HBR – Distill Your Message to Just 15 Words

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Know how to pitch.  Start with the idea and why you are the right person to take the stage and deliver this big idea. While it must be a big idea, you need to be able to communicate it in 15 words or less.

Share what the audience will take away, as well as the global impact of the talk. Don’t save the most important part of your pitch for the end; people may stop reading before they ever get to it.

Know your audience. When you do research on your audience ahead of time, it gives you the opportunity to craft your talk with the language that your audience speaks.

Know your objective.  It’s about being authentic. Even though the audience is probably not going to audibly respond to you when you’re speaking on a stage, you are in a scene with them, and when you have a clear objective in terms of what you want, and how to get it, you will be more believable and captivating from the stage, therefore building your confidence as a speaker. Think about the objective you have going into your speech. Maybe your goal is to get the audience to donate to a worthy cause, or spread the word about your ideas. If you want your audience to accept your ideas, or change their opinion about something, how are you going to get them to do it? You can inspire, motivate, or even scare them into changing their minds. But you can’t do any of those things until you know what you want the ultimate outcome to be.

Know the difference between a good talk and a bad talk. A good talk has content that is fresh and well-edited, with a clear arc that takes us on a journey. A good talk is one that is so well rehearsed that you are able to let go of the script and freely share the content in the moment. A good talk is one where your audience wants to adopt your idea at the end of the talk.

click here for the full HBR article, image by UNSPLASH



FORBES – The Benefits Of Simplicity

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Being an effective manager is not about mastering mysterious and complicated methods.  It’s about keeping it simple and following old, proven, and even obvious ideas. What made a good leader in the past is still what makes one today: being competent, caring, and benevolent.


Speaking is no longer a soft skill

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“If an entrepreneur can’t tell a convincing story, I’m not investing. You call it soft. I call it fundamental.”

Warren Buffett would agree. Whenever Buffett is asked about the one most valuable skill that anyone can build today, he says public speaking. He even puts a value on it, “The one easy way to become worth 50 percent more than you are now — at least — is to hone your communication skills — both written and verbal,” Buffett says.

Individual income from manufacturing continues to fall as robots replace workers and artificial intelligence takes over repetitive tasks once handled by humans.

The main task of the jobs that are left — and the new ones created — is to change minds.

click here for the full Inc. article


Apple CEO Tim Cook Applies Three Persuasive Communication Techniques To Answer Tough Questions – Forbes, Carmine Gallo

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Excerpt from Forbes article by Carmine Gallo;

1. Use a simple three-part story structure. Cramer asked Cook to make the case for Apple’s stock, which had fallen about 4% since the first of the year. Cook immediately took control of the narrative and shifted the story away from the stock price which, as he correctly points out, will fluctuate due to emotions and macro-economic factors outside of his control. Instead, he used a three-part structure to explain the business.

2. Keep the focus on the customer. As a consumer-centric company, Apple’s customer loyalty means everything. In an answer to another stock-related question, Cook brought the discussion back to the customer. He used specific examples to highlight the value of Apple’s products to people’s lives. As you read this explanation, also pay attention the parallel structure of Cook’s sentences which adds to the impact of his words.

3. Put events in perspective. Headlines often get shared in an instant with little or no perspective. Good communicators need to take every opportunity to add context that customers or investors might be missing.

Click here for the full article by Carmine Gallo on Forbes.


Establish clear objectives for every business unit and team 

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​Having a clear overall strategy is not, on its own, sufficient – you must ensure that each department and team within the organization knows what its objectives are, and how those objectives relate to, and align with, the overall strategy.

​One way that many great CEOs ensure proper alignment is to use the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) method, in which management defines both objectives and the measurements against which performance towards those objectives will be measured (the key results). To learn more about OKR, please see the relevant Google Ventures video.

full article at Inc.


Summarize your strategy and share it with everyone at your company

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​​As a CEO, you must understand that many corporate workers are unaware of their organization’s big-picture corporate strategy. In fact, a 2005 Harvard Business School research study found that “95% of a company’s employees are unaware of, or do not understand, its strategy.” This lack of understanding can adversely impact businesses – the same study found that “if the employees who are closest to customers and who operate processes that create value are unaware of the strategy, they surely cannot help the organization implement it effectively.”

As one might expect, people who understand how their own tasks contribute to the overall strategy of the firm for which they work often perform better than those who do not. Of course, complex strategy documents can confuse people – so the best CEOs keep their strategy documents simple, short, and to the point. A one-pager is usually ideal.



OOO – out of office

“OUT OF OFFICE”, or OOO messages. We are living in a globally connected world, where urgent matters are not followed up through mail. At least I would always call, text or App in case of urgent support need. Is it just me or do you agree that an “out of office” message during a 3 days business trip is not adding any value. Actually it creates a burden for the person that has sent you the email. I never expect an immediate response to mails, and in parallel I expect that you are able to read an email while travelling; even planes have wifi these days. Let alone hotels, and 4G networks are covering the globe…. What are your thoughts/best practices?  (more…)