Archive for the 'Resources' Category

Results of ‘What do we read survey’

Here are the results of a recent survey of business people:

Q1: Which business publications do business leaders read on a regular basis? [choose all that apply]

In addition to the above the following publications were most frequently mentioned:

  • The Wall Street Journal
  • The Economist
  • Bloomberg


Q2: What’s your preferred format to consume the latest in business insight and thought? [choose all that apply]

In addition to the above, the following formats were preferred:

  • PDF file
  • Bite-sized email newsletter


Buy the Kindle version of “Influence: The Jack Ma Way” here

Brain Jolts for 6th October 2014

Some inspiration and quick insights on developing better management and leadership skills:

1. How To Go From Dreaming To Doing: 4 Steps To Motivation

2. The Ten Golden Rules of Argument

3. Jane Goodall on Empathy and How to Reach Our Highest Human Potential



Articles on Business Presenting

8 links to business articles that executives need to read

This week I have selected 8 links for business articles that I have been reading over the National Golden Week Holiday in China:

1. Why Business Meetings Are Often a Waste of Time — and Productivity

2. Do Like Steve Jobs Did: Don’t Follow Your Passion

3. Asking Better Questions Leads to Clarity and Develops Employees

4. Fall of a Hero. Why you just can’t trust anyone in elite cyclying to tell the truth

5. If I Read One More Platitude-Filled Mission Statement, I’ll Scream

6. Leadership Communication Is Key to Successful Change

7. Business Is Sweet. Godiva Chocolatier is enjoying double-digit growth, thanks in part to innovative chocolates and expansion in Asia, says CFO Dave Marberger.

8. CFOs: Do you find yourself feeling uncomfortable when asked to present to the Board of Directors?

 If you need to boost your leadership capacity, then learn more about Warwick’s services here.

The Business Presenter

7 mistakes made while selling professional services to clients

I’m lucky to work with a diverse range of industries, companies and people and sometimes I notice similarities that thread through these companies. One thread is when companies sell business-to-business professional services like engineering, audit and taxation, advertising creative, event management and consulting.

They often rely on a pitch from the business development team with a technical expert. These high stakes presentations have hundreds of thousands or millions of euros on the line. Here are some frequent highly correctable issues that companies face selling their professional services:

1. Business development and technical team mates don’t work together to “present an unified front ” to the client.This leads to the client seeing cracks on the surface of your pitch and leads them to wonder whether the actual service delivery will be equally disjointed.

2. They present with the assumption that clients understand and interpret data the same way as they do.This leads to information delivered but not digested. It means that you have not taken the client’s perspective enough to see the world from their point of view. It means that your message is not understood in the way you intended. Ultimately, you lose all rapport with the client.

3. They don’t predict and prepare for tough questions in key face to face meetings. This leads to moments in the meeting when there is uncomfortable silence, shifty gazes between team mates and shuffling of papers. This is usually accompanied by clearing of throats and a keen interest in looking down at the table. Clients don’t expect you to know everything but they do expect a robustly detailed preparation around their main issues. You can make or break your credibility on how you handle questions in a high stakes meeting.

4. They haven’t spent the time to create an umbrella message This leads to a download of data, PowerPoint slides, a lot of talking about your history, products, clients and services but without any clear idea bringing it all together under one umbrella. The umbrella message is a short concise one line message that sums up the pitch of your competitive advantage for this specific client. It’s not your company slogan but a tailored message for this client. All your presentation content can tie back to it and it leaves a clear idea in the client’s mind about why they should hire you.

5. Business development team mates don’t lead the meeting like a  “conductor leading an orchestra”. This leads to situations where the client talks directly to your technical expert and puts the expert on the spot. From the client’s perspective this is understandable. While the business development guy has the charm, the technical guy has the know how. From your perspective, you need to filter and protect your technical experts who may not be as fast on their feet as their business development colleagues. The BD needs to take the first bullet, interpret the question, set it up from his colleague and summarise afterwards so that the client gets their answer and the technical experts get their time to think.

6. Technical experts lack the presence to hold their own in meetings and conference calls. This leads to your credibility taking a pounding and hinders your overall pitch. It drags the overall positive impact you wish to make on your potential client. You need to know which one of your technical experts is competent in front of clients and who is not. Then you must make a decision whether to develop them up to an acceptable standard or have them focus on project delivery. It’s an important choice to make as clients always want to meet the people doing the work as early as possible in the relationship. The impressions your technical experts leave with the client will the impression they have of your services.

7. They miss opportunities to drive home their unique selling points that separate them from their competitors. This leads to an instantly forgettable pitch. While it’s important you know how you compete against your competitors, it’s equally important that the client has a view in their minds of why they should choose you. Why you are perfect for this project. Make sure your presentation has one umbrella message and two to three very strong and compelling selling points that position your offering favourably against your typical competitors.

These 7 mistakes give you a flavour of the typical mistakes made when pitching for professional services contracts. The good news is that they are fixable. We work around China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Korea to help companies polish their business development teams. To learn more please contact us for more information here. Or reply to this email. We wish you a prosperous 2013!

