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Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

Speaking PowerPointVisual communication is the new language of business. When a leader explains an idea clearly, persuasively, and simply, that idea can spread to others. Therefore, leaders who can master visual communication will drive their business strategies. In his book Speaking PowerPoint, Bruce R. Gabrielle outlines the Mindworks Presentation Method for visual communications. This method of creating PowerPoint presentations helps leaders use this tool to communicate more effectively. It focuses on three main strategies: (1) the story should be carefully planned out on a storyboard before the PowerPoint presentation is created; (2) visuals should be easily understood and each slide should promote a single message that ties into the overall argument; and (3) the design should feature color and decorative elements that draw attention to the message.

According to the author:

  • Every business is an idea marketplace in which managers jockey to get their ideas heard and implemented. Used well, PowerPoint can be the key to winning in today’s business environment.
  • When creating a boardroom-style PowerPoint presentation, the first step is to determine the main message of the deck. The best way to figure this out is to ask the question, “What does the audience want?”
  • A successful PowerPoint deck is like an iceberg, with 10 percent above water and the rest submerged below. The main message and three to four supporting points make up the above-water argument. The rest of the evidence and explanations should be kept underwater until necessary.
  • The title is the most important element of a slide. The best way to make the title memorable is to put it in the form of a sentence. Using a full sentence to clearly state an argument also makes it easy for the audience to understand the point of each slide.
  • The average person can only understand four ideas at one time. This Rule of Four is based on neuroscience and should dictate how much information should appear on each slide.
  • Research has shown that most people think in pictures. Adding pictures to a document makes it easier to understand, agree with, and remember.
  • Research has shown that people are more likely to agree with something if it is easy for them to process. Slides that are more visually pleasing are easily digestible and more memorable.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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Broadcasting HappinessA positive broadcaster is someone who focuses on the positive in order to motivate others and produce results. In Broadcasting Happiness, Michelle Gielan challenges readers to develop more positive outlooks on life. By capitalizing on positivity, positive broadcasters can change the trajectories of their families, companies, and communities. Journalists in particular should focus on the positive and practice transformative journalism by offering a more complete picture of what is happening in the world. By making the choice to see the good in life and share it, anyone can broadcast happiness.

According to Gielan:

  • Everyone is a broadcaster. A person’s friends, family, and coworkers are his or her audience. Positive broadcasters can influence the thinking, happiness, and potential of others.
  • When a person speaks up and broadcasts a new vision for the future, the result is positive change. Positive broadcasters leverage positivity and optimism through the use of power leads, flash memories, and leading questions.
  • Negativity can be contagious and can affect a person’s stress levels, health, and productivity. Positive broadcasters overcome stress and negativity by fact-checking situations, engaging in strategic retreats, and delivering bad news with the four Cs.
  • A group’s culture is based on the stories that they tell themselves. The more a positive story spreads, the more people it influences. By going viral, a positive broadcaster can unlock his or her full potential.
  • Journalists can and should make the move toward transformative journalism. Journalists should choose optimistic, emotional stories; tell the whole story; and engage the public.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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The Social OrganizationWhile increasing numbers of organizations are investing in social media technology, few are successfully using it to create value through mass collaboration. In The Social Organization, social media experts Anthony Bradley and Mark McDonald explain how firms can leverage these tools to innovate and solve problems faster and better than traditional companies. The authors provide frameworks and proven techniques that any manager can apply to rally people around a collective purpose; launch an effective collaborative environment; guide collaboration toward meaningful goals; and adapt internal culture and systems to support collaboration as it evolves and helps the organization outperform the competition.

Social media can be used by any organization to enable mass collaboration. But “social organizations” are ahead of all others in ensuring that collaboration delivers value and creates a competitive edge. Becoming a social organization involves the following actions and priorities:

  1. At the heart of a social organization is not social media technology itself but the mass collaboration it enables. Mass collaborative efforts succeed by enlisting the interests, knowledge, talent, and experience of all stakeholders in pursuing shared goals and creating value.
  2. Social media efforts rarely succeed without management guidance and support. Too much management involvement can stifle collaboration, but too little creates significant risk that the initiative will lose its focus and its alignment with organizational strategy.
  3. Becoming a social organization begins with a vision statement. A vision statement serves two purposes: it articulates leadership’s belief in the value of collaboration, and it identifies specific opportunities where collaboration can add value to the firm.
  4. Organizations need a community collaboration strategy to guide their social media priorities and investment decisions. A strategy should identify which collaborative communities the organization sanctions, when and how it will support them, what behaviors will be encouraged, and what benefits the organization expects to receive from the collaboration effort.
  5. In addition to planning and supporting collaborative efforts in general, organizations need to cultivate the individual communities that make up their collaboration portfolios. Cultivating a community requires specification of its purpose and a business justification that identifies its benefits and costs.
  6. While too much interference from above can stifle collaboration, appropriate management guidance is essential to creating a sustainable social organization. Managers must ensure that collaboration works productively, that participants stay focused on its purpose, and that the organization’s broader systems and functions support the collaborative effort.
  7. Effective managers guide the collaborative community based on its purpose, progress, and direction. To provide appropriate guidance, managers should view the community as a group, track progress toward its purpose, continually assess the value of its purpose to the organization, and seek new, high-potential purposes.
  8. By adapting processes and power structures to the needs of the collaborative community, managers make the organization safe for mass collaboration. A social organization is safe for collaboration when all stakeholders recognize its value and potential and all functions are aligned to support it.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

