Podcast: Better Pitching Principles

Listened to a good podcast from Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation: SPOS #376 – Better Pitching Principles With Peter Coughter. Ignore all the ‘ums’ from Peter when he starts off, it gets better. There are references to the Takahashi Style of visual presentations, without naming it. Mitch and Peter agree that one of the best skills to have is presentation skills. So true. I have seen some poor presentations, and I wonder why the deliverers get paid for such crap.

One piece of advice I’ll carry is that in team presentations, do not introduce each speaker. “And that concludes how to manufacture product X. Now Pat will talk about how to sell product X. Pat, come on up…” Boooooring. Pat should just start talking at the appropriate time. Good advice. Look at regular conversation, or movies. We don’t introduce each character, each action, like that. It is a dialogue.

Good podcast to listen to if you want to improve your presentations and public speaking skills. If you want help, some coaching on your presentation skills or public speaking, contact me.

Presentation: Contagious

Contagious: Jonah Berger is a marketing professor who studies why things go viral, why they catch on, how they spread by word of mouth. Anything can go viral: a song, video, figure of speech, article of clothing, game, food item, toy, dance, an idea. Anything. Wouldn’t it be ideal if your business, your product or service became so popular that you could pick and choose exactly who you wanted to work with? Jonah has identified the six principles that drive things to become popular, using the acronym STEPPS:

  • Social Currency – People care how they look to others, so find the inner remarkability.
  • Triggers – Top of mind means tip of tongue, so consider the context so people are frequently triggered to think about your product or idea.
  • Emotion – When we care, we share. Focus on feelings rather than function, and kindle the fire using high arousal emotions.
  • Public – The more public something is, the more likely people will imitate it. Design products that advertise themselves and create visible behavioral residue.
  • Practical Value – News you can use. Useful things get shared. Highlight value, and package knowledge that people can pass on.
  • Stories – Information travels under what seems like idle chatter. Stories are vessels. Have a story or narrative that people want to tell, which carries your idea along for the ride.

Download his workbook and see more detail on the STEPPS chart on his website.

Great Performances: Waiting for the Overture

The plan today was to meet with my business partners and brainstorm over the points in the Journal Intermission on page 27. It didn’t happen. We met as usual, and we had a guest as we often do on the last Tuesdays of the month. But we went overtime with this guest, the owner of a tech start-up whose got a promising product we may be licensing and reselling. More on that in another post. We’ll continue on page 27 next time.

A Surprisingly Uplifting Article: 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person

This article is not for the faint of heart, or for those who cannot take criticism. I found it refreshing and inspiring as I review my own life and accomplishments. It also helps to explain why I lose patience with some people. Read 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person.

Podcast: The Future of Retail

There is a fascinating Mitch Joel interview entitled Peeking Into The Future Of Retail With Doug Stephens. Doug is a specialist on retail, and discusses online vs. offline shopping, and the way the future is heading. He says that retail locations, bricks and mortar places will need to provide an experience, to become a destination, in order to do well. Listen to The Doug Stephens Podcast. I was so impressed with this, so thought-provoking, that I sent the link to some of our retail clients.

Another Monthly Breakfast

We had our usual staff breakfast in my office this morning. The tradition dates back to when we first moved into the building, almost eight years ago. Since we now had a full kitchen, and a very nice boardroom, our staff suggested we have a breakfast on the last Friday of the month, and that day would also be Casual Friday, a relaxation of our dress code. One or more of us makes breakfast, usually a variation of bacon and eggs. Always bacon. It is a requirement. Today our office manager made French toast and bacon, with help from our director of graphic design.

We sit around and talk, small talk, idle chatter, and business, company stuff. Today was one of those rare occasions when there was so much company talk, on projects and new products, that we went beyond our usual two hours, and talked almost until noon. It was a very productive session.

On New Business Ideas

This week one of my favourite magazines, Profit, had an article about entrepreneurs entitled, 3 Big Fat Lies About Entrepreneurs, which states that entrepreneurs do not need to be innovators, nor experts, nor young. Reading the article is coincidental timing. This week two opportunities for new businesses came on my radar. One as a result of a pending closure, another from a chance conversation about the impact of computers on a segment of the population.

Tie these in with a quote from one of my favourite speaking coaches, whose guidance allowed me to win the Golden Gavel award, Darren LaCroix, who said The only thing worse than being a late bloomer, is being a never bloomer. It is never too late.

I should take the timing of the article and the quote as a sign, and pursue these two new ideas. Neither are simple, both will take a high degree of coordination, but I appreciate a challenge. The bigger challenge will be continuing to run my current companies while trying to get these two ideas set up, and eventually run by a manager. Neither business ideas are in the website development field, so will be a change from my daily activities.

Should be fun!