B2B Reads: Effective Public Speaking, Empowering Leadership, & Human-Centered Design


In addition to our Sunday App of the Week feature, we also summarize some of our favorite B2B sales & marketing posts from around the web each week. We’ll miss a ton of great stuff, so if you found something you think is worth sharing please add it to the comments below.

Employees vs. customers: Who is more important?
The age-old question — Who is more important: customers or employees? – is a misguided and potentially dangerous one. As a business leader, you shouldn’t prioritize one group over another. Instead, you should link employees and customers. Denise Lee Yohn, explores different methods of connecting employees and customers and how different companies are taking on this question.

What Should A Speaker Do When Disaster Strikes?
Anyone can go blank, lose a train of thought, or become distracted or confused if a key point is lost as we watch the importance of public speaking slip away from us. No matter the situation, such a memory lapse can rattle the speaker, break the audience’s concentration and reduce the overall effectiveness of the speech. In this blog post, Dr. Jim Anderson gives some perspective and practical advice on how speakers can best navigate disaster in public speaking environments.

How Managers (unintentionally) Roadblock an Empowered Team
Empowered teams will transform results, solve problems you didn’t know exist, and rapidly respond to change. Most managers will say they want those outcomes and that they believe in an empowered team, but unintentionally prevent their teams from doing their best. Thanks to David Dye for this article outlining common roadblocks and how managers can avoid them.

4 Powerful Ways to Manage Stress, Bounce Back
We need mental toughness in the face of COVID-19, economic upheaval and adversity. Neuroscience and psychology can help us understand how our brain and body can hijack us when we’re under pressure, face short deadlines and feel overwhelmed. Larae Quy in this article offers four different strategies for bouncing back after periods of stress.

Four Commitments Audiences Want from their Speakers
It’s useful to think of a set of commitments that a speaker makes to an audience. If these (implicit) commitments are adhered to, the audience will get a complete sense of a persona from the speaker, one that is memorable, effective, and well-rounded. Thanks to Dr. Nick Morgan, who presents four distinct commitments that great speakers can make to further connect with their audience.

How to Get Started Creating Your Company’s Martech Plan
In this Q&A, Micheal Donnelly provides a primer for why and how businesses should create a sound martech plan. Donnelly defines martech in practical terms as he shares in insights on this growing industry. He offers specific benefits, steps, and rationales for companies to begin implementing a martech strategy. Thanks to Mike Driehorst for this great conversation.

Lose Your Mind to Be a Better Leader
Most leaders are taught and continually conditioned to rely almost exclusively on logic and reason. And, like any strength, when you overuse your mind, it becomes a weakness. In this inventive piece, Moshe Engelberg defines a 6-step process to “losing your mind” in order to become a more holistic and compassionate leader.

3 Ways to Leverage Human-Centered Design at Your Organization
In a world where business challenges are increasingly complex, identifying your objective and framing your problem correctly is an integral way to demonstrate leadership and ensure teams don’t inadvertently solve the wrong problem. This is where a Human-Centered Design (HCD) mindset comes in—providing a groundbreaking way to define and ensure teams are focused on the right objective. Thanks to Patricia Salamone for offering these perspectives on HCD and how they can be best realized at an organization.

What You’re Getting Wrong About Customer Journeys
Most marketing experts agree that it’s not enough to give customers a satisfying initial experience with a product. Instead, product managers must offer them a compelling series of experiences—a customer journey—to keep them coming back for more. However, marketing experts have yet to develop a framework that can help managers with that design challenge. Too often they tell companies to routinize customer journeys—to make them as effortless and predictable as possible. Research by Ahir Gopaldas and Anton Siebert shows that this advice is overly simplistic. In fact, following it can sometimes backfire on a company.

10 Ways to Effectively Lead Sales Teams
Most companies are involved in sales as a revenue-generating function and grow in bounds when they have both inspired and engaged workers. At the core of teams are leaders whose primary role is to direct for optimal results. Managers set the tone in every work environment and this goes a long way in determining how long an employee stays in an organization. Thanks to Emmanuel Afunwa for this contribution on effective leadership.