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93255873Politics exist in organizations of all sizes. This is because people by their very nature are political animals that constantly engage in power-seeking behavior. When not fully understood, the politics at play in professional relationships can prevent a person from achieving success. In The Office Politics Handbook, author and political scientist Jack Godwin, PhD, examines the role power and politics play in all social relationships. Through an exploration of political theory and examples of eight different politically powerful archetypes, Godwin offers readers tools to gain more power in their lives and greater participation in decision making on personal and professional scales.

Despite the fact that politics are an intrinsic part of human nature, most people do not know how to navigate the politics of their personal and professional relationships. It is only when people learn the true nature of interpersonal politics, or “micropolitics,” that they can acquire more power and success in their lives. Godwin offers the following insights on micropolitics:

  • People are political animals, therefore politics exist anywhere people are present. Politics is about power. Politics exist in any social relationship that facilitates the control of one human over another.
  • Politics is a social affair rooted in human nature. Those who master micropolitics, or politics on the most basic and interpersonal level, do so by pushing their sense of objectivity outward into social space, and downward into their primitive human nature.
  • The “political mystique” is composed of the acquisition of power and the distribution of power. To better understand how power is acquisitioned and distributed, it is necessary to break micropolitics into its most basic components: political structures, power instruments, and complex systems.
  • In order for people to master micropolitics, they must first journey inward. For people to be able to gain more power in their personal and professional relationships, they must first get in touch with their inner political animals.
  • By putting forth a political persona, people protect themselves and make better strategic decisions. Political personas are masks, or the strategic way people present themselves to the world that can be used to conceal a person’s vulnerabilities, such as their motives and interests.
  • By mastering the eight “Gods of micropolitics” a person can learn how to win people over in any personal or professional situation. The “Gods of micropolitics” are archetypes that represent the different ways people can use power and protect themselves against an adversary.
  • Everyone must assign themselves their own roles in life. Many people are assigned roles in life that have little significance. People must act on the foundation of freedom that is accessible to all humans to assign their own roles in life and work humbly toward fulfilling this goal.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: The Drama-Free Office, The Blame Game, Outsiders on the Inside

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Invisible Influence

There’s a lot more to selling — whether it’s oneself, a product, or a service — than most people would imagine, according to Kevin Hogan. Of course, there’s the message, but that is secondary to other factors, including the where, when, and who in any given situation. Each of these elements carries subtle, subliminal clues that can mean the difference between getting a “yes” or a “no.” In Invisible Influence, Hogan uses scientific studies to reveal unique approaches to influence, beginning with overcoming “reactance,” which he defines as “resistance to influence.” From that starting point, Hogan presents 52 techniques for influencing people to sell, market, and communicate more effectively and profitably.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: The Business of Influence, The Influence Game, 10 Steps to Successful Sales

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As we move deeper and deeper into the political season, it has becomes even more apparent that personal image is of utmost importance to candidates. While this is true for politics, it is also something that we should all be aware of as we seek advancement in our own careers, approach job interviews, and present ourselves online.

Alan Barnard and Chris Parker recognize the correlation between political campaigns and success in their book Campaign It!. In their book, they explain that a campaign is a process-driven way of thinking and behaving that can produce success in any area of life. They claim that:

  • Campaigns must have a cause, principle, or aim that will improve some aspect of a current situation. The cause provides the motivation—and sometimes, the courage—to campaign.
  • The audience is the person or group that needs to approve or endorse the communication campaign. Campaigners must take the time to discover their values, beliefs, behaviors, and agendas, and then identify potential communication channels to reach each segment.
  • The campaign is brought to life and the narrative is shared through the integration of activities, which must be properly sequenced and fully integrated so that each one lays the foundation for the succeeding one.
  • As the campaign narrative is told through integrated activities, it should change audience question marks of doubt into exclamation marks of commitment.

To read more, visit http://www.bizsum.com/summaries/campaign-it.

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In What Your Body Says (and how to master the message), Sharon Sayler explains how nonverbal signs are a very influential part of communication, sometimes even more so than the verbal part of the message. Nonverbal gestures complement, reinforce, and emphasize the importance of the verbal message for the audience. Those who intentionally use nonverbal gestures to accentuate and control the accompanying verbal message are able to build relationships and large circles of influence simply because they are able to understand and be understood at a deeper level than most. Though learning about and understanding how nonverbal signals work is important, the true value of nonverbal signals comes in implementation.

For a free trial of EBSCO Business Book Summaries click here.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: The Nonverbal AdvantageThe Secret Language of BusinessThe Power of Body Language

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