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The Five Things I learned from my TEDx Talk – Nerves never go away. Create your own ritual.

The Five Things I learned from my TEDx Talk

1. Nerves never go away. Create your own ritual.

2. Improvisation is the mindset for live events. Use the take-it-and-go approach.

3. You have to involve the audience. Plan your interactions.

4. Successful speaking comes in many styles. Find your speaking voice.

5. Timing a talk is the icing on the cake. Rehearsal is the key to perfect timing.

Over the next few blogs, I will share what I learned and how you can apply it to improve your public speaking skills. Here is part one:

1. Nerves never go away. Create your own ritual

I am sure you can relate to that feeling of worry which you feel before or during a public speech. Heart rate going a little faster. Sweat beads appearing on your forehead. But as an experienced speaker I rarely feel nervous. After all this is what I love doing and I really enjoy public speaking and sharing with an audience. So as the time for my TEDx talk came closer I found that I was getting all the symptoms. My mouth was a little dry and I couldn’t sit down without nervous energy building up. Why would this happen? Simply, the stakes were higher. The reputation of giving a TED talk and my own personal expectations to perform at a high level meant that this talk was more critical in my own mind.

So how can you reduce the inevitable nerves?

I have a ritual that I go through for conference speeches where I am faced by hundreds of people or TEDx talks where the potential audience is in the thousands or more. I like to move around while mentally tracing through my talk. I think about how I will open, move from one point to another, how to close and how to interact with the audience. I drink water to hydrate and by moving around I channel my nervous energy into physical energy. An important talk is a performance – a physical performance – so by preparing yourself physically you can start strong and allow your nerves to turn into enthusiasm. Before I go on stage I like to be alone but occasionally will have quick conversations to release more stress. I try to make myself and others laugh. This again puts me in the right frame of mind. I want to have light, engaging energy. I focus about the value and fun I will have with the audience. Once I get on stage and get started, my nerves disappear as I am focused on my audience and presentation delivery.

What is your ritual before your high stakes presentation?

Tick off a checklist to cover:

– Your opening 60 seconds

– How you will close

– Key transitions between slides

– How you will make eye contact with the audience

– Where you will stand

– How you will move around the stage

– Put yourself in a positive frame of mind

– Hydrate and get your physical presence ready

Next time I will have a look at another thing I learned from TEDx.

Warwick John Fahy runs workshops around Asia which help managers and senior managers from technical backgrounds to become more influential in business situations.

Warwick is Asia’s leading business presentation coach working with business leaders who need to influence clients, investors, shareholders and team members. His results-driven approach and deep cross cultural understanding make him a sought after business presentation coach throughout Asia. Download a free report “10 Warning Signs Your Leaders Lack Executive Presence” at

Speaking with Purpose e-workbook released


Picture this situation. You have an important presentation to deliver in two days. Your demanding schedule means you have struggled to find the time to prepare. Now finally, you have cleared a couple of hours on your schedule to think about this high-stakes speech. How are you going to spend the next two hours so that you come out with a presentation that gets your ideas across and positions you as an expert in your field?

This is the step-by-step guide you have been looking for if you ever find yourself short on time to prepare. A systematic approach will take you through the essential steps to prepare, rehearse and deliver an impactful presentation that deliver a memorable message.

Full of examples, samples and suggestions, Speaking with Purpose will take you through a rigorous checklist that ensures you’ll be ready for the big day.

Speaking with Purpose is written for the 21st Century presenter who needs to engage an audience with short attention spans. You will learn how to:

  • Save time with a checklist while preparing for a presentation

  • Create a memorable message for all your key points

  • Prepare so that you adjust to your audience’s expectations

  • Organise a flow that matches the purpose of your presentation

  • Write a clear conclusion with call-to-actions

  • Add transitions between sections so that your presentation unfolds smoothly

  • Use connecting phrases to engage and keep the audience’s attention

  • Rehearse so you make the best use of your limited time available

  • Prepare for Q&A so that you are ready for all expected questions

A professional speaker, Ironman Triathlete and published author, Warwick John Fahy is regarded as the thought leader on executive communication in China. He is a specialist in the art and practice of executive public speaking. Warwick helps senior executives working in multinationals in Greater China to speak and influence with executive presence.

He has been a Toastmaster since 2001, reaching his DTM in 2004 and is currently working on his DTM in Mandarin. He is the first and only member from China to be awarded the Presidential Citation for his leadership in doubling the number of clubs in China and helping China to become a district. He is the author of The One Minute Presenter : 8 steps to successful business presentations in a short attention span world.

If you want to express an important idea, use this book to ensure your message comes across loud and clear.

Download an excerpt from the book that describes :

Who the book is for

How to use this book

The Speak with Purpose System with 43 tools

Table of Contents; and

About the Author

Download the Speaking with Purpose e-workbook here:

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Article on How to stand out: Make your speech memorable and connect with your audience.

This article was recently published in The Toastmaster – an international magazine dedicated to leadership and public speaking and read by 270,000 people worldwide.

Download this article in PDF here. (833kb).

Find a Toastmasters club near you here.