Great International Business Trip Results

16 10 2006

In any international relationship communication and understanding are critical for success.

Problems created by; language, stereotypes, misinformation, lack of information, and cultural misunderstandings combine with normal business problems to create a complicated scenario for anyone involved in international relationships and global business.

Prepare your international meetings and business presentations using the following questions as a guide to organize your ideas and focus on actions that will produce positive results for everyone involved.

6 Questions – Create Great International Business Trip Results

  1. What does this organization know about me, my company and my country?
  2. What do they think they know about me?
  3. What can I tell them that they do not know?
  4. What do I know about my international partner, culture and country?
  5. What do I think I know about this business, culture and country?
  6. What can they tell me that I do not know?

1. What does this organization know about me and my company. When you walk in the room an opinion has already been formed about you, your organization, and your ability to perform in the future. These ideas are based upon facts, information and past experience.

  • What has been the history of our relationship in their country?
  • Who has been involved in our mutual business, and why?
  • What promises have been made and kept by both?
  • What promises have been made and not delivered upon?
  • What have the major problems and success been in the past?
  • Press and media, our organizations promotional material.

2. What do they think they know about me. Clarifying the unknowns or presumed realities in a relationship is crucial to success. These ideas may be very damaging and limit your ability to trust one another. What stereotypical behaviour can you avoid or prevent? What can you clarify or refute through information or actions?

  • Behaviour and reacts based upon past experience with your organization.
  • Rumour and innuendo, press and media reports.
  • Negotiation styles.
  • Business objectives.
  • Behaviour, goals and methods of doing business based upon country and cultural stereotypes.

3. What can I tell them that they do not know. Today’s business world requires trust, information and solutions. Reinforcing your need to work with your international partner, providing important information or solutions, and clarifying misunderstandings can only help the relationship.

  • Clarify or destroy cultural stereotypes.
  • Clarify business objectives and why they are important in order to reach these objectives.
  • Provide solutions and alternatives to existing situations and challenges.
  • Provide information of value for their business and strategy.
  • Clearly identify current or potential business problems.
  • Predict and have answers ready for their questions.

4. What do I know about my International partner, culture and country? What do I know is true and not innuendo or interpretation? The numbers, facts, information, agreements and past performance history of the business. Information about the country and the business culture.

5. What do I think I know about this business, culture and country? What preconceived ideas and stereotypes are you working with? What are you assuming and what has been proven?

6. What can they tell me that I do not know? What questions do you need to ask in order to verify information or create plans. What pieces of your information puzzle are missing? This is the time to get your questions answered, what are they?

Related Links

Cultural misunderstanding it can happen to you

Stereotypes and global business

Create great international business relationships

16 Essential questions – the international business traveller’s quiz

Lessons in international business





Creating a great presentation

5 09 2006

“The best way to sound like you know what you’re talking about is to know what you’re talking about” – Author Unknown

Some people are show-people. They love to get up in front a group and give a presentation. It’s easy for them, you can see that they enjoy it. They inspire, give us ideas, and present themselves as knowledgeable and informed about the subject.

Then there are the rest of us. Public speaking for many is a tortuous experience filled with fears, sweating hands and knocking knees. It’s easy for those with fear of presentations to sit down with PowerPoint and fill slide after slide with graphs, charts, numbers and text, which will then be read slide-by-slide in a monotonous drone. Sound familiar?

The fear of speaking in public may never go away. But you can create, design and execute a much better, more interesting and more professional presentation if you ask yourself the following questions before you begin the process of creating your presentation.

Questions you should ask before starting work on the presentation

  • Do I understand the subject, am I an expert? If you are not, why are you giving the presentation?
  • Am I excited about the subject and passing this excitement and understanding on to others? Without your enthusiasm it will be a boring disaster.
  • Who will be in the audience? Who are you speaking too, what level of education and what “rung” of the corporate ladder? Are they competitors, industry experts, clients or co-workers?
  • What is the audience’s level of knowledge and understanding of the topic? Do you need to give them an introduction to the subject, or can you jump right in?
  • What information is relevant and important for my audience? Are they interested in details, or only in your summaries and conclusions?
  • Where will I be when I give the presentation? A huge auditorium or a classroom with 10 people? The boardroom or the company picnic?
  • How can I present the material so that is reflects my expertise, and at the same time educates or inspires the audience?

What are the goals of the presentation

  • Am I presenting facts so that the audience can analyze them and come to their own conclusions?
  • Am I analyzing and presenting my interpretation of factual information?
  • Am I teaching concepts that should be learned by the audience?
  • Am I motivating and inspiring the audience with ideas?
  • Why are these people coming to see me?

Creating the Presentation

  • Do I have the technical skills required to put this presentation together?
  • Who can I go to for help and assistance to make it look and feel professional?
  • Do I have a budget?
  • What would I present if I only had 60 seconds to do it? What information is absolutely necessary?

“The audience only pays attention as long as you know where you are going.”
– Philip Crosby