How the Continuous Improvement Cycle Helps Small Business

This Continuous Improvement Cycle of
Plan – Do – Check – Act –
is a well established Quality Assurance tool –
This approach can be used for any situation where making improvements is desired.

It does take commitment and focus to the process to achieve the best results. It requires discipline. It also requires that you delve deep into areas – really understand how they work to develop and improve the process.

The Continuous Improvement approach follows the following steps:

1. Plan – the activities you are undertaking – identify the problems you are facing or the improvements you are wanting to introduce. Really go into this in depth – find some measurements – otherwise know as KPI’s – Key Performance Indicators to show how the progress is going with the following improvements you have made.

2. Do – Make the Improvements or Changes you have decided will make the difference. Improving processes , establishing systems that work , eliminating complex systems for easier ones. etc. Make the changes and follow the impact with measuring the KPI’s.

3. Check – Do an Audit and see how the improvements are tracking – looking at the KPI’s will give a good indication – asking questions with the people involved to see how things are going. Do this questioning in depth – because here you will find out if further improvements are required.

4. Act – Here you make the improvements found necessary from the audit in Step 3 – Check – Adjustments to the initial approach are made in this step – then implement the changes and then keep checking the KPI’s .

This is a Continuous Improvement Cycle – you keep working on improving your systems and procedures in whatever industry or service or profession you are in. This process can keep Small Business’s up-to-date and facing issues that if left unaddressed could cause huge impact.

The Speakers Practice – Succeed Program integrates this four step process to enable Small Businesses to exceed their objectives along the pathway to Success. To find out more – contact Adrienne McLean on
or ring on 0414 367 960.

Overcoming Roadblocks – How?

You start off with a vision, a Big Goal – you’re strong , capable and focussed – but something happens and it doesn’t go to plan. Things just don’t go to plan. You may seem:

Feeling like you are under achieving
Frustrated as you’re not moving forward

So how do you get around the block to move forward?
1. Identify the Roadblock – Look at the roadblocks as an opportunity to learn. We don’t know everything and when in new situations we need to take a breathe and look at the situation – then find out a new way of handling the situation. Actually identifying that we have come up with a roadblock is the first step. Acknowledging that we’re struggling and need some assistance.

2. Look for a Coach or Mentor – If in a business context, a coach or a mentor who has been through the process would teach you , with their own approach and experience to get around the roadblock and move forward. Being with people who have been through the same struggles can support you to learn to handle the situation and move on.

3. Listening is a necessary skill – when people give you their advice – listen – learn and develop. You don’t have to take on all advice but you do need to absorb information that will help you move forward. Talk to people who have been through what you are experiencing , listen and use what works for you.

4. Look outside the Square – If what is being done at the moment isn’t working – Try other approaches – Brainstorm different ways of doing it – Be creative – Read- Learn – look for different ways of achieving what you are wanting to achieve.

5. Persist – Persist – Persist!! – Keep going , don’t give up – the only people who fail are the ones that give up!! Make the necessary adjustments , learn what is required, develop your skills – Go Out of Your Comfort Zone to Achieve!

For Business Owners, experiencing Roadblocks and needing to find ways around these Roadblocks – The Speakers Practice – Mentoring program – the Succeed Program is ideal. Adrienne uses a combination of the World Famous Marketing program – BookYourselfSolid®, Speaking Development using the SpeakersTrainingCamp® and Facilitation – see –

Here’s an interview with Travis Bell speaking about Overcoming Road Blocks on The Speakers Practice – Friday Forum – Travis Bell is the Bucket List Guy – President at the National Speakers Association of Australia in Victoria – a corporate motivational speaker of achieving your dreams. Travis has some marvellous approaches.

You’re an Expert – Learn to Love to Present!


There are plenty of us out there – we are experts in our fields, we do our jobs or run our own businesses with skill and we’re good at what we do. But we also need to promote our skills, achievements or the services we offer. Whether you’re in a job or running your own business, you still need to get your message across confidently. Sure, there are other ways to promote your business; however, presenting is an exceptionally good choice because you can reach a wide audience. Plus, the audience can see you and get to know you, and you can show them that you are an expert in your topic. So what can you do if you are not that comfortable with presenting, but you think it is a good way to get to your potential clients?
Learning to present

Presenting and public speaking are learnt skills.I believe we can all learn to present successfully in front of a group. However, if you want to develop your presenting skills, then you will need to commit time and energy to the task; and you must want to grow and develop, because developing your presentation skills also takes you on a wonderful personal development journey. What are the steps to follow on this ‘Learning to present’ journey?

