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Key4Women 2013 Forum Series Presents "Negotiation And Leadership: For Women In Business And Life"

CLEVELAND, March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Think improvisation has no place in the serious business of negotiation? Key4Women wants you to think again.

Using improvisation to boost negotiation skills can make the difference between women getting what they want, and settling for what they get, said Aneta A. Kuzma, senior vice president, specialty programs and senior strategist for Key4Women, KeyBank's national program for women entrepreneurs, professionals and nonprofit leaders.

"Whether we are talking compensation, company hierarchy or personal leadership opportunities, women walk away from the table with less than they have earned," Kuzma said. "This is such an important issue for women. That's why we are excited to present Karen Hough, CEO and founder of ImprovEdge LLC as the keynote speaker for the 2013 Key4Women Forum series. We believe Karen's insights on effective negotiation can help attendees make the most of their personal and professional potential." The forum series begins in May.

In addition to leading ImprovEdge, Hough is a best-selling author whose career includes being a senior sales executive and a one-time performer at Second City, the nationally known improvisation troupe. She is also a KeyBank client and member of the Key4Women national advisory board.

"Women pay a high price when they don't use effective negotiating skills to obtain what they want," Hough said.

For example, she said, even though women outlive their male partners by 15 years, women's median retirement savings total $10,000 less than men's retirement savings. In business, women leave more than $500,000 on the table during the course of their careers. The average woman-owned business made 25 percent less revenue than its male-owned counterpart in the same industry, according to a 2010 report based on US Census data

"It is clear women business owners have the ability to do more, given that women own more than over 30 percent of all US businesses. These are businesses that generate $1.2 trillion annually and employ more than 13 million people," Hough said. "My goal – and the goal of Key4Women – is to help women identify the strengths that will make them more effective negotiators and leaders."

Using humor, audience participation and case studies, Hough will share the following:
  • Three classic negotiation pitfalls that trip up women
  • Four improvisation techniques that boost negotiation skills
  • Three steps women can take to get the time and leverage they need to fulfill their personal and professional potential.

The first 2013 Key4Women forum will be held May 11 in Salt Lake City. Additional forum dates and locations are Cleveland, May 16; Naples, Fla., May 23; Rochester, NY, June 6; Albany, NY, June 7; Denver, Sept. 24; Portland, Ore., Oct. 8; Anchorage, Alaska, Oct. 10; Tacoma, Wash., Oct. 10; Seattle, Oct. 15.; and Columbus, Ohio in November. Anyone interested in the forum can tune in for highlights at the #K4W hashtag on Twitter, which reaches more than 900,000 Twitter accounts, or join the conversation on LinkedIn and on Facebook.

"Karen offers a high-energy and entertaining demonstration how women can use improvisation to think on their feet more effectively, to manage risk with confidence and to attain their goals through negotiation," Kuzma said.

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