Speak & More Is Proud To Present Anadolu Hayat Emeklilik Project

Power Business English Workshop – Anadolu Hayat Emeklilik

Anadolu Hayat Emeklilik kısa zamanda gelişme kaydetmeleri gereken çalışanlarının İş İngilizcesini yüksek verim sunan “Power Business English Workshop“ programıyla destekliyor.

İki ay süren gelişim projesinde, ayda iki tam gün yoğunlaştırılmış workshoplar düzenleniyor. Bu sayede, Anadolu Hayat Emeklilik çalışanları İngilizce konuşma,yazma ve sunum becerilerini özel uygulamalarla kolayca geliştiriyorlar. Yabancı uzmanlar eşliğinde, İş İngilizcesi konuşma ve sunum becerilerini kısa zamanda gözle görülür bir şekilde ilerletme imkânına kavuşuyorlar.

Speak & More firmasıyla yapmış olduğumuz Power Business English eğitimlerimizde katılımcılarımızın hem teknik hem de pratik olarak İngilizce seviyelerine katkıda bulunduk. Kurumumuzun beklentileri ve görüşleri doğrultusunda Speak & More ile başarılı bir sinerji yarattık.’’

Sorkun Terzi
Assistant HR Manager 

Liderler için Hikaye Anlatmanın Önemi (Storytelling)

Stories
Başarılı Bir Hikaye Anlatıcısı Nasıl Olursunuz?

İş arkadaşlarımıza ve müşterilerimize hikayeler anlatırız. Sunduğumuz projeleri kabul etmelerini ve ikna olmalarını isteriz. Bir çalışanımızın kendisini belli bir alanda geliştirmesini bekleriz. Takımımızın zorluklar karşısında ilham alarak harekete geçmesini arzu ederiz. Tüm bu nedenlerle, insanları istediğimiz yönde harekete geçiren hikayeler anlatabilmek, iş dünyasında çok az sayıda liderde mevcut olan özel bir beceridir. Peki, iş dünyasında hikayeler anlatabilmemiz neden bir gereklilik haline gelmektedir? Ve ikna edici hikayeler nasıl oluşturulur?

Mevcut durum

Bilgiyle çevrelenmiş olduğumuz bu çağda, iş liderleri ilginç hikayeler anlatmadıkları sürece seslerini artık  duyuramayacaklardır. İş sonuçları, rakamlar ve tüm rasyonel bilgiler iş hayatı için önemli olabilir. Fakat, hiçbiri belleklerimizde kalıcı bir iz bırakmaz. Buna karşın, hikayeler zihnimizde kalıcı hatıralar bırakma gücüne sahiptir. Hikayeler, duyguları yaşanan olaylarla ilişkilendirir. Bu nedenle, iyi hikayeler üretebilen ve bunları insanlarla paylaşabilen liderler diğerlerine göre büyük bir avantaj elde edecektir.  Güzel haber ise, herkesin eğitim alarak daha iyi bir hikaye anlatıcısı olabileceğidir.

İş dünyasında hikayeler anlatmanın nasıl faydaya çevrilebileceğini aşağıda bulabilirsiniz:

Mesajla başlayın

Her hikaye hazırlığı şu soruyla başlamalıdır: “Dinleyicilerim kimdir ve benim onlara mesajım nedir?”; “Onlarla neyi paylaşmak istiyorum?”

Hikayeniz hakkında alacağınız her karar bu soruların süzgecinden geçmelidir.

“Takımımda oluşturmak istediğim ana değer nedir?” Örneğin, eğer takımınız başarısız olma ihtimalinin projelerinde mümkün olmadığını iddia ediyorsa, onlara başarının kardeşinin başarısızlık olduğunu anlatmanız gerekir. Ya da üst düzey yöneticilerinizi projenize destek vererek risk almaları yönünde iknaya çalışıyorsanız, birçok büyük şirketin zamanında akıllı riskler alarak bugüne geldiğini anlatabilirsiniz. Öncelikle, ana mesajınız üzerinde mutabık olmalısınız. Sonrasında onu nasıl tasvir edeceğinizi bulacaksınız.

Kendi deneyimlerinizden faydalanın

En iyi hikaye anlatıcıları kendi anılarından ve hayat deneyimlerinden yararlanırlar. Bu şekilde, mesajlarını tasvir ederler. Paylaşmak istediğiniz fikri, yaşadığınız hangi olayın en iyi şekilde ifade edeceğini araştırıp bulmalısınız. Başarısızlıklardan ders alarak başarıya ulaştığınız anları düşünün. Bir yakınınızın veya öğretmeninizin size verdiği bir hayat dersini hatırlayın. Bunlardan bir tanesi, hikayeye giriş için ilgi çekici bir kapı olabilir. Genellikle, iş ortamlarında kişisel bilgileri paylaşmama gibi bir yönelim olmakla birlikte, mücadeleleri, başarısızlıkları ve engelleri tasvir eden anekdotlar onu anlatan liderleri içten ve ulaşılabilir gösterir. Burada amaç, sizin de savunmasız anınızın olabildiğini dinleyicilere göstermektir.

