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Archive for the category “Presentation”

Your past is not a good predictor of your future at all – Find out 2 things that are though


Your past is not a good predictor of your future at all – Find out 2 things that are though 

Where you were born, who your parents are, where you live and work may have significantly impacted your past. Look ahead now: What legacy do you want to leave behind? If you are stuck in the past, and you have not chosen what you want to happen in the future, you mess up your present.

One of the most important things to do in your life is to make an active choice of what and where you see yourself in the future. Sure, where you have come from does make a huge difference, but it is not the be all, end all.

A while, I heard Christine Hassler speak at a really neat event. She is a speaker, author, and subject matter specialist on Millennials– aka twenty-something people. She started out as someone totally driven by success and achievement. She used to date celebrities and for a time was the youngest successful agent in Hollywood.

She was just not happy at all. Her success did not feel right and at one point of time had a full blown crisis: With so much success, a great life style, income and great looks, how come she did not feel fulfilled?

Once she crashed and burned she had to start from scratch. She told us that the day this happened was pivotal in her life. All alone in her apartment with a wedding that had been called off by her finance, Christine made an active choice to reach out to other gals that she thought might feel just as broken inside. It worked much to her own surprise.

Once she got herself focused on what her issues and challenges were she wanted to make a difference in other people’s lives who may be stuck in the same rut as she used to be. She wrote a book about her expirience and managed to become a sought after expert. Wow!

What can you learn from her journey are two basic life principles:

  1. Your background and upbringing does impact you – but it never means that you will be stuck or limited.
  2. At the end of the day it still comes down to your choices – take an active role in your life and make better choices.

Will this be tough? Absolutely. That is why they are called tough choices. They never come easy in life. They are not supposed to be easy, and beware of the ones that are easy to come by. They may lead to more heart ache and time and resource consuming bunny trails.

Remember that it all starts with pain. Nothing changes until the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of changing. What are you waiting for? Make a change and get over your past.

Ralf

Death by meeting part III – web conference calls


Death by meeting part III – web conference calls Ralf on phone

If regular meetings are not already enough to endure, most of us need to participate or schedule web conference meetings. Technology keeps pushing the limits as to what is possible short of being there in person. The newest Apps, e.g. GoToMeeting, even allow for you to participate on your mobile device while you are travelling. There is so much that can go wrong with them though. It ranges from technical difficulties to the locations people choose to participate from. Here is an awesome video that captures this issue very well: web conference in real life.

Your call does not have to end like that example though. There are a couple of best practices that can help you holding a very productive web conference call.

  1. Hold a trial run call. If this is for a really important meeting then preparation is king. Set up a meeting with all participating parties to make sure everyone can participate.
  2. Select a web conference software that works for everyone. Very often you will find that some of your participants have firewall issues and other corporate IT related challenges. You may have to be flexible in having to switch to a platform that you did not have. So far GoToMeeting and Skype for business have been the most successful for me. Cisco Jabber and others may also work for you.
  3. Silencing the echo and feedback effect. When sending out the meeting invitations with your web conference tool select the phone only option. This eliminates the echoing etc. It may cause a time delay of your audio especially when you have international callers. Start out this way and then slowly introduce computer audio. If you do not do that this way you will have some folks participate with the computer audio running and calling in anyway. That is when you have the bad echoing spoiling your meeting. Select a software that allows for you to mute participants. This way you can at least silence some of the issues.
  4. Turn on the camera. Seeing the folks you want to collaborate with you does a few things for you. First of all you get to genuinely see them participate. Second, you limit folks do other tasks while participating.
  5. Share your files or screen. Nothing beats being literally on the same page. Always strive for using software that allows document sharing and collaboration. The best platforms will allow other participants to make edits and even show their own work.

The most important take away for avoiding death by web conference call is preparing your participants for the call. The vast majority of issues are of technical nature shortly followed by the participant’s lack of computer competencies. If a software does not work for you, be brave and switch to whatever works. Technology keeps changing and this will definitely continue with this type of meeting style.

Ralf

Four key ways how to be more effective at work this year


Four key ways how to be more effective at work this year Ralf a

If one of your New Year resolutions is being more effective at work there are a few things you can do that will save you a few hours a week. Wouldn’t that be awesome? First and foremost reflect on how much reading, typing, and composing of business correspondence you do. Chances are that this is pretty much all you do anymore. How can you be more effective at something that you surely have perfected over the years?

