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Below you will find a selection of the most recent entries from bloggers in our Work/Business section.

To view the entries from individual bloggers, click on the links below:

  • Sunita Sehmi - Walk The Talk
    Founder of Walk The Talk, Sunita has been training, developing and now coaching Business Communication skills in both companies and educational establishments for over twenty years.  She has a passion for helping people to maximise their potential and created Walk The Talk with the sole aim to drive each and every client to perform their best.

  • Claire Doole - Claire Doole Communications

    Claire is a former BBC correspondent and international spokeswoman who is passionate about helping people communicate with confidence. Since 2006, she has successfully trained hundreds of professionals in the art of presenting and public speaking, talking to the media, managing communications in a crisis, and writing for the web. In addition, she has coached C-level executives and public figures to give powerful TEDx and TED style talks in Europe and the Middle East. A Swiss and UK national, Claire trains and coaches in French and English.

  • Robert Harris- Forth Capital
    With over 25 years experience working for some of the major financial institutions in the City of London, Robert is a founding partner of Forth Capital, the leading expat financial advisory company in Switzerland. Regulary quoted in newspaper articles and magazines, he is well placed to advise expats on a variety of financial issues that may arise during their time living in Switzerland.

  • Debbie Croft - Croft Coaching

    As the founder of Croft Coaching, Debbie has a passion for helping people overcome challenges, embrace change and live life to the full; with an ethos of “work hard, play hard”.

  • Samiel Carolina Rodriguez Barros - Dare to Glow

    Samiel’s work is based on a lifetime of studying the feminine. Her personal journey to fully embrace and embody her femininity in an authentic way has taken her from exploring diverse body work techniques to fashion and modelling, to quantum psychology, alternative therapy, energy healing and spiritual South American traditions. She offers women a way to access their unique gifts that enable them to thrive, love openly and to come back to a place of peace, clarity and creativity whenever they need it.

  • Sarah Santacroce - Simplicity
    A certified social media, internet marketing, and virtual event specialist, Sarah enjoys every aspect of small business marketing. Through her own business, Simplicity, it is her mission to help other small businesses and solopreneurs increase their visibility and use social media tools as part of their marketing strategy.
  • MJ Cabanel - MJ Cabanel
    As a personal and executive coach living in Geneva, MJ's passion is helping people unlock their own passions and accompanying them on a personal and professional journey of discovery and self mastery.
     
  • Diana Ritchie - Spouse Career Centre
    A Director at Swiss Career Connections, Diana will provide you with some useful tips for job hunting.

  • Crissy Mueller - Writing that Works
    An expat entrepreneur based in the La Côte region of Lake Geneva, Crissy Mueller is using her writing skills and experience gained in setting up her own business to provide us with a blog offering practical advice on starting your own commercial enterprise.

  • David Cooper - Fund Advisers
    Director of Fund Advisers Europe, David will provide you with the latest financial news and offer some useful tips for managing the financial “issues” in your life.

Patty Emmanuel and Claire

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Minister for the Status of Women, Patty Hajdu, Claire Doole

By Claire Doole, Claire Doole Communications

How many of you attended this year’s gathering of the global elites at the World Economic Forum? If you were there, did you sit through any of the panel sessions? With the good and the great vying to be in the audience and on the podium, Davos panels are a hot, if pricey, event.

But how good are these sessions? Are they engaging, informative and thought provoking?

Many a client has contacted me as a moderator saying they want a Davos-style panel discussion. In the conference/event industry, these panels with their star-studded line-up are obviously seen as the gold standard.

So, I decided to test this hypothesis and watch a panel in which Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian, made headlines with his remarks about why no one at Davos was talking about the super rich avoiding paying taxes.

brain

By Sunita Sehmi, Walk The Talk

Can you imagine what it's like to be able to completely clear your mind and experience a deep sense of calm whenever you want? What about the power to switch into a state of intense concentration, but at the same time be completely relaxed?

