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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:

 

  • 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.

  • Elizabeth Ballin - Life Coach

    As a long time member of the international community in Geneva, Elizabeth Ballin has been coaching adults and students from all parts of the world.  She has coached business professionals, musicians/artists, couples, families and adolescents.  She is a fully accredited Life Coach by the International Coaching Federation. Elizabeth Ballin, Life Coach

  • Patrick Hoza - US Tax & Financial Services

    Since 1990, Patrick has many years of experience with US individual expatriate taxation under his belt, including High Net Worth Individuals, streamline/voluntary disclosure filings and tax consulting, as well as working with large multinationals like Novartis, BP, Hewlett Packard and General Electric. He has extensive knowledge in serving both US expatriates and resident and non-resident aliens with their US tax-related issues. Patrick Hoza is a Tax Director at US Tax & Financial Services, with extensive experience in all aspects of Individual US tax and Expatriation, including Hight Net Worth Individuals and large multinationals.

    Patrick started his career in 1990 in California, with Westpro Ltd., as a Senior Tax Consultant, then spent the middle part of his career working at KPMG and Ernst & Young. During his time with Ernst & Young, he worked and lived in Russia, France and finally Switzerland. He has gained a valuable working knowledge of the respective income tax regulations in all of these countries.

    Patrick holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Colorado, is a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents and is a Certified Acceptance Agent.

  • Melitta Campbell - Business Coach
    Business Coach and Mentor with nearly 3 decades of business experience and a passion for helping women confidently build a business they love. She is also the founder of the Swiss Entrepreneurs Club and president of the Swiss Riviera Toastmasters Club in MontreuxOriginally from Wales, she now lives in Montreux in a chalet she has renovated with her husband overlooking the Swiss Alps. 

  • 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.
  • 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”.

  • 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.
  • Diana Ritchie - SSC Sàrl
    A Director at Swiss Career Connections, Diana will provide you with some useful tips for job hunting.

Hybrid events

By Claire Doole, Doole Communications

The pandemic is not over, but at least in Europe there is a return to something resembling normality (for the moment at least). At the virtual and hybrid conferences that I moderate, many speakers are talking about the small window of opportunity that exists to reset the world for the better of humanity.

But in my small world of moderating at events nothing much has changed – unfortunately!

I had hoped that some of the best practices from the virtual world – shorter event times, shorter presentations/speeches, greater variety of format and creativity – would become the new normal.

We know that we have to work harder to break through the screen of indifference when an event or meeting is virtual. The hybrid format – focusing on a virtual and in-person audience is challenging technically and editorially. I know some clients who have decided to abandon hybrid in favour of virtual or in-person.

However, editorially I am still seeing the same errors at some, not all, the events that I moderate. Here are some of them:

Hybrid 1 copy

By Claire Doole, Doole Communications

Here in Geneva it is “la rentrée” – meaning back to school or back to work after the summer break.

For some it will be the first time they are back in the office after many months, while for others they may still be working from home.

This means that hybrid meetings are de rigueur (order of the day) with some people meeting in person and others joining remotely.

Hybrid meetings should combine the best of both worlds, but the challenge is to make them inclusive and seamless.

Below are some tips and techniques for setting up and facilitating a hybrid meeting, based on my experience as conference moderator and conversations with organisers and technical suppliers.

Getting the equipment right

The higher the stakes, the higher the production values. A hybrid team meeting does not require the same level of equipment and resources as a townhall or stakeholder meeting. You may for example want to book a professional studio for a more important meeting, rather than set up a studio in your office. However, whatever the status of the meeting, you need to ensure that the online and in-person audience – the “Zoomies” and the “Roomies” can see and hear each other.

Audio equipment – The “Zoomies” join on their laptops or mobile devices that have inbuilt microphones, speakers and cameras, allowing the “Roomies” to see and hear them. Where it gets complex is ensuring the “Zoomies” hear the “Roomies”. “Roomies” need either dedicated microphones for each participant or another option is ceiling microphones which can pick up sound over a certain amount of space. I am no specialist on this, but I highly recommend you contact companies that install videoconferencing systems to ensure proper set up. I know of one organisation that held a hybrid meeting where the echo from the “Roomies” audio made the whole experience a waste of time and resources.

