Sunday, February 16, 2014

No matter what kind of speaking you do or what your topics are, you need to belong to a strong professional organization. The fact is our speaking businesses are not islands unto themselves. Rather they are affected by the interdependent activities of other professional speakers. Here are three good examples of those interdependent activities and how they can directly benefit you.
1. Further develop your speaking and business skills. Professional speaking organizations often provide training in creating powerful and persuasive presentations, including performing and theatrical methods. They offer guidance on topic expertise and research methodology. Additionally, they provide information on business management, sales, and marketing, not to mention the standards of conduct and integrity expected among professional speakers. By joining professional speaking organizations you continue to invest in your speaking skills and ability to manage a successful speaking business.
2. Build credibility as a professional speaker. Use the brand name of the associations you join to build credibility. Add their logos to your website and business cards. Mention in your press releases and media kits which organizations you belong to and how long you've been a member. Talk up any awards, certifications, or training you received from the associations you belong to. Aligning yourself with well known organizations will help event planners trust your qualifications and help audiences trust your message.
3. Network with other speakers. Connect with members of the association you join by attending live conferences or participating in online forums. Develop strategic relationships with fellow speakers. Identify those who share your message and themes and increase your exposure by tag-teaming at events. Partner with speakers you can fill in for should they receive a speaking invitation they need to decline. Learn from the experience of other speakers on how to find the best events and which ones to shy away from. Find someone in the association willing to coach you through some of the anxiety of being a speaker. Expand your knowledge and possibilities by networking with those who have the experience and success you are striving for yourself.
While each and every organization is different, joining a professional speaker association like the National Speakers Association, Professional Speakers Guild, American Speakers Bureau, or Toastmasters is critical to our overall success. Whether we're kicking off a new speaking career or have been making a living at it for years, a continued investment in our skills, credibility, and relationships will help us be more effective in speaking well and convincing others we speak well.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The international real estate market has over the last three years - seen a surge in buyers from China as well as other asian markets like Taiwan. Culturally similar in terms of investment approach, Taiwanese and Chinese buyers seek safe places to invest their money as well as provide homes for their immediate families that immigrate to pursue tertiary education.
The Chinese international market is driven by two main factors. Firstly, the Chinese government restricts domestic market home purchases to two per household to curb investment speculation. This drives wealthy Chinese abroad. The second factor is the pursuit of a second residency abroad - typically Canada, Australia and the United States although there are large investor numbers in Europe and SE Asia.
A Growing Niche - Taiwanese Speaking Investors
The smaller Taiwanese client base is no less affluent and are also comprised of the wealthy business class who seek to expand their real estate portfolio and provide homes for their school-bound children abroad. A large number have made the various suburbs of Greater Vancouver and Richmond their home and their presence has been felt in the property market.
While serving the larger Mandarin speaking Chinese market has been relatively easy for realtors - given the larger number of Mandarin speaking people abroad - serving the more exclusive Taiwanese or Fukien speaking client base is more difficult. There are not as many Fukien speaking realtors in international markets. While many Fukien and Taiwanese speaking clients can operate in Mandarin - there is a cultural and emotional dimension to serving them in their native dialect. Realtors that are able to speak Taiwanese or Fukien are increasingly in demand as this niche client base expands its investment initiatives worldwide. In Vancouver, one such provider is Richmond-based realtor Wellington Sy is one of a handful of Taiwanese and Fukien speaking realtors in this market. Sy is a uniquely positioned provider being born and raised in Manila, Philippines and counts Fukien as his mother tongue. The Manila brand of Fukien has strong linguistic similarity to the Taiwanese dialect.
Who Are The Taiwanese Speaking Investors?
Taiwanese speaking clients have a strong affinity to their dialect and culture and prefer to conduct business where possible - in their mother tongue. Certainly this is a universal driving force in business. Language skills are more valuable in today's market than ever before and the Fukien dialect is emerging as a lucrative niche for business professionals who have this language skill. It is spoken not only in Taiwan by 25 million Taiwanese, but is popularly used in SE Asia - Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and parts of Thailand and Indo China as well.
Taiwanese speaking clients have a slightly different investment mindset from their Mainland peers. While investing for profit, they also seek safe environments for residence and raising of families. They tend to be community oriented and have lower risk tolerance. There are relatively fewer Taiwanese or Fukien speaking service professionals in North America and Europe as their influx has been relatively small.
Main Areas Of Taiwanese Investors In Vancouver
The Taiwanese real estate investor community have settled in distinct areas of Greater Vancouver. The more prominent spaces where they occupy are Richmond and Coquitlam. Richmond is a suburb within Greater Vancouver that has a large general Chinese community and a large commercial and dining presence.
Coquitlam on the other side of Greater Vancouver - is more of a pocket presence of Taiwanese speaking clients who seek out the quiet serenity of neighbourhoods like Westwood Plateau which offers mountain views, greenery and a lower cost per square foot than Richmond. Both communities offer different things to the Taiwanese speaking investor.
Two Other Growing Areas
Two other growing niches of Taiwanese speaking client investors in the Greater Vancouver area are Burnaby and Surrey. Burnaby is a large suburb between the city of Vancouver and Coquitlam that has a large Asian community and the Taiwanese are fitting right in. The proximity of Burnaby to the big city amenities of Vancouver attracts many Taiwanese to the suburb. Surrey is an unlikely niche for Taiwanese speaking immigrant investors. It has long been an Indo-Canadian enclave but in the last five years, several Taiwanese commercial interests have sprouted up like a Taiwanese mall. A check with local realtors reveal that there are many Taiwanese immigrants living in the Fleetwood area of Surrey and many are heading to the more high-end neighbourhood of South Surrey.
While their more visible Mandarin speaking cousins take the limelight as international property investors, the Taiwanese speaking niche clientele could provide lucrative investment opportunities for business people seeking to serve them.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Have you ever wanted to be able to call yourself bilingual? Do you want to add something new and fresh to your resume? There is no better way to do this than by learning how to speak Spanish. When you decide to learn Spanish you'll be doing yourself a favor by joining the millions of people who already do. Many of these people are speaking it as their first language and some use it as a second language. So why should you increase your Spanish vocabulary and join the millions of other people already speaking the language? The answer to this is simple.
The Spanish language is the second fastest growing language in the world and ranks number two among people learning to speak a second language. So why exactly is learning Spanish so overwhelmingly popular and quickly becoming a trend in mainstream society? There are two reasons that jump out among the many. First, if you can learn and speak Spanish then you are opening up a world of opportunities for yourself. Professionally speaking, the ability to speak Spanish will extend your reach into the commercial and business world by giving you the power to break down language barriers.
There are over 400 million native Spanish speaking people around the world. Add to that the number of people speaking Spanish as a second or even third language. Just think of the possibilities you could achieve for yourself and your career if you could easily and confidently communicate with this extraordinary number of Spanish speakers while using a vast Spanish vocabulary. Learning Spanish will put you ahead of your competitors either for a promotion or for closing that once in a lifetime business deal.
When you learn spoken Spanish you'll not only impress the people around you, but you'll impress yourself as well with your new Spanish vocabulary. You'll be able to establish new business contacts, make global business propositions and extend your business internationally. You will also have the confidence and knowledge to go on business trips to Spanish speaking countries. Basically, when you learn and speak Spanish you'll be giving yourself and your life a promotion.
Traveling to Spanish speaking countries has exploded with popularity lately. Not only have these trips been made affordable to most people, sometimes it's the opportunity of a lifetime. People traveling to Spanish countries who took the time to learn Spanish, tend to enjoy their stays much better. They don't fret leaving the resort or hotel for fear of not being able to communicate with natives due to a limited Spanish vocabulary. They take initiative and explore parts of the country far beyond the tourist attractions.
When you learn and speak Spanish you can easily converse with waiters and waitresses at restaurants and stop and ask for directions as well as immerse yourself into a new culture while abroad. Also, those learning how to speak Spanish view foreign travel as a great way to test their new Spanish speaking skills. Some even view foreign travel as a great learning experience.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

