Improving One’s Presentation Skills in Just 15 minutes

Today’s selection is…

This piece by Canadian entrepreneur and founder of Clarity Dan Martell, a marketplace for entrepreneurs who want to be in touch with investors. In this piece, Martell describes that you guys have been wasting your time working. You should have spent it “speaking” for this is the best job in the whole World ($5,000-$10,000 for a 20 minute presentation…) Well, what he didn’t tell you though is that in order to get there, you need to work a bit on your reputation, that a reputation isn’t built in a day, and eventually, that people will hire you in order to speak about a subject, only if they know that you are good at it. Or better, if someone they know tells them that you are good at it. As to the presentation itself, I don’t know about the 15 minutes. I believe he must be referring to the time it will take you to read his post and not the hard work you will have to put into building a good presentation (the quality of the presentation, by the way, depends very much on how you feel on a given day at a given moment and the kind of interaction – or lack thereof – you are getting with the people in the audience). Last but not least, that kind of prices is only valid for famous entrepreneurs and I’m not even sure it’s applicable to entrepreneurs outside the US. Unfortunately, you might have to go on working for a while. And don’t forget, speaking in front of an audience is a very tough job.

Dan Martell and Sir Richard Branson in a picture taken from Martell's homepage

How to Create a Great Presentation in Just 15 Minutes | @DanMartell

Did you know that the highest paid profession in America is professional speaking? Speakers can earn between $5,000 and $10,000 for a 20 minute keynote presentation. It’s the reason why great entrepreneurs know how to get up and share their message.  They indirectly get “paid” by moving employees, partners and communities to engage with their business in a way that goes far beyond the financial upside. Some of the best, like Mark Zuckerberg (Founder/CEO of Facebook), go even further and learn other languages, so they can share in a more authentic way. If you can master – or at least be mediocre – at speaking, it will open up the world to you. I’ve been paid to fly around the world sharing stories of lessons learned with amazing entrepreneurial communities.

via How to Create a Great Presentation in Just 15 Minutes | @DanMartell

Enterprise Social Networks: Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Paris Feb 10-14

enterprise social networksA few days ago, I had the opportunity to interview Bjön Negelmann, the creator and organiser of the enterprise 2.0 summit which is due to take place in Paris on the 10 – 12 February 2014. This event is the unmissable conference on the subject of enterprise social networks and will not only be the chance for the audience (100 – 200 professionals from the ESN market and clients) to listen to some of the most inspiring speakers on the subject, but also to interact with each other in some very exciting workshop sessions. Here are in a few bullet points, the most important takeaways from Bjorn’s interview:

enterprise social networks

 

Enteprise 2.0 Summit: The Enterprise Socal Network Event

  • France is considered by Bjorn as the centre of Europe. The event is definitely international and moved away from Germany a few years ago in order to open up to the rest of Europe even better than it had done before
  • The European market is as usual very varied, if we except multinationals which tend to be pretty much the same throughout the continent. Bjorn however describes the SME market as a very local market for each of the countries involved, with 3 major hotspots being the usual suspects (UK, Germany and France).
  • Regarding enterprise social network adoption, Bjorn has established a 3 tier hierarchy of companies having embarked on enterprise social network projects:
    • first, the first generation projects, mostly in big companies, which tend to be “stuck in the Middle”. These accounts started off with management support and failed to gain momentum within a broader employee base,
    • Secondly, the new players, still mostly in big companies, with major examples like Solvay or Bosch, who are coming late in the game, but are better implementing enterprise social networks with a broader managerial vision,
    • Thirdly, SMEs all over Europe which are leapfrogging all the other types of clients because they tend to be more agile and more business focused.

Don’t miss the Enterprise 2.0 Summit of which Media Aces is a partner

Ballmer “everywhere I go I see paper and pencils; there is still room for innovation” #ebg

briefcase-largeI attended an EBG (Electronic Business Group, an influential French e-business Think-Tank) conference on Nov 8 in Paris, at which Steve Ballmer was speaking. It has taken a while to process my notes but here they are at last, sometimes answering my questions about the future of Microsoft, sometimes not. However, undoubtedly, Ballmer has managed to captivate the massive audience in the small theatre room of the Espace Pierre Cardin at the Heart of Paris, France. Ballmer was interviewed by EBG’s founder and Secretary General, Pierre Reboul. Steve Ballmer is also a member of the board of directors of EBG.