Developed at Google and based on the latest in neuroscience research, the Search Inside Yourself (SIY) Certified Program teaches attention and mindfulness training that build the core emotional intelligence skills needed for effective leadership. This results-oriented program is designed to empower individuals, strengthen teams and transform entire workplaces. This course is coming to Geneva and my interview is with both SIY certified teachers Angelika von der Assen and Robert Chender who will co run the two day workshop. Enjoy!

1. What is SIY about?
The Search Inside Yourself (SIY) program was originally developed at Google end 2007 as an in-house mindfulness and emotional intelligence training for employees. Due to great demand, starting in 2012 it was offered to other companies and to the public through the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, a non-profit organization. SIY takes a science-based approach that combines neuroscience, mindfulness and emotional intelligence. Through these three disciplines, SIY helps participants integrate the key building blocks for well-being, collaboration, and leadership. The program is highly interactive. It is approximately one- third content and two-thirds experiential exercises, including one-on-one and group conversations, attention-training practices, listening exercises, and writing activities. Each program is tailored for the client’s needs and presented through a different lens depending on the audience, while maintaining the combination of neuroscience, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence that has made the program successful.

2. Do you need to have any previous training in mindfulness to do the course?
No, this is not at all necessary. All that is necessary is an interest.

forth chart

By Robert Harris, Forth Capital

Nobody can time the markets consistently. It is time spent IN the market, rather than trying to time the market, that is the key to medium to long-term investment growth. If you want to be invested in equities you must be prepared to understand that a market cycle is usually five to seven years, and if you can’t be invested for that length of time, you should not be invested in equities.

For example, if you had been invested in a UK index fund from 1980-2009, you should have achieved a return of 700% on your investment. However, if you missed the best 20 days of stock market performance during that period, that return would have been reduced to just 240%.

The lesson for all investors here is that as long as you are invested in your correct risk strategy, and for the medium to long term, you should stay invested and “ride the wave”.

If we look at the events of the last 3 months, most stock market performance has been driven by statements from the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Powell, whose statements have signalled changes in US interest rates from increases of 0.5% to reductions of 0.25%, causing markets to fall and rise depending on the statement.

Another example of when staying invested has proven to be the best route, is the performance of Forth Capital’s Next Generation funds which continue to rebound after the general market shock in the 4th quarter of 2018.

Tedxspeakers copy

Those who know me would say that I am not one for hyperbole. However the speakers I coached at the UN TEDx PlacedesNationsWomen event in December completely hit the target.

I coached 8 of the 11 speakers at the event, celebrating women’s empowerment.

The speakers had great content and delivery, and kept the audience engaged from start to finish.

Yet, it proved to be a lot of work for all those involved with many lessons learnt. So for those who are planning to organise a TEDx, give a talk or want to become a more impactful public speaker, here are 5 do’s and 5 don’ts from coaching and observing speakers.

Do’s

  • Select a speaker fluent in the language of the talk. You have to memorise your TEDx talk, which means it helps to be absolutely fluent in the language. This will also ensure you sound natural and conversational when you deliver it. And a good memory is key!
  • Have an inspiring personal story to tell. You have to put yourself in the story for it to resonate with the audience. Many professionals shy away from the personal, preferring to speak about “it” rather than “I”. But this is not a TEDx talk. You have to be prepared to open up in your talk, share your experiences, opinions and values.
  • Leave behind your professional presenting style. You are no longer an academic, activist or lawyer, you are now a storyteller. You are not there to share your knowledge, but to persuade the audience your idea has merit. This means getting rid of unnecessary detail. You need to set the context, and what is most important are the individual stories you tell to illustrate your points and the narrative arc of the talk.
  • Match your words to your voice and body language. You have to make sure that these three channels of communication are aligned. You need to guide the audience so they understand immediately the emotions (joy, sadness, compassion) you want them to feel. And to do this you have to modulate your speed, pitch and tone. The pause, for example, will let the emotion you want to convey hover in the air so that the audience has time to absorb it.
  • Structure with clear signposts. You need to help your audience with short declarative sentences, which tell them where you are going. For example, this is my story of empowerment; I was in denial; or myths and taboos lead to stigma and harmful practices.