Kendinizi kahraman olarak göstermeyin

Hikayenin yıldızı siz olmayın. Dev çalışma ofisinizi veya gerçekleştirdiğiniz milyonluk projeleri anlatmanız çalışanlarınızı harekete geçirmez. Hikayede merkezi bir noktada olabilirsiniz. Fakat gerçek odak diğer insanlar, aldığınız dersler veya yaşadığınız olaylar üzerine olmalıdır. Fırsatını bulduğunuz anda, sizi dinleyenleri veya çalışanlarınızı kahraman olarak göstermek için çaba sarf edin. Bu onların konuya olan adanmışlığını arttıracak ve verdiğiniz mesajı almalarını kolaylaştıracaktır.

Hikayeleri dinlemek istememizin nedenlerinden birisi de bir konu hakkında daha derin bir inanışa ulaşmak arzusudur. Lakin hikayeyi anlatan kendinden bahsetmeye başladığında dinleyiciler hemen onu takibi bırakmaktadırlar. Kendi kararlarınıza ne kadar çok vurgu yaparsanız, dinleyicileriniz sizinle o kadar az bağlantı kurmak isteyeceklerdir ve mesajınızı almakta zorlanacaklardır.

Mücadeleye odaklanın

İçinde mücadele olmayan bir hikaye hiç ilginç değildir. İyi hikaye anlatan liderler hikayede bir çatışma ve sürtüşme olması gerektiğinin farkındadır. Yenilmesi gereken bir rakip mi var? Pazarda yaşanan bir krizin üstesinden mi gelinmeli? Değişime direnen bir sanayi dönüşüm ihtiyacı içerisinde mi? Bu amaçla, gidilecek yolun çok zor olduğunu dinleyenlere ifade etmekten korkmayın. Aslında, insanlar sürecin zor olacağını duymaktan hoşlanırlar. Akıllı liderler çalışanlarına şunu söyler: “İşimiz çok zor olacak. Ama el birliğiyle çalışırsak ve dayanışma gösterirsek, hep birlikte harika bir noktaya ulaşacağınız.

Bu tarz bir çağrıyı içeren iyi hazırlanmış hikayeler anlattığınızda, insanlardan değişim için ilave çaba göstermelerini istemenize gerek kalmaz. Çünkü insanlar bu yola sizinle çıkmaya zaten hevesli olacaklardır.

 Basit olan güzeldir

Her anlattığınız hikaye bir sürprizle bitmek zorunda değildir. Bazı başarılı ve akılda kalıcı hikayeler nispeten basit ve konu odaklıdır.

Dikkati ana mesajınızdan uzaklaştıracak gereksiz detaylardan kaçının. “Az yeterlidir” prensibine göre çalışın. Yapabileceğiniz en büyük hata hikayeyi çok fazla detayla doldurmaktır.  Aylardan hangi gün olduğunu belirtmenize, hangi ayakkabıyı giydiğinizi söylemenize gerek yoktur. Bu gibi detaylar hikayedeki büyüyü bozar. Diğer taraftan, sizi dinleyenlerle paylaşacağınız o ana ait duygularınız veya yüz ifadenizin nasıl olduğunun tasviri, dinleyicilerin hikayenin içine tümüyle dalmalarına ve mesajı kolayca almalarına imkan verir.

 Pratik yaptıkça mükemmelleşirsiniz

Hikaye anlatımı mükemmele ulaşmak için sürekli tekrar gerektiren bir sanat biçimidir. Sevdiğiniz insanlarla, dostlarınızla veya güvendiğiniz iş arkadaşlarınızla tekrarlar yapmalısınız. Bu şekilde ustalaşır ve mesajınızı etkili ve verimli bir hikaye halinde sunmaya başlarsınız.

Unutmayın ki, bu provaların size ödülü çok büyük olacaktır.

Hikayeler orijinal bir sözel iletişim yöntemidir. “Vay canına!” dedirten bir hikaye anlattığınızda, onu dinleyen insanların ilk yapacağı iş, çıkışta bu güzel hikayeyi çevrelerinde ilk kime anlatacaklarını düşünmek olacaktır.  Bir lider olarak mesajınızı verirken hikaye anlatmak için harcayacağınız ilave beş dakika, aylar belki de yıllar sürecek getiriler elde etmenizi sağlayacaktır.

Presentation Tricks to Keep Your Audience Alert

curtainBest practices for presentations, including practicing and structuring your presentation effectively, are important to make a high quality show. Try using these 10 tricks to command your audience’s attention.

Presentations can be really good or really bad. Even the “okay” presentations–the ones that are well put-together but don’t particularly stand out–end up being really bad, and usually it’s for one reason: They’re boring. Boring presentations are reputation killers, and they can turn a room full of attentive professionals into a room full of sleepy zombies, checking their phones and counting the slides.

