Talk Like Ted – Book Review

 Posted by on March 26, 2014  Books, Business, Marketing, Presenting  Comments Off
Mar 262014
 
Talk Like Ted 2

I am a fan of books on presenting, especially good ones, and this new book by Carmine Gallo, TALK LIKE TED – The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds, is definitely a good one. The approach Gallo has taken is to analyse over 500 Ted talks, looking at the videos, interviewing the speakers, and working with the people involved in making it happen.

The book highlights great Ted Talks, such as those by Hans Rosling, Amy Cuddy, and Amanda Palmer, and uses these to describe the lessons we can all learn from them. Gallo divides these lessons into three groups of three, and includes many of the well-known points about passion and storytelling. However, because TED talks are available via the web, we can read his descriptions and check out the videos – increasing our understanding of the points he is making, seeing them in action.

No book is going to be a complete solution, and I could quibble with some of the advice. For example, I would like the book to focus a bit more on identify the needs of a specific audience, and in my professional world I often have to deal with speakers and/or audiences who don’t share a common language, which can produce a different balance of words and images.

Most of the advice in the book is very sound and following that advice, watching the videos, and being more self-analytical would help any reader be a better presenter.

 

Appreciating Asia Pacific – 3rd and Final Post

 Posted by on March 22, 2014  Uncategorized  Comments Off
Mar 222014
 
Auckland Skytower

After a week in Singapore, a week split between Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo, the final week of my Vision Critical Asia Pacific tour finished with client-focused events in Auckland, Melbourne, and Sydney. The complex picture of Asia Pacific suggested by the earlier cities was complemented and compounded by the events in New Zealand and Australia.

New Zealand
In Auckland my two days were spent in the company of Camorra Research, the New Zealand partner of Vision Critical. New Zealand is a small country, population 4.4 million, with a total market research spend (according to ESOMAR’s 2013 Global Market Research Report) of about US $96 million (just slightly smaller than Singapore and Hong Kong). Of all the countries I visited on this trip, New Zealand was the one where the research buyers seemed most willing to try something new and the least inclined to favour international research brands.

My time in New Zealand was split between a training session with the people responsible for delivering research services and a client round table. At the training session, key people from Vision Critical’s Sydney office were engaged in knowledge transfer with a great bunch of people from Camorra, and I was able to chip in the odd piece and learn about the New Zealand market and way of doing business. At the client round table, I presented an overview of the global trends in insight and then a group activity where end-users explored a range of issues relating to their particular insight communities. The key benefit of the round table approach is that it allows the users of insight communities to share their successes and their challenges, allowing others to benefit from the successes and offer advice on the challenges.

Melbourne and Sydney
Australia is the home and central hub of Vision Critical’s APAC operation and is the strongest market for insight communities in the region (and one of the strongest in the world, after the USA). In both Sydney and Melbourne we held two events, a client round table (similar to the one in New Zealand, but much larger), and events for people interested in learning more about co-creation and the use of insight communities.

It is clear that in Australia insight communities are a relatively mature research approach. The questions that non-users, in Australia, raise tend to be much more nuanced than the questions from, say China. The issues in Australia tend to relate to company specific concerns such as their internal capacity to handle change, to handle larger amounts of customer insight, and their ability to make the change to being customer led. The concerns in China are at a much earlier stage, with most of the current users of research coming from upmarket services, such as hotels, airlines, and entertainment/leisure.

So?
Over the last three weeks I have spoken with researchers and clients in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Auckland, Melbourne, and Sydney. There are some common themes across all these markets, such as the way clients are utilising communities to lower the barriers to research, making it easier, cheaper, and faster. However, there are also some distinct differences between the markets. In most markets in Asia the best business model is one of technology provider in partnership with research providers, rather than the direct model which is more common in North America and Australia (although partners do exist in those markets too). The different markets in Asia Pacific differ in their risk aversion, the availability of experienced researchers, and the installed base of insight communities.

My only regret about this trip was how short my stay in any one country is, so I will be back in July and August, planning to devote more time to both of these markets.

Mar 152014
 
HK

Last week I wrote about my week in Singapore, with Vision Critical and MRMW. This week I exchanged the warmth of Singapore for the distinctly more chilly streets of Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo.

Monday and Tuesday were spent in Hong Kong, with my Vision Critical colleagues and, one of our key partners in the region, ABN Impact. Monday focused on meetings with clients and prospects and on team training/briefing sessions.

On Tuesday morning ABN Impact put on a great insight community event at the JW Marriott. The speakers included Bashuli Sane from Cathay Pacific and Mike Sherman (ex-SingTel) who wowed the audience when they shared how insight communities were bringing the customer into every aspect of the decision making process – I gave an introduction to communities presention, helping fill in the broader picture of what an insight community is and how they are built, managed, and developed. The market in Hong Kong is quite developed and the Q&A session focused on practical issues, such as recruitment, language (e.g. working in English, simplified Chinese, and traditional Chinese), and incentives.

