Warm Wishes for a Happy New(s) year!

The news often focuses on the negative. It seeks confrontation, instead of solidarity. Doing good is not ‘interesting’, so it is avoided or banned to the margin, at best as the friendly last item to send us off in the night.

Happy-15

‘News focuses on abnormality, so our sense of reality is fundamentally distorted’, Alain de Boton says. News disrupts, troubles, excites and frustrates. Editor in Chief of the Belgian VRT News Björn Soenens wants to change this. He wants ‘Het Journaal’ to be part of a change for the good. Make information more accessible, in depth, personal and where possible positive.

We wish him and those who follow his lead the vision, courage and perseverance to make 2015 a happy New(s) Year. And to you and all your loved ones… our warm wishes !

“May Light always surround you;
Hope kindle and rebound you.
May your Hurts turn to Healing;
Your Heart embrace Feeling.
May Wounds become Wisdom;
Every Kindness a Prism.
May Laughter infect you;
Your Passion resurrect you.
May Goodness inspire
your Deepest Desires.
Through all that you Reach For,
May your arms Never Tire.”
D. Simone

__________________________

1° The Canvas documentary on the meeting between Alain de Boton and Newsroom chief Soenens is worth your attention.

Soenens_de_boton

2° So is Alain de Boton’s book ‘The News: A Users’s Manual’.

Screen Shot 2014-12-27 at 14.16.32

3° I received this image of the kids in the water from a friend, but I can’t find its source. Sorry ’bout that.

Communicatie: loop, spring, durf

Taal vraagt om gedachtensprongen. En durf.

Taal lijkt eenvoudig, maar is een ware kunst.
Om fris en gericht je ideeën te delen, moet je weten waar je naartoe gaat, èn je gedachte de vrije loop laten. Soms moet je recht op je doel afgaan. Maar om hindernissen te nemen moet je verder denken. Taal is meer dan woorden, het is zelfbeheersing, creativiteit en durf. Buiten vaste patronen denken, nieuwe verbindingen leggen en zonder aarzelen onverwachte sprongen uitvoeren. Zo kan je je punt maken, zelfs al wachten vastberaden tegenstrevers je op om je te stoppen.  Van “first base” naar het tweede en derde honk, en met een tijgersprong veilig thuiskomen (de scheidsrechter spreidt de armen wijd en geeft aan dat je ‘safe’ bent: je hebt je punt gemaakt!).

Europe’s language business

From www.guardian.co.uk:

In our January 2010 diary we report on the European Commission’s revelation that language related services amount to one of the biggest earning sectors in the region, but more needs to be done to raise awareness of these skills and resources.

Business generated by Europe’s translation providers and other language teaching services is estimated to have been worth $12bn in 2008, according to research published by the EU last month.

The report, commissioned by the EU’s translation service, said that the language industry is growing faster than any other sector in Europe, with expansion estimated to continue at 10%. But researchers warn that because the industry is so diverse, spread across activities ranging from in-company translation, software development and subtitling of films and television programmes, its impact is often overlooked.

One indication that this could change comes from evidence that investment companies are showing growing interest in the sector, the report’s writers say. They point to evidence from eastern Europe where a small number of players are dominating translating services.

The report also highlights a growing acceptance of machine translation tools. This is in response to a shortage of human translators and improved accuracy of computer-assisted translation.

The translation and interpreting sector dominates the language industry, with an estimated value of $8bn in 2008, while language teaching was the next biggest sector, estimated to be worth $2.3bn.

Singapore set to test foreign workers’ English skills
Foreigners seeking visas to work in Singapore’s service sector will have to sit a test of English from later this year as part of a government campaign to raise English standards.

Details of the test have yet to be revealed but Lee Yi Shyan, minister for manpower, told the Straits Times newspaper that the move was aimed at raising English language skills in the retail, food and beverage and hotels sectors. It comes after prime minister Lee Hsien Loong decried foreigners in service jobs who could not distinguish between phrases such as “chilli” or “no chilli”.

The government will also offer employers the opportunity to reduce a levy on foreign employees from $170 to $100 if they can prove that new staff are proficient in English.

Malaysia speeds return of Bahasa
Bahasa Malay will replace English as the medium of instruction in maths and science classes in Malaysia’s schools in 2011, a year earlier than scheduled, said education minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. The government had the resources to implement the policy sooner than planned, he said.

Muhyiddin said that English language standards had not benefitted from the use of the language for teaching. “[Students’] proficiency in the language currently should not just be average and drastic measures are needed to address this problem,” Muhyiddin told the Bernama news agency last month.

He said foreign teachers would be recruited to act as “master teachers” to improve standards of English language tuition alongside new textbooks and language labs.

Dutch eyes in Sweden’s schools anger unions
Sweden’s schools inspectorate has called in a Dutch education consultancy to review English language teaching at 30 secondary school, angering Swedish teaching unions.

