What do Malaysians and North Americans have in common?

Me with Jonathan Low, MAPS conference chairI got to answer this question for myself a few weeks ago when I spoke in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I had two engagements, one speech for the Malaysia Association of Professional Speakers annual convention, where I spoke on “TurboTime: Maximizing Your Results Through Technology.” (I’m pictured here with the conference chair, Jonathan Low.)

The second presentation was a two-day intensive seminar for executives on “Creating Customer Service Excellence.” This program was sponsored by Elite Citadel, a seminar promoter for SE Asia.

What did I notice about the two audiences that was similar to North American audiences?

  • They were warm, friendly and professional.
  • They were sincerely interested in becoming better at their positions
  • They were interested in practical, immediately usable information.
  • They liked to participate rather than be lectured at.
  • *They loved take-home materials, and appreciated having copies of my books.
  • They smiled and laughed at the right places.

How were they different?

  • They were quieter, not participating in large-group discussions, although they were very engaged in dyads and small-group activities.
  • They loved the snack breaks even more than North American audiences!
  • They were never argumentative or combative with me or other participants.

I enjoyed working with them and the Singaporeans who attended my sessions in Singapore the following week that I’m going back in July to work with more folks there and in Jakarta.

Fellow professional Dan Poyter’s comments on my MAPS presentation:

“…You were terrific.

Commending, on target, clear and with a great message.

I especially liked the format of your PPT.

Thank you for sharing.”