Expand your comfort zone – as you learn to present, you will have to allow yourself to go out of your comfort zone and get uncomfortable in front of an audience. This takes courage and commitment. Your business is your livelihood – you’re willing to go and learn new skills for the sake of your business, aren’t you? Sure you are!Some presentations will go well and you will develop your confidence from these, but there are always those times when things don’t go smoothly. You have to keep going, keep trying, always stretching yourself to develop your confidence, no matter what!

Work at presentation skills training – there are many skills that go into presenting and it certainly will help you to work at these with a coach, someone who understands the process and has the skills to train you.The areas that you need to learn about are:
– speech structure and organisation
– how to keep an audience’s attention
– how to use technology e.g. PowerPoint, Keynote
– the importance of body language
– the use of the voice
– how to handle nervousness
– how to make a presentation captivating
– what not to do!There are plenty of coaches, classes and organisations to assist you in these areas.

Reduce negative self-chatter – Did you know that 40% of the population fear speaking in public? And it doesn’t matter what size the group. So if you don’t like public speaking and fear getting up in front of a group – you’re not alone. What is holding you back? What is stopping you from speaking to a group and giving them information that they need? Part of it is that negative self-chatter.Negative self-chatter dispels dreams, holds us back and reduces our effectiveness because we keep saying, ‘I can’t do that’, ‘They won’t want to listen to me’, ‘What if I mess up?’, ‘I don’t know where to start – it’s too hard to get my information together’, ‘The audience will be looking at me – I don’t like that!’, ‘People don’t listen to me’ – and the list goes on.If you are going to develop your presentation skills and confidently get your message across, you have to work (on a very personal level) to stop that negative chatter that goes on and on in your mind. You need to rewire the chatter so it becomes positive self-talk, which builds your confidence, builds self esteem, and will help you to achieve your goals and dreams.Again, this takes commitment and courage – remember the presentation is not about you, it’s about what the audience wants to know. You are giving them the information they have invested time to hear.

Overcome your nervousness – it’s natural to get nervous when speaking in front of a group, especially when you are not used to presenting. Remember, this involves at least 40% of the population so you are not alone.It helps to understand what happens to your body when you get nervous about presenting. Feeling nervous can trigger a ‘fight or flight’ response in the body. Adrenalin goes around the body, it’s difficult to think straight and breathing becomes shallow. To overcome the nerves, you have to find the approach that works for you. This could be exercise, any form of relaxation (yoga is fabulous), meditation, making sure you are prepared and rehearsed, or just having a positive mindset.The final suggestion is to keep giving presentations, because once you get used to giving presentations regularly, you’ll no longer feel that presenting is outside your comfort zone: it will be inside your comfort zone. This is very important – the more you give presentations, the better and more confident you will become.

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse – this means running through your presentation so you are prepared and know what you want to say, making sure your slides are appropriate and look good, and checking that your timing is spot on. Mishaps happen, this is normal, but the more you rehearse and prepare, the more confident you will be when it’s your time to present. Actors and performers rehearse and rehearse; business people delivering presentations need to do this, too.

Presenting to promote

At the start of your presenting experiences, it all takes a lot of effort but, as you get more comfortable with giving presentations, the easier it becomes. When you are delivering content that you are passionate about, this passion will shine through and inspire your audience. Promoting your business by speaking is a great way to display that you are the expert. Build a presentation on a topic/subject in your industry. Don’t talk about products! Then go and find places to deliver your presentation – search out Rotary or Lions clubs, business associations, networking groups and so on. Choose your target market and look for presenting opportunities there.You can prepare video for your website and YouTube – this is another way to display your expertise. Presenting to camera will need some training; however, video marketing is becoming a popular strategy and is wonderful for use on social media.If you are an expert in your field and you develop your presentation skills, this will give you a marvellous opportunity to meet potential clients, build connections, even build a tribe. By developing your presentation skills, your confidence will grow and this will ultimately help you to grow your business. So, since you are an expert in your field, learn to love to present!

