Monday, August 22, 2011

Present like Steve Jobs by BNET

Everyone knows Steve Jobs of Apple Inc can hold and electriffy and wow an audience like nobody else in this world! Here are some tips from the above video by BNET.

1. Set the Theme - Be clear and consistent.

2. Provides an outline - Open and close each section for your presentation.

3. Use exciting words to share your enthusiasm - Wow your audience. Use words like : "incredible", "awesome" ,"extraordinary", "cool" etc. If you're not passionate about your offerings, why should your audience be?

4. Make numbers meaningful - Place numbers in context as they may not mean much alone.

5. Be easy on the eyes - Go visual and be interesting.

6. Treat your presentation like a show - Have a dramatic flair, have ebbs and flows and have videos and guest speakers if possible.

7. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse - The chances are we won't have the resources to have rockstars or great resources available as Jobs does but we have time. Use that time to rehearse your presentation inside out.

8. "And one more thing.." - Let you audience think you have given them an added bonus.

To sum up, a presentation does not have to be dull - it can be a show to entertain, educate and above all, an experience to remember for your audience. Your product/service will be appreciated all the much more thanks to that!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Manage your Business Better with Action Coach Jeevan - BFM Podcast available

Is your team soaring or bogged down by these issues?

This week on BFM's Raise Your Game - Action Coach, Jeevan Sahadevan was on BFM to discuss eight team issues that may affect your business. Here are some takeaways!
The first four were covered in this 22 minute podcast and the next four will be covered next week.

The four issues which were highlighted by Jeevan in the podcast were:

1) Trust - Is your sales team really out there selling? When there is a lack of trust, comes office politics in your company.
2) Laziness - Lack of Motivation/problem with work attitude?
3) Fear of Conflict - Pretty common I say in Asian context as we tend to be more passive aggressive or run away from any conflicts rather than solve it.
4) Lack of Commitment - Your team doesn't buy into your company's ideas.

Sounds familiar?

Here are some key take-aways to help overcome these problems:

a) Communicate and Build Trust Keep the lines of communication open and get to know people personally. Establish this by doing what Jeevan does to ALL his clients - At every team meeting, have a "WHISTLE" which stands for WHAT I FEEL LIKE EXPRESSING where the team goes around the table and everyone can express anything on their mind. The only rule is to noone else can speak when one is expressing him/herself. This gives a chance for employees to praise, criticize or get something off their chest.

The boss always goes last giving a chance to control the meeting. Overall this can be a chance to share and get to know each others. Sounds a bit touchy feely or unrealistic?

Initially, this may not kick of well but after sometime, people tend to open up according to Jeevan. In his words, usually the "effects are spectacular" and you get to learn something about everyone.

b) Trust - Give trust first and benefit of the doubt to your team. Have faith in your team.

c) Laziness is down to attitude. Pay attention to their attitude rather than paper qualifications. Hire hungry people who have something to prove.

d) Have a Mission Statement and set targets/a report mechanism. This way your team will know what to work towards and buy into your company's objectives on the big picture level and also exactly what they need to achieve and how they can contribute to achieve that big objective.

e) Feedback on the a Job Well Done - We always talk about customer feedback but what about feedback to your team on the good stuff, ie: "Just yesterday our client was really happy with the product we sold/The client was really happy with the great service you gave!"

Such feedback to your team would let them know that their efforts are helping the company and affirming their behaviour. Sometimes we can be quick to criticise, why not be quick to praise a job well-done?

Great takeaways, yes? Watch out this coming week for Part 2!

- Gotta love BFM and their Enterprise Series on Weekdays!

Disclosure: Unsolicited Post. Just somewhat a BFM fan-boy.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

App-ing your Way to Success with Dropbox Part 2

Part 2 of my "App"-ing your Way to Success - Yes, even financial success. The more efficient and more organised you are, the better prepared you are for opportunities that come your way! For my 2nd part, I discuss Dropbox.

Dropbox is a cloud-based application that lets you save files across devices. Work on something, take a picture and save it into your Dropbox and you can access it via the web or your device's apps. It would even auto-sync between work stations as long as you are connected to the internet. So, I'll like to think it as your auto-sync flash drive in the cloud. Here's the kicker: Sign up for free and you can get 2GB straight off! Watch the video on their site for a quick and simple explanation on how it works exactly.

Email Files no more or Throw away your Flashdrives!
Before this, I used to email work files to myself but now I can access it through my Android phone's Dropbox app (iPhones have this app too) on the go or any laptop which has internet connection. Or if you work on different workstations, drop a file into your dropbox and it will auto-sync with your other work-station so you can view and edit it as necessary. All you need to do is to set your work folder as your dropbox or drag-and-drop or save it into your Dropbox! Basically, Dropbox replaces the act of backing up your smaller files on to a flashdrive or any portable hard-disk drive.

Share Files for Work, Projects or Personal Reasons
Another use for this is to share files among people who would need reference to certain documents. If you're working in a company where you need access to certain files (ie: forms to apply for leave, requisition forms,company guidelines) why not "dropbox" it and share it with all employees for their reference and use. If you're stuck in a meeting and you left your laptop, not to worry, you can pull the relevant file for quick reference on your phone/tablet with the Dropbox app right away. Who knows, it may save your neck if you forget to bring a certain document with you!

