Tag: tips

5 things to know as a start-up newbie

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Being the youngest one in a start-up is not easy, and trying to keep pace with colleagues who are extremely experienced in their fields has been a challenge. I think I’m getting there, but it hasn’t been easy and it certainly didn’t happen overnight, as frustrating as that can be.

It’s been a steep learning curve for me from the very start and it continues to escalate. As I complete a year in NOW, I would like to share my personal tips for someone with little work experience who’s thinking of joining a start-up.

  1. Be prepared for everything

Working in a start-up is not a piece of cake and there is nowhere to hide. You are a core member of the team and every action of yours is reflected on the business. Be prepared to learn new, unexpected things, this is your opportunity to gain knowledge, so seize it – don’t shy away!

Tasks given to you might not be in your job description. But guess what, those are the tasks that will help develop your career in a more holistic way and bring out the best in you!

  1. Keep a learning log

During your average day at work, when you see or hear something that is new to you, note it down.

It will remind you of the things you’ve learnt that change you from a good employee to a great one. It’s especially important in a start-up when there is so much to learn, writing down those points allows you to reflect over how much you’ve learnt over a short space of time.

  1. Set Targets

Make a to-do list with strict deadlines. Be honest with yourself and organise your time well. Ticking each task off your list gives you a real sense of satisfaction and makes you feel motivated to accomplish more! It’s also a tangible way of showing yourself the value you bring into the business.

  1. Your best friend

Working for a start-up you’re going to be expected to get involved with many new things and, of course, you won’t know how to do it all. Remember Google is your best friend!

It answers your tiniest doubts and things you just don’t know at all. Over time you will learn how to get things done within your capabilities. Starting something new is never easy, so be patient and enjoy the learning process.

  1. Have fun as a team

Be open to conversations with your team members, it can be as simple as ‘good morning’ each day, or ‘how was your weekend?’ at the start of the week, or ‘let’s have lunch together?’. Having fun with your colleagues really helps the day go by in an enjoyable way.

Make an effort to organise a get-together when it’s your cultural festival, teach them about your culture and have a great time together. Be a team player, spread good vibes and it won’t even feel like work!

 

I like to think that working at NOW Money has made me a more rounded individual and broadened my professional skill set. I have been exposed to a two-way learning corridor about different cultures, beliefs, and traditions.

I didn’t realise working here was going to be so fulfilling, and I’d even go so far as to say the best time of my life. From having lunch together every day, to our never ending conversations, planning team activities, working together and winning awards for our achievements, this journey has been absolutely fantastic.

Here are few of my favourite snaps from the whole year:

V’s quick tips for presenting to a diverse audience

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As a kid I enjoyed being on the stage because I felt like I belonged there. Be it inter-school elocution competitions, dance competitions, class presentations, or the university theatre production, you would always know where to find me. To me, it was an extracurricular activity, until I realised that it actually had more of a significance than simply fun and learning.

These childhood activities have made me who I am today – they’ve played a tremendous part in shaping my extrovert personality.

As a result, I have never been afraid to speak in front of anyone; to me, presenting to a group seems effortless. This is because I always present with one goal in mind – to be myself! I believe it is important, as this way, it comes out much smoother as opposed to stiff and monotonous. Also, I always give it 100 per cent, as I want to leave a lasting impression on the crowd.

Alongside these, I have learned many other small tips along the way – which I thought I’d share with you; ones I try to keep in mind before any presentation:

Start it simple

It’s like when you walk into a cinema ahead of the crowd, keen to get to your seat so that you don’t miss the start of the movie, and the first thought that pops into your mind is, “this movie better be good”!

This is pretty much what your audience is thinking when they walk into the room, as they’re taking time out of their busy schedule to listen to your presentation. In order to engage people and clear their thoughts from day-to-day work, I always start with an ice breaker.

It’s the best way to create a comfortable environment for your diverse audience and lead a two-way interaction, making it an exciting corporate session for both.

I do this by starting with a quick quiz, which relates to my topic of presentation. This helps me to know more about them – facts that I can then use as impromptu examples during my talk. On the other hand, they get an idea of what the talk is going to be about and it draws their attention. My icebreakers usually don’t last for more than five to seven minutes, as I like to keep them short and fun. I then always reward the audience with a few goodies for being good sports, which never fails to win them over!

Communicating at the right level for your audience

Every individual absolutely loves their language and speaking to their own people comes with such ease. Is it a fact – being from the same country or speaking the same language as someone, makes you feel comfortable with them.

Therefore, when approaching a diverse audience, such as one that is a mix of people from India, Pakistan, Philippines, Bangladesh, Africa and a few others, it is difficult to know what one might find offensive. As I mentioned above, it is crucial to know your audience before presenting. With the help of your ice breaker you will know which buttons to press, making them more likely to listen and engage with you. Once they know what you have to deliver is beneficial to them, the ball is in your court!

However, with different languages, comes another barrier, and that is being understood. My message may be great and my presentation might be spectacular, but if my audience don’t understand me, then there’s no point.

Today, the kind of audience I present to, varies from low-literates to tech-savvy people, and balancing between them is the challenge. Therefore, I’ve learnt that it’s better to stick to using simple language that everyone can understand, which keeps them involved and gives them the liberty to ask questions when needed.

The way you communicate with them is therefore key – they will understand you, if you understand them.

Impactful Pictures

Those who know me, will know that I love pictures. I truly believe in the proverb, “a picture speaks a thousand words“

Therefore, I like to use powerful images with a few words to support my presentation.

Nevertheless, it is always important to remember these quick pointers:

  • Graphs and statistics that are simple work best
  • Related icons are Interesting and catchy
  • Using icons for a multi-lingual crowd is a safe play

Be YOU

My last tip, is to be yourself, as no one can do it better than you! Being an energetic individual, I have always been told that there is a different vibe in the room when I present. I believe that we all have this – it’s an aura that comes within each and every one of us and creates a vibe around us. We all have our own – it’s the way we talk, our body language, and our communication manner which can be our biggest strength, if we use them correctly.

My style is to present like I’m narrating a story, starting with a fun element, moving to some serious facts, adding a slight emotion and finally, some curiosity using animations to conclude.

When we stay true to ourselves, it is easier to believe in the message that we’re trying to get across. It is important to believe in every word you’re saying, because, it’s hard to convince an audience, if you don’t believe in the topic yourself. The audience will believe in you if you believe in yourself!