When the best is yet to come

As a product manager, marketer or salesperson, the business presentations you deliver can make a real difference in positioning the products or solutions you are managing, promoting or selling.

In my weekly B2B Storytelling blog posts, I am exploring the rich universe of corporate storytelling, while diving into best practices for creating, preparing and delivering your business presentations.

As a quick warm-up after the summer holidays, here are my 5 personal favorite posts you may have missed…

  1. The Bocuse touch: in which I draw a parallel between nouvelle cuisine cooking and today’s corporate storytelling trends.
  2. It’s the story, stupid: why storytelling is a powerful approach to presenting complex information.
  3. The Da Vinci code: musing about the attraction of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa; written after a long weekend in Paris.
  4. Wise men say: a very popular post with examples on how to use quotes in your presentation.
  5. Don’t feed the chameleons: tips and tricks for creating clean and consistent presentation visuals.

And for those who want to catch up with everything, I compiled all the articles I posted to my blog between September 2012 and June 2013 into one single e-book. Download it here and enjoy reading!

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Also add this site to your bookmarks (or click the “follow this blog” button). There’s more to come! Re-starting next week I will be posting new stories, new best practices and new presentation tips.

Inspiration and perspiration

“Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.” – Chuck Close

Ain’t it funny how time flies. This is already my last blog post before the summer holidays. Though I am neither a native English speaker (my mother tongue is Dutch) or a professional writer, blogging has been a good exercise, a positive experience and a great way to share my experience with an international audience – over the past 43 weeks I have counted 78 different nationalities among my readers!

It is often said that writing is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. This may be true in time, but (at least in my humble opinion) it’s this mere 10% of upfront creativity that’s shaping success.

  • Inspiration: in my case, new topics to write about usually come (don’t ask me why…) while commuting to work on the tramway. When an idea for a blog post pops up, it usually takes me less than 10 minutes to create an outline on my Blackberry and have a raw version of the text ready before I reach the office.
  • Perspiration: as almost none of my content exceeds the 500 words count, it usually takes between 2 and 3 hours to craft the final article, to author the blog and post it (or schedule publication) onto WordPress –  a great tool, by the way.

And there’s also a third parameter in the equation that is often overlooked:

  • Self-discipline: I keep a posts-in-progress file, with about ten (tentative) titles and working drafts on hand, of which I try to have at least two in an “(almost) ready for publication” state. This allows me to sustain a pace of releasing another piece of content each week.

For more advice on how to keep your blog content fresh, have a look at Mike Brown’s post on the Brainzooming blog.

What started 10 months ago as a casual writing exercise has become a new passion for me. So, to all visitors and readers of this blog: a big thank you for acknowledging my inspiration and transpiration by visiting the B2B Storytelling pages or the Belgian Network blog.

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It’s time now to put my laptop asleep and refuel my inspiration. But stay tuned: the best is yet to come! I’ll be back in September with more stories, more best practices and more presentation tips.