Archive for May, 2011

How to win

Jessica Hagy gives us a neat recepie to win at everything we do.

Simple, elegant and an effective way to communicate.  
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How to deliver a killer presentation

May 19, 2011 2 comments

Today, I was going through my video collections and stumbled upon the video of my (6 year old) son’s graduation day speech which he delivered using a power point slide show. Now that I watch the video and remember the slides that he used (which I prepared for him with my wife), I can not help but get awed at the enormous potential we all possess as children.

As my son was 6 year old when he delivered the presentation, we could not use bullet points or text in the slides. 

We were forced to use only pictures that we had taken during his 2 year tenure at the school.
       1st rule of delivering impactful presentation – Minimal (or no) use of text in your slides. 

Since, the slides were pictures of his journey in school, my son was able to talk about the pictures in his own style. 

My wife worked with him on just a few aspects of the presentation, most noticeably, getting him to remember to thank all the teachers and staff before moving on to the next slide. She made him practice the delivery of the presentation atleast 15 times before he actually delivered it on stage.

       2nd rule of delivering impactful presentation – rehearsals are crucial
      3rd rule of delivering impactful presentation – engaging the audience is critical.

Unknowingly, when he was thanking all the teachers and staff, he was engaging with them at a physical and emotional level. This also helped the audience connect with him.

My son was talking about his experience in the journey of 2 years at the school. The parents could relate to him as their kids also had similar experienced the same journey.

       4th rule of delivering impactful presentation – relate with the audience.

If audiences do not relate to what is being presented, they quickly become bored and you lose their attention. And it is very difficult to get their attention back during the same presentation.

Finally, his entire presentation lasted about 4 ½ mins. This helped him in keeping his audience’s attention.

       5th rule of delivering impactful presentation – Keep it as simple and short as possible.

If required have a Q&A session or an open discussion rather than go on for an hour or so with no one caring to listen.

Hope you enjoyed my son’s presentation and learn some presentation skills. 
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Digital + physical publishing model = Improved profitability for publishers

I am surprised to see that the Kindle versions of regular books cost almost the same as the physical copies. I am really surprised about this because, with Kindle versions, the publishers do not incur any printing, distribution and inventory costs. These books should be selling at a much lower price than their physical counterparts.

The reason I feel this is not happening right now is that the publishers fear that the sale of the physical copies will decline sharply if they make the kindle versions available for much lower prices. This is the classic mentality of clinging on to the past even when you realize what is going to be the future. The publishing industry is again going through the same phase that they went through when paper backs were introduced.

Paulo Coelho had indicated that the sale of his physical copies increased sharply once he made the books available in the digital form on his blog.

What surprises me though is the fact that Amazon is not putting more pressure on these publishing houses to reduce the Kindle prices of these books. The reduced prices will also increase the adoption of Kindle (and the Kindle apps). This could finally prove to be the tipping point for the entire publishing industry.

I am fairly certain that the sales of the physical copies will not lose their charm just because their digital forms are available cheaply. In fact, I believe this will spur a new phase of growth for the physical copies. The increased sales in the digital forms can subsidize the total cost of printing and by freeing up more cash. The publishers will only need to print copies of the books that are doing well in their digital forms. They can avoid printing the in numerous books that get published but do not even sell out their first editions.

This increase cash flow and success ratio can lead to reduced total cost of publishing, which if passed on to the consumers, can start increasing the sales of the physical copies. All this leads to one thing –> Increased profitability. 

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Idea for a new app

Can someone develop an application that can control the SIM card and connect to one of the available networks based on a simple algorithm based on choices made by a user?

For example, as a user, i could select that for voice calls, I want to connect to the network with the maximum signal strength, for SMS, I would want to use the network where I get free SMS, for web browsing, I might want to use the network with the maximum speed.

The implications of such an app are vast and will prove to be a disruptive force in the telecom industry. The control will shift from the network carrier to the user, just as experienced by the music industry.

Only then, as a user, I will have the choice to select the network as per my requirements rather than having to choose a plan provided by the network carriers.
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Tips on how to sell to a CIO by a CIO

May 3, 2011 1 comment

Today, I was attending a sales training workshop and we had invited a CIO to share his experience on buying and dealing with so many vendors who pitch their products and services. He shared his thoughts on the do’s and don’ts about selling to a CIO.


  1. Do your homework and understand the CIO better. There are people who want to be buy into a vision and then there are people who buy into a product/service. Tailor your approach and presentation accordingly. If you try to mix them up, it is almost impossible to get a sale.
  2. Know when to step back from a sale and do so in a dignified way. This saves the CIO saying no to you.
  3. Always deliver what you said you will deliver. Based on commitment, the CIO commits to his organization and if you fail to deliver on your commitment, the CIO looses face with his board members. No one likes loosing face and never due to someone else failure to keep a commitment.  You may not be able to do business with that CIO for a long time to come. If this means to have an honest discussion with him/her regarding potential issues, so be it.
  4. Build trust. It takes a lot of time and action to build trust. Spend the time and put in the effort required to establish trust and stand by your customer whenever required.

  1. If a CIO tells you that he will not be able to implement your solution in the short term, do not tempt him by offering him a bargain if he buys now. In most instances, this results in a disgruntled customer (because in most cases, they would not be using the product) and if there is a shift in the strategy, they might get stuck with an investment that they might never use.
  2. DO not talk negatively about your competitor. This will only get the CIO to pitch you and your competitor against each other, in the process, getting to know a lot more than he would otherwise know, get you both to do a lot more work and in the end result in a deal that is not very profitable to the vendor who gets it. Overall result, you loose any which way the deal might go.
  3. Do not go to the CIO and show your helplessness to them, for whatever reasons. Take ownership and solve any issues that might come up during the engagement.  
  4. Do not oversell to your CIO. This will result in a bad situation for both you and the CIO and will leave a bad taste in your relation with him.
  5. Do not overwhelm your CIO by getting multiple people to meet the CIO or his representative.
  6. Do not overwhelm your CIO by asking for too much information in the form of filled-up documents/templates/questionnaires, etc just because your organization needs this information. No one has the time or the energy to fill a 10 page document/template.
All of this is nothing but commonsense, but I think sometimes, most of us lose sight of these simple things. 
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