There has been a great deal of questions asked about the future of Microsoft lately, with regard to their apparent inability to cope with the mobile market (even by Gates’s own admission). However, it would be wrong to think that Microsoft has lost the War even though it may have lost a few battles. As a matter of fact, the software giant from Redmond, Wash. is still very strong in many areas, including Business Cloud, enterprise collaboration (more than 70% market share with SharePoint, not to mention yammer), home gaming with the very successful Xbox platform, and of course, Microsoft office which is, like it or not, still broadly used, despite a flurry of free more or less open source office suites which are available from the Internet. Yet, Microsoft’s business models are challenged, office is slowly turning into a pay per use model with Office 365 and Windows 8 is just about coming back to life after a much awaited 8.1 facelift a couple weeks ago. So where is Microsoft headed? That is the question. Let us see what Steve Ballmer, the current CEO who is soon to retire, has to say about this, even though he has  managed to evade quite a few questions…

Right after the introduction , Steve Ballmer answered a question about the newly released surface 2 tablet. “Surface 2, is the evidence that Microsoft is moving from regular PCs to becoming a device company” Steve Ballmer explained, therefore confirming the impression is that many analysts had had, after the announcement of the purchase of Nokia, or rather as part of Nokia as Mr Ballmer explained a few moments later.

Does that mean that Microsoft is going to stop working with OEMs? “I would say something different” Ballmer said. “We continue to work with OEMs, but we will produce more devices”. Microsoft is definitely choosing a different path from Apple, its model seems to be far more akin to Google’s, even though its business model is a lot different.

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Ballmer with EBG’s Reboul on stage in Paris

“Everywhere I go I see paper and pencil there is still room for innovation”

Reboul said that Microsoft’s surface 2 was a good device yet, he wondered, “how do you make this a bestseller?”

“You want a different value proposition” Ballmer explained. “This device is meant to make you more productive; it is better than just watching movies.” Besides, a “continued stream of innovation is required too. Every meeting I go to, we still come across paper and pencil” Ballmer pointe out. We see a lot of opportunity for more innovation”. I couldn’t agree more with that. 10 years ago, I used to take notes using handwriting recognition off my iPAQ mini tablet. Now this is something which is no longer available, and I am still longing to find a good technology which can free me of paper and pencil and let me take notes naturally in a handwritten manner together with intelligent character recognition (ICR). After all, it used to be possible 10 years ago it should be now too!

Back to Windows 8: it was launched with a bad buzz, now a new has version just been released. What do you think?

As to sales, we have sold over 100 million units in a year : that’s pretty good!” Ballmer said. “Sales have been pretty good, but regarding consumer PCs there has been an impact with low end devices and we are working on this with new devices” he added. Sales have been better that the feedback in essence. “Regarding feedback, it has been more average” Steve Ballmer said. “Some like it, some not. There is a lot of diverging feedback. But what we did with was pretty bold. We’ll continue to move forward. Still, with enterprise customers, windows 7 is still most popular”.

What is the border between mobile and desktop? was Reboul’s next question

“There are no rigid borders” Ballmer said. “Phablets [a cross between tablets and phones] exist. People are moving from one device to another. We even make an 80 inch table you can hang on walls. There are no firm lines between devices.” he said.

photo by idownloadblog via the Verge > read on at http://bit.ly/ms80inchtab

What changes in Microsoft’s business model

What of Microsoft’s legacy licence-based business model? Is Microsoft forced to move to the SaaS model. How will they make money out of this? “The future of software is to be delivered as a service” Ballmer confirmed, “be it for b2bor b2c. Office 365 is already the number one SaaS application in the world” he added. But is Microsoft making as much money from this as it used to? “Services are small in revenue but they are growing rapidly and we are hoping for increased in the numbers of seats? Our revenue stream is still dominated by software licences, but things will change in the future” Steve Ballmer added. “For business customers, the best value is to go for online services” he added. “Also for consumers but some customers like to buy software licences once and for all and be done with it!” as the recent hoo-hah about the all SaaS version of Adobe Creative Cloud demonstrated (sample here).  Here I’m not really convinced on how all those revenue numbers will add up, but time will tell.

