Confessions of a Bedroom Programmer

Sitting in the back of my brother's car clutching my brand new Atari STE I happily declared I was going to be writing my first game soon. The Atari STE came with a selection of games I was keen to play but the image of STOS the Game Creator, a programming package which came with the STE, was the center of my dreams. The thought of being able to create any game I want, limited only by my imagination. Nothing in the world mattered to me at that very moment as I dreamed of hiding away with my copy of stos basic and creating my own games. Years later I have programmed countless pieces of code, a collection of popular games still displayed on various websites and wrote many articles on programming which I proudly display on my website to this day.

Programming can be highly addictive as I soon found out. I would come home from work and aim to be locked away with my computers as soon as possible. My mother would call up the stairs to tell me family members had arrived and I would reluctantly leave my babies just to walk to the top of the stairs to say hello. If they were lucky they would get my attention a bit longer if I came down for coffee. Times when I attempted a social life my conversation would be itching to come round to computers.

I ventured into the outside world in a desperate attempt to find an interest other than computers. I joined a karate class and actually started to enjoy the first year or so there, until visions of my babies started to occupy my mind and I started skipping lessons. Then one night in the club my Sensei read out a list of people who had the lowest attendance that month and mine was the lowest with just one visit. My Sensei glared at me with anger in his eyes and said: "If I want to go on my computer then get knotted" or words to that affect.

I have to confess that I am an addict when it comes to computers. It came to the point where I decided to leave karate class and spend more time at home hidden from the world – just me, my computers and endless cups of coffee which I would make just to have a reason to pop downstairs and see if my family are still there.

I discovered I had the programming bug at school when we learned how to type out simple programs on the BBC micro. Using drawing commands to draw simple shapes but it was enough to wet my appetite for programming. I got myself a Spectrum 48K and was soon learning basic commands, enough to write a small and simple adventure game.

Years later I was programming in STOS on the Atari STE and Amos on the Amiga 1200 and this became a big part of my life. My social life was at a minimum; often I had to push myself. I hated the idea of ​​dealing with any situations outside of the bedroom. I was in danger of becoming a real loner who would happily shun the society and live in my own private world where people are pixels.

CONCLUSION

Thankfully I have improved over the years and have a better social life. However I found I am still happier being at home with my wife and my PC. I don't have any regrets that I did not spend more time in the outside world. But I will still like to remind others that programming is a very addictive hobby and can lead to you become a sad git like me.

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Why Most Online Marketing Is a Waste of Time – What Works Instead

These days, when it comes to growing your business, all you hear about is online marketing. And it's what everyone would like to use to attract more of their ideal clients.

After all, if more prospective clients simply found your website online, you'd get more business, right?

Well, it's not so simple. After engaging in online marketing for more than 20 years, I've learned a lot of things. And one of those things is that online marketing can be a complete waste of your time and resources.

If your clients are individuals or solo business owners, online marketing can be very effective; it certainly has been for me.

But if your clients are business managers in larger companies and C-Level business executives, online marketing has severe limitations. And putting a lot of time and energy into that kind of marketing will only lead to frustration and disappointment.

It really starts with who your ideal clients are and how they find professional service businesses such as management consultants, business coaches and corporate trainers.

Let's say a CEO needs help with their business strategy. Do they jump on Google first and look up "Strategy Consultants"?

Never. No, they ask those they already know – their trusted advisors. Or they contact someone who's written a book or who gave a talk at their national conference. They look for credibility.

And once they've found someone, then they'll take a look at the consultant's website. So some degree of online marketing kicks in at the back end of the marketing process, but not so much on the front end.

That's why it's important to have a nicely designed and well-written website. Prospects will definitely check you out there and if it hits all the right notes, it increases the chances they'll work with you.

One of my clients, Mark T., is the kind of strategy consultant I'm talking about. He works only with corporations, and only at the C-Level. His engagements are worth $ 100K or more.

Today Mark told me that he has never had a CEO call him out of the blue because they saw his website online. All his business comes from referrals and from high-end speaking engagements at conferences.

Another client of mine, Keith H. is a high-level business coach. And although he has a great website, he does not depend on it for new clients. Most of his clients come through networking with the Young Presidents Organization (YPO).

If you're the kind of professional who provides services to larger businesses, is there any kind of online marketing you should be doing?

