Get Amplified

Elevating Tech Skills with the Human Approach: A Masterclass from Ben Pearce founder of Elevated You

November 09, 2023 Amplified Group Season 4 Episode 11
Get Amplified
Elevating Tech Skills with the Human Approach: A Masterclass from Ben Pearce founder of Elevated You
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What a thought provoking session Sam and I had with the highly engaging and incredibly energising Ben Pearce.

Ben has two decades of tech go to market under his belt with Microsoft. The later 10 years, as a leader he realised he didn’t need to coach his team on the tech stuff, but the critical human skills needed to influence both internal stakeholders and customers.

Packed with practical tips on key point retention, next step strategies, and the art of storytelling. Ben walks us through his super simple AOREN framework (which btw we are now putting into practice already at Amplified Group 😃)

You can down load it here 

This episode is a treasure trove of insights for anyone looking to master communication and leadership in the tech industry. If you're ready to take your tech skills to the next level, this is the episode for you.



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Sam:

Welcome to Get Amplified from the Amplified group, bringing you stories to help leaders in the tech industry execute at speed through the power of working together. I'm at home in beautiful, sunny Buckleymshire chilly but sunny, it's rather lovely. I'm struggling a little bit with the cold. Vicki, where are you? What's going on? What's the weather like?

Vic:

The sun is absolutely streaming through the window. It's beautiful here too. Funny enough, I'm not that far away from you, oh okay, where perhaps are you? Oh, don't do that to me. As you always say, deepest, darkest, oxfordshire.

Sam:

Oxfordshire. Yeah, we should let our listeners in on the secret there at some point, shouldn't we?

Vic:

Maybe now's the moment. Now is the moment. I'm not in Oxfordshire at all. I've never been in Oxfordshire.

Sam:

And you never have been.

Vic:

I've been in Buckleymshire, the same as Sam.

Sam:

But it kind of feels like Oxfordshire because you're up kind of past the same sort of area. That's Oxfordshire in my head. They must have moved the boundaries.

Vic:

We're on the border. There you go, Sam yeah.

Sam:

Yeah, so close enough, close enough. So, after my inane ramblings, who have we got on the podcast today?

Vic:

So today I feel like I'm in for a real treat. So we have on our podcast Ben Pierce, who leads founded elevated you and I was introduced to Ben, to Lindsay Moore, who we know, who's part of our Amplified Group, and then Lindsay said you've got to look at what Ben's doing. He's flipping awesome. So that's what we did, and I know the two of you don't know each other, but I feel like I'm just going to sit back and watch some magic here today.

Sam:

Well, we kind of do now, because we bonded over shed love of guitars in the preamble Brilliant, fantastic. So welcome, ben, good to have you on board. Maybe you would make it very welcome. Maybe you would do our listeners the kindness of just introducing yourself and telling us a little about your career journey to here.

Ben:

Yeah, sure. Well, thank you for the lovely introduction, vicki Blushing. Ever so slightly In terms of my career journey. So I've always been a techie, so my degree was cybernetics, computer science, always loved working in tech and then after I left uni I spent about 10 years as a techie at Microsoft doing sort of support roles, consultancy roles, those sorts of things. I spent about 10 years doing that and then after about 10 years, moved into leadership roles and so then for about 10 years at Microsoft was leading technical teams, whether that was professional services and consultancy teams, or whether that was pre-sales teams, architecture teams, all of that kind of stuff. So I did that for about 10 years. And then I was just thinking, oh, I need to do the next thing, I'm a little bit bored now, I need to get some excitement in my life, and so decided to start my own company called Elevated you, and so that started. In fact, we celebrated a year our first birthday just the other week, so I've been doing that for about a year now Fantastic Happy birthday.

Sam:

Thank you. Did you come across Colin Brown in your time at?

Ben:

Microsoft. I did. Yes, I know the name. I don't think I worked too closely with him, but absolutely yeah, knew the name.

Sam:

I think he was general manager for services at some point, but you might not have overlapped. He was Andy at SoftCat for a big chunk of my tenure there. So a wonderful, wonderful human being.

Vic:

Oh, lovely and, can I say, one of our top podcasts ever from a listening perspective.

Sam:

Yeah, yeah, lots of people have listened. I suppose half of SoftCat are probably listening to you. That's about a thousand people in and of themselves. There we go Fantastic. So yeah, so good grounding in Microsoft, a proper techie to start with, and then off to set your own business up. So tell us about Elevated you and what it does for people.