A team of inspectors from Cito, the international assessment and testing company based in the Netherlands, will assess English language teaching for 11- to 16-year-olds under a contract worth $700,000.

Teaching unions expressed surprise at the decision. “I question how a Dutch firm can study a Swedish school. What requirements do they have to judge Swedish schools?” Metta Fjelkner, chair of the National Union of Teachers, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

www.guardian.co.uk

De woorden die je zegt, tonen wie je bent

De woorden die je zegt, tonen echt wie je bent. Kijk maar naar Steve Jobs van Apple. Hij  is een mensen-mens. Hij spreekt over dromen, dingen waarmaken, waarde, mensen. Kit Eaton van Fast Company plaatste alle gebruikte woorden van een interview van Jobs in een woordenwolk. Prachtig om te zien wat er leeft in de geest van zo’n man. Waar het hart van vol, is loopt de mond van over. Jobs spreekt niet over IT. Of over wat ze gemaakt hebben. Wel over mensen. Over denken, willen, waar ze naartoe gaan.

Uitstekende filosofie. Grote leiders die tot actie inspireren vertellen waarin ze geloven. Niet welke diensten of producten ze aanbieden of hoe ze dat doen. Apple is een succes omdat ze goede producten maken. Maar nog meer omdat ze een identiteit uitstralen en uitnodigen er deel van uit te maken. Simon Sinek op Ted.com legt uit hoe grote leiders tot actie inspireren. Mensen kopen niet wat je doet maar waarom je het doet.

6 ways Media relations will change in the web 3.0 world

Media relations and PR are being drawn into the web 3.0 world.

Link to video Web 3.0.

Matthew Gain posted how this will change media relations on http://socialmediatoday.com

  • The old way of doing business where managers look after the media in a given market will become redundant. How people make decisions or are impacted by influence will become more personalised than ever. The information people receive will be more about their past interactions, others they engage with online and the products they purchase and less about where they live.
  • The prioritisation of media will become more difficult than ever. In a world where information will be delivered in a niche manner on demand, the old PR economies of reach and influence matter considerably less.
  • PR and customer service will move closer together. As the importance of mass media declines and the importance of the individual rises, the separation between journalist and everyday individual will become pointless.
  • Everybody will become a company spokesperson. Building on the point above it will be impossible for traditional spokespeople to devote time to the growing number of on the record statements required. Rather corporate affairs and PR departments will need to train the entire organisation for influencer engagements.
  • The tools for monitoring sentiment will be dizzyingly complicated. Monitoring your PR reputation simply by looking at the major news outlets  will seem archaic (if it isn’t already). Instead, PR departments will employ specially trained analysers to make sense of the wealth of data required to understand the public sentiment towards an organisation.
  • PR will be even more important to an organisation. When everybody’s opinion matters, PR will be a paramount consideration in every decision a business makes.

Communications is a dynamic exercise


Communications is a dynamic exercise, it’s being alive and sharing interesting ideas and feelings with others.
It’s fun to discover the multitude of possibilities, to select the best-suited one, and then make it resound across the land in rich tones and color.

Powerpoint is dead, long live Powerpoint

PowerPoint is dead.
PowerPoint is really dead. It is being beaten to death by people who misuse it on a massive scale; it is a giant dirty security blanket for presenters across the globe.

So YES! PowerPoint is Oh So Dead!
I followed an excellent training by Ib Ravn on ‘Learning meetings and Conferences‘. Hello Ib! You are so right! Wake up people! A meeting should create ‘co flourishing’ between all participants. Presentations should be concise, allow for ‘active digestion’, lead to self-expression and sharing of knowledge. The cherry on the cake (and the real reason many people participate) is that presentations can help networking. So have a facilitator on board in meetings and congresses and make the meeting a happening all will remember!

Yet, bad PowerPoint rules! 300 Million people use PowerPoint in the world. 30 Million PowerPoint presentations are given every day. At least half are no good! Millions fly all around the globe to participate in one-way, boring PowerPoint presentations. Attendees are still treated like cows watching trains passing by. They are rendered passive, group work is unfocused and expert panels are only allowed to deliver ‘more talk from a podium’. Come to the Point, speaker, Generate Power. What did you learn? How did it move you? How will you change? The answer often is … “Wellaaaaaaah Iyaaaaaaaah…”

The best speakers simply do that. They speak. Focus is on them, they share ideas and implicate audiences. They move, they deal in passion. They do not need PowerPoint, because they are the power. They look their audience in the eye. One on one, even with 1000 in an auditorium. PowerPoint can be a good tool, when used to support this attitude and style. When it is clear and direct, when it allows the speaker to be even stronger. Philosophy is boring? Think again!

Interact and bring the Power back to PowerPoint
Brows around on Slideshare and see what you like… Like Alexei Kapterev, explaining what good PowerPoint presentations are. And think on how to interact with your audience. And why not, give us a call and let’s bring your Powerpoint alive together! Then we can say in chorus, “long live PowerPoint!