Posts Tagged ‘public speaking’

In Good Company

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

If you are an entrepreneur wanting to attract the highest quality investors,  people, business partners and so forth, think about the company you are keeping. Am I spending time with gatekeepers, window shoppers or real buyers/investors of my product, service and relationships? Does the event or platform put me in rarefied company or am I circling around with a largely undifferentiated crowd? Will my presence and affiliation with the audience dramatically build my brand or have a negligible impact?     

Where is the hard evidence or observed behaviour to validate my judgement?

It is myth that any “exposure” is a valuable use of our time. That is rubbish. If you are not in front of a high proportion of your target audience, decline the invite with a simple “No”. You don’t need to explain yourself, you do need to avoid wasting time talking to the wrong people.

Lousy Speaker Requests

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

If you are trying to understand the value of public speaking at an industry event, professional association or private gathering, here is some tell-tale signs it is unlikely to be a valuable use of your time:

1. The Event Host is visibly disorganised, requests go unanswered, your contribution is unclear or is constantly being moved.

2. The Event Host is too busy to introduce you to fellow panel members or the moderator pre-event.

3. The Speaker list is overweight in providers and suppliers, who are clearly only there because of their sponsorship.

4. The Moderator slots are predominantly reserved for professional service firms who are sponsors, not because of their moderating skills.

5. The location is visibly “cheap”, located in an underwhelming part of town that operates successfully solely because of the high volume of low margin events.

6. The Event Host is a highly commercial organisation that operates on a constant churn of events each year. If in doubt email me.

7. You don’t recognise any of the keynote speakers as global experts in their particular domain.

8. The commercial event model operates on a free or massively discounted incentive to a particular category of participant, at the expense of professional service firms (a feeding frenzy forms around those few “special guests”).

9. You find little or no significant track record of meaningful media coverage for the event within your industry or in the mainstream business media.

10. You find the same old faces chairing or moderating the event each year. One London Wealth Management event insisted on the media company’s Chairman, Alan, the dullest man in the world, chairing 18 events in a row!

11. Less than 30% of the Agenda is reserved for “new” topics not previously covered in the prior 3 years.

12. Mention is made of “Continuing Assessment” credits for attending the event. Who really needs those other than mid- and lower level employees (rarely buyers of your services).

© James Berkeley 2018. All Rights Reserved.

 

It Is Not About You

Friday, May 20th, 2016

How many times do you attend a business conference or event, where the moderator or interviewer insists on hijacking the microphone? I am sorry it is not about YOU. We are here to listen to the guest speakers, panellists and interviewees. You are there to ask interesting and provocative questions and keep the conversation moving forward. You are not the star. If you insist on being so and if you are incapable of parking your ego, please don’t expect your audience to stay in their seats. If the event host blindly ignores your approach for their own commercial reasons or an unwillingness to confront your lousy behaviour, remember attendees have the ultimate sanction, they won’t show up next time.

© James Berkeley 2016. All Rights Reserved.

A Dumb Englishman Abroad

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Rick Stein, the international chef is currently airing an entertaining series on BBC television about long weekends in European cities – the food, the culture and the history. Stein is a great chef, I have eaten in a number of his restaurants and the creator of an impressive brand. He comes across as intellectually curious and a decent man but his mangling of the English and Austrian language in his latest show in Vienna, wouldn’t get him a job in Burger King.

If you want to be taken seriously on a public stage, on camera or at an international gathering or event, the minimum expectation is that you demonstrate a command of your own and your host’s language. If you want to use local terms or words to impress others, make sure you know how to pronounce them properly and in the right context. If you are in doubt about the latter, ask an informed local. Don’t wing it, you’ll look an amateur.

In Stein’s case with an expensive production and abundant researchers, it is just lazy film making or you can blame it on the irritating tendency at the BBC to dumb down programme making to the lowest common denominator. Either way, it makes the speaker look dumb. Why would you do that or allow others to create that impression?

© James Berkeley 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Speaking at Private Equity International’s 2016 Operating Partners Forum: Europe

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

I am excited to be asked to moderate a panel session titled, “Constructing a Long-Term Game Plan for Operating Partners” at next month’s pre-eminent European private equity event.

If you want to meet, network and leave with powerful industry insights to guide your future, you should really consider Private Equity International’s Operating Partners Forum: Europe. The event runs from Tuesday, 19th to Wednesday. 20th April, 2016. It is held at the Institute of Directors in London.

