For our weekend business readers:

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION FROM THE FOUNDER OF THE VIRGIN GROUP
If you want to make a point to Sir Richard Branson or sell him on an idea, you had better use plain language, look him in the eye, and keep it short.  Whatever you do, don’t use Power Point.

Branson doesn’t have patience for long, confusing presentations. He prefers short and simple pitches, even if they’re written on a beer mat. Branson also disdains sterile conference rooms. He prefers the outdoors.

That’s some of the insight from an interview with Branson posted by Forbes.  The interview questions were based on Branson’s new book, Like a Virgin.  Its subtitle is, “Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School.”

When asked, “What are business schools failing to teach students about communicating, presenting and pitching their ideas?”, Branson had this response.

Too many people are hiding in dark rooms flipping through too many words on big screens. There’s a reason why I avoid boardrooms. I’d rather spend time with people ‘in the field,’ where eye contact, genuine conviction and trustworthiness are in full evidence.

Click on this link to read the full Forbes interview for more remarkable communication ideas from the man who oversees 400 companies within the Virgin Group.  Find out which entrepreneur Branson admires the most and guess who gave him the best presentation he ever heard while he was relaxing in the tub.

APPLE DROPS iPAD MINI TABLET
It’s much more expensive than its competitors, but Apple believes consumers loyal to its products will accept quality over pricing.  That;s according to the Wall Street Journal.

A person familiar with the matter says Apple believes consumers will pay for the whole ecosystem of apps and services Apple offers and that they didn’t set out to make something at the $199 price. That premium pricing strategy on everything from Macs to iPhones have made it the most valuable company in the U.S.

The company unveiled its new iPad Mini this past week in an announcement which also included “updated desktop and portable Macs and a fourth-generation model of the original iPad—just 7½ months after the company announced what it called ‘the new iPad’.”

The Mini is a third smaller than the regular iPad and will retail at $329.  Orders can be made now, with shipping beginning Nov. 2.

How does the quality compare to cheaper versions from competitors and how are analysts and investors receiving the latest from Apple?  Click here to find out.

KNOW WHEN TO HOLD ‘EM, WHEN TO FOLD ‘EM
“It’s Kanter’s Law: Everything can look like a failure in the middle.” But when do you keep trudging ahead or when do you throw in the towel?

Harvard Business Review has some answers in a revealing story, “12 Guidelines for Deciding When to Persist, When to Quit.”

That’s why persistence and perseverance are important for anyone leading a new venture, change project, or turnaround. But the miserable middle offers a choice point: Do you stick with the venture and make mid-course corrections, or do you abandon it? Do you support incumbents making progress even though the job is not yet finished, or do you abandon them for another group’s unproven promises?

All good questions.  Click here for answers that can help decide whether your campaign “should be shut down or helped through the messy middle.”

TAXI, TAXI!
It’s a British icon and it’s in deep trouble.

The company that makes the traditional London black taxi cab has filed for the British equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The firm — Manganese Bronze, also known as The London Taxi Co. — hasn’t made a profit in four years and was unable to reschedule its debts. If it can’t find a buyer, the company could go bust, and its world-famous product could — over time — disappear from the streets of London.

A recession and increased competition has lent a hand in the company’s financial woes, then came the killer.  A safety recall.

Marketplace has the whole story, and reports what country could come to the rescue.

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Talk Business Staff