All you need to do is invite someone to join your dropbox and once he/she joins, his/her dropbox will upload the contents of your shared folder into his dropbox! Neat, eh? So you can share photos, groupons, stuff to print, the possibilities are yours to think off!

Another use is of course collaboration of documents of projects but I personally think Googledocs already does this quite well which will be a whole different post altogether! Watch for that.

So, what are you waiting for? Get Dropbox which I personally think will make flashdrives/portable HDDs the way of the Dodo (once Broadband speeds catch up of course!) Until then, Dropbox is the simple cloud solution for working seamlessly between workstations and devices!

For Part 3, I shall discuss what I dub "Facebook for Projects", so check back next week!

A shoutout to Regina's husband, Eric who introduced this really cool-app to me!

Disclosure: I am trying to work to my max free 8GB (still 6.5 GB to go) so if you don't have Dropbox yet, click on the links to it via this post or click here to sign up! (we both get 250 mbs free!)

Do you need to be a CFA to be a Better Investor?

Does the CFA helps with the numbers?(credit: Dreamstime)

Do you need to be a CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) to be Better Investor? A man dubbed as the "next Ben Graham" by the Forbes, Vitaliy N. Katsenelson has some insight into that. I have posted a review on his book "Little Book of Sideways Investing" here.

Here is the relevant excerpt from his interview with the Kirk Report.
"Kirk: Is it realistic to suggest that individual investors have what it takes to do the type of homework you and other professionals do, without a CFA?

Vitaliy: In short – the answer is YES.

I am a Chartered Financial Analyst, and I learned a lot from going through the CFA program (as well as from getting two finance degrees); but the problem with the CFA program is that half your time is wasted on useless concepts, and since there is an exam, the program also requires you to be a good test taker (I was never good at that).

It is probably still the most relevant program if you want to be an investor; but in all honesty, you can take the CFA curriculum, pick relevant subjects, e.g. economics, accounting, valuation (excluding Modern Portfolio Theory), statistics, behavioral finance, and derivatives, and study them on your own and just not worry about taking the exam. You’ll learn a lot, won’t waste your time on irrelevant academic and politically correct topics like ethics (all you need to know is to always put clients’ interests first, and err on the side of the perception of wrong doing vs. legality. When people trust you with their life savings, you never want them to question your true motives).

But that would be just a start. Then you’d want to read a lot on value investing (books, blogs, newsletters/interviews, presentations, etc.) and finally, take as much money as you could afford to lose and start investing.

Paraphrasing Charlie Munger, learning about investing only from books is like learning about sex from romantic novels."


Hm, so perhaps, I should re-think the CFA after all..! Lol!

Well, not quite. The main reason why I'm doing this is give me an internationally recognised qualification. A CFA to me is the Gold Standard in the investing world and would open up a career in investment. So, it's not a bad deal - personal improvement and career development to me. If I want to pursue a career in finance, this bolsters my CV/reputation.

Currently, locally, there are only 400 CFA charter holders in Malaysia. While this means there is a demand here but it opens windows to other countries within Asia too, ie: HK, Singapore.

So, be clear on that - you don't really need a CFA to be Better Investor but it helps. Just ask yourself, perhaps there is a cheaper and less time consuming way to improve yourself in the skill-sets offered within the programme?For those already sitting for it in Malaysia, all the best!

(Of course, remember, with or without CFA, remember your due diligence has to be "CFA-like" before investing. That's another take-away from the excerpt above!)

To read Vitalsky's full interview, check it out here :

If you like what he has to offer, sign up for his email newsletters or his RSS feed while you're there!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"App"-ing your Way to Success Pt 1 - Evernote

Everyone knows an Elephant Doesn't Forget! (Evernote Logo)

Part 1 of my "App"-ing your Way to Success - Yes, even financial success. The more efficient and more organised you are, the better prepared you are for opportunities that come your way! For my first part, I discuss Evernote.

Evernote is THE reminder/task-reminder app for Android + Apple devices which links up to the internet/cloud so you can access all your reminders seamlessly in whatever form - video, text, audio locations, to-do-lists, links and you can even tag and share your notebooks. Notes are kept in notebooks which would basically be the category of notes. (ie: Work notebook, Health, Interesting Articles)

Their taglines are:
  • Remember Everything
  • Capture Anything
  • Access Anywhere
  • Find Things Fast

Excellent for the road warrior always on the move and if you don't have a pen, whip out your smartphone and why not just take a picture of it or audio record telling yourself what you need to do. Then, if you're away for your phone, you can always log in online to check your to-do list via your desktop or through your other devices. Basically, pens are now so 20th century, yo!

You can ever share notebooks with people to share information(think shopping list)/to-do-list. Basic stuff. Don't expect to run a project via Evernote basic.

To top it off , it's free on both the Apple and Android market! With premium (USD 5 a month or 45 a year), you get 1 gig of space, upload more file types - MSword, Video and you can even corroborate on projects via Evernote!

Other Alternatives
Other competitors which do pretty-much the same thing include Colour Note and Spring Pad. I have not done comprehensive testing on those apps except for some playing around with Spring Pad. One good thing is Spring Pad seems more colourful and is more interesting-looking by giving the option of using colour-coding. Evernote can be abit dull looking with its grey+green theme at times.

For my next 2nd part of this App series, I shall discuss a real-powerful tool and a personal favourite of mine - Dropbox. Catch me next week!

An intro video on Evernote by a 3rd Party.

Full Discloure: Yet, another unsolicited post!