If you have a fear of speaking up, you're not alone. Studies show that 85% of people are more afraid of speaking in public than they are of death. Wow! That's a huge fear. So you're a fairly typical person if the thought of speaking makes you anxious.
However, the consequences for you if you're not speaking up are NOT typical. You're a business owner. So you need to be heard. It's critical that you get the word out calmly and clearly about what you do.
Staying Small
A decision to resign yourself to speaking anxiety is a choice to stay small in your business. It's that simple. Because it's socially acceptable to have performance anxiety, so it can be an easy way to hide. I know because I've done it myself. Yes - it's embarrassing, but it's true.
While coaching other people to speak up so they could grow their businesses, I found lots of reasons to avoid doing some things involving speaking because of my own fears. On the surface, they looked like performance fears. But digging a little deeper, I uncovered the truth.
My real fear was about what could happen if I expanded my business. As long as I didn't address my own particular speaking fears, I didn't have to know that, did I? It was a safe way to stay small.
What Are You Missing Out On?
Are you doing the same thing? If you've decided this is just part of your DNA so you're not going to address your anxieties about speaking, here are some of the business opportunities you're turning down:
  • doing group coaching
  • creating videos
  • creating audios
  • making radio appearances
  • doing your own teleseminars
  • presenting workshops
  • giving free and paid talks
  • networking effectively
  • being taken seriously by other professionals
  • speaking calmly to those with more authority or visibility

