Essential Communication - Business Revolution - Organizing Events

Essential Communication - Business Revolution - Organizing Events

Communication is essential. Communication conveys your message. Crafting a message is important. How you deliver the message and how you respond to the feedback you get is important.

Feedback is all around us. Each time we speak we need to listen for it.

Communication is the only way we can ever get something done in a group. If I (Andrei Clinciu) as a Developer recognize this importance then how much more important it must be for Managers and for normal people.
It's said that software developers and engineers are analytical types. What can we say about those in charge?

When all you want to do is sell something then each action you do will reveal your intentions.
People don't want to be sold something, people want solutions for their problems.
Only then will we understand that offering the best solutions is the only way to make a sale.

I went to a business event called "Business (R)evolution - Trend or Tsunamy" on Wednesday October 31 2018. It was organized by doingbusiness.
I want to congratulate the organizers since this is one of the few such business events in Brasov (Romania). It's a free event organized in multiple cities around the country.
I went more with the intention of observing and seeing which opportunities exist in the sea of inaction.
There is so much mediocrity around which means that being extraordinary is what makes people have success.

I already knew what to expect form such an event. I've seen how events are organized and which americanized slaes tactics exist.
Most of the talks where actually sales pitches for their services/products. Nothing wrong with a little marketing, right?

This article is my personal opinion and I'm offering it as feedback for anyone wanting to organize any business type event.

"Motives to Participate "

The pitch caught people since it was promised that everything would be interactive and we'd discover the following things:

  • Innovative Digital Marketing strategies and tendencies
  • Directions of digitalization and automation of company processes and activities
  • The newest technologies and applications which sustain digital transformation
  • New! strategies which conclude to sustainable growth
  • International Speaker!
  • Trainers, success entrepreneurs and solution providers for companies. Specialists in digital transformation
  • Consulting, workshop, training and networking

I really can't say I felt most of the participation motives. I'm a little bit disappointed.
The organization was done professionally and I can't reproach many things.

GDPR si and taking pictures in events

Although GDPR wise they tried to cover everything possible for e-mail addresses and marketing purposes they forgot to do one extremely important thing.
It's actually funny they had one guy talk about post GDPR things. It seems people give so much attention to email and telephone number handling they forget GDPR is about all types of personal data.
Including voice, images, video and all other data which can lead to identifying a person.

On their site they had a very weak reference in the terms of service that they will take pictures for promotional purposes.
However no explicit confirming on any form.
Which is a no no since "model release" forms have been in existence for decades. Laws protecting image rights have been in existence for years.
On another similar site for another conference they had more explicit Terms of Services. Yet they still lacked the explicit acknowledgement part.

They did however call me based on some feedback I had written on paper. Which seems to me that they're taking everything seriously.

Missing networking

Networking is essential. It's how we form friends, weak ties and how we make decisions in life.
I was actually pretty disappointed in people's reluctance to network at a business event.
I mean what the heck. I thought that only programmers, developers, and geeks where reluctant to open up since they actually lack soft skills.
All the conferences, events and trainings I went to in the past where specific to "geeks" and "professionals". I got used to those people needing to come out of their shells.
Yet I never expected business people, entrepreneurs and managers to be antisocial!

Either I must have changed a lot in the last few years or people have started dumbing down. Or probably both.
It felt like at anyother conference, event. I had to force myself to be interested in other people to just get them to talk. I had no intention to sell anything just get to know people.
This is pretty damn irritating.
I think this is a possible side effect of a post-communist country. Where people are afraid to open up, communicate and collaborate.
Envy, suspicion and possibly hurt feelings may still be in the air from a regime that lasted 45 years and has been renounced more than 28 years ago.

Again, as usual. Small groups of people who only flocked together. With no intention of getting to know anyone else.

I didn't mind talking to some of them. It's sad that people are not open minded. I even talked to some of the presenters including Allan Kleynhans just for the sake of being human.
I'm not a fan of Tony Robins yet this doesn't keep me away from getting to know someone who probably has other interests, ideas and ways of viewing life than me.

There's always 1% we can all agree on for 100%.

