Tips to be a Better Public Speaker

public speaking tipsIn addition to countless other responsibilities, many CEOs and business owners serve as the face of their brand. There may be no better opportunity to fulfil this exacting duty than by appearing before audiences as a public speaker. It’s a powerful way to showcase your business and communicate the depth of your industry expertise.

But the art of public speaking doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Even those who are adept in this field always look for ways to improve their performance. If you regularly receive invitations to address a public forum—or if you’re just starting out—here are tips for becoming a more compelling (and sought-after) public speaker:

View your material through the eyes (and ears) of your audience. Some speakers forget that the people they’re addressing don’t know as much as they do about a given topic. They fall into the habit of speaking “over” their audience—using jargon or technical language, rushing through complex material without offering sufficient explanation, and so on.

One way to overcome this trait is by breaking down your subject matter and finding ways to explain material in brief, easy-to-understand sections. Make sure people understand the first idea you want to convey before moving on to other topics. Use simple language as much as possible, to increase the likelihood your audience follows as you progress through your presentation.

Enhance your communications skills. Eye contact and clear enunciation are two of the most valuable skills a public speaker can possess. Rather than reading from a prepared speech, practice looking up at your audience and making eye contact with people in the back of the venue, in the middle and up front. This helps you connect with the audience and enhances their willingness to trust what you have to say.

When speakers get nervous, they often speak faster and lose people due to poor enunciation. Practice speaking slowly and making sure you pronounce clearly (and loud enough for those in the back to hear). This approach will lend greater impact to what you want to convey.

Vary speech patterns and use more body language. No one will pay attention for long if you simply stand before the lectern and deliver your speech in a monotone. Carefully review the content of your presentation beforehand and look for places to modulate your delivery, adding emphasis to key parts and vary the way you talk.

Equally important, adapt gestures and other body language to accompany your speech. “Make sure your gestures and words are synonymous,” advises business communications expert Jill Schiefelbein. If you itemise a series of key points, “make sure the numbers you’re saying match the number of fingers you’re holding up.” Also, walk around on-stage and “move to transition between points or stories or characters.”

Practice, practice, practice. Every public speaking expert says the same thing: Practice until you’ve got your presentation down cold. Rehearse before a small group of friends, colleagues or family members, and invite their feedback and suggestions. Rehearse in front of a mirror. Make a video of your presentation, then watch it with both the sound turned on and off. This will make you more conscious of how your body language syncs up with your words.

Practising is an effective way “to combat your nerves when the time comes,” says serial entrepreneur Jennifer Spencer. “Muscle memory takes over your brain, and you begin to deliver your message without flaw.” It’s essential to “steady your nerves at kickoff time.”

Delivering an informative and engaging presentation will boost awareness of your brand and your status as an influential thought leader. That’s more than enough ROI to justify the time and effort needed to become a great public speaker.

Want to learn more about high-level communications? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!

 

How to Embrace Changing Technology

Merging With Technology

We all know technology is changing at warp speed, so it’s easy for small businesses to feel they can’t keep up—or worse, to feel too intimidated to even try to do so. There’s also the concern that implementing new technology is both costly and laden with potential risks.

This can sometimes lead to a mentality among CEOs and business owners that it’s safer to stick with “what you know.”

But, says Dan Hoffman at Business.com, “for whatever investments a business owner incurs upgrading their business model, if done correctly, they can expect up to between 400 to 900 percent return on that investment after just a few months.” That’s because improvements in digital technology, and related areas, have the potential to dramatically improve and streamline business operations.

Such improvements can be especially beneficial if your business has reached a certain plateau and isn’t prepared for expansive growth.

For example, to what extent is your company invested in the use of big data? If you’ve been slow to adopt big data analysis, your business may be at a severe competitive disadvantage. After all, there’s a ton of valuable customer data out there, and you can be sure larger companies are mining that data for every buying insight they can find.

According to Small Business Trends, big data describes “large sets of structured and unstructured data” that fit into the “3V model” of big data analysis. The 3Vs are:

Volume—Storing data collected from sales transactions, social media, etc.
Velocity—Capturing data that streams in real-time
Variety—The wide array of data to be collected (text, video, audio, images)

Why is this important? Analysing data compiled through the 3V model offers an in-depth understanding of the reasons behind customer purchasing behaviours, which can help you decide which product lines are worth the most in terms of promotion and ROI. Big data can also assist in predicting what your customers want in advance—valuable information to have in terms of planned future upgrades or a new product launch.

Additionally, big data resources enable companies to closely track social media activity, and take proactive steps if and when a flurry of negative comments about a business appear.

Other significant benefits of embracing changes in technology include:

  • More effective internal communications, when all employees utilise a cloud-based system for staying in touch with each other and with your customers
  • Greater lead capture and conversions through an optimised website, designed to entice customers to provide contact information and feed the sales pipeline on a continual basis
  • Opportunities to encourage customer feedback and interactivity, thus enhancing your brand on social media and enabling you to stay on top of customer buying trends
  • Tracking software that enables senior leadership to closely monitor levels of employee productivity (for example, making progress on key company initiatives)

Of course, no single individual can hope to stay current with every advance in technology. But by hiring the right people and giving them the proper resources—and by staying informed through industry updates and information from organisations like TAB—executives can feel more empowered about leveraging the benefits of new technology as they arise. In fact we have a wonderful member of TAB based here in Clonskeagh, Dublin 14, who are helping companies gain insights from their data such as ranking their digital marketing campaigns by return on investment. So its not just for big business, its for every business.

