This category contains 16 posts

How to make a mistake – stop digging

We all make mistakes. Usain Bolt, Paul McCartney, Nelson Mandela, all of us. We have an inbuilt bias, The Self-Serving Fallacy, that makes us think that when I made a mistake I was unlucky, but you? You were stupid. But we all make them. What is important is what you do next. You have choices … Continue reading

Construction Presentations – 4 Dos and 3 Don’ts

Presentation Tips for Constructors Our long experience of working with Constructors has taught us there are 4 key mistakes made in presentations. And 3 golden rules. The 4 key mistakes 1. TALKING ABOUT YOU Your clients don’t find you as interesting as you do. Change your mindset. Talk about them. Change “Let me tell you about … Continue reading

Presentation Tips – How to structure a presentation

We come from TV, and that means we have spent an unatural amount of time thinking about something most people don’t have to think about – how to tell a story. What is a story? In business, a story is a joined-up series of messages. It’s not “Once upon a time” or “Three men walked … Continue reading

Presentation Tips – How a great speech can be improved.

Have you seen this: Sir Ken Robinson at TED It’s quite a famous speech. It’s been watched 11 million times. I only saw it for the first time about 10 days ago, which is odd because I’m fascinated by education theory, public speaking, and the encouragement of creativity in young people. When I watched it … Continue reading

Bidding – Who is winning new business in construction?

The excellent Builders Conference has a live league table for new work. What is really nice about it is that it covers all the 50 top winners, not just the big boys. See the league table for June, and the year here: The Builders Conference

Client Engagement – I don’t need Engagement Training, do I?

Click the logo for our Engagement courses We started as presentation trainers, after 20 years of working with TV presenters. We then realised that presentations are easy – if you do the work – but that you could win or lose during the Q&A. So we developed a process for Q&A that we know works. … Continue reading

Presentation Tips – Pauses

First the simple bit. We have a need to assimilate what we are hearing. A moment to think. The hippies lament they “didn’t want to be put in boxes” was utterly wrong. That’s how the brain organises things. The boxes are called schema by psychologists. A schema is what we already know. You know how … Continue reading

Presentation Tips from TV Presenters

If you are preparing to speak to 2 or 2000 people in the coming days you will almost certainly be experiencing some apprehension. Bit imagine you were going to speak live to 9.4 million people? How would you feel then? A million times worse? In about 1980, in the days when there were 3 TV … Continue reading

Bidding – Optimism vs Pessimism in selling

We’ve been thinking about optimism and pessimism and trying to figure out the balance that delivers our goal of winning new business for our clients. At Grist the two directors are in balance. Lindsay is an optimist and I’m a pessimist. But as you will know if you watched a very interesting Horizon this week, our … Continue reading

Presentation Tips – Nerves

One day when I was going to a job interview at the BBC (30+ years ago) I was dressed in my suit and tie when I realised my shoes were dirty. I can remember with startling clarity the scene as I smeared a good dollop of Cherry Blossom on my shirt, and realised that was … Continue reading

Q and A – your chance to lose new business

In the very early days of Grist we had a bidding presentation cut off by the client, “Times up!”, while the Bid Director was delivering the conclusion. Since then, we have never had a bad presentation. Sounds impossible, but it’s true. Every single one has gone well. I promise. But, Q&A is a different story, … Continue reading

Presentation tips from TV

Everyone at Grist has worked in telly. Mrs Grist was a journalist on most of the BBC News programmes as well as Newsnight, Newsround, and quite a number of Science documentaries, and I was a documentary maker. When we look for people to work with us we have always ended up with ex-TV people. Our … Continue reading

Bidding – Dealing with your weaknesses

Some thoughts today on the negatives. We all have weaknesses, but constantly we are faced by people who are very, very good at what they do, but are allowing their weaknesses to dominate their thoughts. When bidding new projects we find that people do two things: 1. Underestimate how good they are 2. Overestimate the … Continue reading

Will anyone stand up for PFI?

The Government, to their credit, recognises that procurement of large projects is a skill and so want to improve the process with the Major Projects Leadership Academy. http://t.co/0Odbd2yD To quote: The government is currently managing 206 major projects worth more than £400bn with more than half running over time and budget. But it occurs to me … Continue reading

Myths about Presentation

Both my wife Lindsay and I were on Tomorrow’s World 20 years ago, and I remained technically in Science Department for my whole career. So when we started working on presentation skills we started trying to find out what the science of human communication was all about. Almost immediately we came across this startling fact. … Continue reading

What can we do for you?

Grist is a company that works with you to make you more effective in winning new business. After 6 years of winning business with our clients we know many sectors intimately. All aspects of construction, Facilities Management, Architecture, and Design. But our processes are effective in all sectors as we have shown in Software, Banking, … Continue reading