Yes, and there's kinds that that you shouldn't be doing either. I'll discuss them all in this article.

First, what online marketing is a waste of time?

1. Any activities to make your website visible. Why? Because you don't care if your clients find you online as you know they're not looking for you there until they know about you first through other channels. SEO strategies and endlessly tweaking your keywords won't get you much, if anything.

2. Facebook. This platform isn't going to give you anything if your clients are from larger companies. Facebook ads? Forget about it. Your ideal clients are not hanging out there.

3. Instagram. Seriously? A complete waste of time.

OK, so what does work?

1. A well-designed and well-written website. As mentioned before, this is essential for credibility once you already have the attention of your ideal clients.

2. Personalized emails. Email is the single most powerful online marketing tool for independent professionals. I talked about this at great length in my ezine last week.

3. Content marketing. Essentially, writing articles and posting them on your blog or other online sites and sending to your list. This is useful at no matter what level you do it, even if you have a small list. You want everyone in your network to know what you're thinking about and what you're working on. It keeps you visible and relevant. And once you have the attention of your ideal clients you can use your articles to demonstrate your expertise.

Writing makes you a smarter, more effective professional. And it can dramatically increase your credibility. At minimum, write one good, substantial article every month. Posting it on LinkedIn and Medium can sometimes attract extra attention and sign-ups to your list.

If you want to learn what business topics are most popular these days you might want to check out BuzzSumo.

4. LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the one social media platform that makes sense for independent professionals. Having a good LinkedIn profile is as important as your website as people who learn about you will check you out there and see who you're connected to.

But where LinkedIn really excels is as a prospecting tool. In an instant, you can zero in on your ideal clients, their position in the company and who can connect you with them. I'll explore this further in future articles, as LinkedIn is a powerful tool that very few know how to take full advantage of.

5. Twitter. Publishing tweets about what you're working on and articles you've published keeps your network informed – but not for directly promoting your business.

These days, it's really easy to get sucked into online marketing activities that go nowhere. It's not a good use of your time and your energy. And it tends to be passive instead of proactive.

If you sell your professional services directly to larger businesses, your ideal clients are simply not looking for you online. So don't waste a lot of your time there.

Instead, you want to use online marketing tools such as email, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., to support your primary marketing activities: networking (personal connections and meetings), speaking (presentations at conferences, etc.) and writing (articles, blogs , ezines, etc.)

Cheers, Robert

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How to Make College Students More Courageous

As educators, we know one of the best traits that can aid in success is confidence. Self-doubt can kill dreams and a lack of belief in oneself can deter anyone from achieving a goal and becoming successful. However, confidence is often something that we have or need at any given time. We need confidence, even for the smaller day to day routine things that we do. On the other hand, sometimes, we need courage to get through a situation. Courage is pushing through when things are tough or create fear. For example, it might take confidence to ace the final exam, but it takes courage to stick out a degree program when it puts finances in jeopardy, reduces work-life balance, and all your support systems are against you going for this goal.

As educators, we will see many students each year that need to build up their courage. They need our help and guidance on how to be courageous in a time of fearfulness or anxieties. Students face many life events along their four plus years with us, and to help them achieve their goal of earning a degree, we must also provide mentorship on how to be courageous.

Here are 3 ways you can guide students into being more courageous:

  1. Reduce Fears and Anxieties

If you want your students to be more courageous, remember that as a professor, your role is to teach, guide, model and inspire, not to show students how tough "the real world is." Learning new content and balancing education with life is already hard enough, no need to instill fear on top of this. As an added bonus, as you minimize fears and anxieties, and students push through, they build confidence.

To minimize fears and anxieties in your students, there are several things you can do, here are some tips:

  • Set course expectations up front.
  • Link students to helpful resources.
  • Give them tips on what to do if they encounter technology problems.
  • Provide your contact information and answer emails / calls in less than 24 hours.
  • Give a little leeway in the event a student had a major life event occur during a specific week.
  • Humanize yourself. You can do this by sharing a little about who you are personally, doing videos in the courseroom, using humor, building rapport.
  • Don't give negative feedback in the open forum. Use personal email or gradebook feedback.
  • Give feedback on assignments and discussion questions. This helps the student to know what they have done well with and where they can improve. No feedback leaves students in the dark as to what they can improve on and how.
  1. Encourage Students to Focus on What They Can Control

In a classroom setting, you are the authority. Students may feel intimidated at times or feel that they have limited power. Perhaps they don't like the content, don't understand it, or are having personal troubles while also trying to manage their education. As a professor, if you want to increase your student's courage, help students to focus on what is in their control. This will help students persevere in the face of adversity or trials because they will realize they are not completely powerless.

