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Virtual Collaboration with Webinars

 30th January 2018 by gihan

The Institute for the Future identified virtual collaboration as one of the ten key skills for being fit for the future. In the future, virtual reality will make virtual collaboration seamless, but we’re not there yet. Currently, the best practice tools for virtual collaboration are webinars and online meetings. Are you and your team confident and competent at using these tools?

The Busy Adviser’s Secret to Lifelong Clients

 29th January 2018 by gihan

In a business environment where clients have more choices and information than ever before, keeping in touch with clients – and providing value – is not just about FoFA, the FSI, or compliance – it’s just good business.

Do your clients only hear from you when you send them a statement or invoice? If so, you can do more – much more – to show them that you’re a valued partner in planning their financial future. Focus on touchpoints that give them real value in a non-intrusive way.

Here are four things you could do regularly:

  1. DAILY: Do something nice.
  2. WEEKLY: Send a thank-you postcard.
  3. MONTHLY: Write a high-quality article.
  4. QUARTERLY: Run a client webinar.

Read the full article here

This is an extract from an article I published in Financial Planning, the magazine of the FPA for financial advisers in Australia.

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Making You Fit for the Future

 25th January 2018 by gihan

Virtual reality, social media, and global markets have changed the face of real estate, and real estate agents have to change to keep up. Be willing to look at what’s working for you and what’s not, and ruthlessly abandon what’s not working in place of something better.

Read the full article here

This is an extract from an article I published in Real Estate Hot Topics, the magazine from Real Estate Academy.

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Numbers … Graphs … Statistics … Make All Your Presentations Better

 23rd January 2018 by gihan

I speak at a lot of conferences, so I see a lot of presentations from other speakers. Those who aren’t professional speakers often make the mistake of cluttering up their presentations with too much data – such as statistics, graphs, and other numbers. Of course, numbers are important, and they can be essential tools to support your message. But you don’t need to present them in a boring way (as most presenters do). The problem is not the facts themselves; it’s in how you present them.

Many presenters who use data in a presentation make one of two mistakes: it’s either too little or too much.

  • Too little: They present raw data without making it meaningful to the audience.
  • Too much: They present it in a complex way that hides the real message.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to fix either problem.

Not enough data? Make it meaningful.

If you’re worried about overwhelming your audience with data, it’s tempting to leave it out altogether. But that’s not the best option. Instead, consider how to relate your data – especially numbers and statistics – to something the audience understands.

For example, Jamie Oliver starts his 18-minute TED Talk with a fact about healthy eating:

“Sadly, in the next 18 minutes when I do our chat, four Americans that are alive will be dead through the food that they eat.”

The late Hans Rosling, who was Swedish professor of global health, became world-famous for presenting data in an interesting way. For example, in one of his presentations, instead of saying, “The survey participants performed worse than chance”, he says:

“So I went to the zoo and I asked the chimps. You were beaten by the chimps.”

You can do the same with any important fact, number or statistic in your presentation. Look for ways to relate that fact to something the audience understands – like this:

  • “LinkedIn has 450 million active users. If it was a country, it would be the 4th biggest in the world, behind only China and India.”
  • “We’re currently getting a 69% accuracy rate. That’s good, but it’s only a B, and we should be aiming for an A+.”
  • “This idea will save you 5 minutes at the start of each day and 5 minutes at the end. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it adds up to one extra week a year.”

Too much data? Reduce it.

The second mistake is providing too much information – in other words, cluttering up the data so the important point doesn’t shine through. To avoid this mistake, look at your main piece of data and eliminate anything around it that could dilute it.

Here are some tips:

  • Use round numbers: Instead of saying “21.5% of our customers”, say “20% of our customers” or “One in five customers”.
  • Remove unnecessary data: If you show any other data, be sure it supports your main point. For example, if you’re showing performance over time, it makes sense to show some numbers for comparison purposes, but remove the others.
  • Remove everything else: It’s easy to create attractive graphs in PowerPoint, but remove everything that doesn’t contribute to your point. For example, a bar graph with different colours for each bar looks pretty but doesn’t mean anything to the audience. It’s better to have all the bars the same colour, or just one bar (the important one) a different colour.
  • One idea per slide: It’s difficult enough for your audience to grasp one point; don’t force them to think even harder. For example, if you have a table of numbers with two important points on it, show it on two slides, each with an extract from the table.

Are you playing the numbers game right?

It doesn’t take much to be “good with numbers” when you present, and your audience will thank you for it!