Best practices for presentations, including practicing and structuring your presentation effectively, are important to make a quality show. However, it’s the little things, the speaking and body language tricks you use, that will keep your audience awake long enough to hear it.

Start using these 10 tricks to command your audience’s attention:

1. Start off with something shocking. Don’t start off a presentation with something general and clunky, like a conventional introduction to your topic. If you have a bold conclusion planned, why not start out with a tease of it? For example, if your presentation builds to a conclusion that your company can change the way people talk to each other, start out by introducing a vision of that change. Inspire a bit of interest right off the bat, and people will be desperate to know how you got there. You can also use surprising statistics or eye-opening facts in the same way.

2. Tell a story. Humans take naturally to stories. Narratives are an evolutionary social tool we use to convey experiences, so we find it far easier to listen and relate to a story than we do a list of facts or statements. Transform anything you can in your presentation into a story format. Use real-life and invented examples, and use illustrative metaphors to prove your points. The more narratives you can weave into your overarching presentation, the more people will want to pay attention.

3. Go off script. It’s a good idea to prepare your presentation in advance, and even practice it a few times so you can iron out all the kinks. But once you’re on stage, you should probably abandon the cue cards altogether. At this point, you should be so familiar with your subject matter and so engrossed in your presentation that you can talk about it naturally in your sleep. Veer off course. People will be able to tell which lines you’ve rehearsed and which ones you haven’t.

4. Use emotional inflections in your voice. If you aren’t emotionally invested in whatever it is you’re presenting, you probably shouldn’t be the one presenting it. Be sure to show that emotion to the people listening to you. Get angry if the statistics call for it. Get excited about the solutions you propose. Get animated on the stage, and use emotional vocal inflections to put some real texture behind your words. Without that emotional inflection, you might as well hand your presentation to a robot to read.

5. Use the power of louds and softs. Speaking in one constant tone will bore your readers, even if you somehow manage to put some emotion behind it. Certainly, some sections or your presentation are more compelling or more important than others. Use the power of louds and softs to accentuate those differences. Speak softly when you can afford your users to trail off, and rise back up to a higher volume when you drive home an important point.

6. Alternate your pacing. Similarly, it’s a good idea to vary your pacing. Talk fast when it comes to background information that most people already know, or when you recap sections from earlier, then slow way down when it comes time to hammer in an important piece of information. Use the power of silence, but don’t become trapped in a predictable pattern of speech.

7. Call out individuals in the audience. This one demands a degree of improvisation, since you may not be able to predict the makeup or participation willingness of your audience until the day of your presentation. Try to get individual people involved in your presentation however you can. This may include taking them onstage for a demonstration or something far more innocuous like pointing to them when making a point.

8. Set up some jokes. Even the most serious of topics deserve some kind of humorous break. It’s your job to help people find humor throughout your presentation. If you can get them laughing, or at least smiling, you’ll keep their attention firm. Obviously, you’ll want your jokes to be appropriate, but don’t be afraid to push the boundaries–confident, unexpected humor tends to facilitate likeability.

9. Skip the data. If you can, avoid mentioning statistics and facts at all. Put them on a background slide for people to visualize independently of your presentation. People don’t attend presentations to be read information they could read themselves. They want new insights and personally related beliefs.

10. Never read a slide. Last, but certainly not least, you should never read from a slide directly during the course of your presentation (assuming you have some kind of slideshow in the background). Your audience can see the slides for themselves. Reading those slides aloud insults their intelligence and makes your presentation flat-out boring. Say something different, and let your slides speak for themselves.

Your presentation doesn’t have to be boring, so why would you let it be? Use these 10 useful tricks to keep your audience focused and engaged in your subject.

İş Sunumlarında Hikaye Anlatımına Geçiş Nasıl Yapılır

Business Storytelling eğitimi verirken artık bana çok doğal gelen hikaye geçişleri başkaları için zorlayıcı ve tuhaf gelebilmektedir.  Geçen hafta bir yöneticiye Business Storytelling Koçluğu verirken bunun bir benzerini yaşadım.  Satış Sunumu yaparken hikayenin nasıl kullanılacağını kendisine gösterirken beni hemen durdurdu ve bunu nasıl yaptığımı kendisine tekrar göstermemi istedi. Yaptığım şey aslında sıradan bir hareketti. Tam olarak neyi kastettiğini sorduğumda, hikayeye geçiş kısmını nasıl hissettirmeden yaptığımı tekrar etmemi istedi. Yeniden dinlemek ve pratik etmek istiyordu.

