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Speaking Efficient Business Communication

What is the most used form of communication? It is definitely speaking and we do it naturally all the time with everyone we find and of course in our homes too with our families and friends. However, when it comes to speaking in front of a crowd for a business presentation, how many of us escape panic and terror? It takes a well prepared person to be speaking efficient business communication in front of a crowd.

Noticed I have said a ‘well prepared person’ for a very specific reason. Like most other skills in business, speaking to present or to sell in business is another skill that you or I can learn just like any other business or personal skill.

Speaking publicly is an art and a beautiful skill that is appreciated and admired by almost everybody. I am sure that if you went to a seminar and found yourself enjoying the person on the stage speaking efficient business communication strategies, you would feel like you could do with having that wonderful ability.

I particularly enjoy listening to motivational speakers like Tony Robbins and Jim Rohn and what I like most about them is their knowledge of human psychology and their personal energy. So, I guess straight away that those two qualities must be essential for a motivational speaker.

Will they also be good listeners and have a lot of passion for what they do? Well, passion they show plenty as I can see. As for being good listeners, I bet they do a lot of that as well, since these people are constantly improving their skills and from listening to others they pick a lot of knowledge to incorporate into their seminars.

What else do we need to be accomplished public speakers, for speaking efficient business communication? I found out and I believe it myself, that it is actually doing it to remove the fear factor. Without actually speaking in public at the first opportunity, I can’t see how we can progress towards removing the fear of it altogether!

Yeah, practice and more practice is required and the desire to keep improving, to be observant and to keep increasing the language knowledge, the communication skills that we all think we do have, until we are placed in front of a crowd of people. We then start to panic a bit, feel nervous, think the words are not coming out because we have no idea of what to say.

Most of us at one time or another of our life, have to speak in public, whether it is at the end of party or at a reception, business meeting, weeding, whatever. And while being nervous about it is quite natural, we can also help ourselves by not thinking about it too much and believe that we don’t have to be super anything to get on with it.

We can simply own up to our deficiencies right from the start to let the audience know because they will understand. Not everyone can be a Tony Robbins or an Eben Pagan, Frank Kern or Jim John; if you have time to practice, by all means start from your failings and try to improve on them. Just try and help yourself to making notes, and people will understand your effort and even value it if you come through naturally.

I think it will help us also to think we are talking to just one person and also not to think that we are any lesser person than anyone in the audience. The best think that can happen to us when speaking in public is to be as normal as possible, pause, relax breath deeply and speak out the anecdotes that you have written, with clear diction and humour if you can.

For you to become a great motivational speaker or being brilliant at speaking efficient business communication, you need certain qualities that have to be learned well with passion and concentration. Do you have good business ideas and principles that you can magnetically put across well? If you do, half of the battle is almost won for you.

There are other aspects of course, the ideas, the gestures, the concentration, the pauses, the humour. You know, it is quite a big subject and with a lot of psychology as well. And the language that gives you the ability to put the ideas across really well.

If you believe that talking to one person makes you feel better, then imagine just that, when you look around the audience, make eye contact with others in the audience and you’ll get to know what the other person is feeling, whether they are sympathetic with you or not. Actually seeing their eyes alerts you to many new issues that you may want to bring out too.

Finally, I believe that in being alert, calm, observant of your audience and keen on improving in confidence as you go along, together with some notes or pointers to issues you do not want to forget during your business communication, are the relevant qualities you should concentrate on as well as coming out in flow, in continuous flow.

To your success,

German Calvo.

Criticality of “Interlocking” Business and IT

One of the keys to success of an organization (whether profit making or not-for-profit) in today’s modern technologically advancing world is how well it is able to interlock its business and IT capabilities to maximize its returns and fulfill its responsibilities. This interlocking does not refer to merely implementing technology but involves technologically enabling business processes for enhancing efficiency and providing “action-able” information for “informed” decision-making.

Introduction and advancement of technology in businesses matured to the level where most organizations today have implemented ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software). To exploit the best out of their selected ERP and other implemented technologies, and for accomplishing the envisioned “value-add”; they have integrated their IT systems. However, what some have failed to appreciate is that this new technology era in business not only gave birth to the need for employees to understand and use technology in their respective functional areas it also gave birth to the critical need for a new breed of professionals who understand both business (i.e. encompassing all functions) and technology equally well and are able to wear either “hat” when required for a holistic understanding and way-forward.

