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Consulting Best Practices

Operate Your Presentation like a Pro

In an article for Consultant News, Toastmasters International’s Paul Carroll outlines some basic tips to give a presentation that is actually worth remembering. A good presentation begins with understanding your audience, which means you should study up on them beforehand. From there, develop a clear message that will be of interest to them. Be as concise as you can while still conveying all the essential details; you might be surprised how much information you can …

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What Is Hypothesis-Based Consulting?

A hypothesis is an educated guess on what you expect to have when given certain conditions. Hypothesis-based consulting then is the process of applying hypotheses to a business problem and systematically ruling out or revising them as more information is gathered. It is similar to detective work, except it could be that instead of one culprit to a problem that there are many. Data collection should however be aimed at confirming or disproving hypotheses. The …

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5 Tips to Launch Your Consultancy

The global consulting industry is worth more than $250 billion, so you might as well scoop out a piece of that pie for yourself. In an article for Inc., Jordan Kasteler outlines five basic tips that will allow your new consultancy to succeed: Marry your expertise and a gap: Take your expert skills and apply them in a space where sufficient help for target businesses does not yet exist. Make that your niche. Ask yourself …

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Move beyond the Commodity Mindset to Earn More

Consultant fees from one consultant to another work on an almost logarithmic scale; some make incredibly more than others. Why? It has to do with the perception of value and treating work as a commodity. In a post for Consulting Success, Michael Zipursky discusses what you can do to revise your perceptions and charge higher fees confidently. You’re Worth Exactly as Much as You Think Zipursky discusses a recent trip to an island known for …

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Time-Tested Keys to Becoming a Successful Consultant

If you want to become a top-level consultant who rakes in the big bucks, then it really comes down to doing two things: serving your client as well as possible, and learning to attract high-value clients. It is as simple as that—though of course, you could use some advice about how to accomplish those things. So in a post for Consulting Success, Michael Zipursky shares pointed tips for exceling in both areas. Dual Responsibilities For …

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Practice Acknowledgement and Praise

In a post at Consulting 101, Lew Sauder discusses how a little bit of gratitude can be very important, but people sometimes forget to give it. For instance, if you receive a hundred emails daily, you probably only respond to emails that specifically demand it. That does not include emails that report important information you requested, which may have required a lot of effort to put together. People can easily start to feel underappreciated when …

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How to Handle a Work Nemesis

Some people are naturally compelled by conflict, and they see their own colleagues as rivals for getting ahead at work. In a few words at Consulting 101, Lew Sauder discusses how to handle these people when they have decided that you are the enemy. For starters, you should determine if the person is competing with you for something, if the person wants something you have, or if the person simply feels slighted by some perceived …

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Where Should You Sit in the Client Meeting?

If the answer to a question might make an actual difference in business, then it cannot be goofy to ask. For instance, if you are wondering where to sit in a client meeting to be “prominent” without being “presumptuous,” Mark Haas has the answer in a post for the Institute of Management Consultants USA. He says, among other things, that you should just ask the clients where they would like you to sit. You should …

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Are You Getting ‘Stuff’ Done?

In a post for Consulting 101, Lew Sauder reminds us of the simple importance of clarity. It is easy to talk in vague speak, like, “I’m gonna see the guy about that thing,” and magically expect others to understand what you mean. But they probably do not know, and thus a conversation is lengthened like fresh pasta as you are forced to repeat yourself—but this time with terms that make sense. The longer it takes …

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Know Your Client’s History

Sometimes, an especially dutiful client will walk you as the consultant through the company’s history and what other consultants have done for the company in the past. Is this a worthwhile use of time that could otherwise be spent on real work? In a post for the Institute of Management Consultants USA, Mark Haas says it is. After all, a critical part of a consultant’s job is understanding a client’s business—and especially its problems. If …

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