Sunday, April 29, 2007

Speaking Voice (Homebusiness Ideas)

I recently joined my local toastmasters at Canary Wharf and meetings are held at Morgan Stanley. I find it fascinating especially after Clive Broadband from my club won the speaking and evaluation contest for the area, he then represented the area comprising of five clubs to win the district evaluation contest with 27 clubs representing london.
This was the antidote I needed to pay my membership fee with the club and launch a career in public speaking.
My dentist Stephnie found it difficult to see why anyone will do that, she is not convince you need to join a club to to improve your confidence or communication; "this public speaking is just like motivational speaking it has no impact in your lifestyle and its daily challenges"
My response to her;
"it is just like your patient telling you that my teeth is white and clean, what do I need a dentist for?................Winthin my first three meetings I realize the how loudness, pitch, voice quality, articulation, timing, vocal variety all affect your delivery"

I cannot over emphasize how taking daily steps towards your goal ultimately rewards you with accomplishement. This is my journal and not a lecture note and in order to keep this peice short I will keep you posted on events.

Stay connected

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Your headline: The most important words (Homebusiness Ideas)

Do you want to know the secret to selling things successfully online?It's finding the RIGHT WORDS for the job.Consider this: Most visitors take 10 seconds or less to decide whether to stick around or move on to the next site. Just 10 seconds -- that's all the time you have to convince them YOUR site is where they want to be.
It doesn't matter how well-designed your site is... how high your search engine ranking is... or how amazing your product is. If your words don't grab your visitors and keep them glued to your site, they're going to leave -- and probably never return.Of all the words on your site, the most important are the ones in your HEADLINE.
Your headline is the first thing your visitors see. It needs to capture their attention -- spark their curiosity-- and compel them to read further. And it has to do it fast.To guarantee YOUR headlines jump off the page and pull potential buyers deeper into your site.
Top 5 "Unbreakable" Headline Rules:
Rule #1: RELATE A PROBLEM;Most visitors, when they come to your site, are looking for information -- probably in relation to a problem they want to solve.Maybe they're curious about local flight schools in their area. Maybe they're searching for molded chrome fenders to put on a 1953 Chevy Bel-Air. Or maybe they're trying to figure out how to "unshrink" wool clothes that accidentally ended up in the dryer.Whatever their problem is, relate to it. Show them YOU know what it's all about. Demonstrate a clear and genuine understanding of their wants and needs -- and they'll be far more willing to buy from you.

Rule #2: PRESENT A SOLUTION;You've described a problem. Now you've got to solve it -- in a way that creates a powerful image in the mind of your visitors.Tell your visitors they're about to discover how to get the most qualified flight instructors at the lowest price in town.Describe how their new chrome fenders will help them outshine the competition at the next state-wide car show.Promise them their wife or girlfriend will NEVER know her favorite sweater once shrank small enough to fit a chihuahua.Get them to see the end result -- and you're more than halfway to making the sale.(NOTE: "How to..." and "Discover..." headlines are good at getting people to imagine the end result.)

Rule #3: FOCUS ON BENEFITS -- NOT FEATURES;People aren't so interested in what your product or service is. They want to know what it does.Specifically, they want to know what it'll do for THEM.Tell them they'll get the real "inside scoop" on the flight school scene -- because they'll be learning it from someone who's been a pilot in the area for more than 30 years. (Provided that's true, of course.)Have them imagine the honks, smiles, and admiring glances their car will get every time they drive it down the road.Describe the relief they'll feel when they know they're back in their wife or girlfriend's good books.Remember the most important question that's on all of your visitors minds -- "What's in it for ME?" -- and make sure you answer it.

Rule #4: SPEAK DIRECTLY TO YOUR VISITORS;Write your headlines as if you were talking to your favorite customer -- someone you know very well. Make that person the focus of everything you say.Don't tell them how great your product is... Get them to picture how great their lives will be after they've used it.Just make sure your words are genuine... and use the same kind of language your potential buyers use.(For example, if your business is designing sew-on patches for leather biker jackets, you're NOT going to speak to your customers in the same way as someone who sells quilting supplies!)It's like this:If your customers say "dude," you say "dude."But if they're the kind of people who say "folks," then don't say dude -- or you're dead.

