Friday, June 25, 2010

Will England win? Let me cast the Rooneys.

Will England win?

Let me cast the Rooneys.

Take Hart, we're not Green. Every England player is a King. We will not Crouch, we will defeat Defoe, and cause an Upson. Don't Warnock the team, we're well Gerrard, us. Like Coles to Newcastle, we're gonna Lampard the Germans. Like Lennon, we imagine the best. We will not Terry, but our Milner-pound players will deliver a Wright-Phillips. They will Carragher us to victory.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How to have stage presence

Having a good script is one thing. Having presence on stage is another. Some people seem to have natural confidence on stage, others want to hide behind the lectern. Here are a few tips to enhance your presence on the platform:

* Ask for a wireless microphone, so you can move around
* Visit the stage before anyone arrives, to rehearse and become comfortable
* Plan the areas you can move in so as not to throw a shadow on the screen. Mark your boundaries with small pieces of tape
* Learn sections of your speech, especially the open and close
* Look at the audience, not your notes, when speaking
* Use bold gestures from the shoulder
* Don't move all the time. Stand still to speak
* Stay near the front of the stage
* Show your passion

Above all, keep at it. There's an old adage among speakers; "The only way to get good on the platform is to get good on the platform"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Prepare to win, like the Germans

There's a small football tournament going on in South Africa right now. I'm writing this the day after the German team thrashed 10-man Australia 4-0 in probably the best performance from any team so far. In many other games, shots, particularly from free kicks, have been flying high and wide, with players struggling to control the "Jabulani" ball. How did the Germans manage to hit the target so often? Maybe it's because their team, all of whom play in the German Bundesliga, have been using the Jabulani ball for months in matches. Co-incidence? Perhaps.

Now consider a completely different competition - the Eurovision Song Contest. Remember who won? That quirky Lily Allen soundalike, Lena from Germany,with "Satellite". The song entered the competition as a certified platinum single, having been at number one in the German charts for five weeks and charting in the top ten in other European countries. Lena won by a huge margin of 76 points.

What's the connection? Preparation. If you prepare to win, you stand a better chance of winning. Whether or not the German team win the World Cup, they can't say they weren't prepared properly. I bet they've practised penalties too.

Think about how you can prepare to win, and give yourself a better chance in business.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Social Media is just a con trick

Social media is a con trick. In fact it's at least three cons; Conversation, Content and Consistency.

Conversation - You need to get involved. It's no use simply posting messages saying how wonderful your company is, or what an interesting blog you have just written. You need to respond to questions, add to debates, and offer a point of view on issues. That's what engages people. Don't be scared of getting into a debate and then leaving it again, since it may run for days or weeks. Simply add to the debate while you are there.

Content - You need to offer something useful and of interest. This may seem contrary to what I said above (I'm even debating with myself here), but if you post an interesting and valuable article, other people will publicise it for you. Your comments on other people's blogs may also offer useful content, so don't simply say "I agree" or "This is rubbish".

Consistency - you need to make regular appearances. That does not mean every day, and certainly not every hour. However, if you only appear once or twice a month, post a ton of material and then disappear again, you won't attract many friends. Small, regular postings seem to be much more effective than rare long ones. Little and often - that's the way.

Of course, there is also Connecting, Confidence, Consideration, Congratulating, etc.