Güzel bir geçiş yapıldığında hikaye sunum içerisinde fark edilmez olmaktadır. Fark edilmez demekten kastım, bir konuda fikrinizi paylaştıktan sonra sizi izleyenlere dönüp, “Size şimdi bu konuyla ilgili bir hikaye anlatacağım” dememelisiniz. Onun yerine sadece konuşmanıza devam etmeli ve izleyicilerin konuya daha da dâhil olmasını sağlamalısınız. Hikâye geçişi sırasında ses tonunuzu değiştirmeden bunu yaparsanız, karşılıklı konuşma havasını korursunuz.

Profesyoneller iş hayatında paylaşılan düşüncelerle alakalı hikaye dinleme fikrinden çok hoşlanırlar. Bu fırsatın tadını çıkarmak isterler. Buna karşın, anlatacağınız hikayenin fikirle olan ilişkisini kurmadan hikayeye girerseniz, sizi dinleyenlerin keyfi kaçar ve odaklarını yitirirler. Bunun olmasını her halde kesinlikle istemezsiniz.

Paylaştığınız fikir ve hikaye arasında sadece bir veya iki adet ilgi kurma cümlesi bulunur. İlgi kuran cümlelerin nasıl olması gerektiği ve nasıl kolayca geçiş imkanı tanıdığını şimdi size göstermek isterim:

Farz edelim, kurumunuzdaki ödül sistemini çalışma arkadaşlarınızla tartışıyorsunuz. Toplantı sırasında bir yöneticiniz söz istiyor ve çalışanların kurum kültürünü daha fazla sahiplenmesi için ödül miktarlarının artmasını ve çeşitlendirilmesini öneriyor.

Siz de cevaben diyorsunuz ki, “Çalışanları çantada keklik tarzı ödüllerle motive etmekten uzak durmalı ve buna dikkat etmeliyiz. Zira, birçok kere bu açılımın ters teptiği görülmüştür.” Bu iki cümle sizin ilgi kurma cümlelerinizdir. Fikrinizi bu şekilde paylaşır sonra da hikayeye girişinizi yapabilirsiniz. Bu süreçte de hikaye sözcüğünü asla kullanmazsınız.

İşte size bir hikaye ile kombine edilmiş bir ilgi kurma cümlesi:

Elde edecekleri neredeyse garanti ödüllerle çalışanlarımızı motive etmekten kaçınmalıyız. Birçok kere bu açılımın ters teptiği görülmüştür.

70’li yıllarda Amerikalı araştırmacılar insanlarda ödül-performans ilişkisini test etmişler ve öğrencilerden bir bulmacayı çözmelerini istemişlerdir. Başlamadan önce öğrencilerin yarısına bulmacayı çözmeleri için para verilmiştir. Diğeri yarısına ise verilmemiştir.

Bulmacayı çözmesi için odaya alınan her bir öğrenci, çalışmasını tek başına bir süre yapmıştır. Birden odaya araştırmacı girmiş ve deneyin ikinci kısmı başlayacağından bu süre zarfında öğrencinin beklemesini isteyerek, odayı terk etmiştir. Gerçek psikoloji deneyi işte o an başlamıştır. Bir kamera odada yaşananları kaydeder.

Bulmaca çözmek için para alan öğrencilerden hiçbirisi beklerken bulmacaya el sürmez. Para almayan öğrenciler ise beklerken dahi bulmacayı kurcalamaya devam ederler. Araştırmanın sonuçlarına göre, önceden belli olan ve verilen ödüllerin insanlarda araştırmacı yönü baltaladığı ortaya çıkar.”

İlgi cümlesi kurmanın en kolay yolu kendinize sormaktır: “Hikâyemin dikkat çektiği temel nokta nedir?” Cevabını bulduğunuzda, hikayenizin ön sözünü buna göre ayarlarsınız. Pratik yaparak bunu doğal bir iletişim şekli haline getirebilirsiniz. Hikâyenizin ana mesajını bildiğinizde hikâye anlatımınız kolayca gelişecektir. Hikâyeleriniz kısa ve öz olacak ve hedefi on ikiden vuracaktır. En önemlisi de mesajlarla ilgi oluşturmadan hikaye anlatıp duran birisi olmayacaksınız.

Çiğdem Karabel

Sunum Becerileri Eğitmeni

How to Improve Your Presentation Skills

Your presentations skills are as important as the information you are presenting. This guide will help you prepare for a presentation and polish your speaking skills for a successful pitch. 

The opportunity to pitch your services to a potential client, spell out your business plan to a potential business partner, or promote your business at an event may require that you give a presentation. Whether or not your presentation achieves its desired outcome can be affected by your skills as a speaker, so it’s important to step in front of your audience with your best foot forward. As Speakandmore, we explain how to prepare, deliver, and answer questions about a stellar presentation.

Preparation

1) Research your audience. Knowing the needs of your audience can help you tailor your presentation to target their interests and explain how your company can be of use in their specific situation.

2) Structuring your presentation. The classic format is to tell them what you’re going to say, present, and then tell them what you told them, What we advise is to start off with the benefits of what you’re going to say, the benefits to the audience, and then present and review.