Wednesday morning saw the Vision Critical roadshow in Shanghai, the guests of the Mandarin Oriental, and in the company of three partner agencies (Added Value, WIMI, and Morpace). Communities are at a much earlier stage of development in mainland China and the Q&A focused on how best to create insight communities in such a large, dynamic, and developing market. One of the thrills of the trip was taking the Maglev train out to the airport, travelling at 300 KPH (over 180 mph).

Thursday and Friday saw a shift from China to Japan, with two days spent with Seven Seas, the partner in Tokyo for Vision Critical’s technology and services. We managed to squeeze in meetings with personal care brands, communications companies, media companies, social media providers, and automotive companies. Japan is a highly developed but slightly cautious market. A large amount of research is online, short-term MROCs are common, and it seems to me that the time is right for many companies in Japan to reap the sorts of benefits that companies in China, Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia are already experiencing.

The week finished with the 42nd meeting of JMRX, a really fun bunch of Japanese researchers who are committed to exploring new research. MR stands for market research, X for excellence, and J for Japan. This was my third appearance and my theme was a review of the key insight trends – communities, mobile, big data, text analytics, and social media. I was then followed by Noriyuki Ikeda who presented on co-creation, innovation, and social media. The amazing success of JMRX is largely down to the support, energy, and passion of my good friend Shigeru (Shiggy) Kishikawa.

At the end of two weeks, four cities (Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo) I am struck by three key factors:

  1. The energy in this region beats anything I have seen in Europe and North America – things are changing faster here than anywhere else.
  2. Asia is not a country! The differences between all four of the cities I have visited over the last two weeks are immense. These differences are something that researchers need to take into account when tailoring research for each country.
  3. The key to research success in Asia is service, but since different countries have different preferences, the definition of service and expectations about what is included in the basic package needs to vary from country to country – as does the selling and delivery process.

Now I am off to Auckland, Melbourne, and Sydney, which will complete this trip to the APAC region – but I have started planning my next trip, which I think will be a longer trip.

 

Mar 082014
 
Marina Bay Sands

This post is written as I reach the end of the first week of a three week Vision Critical trip to the Asia Pacific Region. For the last few years I have been spending about ten weeks a year in the APAC region, typically spread over three or four separate trips – because I am convinced that this is where much of the future (especially in terms of commerce, marketing, and insights) is being made.

Singapore Client Round Table
I arrived in Singapore Monday evening and the week got off to a flying start with breakfast with my Vision Critical colleagues from Sydney and from our newly opened Singapore office, followed by a meeting with the CEO of Indian partner, Majestic and lunch with an insight community client, Google. The afternoon was devoted to a client round-table meeting where several of Vision Critical’s clients gather to hear a keynote presentation (from me on this occasion) and then spend time sharing their learning with each other. This event was hosted by Google in their superb offices overlooking the Marina area, with key contributions from SingTel, Sony and others. Client roundtable sessions are a great way for clients to share their experiences with insight communities.

MRMW – Market Research in a Mobile World
Wednesday and Thursday was the APAC incarnation of MRMW, the leading global series of conferences on mobile market research, organised and promoted by Merlien. The keynote presentation was given by SingTel’s Melissa Gil, talking about how their three Vision Critical Insight Communities (Indonesia, Australia, and Singapore) provide them with rapid and cost-effective insight into digital consumers. One of the key points that SingTel made was that the speed and usefulness of the insights they produce mean that the SingTel insights team are involved in meetings and decisions at all levels of the business.

One of the key topics at the Conference was the evolving data protection picture in Asia and on the Tuesday Sue York from the University of Queensland (and curator of content at NewMR) moderated a panel on Data Protection, with Derek Ho (Senior Counsel from MasterCard), Dan Foreman (President of ESOMAR), Martin Tomlinson (Vice President of the Market Research Society of Singapore), and Stephen Jenke (Global Head of Data Collection at Kantar). The key points being made was that the picture on Asia was developing quickly, rules are becoming more onerous, and different countries have different rules.

Google Ray

One of the high points of the Conference was a presentation by David Zakariaie of Glassic who had brought ten sets of Google Glass with him to the event and who co-ran a session with me looking at the technology and the opportunities for market research to utilise this technology. Other key elements of the conference included: using feature phones as well as smartphones, utilising automated techniques for facial coding, video processing, and image processing (in all three cases the main theme was limited, but impressive, success), and moves towards geolocation and geofencing.

Effective Presentation Workshop
On the Friday I ran my “Secrets of Effective Presentations” workshop, which seemed to go down really well. I love workshops in multicultural situations as I am sure I learn as much as the attendees. Some of the secrets of creating and giving great presentations are global, but having a group from a wide range of countries (in this case Singapore, Cambodia, Saudi Arabia, and Australia) and with people who have a variety of first languages (and with a mixture of clients, suppliers, and academics) means that nothing can be taken for granted.

Key Singapore Takeaways
Compared with Europe and even with North America, Singapore embodies a ‘can do’ attitude, where the expectation is that tomorrow will be better than today, and that we are on a rapid path to a better, more technical, more insightful, richer society. Singapore also embodies the strength of cultural diversity. Most meetings with clients include people from a wide variety of countries. In order to get to Singapore, and in order to do well, most people have something special about them, and this tends to be blended to create something greater than the parts.