Here are some tips you can share with students to help empower them to take control over their education:

  • Give students tips on avoiding procrastination
  • Share resources on balancing life and work
  • Give students tools on how to achieve better time management
  • Help students become intentional about their leaning. You can provide them with assessments that can help them better understand how they learn. (Check out the Learning Connections Inventory (LCI) through Let Me learn).
  • Share school / university resources.
  • Educate students on the importance of, and how to, build support systems and strong networks.
  • Teach students how to create SMART goals.
  • Encourage students to take an honest look at the people and activities in their lives. Then have them personally assess what / who might be best to cut versus keep in order to achieve those SMART goals.
  1. Teach Communication Skills

It takes courage to do something when you are scared or to press on in the event of pain and sadness. It is important to let students know that they are valuable and can use their voice to make a difference. By teaching students how to speak up, you empower them to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others- and that often takes a lot of courage. In today's society, the next generation in line must be heard. They are facing extreme levels of violence and rage, but the power of speech can change that and create a positive movement. As a professor, you can also educate your students on how to speak up on less socially involved issues, but still critical aspects of a student's life; for example, how to speak up for an advancement or say no to outside tasks that don't fit their goals.

Here are some ways you can help students improve their communication:

  • Educate students on the importance of various communication styles (formal, informal, verbal, non verbal).
  • Provide tips on how to use social media- alongside pros and cons.
  • Provide guidance on how to listen and the value of patience.
  • Educate students on how certain words can be perceived as having self-doubt. (For example, watching how often a student leads with "I think" or "I feel" in negotiating or business).
  • Model being respectful and discuss the importance of having an open mind.
  • Provide feedback on how to be clear and concise, yet substantially answer a question.
  • Share resources, such as books, articles and videos on how to communicate with confidence.

By boosting students' levels of courage, we are helping them to persevere through the trials and tribulations that life throw at them while they are taking a leap of faith into bettering their lives. As we boost courage, we also instill confidence. Courage and confidence are two key ingredients into helping our students reach their goals, obtain dreams and earn their degree. It is in these amazing students and their achievements that we are fortunate enough as professors to leave a bit of our legacy, behind.

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Recruitment as the Most Important Aspect of Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management theories focus on methods of recruitment and selection and highlight the advantages of interviews, general assessment and psychometric testing as employee selection processes. The recruitment process could be internal or external or could also be online and involves the stages of recruitment policies, advertising, job description, job application process, interviews, assessment, decision making, legislation selection and training (Korsten 2003, Jones et al, 2006 ).

Examples of recruitment policies within healthcare sector and business or industrial sectors could provide insights on how recruitment policies are set and managerial objectives are defined. Successful recruitment methods include a thorough analysis of the job and the labor market conditions and interviews as well as psychometric tests to determine the potentialities of applicants. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) also focus on interviews and assessment with emphasis on job analysis, emotional intelligence in new or inexperienced applicants and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Other techniques of selection that have been described include various types of interviews, in tray exercise, role play, group activity, etc.

Recruitment is almost central to any management process and failure in recruitment can create difficulties for any company including an adverse effect on its profitability and inappropriate levels of staffing or skills. Inadequate recruitment can lead to labor shortages, or problems in management decision making and the recruitment process could itself be improved by following management theories. The recruitment process could be improved in sophistication with Rodgers seven point plan, Munro-Frasers five-fold grading system, psychological tests, personal interviews, etc. Recommendations for specific and differentiated selection systems for different professions and specializations have been given. A new national selection system for psychiatrists, anesthetists and dental surgeons has been proposed within the UK health sector.

Recruitment is however not just a simple selection process and requires management decision making and extensive planning to employ the most suitable manpower. Competition among business organizations for recruiting the best potential has increased focus on innovation, and management decision making and the selectors aim to recruit only the best candidates who would suit the corporate culture, ethics and climate specific to the organization (Terpstra, 1994). This would mean that the management would specifically look for potential candidates capable of team work as being a team player would be crucial in any junior management position.