Nokia : what did you buy exactly?

Another question I had was about what Microsoft had actually bought from Nokia and what they intended to do with it: “Nokia has a lot of pieces” Ballmer said. “We didn’t buy maps, nor base stations for networks, we bought the phone business and the tablet business”. This also means that Microsoft now has two tablets! Surface and Nokia’s. Ballmer dismissed that issue altogether: “eventually, we’ll have two tablets (the deal is not yet approved), this is not a problem” he added. Time will tell again if having two aspiring products is enough to compete with 2 established leaders like Apple and Samsung. Surface 2 seems to be a nice product though, the concept is cool, and I’d really like to have a tablet which lets me work on my blog posts from cradle to grave … that is as long as both the apps and the hardware are up to scratch. I haven’t yet switched back to windows for mobiles but who knows, never say never…

Social strategy for Microsoft

Social is an area in which Microsoft has been either very successful (B2B) or very unsuccessful (B2C, despite the fact that it used to have a leg up in that game with MSN a long time before Facebook). “We are a player in certain parts for social networking” Ballmer confirmed. “We have a very successful offer with Yammer, and Skype, we are part of the social fabric” he added. Ballmer stressed that even Internet giant Google is struggling in that space. “Google has tried a bit but struggles against Facebook” alluding to Google+ even though it is now picking up a lot, mostly through the authorship and communities features, and I would not be surprised if things changed in the long run, in favour of Google. “Yammer has a free model. Once the IT department wants to add control then they go for the pay version” he said. It should be remembered that both Yammer and Skype are acquisitions.

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Gaming

Gaming is one of the very successful spaces for Microsoft: “Xbox is one of the most exciting experiences” Ballmer said. “The emerging model is freemium gaming but there will still be a model for hit games where production costs are huge. Both of those models are promising for the future, but they are for different kinds of games. Casual gaming will focus on freemium” Balllmer said. “The new Kinect sensor is phenomenal. It can even spot a finger moving” Ballmer said. “It will be used for games in which gamers shoots bows and arrows for instance” but there may be future applications for businesses as well. “The future will be the projection of the user IN the game” or even a show he added.  Imagine being able to kick a penalty kick in lieu of the player in the field? As more innovative features like these will be added, there will be a new space for costly games, but also “ a lot of the freemium models will start casual and grow serious”, even though “Microsoft’s games are for serious fun” Ballmer added.

Microsoft, innovation and its future (unnamed) CEO

Microsoft is a big company and it will be even bigger after Nokia’s acquisition has been ratified. “Ther are 100,000 employees at Microsoft before Nokia, there will be 130,000 after” Microsoft’s boss said. “There’s room for innovation at Microsoft. At R&D and also from the bottom up. Good Innovation is a good mixture of bottom up and top-down. Good success doesn’t come all from the bottom”. Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1990 and is planning to leave soon. “I love Microsoft” he said “but I have made my decision.  I want to have an active life outside of Microsoft. We are pivoting on devices and services, and it’s a good time to make the transition now. When we have a new leader we’ll have a new leader. I don’t know his name and I wouldn’t disclose it.” There has been rumours that Microsoft’s new boss would be Nokia’s Steven Elop but Ballmer didn’t comment on that.

Ballmer’s plan isn’t to retire though: “I wouldn’t retire and fish, I would scare the fish. I want to study, travel, look after the local basketball team, be part of boards of directors… I’ve got many things I’d like to study before I retire” he concluded.

Barcelona, World’s mobile capital city for 4 days – #mwc13

This post was written as part of a blogger trip I organised for the Live Orange Blog. Connect to the blog for the latest on that event!

On February 24th, 2013, we paid a visit to the Grand Fira which is the brand new venue for the MWC conference in Barcelona. Everything here is brand new and even though they built dummy columns at the entrance to remind visitors of the old place it is certainly lacking the lustre of the old romantic buildings at the end of the old Fira convention centre, situated in Plaza de Espanya.