So. People come to a business meeting expecting to do what? Learn something from the presenters? That's not really going to happen pretty soon unless the presenters really know what they're doing.
These kinds of business events are meant for selling and will give you a chance to meet new people in order to connect.
If you don't meet new people then all you get is wasted time. Unless you plan on buying what the presenters are selling you.
Which I doubt since they didn't even do a good job on connecting with the audience.

The presentations - Sincere feedback

General Opinion(s)

The whole morning period seemed more as a over saturated sales pitch from multiple managers or executives from big companies.
They each had 20 minutes to present something and then a question session was available.
I felt locked in a huge sales session.
I heard all kinds of funny things. i really wanted to ask some essential questions. Until I realized that the way I ask questions and the types of questions I ask can really get people into trouble.
Especially if the presenter is not prepared to answer questions. I resumed and preferred not to embarrass those presenters. Since they where probably "forced" to take part by their superiors.

When preparing any event take into account that people can only pay attention for 10 minutes before they need something else. Which the 20 minute meetings kind of reinforced.
What I didn't like was that they had 2-3 hours without breaks. This is a big no no.
If you want people to pay attention give them a break every 50 to 90 (MAXIMUM!) minutes.

The Speakers

Please note that most of the speakers are either entrepreneurs or high end managers. Which means they'd all have a better time learning how to communicate properly. Joining Toastmasters is a better investment than a 2 day seminar.

What I found disturbing from most of the speakers was their excessive usage of crutch words. "Aah, uum aand"
Silence is your friend. Learn to use it properly.

Sometimes it felt very boring. Even if they had prepared for their speeches I certainly wouldn't have wanted to listen to a 1 hour long speech. Thank goodness they where only granted around 20 minutes!

General Design

Plan a break every 45 to 90 minutes MAX. No 2~3 hours without a break. people will only remember the first and last things they heard.
And might even forget those if it was boring.

All of the speech dissections focus on the delivery of the message. Since most the messages where actually very silent sales pitches it's obvious that delivery needs to be improved.

Want to develop your business? We know how - Daniela M., Principal Manager, EBRD Advice for Small Businesses

I clearly observed that the discourse was fluent and well prepared.
High usage of crutchwords was visible.

There where almost no pauses between information dumps. There's no reason to give 100% of the info if people will only recall 20% of it. Better to give 70% of the info so people recall 50% of it.
People need time to digest information.
Slides contained way too much text.

The information conveyed was interesting. BERD or EBRD is a European Union creation which helps companies get consulting and money for digitalization.
They help you get NON REIMBURSABLE money and they put you in touch with local expert consultants.

This is a very cool initiative. Congrats!

Laura from Telekom

Prepared presentation. The talk was about services Telekom is providing everyone with. And how they're geared towards personalization.
Most of the services excluding mobile phone stuff looked like they where resellers of Office 365 and some other ERP systems. Not really anything innovative.

Body language is everything in a presentation. If people can't see you then your voice and content must be really compelling when you're listening to someone from home.
Yet if you're physically there body language can make the difference between getting a message across or not.
Kept hands in pockets some of the time. She was filled with emotions and it was extremely visible. The most visible part was that she went into a corner sitting with the back at one of the walls instead of facing forward with the people.

Crutchwords where also pretty visible. Probably due to her emotions.

What could she have done better? Walk in the room.

There where some funny things mentioned in this talk like "Enhancing security through digitalization" . I really wanted to ask how she reckons you can be more holding your data online than offline. Since there are so many exploits this seems counter intuitive. Do people buy it? yes. Is it effective? No.

Raluca V. Groupama Insurance

The talk was about how they're thinking of making Casco/Omnium insurances for cars that you pay based on how you drive. This way they would be on the side of the good and conscious drivers!
This is interesting. Yet considering that we live in 2018 it's not really rocket science. It's something I'd expect everyone to offer you with.

She was one of the few whom I have to congratulate for not having any visible crutchwords.
The slides where full of small unreadable text. Better to have had some good images and statistics instead of filling it up.

The conclusion was really abrupt. Reminds me of my first speeches:).

Alexandra C. - University Lector and IT Consultant.

Again the crutchwords which are really disturbing.
What I can say about her presentation is that she had a lot of statistics. Which is good for someone analytical as me.
Yet at one point it was way too much. It got really boring. So many statistics on each slide.
There wasn't any story about then, no real connection to something palpable.
And what happens when we're presented with numbers and numbers? We just ignore them. If there's no story say bye.
Whenever you present statistics, have something to compare them to so people can weight them.

