,Presentation skills are a standard feature in any manager or leader worth his salt. How we come across verbally and visually is crucial.
We are one package that should inspire trust. So it is important to build your presentation skills like a pro if you want to succeed in your career.
In the coming weeks I will be delighted to facilitate such a session for managers and leaders and wanted to share with you some teasers.
Presentation is a 24x7 task
Good persuaders do not need to switch to persuasion mode. They just feel is naturally. This frame of mind can be learned and practised by simply look at one's self from a third person point of view. How am I perceived by others? What they see, hear and understand about me, does it persuade them about what you want to communicate?
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
You need to prepare to persuade. You need to go the ground work. Can you imagine the amount of research that goes into a persuasive presentation? You need to have a cast iron argument and be prepared to address all possible challenges. Preparation and understanding the detail is the rule of the game.
Self Confidence and Self Management
Having self confidence is crucial. You first have to persuade yourself about what you need to persuade others about. So self confidence in what you want to persuade others in is a must. So the best bet is always to immerse yourself in the matter and build you confidence in it. It just takes self discipline.
Master the Science of Persuasion Psychology
Persuasion psychology is a big area but the notions are fairly basic, based on the veracity of the logic and facts, the authority of delivery and the perception of the target audience vis-a-vis the subject matter.
Am looking forward to share these and more practical aspects of the power of presentation in a persuasive way in the coming weeks in in London, New York, Singapore and of course Malta.
“People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.”
The refugee crisis in summer 2015 can teach us a number of lessons in management. Here are five key learnings for managers.
1-Nip it in the Bud
This crisis caught politician on the wrong foot when they least expected it in the middle of the summer recess. The Syrian and Isis threats have been ongoing for over three years. Intelligence should have briefed politicians (let say they (politicians) have been briefed) about the risk and contingencies drawn up. What could have been done and was not done because politicians thought it would fizzle out or they had more on their hand - remember that the first part of 2015 was a Greek scene.
A good manager would manage all the situations at once or delegate attention for situations to be addressed by other specialists.
2-Train Your Teams Before the Test
It was evident that the refugee system was not up to scratch to handle a eight fold increase in input. The writing was on the wall. Doing nothing is a poor option. The result is an operational failure that rendered EU politicians involved look feeble, infrastructure crippled and a general logistical mess.
Management is all about preparation for foreseeable risks.
3-Manage Public Opinion in a Professional Way
Managing public opinion is part art and part science. It was evident that politicians which took the microphone did so under media pressure of suffering refugees blasted on TV screens and social media. The message was confusing and drowned in sensational images of suffering and operational inefficiencies.
It is important to get the media on your side all the way - nurture it well with accessibility.
4-If you Going to Risk it All - Make Your Homework Well
Most migrants are young men which fled for various reasons - some political but most economical. But were they prepared for the ordeal? The channels they used are physically risky, rickety and outright illegal. They sank in their savings and lives in the hands of rogue traders. This was not an overnight development but brewed up over a good three year period.
If you going to risk it all make sure the odds are in your favour.
5-Invest in your Intellectual Property
What did the refugees bring with them? Apart from what they where wearing pretty nothing. The best insurance for the future is the knowledge and intellectual money making skills that one can carry along wherever he or she goes.
The best investment is in your brains.
Successful people are those who embrace negotiation on anything and at any level. I was proud to direct over 50 negotiation programmes in the last ten years during which I met all kind of people from various countries.
Across various cultures, levels and characters negotiation skills are essential even for the psychological self-behaviour and development of yourself. Key secrets of being a good negotiation are:
Self Confidence to be able to look straight and level headed even when you are the underdog. This you can learn how to do it with the right exercise and guidance.
Creativity to think out of the box-You need to use the Thinking Skills Technique (there are others as well) but anyone can be more creative - Creativity is the Monopoly of no One.
Good listener and patient enough to listen, assess and understand the other party's point of view, needs, wants and wishes.
Empathy skills to 'wear the shoe' of the other party and understand what they want out of the process.
...and being a good Strategist to have a plan of action that you execute and refine as you go along.
Over the last ten years I saw a remarkable correlation between people who are good negotiators and their success in life in general and in business in particular.
I a glad to be in a position to host another of these programme this time in Malta on the 23rd July 2015 at the Corinthia Palace Hotel in Attard. If interested to join you can drop us a line at email@example.com for full details.
Your team is as good as it knows how to handle change, new challenges and difficulties the market throws at them. The market is always changing. New competitors coming in, new opportunities cropping up, new technologies - you name it and is a never ending story.
So you need to make sure that your team gets the best possible preparation.
This is the responsibility of employees and they need to invest in their future professional skills.
On-The-Job Skills Training
This is the lacuna not filled by academia and it is so crucial. How to handle situations that arise and take command of the situation in an assertive way that inspires trust and loyalty is critical. Most employees lack this important bit in their professional portfolio. Now if you want to get super-smart employees you may develop them into this and make sure that they are kept motivated.