  • Opening. Your opening should be something that makes an emotional connection with the audience.  It can be a story, a question, or a shocking static. It should not be an introduction of yourself or five minutes of thank-you. Any stories you use should represent your audience’s position in life and should use characters that are analogous to your audience.
  • Body. Try to stick to your three most important points. It’s more important to engage the audience than to tell them everything you know. You will need to leave some information out, but it is likely that what you don’t cover in the presentation will come up when you take questions. Keep your outcome in mind. You don’t have to write out your presentation word for word (or worse, memorize it) if you just remember to keep going back to your main points and working toward your desired outcome. Be prepared to present both sides of an issue. You’ll appear more credible if you acknowledge your competitors or any opposing arguments. After you’ve explained the other side, you can spell out exactly why your company is better or your argument is stronger.
  • Closing. The closing of your presentation is the last opportunity you have to give your audience something that will stick in their minds. You can go back to your opening or end on a clever slogan or a call to action.  When making a business proposal, you end on a positive forecast. Your forecast will provide fodder that can serve to validate any subconsciously generated optimism.

3) Practice, practice, practice…but don’t memorize. If you practice your speech only once, you’re going to stink. Starting to rehearse your presentation about a month in advance. You can talk into a mirror, talk to a wall, or ask a family member to listen. Do whatever works for you, but make sure it includes practicing out loud so that you can get a sense of timing.

  • Rehearsing does not mean memorization. Memorizing your speech can make you sound mechanical and over-rehearsed. Really the only people who are good at memorizing things are actors, If you’re going to do it well, you actually have to act it out and play a character, and most speakers aren’t very good at that. Even if you are good at acting, you don’t memorize your speech to perfection. When an individual is too polished, it makes them relatively inaccessible in the mind of the audience. The audience is human at the end of the day, and this person doesn’t seem to be like them.  It really retards the rapport building process.
  • Videotape yourself. You can’t know how you come off to people until you see it. Recording yourself is the best way to target the areas where you can improve.
  • Calm your nerves. Changing the word ‘presentation’ to ‘conversation’ when thinking about your big day. Feel better yet? If not, you can also quell panic by conditioning yourself to be in presentation-mode.
  • Stop working on it. You really need time to start getting into relaxation mode. You can’t be in your hyper rewriting, restructuring mode right up to your presentation. Take a couple of days to relax before your speech.

Yeni Resim

Delivery

1) Verbal Delivery

  • Be Brief. The average adult was able to focus on a loading web page for only four to eight seconds before looking somewhere else. Attention spans are short; don’t dwell on a specific subject too long.
  • Ask questions to keep the audience engaged. This can be something as simple as pausing to ask if your audience understands everything you’ve presented so far.
  • Speak to your demographic. Match the semantics of your audience as closely as possible. Speak their language. If you’re selling a new video game, for instance, your semantics are going to be a lot different than if you’re working with a litigation attorney.
  • Work on your tone. Evolutionary psychology suggests that people of both sexes respond better to deep male voices and high female voices. It takes practice to change the tone of your voice, but it can be done.
  • Avoid speaking softly or other speech patterns that make you seem unconfident. For example, avoid ending sentences in an escalating tone that suggests every sentence you speak is a question.
  • You should avoid words like ‘umm’, ‘uhh’. One strategy for kicking a fill-word habit: Say the offending word and concentrate on it.Then tell yourself, ‘this is a fill word, I’m avoiding this”. When you say this, it creates that pattern of changing it so that you’ll catch yourself when you start saying it.
  • Don’t use words like ” don’t “. It’s important to avoid phrases like “don’t worry”. Tell your audience what they should do instead. Similarly, don’t say“I hope you will enjoy this presentation”. Say, “I am confident that you will enjoy this presentation.”

2) Body Language

  • Stand at a comfortable distance. Remaining within 2.5 – 7 feet of your audience. This presupposes (at a subconscious level) a personal to social relationship.
  • Eye contact. Don’t surf the audience with your eyes.  Rather, make eye contact with one person at a time.
  • Appear confident:

a. Shoulders back

b. Arms at your sides or held in front of your body when making gestures

c. Hands open or only slightly closed

d. Smile slightly or keep your face neutral.

e. Take long strides

f. Make every movement purposeful and decided

g. Treat props (like your resume or a handout) as though they are of value.  Don’t let a paper in your hand flap back and forth carelessly.

3) Powerpoint

  • A Good Powerpoint…
  1. Relies heavily on images.
  2. Has only one or two sentences per slide.
  3. Entertains.
  4. Enhances your presentation, but doesn’t summarize it.
  • A Bad Powerpoint…
  1. Contains font smaller than 32pt.
  2. Has more than five or six lines of text per slide.
  3. Displays a logo on every slide (your audience won’t forget who you are).
  4. Is printed and distributed as a handout.

Questions

Being prepared to answer questions plays a major role in appearing credible to your audience.

