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Every pie chart tells a story--unfortunately, it's usually an excruciatingly dull one. To keep your listeners from falling asleep, tell a story--of the narrative variety, that is.
"No matter how innovative your idea is, as an entrepreneur, you've got to be memorable to people," stresses Peter Giuliano, founder of Executive Communications Group (ECG), an international leadership and communications consulting firm in Englewood, New Jersey.
ECG recently began offering one-day storytelling workshops. According to Giuliano, spinning gold from yarns when meeting with clients is easier than you think. For the best stories, he suggests you think back to childhood memories--like how your newfangled marketing plan compares to that Go Kart you once built with your father. It's a novel approach, but a necessary one in our information-overloaded era.
"Information is now something anybody can get," Giuliano says. "It's what you do with that information that makes it usable to me, the listener." And much more memorable than a boring old pie chart.
Steering your way through change is the focus of this month's roundup of new books.
Bruce Judson and Kate Kelly's HyperWars: 11 Strategies for Survival and Profit in the Era of Online Business (Scribner, $25) plugs into the growing influence of the Internet in business.
Further playing up the importance of changing with the times is Thomas Petzinger Jr.'s The New Pioneers: The Men and Women Who Are Transforming the Work-place and Marketplace (Simon & Schuster, $25), which argues the obsolescence of almighty leaders and the emergence of a more humanistic approach to business.
Lastly, Kotler on Mar-keting: How to Create, Win, and Dominate Markets (The Free Press, $27.50) outlines a shifting landscape for selling products and services--and turns much of conventional wisdom on its head. Philip Kotler's book is as good a compass as you're likely to find.
Heard On The Street
- Wristy business: With carpal tunnel syndrome a reality of the modern-day, computer-intensive workplace, increasing attention is being paid to curbing its effects. The latest news from the medical front--courtesy of the Journal of the American Medical Association--is that yoga shows signs of providing relief from this repetitive-motion disorder. Breathe in, breathe out. . . .
- Who needs a secret password? Thanks to its growing affordability, biometrics technology is finally becoming a viable security option for entrepreneurs. Biometrics essentially relies on identification through physical features such as the eyes, face and fingerprints (as is the case with Compaq's $99 Fingerprint Identification Technology). Never before has face value meant so much.
- It's all in the game: Employee manuals get Nintendo-ized with the help of Corporate Gameware in New York City. The premise? Computer games are a heck of a lot more fun to play than any company's how-to directives are to read--ergo, why not merge one with the other? The result is a customizable game that teaches while urging players to, say, rack up points by answering client questions. Who can lose with this equation?
Executive Communications Group, (800) 874-8278, http://www.ecglink.com