Monday, February 21, 2011

Tongue Reinforces Voice

Speaking clearly in public is much easier if your tongue reinforces your voice and vice versa. Some people seem to stumble when nervously addressing a crowd. How can we improve? Well, it's not only about great content and energy. Not even just speeding up or slowing down...

Communication has always been an intriguing topic to me. The past nine years I've spent a considerable amount of time and effort on exploring three facets of human dialog. I wrote a book that eventually became "The 3 Energies Behind Sales Success". The third of three energies deals with Intuition.

Intuition involves everything related to HOW and WHEN we communicate. (The two other energies tap into WHY, WHAT and WHO.) Did you know that for instance timing (i.e. WHEN) is critical to HOW something is perceived? And did you know that HOW you say it pretty much changes everything about a message? Well, that's only one third of what communication is all about.

Just for fun, let me briefly illustrate one of more than a hundred different aspects of pure speaking skills:

          PHONETICS

Many years ago I studied English phonetics and phonology in college, as well as taking singing lessons from a highly skilled lady. One of the important things to understand about speaking and singing skills, i.e. speaking or singing clearly, is by the way you use your tongue and mouth effectively. (And I remind you again, this example is only one of more than a hundred skills related to speaking.) Listen to "It's Not That Easy" sung by Rikke and Åste. (BTW, Åste Sem is from Telemark ;-) If they didn't sing the most challenging - repeating - part with "da-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra", any other phonetic pronunciation would have made this song virtually impossible to sing for most of us. Just try it out for yourself, if you don't believe me!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Facebook Group - I Love Grenland

A week ago a virtual group began growing entitled "Jeg elsker Grenland" on Facebook (i.e. "I love Grenland). It already numbers 740 members and is steadily increasing in numbers.

Why is this so exciting? I live in Grenland and this part of the country enjoys a powerful heritage of innovative heros. Grenland is a fairly small place. There's roughly about 120,000 people living in this region, depending on how you count the population. During the past few years we have begun to witness a surge of great projects coming from positive key people.

What's the future of Grenland coming to? I'm hoping that the entire region will become --one and the same municipality--. This hot topic has been discussed and talked about for years. Well, now the time has come for change and improvement. Grenland can compete not only with the best of Norway - we've always taken the lead internationally. However, if Grenland is to really do well in the future, it needs a combined and focused effort.

Grenland. I challenge you: Dare to make a focused approach. Stand up and show the world what we have to offer!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Google's New Android 3.0 Versus Apple's iPad

What is the difference between Google's Android 3.0 and Apple's iPad? Technically, there's really not so much of a difference. I know, some would strongly disagree. In my opinion, however, the real difference lies in their strategic positioning.

The real difference between Google and Apple is their strategic positioning. Consider the following key aspects:

Apple innovates putting a substantial amount of resources into R&D. It has proven extremely successful at getting inside the consumer's head first, leading new product categories. Every product and software design challenges existing paradigms of user friendliness.

What about Google? Yes, a lot of Google revenue goes into R&D. But most of all, Google sticks to search, no matter what. Why? Because it makes Google "the information company". Whereas Apple continually has to come up with new products, Google can rely on great ideas from others and simply copy them by leveraging competing power with software that explores new ways to utilize highly interactive "information driven" software, such as Google Earth and many other online applications. It's Google's way of using information that gives them the added online or cloud computing position - which users love!

In mobile development both Apple and Google develop their own key applications, but strategically they rely heavily on 3rd party development. Still, they have distinctly different ways to market. I could mention a long list of strategic differentiators, but most of all notice how Google does not - at least for now - charge the market for their software. No, adds is their thing, i.e. Google AdWords, which remains their main source of income.

Oh, and let's not forget their social profile. Apple has no problem admitting that they're proprietary and "closed". In fact, they announce their competitive power to be just that, assuring a quality offering through and through. Everything needs approval and hardware / software is communicated to be one and the same, of necessity. So far, Google is software only (almost ;-) and everything they do in the market place aspires to a playful openness that includes and appeals to the user. Almost as a direct result of this strategic choice, Google naturally welcomes any cell phone vendor to run their operating system.

Any wonder why I love my Apple computer? Any wonder why I use Google's software 95% of the time? I'm convinced both Apple and Google will do well, but in the long run, Google has chosen a much wiser - more robust - strategy focusing on the key generic aspect of the future; "information". A strategy that eventually will turn Google into the biggest most successful company the world has ever seen.