Human Management resource approaches within any business organization are focused on meeting corporate objectives and realization of strategic plans through training of personnel to ultimately improve company performance and profits (Korsten, 2003). The process of recruitment does not however end with application and selection of the right people but involves maintaining and retaining the employees chosen. Despite a well drawn plan on recruitment and selection and involvement of qualified management team, recruitment processes followed by companies can face significant obstacles in implementation. Theories of HRM may provide insights on the best approaches to recruitment although companies will have to use their in house management skills to apply generic theories within specific organizational contexts.

Bibliography

Jones, David A .; Shultz, Jonas W .; Chapman, Derek S. (2006) Recruiting Through Job Advertisements: The Effects of Cognitive Elaboration on Decision Making International Journal of Selection and Assessment, Volume 14, Number 2, pp. 167-179 (13)

Korsten AD (2003) Developing a training plan to ensure employees keep up with the dynamics of facility management Journal of Facilities Management, Volume 1, Number 4, pp. 365-379 (15)

Papers For You (2006) "P / HR / 254. HRM: methods of recruitment and selection", Available from http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/sprthrm18.htm [22/06/2006]

Papers For You (2006) "E / HR / 21. Using relevant frameworks and theories critically evaluate the recruitment and selection appraisal processes used by an organization with which you are familiar contribute. How does it contribute to the performance of the organization?", Available from http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/sprthrm18.htm [21/06/2006]

Shipton, Helen; Fay, Doris; West, Michael; Patterson, Malcolm; Birdi, Kamal (2005) Managing People to Promote Innovation Creativity and Innovation Management, Volume 14, Number 2, pp. 118-128 (11)

Terpstra DE (1994) HRM: A Key to Competitiveness Management Decision, Volume 32, Number 9, pp. 10-14 (5)

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All About FBO and Aircraft Handling Services

The aviation industry is served by many service companies, but Fixed Base Operators or FBOs are of particular importance for private and commercial carriers. In this post, we will talk about FBOs in detail and understand some of their services and roles in the current industry.

The essential services

As the name suggests, FBOs and aircraft handling services offer fixed infrastructure and a wide range of different facilities at an airport. These facilities can be really diverse, from managing terminals and passenger services to immigration, aircraft fueling and maintenance services. The range of services offered by these companies depends largely on the size and location. In places like the Middle East, India and China these services are still developing at a rapid rate, while in Europe and North America FBOs already do prominent jobs at most airports.

Understanding aircraft handling services

Some FBOs do offer aircraft handling services, although such services can be provided by third parties as well. A ground handler usually has a direct license from the airport from which to offer these services. This may include both above and below wing services (discussed further in this post). Airport handling services are critical because these offer help and assistance with ground support equipment. Ground handlers must carry significant liability insurance and must have proper safety training in the field. In most countries they also need additional certification from different authorities.

Above and below wing services

"Above Wing" services are all about assisting the crew and passengers to and from the aircraft. This may include handling passengers at the airport, along with other services like transportation to the aircraft, in-flight catering and managing accommodation at hotels if needed. FBOs also manage concierge services to serve the passenger requirements of those using private aircraft. On the other hand, "Below Wing" services involve actual ground handling work, including baggage handling, towing, and coordinating with other parties for fueling, hangar and other services. Many of the companies also offer additional essential services, such as the supply of certain equipment such as tugs, ground power units and other equipment.

Other important areas

If you are a private aircraft owner and require FBO services, you need to find a company that has extensive experience in the field. You need to know the depth of experience they have providing FBO services and their current capabilities and capacities. For FBO services, it's important to have a company that specializes in the field and has worked at major airports in America. You might also want to know their experience in the international arena, especially when you need to specifically plan for international operations.

Over the years, the demand for FBOs has increased considerably, although the roles can differ in different countries. These companies perform the technical requirements and handle other issues at major airports and streamline the work in a professional way, both for flight crews and passengers. Some of the FBOs even work with airport sponsors and other parties to manage and handle specific projects.

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The Four Stages of 'Change Curve' Small Business Owners Should Know

The 'Change Curve' is a helpful tool for small businesses to understand the stages of personal transition each employee undergoes. Kubler Ross developed this model to explain the grieving process (Shock and Denial, Anger and Fear, Acceptance and Commitment).

