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Trust a comedian to learn how to engage your audience

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There is a reason that Second City in Chicago offers seminars for executives to become better communicators.  Comedians are experts at engaging an audience. Communicating effectively is a critical skill that is undervalued – until it is lacking.

A colleague shared a video from comedian Don McMillan about what NOT to do in a PowerPoint presentation, Life after Death by PowerPoint”.  I’ve seen so many of these that I normally wouldn’t have clicked, but this one held my attention.

How to talk about insurance M&A

Speaking to Insurance Inxpo

This is the third post in a three-part series about communicating during insurance mergers and acquisitions. If you missed my earlier remarks, please check them out here.

In my previous posts, I talked about why and what in M&A communications – their importance and some specific things companies need to address.In this post, I’m going to explore how insurance organizations should communicate during M&A.

Guidance for Virtual Learning Challenges

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Is your organization struggling to take content that was successfully delivered in a physical classroom and translate it into a virtual classroom? Do you find it difficult to connect groups of distributed learners, keep their attention and meet both your learning objectives and your target return on investment? Are you wondering how to package 40 or more hours of classroom content into a virtual setting? If so, you are not alone! These are common challenges for organizations that are implementing virtual classroom programs.

For answers to these questions and much more on virtual classroom topics, join me at a workshop at the Enterprise Learning Conference June 8. I’ll offer guidance to help you understand five key steps in redesigning content to successfully deliver it in a virtual classroom. I’ll also provide tips on how to engage the virtual audience, help you keep your learners focused and how your organization can maximize its ROI on training and development. Please join me.

It’s Video – What ‘Real Housewives’ and Marketing have in common

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It pains me to connect my profession to the Real Housewives.  Forgive me fellow marketers.  I blame my wife. The show is on far too much at my home.

Here’s the connection.  Video has never been more popular in business. As both a marketer and consumer, you cannot dismiss the growing use and value of video in business communications.  From marketing lead generation via webcasts and content marketing that makes use of YouTube, to video interview platforms like HireVue that make the hiring manager’s job easier, and even upstart tools like Meerkat finding a role for micro-blogging and audience communication.  Let’s not forget the love/hate relationship with video conference systems.  Businesses are getting hooked on video.

What to say in insurance M&A

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In a recent post I wrote about why communication is important during mergers and acquisitions, especially for the insurance industry. In this post, the second in a three-part series, I’m going to discuss what specifically companies should communicate during M&A.

As I mentioned in the earlier post, all stakeholders need to know what’s going on when two businesses integrate their operations – employees, customers, suppliers and investors. Many insurance organizations, especially on the brokerage side, look to grow through acquisition. Organic growth is hard to achieve in insurance, so an M&A strategy is a quicker path to growth objectives. Often this takes the form of marrying two different companies, but it also can involve bringing on teams or bolting on capabilities. No matter how an insurance organization expands, it’s critically important to keep communicating with stakeholders. Companies that go through M&A aren’t just managing integrations; they also have to manage expectations.