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Dead End Job

 18th January 2018 by gihan

The youngest Millennials (Gen Ys) and their younger siblings, Gen Z, are expected to have up to 17 jobs each across their careers. That means they need high levels of adaptability and a willingness to be self motivated.

Most workplaces still carry over baggage from 200 years ago, when offices were invented. But people are becoming much more entrepreneurial. You no longer
need to be in an office and can work remotely while still being part of a creative and productive team.

Distributed work will become the norm, not the exception, with more offsite workers such as freelancers. The best people for the job will do the work but this doesn’t always happen in the traditional workplace.

The whole concept of diversity expands – even diversity in work patterns. Some people are early‑birds, others are night-owls. There are different countries and time zones, and even differences in people’s motivation.

Read the full article here

This is an extract from an interview published in Edith, the magazine from Edith Cowan Unversity.

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Forever Young

 16th January 2018 by gihan

Our current life expectancy is around 80-90 years. But what if that doubled – or more? How would that affect your personal life, your professional life, your business, and society as a whole? That might sound like science fiction, but life extension science is making that more likely.

You can watch the recording here:

After the webinar, I asked participants “What was the most useful thing you learned today?” Here are some of their answers:

“Ageing trends”

“Potential for even more different generations of people living and working together and how different life and business will be.”

“the uphill/downhill 6 categories of future disruptors”

“Thinking of possibilities for my business to address longer living population”

The Future Proof Webinar Series

The Future Proof webinar series will keep you in touch with our future - what's ahead, what it means for us, and how to stay ahead of the game.

In each webinar, I'll cover an important topic about the future - for example, the shift of power to Asia, the changing workplace, healthcare technology, the shift to customer-centric business, big data, and more. This is not just theory; I'll also give you practical examples and ideas for you to future-proof your organisation, teams, and career.

Register here

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Your #1 Threat: Your Own Brain

 15th January 2018 by gihan

Obviously we all use our brains, and one thing we do especially well is pattern matching. We’re great at seeing, recognising and acting on patterns in the world – and that gives us valuable insights, judgement, and wisdom.

A lot of what we call intuition comes from pattern matching – even if it’s subconscious. For example, you get a routine e-mail from a landlord about their property. It looks like a fairly simple e-mail, just reporting on an interaction with one of your team members. But you know she’s upset. There’s nothing obvious in the e-mail, but subconsciously you spot something there that’s different from her normal e-mails – in other words, something that doesn’t match her usual pattern.

Or you’re making a presentation to your team, and you stop for questions. You look around the room, and even before somebody raises their hand, you know they’re going to ask a question. You call on them, and they are amazed – because perhaps they hadn’t even decided yet to ask the question! But you spotted something in their posture, a micro-expression on their face, or a tiny change that crossed your subconscious mind and registered as a pattern.

Pattern matching is valuable because it fast-tracks our decision making. If we drive a different car for the first time, we get the hang of it quickly because most of the features are exactly the same. If we eat at a new restaurant, we broadly recognise most of the items on the menu, even if we’ve never seen exactly those items before. When we get a new client and start managing their property, we have a pretty good idea what they need to know about working with us.

Read the full article here

This is an extract from an article I published in Elite Property Manager, the leading magazine for property managers in Australia.

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The Future of Conferences

 11th January 2018 by gihan

The NSW Government recently announced a trial of in-ground “traffic lights” at key intersections in the CBD, to warn pedestrians on mobile phones who don’t look up while crossing the road. It’s been interesting to see the reactions to this idea on social media. Many people are saying it just discourages bad behaviour, and that pedestrians (or “mobile phone zombies”, as they derisively refer to them) should just look up! In fact, in Idaho in the USA, authorities have the power to fine people $50 for walking and texting at the same time.

I don’t want to start a debate about traffic lights. But I do want to point out what the NSW Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlon, said, defending the new system, “In our society, things have changed”. In other words, yes, it would be nice if all pedestrians stopped looking at their phones and focussed on their environment, but they don’t! So it makes sense to change the environment to adapt to their new behaviour.

The same principle applies to conferences. Despite the growth of videoconferencing, online meetings, telepresence and virtual reality, in-person conferences still have a place. We still want to get together, face to face, and belly to belly.

But the role of the conference has changed. Good conference organisers adapt to these changes, and great conference organisers embrace them and see them as opportunities.

Read the full article here

This is an extract from an article I published in cim, the magazine for the conference industry in Australia.

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