In Her View

Business Insights & Inspiration
Death By Powerpoint: If You’re Not Passionate, You Shouldn’t Be Presenting!

09/26/14

Death By Powerpoint: If You’re Not Passionate, You Shouldn’t Be Presenting!

Most of us these days, for better or worse, have become presenters. We’re either part of the speaker cycle in our networking groups or aggressively seeking speaking opportunities, boosting our chops as industry experts. If we’re paying attention, with each presentation, we become more polished. We may not love the limelight, but over time, we become more effective presenters. But we’ve all experienced Death by PowerPoint: if you’re not passionate you shouldn’t be presenting. I just suffered through a PowerPoint presentation that qualified as a human rights violation. Dense, 10pt type, with neither graphics nor flowcharts to break the monotony, the presenter actually read this word for word. Not a soul was paying attention and he didn’t seem to notice. I fled after 40...

Posted at 05:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

Handling Helicopter Founders in a Family Business

09/22/14

Handling Helicopter Founders in a Family Business

At the last meeting of the Women in Family Business Peer Group at the Conway Center for Family Business, we discussed Helicopter Founders. Many of us are aware of the term “Helicopter Parents (HPs).” These HPS are defined by Wikipedia as parents who pay “extremely close attention to their children’s experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions” and who hover over their children, whether the children need them to or not. Just as parents have trouble letting go of their grown children, Founders of a Family Business often have trouble relinquishing control and taking their hand off the steering wheel of the business. “Helicopter Parents” turn into “Helicopter Founders.” Mom and Dad have agreed to step aside...

Posted at 11:48 AM | Permalink | Comments

Want More People To Read Your Newsletter? Sex Up Your Subject Lines!

06/23/14

Want More People To Read Your Newsletter? Sex Up Your Subject Lines!

I’m bullish on newsletters for a few very good reasons: they’re a high-impact, cost-effective way to stay in front of your audience. Your newsletter is your soapbox, an opportunity to be creative and share your ideas, expertise and what I like most—your opinions!   You’re only as good as your subject line Coming up with killer subject lines, however, is email marketing’s greatest challenge. Your subject line has 100% eyeshare, regardless of whether or not an email is opened. Think about this–even as someone is deleting your newsletter, he/she is reading your subject line and thinking about your message.   In pursuit of better subject lines to grow your audience Below are a few cautionary rules, words and phrases...

Posted at 07:59 PM | Permalink | Comments

Now is not the time for self-reflection

05/29/14

Now is not the time for self-reflection

Practicing your presentation in front of a mirror sounds like great advice. We don’t know what we look like, and it’s not always possible to videotape our practice, so why not? This rule is one of those that everybody knows is “right.” But mirrors are just a one-person show. You get used to performing for an “audience” that’s about 12 inches away. You worry about tics you didn’t notice before, or conversely, you really enjoy smiling back at that good-looking person in the mirror. In short, you practice watching yourself. You’re supposed to be practicing watching the audience! You won’t be watching yourself when you present, but your body, voice, and energy will all be used to a mirror, which gives no...

Posted at 01:20 PM | Permalink | Comments

Don’t Stop Financial Investments During Turbulent Times

05/16/14

Don’t Stop Financial Investments During Turbulent Times

Read the headlines on your iPad. Turn on the television. Listen when you’re out for lunch. Each day we are bombarded with news about our federal government, conspiracy theories on a missing 777, action in the Crimea and Ukraine, or news of a local business closing.   With the ups and downs of the economy, some investors and savers have given up. Or at least have opted to stay on the sidelines. Why take the risk? Why stomach the anxiety? Is it worth it anyway?   Long-term saving and investing isn’t about what’s happening now or timing the market. And, it isn’t about buying only at the right time. Because there will always be uncertainty and we never will know if it was the right time until we go out in time and look back via a rear...

Posted at 11:58 AM | Permalink | Comments

Role Models Matter but Being Yourself Matters More

05/13/14

Role Models Matter but Being Yourself Matters More

It’s always good to get your batteries charged…to make sure that you’re working at peak levels, have the energy to rise to the challenges and stay on your purpose, your path. Over the weekend I was able to “sit at the feet” of one of my role models and do just that…what a gift. But before I tell you about her, let me tell you about my original role model. I was born mid-last century, when role models for women were few and far between. Women’s roles were changing (maybe they always have, now that I voice that), but slowly, and so to have a sense of “this is how I can be” or “this is what I can do with my life” was something that occurred to me seldom and fleetingly if at all. [My life direction was set by my Mom:...

Posted at 02:04 PM | Permalink | Comments

Spring Clean Your Business

05/07/14

Spring Clean Your Business

On the home base, we have spring cleaned the rooms, closets, windows, donated items we no longer need, and are now envisioning our floral gardens and patios. But as small business owners, we know it’s a great time to spring clean our business home as well.      Why should we do business spring cleaning? Well, it will help you determine what may or may not be working, determine what needs to be corrected or improved. Here’s a few areas you can evaluate:   E-commerce • Email marketing—Spring clean your email marketing to see if it is working effectively. Review your subscriber/un-subscribers data and emails that are being bounced. Are you engaging and offering rewards to your customers?  • Check your...

Posted at 02:56 PM | Permalink | Comments

4 Speaking Tricks that Work Every Time

05/06/14

4 Speaking Tricks that Work Every Time

Originally posted on Inc.com (http://www.inc.com/karen-hough/three-speaking-tricks-that-work-every-time.html), March 7, 2014   For some reason, the old rules use every trick possible to...well, trick you. If something makes you uncomfortable, the rules immediately look for a workaround, some way to avoid the issue.   So here’s a shocker--attempting eye contact can make some people pretty nervous. Therefore, we have the awful Rule to Break #1, “Scan the back wall to simulate eye contact.”   Over the last six years, I’ve been taking an informal poll. It’s entirely anecdotal and has no official record. But in my classes, hundreds of people are subscribing to this really bad rule. At least 70 percent of the people...

Posted at 12:27 PM | Permalink | Comments

10 Quick Tips for Blogging Success

05/06/14

10 Quick Tips for Blogging Success

You’re likely familiar with stats about how blogging is great for SEO, how it positions us as industry experts and gives us a chance to share our knowledge. Yet sometimes it just seems like another writing assignment and you’re already drowning. Here are some ideas to help make blogging easier.   1. If you’re producing a newsletter, make sure you’re repurposing your articles to your blog. 2. Publish your blog to your social media sites. 3. Don’t be afraid to steal ideas. Identify articles in industry publications with which you agree or disagree and use these as launching pads for discussion. Link to the article and credit the author.  4. Everyone loves a story. Use a case study, a success story, or describe how you’ve...

Posted at 08:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

What is really on your "bucket" list?

04/30/14

What is really on your "bucket" list?

I often wonder if our “bucket list” is really on the surface what we really want. On my bucket list, I want to go to the great wall of China, visit Bora Bora, and go to the south of Italy by the sea. Take five minutes to consider what would be on yours.    Upon further evaluation, do these lists of items nod to something symbolic, something deeper? By auditing these wishes much like an anthropologist may go on a dig. Am I willing to get my hands a little dirty to unearth the truth? To delve into the authentic reasons why I want to visit these places. What themes are these speaking to me visually as I roll them over in my mind’s landscape?    With one stroke of the mind’s brush, more of the reasons seem to appear much like a...

Posted at 12:59 PM | Permalink | Comments

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