Rule #5: MAKE YOUR HEADLINES "POP";Here's a rule we rarely tell anyone but our top customers: When it comes to writing headlines, it's not just what you write -- it's how you format it.If you clump all the words together into a dense paragraph, like this one, for example, in which I'm going to go on and on and use lots of commas and incredibly unnecessary adverbs and adjectives and pile one idea upon the next (and even include a parenthetical comment) until you can't even remember how the sentence even started -- well, your most important ideas will end up lost in the visual clutter.
BUT: if you limit yourself to just one important idea per lineAnd use simple formatting tricksSuch as bolding and italics and ALL CAPS... Then your readers can get your meaning in a single glance!

Top 5 Unbreakable Headline Rules"... keep them in mind when it's time to craft your next headline.Just remember: Your headline can have a massive impact on your sales, so you'll want to spend lots of time on it. TEST THEM, Run them for a couple of weeks, then compare the results against other headlines. Then, tweak them and test them again!You may have to do this a few times before you hit on one that pulls consistently... but it's definitely worth the effort.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I attended a mens forum today called MENTOR (Men Engaging Nations To Optimise Resources) and the sessions were profound, I have decided to act on and implement the knowledge immediately. Hence forth I will have a label called Journal; this will be my thoughts, my past and my exposure which will eventual form my book within the next 6 to 12 months.

I believe all our experiences both the joy and sadness, the failure and the success can be package into products for profit and for community benefit.

I also believe all our individual experiences is wisdom and currency to negotiate our future.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Competency Based Interviews (Homebusiness Ideas)

What is competency based interviewing?

Competency based interviewing is a style of interviewing used to enable a candidate to demonstrate certain behaviours/skills in a working setting. The basis of this being that past behaviour can be a good indicator of future behaviour. A competency is now something that can be measured.

You will be asked to provide an example of a task or situation in which you have demonstrated a certain behaviour or attribute. You will then be asked probing questions to establish what actions you took and the results of those actions, and the effects of those actions on other people.

You should remember that the language that you use in answering these questions is crucial. You should use language such as “I” did this or “I” did that rather than using the word “we”. The potential employer is interested and concerned with what you did not what the team did.

For example, for a Business Analyst an organisation may be looking for competencies such as analytical skills, business understanding, and communication skills both written and verbal.

The best approach to adopt when answering competency style questions is called the STAR model. This will enable you to structure your answer in a clear, logical and concise fashion.

Situation – Describe the situation you were faced with (ideally a recent example)

Task - What did you have to do?

Action – What were the actions that you took and why?

Results – Outline the outcome.

Preparing for a competency based interview

First of all know your CV

You must know exactly what is written on your CV; after all it’s about you. Forgetting what you did in a certain job or when you were there is simply unforgivable! It will also create a very bad impression.

You should then review the job description to try to identify what competencies the organisation is looking for.

You should think of concrete, tangible examples to demonstrate the behaviours / attribute that they are looking for.

It is always a good idea to practice answering competency based questions with a friend.

Common competencies

To help you have listed below some of the more common competencies that companies look for. These may not be always exactly match the definitions given be the prospective employers but they should give you an example of what to expect.

Problem Solving and Decisions Making

How do you arrive at a decision? What information do you use, and how do you make sure your decisions are good and valid? Can you make decisions yourself or do you have to rely too much on others?

Example Questions:

What were the most recent important decisions that you have had to make?

Tell me about a difficult decision you have made?

Tell me when you have had to make an unpopular decision?

Example Questions:

Customer Focus

To display this competency you must show that you fully understand and believe in the importance of customers focus. You must show that you listen to and appreciate the needs of customers (both internal and external). They meet and exceed customer needs to ensure satisfaction.

Example Questions:

Provide an example of when you have had to deal with a difficult customer.

Provide an example of where a customer has been particularly pleased with the service you or your team has provided.

When have you gone above and beyond the call of duty in relation to providing customer focus?

Interpersonal Skills

Many organisations require individuals who have good interpersonal skills and can build good relationships with other people. The ability to communicate with all kinds of people, including difficult and awkward people can be very important.

Example Questions:

How do you deal with difficult people?

How would you go about building up a relationship with a new person at work?

How have you contributed to the teams you have been part of?

Organising and prioritising

This looking to establish how you plan your activities and duties and how you go about organising yourself.

Example Questions:

Provide an example of a day when you had a number of important things to do, and how you went about prioritising it?

How would ensure that you deliver results in your role?

Provide an example of when you have had to meet a very tight timescale and how you managed to do so.

Influencing Skills

Some people have good interpersonal skills and can get on with a variety of different people. It is another skill entirely to be able to influence a person to behave in a certain way.

Example Questions:

Provide an example of when you had had to influence your peer group

Tell me about a time when you have been asked to do something that you disagreed with.

Listed here are 10 common interview questions with some comments as to the reason the questions are asked and the responses expected.