Ben:

Yeah, so the tagline I use is kind of tech world, human skills. So it's all about the human skills or the soft skills, professional skills, whatever it is you want to call it that people need to really thrive in the tech world. And so I founded a company to sort of just focus really on that thing. It didn't feel like there were too many people doing that kind of stuff and it was such an area that needed a lot of focus, sort of if I did a lot of hiring at Microsoft, I managed a lot of folks at Microsoft and I spent a lot of my time coaching folks, not on the technical stuff. They're always brilliant at that. They were brilliant at learning the latest tech. They were great at keeping up. But the bits that they weren't quite so good at were maybe how do I influence this person? How do I drive change so that the customer adopts the thing that I want to do? How do I put some structure and thought into a plan that I'm going to work them through with this? And so I spent all of my time kind of helping people do that and I thought I reckon I could package that up and take that on the road and maybe impact more people, and so that's what I'm doing is trying to raise the human skills of as many people as I can in the tech world so that, ultimately, they're more influential and more successful. Ultimately, that makes sense.

Sam:

So I also did a lot of tech hiring and Gareth, who was my ops manager, and I used to refer to some of that as techies who had a good bedside manner, as it were. Right, yeah, we've all come across doctors who are probably genius at things medical but terrible at giving you your diagnosis or telling you what you need to do or whatever. Just know people's skills and we really searched out techies with that good bedside manner thing. But I guess also that is something that you can teach or at least encourage, right?

Ben:

Absolutely, and I think that's what some people forget. Some people think that it's an innate thing that you come out of the womb with these amazing skills.

Sam:

Some people will be more natural at it than others. That's kind of normal. But yeah, certainly something that you can coach.

Ben:

Yeah, and it's the whole nature-nurture thing, right. So parents affect the upbringing of their children, right? Good parenting we talk about good parenting or whatever and that's the nature-nurture thing. We don't just sort of leave them and go well, that's what they're going to be like for the rest of their life because that's how they were born. We parent them and we take them to school and all of that. And I think it's exactly the same sort of thing. Anybody can learn anything if you believe it, believe that you can do it. You spend some time thinking about it and you learn some techniques. Anyone can do that. Now, maybe you won't make it to world class, you maybe won't be Ryan Reynolds of Charisma, because you've learned a bit about it, but you can certainly go to really good just by learning techniques and spending time practicing it. So I think all of these sorts of things can be learned.

Sam:

Yeah, I'd agree with that. I think that makes a lot of sense. Are you working with businesses or coaching individuals?

Ben:

Yeah, do you know what? Both. I've worked with a lot of organisations. I've worked with product groups, I've worked with technical presales teams, worked with consultancy teams, worked with groups of developers. Anybody who's an organisation thinks actually it's really important that these smart folks with great tech skills are able to influence their stakeholders, whether that be customers, whether that be internal stakeholders, whatever. I've worked with groups like that, but also, yeah, individuals, and I've got a number of individual clients that perhaps their company's not sponsoring them, but they're happy to.

Sam:

They see the value in it to move their career on.

Ben:

Yeah, absolutely so. It's a bit of both really. That's really interesting.

Sam:

Have you got any sort of success examples? Obviously respecting people's confidentiality, no names here, but an example of somebody that you've worked with who's elevated the conversations that they've been involved in.

Ben:

Yeah, let me give you a great example of a customer I work with. So they make some software and they bought me in because they had their annual global conference and every year and lots of organisations have this where they fly customers in, or customers fly in, and maybe they charge customers, maybe they don't, and they all get together and talk all things about the software. I think, as we sit here recording, bmwware world, I think, is happening in Barcelona at the moment. So the CTO of this organisation said my folks from the product group, they're going to be on stage, the product managers at this conference, and we want to raise our game a little bit. And so my job was to come in and I worked with them for probably three months before, both remotely and face-to-face. We had a workshop together to get them to the point where they could get on the stage and make a real impact. You know, because there was a lot of customers listening to what they were going to say. And then a month or two later, I went along to it and it was brilliant. And it was brilliant to see the things that I'd maybe suggested, the feedback that I'd given, being implemented and it going really well. And you know they were really pleased with the outcome. You know I loved it. I felt like a proud father.

Vic:

I was going to say it, but you felt like a proud dad.

