Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November Newsletter

The theme in the newsletter is handling questions well. So many people think they are good at Q&A because they know the answers and are quick with them. The last time it mattered that you knew the answer was the last time you took an exam.

Handling questions is importantly about trust, not expertise. Admitting "I don't know" can be a very powerful answer. It shows that you are honest, that you are confident enough to admit when you do not know. Audiences like that.

What is most important is that you keep the answers short. My suggestion is 35 seconds, maximum. Listeners just do not have the attention span for more. Besides if you keep the answer short you will get a second question, and a third and a fourth and so on. The audience wants more because they are still interested. In other words, they draw the information FROM you. That is where the word education comes from (in latin) to lead out..... not to cram in.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How Important is a Presentation?

I was fascinated to see last week that the senior Apple manager gave a presentation, in Hong Kong, about the new features for I-Phone.

The presentation was so dull, no one could see the new features, there was no excitement. So all the reports were very negative. The new features are good. But no one noticed. In fact the putting on of that presentation had a negative reaction to Apple.

For those of you that think that the fact that you held a press conference will always have a positive effect that outweighs the negative effect of bad presenters, think again.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An interesting aspect that emerged from the Goldman inquiry

Here is an extract from a Thomson-Reuters article.

'The Goldman emails provide evidence that there is a power shift at banks over the last decade. Voicemail was particularly favoured by the investment bankers who once held the upper hand. Former boss Hank Paulson never used e-mail. But today, in Goldman's giant trading businesses, email has become the dominant form of communication. Some traders have apparently never even activated their voicemail accounts.'

My solution is to use voicemail and email together. Leave a short cheery message on the phone and immediately follow that with a short email that refers to the VM and gives the same message. Keep both short. Many recipients read their emails on hand phones and they will only deal with short messages. Save the discussion for the meeting you will then get!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Keep it Short

Here is an interesting piece from an article by Andy Lopata of on the candidates for the UK election that is looming.

He makes the point that most people want the message simply as a slogan and are not interested in details. That is the same for every message or speech.

My favourite saying is "The more you talk the more you dilute your message!'

Here is Andy:

"From a networking perspective, a big factor in deciding who wins the election will rest on a handful of words. The News Channels have been advertising the campaign slogans of the major political parties. The Liberal Democrats' 'Battle Bus', with their campaign slogan 'Change that works for you' proudly pasted across the vehicle and similar coaches and posters from the other major parties, with Labour campaigning under the slogan 'A future fair for all', while the Conservatives are urging the electorate to 'Vote for Change'.

In each case the Parties are attempting to get across in as few words as possible their core message. They know that a large part of the electorate won't listen to much of the detail of the debates, watch Election Broadcasts or read their manifestos. Their best chance of capturing swing votes is to make an impression with a strong phrase that reflects what they stand for."

Dumbing down? Yes, but that is reality.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A lovely story - So simple

I was talking to a friend of mine, Bob Brown, the other day and he remembered when he was a young bank employee in a tiny town in the North of Saskatchewan. He had never been anywhere else. Somehow he had caught the attention of senior management and he was selected to go to Montreal to serve on the staff of the bank president.
In a panic, he rang up his old mentor, a senior banker in Regina, who had spotted him and advised him during his career, so far. "What should I do? How will I be know how to behave in the big city? What should I bring?"

"Just bring Bob Brown" the senior banker said. "That is all they are expecting."

Monday, January 25, 2010

More digs at Obama

There are two sides to this and I am not sure that the photo was entirely genuine! First Obama probably has to speak at least a dozen times every day on topics that he has hardly had time to learn about. If we all had the luxury of sitting down for a few minutes and deciding what we were going to say in the next speech it would be different.

He does not have the time to do that. So, of course,some speeches are going to be totally prepared for him.

Second, I do believe that there is an organisation in the White House that feels it is the fount of all experience when it comes to advising the President what to say and how to say it. We have seen all the last few presidents hobbled by these advisers. They are set on teleprompters because it means that every word they craft will be in its right place. And, unfortunately they are very powerful and they have overcome Obama, who has lots of things to contend with besides giving rousing speeches.

He is not stupid. He is following advice in the early days of his office. When he does get away and be himself, the old Obama of the campaigning is still there.

Hi John!
Do you think the email below is true?!
Is Obama this reliant on teleprompters?


A recent report showeed Obama speaking to 12 year olds using a full panapoly of teleprompters that surrounded him like a mini-fortress.

How utterly sad and pathetic. He's so devoid of substance that he can't even speak to 12 year-olds without a script

If only it were a parody. Afraid not... he his a pathetic embarrassment.

Imagine the howls from the libtard press if GW needed a teleprompter to speak to 6th graders. Yet all we consistently hear is that this stupid idiot is so brilliant.