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Where could a Sales Trainer from Nigeria and an HR Communication Specialist in Romania meet and join forces? 

For us, the answer is obvious: On Opportunity Marketplace. The idea of this online platform is to make collaboration across borders and departments easier. All employees can post projects or offer their expertise and help, they can get the resources they need, extend their networks, gain visibility and boost their skills. 

Knowing the need of our salespeople, Gbenga, a Sales trainer from Nigeria offered a presentation training that attracted almost 100 people. While he expected lots of salespeople Laura, HR Communication Specialist from Romania also applied and joined the project as a participant only to find herself becoming a facilitator of two training sessions herself. A cross-country team was born even though they have never met in person. We met them for a virtual cup of #Costa to learn more about their experience working together.

Opportunity Marketplace logo and a man and a woman smiling Opportunity Marketplace logo and a man and a woman smiling

Gbenga, why did you choose to do a presentation training?

Gbenga: As Sales trainer I know our commercial teams very well. They know how to sell, but I realized I can support them improving their presentation skills by offering a training to help them structure their thinking and communicating their ideas in a better way, by using Powerpoint. They learned about design and animation, as well as about the delivery of the presentation.

Laura, why did you apply for the training?

Laura: In my job, I need to do a lot of presentations. I was looking for projects about internal communication and employer branding but I was also looking for projects to develop my skills. And I wanted to work with people from other countries and other cultures.

Gbenga:  This is one of the things I enjoyed the most. Working with colleagues from other countries and being part of a global community. We had 69 active participants from Nigeria, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Austria.

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How did you manage to keep 63 people engaged?

Gbenga: I split them into 6 teams, each having its own name: Team Alpha, Team Dynamite, Team Rocket, Team Spartans, Team Troopers and Team Falcons. I made sure to share with them what to expect in the upcoming sessions. And I split the training in 7 modules with 2 slots per session to make it easier for our salespeople to get it into their schedules.

Laura: The sessions were very engaging. We learned how to structure and communicate our ideas, how to create a presentation and how to present. You can tell that as a Sales Trainer, Gbenga knows how to interact with people and he made sure we were engaged during the sessions.

The participants were very diverse, Gbenga. And Laura even became a facilitator

Gbenga: This training was not only for salespeople but for anyone interested. To make it relevant, I shared the concept upfront with my team, managers and other colleagues and asked them for input. I was also lucky to have two people joining me as facilitators. One of them is Laura. When I learned she´s using graphic apps a lot, I asked her if she would run two sessions as a facilitator. And Benjamin, a Regional Sales Director from Nigeria, facilitated a session too.

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Laura, your session was about two different graphic apps. Why did you choose these?
I have previously worked a lot with them, so based on my own experience, I selected the relevant ones I knew. Canva can be used to create a presentation within the app and it has some templates that can be used as inspiration for PowerPoint. I use Snapseed to create better pictures and I thought these apps could be helpful for our colleagues as well.

Gbenga: Her sessions were a game-changer for the project and complemented my training very well.

Laura, how did you feel going from participating to be a facilitator?
Being a facilitator was very challenging. I needed to apply what I learned during the training to properly present two graphic apps to colleagues who don´t know graphic design basics.

Did you see any challenges when it comes to working with colleagues from different countries and functions?

Gbenga: No, for me it was a compliment that people wanted to learn from me. Even Laura who knew how to use PowerPoint felt she could learn from me. And by bringing in her experience, I even found someone who was able to complement my training. I really enjoyed the collaboration.

Laura: It was for the first time that I had the chance to work on a project with someone from Nigeria. If I wouldn't have joined this project, I wouldn´t have been in touch with people from so many different countries. They were very welcoming.

Gbenga: Exactly! That's one of the things I enjoy. Thanks to the platform, I can work with colleagues from other countries and by participating in other projects I can express myself beyond my local team. I now have a deeper feeling of belonging to a global community.

Did your managers support you?

Laura: My manager fully supported me. She even encouraged me to go to Opportunity Marketplace and was happy for me that I found this project. She just wanted to make sure it´s not too much workload for me before I join. She agreed that I join, although we had a lot of things to do at that time. I had great support from my local team, so I managed to join the project, learn something new and do my daily work as well.

Gbenga: I engaged my line manager in this from the very start. She's super supportive as well as my colleagues. My line manager was not only happy about the success of my project, but she also encouraged me to make projects part of my development plan.

Will you use Opportunity Marketplace again?

Laura: Yes! It felt really good to have my manager supporting me. Also, our team is thinking about projects we can post.

Gbenga: Of course, yes! I´ll also post a project and would like to join Laura´s projects too. Being encouraged by my line manager to make projects a part of my development plan was also a plus.

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So, if you've got a drive to succeed, a willingness to learn and a winning spirit, why not join us?