Remember, these responses are only suggestions - do not use them if you feel uncomfortable about them, and try to individualise your answers as many candidates will receive the same questions!

1. "Tell me about yourself."
The interviewer is really saying, "I want to hear you talk."
This is a loosener but it is a common question so your response can stay the same. Write a script and rehearse it so it sounds impromptu. Spend a maximum of 4 minutes describing your qualifications, career history and your range of skills, emphasising those skills relevant to the job on offer.

2. “What have been your achievements to date?"
The interviewer is asking, "Are you an achiever?"
Again, this is a common question, so be prepared. Select an achievement that is work-related and fairly recent. Identify the skills you used, the resulting achievement and quantify the benefit. For example: "My greatest achievement has been to design and implement a new sales ledger computer system - bring it in ahead of time and improve our debtors' position significantly, saving the company £50,000 per month in interest."

3. "Are you happy with your career to date?"
The interviewer is really asking about your self-esteem and self-confidence, your career aspirations and whether you are a happy, positive person.
The answer must be "Yes!" but if you have hit a career plateau or you feel you are moving too slowly, then you must qualify the answer.

4. "What is the most difficult situation you have had to face and how did you tackle it?"
The interviewer is really trying to find out what your definition of difficult is and whether you can show a logical approach to problem solving using your initiative.
This can be a trap! To avoid it, select a difficult work situation which was not caused by you and which can be explained quickly in a few sentences. Explain how you defined the problem, what the options were, why you selected the one you did and what the outcome was. Always end on a positive note.

5. "What do you like about your present job?"
The interviewer is really trying to find out whether you will enjoy the things you would experience in the job on offer.
This is a straightforward question. All you have to make sure is that your "likes" correspond to the skills, etc., required by the job on offer. Be positive; describe your job as interesting and diverse, but do not overdo it - after all, you are leaving!

6. "What do you dislike about your present job?"
The interviewer is trying to find out whether the job on offer has responsibilities you will dislike or which will make you unsuitable.
Be careful with this one! Do not be too specific as you may draw attention to weaknesses which will leave you open to further problems. One approach is to choose a characteristic of your present company, such as its size, its slow decision-making, etc. Give your answer with the air of someone who takes problems and frustrations in your stride and sees them as all part of the job!

7. "What are your strengths?"
The interviewer wants a straightforward answer as to what you are good at and how it is going to add value.
This is one question that you know you are going to get so there is not excuse for being unprepared. Concentrate on discussing your main strengths. List three or four explanations of how they could benefit the employer. Strengths to consider include: technical proficiency; ability to learn quickly; determination to succeed; positive attitude; your ability to relate to people and achieve a common goal. You may be asked to give examples, so be prepared.

8. "What is your greatest weakness?" The interviewer is really asking about your self-perception and level of self-awareness.
This is another standard question for which you can be well prepared. Don't say you have none - this will guarantee that you have further problems. You have two options: use a professed weakness such as a lack of experience (not a lack of ability) in an area that is not vital for the job; or describe a personal or professional weakness, that could also be considered a strength, and the steps you have taken to combat it. An example would be: "I know my team think I'm too demanding at times - I tend to drive them pretty hard but I'm getting much better at using the carrot and not the stick." Do not select a personal weakness such as: "I'm not a morning person - I'm much better as the day goes on."

9. "What kind of decision do you find most difficult?"
The interviewer is really saying, "I need someone who is strong and decisive but who has a human side."
Your answer must not display weakness. Try to focus on decisions that have to be made without sufficient information. This will show your positive side. For example: "I like to make decisions based on sufficient information and with alternatives. When you need to make quick decisions, you have to rely on 'gut feeling' and experience."

10. "Why do you want to leave your current employer?" The interviewer is trying to understand and evaluate your motives for moving.
This should be straightforward. State how you are looking for more challenge, responsibility, experience and a change of environment. NEVER be negative in your reasons for leaving, and rarely will it be appropriate to cite salary as the primary motivator.

