The language of leadership

Recently the Venture Consulting team had the opportunity to spend time with Ryan Avery, Toastmasters champion and internationally acclaimed motivational speaker. Beginning with a promise, Ryan quotes obscure speechwriter James C Humes, who said that "the art of communication is the language of leadership." Ryan puts this another way: the better a communicator you are, the more influence you have. 

In other words, a core skill for any leader - whether a captain of industry or individual team members - is the ability to stir your audience to action. Over the next few hours, Ryan introduces us to a few simple techniques for elevating our communication for greater professional (and personal) achievement - in his words, making the change from 'a' leader to 'the' leader, from being one of many to being the only one worth listening to. 

Here are just a few of the techniques Ryan shares with us:

  • Silence is a powerful tool in any presentation. Well-timed pauses can focus attention on the speaker and her message. Silence can also be effective at recapturing attention by disrupting audience expectations - a vital tool for anyone who's losing their audience 

  • Appreciate the power of stories, and work hard to make them your audience's as well as your own. One way to do this is recast your anecdotes from past into present tense. Doing so subtly draws in your audience, as together you explore the thread of the story

  • First and last impressions are important (or a variation on peak-end bias for the psychologically inclined). Specifically, don't end with  Q&A, as this diminishes your control over your audience's last impressions. Rather, save one piece of information for the end - send your audience out feeling like they've benefited for having listened to you

While these techniques are principally designed for formal presentations, they can easily be modified for day-to-day interactions, such as those between team members or business development meetings. Above all, the key is to remember that communication is not a mechanical process, an afterthought to be considered once you've decided on your message; rather, communication is central to your message. It is the difference between your message being one among many, and your message being the one that stays with people and stirs them to action. 

TV set viewing trends: UK vs. Australia

Last year we published a series of reports exploring the future of TV, with a particular focus on the way consumers' viewing habits are changing. As we reported then (report available here), the average Australian is watching more and more on-demand content (up 11% in 2017), and less and less live TV (down 10% in 2017). Younger viewers are leading the charge, but we are seeing signs that older generations are also tuning into the convenience of streaming services. 

Following the recent release of the latest UK figures from our colleagues at Enders Analysis (available through Venture Insights here), we take a moment to compare the trends in each market. The first thing to note is that Britons watch significantly more broadcast TV than we do (c. 200 mins per day to our c. 170 mins per day in 2017). 

Looking beyond the absolute levels (and setting aside the differences in delivery platforms and competitive dynamics), it is clear that the UK is witnessing a similar trend in viewing behaviour. In 2018, every age group under 65 watched less broadcast TV than ever (led by younger cohorts), and 2018 saw the sharpest decline on record. Likewise 'unmatched TV set use' - a catch-all phrase covering all non-linear content (including SVOD and YouTube) - continued its inexorable rise. 

However, despite the accelerating shift in viewing habits, live TV has a future in both Australia and the UK. In Australia, we argued that live formats will remain important for a core selection of content that is poorly suited to on-demand viewing, such as sport and news. We would further argue that this holds true more broadly. Indeed, Enders showed that broadcast TV remains unrivalled in terms of reach, particularly during prime time, when broadcast TV reaches 5x more people than streaming services. 

TPG 1H19 – Business sector to be a key focus as NBN erodes Consumer

TPG 1H19 – Business sector to be a key focus as NBN erodes Consumer

On 19th March 2019 TPG released its 1H19 results. Overall profit plunged to A$46.9mn compared to A$198.6mn 1HY18, though much of this was a result of the write down of its spectrum assets and small cells mobile network. The announcement was also the clearest indicator of TPG potentially no longer offering entry level A$60 per month NBN, echoing industry consensus that NBN pricing is unsustainable.

Equity crowdfunding in Australia: We have lift-off

Equity crowdfunding in Australia: We have lift-off

Equity crowdfunding has been celebrated as a game-changing alternative to venture capital and traditional business loans but has until recently been off limits to most retail investors. With the lifting of Australian restrictions on who can use equity crowdfunding platforms, there is cautious uptake from consumers and start-ups – with several platforms establishing a clear lead – but the claim of outsize returns will take time to be tested.