Taking questions before the end of your presentation. You’ll have to let the audience know that you plan to continue after questions so that they don’t start packing up their things, but this approach allows you to close your presentation on your own note. The audience will leave with your final message in their minds instead of some random question that someone asked that maybe was off-topic.

For further details you can always contact us in order to boost your presentation skills and impress your audience.

Running Effective Meetings in English

Meeting 2There are good meetings and there are bad meetings. Bad meetings drone on forever, you never seem to get to the point, and you leave wondering why you were even present. Effective ones leave you energized and feeling that you’ve really accomplished something.

Meetings fill an increasing number of hours in the workday, and yet most employees consider them as a waste of time. Meetings can be ranked as the number one office productivity killer when we make a survey with our workshop participants.

But there are ways to run effective, efficient meetings in English that leave your employees feeling energized and excited about their work.

Here are some useful tips:

  1.  Make your objective clear

    A meeting must have a specific and defined purpose. Before you send that calendar invite, ask yourself: “What do I seek to accomplish?” Are you alerting people to a change in management or a shift in strategy? Are you seeking input from others on a problem facing the company? Are you looking to arrive at a decision on a particular matter? Standing meetings with vague purposes, such as “status updates,” are rarely a good use of time.

  2. Consider who is invited 

    When you’re calling a meeting, take time to think about who really needs to be there. If you’re announcing a change, invite the people who are affected by the announcement. If you’re trying to solve a problem, invite the people who will be good sources of information for a solution. When people feel that what’s being discussed isn’t relevant to them, or that they lack the skills or expertise to be of assistance, they’ll view their attendance at the meeting as a waste of time.

  3. Stick to your schedule

    Create an agenda that lays out everything you plan to cover in the meeting, along with a timeline that allots a certain number of minutes to each item, and email it to people in advance. Once you’re in the meeting, put that agenda up on a screen or whiteboard for others to see. This keeps people focused.

  4. Take no hostages 

    Nothing derails a meeting faster than one person talking more than his fair share. If you notice one person monopolizing the conversation, call him out. Say, “We appreciate your contributions, but now we need input from others before making a decision.” Be public about it. Establishing ground rules early on will create a framework for how your group functions.

  5. Start on time, end on time

    If you have responsibility for running regular meetings and you have a reputation for being someone who starts and ends promptly, you will be amazed how many of your colleagues will make every effort to attend your meetings. People appreciate it when you understand that their time is valuable. Another note on time: Do not schedule any meeting to last longer than an hour. Sixty minutes is generally the longest time workers can remain truly engaged.

     6. Follow up

It’s quite common for people to come away from the same meeting with very different interpretations of what went on. To reduce this risk, email a memo highlighting what was accomplished to all who attended within 24 hours after the meeting. Document the responsibilities given, tasks delegated, and any assigned deadlines. That way, everyone will be on the same page.

Meetings truly can be valuable and productive. You just have to take the steps to make them that way. For further information, you can always call us (Speakandmore.com).

Çiğdem Karabel

Managing Director

Speak & More

Speak & More is proud to present Gittigidiyor.com project

Milyonlarca insanın güvenle alışveriş yaptığı e-ticaret platformu Gittigidiyor.com, yöneticilerinin İngilizce sunum becerilerini Speak & More ile geliştiriyor!

Bir Ebay Inc. şirketi olan Gittigidiyor.com, İstanbul ofisindeki yöneticileri için Speak & More un özel bir programını uyguluyor. Uzman eğitmenlerin nezaretinde iki gün süren ‘English Presentation Skills Workshop’u ile yöneticiler İngilizcede etkili sunum yapma becerilerini arttırırken, yabancı meslektaşlarıyla iş yaparken kendilerini daha rahat ve hazır hissediyorlar.

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Gittigidiyor.com ülkemizdeki hızlı büyümesini devam ettirirken, kritik görevlerde bulunan yöneticilerimizin yabancı meslektaşları ve iş ortaklarıyla olan temaslarında yüksek kalitede iletişim kurmalarını istiyoruz. Bu amaçla, Speak & More ile gerçekleştirdiğimiz ‘English Presentation Skills Workshoplarıyla’ yöneticilerin sunum becerilerinde tatmin edici gelişmeler kaydettik.

Yöneticilerimizin İngilizce sunumlarında izleyenler üzerinde güçlü bir etki bırakmakları ve kendilerini en iyi şekilde ifade etmeleri hepimizi memnun etmiştir. Profesyonel gelişime destek olan bu popüler programı gerçekleştirmekten ve güzel sonuçlar almaktan mutluyuz.”

Murat Yüksel
My HR Manager – Turkey

 

Business Storytelling – Using Stories to Inspire

Learn how to tell stories that will help you sell products, build trust, or inspire your team.

How many times have you been enthralled by a good story?

Maybe you stayed up late to read a novel that you couldn’t put down, or watched a movie that you couldn’t switch off? Perhaps you pushed yourself harder because you heard a story about a colleague’s success, or you changed your opinion after reading a distressing story in a newspaper?

