Understanding Public Speaking

Why verbal communication is so important and how to get better at it.
Why verbal communication is so important and how to get better at it.

The business world has always functioned on effective communication. Technical skills can only take you so far up the corporate pyramid. In fact, most management positions rarely use technical skills. What becomes more prevalent are conceptual and communication skills. Being able to effectively convey your ideas, your point of view to another person without any misconception is what will take you farther in your career, regardless of what field it is.

In today’s world, effective communication is more important than ever before. In the days before wide-spread telecommunications, business leaders communicated via word of the mouth or writing. In those days, penmanship was highly valued.  Those who could write eloquently and with sophistication were able to create better relationships with remotely-located partners.  Today, with our advanced technology in telecommunications (telephones, video calls, etc), verbal communication has established itself as the most essential medium for the transfer of ideas and thoughts.

Why, you may ask, do we give verbal speaking such importance? Well, for starters, verbal communication is often found in the business world in the form of public speaking. Public speaking (as with letters) is a one-way communication. You have to get your point to your audience and avoid any misconceptions. You must also address any counter-points that listeners may have. Most importantly, when you speak to  a crowd of people, you make an impression. This impression of you may be a first for some people – so it has to be positive, for your sake.  Your posture, poise, fluency, and overall composure can tell your audience much about you. For example, nervousness tends to manifest with excessive sweating, mumbling, slouching, stiff back, and ,of course, the “uhs” and “ums”.

Keep this all in mind for conferences as you want to come out as strong and confidence. Be relaxed and speak loud and clear. Don’t stress before speaking or worry about fitting in everything you planned to say. Remember this- it’s better to say some of what you planned well, then to rush and mumble everything into one long incomprehensible sentence.

The best way to improve your speaking skills is to remember this one tip – “give it a rest”.  After every sentence you say, stop and pause. Now I know at first this may seem a little strange, but trust me – it helps.  When you for a few seconds break after every sentence (but not too much otherwise it would be awkward),  both yourself and your audience some time. You get a few seconds to catch your breath and also evaluate your performance and change it if need be. In these pauses, you can evaluate for yourself to see if you are talking too fast or too slow and adjust accordingly. You can recollect your thoughts and plan on what to say next. However, more crucially, you can evaluate the audience and see how they are reacting to you. You can see if they are understanding your dialogue or if you need to clarify, whether they agree or disagree with you, and much more. By giving yourself a break, you can improve yourself and address any doubts or misconceptions that the audience might have so that your speech comes out, overall, favorable to the people.

Pauses are helpful for the audience too!  Listener need some time to process what they hear. If you say everything that you prepared in one fell swoop, chances are your listens won’t remember most of your speech. Pausing for a few seconds gives enough time to process a single sentence. For this, it is strongly advised that in our conference, you do the same.

Of the greatest speakers in history (or at least America’s history), who comes to mind? Chances are that they are political leaders. America’s  greatest speakers include America’s greatest presidents. John F Kennedy is remembered as one of America’s favorite and most charismatic presidents. JFK always used pauses in his speech, often several times in a single sentence. For example, here’s how Kennedy said one of his most famous statements: “[…] and so fellow Americans (PAUSE), ask not what your country can do for you (PAUSE), ask what you can do for your country.” Remember, it is statements like this that resonate in people’s minds and through history.

More recently, take President William “Bill” Clinton for example. Clinton is hailed as a master of speech pause. His public speaking skills are so widely known for its effective, that many people vie just to have him speak to them for a few minute. Still not convinced? Watch a TED Talk and take note on the speaker. He/She also pauses after every sentence and never fails to inspire the viewer.

To sum up, note that the best way you can make yourself a better communicator is to speak confidently and pause. As the Dalai Lama once said, “Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.” So let us do both and create a outstanding impression with stellar content and fluent pauses in our presentations.

Google: What your government is trying to find out about you.

The main thesis of this article is centered on one statistic: Google has said the number of requests it has had from governments to share information about its users has gone up by 120% in the past four years. 53,356 requests for data were made globally, Google said.

Technology firms like Google are pushing to be allowed to release more data on government requests

Google stated that the rise in the requests to share information was blamed on an increase in users. Of course, I don’t think anyone can buy that. Google’s users have not increased by 120% so why should those requests be associated with that statistic? It appears that the reason why such a large number of requests to share information have been coming in is that these governments are beginning to exert their authoirty to gain approval to these rquests.

It is important to note that not all of the rquests that google gets are approved. In the period of July to December 2013, 69% of the UK government’s 1,397 requests resulted in user information being passed over while In the US, 83% of 10,574 requests were granted. Google is contantly pushing against many broad requests for information.

