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Michael McGurk and negotiation tactics… gangster style

The events surrounding the death, last week, of Sydney businessman Michael McGurk have attracted greater intrigue and speculation than a Sopranos cliff-hanger. How someone can build a career on intimidation and extortion is beyond this author's imagination. However, the fascinating events surrounding McGurk's demise have got me thinking. What can we, as business-people, learn from the tactics of a stand-over man? Fortunately, I have only one resource to rely on. Gangster fiction!

Great scientific achievements by women in history

The fields of science and technology are undeniably dominated by men. However, the contributions of women in these areas has been overlooked and underestimated throughout history. At the recent 2009 Women in Technology (WiT) Awards presentation, WiT President and i.lab CEO Anne-Marie Birkill delivered a keynote address in which she lauded the little-known achievements of female scientists and technologists, and called for greater acknowledgement and support for women today. Here is an edited extract from Birkill’s speech.

How to get motivated now

This July 2009 lecture to the TED in Oxford, UK sees Daniel Pink explore how the 20th century thinking behind staff and employee motivation...

How to get hired in sales – just ask Abott & Costello

Sometimes, all it takes to move ahead in life is being able to back up your fresh perspective with unique logic. Anyone can crank a widget, but how many people can prove that 7 x 13 = 28?

How to get hired in sales – just ask Abott & Costello

Sometimes, all it takes to move ahead in life is being able to back up your fresh perspective with unique logic. Anyone can crank a widget, but how many people can prove that 7 x 13 = 28?

Sammartino's Creative Espresso – Ways to change your life

We've held on to this latest manic instalment of Steve Sammartino's Creative Espresso series since he submitted it for inclusion in the July print edition, which didn't eventuate. Here it is, in all its super-charged, creative glory.

Sammartino’s Creative Espresso – Ways to change your life

We've held on to this latest manic instalment of Steve Sammartino's Creative Espresso series since he submitted it for inclusion in the July print edition, which didn't eventuate. Here it is, in all its super-charged, creative glory.

You have 90 seconds to pitch. GO!

If you were given the opportunity to stand up for 90 seconds and pitch your company to a panel of angel investors and a raucous, how would you fare?

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Looking for Marketing & PR services?

Just describe what you need, receive tailored proposals from interested IT consultancies, and contact the best. It's easy, free and there's no searching.

How to prove your credibility

To have any hope in business, you need to be seen as credible – by your investors, colleagues, competitors and, most importantly, by existing and potential customers. Here are some tips to prove your business bona fides.

Strategy: The importance of culture

Every organisation has a culture. Spend time observing the day-to-day goings on within, say, a medical practice, a law firm, an airline and a fast food franchise, and you will notice some stark differences. While each business might have common objectives - serving clients, generating profits - it is very likely they go about these objectives in vastly different ways.

For miracle sales, get a halo

It seems like every bus shelter you pass features a back-lit silhouette of a dancing girl or boy with wires coming out of their ears. You don't have to read the logo to know that it's another ad for iPod. But did you know that the ad is doing wonders for Apple PCs?

Marketing: The media interview

Don't be caught unprepared if a journalist calls your office requesting an interview. Preparation is the difference between good publicity and bad publicity. Here are some simple things you can do to maximise the outcomes of a media interview.

Communication breakdown

Today, as I walk around the University campus everything is just as it should be. Students going to classes, tweed clad academics carrying laptops and books and above all I go unnoticed in my casual attire. Yesterday on the other hand was a different story...

Perfect pitch: Getting it together

Your strategy is your objective for the pitch and the tactics and specific actions you employ to achieve that objective. A great way to get the objective clear is to imagine the pitch is over and you have won. If, at the company's next board meeting, the selection committee were asked to succinctly explain why they selected you, what would they say? We call this The "Board Room" Statement. For example, your Boardroom Statement might be: "We selected them because they had good ideas and enough experience to do the job, but more so, a level of enthusiasm and desire to work with us that none of their competitors could match."

Perfect pitch: Courtship

J P Morgan, the famous American Industrialist, said: "People do things for two reasons... the right reason and the real reason". Understanding the real reason can be the ultimate point of differentiation when pitching for business.

Marketing: Presenting with impact

Public speaking is a core business skill that's often not taught in any business course. Many people avoid public speaking and don't understand the importance of using presentations to help build their business. Here are some tips to help you plan and deliver a presentation with impact.

All hail the salesperson!

Salespeople acquired a stereotype for foot-in-the-door, sell-your-mother-for-a-dollar moral bankruptcy long before Zig Zigler cartwheeled his way into the public consciousness. But if salespeople appear a hardened bunch it's because they spend their days on the front line. And let's face it, if salespeople fail, no one gets paid. It's about time we cleared society's pedestal of entertainment celebrities, precious artists and fatuous egomaniacs. At long last, it's time to hail the salesperson!

The art of persuasion

Getting your way once is easy. It's repeating it that's hard. So how do you rate on the enchant-o-metre? We asked three pros if...

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New Zealand’s Xero eyes US IPO, further disruption as subscribers increase...

Xero recently held its annual meeting in Wellington, during which the company revealed some interesting details about its future. As has been widely suspected, the...

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