Stories can change the way we think, act, and feel. They can form the foundations of an entire workplace culture, and they have the power to break down barriers and turn bad situations around. Stories can capture our imaginations, illustrate our ideas, arouse our passions, and inspire us in a way that cold, hard facts often can’t.

Stories can be powerful business tools, and successful leaders use them to engage their teams. So, if you want to motivate others effectively, you need to learn how to tell a good story.

What is Business Storytelling?

People tell business stories to communicate and connect with employees, customers, colleagues, partners, suppliers, and the media. Business stories differ from regular stories, in that you tell them with an objective, goal, or desired outcome in mind, rather than for entertainment.

When you tell a story well, it can create an intense, personal connection between your audience and your message. Effective stories can change our opinions, they can inspire us to achieve goals that we didn’t think were possible, and they can show us how we can change things for the better.

When to use Stories

You can use stories to achieve a number of different goals. For example:

  • You have just started leading a new team. Your team members see you as an outsider, and they don’t trust you. You tell several stories about your past leadership roles, and explains why you are enthusiastic about this new position. You also disclose personal information, such as where you grew up and what hobbies you enjoy. Your honesty helps your new team to see you as a real person, not as a stranger, and they begin to open up and trust you.
  • You are a sales representative and meet with a potential client who knows little about what your organization offers. You tell a story about how one of your products helped reduce another client’s supply costs by 20 percent. The new client is impressed with the product’s effectiveness, and places his first order.
  • You ask your team members to attend a workplace safety class, but they’re not convinced that this is a good use of their time. You recount a story from a recent trade journal about an employee at a rival organization who was badly injured using the same machinery that your team members use. The story convinces Elsa’s team that the safety class could help prevent injuries.
Types of Stories
  1. “Who-I-Am” Stories

These stories explain who you are as a person. They tell others about your dreams, goals, accomplishments, failures, motivations, values, or history.

“Who-I-am” stories are essential to build trust. Tell these stories when you join a new team, or when you need to establish a connection with a stranger.

  1. “Why-I-Am-Here” Stories

“Why-I-am-here” stories communicate why you’re here, and their aim is to replace suspicion with trust. People want to know, “What’s in it for me?” but they also want to know, “What’s in it for you?” These stories explain that you don’t have a hidden agenda, and that you’ll both get something fair out of the situation.

For example, people may be asking themselves if you are passionate about what you do, or are you financially motivated. And are you here for the right or wrong reasons?

You can use “why-I-am-here” stories in fundraising, sales, and situations when you need to build trust quickly, or where you want to reassure someone that you’re on a level playing field.

  1. Teaching Stories

Teaching stories create an experience that transforms listeners or readers. They show how a change in their behavior, perspective, or skills can lead to meaningful results.

You can also use teaching stories to illustrate a situation, such as a best- or worst-case scenario.

  1. Vision Stories

Vision stories inspire people, and encourage them to feel hope or happiness. Here, you convince your audience that their hard work and sacrifice is worth the effort. You need to link their actions to a specific, valuable, and worthy outcome.

Use vision stories when you need to motivate people to change their behavior. They can inspire people to overcome the frustrations, obstacles, and challenges that come with change, so that they can achieve a worthwhile goal or ideal.

  1. Values-in-Action Stories

Values-in-action stories reinforce the values that you want your audience to demonstrate or think about. These stories can be positive or negative. For example, you can tell stories that demonstrate integrity, compassion, and commitment, or tell ones that highlight attitudes that you don’t want to see – for example, cynicism, a slapdash approach to quality, or a weak work ethic.

  1. “I-Know-What-You-Are-Thinking” Stories

“I-know-what-you-are-thinking” stories allow you to address others’ objections, suspicions, questions, or concerns before they voice them. With these stories, you need to anticipate your audience’s point of view, so you choose a story that deals with their unspoken concerns.

When you tell this type of story, you validate the audience’s perspective or worries. This allows them to feel that you’re on their side, and that you identify with their emotions. These kinds of stories are valuable in sales, negotiations.

How to Tell a Persuasive Story

A good story is like a recipe – certain “ingredients” need to be part of the mix for it to be a success. All great stories have three essential elements: context, action, and result.

Context

The context is the element most neglected by leaders. Without context, your story may confuse or bore your audience.

The context provides the background information that listeners or readers need to make sense of your story. It should also spark their interest and make a connection, so that they care about what you have to say.

Context needs to address four key questions.

  • Where and when does this story take place?– Establish the “when” and “where” of your story, and clarify whether it’s fact or fiction.
  • Who is the main character?– This needs to be someone who your audience can connect with. In most cases, you are the main character.
  • What does he or she want?– Explain what your main character wants to accomplish.
  • Who, or what, is in the way?– Every story needs an obstacle or villain. This can be a person, an event, or a challenge.

