Not your company’s, yours.
What do you stand for, what are you about?
What’s your consistent theme, why do you choose some opportunities and avoid others?
Self-awareness is essential if you want to get where you want to be. You can be opportunistic and let the market drive you but, to get somewhere precise, you need a mission or objective to guide your decisions.
So, if Google is about organizing the world‘s information and making it universally accessible and useful and I’m about learning, trying and adapting until I find an optimal business fit, what are you about? Do you know?
You wake up today to suddenly realize that your time is now worth $1,000 an hour.
You can either bill $1,000 or do something else. What do you do? How does that change your approach?
Now, say you wake up tomorrow and, with every waking hour, you can either save lives or do something else. Does that change anything?
It’s easy to get carried away and work on things that bring no value – you see it all the time from entrepreneurs who never count their time as an investment or startup cost but, your time isn’t free.
Your choice probably isn’t to save lives or do something else but, if, everyday, you consider “working on the thing that adds the most value” like making $1,000, you’ll quickly focus on value and stop mis-investing your time.
I started doing a lot of presentations for business, work or fun over the last year. To keep things interesting, I started experimenting with formats, delivery and content structures.
Through experimentation, one thing that really struck me is, how powerful stories are.
Stories have a way to grab attention and captivate but, they also add the human touch that bullet points never will. I’ve found stories to be:
- Easy to relate to
- Easy to understand
Stories have a way to get to us. Having heard stories from childhood on, they just feel natural.
Next time you’re doing a presentation, why not try a day in the life of… [a customer]. It has yet to show me wrong…
I really didn’t think I wanted to start a blog. With already 150 million blogs available and thousands of bloggers exploring almost every topic possible, I was having a hard time understanding where I could fit in…
Being a reader myself, I realized that fresh ideas were rare; blogs seemed to be more about the authors than the ideas. The only posts that I read, were generally read in diagonal. Content was too similar on the +100 blogs I followed…
I certainly didn’t want to do more of the same and add noise yet, I felt that Twitter wasn’t enough to fully express an idea. I tried to do different…
Each of my posts are about a single idea or experience, they fit on 1 screen and can be read under 3 minutes to reduce content fatigue and redundancy.
In my view, content producers should ask themselves: Is my content longer than it needs to be? Is it different enough? Being part of the noise certainly isn’t their objective…
How much are people willing to pay for what you’re offering?
Hard to know when you’re selling a product, even harder to know when the product is you.
There’s no easy formula for pricing your consulting services (although some say otherwise). Too many variables… not counting the fact that, if you’re starting, you probably feel bad for asking for your market value.
But, a seasoned marketing veteran put it bluntly when I tried to pry an answer out of him:
Don’t be afraid to ask for more money. Everyone’s cheap.
It’s easier to start with higher rates – and look like you’re giving something away when you lower them – than starting low and being locked below market value. Do your reasearch; avoid under-pricing yourself.
Note: Consultant or not, knowing your market value is essential.
Who are you and What do you do are the 2 questions everyone asks.
What’s your answer?
Prospective employers, partners, clients and contacts want to know what you do; they want to know what box to fit you in.
You’re missing the point if your answer is long-winded, complicated or unclear.
Clear talking is a sign of clear thinking; make sure you really understand what you do and the value it provides. Write your elevator pitch and then simplify it some more.
You need to learn to properly define what you do before you can start selling yourself to your network, potential clients or employers.
So, who are you?
PowerPoint is great!
Effects, transitions, flashing text, links, colors, etc – what’s not to like?
But, with so many features and effects available, how are presenters still failing to keep their audience’s interest?
Presentations are visual support. Write too much and half the room will be reading instead of listening. Write too little and your presentation won’t be viable by itself.
Forget about effects – anyone can find the Animations panel. Be busy speaking or have busy slides; never both at the same time. If you do, you’ll be the only person to blame for losing your audience.
What makes the difference between a good and a great speaker?
Do the best communicators necessarily have the best content?
Communication is about delivery. Great delivery can make boring content seem interesting but, unfortunately, great content doesn’t always mean great communication.
Your tone, your posture, your appearance and your confidence level are often more important than what you really have to say because, communication is:
- 7% Words and Content
- 38% Tone of Voice and Delivery
- 55% Non-Verbal Behavior (facial expressions, visual appearance, etc)
If practice makes perfect, practice the right things; content delivery and presentation if your content is interesting and content quality if your presentation style is the only thing that saves you. ;)
Source: Albert Mehrabian.