In other words, to remain competitive in the marketplace, there’s really no other option than enthusiastically embracing the opportunities new technology provides.

Want more advice on making your business more productive? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!

 

Using Marketing to Re-Engage with Former Customers

Winning back lost customers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Businesses define “lost customers” in different ways. To some, these are customers or businesses that once purchased their goods or services, then stopped for any number of reasons (bad quality, inferior service, pricing issues, etc.). To others, the term refers to individuals or companies that, while no longer representing active sales, might be enticed to return under the right circumstances.

If your business adheres to the latter definition, this means you’ll willing to consider strategies to regain the trust of former customers. Fortunately, there are many ways to achieve this objective, and using marketing as a key resource might be the right tool for your business.

Here are tips on how to use marketing to re-engage with so-called “lost” customers:

Find out what went wrong. Knowing why a customer no longer buys your products or services is a good place to start. Assuming your database contains the email addresses and/or phone numbers of former customers, put together a brief email survey that includes something like the following:

  • Please tell us in your own words why you chose to no longer do business with us.
  • What can we do differently that would encourage you to take another look?
  • Would you like to learn more about how our offerings have changed since you left?

Some ex-customers will be delighted that you reached out to them and will let you know in detail why they left. Others will be more reluctant to respond. That’s why it’s a good idea to offer all survey participants a compelling reason to answer—a free download of a recent white paper, for example, or a discount on their next purchase.

Invite them to guide your business. Many companies have customer advisory boards or councils that help with product development, entry into new markets, “partnering strategies, merger and acquisition targets, marketing initiatives, branding and messaging,” notes B2B consultant Eyal Danon. The goal of such councils, he adds, is to “capture these actionable business recommendations, prioritise them and act on those that make the most sense for the business.”

Why not invite a former customer to participate in your board or council? These individuals might be flattered by this invitation and enthusiastically agree to take part. They might also have valuable insights and suggestions to offer. And—because you reached out in the first place—they might regain your legions of loyal customers.

Highlight product upgrades—and special offers—in your marketing materials. Ex-customers who take part in your survey or otherwise show interest in your products should receive customised marketing materials in return. Take what you’ve learned from the survey and craft a new message that highlights how your product or service has changed (for the better, of course) and how the customer will benefit from these improvements. As noted earlier, think about a special promotion that includes a one-time discount, as a way of “welcoming back” these former customers. Any personalised touch will carry more weight than more generic marketing efforts.

Promote a new commitment to customer service. You may already boast an exemplary culture of customer service within your organisation. Or ex-customers may have “checked out” because they found your service lacking. In any case, when you reach out to these individuals, emphasise your commitment both to service and to communications. Promise to regularly solicit their feedback on the quality of your customer service but, more importantly, implement changes that demonstrate that commitment.

Better communications can stem the exodus of other customers. “By communicating effectively with customers you get the hints that there’s trouble with the customer relationship,” notes Yahoo! Small Business. “You can catch customer dissatisfaction and fix it before it leads to outright customer loss.”

Want to learn more about customer acquisition and reactivation? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!

 

Attitude Adjustment

When a part of your journey does not go as you had hoped, don’t allow it to get you down. Sure—it is disappointing, but if you allow yourself to enjoy the journey and not focus on the negatives, you will be less stressed. You will have a positive impact on your people and the outcomes you all experience.

As an example, if this disappointment is the worst thing in the world that could happen right now, force yourself to make a list of why this might be the best thing in the world for you. Adversity can often be the catalyst to bring about the very change you needed at that moment.

 

How to prepare for GDPR: A few simple guidelines if you haven’t already started

How to prepare for GDPR: A few simple guidelines if you haven’t already started

25th May 2018

In Dataway we are busy helping all types of companies deal with the new legislation. Some have very little to do while others need a bit of help. Here is how one of our customers tackled it recently.

The overall aim is to be fully compliant by taking appropriate actions relevant to the amount of data and processing involved.

 

  • Decide on an owner for GDPR;
  • Make the whole organisation aware;
  • Assess the obvious potential areas of exposure;
  • Develop a plan, implement changes;
  • Document and keep records of everything you are doing (like your accounts except it is data instead of money).

 

Decide on the owner

Implementation of a GDPR compliance programme requires a reasonable amount of effort depending on what data processing you do so make someone senior responsible for it; let them identify the major stakeholders; assess the overall readiness of your company….we can help with this.

Then a must is to get genuine Management support. This is critical if you want to move on.

 

Companywide awareness

We have found this is one of the critical steps in the plan and best delivered early in the process. It means everyone is on board from early on. During almost all sessions we have found gaps that were not immediately obvious to the organisation themselves but came out at the awareness classes. We collate this and report back as part of the training.

 

Conducting an initial risk assessment

Next is to undertake an assessment of current practice – how and where the business collects, uses and shares personal data: decide what needs to be done about it, if anything, document it and have it auditable…Simple..

..or make Appropriate changes to make it compliant, maybe do it differently to make it easier on yourself ..

 

GDPR compliance action plan

Does something need to change? .. well let us plan out what you need to do and how high on the list is it.

 

Record and Audit

Are you keeping records and registers of relevant activities?  … This is so that in the event of an issue you can clearly demonstrate how you are taking appropriate level of action….  copying best practice is often an easy route to take.

 

That’s it …  you may not have much to do at all… Let us help.. initial free assessment is part of our service

Ciaran Molumby

ciara[email protected]; Office: +353 1 676 0420; Mobile: +353 86 044 3902