How to really persuade in presentations: Alastair Campbell

An element of persuasion is key to most presentations, ensuring that an audience are on the speaker’s side. But how’s this done?
Speaker Mentor Alastair Campbell had one of UK’s top persuasive remits as Tony Blair’s Chief Strategist.
“The speaker’s got to work out what the main objective is of their speech,” Alastair told us. “That’s all about the central argument”.
Alastair believes that most people will listen to a well structured argument: “If you make a case, founded on factual analysis, values, your own experiences, history, colour… you can usually persuade somebody closer to your case, even if ultimately they’re not going to necessarily agree with you”.

Talking with conviction: Deborah Meadon’s guide

Deborah Meaden says that the ability to spot somebody who can deliver with conviction is crucial, both in her day job as an entrepreneur and her TV role in Dragons’ Den.
“Find the thing that you are passionate about,” Deborah told us: “Automatically you’ll deliver it with conviction. You believe, they’ll believe it”.
Even the best speakers shortchange their audience if they’re not delivering with conviction.
Deborah’s seen great speakers disappointingly speaking by numbers: “They were speaking very well… but I didn’t come away thinking- ‘I’m going to do something now'”.
Perhaps that’s the hallmark of a truly believable speech?

Keeping down the cost of using your mobile abroad

Whilst we are sure that President Obama doesn’t have to worry about the cost of using his now famous BlackBerry during his current european tour many business owners heading abroad for Easter do. With this in mind Ofcom has produced a video to help travellers keep their mobile phone costs down while travelling.

The video says that while wireless broadband dongles and smart phones are popular to use, downloading data can be very expensive when abroad.

Government urged to increase scrutiny of banks lending to small businesses

Business owners struggling to access finance from major lenders are sceptical about support from the Government, despite its commitment to scrutinise the behaviour of banks via its Small Business Lending Monitoring Panel. The panel, which comprises officials from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), the Bank of England and HM Treasury, has met on just five occasions since it was set up in November 2008.

Train to Gain: It pays to develop the skills of your workforce

One of the most effective funding initiatives by the Government is to help you increase the skill levels of your employees. You are encouraged to review your company’s strategy and ensure that all staff development and training will effectively support your business objectives. Then you need to specify the actions required to develop the strategy through an organisation and development plan agreed with your staff.

Head in the clouds – a beginner’s guide to cloud computing

Cloud computing (also sometimes known as Software as a Service or SaaS) has been widely heralded as a development that will fundamentally change the way businesses and individuals use technology. Historically, the software that enterprises depend on to do business (for example databases or word processors) has always taken the form of applications that users install on individual computers, paying a licence fee for their use. Cloud computing, however, turns this model on its head by making these applications available through the browsers we use to surf the Internet either for free, or for a monthly charge.

Is your business Britain’s best?

Business Matters is pleased to announce that we have partnered with one of the UK’s most exciting small business competitions of 2009. The Pitch will see entrepreneurs and small business owners from all over the nation competing to win a massive £50,000 of business related goods and services.

Pitching their idea to a panel of top industry experts, entrants will be asked to demonstrate the innovation, market knowledge, customer engagement and financial viability of their business. The contest kicks off in June with heats in Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and London, followed by a grand final later in the year. The Pitch promises to offer a real taste of how resourceful UK entrepreneurs are reacting to current economic conditions, bucking the downturn with innovation and creativity.

Embracing the Olympic dream

Whilst watching the recent episode of The Apprentice we were struck by the use of The Olympics and London 2012 branding so we spoke to John Mackenzie, partner of leading IP solicitors Pinsent Masons for his advice of how to embrace the Olympic spirit without falling foul of the law.

How to speak Twitter

The micro blogging social website has become a huge business phenomenon with businesses really utilising the site to increase their marketing reach.

But can you speak Twitter? Here we explain some of the phrases in a handy glossary

‘I’m no bottler’ – says businessman who quit The Apprentice

Adam Freeman – the man who created a media storm after quitting The Apprentice hours before he was due to meet Sir Alan Sugar – has hit back at claims he is simply a cocky Essex boy who bottled it.

He’s been called a wannabe and a drop-out, but the 31-year-old businessman from Chigwell has told how he decided to pull out after producers tried to pressure him into presenting himself as another Sir Alan.