Slides where full of text, she was reading from the slides.

I wonder if she teaches the same way. Then I'd certainly NOT want to learn anything IT related from her this is for sure.
Seeing her presentation made me realize how important it is for a speaker to look at the public not the PC or board.

Ozana G. - Accelerated Sales

Out of all the presenters it seemed Ozana was one who had a grasp on reality.
It's visible she had trainings in how to speak and that she's doing this for a living. SHe also mentioned that she has dedicated workshops.
There is also a big connection between her and Tony Robinson events which automatically makes a connection.
She started with high energy as all presentations should start.
No crutch words.

She does need to learn to use the stage more rather than stay at one point.
What I got out of her 20 minute speech was a confirmation of some ideas I'd already had built on my own.
However I'm really curious if the trainings/workshops and services she offers are really personalized Software/Marketing wise.
Or if they're just resellers of certain tools.

Tudor G. - Consultant - Marketing in the post-GDPR world

The guy started out with crutchwords but as he progressed they diminished.
He did share some nice ideas, links and some statistics with the people.
It seems he's more a digital consultant. (SEO and stuff) and he made his way in GDPR compliance things which is kind of nice.
I always viewed the GDPR market as overrun by big companies.

Dumitru I. - Big Data

Yeah, crutchwords again. Presentation was well designed had a good mix of structure, video and things.
He did show us a sort of software which is a "automation robot" which actually verifies files in a folder and fills the invoicing data to a ERP.
Not really rocket science since I used to build such small robots for more than 10 years.

There is too much fuss around Big Data solutions. What people don't understand is that companies need Data Scienctists who can work with the data.
Sure, you can build an fully automated system to do everything. Yet you still needs an expert once in a while to look at the data.

Allan Kleynhans - Workshop on how to build great teams

A 2 hour workshop. The type of workshops which are held by inspirational, motivational guru's all around the world.
I do have to congratulate him for conveying high energy and enthousiasm. Sharing his own story and anecdotes.

He talked about the human needs of Certainy, Variety, Significance and Love/Connection. He added the Contribution and Growth needs.
I liked that he explained that everything starts with Questions. Good Questions lead to great answers this is what I've started to understand since a few years.
I liked how he interacted with the audience by asking questions.

One thing which I found conflicting was when he mentioned that we need to move our bodies.. Yet we were there for 2 hours. He could have added an extra moment where we did a fast 5 minute aerobics.
As much as I've been sitting down up to 12 hours a day in the past I really need to move.

His ideas that we control and can influence ourselves are correct in my point of view. THis is what I'd call proactivity and he did mention a lot of things which I remember seeing in various books including the 7 Habits of Highly Effective people by Stephen Covey.

What I can say I agree the most with his worldviews is the fact that he told all of the people in the room (including me).
We all need to STEP UP and be LEADERS. No one else is going to do this. We need to act. I hope everyone got the idea and they didn't just discard it.

At the end I asked him 2 questions which where very closely knitted together. I wanted to ask more yet I saw myself as the sole person in the conversation at one point.

HOW do you motive your teammates and other people?

His answer was that you can't motivate people. People can only motivate themselves. You can INSPIRE people to do things.

Saying that NLP can be used in a certain way.
He proceeded to explain a little bit and then I asked him the next question

How do you INSPIRE people?

His answer effectively boils down to this: Lead by example.
When you do things, people will follow. Even if they won't agree or will be resistant to change. Keep going, they will be inspired in the end.

And this is true I've felt this myself in many places where I've worked and volunteered. Most Leadership course and books talk about this including John Maxwell.
All we need to do as leaders is create a atmosphere of trust and help. Then people will flock around us.

Before we inspire others we must inspire ourselves

I end with a personal note and a call to action.

Before we inspire others we first need to look at ourselves. We need to be inspired. We need to be in a state of elation.
The only way we can do this is by changing our own state before we try to put others in that state.

If you're a business manager, executive or entepreneur please learn to connect to your audience. Go to a Toastmasters club to learn real presentation skills.

Per overall the event wasn't really a total waste of time. Although I wish people would connect more and leave their damn phones at home!

What's your opinion?




 

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