Ben:

Yeah, yeah, and it was wonderful. So that's an example of a customer recently that you know was just, you know, a really nice complete end-to-end kind of thing that happened. Yeah, Lovely.

Sam:

Brilliant. So, ben, do you have a specific framework that you follow that you've developed, or is it a bit more sort of individualised than that?

Ben:

Do you know what I do? So I love little like frameworks or little mnemonics or little things that I can hang my thoughts on that. I love it, like when you read a book and somebody's you know done that for you, because I can then remember that little mnemonic, yeah, and it's like a launch pad that springs me into how to think about it. And the one that I use a lot with technical storytelling is Oren. Now, it should be like fire or storm or ice or something like that, but I couldn't make what I needed it to say into a really cool acronym. So Oren, which is A-O-R-E-N you need to think of like I don't know some Tolkien, elven kid or something like that. But what that stands for is A is for audience, o is objective, r is remembered, e is emotion and N is next steps. So whenever I'm thinking about a high value conversation or a presentation or a session that I need to deliver or a pitch, I always think that's my place to start and that then launches me into real clarity on what I'm going to say, who I'm going to say it to, how I'm going to say it, which I think is a great place to start.

Sam:

That makes sense. Well, I guess you've got flexibility to go up in different directions depending on the skills and makeup of the person that you're helping and also what their goals are and what they're trying to achieve.

Ben:

Yeah, yeah, maybe if I expand on it a little bit. So, if I start with A right or audience, something that I think is really important, that a lot of people forget is, when you're giving a presentation, when you're giving a session, a pitch, whatever, it's not about me, it's not about me, the presenter, it's about the audience, right, I am there, really, as a conduit for this product, this amazing message, whatever it is, and to get these people to either be educated or want to do something. So it's really about how do you become relevant to them, and I call it audience centricity, right. Whenever you're going to do anything, it's about focusing on the audience first, because if you focus on the audience, then you can figure out who they are. If you can figure out who they are, then you can figure out how to be relevant, and if you can be relevant, then you can be of value, and if you're of value, then they're going to use you or they're going to want the thing that you're doing, and so that's the first thing, and I think, particularly in the tech world, that's where a lot of people forget. They think, right, I'm now just going to give my spiel, and it might be too technical for a CEO right. So they might have come in and pitched it way too low level. Or, similarly, they might have pitched it way too high and the dreaded architecture insult comes out because they pitched it at a senior leader. And it's not got the technical chops to be able to influence the engineering team, for example. So it's really important that people start by focusing on the audience that's going to be there, how they're going to be relevant to those people and what message they want to give.

Sam:

I think that makes a lot of sense.

Ben:

And then the second place I then go is then the objective. And again still on the topic of people thinking it's all about me. Me I'm presenting, it's me on the stage. People think about what's my objective. I want to sell this product, I want to push this technology, I want to educate them on this thing, but actually flip that round and go what is the objective of the audience? Why have they given me their non-refundable time to come and sit and listen to me? What is it they want to get from this? And therefore, if I think about right, who's in my audience and then what is their objective for being here, then I can craft content that matches those two things. And again, if I do that, it's going to be way more impactful than me giving the wrong message to the wrong people about the wrong topic, which is what I've seen a lot in tech.

Sam:

Yeah Well, not just tech sales about that too. Sometimes, even as a seller, you need to understand your audience and what their motivations are and pitch at the right level. And, at the end of the day, we're all sellers to some extent, aren't we? Because the sort of people you're talking about here really are representing their company in some way, shape or form. They are part of the pitch, or possibly they are the pitch.

Ben:

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely, and.

Sam:

I always think, if you want to be a senior executive, whatever your background sales, tech, financial, whatever you need to be able to deliver a compelling pitch. And that might not be a sales pitch necessarily, that might be an internal presentation to stakeholders or something like that, but you've got to be able, you've got to have that within you, I think.

Ben:

Yeah, yeah, Because tech really is about change. Right, New stuff gets invented. That's really excited, yeah, really exciting, sorry, and but it's only any value and that excitement can only ever be realized if people use it. You know, and people start using it, and actually the people then that. Therefore, you know, the things that decide whether that tech is adopted and whether it gets used are people. So if you're excited by tech and you want that tech to be used, you need to be able to influence the people that can deploy it, can pay for it, can get it out there. So it's really important that you're focused, you know and able to influence those folks.

Sam:

Makes a lot of sense.