Thus google amongst ther companies such a Microsoft are working to improve transparency so they can publish the data on government data requests.
“it’s also important for laws to explicitly protect you from government overreach.” says Richard Salgado, Google’s legal director.

Source: Google says Government requests ‘up120% in four years

New Screen Size on iPhone 6?

apple-iphone6

iPhone 6.

There have been many rumors going on about it, but this may be the most convincing one yet. A report on CNET has stated that a new size display could be making it’s way to the new iPhone.

A major supplier of Apple, Japan Display Inc. , has announced that it has started producing a 5.5″ Quad HD display. The resolution of this display is 1,440 x 2,560 pixels which contains a pixel density of 538ppi. This new display could easily make its way to the new iPhone because Apple is rumored to announce 2 new iPhones this year. One of the phones will have a 4.7″ display, while the other will have a 5.5″ display, which is the one that Japan Display Inc. is producing.

Additionally, another aspect that links this news to Apple is that the mass-production of this display will begin in the April-June Quarter, which is usually the time that Apple starts the production of the new iPhones each year.

In addition to a new display, Apple’s new iPhone is rumored to have an improved camera, iOS 8, and a thinner design.

Which feature do you look forward to on the next iPhone? Answer in the poll below!

 

 

Microsoft: We will pay you to upgrade

No copyright infringement intended. Photo courtesy of digitaltrends.com
Surface tablets on display at a Microsoft Store

If you are using an outdated PC, which is incapable of running Windows 8 on its hardware configuration, you’re in luck.

Microsoft, in its efforts to bolster Windows 8 adoption, has launched a new promotion that will allow users to earn $100 store credit towards their purchase of a new Windows 8 PC costing anywhere from $599 to $2,299. To further add to the bargain, Microsoft is offering 90 days of free support and free data transfer, as well.

On April 8, Microsoft will end their support for Windows XP. This, essentially, means that Microsoft will cease to offer security patches, service packs, and other such OS maintenance related support.

The core incentive for Microsoft to launch this promotion stems from the unsatisfactory adoption rate of Windows 8. OF current desktops, only 6.4% of them are utilizing Windows 8, and about 4.3% are running Windows 8.1. However, will such a promotion allow Microsoft to take dramatic strides in increasing Windows 8’s market share? Most likely, not.

The promotion mandates that $100 credit be offered only to a PC purchase ranging between $599-$2,299. By restricting the amount to such an interval, inherently shuts out the core lower end of the PC market. PC’s that sell for prices between $200-$400’s, are quite popular amongst budget-minded individuals, who expect moderate performance at a moderate price. If the promotion was extended to that price category, however, for a lower amount of credit ($50 perhaps), Microsoft will effectively tap into potential sales for additional Windows 8 PC’s and thus increase the market share of Windows 8.1.

Moreover, however, it will also allow them to effectively compete with cheap offerings such as Chromebooks. Currently, an HP Chromebook sells for $279. If, for example, a Windows PC was priced at $379, and reduced to $50 as part of the hypothesized promotion, the base cost would amount to $329. Free support and data transfer would only further compel the consumer in the favor of the Windows PC.

In the grand-scheme of things however, the effects will reverberate through many levels. If the campaign is successful, and extended to lower price points. There is a possibility that it will augment quarterly earning, and aid in augmenting the share price of Microsoft(MSFT), which is currently trading at $40.34, as of 3/26/14.

Regardless, in all fairness, this promotion is still targeting a great deal of consumers, and should allow the company to gain some share until June 15th, when the promotion expires.

The Specifics Matter

In “Research is Key”, you learned to know everything about your company just as if you are really becoming the individual executives you were assigned. The next step, in addition to inhibiting the characteristics of your assigned executive, you must learn to be thorough and be detailed in your every action.

In the releases of technology that you see throughout the year, companies manage to pull in a significant number of consumers by educating the consumer. For example, if Samsung is releasing a new phone, they provide the press with pictures, features, prices, and all other data. We understand that not everyone participating in the Enterprise convention will have the time or the skill to generate pictures or images of your technology. That is fine, but you must show valid data.

For an example, if you are part of Samsung (not part of this conference) and your company plans to release a new phone, please do not simply state that the phone has a 5 inch screen and is fast. That is not how the company generates revenue, clientele, consumer loyalty, or interest. Denote that the new 5.4 inch display has a specific ppi, specific processor, battery time, price, upgrades, storage, etc. If you plan on releasing or patenting a new technology, specify what it s and verify that it does not already exist. The ideas can be creative of course, but you must make the legitimate.

