Business Tips

How To Benefit From Attending Seminars

I am one of those people who love seminars. I believe that attending and presenting seminars can bring you many benefits, but a word of warning: without careful planning and taking appropriate actions, seminars can eat into your valuable time.

Here is a quick checklist to run through before attending a seminar or leaving:

Before deciding upon whether you should attend the seminar, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the topic relevant to my needs and goals?
  • How will I / my business directly benefit from this seminar?
  • How will I recover my investment in terms of time and money?
  • Am I impressed with the presenter? In other words – does the presenter have authority on this particular topic?

If you do attend the seminar – make sure you ask yourself the following questions before leaving:

Have I summarized what I have just learned? What action will I take as a result of this seminar? And when?

By going through this simple checklist – I guarantee you won’t waste your time with seminars that you don’t really need to attend. And you will get valuable results from those you do decide to attend. Initially, I created these rules for my own use.

At first, it was hard to discipline myself to follow the structure, although it soon became a habit.

Now I have action lists created for every seminar and meeting that I attend because I realize how important planning is in order to make sure I am using my time wisely. I hope you will find this useful as well.

Those who manage and value diversity, gain a competitive advantage in today’s business world!

It is a fact that we are dealing with people from different cultures everyday! Whether we are doing business locally or globally, we are facing diversity every single day of our lives. Not to mention that your employees, daughter or son-in-law could have been brought up with totally different customs.

I came to Australia in 1984. I really enjoy the “goodies” of diversity and have learned so much. At the same time, I also experienced some cultural shock and appreciate the unique value of each culture.

Here are my 7 tips for building successful relationships and dealing with diversity:

Ask each person you deal with about his/her culture.

Most people like to share with other people about their style and preferences.

Do not make assumptions that everyone is the same!

Even twins like different things.

Offer your support

Respect the differences and pay attention to the “cultural rules”.

For instance:

  • Give your business card with both hands when you are in Asia.
  • A weak handshake from an Indian business person does not mean he or she is not interested in you.
  • Do not touch people’s head as in some cultures, the head is the “temple” for their ancestors.
  • Do not throw freebies to people in workshops and seminars. If you give them something – give it to them in their hands.
  • Focus on body language, it will help to get the message across.
  • Speak S L O W L Y as the person you are speaking to often needs to do the translation in their head.
  • Smile more often. Smiling is a universal language and it is the best way to show that you are friendly and accepting the other person.

Happy Relationship Building and enjoy the diversity!

In some situations, email can work against you because it is a one-way communication tool. Do not write

Do not write long email.

If you cannot convey your message in a few paragraphs. Use a letter! State the most important message at the top of the email.

Do not write email messages in capitals.

CAPITAL text is considered as shouting. Avoid the use of the “Reply to All” function unless you are sure your message needs to go to everyone on the list.

Remember the beauty of email is the speed. Never reply to Spam or unsolicited email. It allows spammers to confirm that your details are correct. Include a signature file at the bottom of your email. Use the Bcc (Blind Carbon Copy) function when sending email to a large group. This way, the recipient’s addresses are protected.

No technology can replace F2F (Face to Face) meetings. Especially the ones with a nice hot cappuccino! 🙂 However, the time and cost associated with meetings can become an issue for all of us. That’s when tools such as teleconferencing become useful.

Here are 10 tips to assist you to get things done effectively via a conference call:

BEFORE the Call

Schedule a time just as you would do for a meeting. Remember to decide on duration and let the other person know

Identify the purpose of the call

Limit the agenda to no more than 5 items

Email or fax the agenda at least 3 hours before the call (2 days before would be better)

DURING the Call

Allow at least 2 minutes to catch up on social aspects Decide who will lead the meeting and make sure to stay on the key topics Take notes and identify actions If you invite other parties to join the teleconference – get them to identify themselves before speaking AFTER the Call Collate the thoughts and write them down.

Summarize the actions

Most of us are focused on our verbal and written communication.

I would like to encourage and challenge you to pay more attention to VISUAL communication skills.

Here are 8 benefits of how EFFECTIVE Visual Communication can help YOU and YOUR BUSINESS:

Make a positive impression and hold reader’s attention: A well laid out brochure or resume WILL get read.

Gain respect: Yes – a good design and layout will convey professionalism. Create “BUY” emotion: How many of us “get sold” by emotion? Too many! Generate FOCUS: A professional brochure,

Create “BUY” emotion: How many of us “get sold” by emotion? Too many! Generate FOCUS: A professional brochure,

Generate FOCUS: A professional brochure, website or invitation can draw people’s focus to on what you are trying to convey. Create good memories: A good logo can jump out

Create good memories: A good logo can jump out and grab people’s attention. It can sink into their minds and stay there.

Tempt and refer: Badly designed marketing material usually ends up in the bin before it gets read. Good design stays and gets passed around.

Call for ACTION: Visual power is enormous – it can generate desire, call for actions and kill procrastination

Achieve your intention: Visual communication can help you achieve the above 7 points and of course – your ultimate goals.

All of us face risks and challenges in our daily lives. How we handle these situations will determine our success in the long run. Some days we will have more than we can manage. Other days we need a “subtle push” to move ahead.

Here are my tips on handling risks & challenges.

Ask yourself: “Is it my challenge or is it someone else’s?”. Do not pull your hair out if the problems are not yours to solve!

Find your tools: Two of the most effective tools to solve problems are a blank sheet of paper and a good pen. Write down all the challenges and risks that you need to handle. “Download” all your worries onto paper. Create more space in your brain for other useful things

Identify risks: Are they good risks? If not, forget them. List all possible solutions for your challenges and select the most appropriate solution. Write down the ‘worst case’ scenario. You may realise that the risks are not that big! Implement a plan and move on. Ask your team, manager, mentor and your family and friends to help. Invest your energy in positive matters. Not problems.