Vic:

Yeah, it feels, yeah, it feels, just listening to you talking about the end, I think, why Lindsay was so keen for us to do this with you. We're coming from the same place Because you know, our tagline is people power, the tech industry Right, yeah, yeah, it's all about how people work together and we're about we're more about the team versus the individual, but there's a real synergy, I think, with what you do.

Ben:

Yeah.

Vic:

And what we do. But I'm relishing in what you're talking about because next week we've got the opportunity, we're leading a session for Tech UK and the audience is Google, AWS, Cisco, Meta, oh so nobody picked that yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yesterday we sat together as a team to go right, who's our audience? Where are they in their career? What do they need to get out of this? How are we going to help them? Yeah, yeah, right Now, how do we craft what we need to do? And it was so, so, just, it feels like I'm doing a bit of revision this week, so it's super helpful.

Ben:

Thank you, yeah, well, so then the next thing I would say so you've had a audience, objective R is remembered. So what do you want them to remember? Yeah, and this again is what I've done terribly in the past is, you know, I've invested so much time in learning a technology that I know all about it, right. And then I get to talk to people about it and I think, right, so my job is to get what's in my brain into their brain. But of course, you can't do that right, you can't do some transplant, or there's no neural links that do that, and that's not how people learn.

Sam:

Well, Elon Musk is working on it, isn't he? But until that one day. That's a scary scary thought.

Ben:

And so actually, what you've got to do is you've got to think what is it I want them to remember? And then this is the first bit that trips people up is, people have got no idea what they want the other person to remember. Right, they've just got this stuff, and now they'll take the approach of I'm now going to throw as much mud as I can yeah, the opposite Exactly, and just see what sticks, yeah, whereas actually what you want to do is you want to say, right, what do I want them to remember? And I'm going to write that in like one sentence Simple, really simple. This is what I want them to get away from, take away from this and then go. And actually now I'm going to allow myself maybe three, four, five. Three is best. I always find supporting points. So you know, our product is, you know, the best thing you need it in your life. You know and you write that in a wordsmith that a bit better, because it's the only one that does it, it's the cheapest and it's the most secure. I don't know, those are. Maybe you know some things that you could say, and then that's all you're going to talk about. Everything now is going to fit in one of those three categories. That's it. I'm going to talk about security. I'm going to talk about I think price was the other thing. I said yeah, you know, I'm only going to talk about those three things. Now, all those other things that the product may do that are important, you know, I'm just going to call them. Unless they support those things that I want them to remember, and then when those people leave the session, hopefully, if you've done it right, they will remember what you want them to remember, which is then the springboard to go off and do the next things that you want them to do.

Vic:

Ben, when I think of you and what you do in my head, I've got storytelling as my headline. How do you use that with what you were just doing?

Ben:

Well, so that framework, this is what I will complete, and maybe we'll circle back to the E in the end, because they're really important. We'll circle back to those.

Vic:

Do you want to do those now, and then we'll come back OK, ok, ok.

Ben:

So eat emotion, right. And again, this is something I find that we're really bad at in tech. Often in the tech world you've got lots of folks very logical, very rational like to think about. You know, this is how it works and we forget sometimes that we're talking to people and people have emotions, right, and actually throughout time, those emotions are how people have remembered things. So you look at myths as the past, you look at storytelling before they could write down. The human brain is wired to remember emotions and stories, not logic and rationale, all the time. And so E is about thinking right, how do I, how do I make people feel that emotion? Ok, how do I make people create an emotional connection? Sometimes we drift a bit towards dictionary, like if you've got a spectrum and on one end of the spectrum you've got a dictionary which is just words, in no particular in alphabetical order, a very specific order, but you've just got words. And on the other end you've got, let's say, bambi, the Disney movie, which is like floods of tears as the mother deer dies. You know, we probably don't be a bit more Bambi when we're talking to people. You know and think right, how am I going to make an emotional connection to these people, because that's what people remember, and there's a brilliant quote. It's by Maya Angelou and it says people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Feel yeah, and so if we just think about that a little bit, you know I've got this group of people in front of me that I do want to talk about tech to, but actually they're people and their brain is wired to remember stories. So how can I make an emotional connection to this networking load balancer, to the fact that actually what it's doing is it's scaling out an NHS solution which means that more midwives can serve more mums more quickly and get their notes saved into the system so that appointments can work quicker. That's what it's for. It's not there to be an amazing load balancer, as interesting and as fun as that is. Actually it's about getting more mums to see midwives, and so it's making that emotional connection to what you're doing.