Whereas external consultants hired for specific projects served this interlocking requirement for a holistic approach during the specific project; the need for such skills in-house for day-to-day operations and “action-able” reporting started to be felt by the organizations. Those who realized and appreciated it took steps to redeem the situation by attracting and hiring the “right” talent. This was never going to be easy since finding the “right” candidate with the niche skills required for success in this role is a challenge – more on this later in this article. However, there are others who remain blissfully unaware of why they lack “action-able” information even though they have invested in sound technology, competent IT staff and competent functional staff. They keep looking for such information from either their IT team or their functional team (Finance / Budget / Procurement / Operations / HR / etc.) or both. Their desire for the much sought after “action-able” information relevant to their business most certainly hits dead-ends either due to non-capture of data element(s) or due to quality of data captured that leaves much to be desired of. The failure to appreciate that providing such “action-able” information is a “funco-technical” capability, which is cross-functional as opposed to a mere technical or functional capability is the cause of the problem of abundance of information at their disposal but not much “actionable” information. The senior management consequently starts doubting the decision taken to invest in technologically enabling the business processes.

In reality there is no need for the senior management to doubt the investment decisions. What causes this dearth of “action-able” information is the “missing” organizational role, which is required to interlock business and IT. Such an organizational role understands and appreciates that an organization does not work as silos of functional departments but instead critical business processes span across functions and deserve “respect” accordingly rather than being handled as an integration of respective functional processes. This holistic view across business functions as also understanding how the enabling technology captures and reports data elements is what is missing at the organizations where the senior management is missing “action-able” information for “informed” decision-making.

The “right” candidate for the organizational role discussed above is not just required to be a “business-oriented technically qualified person” but is required to be a “technically-oriented business qualified person” i.e. not a CTO who understands business but rather a CFO/COO who understands technology. As indicated earlier in this article, it is this very requirement of overlapping business and technical skills that makes finding the “right” candidate a huge challenge. Relatively very few individuals train to be functional professionals and then are adventurous enough to work both in cross-functional and technology domains to nurture “funco-technical” skills to be suitable candidates for this role. Hence, identifying the “right” candidate becomes more of an extensive search amongst cross-domain / cross-functional experts rather than a straightforward job vacancy posting and recruiting exercise.

Understanding the reason for lack of “action-able” information and recruiting the “right” candidate are steps in the right direction, however, it is equally important to position this organizational role at the “right” hierarchy. From a job role perspective this role requires to be equally involved with:

(i) All functions (in their decisions that effect business processes),
(ii) IT (in their decisions that effect the technology landscape), and
(iii) Planning (in their decisions that charter the future course of the organization).

Since the role spans across functions and divisions in an organization it needs to be appropriately enabled to deliver “value” to the organization – the very reason for which it has been recruited. It is therefore apparent that this role would have to be independent and report to the CEO.

To conclude, an organization that has technologically enabled its business processes can reap the best out of its investments if it understands and appreciates the critically of interlocking business and IT.

Is Your Business Working for You? Or Are You Working for Your Business?

The excitement is building in our home this week as my 5 year will be celebrating his 6th birthday on Thursday, wow, time sure does fly when you are having fun!

It got me thinking about how having a lifestyle business has been such a blessing, I get to see my son off to school every day and pick him up from school when he’s done, we already started applying to some great private schools for next year.

Its such a fun and exciting time and it really makes me appreciate having a lifestyle business that allows me to spend this time with my kids and family while serving my clients in an authentic and fun way to do the same thing in their life and business. It truly is freedom on my own terms and its because my business is working for me.

So, this week, I have a question for you, Is your business working for YOU? or are you working for your business?

Before you answer that question, answer these questions:

- Are you are earning a good living?

- Are you are doing what you love to do?

- Do you have a lifestyle business that allows you to do the things (outside of work) you enjoy doing?

- Are you making an impact with your message?

This is a good starting place, there are many other questions you could ask yourself depending on what it is you are trying to create.

If you answered no to any of the above questions, don’t worry, I’d like to share some quick strategies to help you fix it.

The first step to “fixing” what ever is not working for you is to make the decision that you are going to change it. This means you need to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone because the truth is, that’s the only way to get different results.

Next, you need to commit to the decision, 100% decide that you are willing to do what it takes to change it and be committed to your own success. Commit to learning a new way.

Next, you need to throw perfectionism out the window. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for details and for things being “perfect” but, if you want to succeed as a business owner you need to get rid of the perfectionism energy because it keeps you stuck.

The second step is to look at your business model, ie, how you are bringing money into your business, is it one on one, is it leveraged, is passive? Next, look at what you are charging; is it inline with the lifestyle you want to create? Or do you need to uplevel your pricing?

Now, I am not saying just go ahead and double prices, I know a lot of people talk about raising prices and doubling what you are charging now, here’s the thing though, you need to look at value and you need to look a t packaging your offerings for your ideal client.

This is where clarity comes in, with who your ideal client is, what problem you are helping them to solve, etc, If you truly want to have a lifestyle business and have your business work for you, instead of you for your business, its best to have a combination of revenue streams in your business that allow you to bring in consistent income without chewing up all your time.

It also helps to learn how to leverage technology and the Internet to reach more people so that you have a bigger impact. And of course, my favorite, you have to systems in place in your business. The truth is systems equal freedom in any business and if you want to have a lifestyle business, you MUST have systems in place in your business.