Which brings me to motivation
You surely need motivation to fire up your employees. More on that in here
How do I know that Training Will get me a Good Financial Return?
Simple - you need to invest in quality programmes that deliver results. The logic is as follows:
1-Define what your employees need to learn
Never send employees away to train in anything you are not sure about. Speak with the training company about your needs.
2-Define what is the financial up-side for you
You may need to define what is the financial upside before you make a commitment. So if you send a customer service person on training what would you expect financially? For example you expect to reduce the client-dissatisfaction rate by 10%. So how much are you prepared to pay for that?
3-Shop around for best deals
There are various tricks out there so always check
- Subject content
- Tutor experience
- Number of attendees to be taken on board
- Length of training
- Length of post-training support (they will surely need that)
Once you have all that you decide on the best value for money spent.
4-Spread the training across everyone
We all need training and uplifting of our skills, whatever they are as the market is changing all the time. So never address one area only.
5-MOST IMPORTANT train yourself!
Whatever your position make sure you invest part of your time and money into some training of your own. Make this a habit.
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Social Media is here to stay. Well not only to stay but to grow. It has been growing exponentially for the last 20 years and will continue unabated.
Modern marketing in any sector embraced this disruptive technology. Apart from knowing how to read and write one now needs to know how to manage his social media presence either as professional, freelancer or a key employee.
Social Media is not the domain of the geeks anymore. It is a new communication domain that brings people together.
Lately I had the experience to review some work from top social media practitioners in connection with the Social Media Training Programme we run at Innovaxin International Ltd and thought to share with you some snippets from this programme.
1-Social Media is a Must
It is not an option anymore! You either use it or you lose it in this competitive scenario. Nowadays even sweat shops in Vietnam have a social media presence to peddle their wares!
2-End User Revolution
The tools for end user communication are all there - Content Remains King as my old friend Sumner Redstone of Viacom use to say. So chur it out - there is an audience out there.
3-Learn the Rules of the Road
You need to know the rules of the game and how to play it in order to muster it! How to use hashtags, when and their use is an important aspect. It is like knowing how punctuations work in a real language.
There are other tips and techniques one needs to muster. I look forward to meet you folks out at this international programme, details of which you will find Here
What looked like a simple and silly broken side mirror of a ministerial car that happened in Malta on the 19th November 2014, left a whole country suspended for a good three weeks, probably costed the tax payer something in the region of €200,000 in investigations, (wasted hours at work and on social media, two magisterial enquiries and expensive parliamentary downtime) and a ministerial resignation (I guess the first one in such circumstances) and the removal of the acting police chief by the prime minister.
What are the managerial lessons from this episode?
1-Hire the best - always
It seems that the driver who was off duty and armed, over reacted in the most un-professional way beyond reason - a clear sign of untrained, unprepared and amateurish behaviour. If you need a job well done you need to hire the best people around on merit and capabilities. Managers need to screen employees well. The cost of mistakes is too much.
2-Train your people for any eventuality
Training your team in the technical and psychological aspect of handling a job. These are two fundamentals in how to manage a situation before it escalates. Work psychology training is important especially in high tense client-facing jobs.
3-Whatever the environment train your team in basic communication and customer service
This is crucial whatever the environment. Phone operators in any environment must be calm, focused and trained in all eventualities. They need to be kept on toes through mystery-calls where they are checked on behaviour, follow up and courtesy all the way to ensure that the service is spot-on 24x7 in a systematic and standard way.
4-Discipline your team all the way
The prime minister acted fast and in a measured way as soon as he realised that a gross mistake was committed and what looked like a silly incident was much more serious in nature. Never fire people on the spot but
- investigate the facts
- offer the option to all concerned to make their point
- take action.
5-Learn, learn and keep on learning
Learning to learn is crucial here. The incident and the collateral fall-out sends a number of learning opportunities to those who want to learn and improve. No one is perfect but chance prefers the prepared mind.
It was a lucky escape for the victim and an eye opener for managers in any environment that epic fails will happen and we all need to be prepared for them through training - constant and systematic training. Training your team is not a chance thing. The lessons are all there to be learned and improved on. So take the opportunity to keep on learning all the way to excellence.
In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind
How do you get about developing business from China?
In our Business Development from China Workshop we identify some crucial areas to address.
After you define what you want to import from China you need to research what is available, the cost and any import restrictions such as tariffs.
Once you identify possible products try to visit a trade fair in Hong Kong, which is a gateway to China. Hong Kong is easy to reach, travel to and to live in. The scope of a Hong Kong visit is to meet potential agents and manufacturers
Discuss the support, order levels, branding and all the due diligence you feel comfortable with addressing before you place the initial order.
Place the initial order, paid for via an irrevocable letter of credit or paid in advance, if you have faith enough in the client. On small ticket transactions consider paying via Paypal.
