One of my jobs at Microsoft was running Microsoft’s Corporate Procurement Group.
This group was responsible for managing and influencing several billion dollars in purchases ranging from personal computers to marketing materials to outsourced services. My organization had about 30 procurement managers who resided at headquarters and worked with various organizations around Microsoft to help get better value for our purchases.
To better expand our global influence, we started working with procurement organizations in Microsoft subsidiaries around the world to understand their purchases and to find areas where we could partner.
What we learned was more than what we had anticipated; not necessarily about their purchases, but about how they worked and the importance of urgency versus importance in their jobs.
Within a few months of my open door policy, I saw my own productivity drop and my frustration level rise because I kept getting interrupted by people taking me up on my open-door policy. My open-door policy soon turned into a series of random interruptions that caused me to not get my stuff done. I came to recognize that I needed to be accessible to people but that I could control the accessibility through scheduled time. Open-door means be accessible, not come in whenever you want.
Recently I was asked by a journalist how I practiced public speaking. At this point in my life, getting up in front of an audience is pretty much second nature. However, it wasn't always so. I had to work hard at the skill and had to fail A LOT before I found my schtick and was able to get pretty OK at it.
Here are the highlights from the interview along with six take-aways to help you be a better public speaker.
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