If you are wanting to develop your presentation skills or help your staff to present with impact, contact Adrienne McLean at or ring on 0414 367 960.

7 Things about Your Presentation Topic Your Boss Wants to Know


Business presentations are essential to communicate projects,management issues,business restructuring,system implementations,marketing strategies,sales successes and so on. The Business Presentation is a pivotal method of communication to clients, staff and executives. How can a Business Presentation be structured to best get the message across?

1.Strong Opening Grip your business audience with a strong comment to open – a question – a story – a quotation or the one big success of why you are there.

2. Background – why they need to listen – you need to detail why your audience needs to listen to your presentations. What is in this presentation for them Detailing briefly why they should listen and what is going to be addressed by listening will keep their attention.

3. Execution – the audience doesn’t want to know excruciating detail but they do want to be included in the journey – so detail some of the important steps so they can understand how far the project has come.

4. Challenges and How you overcame them – Show your best work – what challenges have been faced and how have you used your skills to address these challenges. Don’t blow your own trumpet but be proud of the work and details the achievements and developments.

5. Results – the Bottom Line – Results are what the Boss wants to know – focus on these and the impact these results are having on the business.

6. Benefits to clients – External or Internal How do these results benefit the clients, staff, shareholders? Business projects and simply work are at the end for this – so explain the benefits.

7. Summary of success A brief summary to finish will keep your hard work at the front of the Bosses mind – the huge steps forward , whatever you want the Boss to remember , this goes at the end.

A Business Presentation is an important tool – it can win or loose business, staff can be kept engaged or can be discouraged. It is dependent on the topic, on where you put your focus but the results and the impact are crucial then by looking and sharing some of the important details, this can show you are working towards the same goal and you will really shine!

What I learnt by attending The Voice Australia Blind Auditions


The Voice is an exciting , performance based selection process for singers seeking to be the new, hot star. My family happened to get some free tickets to one of the blind auditions. We are under strict guidelines not to give away details – we are not allowed to say anything about the performances that got through or take photos of the auditorium or any part of the performance or performers – understandably – this is to keep the program a surprise for when it is broadcast. Still, audience members tried to snap that secret photo!

However, my interest is in what were the judges looking for? What helped the performer get through? It was gruelling for the performers and the standard is very high – they only had 2 minutes to grab the judges attention – what is it that made some performers stand out?

Whether it is singing or delivering a presentation at work – to get and keep your audience’s attention in whatever forum is the challenge for the presenter.

The Speakers Practice presentation skills training, the SpeakersTrainingCamp program ,details three very important areas that impact on the performance of a presenter.

Steak – the information and the way the information is structured during the presentation has a great impact on the overall ability of the audience to take in the content of the presentation.
Sizzle – the parts of the presentation that make us listen – examples like stories , photos, statistics – all sorts of methods to keep the audience watching and listening. For singers – it may be the highs and lows of the song and making some parts soft and some very loud – For presenters – it may be a story with a lot of emotional connection , using a pause to capture attention , a prop or some statistics and data that are presented in a clear, concise manner. You get to decide what works best and really gets your message across.
Style – this is the way the presenter delivers the content – eye contact, vocal variety, body language, and the list goes on. The important thing here is that the presenter needs to be authentic –

So what I learnt from attending The Voice Blind Auditions was that whether you are trying to get ahead on a top rating television show or you need to make a great impression with your next presentation to the boss, learning to develop these three major areas of your presentation – the Steak, Sizzle and Style , will really help the success of whatever your next presentation is.

Good Luck!

How to Prepare Your Business for the New Year

The Friday Forum is for business people – we discuss many topics and hear how our guests have included speaking to groups as a marketing strategy – today Julie Ashton of Dynamic Business coach is detailing some great tips on “How to Prepare Your Business for the New Year”.

Julie has a unique talent for simplifying complex processes and concepts while identifying and implementing practical strategies for her clientèle. She is known for teaching people how to work quickly and efficiently while happily delivering great service, whether it be by phone, internet or face to face.

Adrienne McLean interviews Julie Ashton on how to prepare for the approaching new year – there are some great tips and advice for being prepared and ready for a successful year ahead.