Please find below three key ways of doing exactly that.

  • Speed reading. On average you probably read around 300 to 1000 words per minute. I used to do that too. That is until I came across a speed reading and brain exercise course that has changed my life forever. I read more than 1000 words per minute and it does not take a lot to get there. In fact my processing speed went up in general. Here is the web site if you are interested: Speed read and train your brain with Eye Q Advantage
  • Typing faster. We spend so much time typing every day. E-mails consume most of our work hours any more. Are you still hunting and pecking away at it with only two fingers? One program that helped me greatly type fast and accurate at the same time is Ten Thumbs. Take a look at it here. It has been a fabulous time saver for me and you can benefit from it too.
  • Speech recognition. Get rid of typing altogether and get yourself set up with a speech recognition software. I have a pretty noticeable accent and Dragon still totally gets what I am dictating. It has saved me so much time over the years in writing letters, mails, and so much more. It captures your natural style and all you have to do is making sure that you proof read what Dragon has composed for you. It is a great time saver at work and at home. Here is the link to the web site where you can order it.
  • Composing business and social correspondence. The last big time saver for busy working folks is a book / CD offer called “Business Letters for Busy People”. It comes with a CD containing a boatload of letter, mail, campaign, newsletter, etc. templates that can save you oodles of time because you do not have to thing as much about composing them from scratch. Here is the web link to the book offer.

There you have it. It takes very little effort to save time at work. You can spend this time for more important tasks and still look and act totally professional. Enjoy!

Ralf

5 things to consider when doing business in other countries


5 things to consider when doing business in other countries Smaller FB

Just because you have been successful doing business at home does not necessarily mean that you will be successful elsewhere. Depending on which continent you need to travel to, you really ought to make sure that besides having a little of the local currency with you, also make sure you mentally prepare for the difference in how business folks expect you to behave. Sure, most hosts will cut you some slack because you are a visitor, but you will not get a free ride card and you may not be able going home with a contract if you do not know what to expect and how to behave.

Below please find a few examples for traveling and doing business in Europe and Asia.

  • In North America the bullet pointed PowerPoint without tons of painfully detailed charts, analyses, graphs, etc are the norm. Dare you not use plenty of fact filled slides especially in Europe. Why? You will simply not come across as a professional if you do not do that in your presentation.
  • Face to face communication in North America and Western Europe lets you make good, solid eye to eye contact. In Asia this may be considered rude. You may not hear the word “no” muttered in negotiations in most of Asia. That does not mean “yes” eithers. “Yes” merely means a firm maybe.
  • If you know the language of the country you are visiting, use it. If you know only know a little and perhaps a few terms and catch phrases then do not use it. It is very easy to offend your hosts. When you stay in English do yourself and your hosts a huge favor: Refrain from using colloquialisms like “On the nose!”, “Six to one, half a dozen to another”, etc. You will catch yourself explaining this in painful detail and your initial point may completely get lost.
  • While in North America it may be tolerated if you are a few minutes late, do not be late in Europe, and especially Germany. Show up between 5 and 10 Minutes early and your success rate will go up. In other parts of the world you may find yourself having to show up on time when your host maybe in fact a half hour late and that is considered normal and to be expected. Do not comment on this to your host and heaven forbid make a big deal out of it.
  • Project management. Here maybe the most significant difference when you need to work with clients in Europe, but especially in Germany. A project in North America will focus on a big picture, a vision, its mission, and perhaps each individual step leading the project to success is briefly mentioned. Management will typically expect that some adaptations and amendments to the plan need to be made along the way of a project.

Under no circumstance should you do this in Europe. Here make sure that the big picture is as detail oriented as possible. The end state is expected to be described in detail with financial numbers and pretty exact outcome and the costs as well as manpower that go along with it. Consider hiring a well-known and respected industry consultancy backing you up, or simply providing you with the data back and solid reasoning for your strategy and tactics.

My short list is meant to merely provide you with a little bit more awareness when you travel and do business in other regions of our Globe. There are so many more points that I did not even mention here: Food, gifts, gender roles in other countries, dress codes, social gatherings, parties, transportation, etc.

There is an excellent book about this topic, which I have often consulted before going to another country. It is called “Kiss, bow, and shake hands” by Terri Morrison. All you can do is taking your cultural awareness blindfold off. You will enjoy your trips much more and are destined to be more successful as well. Have a good trip!

Ralf

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