Photo TEDx team 2014 copy

A TED talk is all about sharing an inspiring idea. It sounds easy enough, but it is more difficult than you might think.

I speak from experience - having coached speakers for several TEDx events in Geneva and Lausanne and having been called in twice to salvage someone's TED talk within days of the event.

So when I was asked by the UN to coach 9 speakers for their PlacedesNationsWomen event one of the first things I did was to write a guide on what makes a TED talk different from the usual presentation or keynote address.

Here are my tips on drafting a TED talk, based on my experience as a professional public speaker and coach and the wonderful book
"TED Talks - The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking". by the head of TED Chris Anderson.

  • Make it personal: As a speaker, talk about an idea that matters deeply to you and transmit the idea and the passion you feel about it to your audience. It has to be an idea worth sharing!
  • Know the audience: Think of yourself as a tour guide taking the audience on a journey to a new place. You need to begin where the audience is and steer them clearly and compellingly along the way.
  • Stick with your idea: Think of your talk as about an idea rather than an issue. This is particularly important if you are tackling a tough topic where compassion fatigue can easily set in. An issue-based talk leads with morality. An idea based talk leads with curiosity. It says, "isn't this interesting?" rather than "isn't this terrible?" For example, this is an issue: Education for all. An idea would be framed as "Education's potential is transformed if you focus on the amazing (and hilarious) creativity of kids.
  • Connect the dots: You need a connecting theme, which ties together each narrative element. It is the idea that you want to construct in the minds of the audience. Can you put this in no more than 15 words?
  • Make it memorable: Think about the three points/messages that you want the audience to remember when they leave the room. Studies show people rarely remember more than three points and recall drops dramatically the day after.

The structure
Choose a structure that most powerfully develops your connecting theme. See below some suggestions, which can be mixed and matched over the talk.

  • Personal journey: If you are sharing your personal journey then you may want to follow the classic "hero's journey" structure where you have a goal but meet challenges along the way which you overcome and resolve the best you can.
  • Persuade: If you want to persuade an audience that the way they currently see the world isn't quite right, you will want to guide them through your argument so that is it plausible. This means breaking down your argument logically into small steps, perhaps even taking the counter position to show that it is flawed.
  • Detective: Another way to build a persuasive case is to play detective. You start with a puzzle and then with the audience search for solutions, ruling them out one by one. You invite the audience on a process of discovery and this can work well if you are a scientist or researcher talking about a discovery you have made.
  • Aspirational: You may want to speak of the world not as it is, but as it might be. You paint a picture of the alternative future you want and compare and contrast it with the situation today. (Think Martin Luther King, "I have a dream".)

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Techniques to make your talk memorable

  • Open with impact. Within the first minute, you need to get the audience's attention, make them curious and excited. Here are some ways to start.
    1) A surprising statement, fact or statistic.
    2) A surprising rhetorical question
    3) Show a compelling slide, video or object
    4) A personal story or anecdote

You want to tease, but don't give away your punch line. If you are looking to persuade or reveal a discovery you want to build up to your revelation.

  • Close with impact.
    1) Move from the specific to the broad
    2) Call to action - invite people to take action on your idea.
    3) Personal commitment - make a commitment of your own.
    4) Values and vision - can you turn what you have discussed into an inspiring or hopeful vision of what might be?
    5) Narrative symmetry - the human brain likes balance so you may want to link back to your beginning so that the narrative comes full circle.

In my next blogs, I shall take you through how to align delivery and content as well as lessons learnt from my TED journey. 

Author's bio

clairedooleportrait 200Claire is a former BBC correspondent and international spokeswoman who is passionate about helping people communicate with confidence. Since 2006, she has successfully trained hundreds of professionals in the art of presenting and public speaking, talking to the media, managing communications in a crisis, and writing for the web. In addition, she has coached C-level executives and public figures to give powerful TEDx and TED style talks in Europe and the Middle East. A Swiss and UK national, Claire trains and coaches in French and English.

Claire is also a highly experienced moderator having facilitated panel discussions with government ministers, NGO activists, humanitarians and human rights specialists at major events.

www.doolecommunications.com