Sam:

So I think a specific example about my soft cat career. We did some work for NHS blood and transplant and I remember being involved in the presentation to them and I remember using some something along the lines of people talk about it not being a matter of life or death. This IT is a matter of life or death Because, if you know so, we were providing security for an app that would enable them to more quickly assess organs for transplant delivery and max them up to patients. We weren't doing the matching, we were just doing the security for it, but still, if you can get that organ somewhere four hours faster, there's a much better chance of a successful outcome in the. So it's a good example of exactly what you're talking about there. I think, yeah, yeah, you know that emotional connection. Yeah, I'm going to make a little analogy here. So you and I both play in bands Ben, yes, ben's bands, yes, my pet hate is you go and watch a band and they could be incredible musicians and they get up on stage and they play and they get off stage and there's no show. Yeah, I always think, if I'm going to go see someone live, I want to see a bit of a show. I want to see a bit of posturing. I want to see a foot up on a monitor. I want to see the you know trying to get the cloud clapping. Everybody get their hands in the air. You want to feel emotionally invested in the performance. I think kind of what you're talking about here is similar from a tech perspective. You know you might have a fabulous techie, but you're not going to there to watch them perform the music exactly as it sounds on their CD. I don't know if they use the CDs anymore, but you know what I mean. You're going there to see a performance.

Ben:

Yeah, yeah, Absolutely. And not only that, they want to go see that, but then they'll remember that right.

Sam:

Then they take that away with them you know, and they'll remember that, toting Forever.

Ben:

They'll remember that feeling forever.

Sam:

And they'll go, and they'll go again. I'll come and see you again if you put performance on.

Ben:

That's it. That's it. And so if you think about that now, in the tech world where there's a crowded space, you know a lot of tech is commoditized.

Vic:

Very noisy.

Ben:

Let's be honest, our competitors often do almost exactly the same as us. You know what is the differentiating factor? It's the people that you're working with. You know people that are selling that to you, the people that are implementing, and so if they remember and feel, oh, this person listened to me, knew their stuff and really helped me understand what we needed to do, next you're going to go and speak to them, as opposed to the person.

Sam:

Oh, totally, totally. That's the thing. You know, if I was a sexing, with the help of my team, a new vendor to take on to solve a particular problem, a good chunk of that assessment was, you know, do I believe in these people? Can they stand shoulder to shoulder with me if we're going to see a customer? Will they back me up if there's a problem? Do I think they can really take it to market and create a new space? And if I could believe in them if I also believed in the tech I was in, but if I, if I was a bit meh about the people in question, you know, you just know they're not going to create that market, so yeah, yeah, well, maybe if I finished with the end.

Ben:

So we've done audit. So it was audience objective, remembered emotion. And it is next steps. And see if this resonates with you. How often have people not thought about what happens after the presentation? Right? So somebody, they they presented the same old stuff they've presented. And then somebody says can you send the slide deck? I am afterwards and we go yeah, you know, that has become the accepted norm in tech. You just send this 40 megabyte file full of hundred slides with. That is our next step strategy. And actually let's back up and go hold on. The reason I was talking to this person was because it was probably part of a broader piece of work. You know, maybe it's. We want to deploy a solution, we want to sell a thing, we want to make this change, whatever it might be. So actually let's think well, what are the next steps? And let's get those thought about right at the beginning. The old seven habits of highly effective people begin with the end in mind, you know. So what is my next step strategy? So is that right? I've now got an article on LinkedIn that's talking about exactly what I've talked about is that there is a community that I want you to join, is it? Sign up here? There's a hands-on lab that's ready to go. What is your next step strategy? Is it that we need to have another meeting in the diary to meet with stakeholder X? But think what those next steps are and think about those right, right from the very get-go. So so start to get back to your point, vicki, about storytelling. Before I'm even thinking about any of that, this is my prep work. You know the brainstorming and the ideation behind the scenes To complete that, and I have a little template, you know, and I just write it in. You're right. Who are the person? Yeah, Can we share it, of course. I mean, it's really complicated. I write the word audience with some bullet points underneath, and then it's no more simple, simple wins for us every time.

Vic:

But it would be great to have that. And when we do the, so our next steps after the podcast, so the podcast will go live. We then, a week later, follow up with a Wonderful quote from it, of which we've got some great ones here. And then we do a, we do a blog offer.

