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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Meet Sophie the Dinosaur…..

Watch our video…

To have Sophie scare your children, colleagues or customers contact us….

nb: no nice children were harmed during the making of this film…

A Good Presentation is more than just Preparing Slides…..Guest blog by Queen of Great Presentations, Catherine Sandland…..

What makes a good business presentation?

What would you do if the moment you stood up to speak and your laptop failed? or the projector broke? or the software crashed? or the teleprompter delayed?

It is not a nice thought and the sort of thing that keeps lots of people awake the night before they have to speak…And I can remember very vividly the moment my projector bulb blew and I realised with a sinking heart that I didn’t have a replacement.

The underlying reason most of us dread this situation happening is because for many, the slides ARE the presentation. Take away the slides and you take away the presentation. But this is faulty thinking and there is a better way. Slides are NOT the presentation – they are the support, the clarity, the enhancement, the reinforcement of what we say but not what we say itself.

Something that I share with all of my clients is to:

1. get clear about the message you want to get out there
2. Decide what you are going to say
3. Decide how you are going to say it

and then, only then 4. design the slides( software) to go with it.

The clue is in the name. Slides are visual aids. Visual i.e. pictures and images ( not words) and Aids i.e. to help and support not to carry and do your job as the presenter.

Of course we all want prompts if we are speaking even those of us with years of experience in speaking. They don’t need to be the slides though. Use cards or planners (I share a tool called a Pathway Planner with my clients) and let the slides help you. And if the worst should happen ( as in the Michael Bay example above) then we can carry on …calmly and confidently knowing that our message is clear and strong.

To find out more about Catherine Sandland and the work she does go to:

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How to ensure your staff consistently delivers a good customer experience.……by customer service training that really works

Staff Training Videos

Do you wonder how to get consistency with what your customers experience every time they have contact with your organisation? Have you put time, money and resources into customer service training courses with little return or evidence of impact?

I have been reading a book called ‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg, which I would highly recommend. In it, Duhigg covers organisational habits and how successful companies create routines and habits that are apparent throughout the company. In the book he covers how Paul O’Neill was responsible for transforming global company Alcoa, simply by instilling new habits around their safety procedures. O’Neill says:

“By attacking one habit and then watching the changes ripple through an organisation….you can’t order people to change. That’s not how the brain works. So I decided I was going to start by focusing on one thing. If I could start disrupting the habits around one thing, it would spread throughout the entire company”

What I think is important about this and something often overlooked by training departments and managers is that if you can identify one thing that if was changed or adopted by staff it would have great impact and then you make this habit throughout your organisation, the results can be far reaching.

Of course, to do this successfully you need to get real buy-in and engagement in the issue or the objective from your staff. Once you have got this buy-in you need to create systems, formulas and attitudes that are adopted and become habits.

Of course this is all easier said than done and it is all to easy to get sucked into expensive solutions, trainers and courses and not achieve this objective. Which is why you need to consider this as a 3 pronged training system:

1/ Buy-in and engagement from staff – this requires communicating successfully with them and getting them on board. You might do this via managers, meetings, through and event or conference, away day or team building or virtual systems such as e-learning, video or digital platforms. All of the above methods should be considered carefully in terms of how the messages are being delivered in a way to achieve buy-in and therefore need to be creative, thought provoking and impactful. Just having a conference in a hotel room with the operations director delivering a PowerPoint presentation is not going to result in buy in or changing anyone’s though process!

2/ Delivery of the how – once you have achieved buy-in and successfully communicated the need for change or the importance of the issue, you need to deliver how they do it in a way that gets understood, remembered and implemented. Successful ways you can do this include forum theatre, experiential training, video and e-learning and digital solutions.

3/ Consistency, monitoring and review – the only way to ensure that training becomes standard practice is monitor, get feedback and respond to the experiences of staff. Follow up training sessions, resources and a digital system to help with the on-going implementation of the training will help to ensure long term success with your objectives.

Customer service is one of the most critical factors in whether a business is successful in a long term and the best way you can ensure a great customer experience for your customer is to follow the steps above and ensure they have the right attitude, knowledge and support to have great habits when dealing with customers.

If you would like help and support with your training objectives and delivering training experiences, digital solutions, including video and e-learning to help you contact us for a free consultation and ideas for what would work successfully in your organisation.

What is content marketing about?….What we learnt from Digby Jones

Content Marketing

You have most likely heard the term ‘content marketing’ banded around, especially in recent times, and be wondering “what on earth is content marketing about and how we can we use it in our business, we sell chest freezers?!” well there was a perfect example to help you with this on BBC2 last week, Thurs 24th April on ‘Digby Jones: The New Troubleshooter”. In this episode, Digby Jones visited the business Ebac, an electronics manufacturer in County Durham.

The company had traditionally made and sold Dehumidifiers and water coolers and employs over 200 staff.  It recently bought the assets of a liquidated company Icetch Freezers Ltd. and as a result had built a new production line from scratch, re-launching the chest freezer brand Norfrost.

Lord Digby soon established all of this had been done with little research or knowledge into the marketplace or potential customers. Time was ticking, money was being spent and sales were slow.

One of the recommendations he made was to profile and identify their typical or ideal customer through market research. Once this had been done they identified that one of the best ways to reach these people was through social media and web based communication, but not directly selling their product. Instead they raised exposure through content that their customer is interested in. So they produced a series of content rich, information videos covering areas that their customers would be interested in, but which featured their freezer products.  In their case it was a series of cookery demonstration videos that utilized their products.

This indirect way of promoting products is nothing new but something that businesses often don’t consider as much as they might when looking at ways to reach potential customers.

This represents a valuable social media strategy that many medium sized businesses could benefit from; using a professional video company to help them to conceptualize, script and produce a series of informative videos that are in an area of interest to their customer; educating, entertaining or demonstrating skills of use. Try it and see how many more customers engage with your brand as a result.

With Ebac, they found that people didn’t type into a search engine for ‘chest freezers’ but they did search for recipes and cooking tips, and so by producing a series of cookery demonstration videos they were able to reach their target customer indirectly and have maximum brand exposure.

Of course one of the benefits of doing this in a well planned and structured manner means that you will end up with a large amount of content to share online; through social media channels, on your website and in newsletters, giving you a pre-prepared set of communication assets that can regularly be released and gaining you profile, exposure and ultimately customers.

If you are serious about this tactic though you need to consider working with a company who is experienced and able to advise on the best creative and practical ideas, taking into account your customer profile, objectives and budget.

Like with any promotional and marketing strategy, it is important to think about the long term and by engaging people in valuable content, you are ensuring that your brand has exposure and therefore when the customer needs your product or service they have your brand at the front of mind and are able to easily come to you for their requirement. And that is what good content marketing is about!

See Lord Dugby Jones visiting Ebac here:

See some of Ebacs content marketing videos here:

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