Pull audience members' attention away from their BlackBerrys by asking a lot of questions, says Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group. For an audience of 1,000, you may not be able to get an answer in response. But you can still ask a question like, “What marketing campaigns do you think have failed, and why?” Says Rein, “It helps engage audiences and keeps them away from their BlackBerrys.”
—Adapted from "How To Be A Master Public Speaker," Shaun Rein, Forbes.
How did Apple sell more than $150 million worth of iPads on the product’s launch day? It spent 25 years earning the privilege of delivering personal and relevant messages to their customers, says blogger and author Seth Godin. “They can get the word out about a new product without a lot of money because one by one, they’ve signed people up. They didn’t sell 300,000 iPads in one day, they sold them over a few decades.”
—Adapted from "Secrets of the biggest selling launch ever," Seth Godin's blog.
Sharpen yourskills by focusing on the areas ranked by a ClearRock survey as most in need of improvement. According to the survey of 100 organizations, the skills that senior-level executives most need to improve are: strategic thinking (53%), communications (53%), building (47%) and vision (47%).
Don't cut yourself short. Silence can be golden during negotiations. A consultant went to negotiate his fee with a nonprofit group, a change of pace from the banks he usually did business with. He recounts how, under the circumstances, he didn’t feel comfortable charging his full corporate rate. Plus, he really needed the work. He decided in advance that he’d be willing to drop his rate by a third. “My usual rate is X,” he started. But before he could finish, the interviewer said, “That’s fine.” The lesson: Name your price and stop talking.
—Adapted from The Wow Factor, Frances Cole Jones, Ballantine Books.