This model helps small business owners predict how employees will react to a change, and advises how to help and support the employees through their personal transitions.

An organization does not change just because of new systems or processes. It changes because people within the organization adapt and change. Only when people within the organization make their own personal transitions can the organization benefit from the change.

The Change Curve model

The 'Change Curve' model helps small business owners understand the stages of personal transition and organization change. This model comprises four stages that employees go through as they adjust to a change.

Stage – 1: Shock and denial

Stage – 2: Anger and fear

Stage – 3: Acceptance

Stage – 4: Commitment

Stage – 1: Shock and denial

This is the first reaction that small business owners notice in their employees – they react to the challenges to the status quo. This reaction is seen more in experienced and established employees because these employees are indifferent to new systems and procedures. They feel uncomfortable because of the fear of the unknown, fear of doing something wrong and lack of information. They feel threatened and fear failure. Under these circumstances, they normally take it as a friction rather than an opportunity.

What do the employees need here?

Employees may experience this stage multiple times. To get over it, employees need information, need to understand what is happening in the organization and need to know how to get help from the organization.

Note: This stage affects particularly those employees who have not experienced any major change before.

What should the organization do?

At this stage, it is the responsibility of the owners to communicate with their employees and educate them about the benefits that they will gain by adapting to new systems – personally and professionally. Remember not to overwhelm your employees by flooding them with loads of information at a time, or they may even be more confused.

Stage – 2: Anger and fear

This is the second stage that is seen in the employees. As employees react to a change, they start expressing their anger, concern, resentment or fear. They may resist the change actively or passively. This stage could be dangerous and if the organization does not manage it carefully, it might result in chaos.

What should the organization do?

At this stage, the small business owner should handle employees' objections carefully. Since reaction to change is personal and emotional, it's impossible to prevent it from happening. Therefore, the organization should try to address the employees' experience and iron out the issues as early as possible.

Note: As long as employees remain at Stage – 2 of the Change Curve by escaping progress, the change will be unsuccessful.

Stage – 3: Acceptance

This is a turning point for employees as well as the organization because the employees have stopped focusing on what they have lost and have started accepting changes. They begin exploring changes, and get a real idea of ​​what's good and what's not and how to adjust themselves accordingly.

What should the organization do?

This stage is critical – it takes time for employees to learn and accept things. Therefore, don't expect your employees to be 100% productive during this stage. Give them time so that they learn and explore without much pressure.

Stage – 4: Commitment

At this stage, there will be a commitment from the employees in analyzing and embracing the change. They start rebuilding the way they work and this is the stage at which the organization starts to see the benefits of the change.

Benefits of the change

At this stage the organization will see the benefits of putting in effort for the welfare of their employees when they were in a grieving stage. The positive effects of the Change Curve are now more evident through its productivity and profit.

The Change Curve is an effective model for small business owners while managing employees. Locating an employee on the change curve will help the business owner decide on how to effectively communicate information to employees and to know what kind of support they require. This helps them take necessary measures and protect both the business and the employees.

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Benefits of Leisure and Recreation

Although it may not seem so, in reality, Leisure and Recreation is the largest industry in the world. The benefits of leisure and recreation as an important part of life are easy to see. As an industry, it offers a variety of related employment and creates billions of dollars in revenue. Workers in parks and recreation, community agencies, sports agencies, youth development organizations, non-profit organizations, rehab and hospital agencies, the travel and entertainment industries all utilize and benefit from parks and recreation facilities world-wide. Additional benefits of leisure and recreation include environmental improvements from expanding green spaces, health benefits, and personal satisfaction benefits.

There are many civic benefits of leisure and recreation activities. Sports and youth activities offer leadership development for adults and children. Strong communities are built as parks become a hub of community life. Benefits extend to all ages, childhood, youth, young adults, families, and seniors. Both care for environment and wellness through green spaces are enhanced by beauty. This same beauty helps combat stress through the opportunity for mild exercise and mediation upon natural beauty. Wilderness experiences are available in some locations.