E.G. Google is releasing a new Nexus 5.6 inch phablet manufactured by Samsung with a 550 ppi pixel density taking the crown for the best display available beating the pat HTC display by more than 100 ppi. The large phone will also sport a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, and will have available 16, 32, or 64 GB internal memory. The 16 and 32 GB phones will have an optional external micro SD card slot as an add on. The 16 GB phone will cost approximately 150 dollars, 32 GB, 200, 64 B, 400. With the SD card add on, the price of the phone will jump 100 dollars due to slightly different frame construction. With such extensive model features, we believe google plans to make this their new Nexus flagship phone, and given the specifications above, it will be taking the crown as the best phone in the world-currently.

Now you see that some of these specs may not even be realistic because for a phone to be more than 100 ppi larger than its predecessor is a huge jump. But this is all valid in the conference given the right backing. Simply saying it is the largest phone with the best display is not enough. Thus, all the specs are given.

We recognize that some of this information is logical to the release of a new technology, but this is for the many people that have not gained experience from the many meetings held. We urge you to come to these meetings as proper preparation for the conference can be given in mock sessions as well as information critical to the success of your company.

Enterprise Convention: Research is Key

Chances are that you are an individual who has enrolled for an Enterprise Conference, and aspires to do quite well at the conference. I do not blame you, I would have done quite the same.

Regardless, it is now up to you, as an executive of a company, to forward your corporation, and propel it to unprecedented heights. However, securing this success is quite challenging and will only be attained through unconventional means. You will receive guidelines pertaining to this notion quite soon in the future, however, until then it is still a far-fetched idea.

Primarily, as a participant, you have to possess knowledge about your company, yourself as an executive, your competitors and virtually anything that is pertinent.  In order to aid you in your preparation, I will outline a few factors to research, and be sure to adhere to them.

1. Who and What is your company?
The primary information you should ascertain, is that pertaining to your company. To be precise, you should be aware of the different product lines it currently produces, revenue streams, sentiments associated with the company’s stock, and essentially anything and everything a CEO, CIO, VP, etc. should know about. For instance, consider Apple, Inc. Apple is regarded as the leader in the technology arena, and has an extremely prominent presence in the Portable Electronics Industry. This is standard information anyone enjoying “The Closing Bell” on CNBC, would know. However, as the company’s CEO, I would posses knowledge regarding the future timeline for the company, how the company’s products are performing in their respective markets, and, in essence, every insider detail that the general populace would not be aware of. Therefore, in simple terms, know everything about your company from its history, its leaks, analyst reactions, to possible future markets (new product categories, namely). While it is unfortunate that we do have access to such information, the Internet tends to provide quite a limpid picture. The rumor mill, the leaks, the news articles, analyst calculations, all supply a great extent of covert information. One effective way of ascertain such information is to simply log on to news.google.com, and type in AAPL, Apple, iPhone, iPad, or any other keyword relevant to your company.

2. So you’re an executive now?
Congratulation on the promotion!
Regardless, as a participant, you should be extremely familiar with your real-life counterpart. For example, if your are assigned the role of Jony Ive , Apple’s Industrialist designer, I would simply execute a Google search of all of his past interviews, public statements, statements during quarterly earnings releases, etc. This will provide you with a sense of the individual’s personality and essential insider information in some instances. More importantly, however, it will instill in you a general sense of your executive’s demeanor.

3. Be aware of as to how your company conducts business.
Each company sports its own method of handling business, degree of secrecy, ideology pertaining to acquisitions, etc. You as an executive should know all of this information. For example say if you are Larry Page, CEO and co-founder of Google, as a participant you should understand that Page is not necessarily an individual who focuses on doing a certain amount of things very well. In fact, Steve Jobs had advised him to narrow Google’s scope of products and services, however, clearly Page did not heed to that advice. In fact, Google, instead, espouses the ideal of innovating new technologies and furthering advances in various sectors. This explains, Google’s projects to create self-driving cars, etc.

You should also be aware of how and why your company purchases other companies. In numerous instances, corporations purchase other private businesses to further their own offerings. For example, Apple purchased AuthenTec, a “fingerprint-security developer company”, in 2012. A year later, that very technology was incorporated in the latest iPhone 5S, in its “Touch ID”. Hence, in a nutshell, be aware of why your company, simply put, does what it does.

Hopefully, you find this article indispensable to your research as that is what we truly aim to do. Keep checking the blog, as such articles will be uploaded on a frequent basis.