Archives: May 2005

Whoa!

A unanimous decision by the Supremes these days is roughly equivalent to the sun rising in the West. But what does an Andersen guy or gal who lost $5M in pension money do? All I can say is ... Whoa.

Interviewing Excellence

As promised, I spent several hours in London this past Saturday working on the "InterviewingExcellence31." You'll find it here. (FYI: I was in Copenhagen yesterday for HP ... and will scoot off today to one of my favorite places ... South Africa.)

REPEAT: No B.School teaches PresEx (Presentation Excellence) and IntEx (Interviewing Excellence). What a pity. (Or: How stupid!)

Tom's China Obsession

Try the cover story in this month's Atlantic. Global strategy expert/genius Robert Kaplan writes: "HOW WE WOULD FIGHT CHINA: THE NEXT COLD WAR." Provocative ...

Site Patrol

Was patrolling our Blogroll, and ended up spending quite a bit of time at Virginia Postrel's Dynamist Blog. Go visit. It'll not be time wasted.

EU: Why The French Said "Non!"

It's not easy for Americans to keep on top of all European Union news, but the French voting down the referendum on the European Constitution is an important event and I thought I'd try to put it in some perspective. I know all our European readers will comment and correct me if I slip up, so feel free.

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Event Slides: HP

Copenhagen is where Tom is speaking to HP. Get the slides: A.M., P.M., and Long Version.

Great Presentations/Great Comments

I'm going to add some stuff to my "PE56" list, thanks to your Comments.

But let me begin with something that may be personal: Why I use PowerPoint. You say, "Hey Tom, you're the guru." I say that my conclusions are much more credible when I back them up with Great Sources. I say pretty radical stuff. I say "Get radical!" That's one thing. But then I show a quote from Jack Welch, who, after all, ran a $150 billion company (I didn't): "You can't behave in a calm, rational manner; you've got to be out there on the lunatic fringe." Suddenly my radicalism is "certified" by a "real operator." Also, I find that people like to get beyond the spoken word, and see a SIMPLE reminder of what I'm saying. Also, we post all my slide shows so attendees (or anyone else) can go back at their leisure and recall the logic of the presentation and "steal" some Cool Quotes to use in their presentations!

So here are a few things, thanks to you, that I'm going to add to "PE56":

Props. I use very few, but a few can be incredibly powerful. For instance, I begin with a comment about a new foreign-owned factory opening in China every 26 minutes. I bring a simple kitchen timer, and visibly set it for 26 minutes. It's a Big Deal ... especially when it goes off 26 minutes later! (At which point I set it again!)

Get the Audience to Be Active. Great! I don't do this enough. One presenter on creativity (name eludes me) at the end gets everyone to introduce themselves to the person on their right—he then encourages them to call that person in a week, to see if they've applied anything from the Seminar. Cool!

No Physical Barrier. For me, but perhaps not for you, this is huge. I have trouble with stages. I need to get "up close and personal." I find this hard to recommend, because perhaps it's not for everyone? (There's a lot of stuff I do that I kept off the list, because I have been doing this for 38 years, and I can "get away with" things that those less experienced can't. For example, it's said by the infamous "they" that 20 minutes of speechifying is the most people can handle; I just spoke in Bogota for 3 hours—and had dozens of people pissed off at the organizers because they hadn't given me a couple more hours.)

Post-Q&A. Yes! After a Q&A session, it's imperative to save 2 minutes to re-energize the audience. More: Q&A is tricky. It's pure art to handle the "questioner" who in fact is giving a mini-speech. Cut him off too quickly, and you're being rude to the "locals." Let him go on forever, and people get hopelessly restless. (There's MUCH MORE to say on this topic. E.g., oral vs written questions: I far prefer oral, but many, especially in non-U.S. settings, are reticent about standing up in front of 1,000 countrymen, so written is also great.)

Access. You want people to feel they've "Joined a (relatively exclusive) Club." That's most of the reason for this Blogsite. Sharing slides, among other things, no strings attached, seems obvious to me, but not to some.

Hang Out (my addition). Stick around, there are always a few folks who want to talk. You learn some stuff, but mostly you demo that you're not a fly-by-night arrogant prick.

Humor (my addition). "Jokes" suck. PERIOD. But humor is the Coolest Thing on Earth. (NEVER AT THE EXPENSE OF THE LOCALS/AUDIENCE.) (BE ESPECIALLY CAREFUL WHEN OUT-OF-COUNTRY. I AM! WHAT'S HILARIOUS IN THE U.S.A. IS IRRELEVANT OR INSULTING SOMEWHERE ELSE.)

"Best" New Book Title!

3BNewCapitalists.gifRead it (NOW.) (DAMN IT.): Three Billion New Capitalists: The Great Shift of Wealth and Power to the East, by Clyde Prestowitz.

Factoids: Mall of America: 2.5 million square feet of shopping space. South China Mall: 7.1 million square feet. Adidas: 40 new stores per month opening in China ... for the next 40 months (1,500 Adidas stores already in China).

"Worst" Cover Article Title

Advertising Age/05.23.2005: "Brands Feel Pain of U.S. Image Woes."

BEST New Hotel in Warsaw

Le Regina. Great!