While there is an obvious appeal to those immersed in the sector, I have observed that there is huge value to be gained for top management in corporate organisations highly curious about a closer personal or professional relationship with General Partners in private equity firms, Limited Partners, Operating Partners and Consultants. Specifically, those people who are confident that their personal skills, behavioural traits and expertise could deliver impressive value and results to attendees, today (buyout, minority investor, expertise etc) or at a future date in their career (NED, Operating Partner etc)

Registration help: please contact William Russell at PEI william.r@peimedia.com , mention my name.

I’ll be hosting a breakfast on Tuesday, 19th for the first 5 attendees who would like to join me in close proximity to the event. Please email if you are interested in joining me james@elliceconsulting.com Details to follow.

If you would like to meet in person at the event, please email or call me at +44 203 440 5072.

For those unable to attend, I will be circulating a 1-2 page snapshot of key learning points. If you would appreciate reading this, email me to be added to the circulation list.

 

Here is today’s press release:

Berkeley to Discuss Constructing a Long-Term Game Plan for Operating Partners  

London, England— 1st March, 2016

James Berkeley, Managing Director of ELLICE CONSULTING LIMITED will be moderating a panel discussion on the role, credibility and the future of Operating Partners in the value creation process. The panel session is scheduled for Tuesday, 19th April, 2016 and will be held at the Institute of Directors in London. Private Equity International’s annual Operating Partners Forum has become the premier event for anyone involved with value creation in the European private equity community.

“The contribution of Operating Partners in creating value has never been higher, yet the views about their worth has never been more polarised”, notes Berkeley, an expert in the profitable growth and expansion of private equity-backed portfolio companies. “The future for Operating Partners is about “FAST”. Formidable skills, expertise and behavioural traits. Absolute credibility with key constituents. Seductive rapport with top managers and sponsors. Tremendous return on investment. The good news, it has never been easier for Operating Partners to stand out from the crowd so long as they possess the requisite competencies and passion.”

Berkeley notes, “A long-term game plan presumes that all parties have absolute clarity about the objectives and they are quickly able to decipher the shortest route to that destination. It is no longer acceptable for top management to spend 6 months formulating strategy when it can be done in 6 hours. Hence the real value of an Operating Partner is increasingly as a catalyst for speed not just the quality of decision-making, at the portfolio company level. That places a huge emphasis on an Operating Partner’s behavioural skills in both the formulation and implementation stages of a growth strategy.”

James Berkeley helps Sponsors and top management seeking dramatic growth opportunities. He has worked extensively with private equity firms and portfolio company managers globally to achieve unprecedented top line growth, market-leading margin expansion and impressive value creation through his distinctive approaches to marketing, leveraging relationships, branding and pricing.

Whether it is consulting Sponsors and top management on profitable growth issues, critiquing value creation plans, changing pricing strategies or an enhanced focused on talent in high-performing organisations, he is known for his Profitable Growth Regime.

James’s counsel has been sort by senior executives at an array of private equity-owned businesses such as Hilton Worldwide, ASIMCO Technologies, Caesars Entertainment, CKE Restaurants and over 40 other market-leading organisations around the world.

For additional information, contact:

James Berkeley, Managing Director

Name of Company: Ellice Consulting Ltd

Phone: +44 (0)2034405072

Web Site: www.elliceconsulting.com

E-Mail: james@elliceconsulting.com

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Please Shut Up

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Why won’t moderators or interviewers park their ego and shut up?

When I see great moderators or interviewers in business or television (Charlie Rose, Larry King, John Defterios and so on), I see people, who are smart enough to realise that the audience wants to engage with the guest(s) first and the interviewer or moderator last.

Indeed, there is a cycle of value. The more compelling the guest interaction with the audience, the more the audience is engaged with what the guest is involved in. The more engaged the audience, the more people are attracted to the event or interview. The larger the audience, the easier it is to attract higher quality guests. The higher the quality of the guests, the easier it is to devote more time, money and resources.

 

The most obvious example of this is the Charlie Rose Show  now syndicated globally on Bloomberg’s television channel, which started from very humble beginnings in the mid 90s on PBS, a local New York City channel. So humble that the show’s host and interviewer famously bought the wooden table himself!

In reverse, the more the moderator or interviewer seeks to be the star of the show, often a result of their own insecurities, just as in sports with the referee, the faster the audience becomes disengaged and turns off.

Of course, there are interviewers and moderators that make a living and fame by projecting themselves from the stage or through our television screens (Piers Morgan, Matt Lauer and Chris Cuomo) into our minds. Rarely, do they leave an impressive impression. Indeed I know one of these “celebrities” to have interviewed a friend of mine, knowingly “faked” what the viewers were seeing and what he experienced for effect. No more, no less.

Let’s hit the mute button.

© James Berkeley 2015. All Rights Reserved.