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[Polishing the signs while speakers are polishing their pitches]

Nonetheless, the new venue is – as the name goes – even bigger, and we can expect a lot to happen by way of innovation on the stands. The promise is that a new horizon for telecommunications is ahead of us. One, mostly, where NFC will be playing a role since the three letter acronym is absolutely ubiquitous. The press is even asked to check in through NFC gates exclusively and I was quite disappointed that I hadn’t taken the time to renew my phone and buy a brand new Galaxy SIII for instance.

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[nothing is shown at MWC on the eve of the event. All is quiet… not for long!]

Talking about Samsung, we were greeted by a small stand of theirs at the exit of the Fira metro station. This is probably a sign that they are going to show big things this year. On the other hand, so far, we haven’t seen any signs of Android being at the forefront, but it’s not clear as the venue is always decorated at the last minute to avoid leaks. Last year was definitely an Android year. Does it mean that Google – I heard that rumoured yesterday – would toy with the idea of renaming its mobile OS by using its main brand (as they did with Google Play which replaced the former Android Market)? Or does it mean that new big guys, like the Mozilla foundation for instance, are sticking their guns this year. A new OS in the mobile environment is a possibility. Time will tell, I am all set for the press conference on new mobile Operating systems as well as the much expected Zte announcement. Stay tuned to the live Orange blog!

Social Media in business today : SMI conference – Marrakech

I will take part in the forthcoming Social Media Impact conference due to take place in Marrakech, Morocco on October 11-12. Here is an interview I delivered a few weeks ago in order to introduce my pitch over there. I have included a video recording of the interview as well as an embed of my presentation.

What is social media’s place in the professional world today?

It’s actually quite different from what it used to be. We’re about eight years after the introduction of social media in the enterprise so my perspective in this SMI presentation in Marrakech will be that of somebody that manages social media in the enterprise and that has been doing so for the last five years. So obviously the kind of place we are in at the moment is that of the structuring of the initiative. We shall see three major phases in the project surrounding the presentation in social media within the enterprise:

  • the triggering of the project: proving the concept and that it is really worth doing.
  • the development phase: how one ramps up and scales.
  • the structuring phase: that’s where we’re at. The structuring of the organization, the processes and everything else.

With the constant growth and reach of these social networks, can a company survive without them today?

Obviously, certain companies can survive without social media, it depends what you do. If you deal in plastic for instance, there are very few chances that you’re going to be a major player in the collaborative web. Now, if you’re in a market like the telecoms, as we are, or in any CPG market, you’ll have to be where your customers are, and customers are there, online. Northern Africa has been absolutely booming in terms of social media usage and so yes, brands have to be where customers are, to initiate or engage in the conversation.

As a company, how do you know which social media fits best to the message you wish to pass along?

There are a number of things I will dwell on in this presentation. To start, I will change that notion of message, because this is not how social media is working. We’re not working with messages but with conversations which we may not have initiated, or at least not in a traditional way. I will also go through a number of business cases taken from Orange from all over the world (Spain, France, England, Romania), and I will go through all these examples and show some of these cases and their return on investments.

What are the major threats posed by the use of social media in a company?

Well, if you don’t handle social media very well then you could face a number of threats. I think threat number one is just not being there, thinking that the conversation doesn’t happen simply because you’re not listening to it. Threat number two is, once you’re actually there and have engaged in social media, letting things get out of hand. So you have to be there nurturing, every day, and be sure to respond to, if not everything, as much as you can. So there are loads of processes and organization: it’s probably easy to do social media for yourselves, but if you’re a large organization then it is very different.

How do you see the future of social media in the corporate world in the near future?

I think the landscape is going to change dramatically in the next few months and years. We’re going to see a lot more governance thrown in to social media and the way it is organized, or rather disorganized right now. There is going to be massive endeavours in terms of how we train people and get them up to speed with regards to social media, and not just the ‘experts’, or the ones in charge, but the entirety of the enterprise.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xu04om_en-social-media-in-the-workplace-with-yann-gourvennec-smi-conference_tech

Video Interview: interview : SMI conference