. The key is fixing them.
It was shortly after the disappearing vendor that Karen and Cindy did what any savvy professionals would do. They went on line looking for a novel idea. Enter Brad Kozak, founder of the firm Novel Idea.
From the first call, there was instant synergy between the women and Kozak despite the fact that their stark political and geographical differences probably would have doomed most relationships. Though the three have never met, after hundreds of calls, texts and emails, they have collaborated on two websites, created a workbook portion of Presenters Pal (www.presenterspal.com) and are now focused on a promising new app business.
Friedman and Hoffman, who say they have no intention of quitting their day jobs often struggle to find time to brainstorm in person. Yet they’re not concerned. They credit time together on planes, in hotel meeting rooms and juggling phone calls across time zones is where they come up with their best novel ideas.