Sam:

Yeah, so it's interesting then, with all this Storytelling stuff. As you probably know, I was CTO at Softcat for the the last five years or so of my career there and I used to joke that CTO didn't stand for chief technology officer, it stood for chief talking officer, because I felt that I was there to to tell the story, to draw the narrative together. I didn't actually need to be deep tech anymore, if at all I mean it to be there to To link the technology to business outcomes, to draw the the threads of various different technology streams together. So you're helping people with that storytelling part, right.

Ben:

Yeah, so you know we've done that, or unframer, and we filled in that template, and you know that's now your North Star, your guiding light. It is not a flow, you know. Just to be really clear, that's not the flow that I say that you walk through. You know now you think, right Given, I now know what. I know how am I gonna talk to this person about this thing, to remember these things and how do I want them to feel as I'm doing it, and so then you can then build your flow and go right. Well, actually, I'm gonna start off with a really strong hook. So I'm gonna start off with a great story. You know we were talking about the donors. You know that that might be a great story. That's what I'm gonna start, because that's gonna hook them in, because it's quite interesting. You know it's not just. You know a bit dull one. You know very dry material, so I'm gonna hook them in with that. Now, maybe I'm gonna sock them with the what's in it for me. You know I'm now gonna right up front, I'm gonna hit them with some benefits, you know. So this is, this is what's gonna go. So you maybe start off with a brief introduction to yourself. You've got a great hook. They're emotionally connected. Now you've given them some benefits, so they're emotionally connected and thinking, oh, this is, this is good for us. Then you've got the key points that you want them to remember. You know, use our product X because it's the cheapest, most secure and the only one that does it, or whatever you know your points are, and then you can then start to get into that detail. Maybe you can start to get into your an anti-tweets blades and some technical complexity, because we do sometimes right with the right audience. Or I need a really compelling demo here that's gonna be really engaging, that is gonna. You know, I'm gonna bring it to life by showing them how it works in real life. Or you know, you can then start to craft. You know where you use Bring, bring complex ideas to life, or great demos to life or other stories, and you can then start to build that flow. But all the time you keep referring back to your aura and template, thinking about does this support what I wrote down earlier or does it not? And if it doesn't, get rid of it?

Sam:

Yes, please get rid of it. The shorter the presentation, the better. Yeah, absolutely leave more time for questions or discussions, and yeah, yeah yeah, interesting. You said about the follow-up send the PowerPoint presentation afterwards. I'd rather somebody sent me the PowerPoint presentation before I can. I can familiarize myself with the material, have some questions lined up and in the hour that we've got or whatever, rather than it being sort of broadcast mode, we can actually Flesh out my knowledge and understanding and then have a discussion about it.

Ben:

But yeah, that's just me, no no, no, I think that's you know. I see that more and more and I tell you, I was chatting to somebody about neurodiversity the other day and they were saying to me that is one of the greatest ways to engage with a more neurodiverse audience. He is to think about sending. You know. You know, and traditionally it's just been agendas. But you know a bit more. You know, let's see a lot more detail beforehand which gets people to think about it and and can lead to a lot more interactive and a lot more engaging that. The challenge with that and this is the bit you got to manage is Do people read it? Do people do the pre-work? You know and the amount of meetings you might have been to where nobody's done any pre-work, and so, totally, you either need everybody to get involved with the pre-work so that you can all be there, or you need none, because if you've got that half and half, Trying to bring half your audience up to speed where the other half of your audience is already there.

Sam:

I get that it's not easy, is it?

Ben:

No, it's not so, but perfectly doable. You just need to think about how you manage that.

Vic:

It's been clear on expectations and setting expectations. So I'm going to come along, but you are expected to, and if you haven't, you're going to be the one in the room that doesn't.

Sam:

If it's a sales pitch, it's hard to sort of enforce that.

Ben:

Yeah, it is.

Vic:

But what you want is what we're certainly finding with. I mean we're finding doors are really opening for us. I mean it's that people have done their research before we have the conversation, or we do do that meeting and take them through it. But I rarely I don't take PowerPoint when I go and meet with a new client.

Sam:

No.

Vic:

I just, I just go with my ears. Yeah, I would always start with I would.

Sam:

I would always have a presentation prepared, but I would probably only use it 40% of the time and you'd have to sort of judge whether the person that you were talking to was somebody who enjoyed having the slides up and you know, a more formal presentation or not. But I always thought I needed to be prepared.

