Don’t Waste Our Time…Run Effective Meetings

Are you wasting my time, your time, our time holding meetings that have a general theme but no real objective?

I was recently reading Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World’s Most Notorious Nazi in which an agent had just came back from a two month outing. As he arrived home at the airport, tired and ready to rest, he went outside only to find one of his commanders men outside waiting for him.

Shalom nodded and folded himself into the man’s car. After nine years of working for Harel, he knew that his chief would not waste time on a frivolous meeting.

How powerful is that statement? How often do you seen a meeting scheduled on your calendar and think that it’s really important?

You would think that leaders would have a good understanding of when to hold a meeting, who should be in the room and what the objectives are coming out. However, I see pointless meetings time after time which end up eating up hundreds of work hours per year.

Here are some resources to start having more effective meetings which drive results:

Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable…About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business

Let’s Stop Meeting Like This: Tools to Save Time and Get More Done

“How to” Book of Meetings: Conducting Effective Meetings Learn How to Write Minutes for Meetings Using Samples: Meeting Agenda, Meeting Minutes, Chairing a Meeting

Run Effective Meetings



Reduce Tech Talk and Improve Your Marketing Response

Are you a techie? Is your target buyer a techie, too? Probably not, and in order to reach your target buyer, you’d better be speaking their language and not just your own.

You may sell a complex, highly technical product or service, but as it turns out, using fancy, technical jargon doesn’t impress anybody and can actually turn potential buyers away.

Using technical jargon is widely accepted in the high-tech business world when talking amongst peers, but when used in marketing materials and sales correspondence it becomes confusing and is usually lost on the decision maker.

Who Is Your Audience

Determining who reads your marketing materials is the first, vital step to developing relevant marketing and advertising messages. However, oftentimes a marketing piece will be read by different groups of prospects and the message must somehow relate to each of them.

For example, a high-tech product prototype developer would have two target readers of a corporate brochure: the engineer (influencer) and the executive (decision maker).

First, the engineer would read the company’s marketing material to decide if the prototype developer has the appropriate machinery and technical knowledge in place to build the prototype.

When reading the brochure, this reader is looking for technical knowledge, key terms and buzz words. Although, this reader understands the technical jargon, very little is needed to sell this influencer – either you have what they need or you don’t.

On the other hand, the executive or decision maker will also read the prototype developer’s collateral. However, this reader is less interested in the machinery (i.e. details) and may not even understand the technical jargon. Using too much jargon and listing too many features without their benefits, will only turn this buyer away.

Divide and Conquer

There is a happy middle-road. You can successfully speak to both technical influencers and decision makers in one marketing piece, if it is crafted well.

First, most of the marketing piece should be devoted to the benefits that your service or product offers to the decision maker. They, after all, are the ones with the final power to buy your product or service, or not.

When you mention an important piece of machinery, tell why it’s important to delivering your service, or how it adds value to the buyer. For instance, you may use a high speed machine that is faster and more accurate than doing a particular task by hand. This machine allows your company to offer faster delivery and higher quality assurance in the finished product.

Second, use lists and tables to visually separate highly technical information from the rest of the brochure copy. This allows the reader to quickly scan what they do and don’t want to read. This is where you can talk to the technical reader, but the executive reader can see quickly if it pertains to their decision and move on if it doesn’t.

Use Jargon Sparingly

Jargon can be dangerous when left in the wrong hands. Too much and you loose the reader, too little and you don’t appear competent. So how much is the right amount?

If you can’t get through two sentences without an acronym, techie-term, or words that includes capital letters in the middle of them, then you probably have too much jargon clogging up your marketing piece.

Copy should flow easily and be readable by an intelligent person. After reading your marketing piece, they should be able to tell what you are offering. If they can’t, then revisit your marketing piece and rework the placement and amount of jargon that you use and include more benefit statements.

Remember: Benefits sell features, but features don’t sell benefits.

Don’t confuse and enrage your decision making reader. Rather, educate and enlighten them to get the best response from all of your marketing pieces.


Improvement of Crucial Business Skills from Learning a Foreign Language

From Linkedin Need a new job? Learn a new Language!

Research shows many skills that come along with knowing a foreign language translates favorably in the work place. For example,

• Some research suggests students who receive second language instruction are more creative and better at solving complex problems than those who do not.

• Juggling between different languages can improve multitasking abilities.

• According to a study from the University of Chicago, people who speak multiple languages are more confident with their choices after thinking it over in the second language and seeing whether their initial conclusions still stand up.

I think this research is great, and I really love the last item. As a skeptic myself, I question everything. Even if I believe I’m 100% correct on something, I want to question it and look at it from different angles. Since the grammatical structure of Spanish is different than English, it provides yet another way of looking at an issue. I’ve caught myself refining my logic and reasoning after thinking something over in Spanish.

Another great benefit is I’ve seen my Spanish improve while I figure out the best way to express myself and ideas to others.

So, grab your copy of Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, or Living Language and start learning today!

Still not sure, you can get your feet wet at a free website called Duolingo.

There are many benefits to learning a foreign language, both professionally and personally:

Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism

Why You Should Learn Another Language

Why It’s Important to Learn Another Language

5 Reasons Why you Should Learn a New Language

Start today, your future self will thank you!

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