THE START-UP ecosystem in Thailand has grown considerably over the five years since AIS introduced its start-up competition in late 2011. Today, many start-ups are growing and evolving, changing from a trial-and-error management style to business models with well thought-out operating plans, clear directions and strategies.
These start-up founders have discovered new challenges beyond the creation of products and services. As businesses expand, company leaders have to meet more stakeholders including clients, suppliers and individuals from the relevant industries, as well as the media. It is therefore essential for them to develop their personalities and learn behavioural skills and communication so that they can establish credibility in the public eye and capture their audiences' attention, keeping them fully engaged.
Developing strong personalities requires time and practice.
Kornkanok Yongsakul, a well-known personality trainer, coach and consultant recently offered tips to AIS's start-up founders. His "Personality for Public Speaking" workshop helped them establish a leadership personality, captivate their listeners and demonstrate proper etiquette in public places. The event was designed to develop skills among the founders, helping them morph gracefully from executors into leaders.
Kornkanok gave tips on how speakers can convince the audience to listen to and trust them. She also advised on personality, verbal communications, gestures and facial expressions, enabling the start-up founders to develop their maturity and further grow as good leaders.
Business communication is based on the key elements known collectively as the "3V Model": Visual, Vocal and Verbal.
Visual or body language is the first priority, and every speaker needs to be aware of how an audience is interpreting their physical presence. Are they finding the speaker interesting to watch or listen to?
Practising this will help a speaker improve their physical communication and communicate more effectively. Research has shown using a speakerphone during conversations helped enhance communication efficiency for 84 per cent of users, while positioning the hands downwards while talking had the reserve effect for 42 per cent.
The vocal component refers to the variations in sounds, moving from a monotone to a changing pitch with both high and low tones to draw the attention of listeners. Like eye expressions, the voice is a mirror that reflects the confidence of speakers - or lack of it.
Verbal expression should be proper, polite, to the point, and generate positive feelings by opening up the minds of listeners. A speaker should avoid the use of redundant expressions like "uh" or negative speech such as "no", "don't have" or "don't know".
Most importantly, speakers should do their homework, thoroughly study the profile of their audience and emphasise the key issues that listeners should know. Speakers should talk at different speeds and emphasise any important points by switching to a tone that's suitable for the text.
Speakers should also introduce rhythm to their speech to capture listeners' attention along with confidence and natural body language. They need constant practice and honest self-assessment. Practice can be as simple as speaking to a colleague, or as sophisticated as recording presentations on video and later analysing them to see whether there was genuine communication that met the needs of both speaker and listeners.
Every month, AIS organises monthly Executive Leadership training for start-ups selected to participate in The Start-up project. If you believe your idea or project would qualify, you can apply for the monthly pitching at http://www.ais.co.th/thestart?up/connect.html
Srihathai Prammanee is head of AIS The StartUp, Advance Info Services Plc. (AIS)