Other questions to consider:

· How does your current job fit into your department and your company? (Gives an idea of your level of responsibility)
· What do you enjoy about IT? Have you worked under pressure? (Meaning can you?) Give examples.
· What kind of people do you like working with? Can you give an example of when your work was criticised? (Be prepared for the next question: How did you cope with the outcome?)
· What is the worst situation you have faced outside of work? (as above) Give an example of when you have felt anger at work. (Did you cope and still perform well?)
· What kind of people do you find difficult to work with? (Take care! You won't know all of the staff at the company which is interviewing you).
· Give an example of when you have had to face a conflict of interest at work (A test of interpersonal skills, team and leadership potential).
· Describe the last time you disagreed with your boss. Give an example of when you have disagreed with others in the workplace.
· Do you prefer to work alone or as a team and why?
· This organisation is very different to your current employer. How do you feel you are going to fit in? (You may not be able to answer until you have established what he/she perceives as the difference between the two).
· What are you looking for in a company?
· How do you measure your own performance?
· What kind of pressures have you encountered at work?
· Are you a self-starter? Give examples to qualify your answer.
· Describe the biggest problem you have faced recently and how did you resolve that problem?
· What changes in the workplace have caused you difficulties and why?
· How do you feel about working long hours and at weekends?
· Give an example of when you have felt out of your depth.
· What have you failed to achieve to date?
· What can you bring to this company?
· What areas of your skills do you want to improve? (Try to relate the answer to the job vacancy) What aspect of this vacancy is least appealing to you?
· Why do you want this role?
· Where would you like to be in five years?
· How would your workmates describe you?
· What would your references say about you?
· Why should I give this job to you rather than the other candidates on the shortlist? (strengths)
· What reservations should I have about you as an employee? (weaknesses)
· What do you do in your spare time?
· What five adjectives would best describe you, both in and out of work?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Importance of Reading (Homebusiness Ideas)

Reading is truly at the center of the term "personal development." Isn't it interesting that most homes valued over $250,000 have a library? Jones says, "You're the same today as you'll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read." That should tell us something!
So why is reading important? Let me share some thoughts with you:
Reading opens up new worlds. Reading allows you to travel far away and experience different cultures, religions, places and people, and all through the pages of a wonderful book. At a fraction of the cost of actually going there - though I highly recommend travel as well - you can open up a new world with a simple visit to your local library or bookstore.
Reading opens up new ideas. There are so many ideas we have never even heard or considered. Yet, by picking up a little book, we can be confronted with ideas that can revolutionize the world around us. These are ideas that can change your finances, your family, your work, your attitude - your life! Reading allows you to receive ideas galore!
Reading allows you to interact with the greatest minds. You could gain incredible insights into the minds and ideas ofpeople like George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., Winston Churchill, Mother Theresa, and Aristotle just by opening a book. Imagine being able to delve deeply into philosophy, politics, religion and more, with the greatest minds that have ever lived...all inside a book.
Reading challenges you. Sometimes we think we know it all. We think we have a tremendous grasp on a certain topic. But then, we read something that challenges us. It makes sense. It takes our preconceived ideas and shreds them. It pokes holes in our theories. It takes us on a line of reasoning we hadn't considered. And we are better for it, because someone took the time to expose us to something new--through his or her writing.
Reading reinforces our beliefs. We can open a book written by someone special, and as we read we remember why we believed in the first place. The book lays the groundwork of the thoughts we have. It reinforces our logic. It makes us strong and reminds us of who we are.
Reading rounds you out. Reading shows us what we don't know while at the same time teaches us what we must know. It strengthens us where we need to be strengthened. It shows us new ideas and places. And at every turn, reading never takes away from us, but only expands us, our horizons and our destinies.
Over the centuries books have brought hope to the masses. They have paved the way for rulers both good and evil. Books have been destroyed - burned and shredded - by the powers that be. Books have brought down cruel nations and rulers and obliterated social structures that have outlived their usefulness. They have inspired the individual. They have shared the private thoughts of the rich and the poor. They have shown us the way - the way to live and the way not to live.
By reading a little book (just a few hundred pages of paper bound together), we can open tremendous worlds for ourselves. What futures we bring to our lives. Amazing. Truly amazing.
Developing a Basic Reading Plan
I hope from the above you grasp how incredible I think reading can be!
Just like most things, reading requires a plan and the discipline to follow that plan. So here are some thoughts on developing a reading plan.
Do it daily and regularly. Set aside time each day. 15 minutes each day is better than an hour a week. And make sure it gets done, do it at the same time each day.
Prepare your mind. Get your mind in a calm and focused state so it can absorb the information you are about to make available to it.
Prepare the atmosphere. Don't try to read in a loud or dark room. Choose an atmosphere that is conducive to gaining knowledge.
Keep a journal. Take the time to write down what you are learning and how you can apply it.
Choose a variety of books. Don't just read one genre. Rotate through different books that come from different angles and make you take different approaches.
Interact with the authors as you read. Ask questions and then continue reading to see if they are answered. If you disagree, write it down. Write down examples of how the principles work or don't work. Make your reading as interactive as you can.
Read things that you might disagree with. Pick up a book by authors whose viewpoints you know you will disagree with. This can be a stretching exercise.
Above all: Do it. Go to the store. Buy books. Read them! Because the books you don't read can't help you!

