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Archive for 2012

Public Speaking During Times of Business Unrest

I know the meeting was in December, but I can’t recall for certain the year.

Roger, the president of our division pulled us all together to speak to us.  He’d had to rent the ballroom of a nearby hotel to accommodate the several hundred people who made up the group.

Roger wasn’t especially comfortable with public speaking.  But what he had to tell us was important and would impact each of us personally.  So Roger was willing to face a public speaking situation to tell us …

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We Needed More Time: Trying to Cram Too Much Material into a Presentation

My daughter recently finished the first draft of her first novel.  With the words of Earnest Hemingway echoing in her head (“The first draft of anything is shit.”) she set out to rewrite her book into a second draft.

We were talking about her process and how painful it is to have to throw out pages of hard-fought writing.  She called it “Killing My Darlings and Disposing the Bodies” in a recent blog post.

I feel the same way with presentations.   Sometimes I’ve got great …

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Calling All Technical Presenters! Please complete this survey!!!

A co-author and I are wondering if we write a book for technical presenters, will technical presenters care?  Does anyone want to read such a book???

If you are a technical presenters, won’t you please take this survey and give us your thoughts????




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How to Public Speak … in Less than 5 Minutes: A Video

Found this video on Google+ but it was originally posted on http://ashow.zefrank.com

Good advice on public speaking plus humor… gotta love it!



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Translating PowerPoint Slides: How to Choose Fonts in PowerPoint that Are Used in Both the Apple / Mac Version of PowerPoint and the PC / Windows Versions of Office 2007 / Office 2010

During a training class last week while using a PC laptop, I mentioned in passing that my other computer was a Mac.  (OK, truth be told, I was having some technical issues and I said that I wasn’t used to using a PC – that I normally use a Mac.  But honestly, I wasn’t being snooty when I said it!)

After the session, one of the attendees asked me how I dealt with “translation” issues between slides created in the Mac version of PowerPoint versus …

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Listening to Your Gut – Improving Your Presentation Through Common Sense AND Science!

I’m embarrassed to admit this…  I once hired someone without interviewing her.

So here’s the situation.

I was young.  It was my first duty station in the Navy.  We needed to replace a civilian employee who’d left the department.  We had to hire from the “stopper list” – formally called the Department of Defense Priority Placement Program.  As I understood it, the people on the list had been let go as part of a Department of Defense reduction in force and they had the right to …

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Getting Schooled. You Can Always Learn More about Your Topic, and Often, Your Audience Can Be the One to Teach You!

Last week, I was working on a new e-learning project with a company called Bigger Brains.


(The Bigger Brains platform and the e-learning project will be launching soon.  And you just know I’ll be sure to share all that great information right here on this website!)


I was teaching a lesson about using PowerPoint as a presentation tool – while of course throwing in my 2 cents about better ways to use PowerPoint.


Even as I’m teaching Maren, my on-screen learner, about features and functions she didn’t know were available on …

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Declare Your Independence! Ditch the Default!

The first time I heard the word “default” used in the world of technology, I wasn’t sure what the person meant. I hadn’t been in IT long and everyone else seemed to know what the guy was talking about but me. I was embarrassed to ask but eventually I figured out from the context that the “default” was the way a computer program comes up as originally programmed. The program can be changed, but it takes action on the part of the person using the program …

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Want a Better Presentation? Appeal to Your Attention-Deficit, Entertain-Me-Now, Wait-While-I-Post-that-on-Facebook Audience

In February 2011, I came up with at “tagline” for myself that goes like this…
In an attention-deficit, entertain-me-now, wait-while-I-post-that-on-Facebook kind of world, the typical business presentation is lame.
It has seemed to resonate with a lot of people.

Have you heard people complaining about how attention-deficit people are today?   Like in the “old day” people were better because they weren’t like they are now.  Yeah, me too.

Here’s the thing.  It’s our new normal.  We are not going back to the good-old-days… Ever.

Like it or not, …

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Go with the Flow – How to Organize Your Technical Presentation to Get Business Results – Part 4 – Issue-Resolution Structure

During my time in the IT industry, it became clear to me early on that technologist have to have mad problem solving skills.

Using existing technology, trying to meet the needs of the business, finding a work-around for an unusual need.  Great technologists are master problems solvers.   So of course a discussion of the organization of the most common technical presentations has to include the Issue – Resolution Structure

4.  Issue – Resolution Approach
Called my many names, this approach general boils down to a combination of:

Here’s the …

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