ReviewMar 5th, 2024

Speaking at NADA: A Retrospective

Kaylee Felio NADA

Being invited to speak at NADA was a pivotal moment in my career, a culmination of years spent influencing the auto industry’s approach to managing parts inventory, the second-largest investment for dealers. Digging into the intricacies of inventory management goes beyond mere ordering and pricing; it’s about efficiency and process, with the dealership management system (DMS) at its core. As I prepared for this significant opportunity, I couldn’t help but feel the weight of responsibility to convey the importance of this often-overlooked aspect of dealership operations, especially in the quest for efficiency in 2024.

The Preparation:

Facing my first speaking engagement, I sought advice from my network, drawing on their experiences and insights. Which I am incredibly grateful for, what a feeling to have this level of support. I was encouraged to be authentic and share my expertise which alleviated some of the pressure. Embracing their advice, I adopted a balanced approach to practice, ensuring I knew my material without overloading myself with anxiety-inducing rehearsals.

Despite the occasional overwhelm, I committed to daily review sessions, dedicating at least 20 to 30 minutes to refining my presentation months in advance. Conversations with family and colleagues about my upcoming speaking engagement helped calm my nerves and reinforce my preparation. Though there were days when anxiety threatened to derail my progress, the support of those around me kept me focused.

The Performance:

Stepping onto the stage at NADA, a mix of nerves and excitement filled my body. I was surprised though, with the level of calmness I experienced that day. As I looked around I couldn’t help but feel proud and incredibly grateful for the people in the room. My husband was able to join along with my two bosses Cliff and Chuck; the founders of PartsEdge. Drawing on months of preparation and the reassurance of my peers, I delivered my message with confidence and authenticity. It might have only taken 23 minutes but hey, we have to start somewhere. But as I shared insights into effective parts inventory management, I felt a sense of purpose, knowing that I was shedding light on a crucial aspect of dealership operations. Reflecting back, I did my best when I wasn’t looking at my notes.

The post-presentation bliss was overwhelming. The rush of adrenaline gave way to a profound sense of accomplishment. Despite the initial terror, I emerged from the experience with newfound confidence and a determination to continue sharing my expertise through speaking engagements. Lesson learned: scheduling time to decompress after speaking engagements is essential, allowing for a much-needed release of tension and a moment to savor the achievement.

The Benefits:

The benefits, both personal and professional, were abundant. On a professional level, speaking at NADA solidified my reputation as a subject matter expert, opening doors to new opportunities and collaborations within the industry. It reinforced my commitment to advocating for efficient dealership operations, particularly in parts inventory management.

Personally, the experience was transformative. Conquering the fear of public speaking ignited a new level of confidence in my abilities. The sense of fulfillment derived from sharing knowledge and insights with peers was unparalleled, fueling my passion for continuous growth and learning.

The journey to speaking at NADA was a testament to the power of preparation, perseverance, and the unwavering support of my network. What began as a daunting task evolved into a rewarding experience. As I continue to advocate for efficient dealership parts operations, I carry with me the lessons learned and the invaluable connections forged along the way.

    Kaylee Felio is the Sales and Marketing Manager at PartsEdge. A well-known host of The Parts Girl Podcast, Kaylee drives sales by marketing to dealers through establishing human relationships and her developed technical understanding of the challenges they face.

    Having led the brand development from an early stage, Kaylee has built the foundations of a formidable Sales and Marketing Department.

    View full profile
    Curated, quality insights?
    Content worth the click