For personal benefits, leisure activities may include:
Hobbies
Exercise
Sports
Gardening
Crafts
Health
Coping
Family Bonding

Physical benefits include increased lung capacity from sports participation, plus reducing serum cholesterol and hypertension, increasing bone mass, strengthening the spine, reducing disease, increasing in feelings of well being, reducing in stress hormones, improved attitudes and performances, and improved social skills. For childhood development, recreational areas assist in learning, can keep kids off the streets, and enhance their confidence. Studies confirm that physical activity can aid the learning process in children. Sports activities enhance large motor skill development and social skills. Adult leaders offer positive role models to children. Group sports are well known for promoting social support, networking, and developing friendships.

As if all the above is not enough to encourage support of leisure and recreational activities, consider the following additional benefits:

Stress management – the mild stress of leisure activity can reduce overall negative stress by contributing to relaxation.

Self esteem – especially in children and seniors, mild exercise, group activities, and hobbies and crafts will help create positive self images.

Positive lifestyle development – contributing to society, social interaction, development of leaders, being part of organized sports all encourage good lifetime activities.

Personal satisfaction – any creative outlet will enhance personal satisfaction. Being part of the leadership offers self satisfaction, and those who work in the recreational areas can feel the pride in keeping these areas vital and available to others.

Quality of life – fresh air, sunshine, social interaction, health benefits and self esteem all will improve quality of life.

Preventative health – regular exercise, physiological benefits from mild exercise, and stress reduction all are made easier by having leisure and recreational activities readily available.

Since the future seems to be headed for a shorter work week and more extra time, support of leisure and recreational outlets and locations would be prudent, and benefit all involved.

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American Health Care Trends: Old, Fat and Lazy

The recent AMA Executive Summary "Health in the United States: Health Care Trends" contains both a little hope and a lot of gloom.

Population Trends

By 2050 the segment of the population over 65 will double from today to 83.7 million. This means that the prevalence of chronic illness will rise dramatically. Since 1990, smoking has decreased from 29.5% to 18.1% of the adult population. Probably as a result, stroke has declined 34%, heart disease 27%, and cancer 17%. This sounds good but …

Fat and Sluggish

Since 1990, the obesity rate in adults (defined as BMI over 30) has increased from 12% to 29.6%. During the same time diabetes increased from 4.4% to 10% of all adults. Not old adults, all adults. The CDC predicts that by 2050, thirty percent of adults will have diabetes. As a result, obesity is now the leading cause of heart attacks. Physical inactivity is a major reason. Only 21% of adults get the US Department of Health and Human Services recommended 150 minutes of exercise weekly. My observation is that most get no exercise. Many employers now offer wellness programs that give financial rewards for healthy behaviors. This could be a big step in the right direction. Of course, punitive actions denying health insurance to the morbidly obese or uncontrolled diabetics could also be coming, especially if the federal government leaves the health insurance business to private companies.

Is There a Doctor in the Zip Code?

The AMA reports that primary care doctors are closing their practices and either retiring early or moving to non-clinical areas like insurance, quality management, the pharmaceutical industry or even medical informatics. Since the demand for health services will increase dramatically, an increasing percentage of primary care will be provided by PAs and Nurse Practitioners. I expect they will have increasing independence. This is not necessarily a bad thing, many of these caregivers are excellent and offer compassionate and comprehensive care. A possible byproduct of this trend may be an increase in demand for referrals and subspecialty care, such as sending diabetics to endocrinologists and COPD patients to lung specialists.

Take Responsibility or Someone Else Will

A dystopian future looms where the cost of medical care is greater than our resources can manage. In this rather terrifying situation, someone will have to be denied services, probably either the powerless or those who refuse to adopt mandatory health guidelines. It hasn't come to that yet. We still have time to make recommended changes in diet and activity. Remember, who could have predicted everyone would stop smoking?

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Your Speech Patterns Affect Sales Performance

Speech Patterns Affect Sales

Eastern accents, like those spoken by New Yorkers, are normally a very fast rate of speech. Southern drawl, like those spoken by people from the South, is a much slower rate of speech. And, when you speak with the Midwesterner, the speech pattern is totally different. How do these different accents, speech patterns, and speech rates affect sales and telemarketing efforts?

There is a lot of evidence that speech rate and accents affect sales. For years, consultant have tried to analyze how accents and speech rate impact both face to face sales and tele-consulting sales. There is nothing conclusive, but leading sales authorities all agree that accents and speech rates do affect sales performance.