Take A Closer Look
Do yourself a favor and take a peek behind that fear of speaking. Is it just a reason you use to avoid a bigger fear? Maybe some version of fear of success? Fear of being overwhelmed with too much work? Of not being able to maintain a new level of production? Something else?
It's not always pretty, but the truth really will set you free. It gives you have a solid, specific place to start from. There are solutions to all these concerns.
Sometimes, just dealing with your core fear will make your speaking discomfort disappear! It was just an illusion after all - a camouflage for something else. And sometimes you need some outside help with those speaking fears so you can jump on all those business opportunities.
Take whichever path will work for you, but do yourself and your business a favor and eliminate that anxiety.

Friday, August 17, 2012

With the continued proliferation of the Internet, the meaning of the word "marketing" also seems to proliferate. Cyberspace has opened up a whole arena of new marketing technologies, techniques, and twists. Amidst the online exuberance, it seems each online marketer or salesperson changes the definition of marketing to suit his or her preference.
Many times, ill-conceived notions and perceptions reduce the meaning of the word "marketing" to a shadow of it’s true self. Many see marketing as a series of tactics or gimmicks. Some define marketing as pyramid programs and the like. Others treat the words "marketing" and "sales" or "marketing" and "advertising as synonymous. None of these adequately convey the definition of marketing.
Different Marketing Definitions
Along with all of the new terminology, new techniques, and new twists the Internet has brought us, it has also opened opportunities for misguided notions about the definition of marketing. While the above definitions describe different facets or definitions of related terms, they do not convey the much broader process that is truly marketing. By taking a look at some dictionary and trade definitions of marketing we can get a better feel for what marketing is truly about:
American Marketing Association Definition
The process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives. (Note 1)
American Heritage Dictionary's Definition of Marketing
The commercial functions involved in transferring goods from producer to consumer. (Note 2)
Merriam Webster's Marketing Definition
1 b: the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.
2: an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer. (Note 3)
Marketing Definition From MSN Encarta Dictionary
The business activity of presenting products or services to potential customers in such a way as to make them eager to buy. Marketing includes such matters as the pricing and packaging of the product and the creation of demand by advertising and sales campaigns. (Note 4)
Note the phrasing: "The process," "functions involved," "process or technique," "an aggregate," "the business activity." These all get to the heart of the definition of marketing.
As a process, there are certain foundations of marketing that will never become obsolete. We still have products, services, and ideas to sell at some price. We deliver to our customers via some means of distribution. We promote and we advertise. Those are the basics. Those basics still exist and always will.
If The Marketing Definition Hasn't Changed, Then What Has?
What has changed is the business environment. Companies compete with more efficient technologies. Customers have better access to their cost options and they communicate to each other in ways not conceivable in the pre-Internet age.
In some industries, the Internet has lowered the cost of entry so that entrepreneurs -- many times from a home office -- have entered the competition. The changes in competitive environment are numerous. What have also changed are marketing strategies and the marketing programs we have available to implement those strategies.
These have changed, but the basic marketing definition has not. Superior marketing is and always has been analysis, then action. It is strategy development, then logical and thought-out tactical implementation. It is the way to customer satisfaction and increasing profit.
The steps to successful marketing and implementation include:
1) Analyzing your customers and the business environment in order to
2) identify key opportunities to better and more profitably meet customer needs,
3) figuring out how to act on those opportunities, and then
4) implementing your plan.
The process doesn't have to be cumbersome. Five-year plans and novel-length documents are not required. The logic of the action is what is important.
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