Vic:

But it's about it's understanding your audience, isn't it? And you know we've met your audience. You're focusing mainly on technical. People want to see the detail.

Ben:

They do, and but I think it's about having a tool that took a tool. Yeah, that's the way I think about it. It's, you know, it's in fact, I've got a newsletter and that was what I published just this week. If you think about stand up comedians, right, you, you listen to a stand up comedian and it's like they're having a chat, it's like they're down the pub. Yeah, just tell you this thing. But the thing is they go, they go to the gig, the next venue, and it's pretty much the same. You know there might be some bits that are a bit different. It's because they've got a set of stories, anecdotes, things to go all in the bag. They got a load of retorts for the common heckles that they're going to get. You know that are there in the locker so they're ready to use them. And then they pick the right tool for the right situation. And if you start to translate that to our world, that might mean right, I've got a really compelling demo. Right, I've got a really great story about a donor bank. I've got a set of complex diagrams for, if I get asked on how authentication really works, I've got that. You know you've got your toolkit on all of these different things. So then you can flex in the performance. To go back to our band analogy, you can perform it to the audience that are there knowing that you've got a great toolkit that you can rely on.

Sam:

Makes sense, so yeah, so you're all about giving people the toolkit to elevate themselves.

Ben:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, like it.

Sam:

Nice, there we go.

Vic:

That's the summary.

Sam:

That is the summary. Sorry, I've summarised too early. So, yeah, we're getting close to the top of the hour, so the time is probably against us here, I think. But, ben, perhaps you'd be so kind as to maybe continue that summary with three key takeaways for our listeners. Three takeaways, well.

Ben:

I mean, I would say, firstly, right, if you're excited about tech and you want this tech to be out there, it's people that drive that change, and so you need to invest in how you influence people. So, firstly, the first thing that you need to do is to be aware of the. That that's the thing I'd say. Is is absolutely. Second thing I'd say is back to our nature nurture argument. Anybody can raise their game doing this. It is not. You don't come out of the womb doing this. You learn some techniques, you build your toolkit, you build your tool bag and you're able to you know, you're able to do that. So that would be the second point is that anyone could do it. And then the third thing I'd say is this Aura and framework, I think is a great little framework for practically how you can start to do this. So I would say those are the three takeaways.

Sam:

OK, brilliant, that makes sense. We also have to go, I guess, to recommend a book that I listen and might be interested on, maybe on the, on the sort of topic that we're talking about here, or maybe just something of general interest. Maybe you've written a book.

Ben:

Yeah, I haven't written a book, not yet Can I can I go really old school? Because this I was thinking, you know you did give me a heads up that I needed to choose a book. I'm going to go really old school, can I say the seven habits of highly effective people, which I read early on and has had an indelible left, an indelible mark on my career ever since. And lots of books give you little nuggets of gold. That one gave me loads and and I refer to it regularly A gold bullion bar or whatever it's called, exactly exactly. And you know I just start to think about and I won't. I won't list out all seven now, but just start thinking about what we've been talking today. We've been talking about, you know. One of them is about being proactive, right and preparing for stuff. One of them is about seek to understand and then to be understood. That's what this is all about. Another one is thinking win, win, you know. So there's just three of the seven habits just right there which are firmly about what people don't really need to need to read it now. No, they got three of them. They got three of them, but for me it's an oldie but a goldie, so I thought I'd do that one.

Sam:

Absolutely, you're absolutely allowed an old one, because my choice would probably be even older and I would go for Dale Carnegie and how to win friends and influence people, which my dad gave me to read about 14 or something like that, and I just, you know, there's some stuff I learned in there that was so helpful to me in my career and you know, I've encouraged people to look at it. Even if it's probably a bit old fashioned these days, it's still a still a goodie, I think. Yeah, brilliant, vicki. Anything to add before we wrap up?

Vic:

I have just enjoyed this so much. Thank you, guys, it's been a real pleasure.

Sam:

Brilliant. Now I've enjoyed it too, bill. It's been an absolute pleasure. So it just remains for me to say thanks for listening to Get Amplified from the Amplified Group. As always, your comments and your subscriptions are gratefully received.

Tech Industry Leadership and Soft Skills
Improve Influential Tech Skills
Engaging Audiences in Technical Presentations
Creating Emotional Connections in Tech Communication
Next Steps, Storytelling Importance
Favorite Old Books and Closing Remarks