Ten Books Everyone Should Read:

1. The Bible - the best selling book of all time tells the story of sin and redemption, the story of mankind, of despair and hope. It is quite literally the story of our lives.

2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill - this is arguably the best personal development and wealth building book of all time. It belongs on everyone's bookshelf.

3. How To Read a Book by Mortimer Adler - this book will teach you to do just what the title promises - read a book for all it is worth so you come out the best you can be at the end.

4. As a Man Thinketh by James Allen - this book will ground you in the belief that whatever you believe you become. Based on the bible verse that teaches us the same principle: We are what we think.

5. The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason. Written in parables, this is a classic on thrift, financial planning, and personal wealth. Everyone needs to read this book.

6. The Lessons of History by William James Durant. This book gives insight as good as any book on the changes that have taken place over time in economics, politics, military customs and more. Very insightful.

7. The Story of Philosophy by William James Durant. In this book, Durant summarizes the lives and influence of philosophy's greatest thinkers. This is very important for us, as we know that our philosophy determines how we live and what we achieve.

8. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

9. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

10. The 360 Degree Leader by John C. Maxwell

Start with these ten books and then create your own "must read" list, and read, read, read. See where the journey of books takes you and how much further you can climb because of the growing stack of books under your mental feet. Let the books touch you, make you think, challenge your views and carry you to new horizons

Tips for improving your reading speed.

1. Read, read, read. Just like any task, the more you do it, the faster you can get.

2. Develop your vocabulary. The better you know the language, the easier it will be for you to read faster.

3. Don't move your lips while you read. It slows you down.

4. Don't make any noises while you read. It is your subconscious trying to read with you and it slows you down.

5. Don't read each word individually. That slows you down. Read groups of words together and your mind puts them together in logical order.

6. Sweep your hand gently and quickly through the middle section of the page and read as you go. Start slowly, practicing, and go faster and faster until you reach your highest rate.

7. Practice. Like everything, it takes practice. The more you do it the better you will get.
You can improve your memory. You can improve the rate at which you read as well as your comprehension. Use the tips above, put them into practice and in a short time you will see the desired results.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Interview Skills (Homebusiness Ideas)

There are five things that every candidate should know prior to setting foot in an interview:
1. The importance of enthusiasm
2. How to open the interview
3. How to sell their strong points and strengthen their weaknesses
4. How to talk about salary
5. How to close the interview

The importance of enthusiasm
Showing enthusiasm and energy at an interview is vital. Currently there are fewer job openings than people looking, so it is quite common that the most qualified individual will not be offered a job because they do not covey the enthusiasm, excitement, or sense of urgency that a company is looking for. Leave an interview conveying strong desire, energy, and enthusiasm to work for that company. You should leave having the interviewer thinking you really want the job.

Selling your strengths and strengthening your weaknesses
No matter how qualified or confident a person is, an interview is a stressful situation. It's filled with questions that can catch a candidate off guard or trick him into providing information that he did not wish to divulge. Also candidates forget their strengths during interviews. Write down and learn specific achievements that you are proud of. This will help you verbalise their strengths in an interview and they will come across as strong, capable candidates.

Speaking of salary…don’t!
During the interview, when the question of salary arises, try to answer the question in the following manner:
"I'm very interested in this opportunity, and at this time, my salary requirements are open and negotiable."
Putting a price tag on yourself can be potentially fatal. It can lead to two serious problems. First, asking for too much money can stop an interview in its tracks. The interviewer might not realise that there is flexibility in that number and negotiation is always an option. Second, by asking for less money than what would be generally offered, a candidate has put a price tag on themselves and negotiating for more money in the future becomes very difficult. By answering the salary question in the above manner, a candidate has left room for negotiation and a better chance at being invited back for a second interview or getting an offer.

Ending the interview: The final question
You will have one last chance to sell yourself and one final question that you need to ask:
"Mr. Smith, I want to thank you for taking time to meet with me today. I want you to know that I am very interested and excited about this opportunity. In your opinion, do my skills meet the requirements that you are looking for?"
This is a very important question, because it allows you to know exactly where you stand at the end of the interview. You ideally want to hear the interviewer say yes. If the interviewer says yes, then you should ask what the next step will be and to let the agency know the feedback. This is their last chance for you to sell your skills and show that you are capable to excel at this job.