As you think about how to tell your story, plan how you’ll answer these four questions. It’s also important to be authentic, especially when you tell a personal story.

Example:

Jeremy’s company has just had the worst third quarter in its history. At the annual town hall meeting, he needs to boost his team members’ morale, and inspire them to work harder in the fourth quarter to make up their losses.

“When I started this company 10 years ago,” he begins, “I didn’t know how to run a business. I figured I could do everything myself and succeed.”

“I was dead wrong. I worked 15-hour days to keep up with it all. I wanted to grow the company, but I quickly realized that I didn’t know how, and I couldn’t do it alone.”

Action

Every great story has action: ups and downs, setbacks, conflicts, failures, and battles. The action is where we experience defeats and learn lessons.

In your story, your main character must “do” something. Ideally, he or she will experience a setback, failure, or problem along the way. Obstacles create tension and forge an important connection with your audience, because everyone experiences them daily.

Example:

Jeremy continues, “All of you know how stubborn I am, so I tried to go it alone. But I started to lose clients because I couldn’t keep my promises. I didn’t have time to bid for work, so my competitors got ahead, and I lost even more clients. This put enormous pressure on my family because I was never home. I knew that if things continued this way, the company would go under in a matter of months, and that I might lose my family. I needed help.”

Result

At the end of your story, you reveal your main character’s fate. You also need to explain, subtly, what the audience should have learned from this result. What is the moral? Why did you tell this story?

Example:

Jeremy wraps up his story.

“Once I realized I had to ask for help, I did. I put some major projects on hold, and started to look for great people to help me. I handpicked each of you because you’re the best at what you do. You have the skills, knowledge, and experience that I lacked.”

This company is the success it is because of all of you. Every company has its ups and downs, just like I did when I first started this business. But I believe in all of you, and I believe that we will turn this problem around next month. So, let’s focus on the future, and think about how we can help one-another succeeds.”

Tips:

Great storytellers know that a powerful story is only part of what inspires people to listen. Follow the tips below to become a better storyteller.

  • Listen– The best storytellers are also the best listeners. Brush up on your active listening skills, and give others your full attention when they tell a story.
  • Practice– Rehearse your story before you tell it. Even if you practice on your own, just once, in front of a mirror or video camera, this can improve your storytelling.
  • Create an experience– When you tell a story, you create an experience for your listeners. Appeal to all five senses; don’t just tell them.
Key Points

Business storytelling is the art of using stories to communicate and connect with employees, customers, suppliers, partners, and anyone else involved with your organization. The purpose of business stories isn’t entertainment. Rather, they have a specific goal or desired outcome.

To tell a great business story, it’s important to be authentic. Use stories that tell other people more about who you are, and why you’re here. And, don’t be too afraid to tell stories that show failure, poor judgment, or mistakes on your part. When you’re prepared to appear vulnerable in front of others, you can quickly establish trust and rapport.

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12 Great Communication Secrets

To be truly successful you need to know how to be a great communicator. What makes one person better at it than another is often a matter of a few little-known communication skills. Here are the 12 most valuable ones.

1. Connect with yourself.

To be a great communicator you must first know who you are and have confidence in yourself and your ability to connect with others.

2. Speak with sincerity.

Nothing is more effective than being sincere when you communicate, and nothing is more important. Sincerity is the cornerstone for making a connection.

3. Be consistent.

Live your message and practice what you preach — you’ll have a wider reach and can carry more influence. Your credibility comes from your consistency of character.

4. Meet people halfway.

When you communicate you naturally want people to understand what you’re saying, but true communication involves meeting others halfway. You should be learning from others, not just talking at them.

5. Truly listen.

Make a point of listening to what the other person is saying. It not only gives you more insight into whatever’s being discussed, it also shows respect and builds connection.

6. Look beyond the words.

Don’t spend your time mentally preparing your next response. Instead, ask questions for clarification and to make certain you thoroughly understand what the other person is trying to say.

7. Show respect.

Everyone, no matter what position or role they’re in, deserves to be treated with respect. By being respectful you will set the tone of what your leadership is about and how you like to be spoken to. Respect begets respect.

8. Connect to identify.

Try to genuinely connect with others and find a way to relate to them. Working with others is an effective way to develop a greater understanding.

9. Know how to ask.

One of the most effective forms of communication is to ask questions. The ability to ask skillful questions and listen carefully to the responses is a huge factor in being a great communicator.

10. Be genuine in your interest.

It is one thing to communicate with people because you believe you have something to say, but it’s even better to communicate with them because you believe they have something to say.

11. Mind your unspoken language.

Your posture and tone of voice can also play a part in what you say. Our body speaks louder than our words, and sometimes can convey a message that we don’t intend to communicate.

12. Two-way traffic only.

Communication should never be a monologue. The best leaders create a dialogue by listening and inviting others to express themselves.

When you adhere to the secrets of communication of great leaders you can begin to develop strong relationships, gather important information, and increase your understanding of yourself and those around you.