Many companies like to hire people with radio voices, hoping that the voice quality will impact sales performance. Many companies do speech test when hiring individuals who will have constant interaction with other people. The "theatrical" voice does appear to reduce resistance.

Importance of Speech Rate

Why is speech rate important? Let's explore the reasons. Sales calls and telemarketing calls are almost always an interruption. People are eating dinner, or watching movies on TV. The prospects are certainly not anticipating the TSR's call. While our brain when focused, can understand 600 words a minute, the prospects brain takes five to ten seconds to adjust to the new rate of speech by the agent. It simply takes the brain a few seconds to put speech rate, accent, and message together so communication can occur.

A Midwesterner, who speaks at 170 words per minute (WPM), will have problems communicating (at first), with a New Yorker, who speaks at 240 words per WPM. What does that mean? It means they will miss or not understand the agent's name, company, and possibly the primary calling purpose.

Why do you think that many large telemarketing service bureaus go to Omaha Nebraska to establish their call centers? The Reason:

  • there is little if any accent in the middle part of America
  • their rate of speech is average when compared with Southerners and New Yorkers

The Ideal Rate of Speech – 180 Word Test

The Pennsylvania Bell Company measured speech rate by putting out a 180 word test to measure it. This test can help train your agents to speak at the best speech rate. It works by timing your agents while they read this test: longer than one minute is too slow; less than one minute is too fast. Here is the 180 Word Statement by Pennsylvania Bell Company:

Most experts agree that the ideal rate of speech is between one hundred and eighty to two hundred words per minute. At this rate, people who are listening to you will be able to hear and understand what you are saying. In the United States there are different patterns of speech that are the product of geographic areas. In the northeastern part of the country, people tend to speak faster than others while people from the southern states speak slower than the ideal rate. However, people in the mid-western states will tend to speak the one hundred and eighty word rate. To test yourself, note your start and finish time. Use the second hand of a clock to do this. If you read this statement in less than one minute you are speaking too fast and should make an effort to slow down. But if you read this statement in more than a minute, you are speaking too slowly and should try to speak faster when talking on the phone.

How to improve your agents performance

Take one of your scripts and identify the first 180 words. Have your agents try and read them within one minute. If you mark ten second intervals, it will help you identify speech patterns and habits, both good and bad, in your agents. Once identified, you can begin the process of correcting bad habits and emphasizing good ones. Another helpful suggestion is to perform this test over the phone or in front of other agents.

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Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux – Tutorial for All

Whether you are an end user, a system administrator, or a little of both, this book explains with step-by-step examples how to get most out of an Ubuntu system. The book is designed for a wide range of readers, appropriate for:

  • Students
  • Home Users
  • Professionals
  • System administrators
  • Computer Science

A " Practical guide to Ubuntu " gives you a broad understanding of many facets of Linux. No matter what your background, this book provides the knowledge you need to get on with your work. This book explains how to use Linux from graphical interface and from the command line. This book is designed so you can get the most out of it in the least amount of time. You do not have to read this book straight through in page order. Look up a topic of interest in the table of contents or in an index and read about it. The book includes many pointers to Web sites where you can obtain additional information.The Linux operating system, which was developed through the cooperation of many, many people around the world, is a product of the Internet and is a free operating system. In other words, all the source code is free. You are free to study it, redistribute it, and modify it. As a result, the code is available free of cost-no charge for the software, source, documentation, or support.

A rich selection of applications is available for Linux-both free and commercial-as well as a wide variety of tools: graphical, word processing, networking, security, administration, Web server, and many others. Large software companies have recently seen the benefit in supporting Linux and now have on-staff programmers whose job it is to design and code the Linux kernel, GNU, KDE, or other software that runs on Linux. Also is important to users is the amount of software that is available-not just source code (which needs to be compiled), but also pre-built binaries that are easy to install and ready to run. These programs include more than free software. Netscape, for example, has been available for Linux from the start and included Java support before it was available from many commercial vendors. Its sibling Mozilla / Thunderbird / Firefox is also a viable browser, mail client, and newsreader, performing many other functions as well.

All this is only one small parted of book. Chapters covered in this Book:

  • Installation
  • Working with Ubuntu Linux
  • System administration
  • Security
  • Clients and servers
  • Programming
  • Etc.
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