“To talk much and arrive nowhere is the same as climbing a tree to catch a fish”
After years of research in the field of sales techniques we have launched the IGNITION SALES Programme (ISP).
Why another sales programme?
Because selling is an evolving profession that needs to be updated with changes in the sales field and new discoveries in social psychology. In fact this programme is based on three key areas
- Tactical Selling
- Psychological Client Management
- Altruistic Perspective Techniques
The programme was launched with three client companies in the retailing, finance and IT solutions and it was received well with comments such as
"...never realised the power I had at my disposal to influence people in a persuasive way..."
Senior retail manager - Fashion Retailing
"...the VSO-Model made me conscious of the importance of selling Value not the Price..."
Financial Service Provider - Currency Dealer
"...our selling systems are long term, but we refined our account management systems to cross sell -or sticky selling as you mention and it is showing short term results which to be honest I was surprised with..."
Senior IT Client Manager - IT Service provider
The Main Modules of the IGNITION Sales Programme are
Understanding your Clients, Prospects and Leads
Understanding the needs, wishes and aspirations of your clients, prospects and leads vis-a-vis your products and services you have to offer in terms of Value Creation.
Persuasive Sales Communication
We review the intensive impact of communication in the sales process in a generic and specific way and how to manage it to your advantage.
Selling Value, Service and Objections
Apple does not sell tablets! They sell productivity-entertainment solutions and that is the modern selling technique of selling through VSO (Value, Service and Objection) - yes we also sell objections!
Objections are FUN (Functional, Universal and Neutral Model)
You need to know how to handle and SELL objection. They are lethal on their own but a God send if handled in a professional way upfront.
Selling Expensive Solutions
There are some techniques in motivating your leads, prospects and clients to buy more from you whatever the industry and whatever you sell - fancy the 'soup' of the day everyone is dying for?
Intra Personal Sales Relationship Techniques
Micro-selling is all about 'you-management' and how you portray yourself to the client.
How to Motivate Yourself to Sell and Own what you Sell
You need to LOVE what you sell, make it yours and sell it passionately, whatever you are selling.
Beating Sales Targets Hands Down
How to beat a sales target with the least effort and keep on doing it systematically in the medium to long term.
Improve Your Selling Efforts in the Field through FAST-Model
FAST-Model works in the field of selling. We will share with you the secrets of the FAST-Model and how to use it with any kind of buyer (B2B and B2C) when you attend one of our ISPs (IGNITION Sales Programmes)
Digital Selling Tools for Free whether You sell Peanuts or Property
In the age of digital marketing you need to consider your micro digital selling techniques. They cost nothing but are a boon for anyone selling anything.
Planning Your Transformation into a Sales Champion
Finally we go through a plan of action on how to be a champion-seller just like you can be a champion athlete!
So if you are interested please do get in touch with us at
“Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.”
– Winston Churchill
Taxes should be paid. Not paying taxes is a crime in a civilized society. And that how it should be.
However there are taxes and taxes.
Deciding to pay tax A may be more advantageous than paying tax B. Tax picking is all around us from buying cheap spirits from the next door state or country to multinational schemes to bill your online sales in state A rather than B because the tax incentives are big.
Governments use tax regimes to favour specific 'investing citizen'. Knowing your tax status is important.
One area where taxation bites in a cruel way is succession in small businesses where the use of tax specialist is unheard of or even ridiculed.
So after you sink in blood and sweat, burning the proverbial mid-night oil when you transfer the business to the next generation Mr Taxaman takes part of the wealth you generated over the years. This chunk can be a walloping 35% or 65% depending on jurisdiction.
Come and join us at the Innovaxin Succession Workshop or contact us for more information.
What are the hot questions you will be asked during a job interview?
It all depends on the character of the interviewer or interviewers. Intelligent people ask intelligent questions and you need to be ready to 'fire from your hip' in an intelligent way.
Here are few samples
- Why do you want to work for us?
You need to have a cleaver alibi that fits the bill for the employer. You may be desperate looking for job but all you need to talk about is why the employer needs you.
- Why are you quitting your current job?
Be honest in a diplomatic way. Best bet would be for a salary increase. Beware to mention anything else that irks you in your current job as that may open a pandora's box in the interviewer's perception of why you really want to move on.
- How would this job, we are offering fit into your career plan?
Always go for a positive change driven by a kind of financial reward or better working conditions (nearer home) but that may be too obvious!
- What are your weakest character traits?
This one can pin you down if not prepared for it. You need to talk about something you really want to change and you are working on changing. Make sure you pass on the message that you are doing something about it.
- What are your salary expectations?
Be honest - money is a main motivator in career moves.
Get some career coaching today and join one of our career clinics - they are cheap and affordable and can knock up your earnings by as much as 10% in one year! Contact us for more information.
Managing Director and Chief Programmes Officer based in Malta and an avid entrepreneur who likes sharing his expertise in various fields with people from all walks of life.
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