How to make your message stick (and other career tips)
What you do and what you say has an impact, and these CA Library resources could help you achieve peak performance.
- In Stop Talking, Start Influencing, neuroscientist Jared Cooney Horvath explains how to never bore people again.
- Other titles examine how professionals can successfully switch careers or get a big business idea off the ground.
- All library services, excluding the cost of returning books, are free to CA ANZ members.
Reviews by Alexandra Johnson
Stop Talking, Start Influencing: 12 insights from brain science to make your message stick
By Jared Cooney Horvath
Who hasn’t been bored rigid during a PowerPoint presentation? There’s a scientific reason why. It’s impossible for your brain to simultaneously read words while listening to someone speak. So when you’re at a talk accompanied with slides or handouts, you’re probably not listening to the speaker. Instead, you’re galloping ahead, reading the slide of what the speaker is about to say, and then sitting bored.
It’s far better, says educator and neuroscientist Jared Cooney Horvath, for speakers to present images that keep people engaged if they want to drive the message home.
In Stop Talking, Start Influencing, Horvath combines modern brain research with behavioural science to give 12 lessons on the art of communicating effectively. So how do you make a message stick?
One of Horvath’s key messages is that practising the retrieval of information is vital to forming deep and lasting memories. Retrieval embeds information into your brain to improve understanding and boost performance.
Horvath recommends that immediately after a presentation, meeting or training session, people should put away their notes and spend a few minutes recalling the key information. Not only will this solidify memories, but the presenter can see what concepts are sticking and which might require additional coverage.
This book has much to offer anyone who trains, presents or leads people. It’s an informative but fun and easy read, complete with thought-provoking exercises, questions and illustrations. Essential reading for anyone with a brain.
Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley made work miserable for the rest of us
By Dan Lyons (Atlantic Books)
In his 2016 bestseller Disrupted, former Newsweek journalist Dan Lyons ventured into the bizarre world of a Silicon Valley start-up where – hiding behind the free drinks and beanbag facade – staff were dispensable and stress levels sky-high.
Following the release of the book, Lyons was inundated with tales from people who’d had similar experiences. So he embarked on a quest to find out how and why the world of work was changing.
Lyons’ fear that Silicon Valley’s anti-worker philosophy was leaching into other business arenas was confirmed. Established businesses, fearing that they would become obsolete, were desperately trying to reinvent themselves – slashing jobs, changing work environments, and expecting longer hours from workers with less job security.
Income inequality in the US now rivals levels not seen since the Great Depression in the 1930s, and technology holds its fair share of the blame. The growing gig economy, fuelled by Uber and other platforms, is making workers pitch against each other for work “like a real-life version of The Hunger Games”, writes Lyons.
He traces this predicament back to economist Milton Friedman, who argued that CEOs should have one objective only – to make as much money as possible for investors. Many executives appear to have embraced this advice with gusto.
But things are not all bad. Lyons also discusses people who have shunned this grow-at-all-costs, investors-take-all philosophy. They’ve skipped the ping-pong tables, looked after their people and offer inspiring ideas to employers of all kinds.
Because, as Lyons points out, if you employ 10 people and they get a decent wage and are happy, you’ve made the world a better place.
Switchers: How smart professionals change careers and seize success
By Dawn Graham (Amacom)
It’s said that workers these days are likely to hold about 11 different professions throughout their careers. The new normal is to switch not only jobs, but to jump ship altogether and change professions.
Warned that the end of many traditional occupations is nigh, many professionals spend hours doing online applications for jobs they want, while lacking the extensive and specific experience employers list.
So how is it done? Dawn Graham, a former recruiter and career coach, has had vast experience with a range of career-switchers and shares ways to make the dreaded job search process straightforward.
Should potential career-changers go back into training to skill up? Graham insists that unless someone is planning on entering a specifically trained profession such as medicine or law, the answer is almost always no.
But non-traditional candidates do need a non-traditional approach. Recruiters, for example, spend a mere six seconds reviewing a resume, so send one that reads less like a list of job descriptions and more like an introduction for a lifetime achievement award.
On how to answer that inevitable “why do you want this job?” question, Graham says interviewers don’t want to hear that someone is passionate about the role, or has always wanted to work for the company. Potential bosses want to know the thoughts behind candidate’s actions, how they have been preparing for this move, and how the job fits with an interviewee’s bigger plans.
Switchers has much to offer job switchers and seekers, including how to maintain motivation and how to never have a bad interview.
The Governance Revolution: What every board member needs to know now
By Deborah Hicks Midanek (DEG Press)
If you serve on a board or intend to do so this guide offers practical insights into how boards should function. It looks at the history of boards, their relationship with stakeholders, and governance processes.
Burn the Business Plan: What great entrepreneurs really do
By Carl J Schramm (John Murray Learning)
What does it really take to be a successful entrepreneur? Economist Carl Schramm debunks common myths and offers real-world advice and tools and techniques to help you get your big idea off the ground.
Crack the C-suite Code: How successful leaders make it to the top
By Cassandra Frangos (Wharton Digital Press)
Accelerate your career with this guide to joining the C-suite. Based on interviews with chief executives and leading experts, it identifies four strategies to actively improve your chance of success.
SHeEO activators empower female entrepreneurs
With Kim Hill and Vicki Saunders, Radio New Zealand
(Run time: 21 mins)
Vicki Saunders is the founder of SHeEO, which raises capital for women entrepreneurs. She discusses how business models focused on unbridled growth need to make way for those that suit women and are ecologically and socially beneficial.
How digitization changed the CFO’s role
With Ash Noah and Brooke Green, CGMA
(Run time: 65 mins)
Data and digitisation are reshaping business models, how business is done, and how organisations interact with customers. This video looks at how that is specifically affecting the role, shape and function of the finance professional.