Visual equipment – You need a screen so that the “Roomies” can see the “Zoomies”.

In the room you also need a camera or camera(s), depending on the production values, focused on the entire room as well as the person who is speaking. These cameras are often automated and can zoom in and out on individuals speaking. This image is then relayed back to the online participants through a Zoom link (if that is the software you are using). More complex meetings require more cameras and a technical director who switches between cameras in the room.

Six characters in search of an author 2

By Claire Doole, Doole Communications

Have you seen the play, “Six Characters in search of an Author” by the Italian dramatist, Luigi Pirandello? Actors rehearsing for a play are interrupted by six unfinished characters in search of an author to finalise their story. It was first performed in 1921 and is part of the absurdist genre – breaking down the barriers between fantasy and reality.

Unfortunately, a century later, it is the absurd reality that many moderators can find themselves in when confronted with a cast of speakers selected by the organizers of an event. We struggle to work out why they have been chosen, and what they bring to the subject under discussion. We are then left to build connections between the speakers to create a narrative flow that makes sense to the audience.

Believe me, this can take hours of head scratching and sometimes the connections are just not there, particularly if an organiser has selected someone for non-editorial reasons such as an important donor, someone they want to do busines or engage with in the future or because we must have a representative from all five corners of the globe.

Start with the what and not the who

Organisers often tell me they want a BBC-style discussion. If that is the case, they need to follow the principles of BBC news and current affairs programmes. You start with identifying the news of the moment – for event organizers – this translates as what is top of mind and relevant for the audience.

A lot of events today are focusing on building back better after the pandemic, asking if the world can be more sustainable. The BBC would take an opposing view structure bringing someone from the government to explain how they set new environmental targets to achieve net-zero emissions, and then an environmental activist who says the targets are inadequate. The BBC might also put into the mix an academic who can give context.

A Shy Girls Guide to Networking

We are so excited for one of our regular knowitall.ch bloggers, Melitta Campbell, as she has recently wrote and published a book. A Shy Girl's Guide to Networking is ready to order right now. She has kindly offered 5 signed copies for a competition; read on to find out how.

If you’ve ever wondered how some people network so effortlessly, while you feel awkward and out of place, this book is for you.

Written from a shy girl’s perspective, in this book Melitta Campbell shares the exact steps introverts can take to master the three phases of networking, both online and in person, to build powerful and lasting relationships.

As an introvert herself, getting out into the ‘networksphere’ was always a battle for Melitta until she created her innovative VICTORY Formula. This laid out her own rules of engagement, enabling her to embrace her natural abilities as an introvert, grow in confidence and shine while networking. In learning this formula for yourself, you’ll be able to enjoy the same results.

This small, but mighty book will help you:

  • Overcome your networking fears and hesitations
  • Create your personalised networking vision and plan
  • Manage engaging conversations and move on politely
  • Leverage the three phases of networking for business success
  • Build your personal brand through your in person and online networking
  • Embrace your natural (and powerful) skills as an introvert
  • …and much more!

Multiview Speakers

By Claire Doole, Doole Communications

Organising a virtual press briefing is to coin the Thai-English phrase – “same same but different.”

The basics are the same. You need to have news, which is impactful, timely and ideally topical. It may seem obvious, but too often press briefings are organised solely to “educate” the media about an issue. I can’t tell you how many I have left as a BBC Foreign Correspondent without a story to broadcast!

But there are many differences; while virtual briefings have many advantages notably cost, convenience, geographic reach and you could argue carbon footprint, as with all digital events they need to better prepared and moderated.

For the past year I have been moderating virtual media briefings for the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations on COVID 19 – last week was my 6th – and also advising companies and organisations on how to run and speak at them.

Preparing a virtual press briefing

Based on my experience on both sides of the fence as a moderator/media consultant/trainer and former journalist, here are four key questions you should ask yourself: