Visual communication expert
Chantal Bossé is an author, blogger, trainer, and presentation & visual communications specialist. She has been in the trade for over 20 years now.
Since 2013, she is one of 15 people in North America awarded the Microsoft® PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional) title. She’s the first, and presently the only, French-speaking woman with this title.
First a scientific, then worked in telecommunications, she started CHABOS in 2004 to share her passion for visual communications.
In the past years, Chantal has been a speaker in many events (LinkedQuébec, MSDevMontréal Group…) and various international webinars. She has been part of the speaker committee for TEDxQuébec since its first edition in 2012. She helps speakers to structure their content, think “visually” and bring their message forward to the audience in an efficient and memorable way. She also helps people discover the Pecha Kucha method so they improve their presentation and public speaking skills.
She is the author of guides and eBooks in French, and co-author of the book Relational Presentation – A Visually Interactive Approach Condensed Edition.
Directeur of technology, network and AV
User and PC equipment specialist since 1990, Patrice has also developped his skills for equipment and solutions for visual presentations.
Since October 2014, he is one the Presentation Summit technicians in the United States, referred to as THE conference to improve people’s skills in public speaking.
He also obtained his “speaker coach” in order to help speakers greatly improve in front of an audience.
In 2010, Patrice was associated with a neuroscience research group in one of Montreal’s universities. Their goal was to validate the fact that some teaching methods would improve retention of information by students.
Because of his researches and training, he now applies neuroscience to public speaking. This method allows him to coach speakers that use visuals, and help them understand their audience’s various reactions. This way, they can maximize understanding and pedagogical efficiency of their speech and presentation, while conveying their message in a better way.
What’s our story?
We sometimes get asked how we got into starting a presentation & visual communications business. For the curious ones, here it is! It is also proof that there is more than one path leading to visual communications. 🙂
Chantal, the little girl that wanted to blend with the wallpaper…
Being rather shy, I spent my first school years wanting to go unnoticed. You know, like blending into the the décor? And of course, just hearing “oral presentation” sent me into a panick mode. Every time this “lovely opportunity” came across, my heart was pounding, I was hot, I sputtered, and the smallest reaction from my classmates gave me that fabulous shade of red! Through the years, I was able to acquire a little more self confidence and get somewhat okay results.
A big change happened during my second year in University. As a biochemistry baccalaureate student, one of my classes was to prepare a seminar. That meant that I would need to get to grips with a research subject – that was the easy part! – and then present the results to my peers in an auditorium containing around 100 people…for 20 excruciating minutes! How would I manage to do that?
That seminar preparation will have been the best learning tool in my whole life for the first rule in public speaking: preparation is everything! I had three months to research my subject, reduce talking points to the essential ones, prepare visuals, and practice, practice, and again practice. For the whole practice part I do not deserve any awards: when 3 university credits are at stake, failing is NOT an option! 😉
Without knowing it at the time, I had just created my process to help people with their public speaking & presentations. I got an A for my seminar, then came the time to enter the working world at a time it was rather difficult to even get a job.
From lab technician in a high school, I moved to QC technician in a food flavor factory. Then I ended up in telecommunications… training… mother of my first son… instructional design… mother of my second son… regulatory affaires in pharma, and finally creating CHABOS in 2004! Didn’t I tell you that many paths can lead to visual communications? 😉
Throughout all these experiences I understood that communications were important at all levels of our lives. Since I created my business, I pursued training and development initiatives to always be at the top of my trade, which will have allowed me to be awarded the Microsoft PowerPoint Most Valuable Professional (MVP) title since 2013.
Patrice, the computing & equipment innovator dedicated to people’s well-being
After going through computer science in Cegep (similar to Junior College if you’re from the U.S.), many businesses were telling me: “A computer will never get into my business!” – Times have changed a lot, haven’t they? ;-). You will understand that I had to change my career plans to survive at the time. I was an alpine skiing fanatic and I decided to try out ski patrol; that’s when I discovered that I liked helping people. So I decided to enroll in the Emergency Medical Technician program, my profession for over 29 years now, that also evolved to being a paramedic. As a matter of fact, it’s my work as a paramedic that has helped me better understand people, and learn how to help them manage difficult situations.
OK, but what’s the link with computing? Well, an experienced colleague told me, when I was just starting, that I better start planning my “after career” right now. He told me that I would never be able to preduct when an injury, or a very emotionally difficult call, would put an end to my paramedic career. That’s when I gave the computing world a second try, just at the time when people started to be curious about the World Wide Web. Since 1992, I have developped a vast expertise in computing and networking.
Since we created the business I realized that the field of presentation equipment & AV was another element fro which I was a great ressource for our clients. And all my years as a paramedic have allowed me to observe people, which now serves me to better apply neuroscience principles to public speaking.
Oh, and wondering how Chantal and I met? On the ski slopes, as ski patrols. 🙂
All that experience now allows us to help entrepreneurs and speakers maximize their presentations’ impact with structure, message and visuals that captivate their audience, all the while making technology work FOR them.