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Archive for 2015

Leadership – Learning Your Team Members’ Individual Needs, Goals and Strengths

by Kelly Vandever

The group wasn’t happy about being acquired by a new company. They had a successful product and doubted the tenacity of the acquiring company’s offerings. What’s more, they were not impressed with the acquiring company’s executive management that had already visited their offices. And now, the group was getting a new manager who would manage them…from more than 700 miles away! Imagine what you would have thought if you were in this group!

 
Getting to Know You 
Whether you’re managing new people 700 miles away, or working …

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Time Flies

by Tom Nixon

There are often dozens of ways to display the same words. Your choice of image can make for a dead serious or a comedic delivery. Or anywhere in between that might suit your message.

 

 
Tom Nixon has over 3 decades of experience assisting clients with meaningful business communications. Contact Tom to see how he can work with your business leaders and subject matter experts to create stunning visual presentations (PowerPoint, Keynote, etc.) and enhance their on-stage delivery.

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Key Targets (and being willing to let go of “The Precious”)

by Claudia Brogan

Not long ago, I helped a talented scientist prepare to deliver an important presentation. He had compiled numerous pages of data, research, and facts about the selected topic. The biggest problem was that the overload of information was dense and cloudy. After I read the prepared pages, I met with him to discuss preparations and ways to design a presentation that would be useful for the listeners.

As we discussed demographics about the audience that he would be meeting with, I broached the question of how …

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How Do I Motivate Remote Employees?

by Kelly Vandever

 

We’ll call him LT Dan…not to be confused with the LT Dan in the movie Forrest Gump… but this man was a Lieutenant in the US Navy and his first name was Dan.

LT Dan would call me up and tell me what his group was doing.

Let me give you some context.

At the time, I was in charge of officer recruiting in the Southern United States for the US Navy. Indirectly reporting to me were 8 officers who were responsible for the officer recruiting in …

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Anchor Your Presentation

by Bob Goodyear

Have you ever sat in on a presentation or speech and couldn’t remember the points the speaker was making just 10 minutes after it was done? Maybe you remember that you felt good about what was being said but you just couldn’t talk about specifics to anyone afterwards. That is incredibly frustrating to me as an audience member. It’s even MORE frustrating, however, to me as the speaker because that tells me that I didn’t do a good job making my points memorable.

How can we …

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Making Data Meaningful

by Tom Nixon

An ongoing challenge that technical presenters have is how can large data sets in charts and graphs be presented without overwhelming the audience. Showing the full set of raw data is often necessary to establish a starting point or source. It may also be important to not appear to be “dumbing-down” the information. But a slide with dozens or even hundreds of data points simply cannot be assimilated from the screen.

The solution is to make the data meaningful by distilling down your numbers to just …

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How Would I Feel if I Were the Manager Who Was Being “Gone Around” Because of the Open Social Enterprise?

by Kelly Vandever

 

As a manager, I’m pretty sure along the way, I said something to this effect…

As the head of this group, I’m responsible for what happens. But I want to know what you think. When things come up, I want to know what you think we should do. I want to hear your recommendations. In the end, I may decide to take your recommendation or I may go a different direction. If I go a different direction, I’ll try to make sure …

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“Word-A-Pa-Looza”

by Claudia Brogan

Making the effort to continually improve and stretch your vocabulary is likely to pay off in spades.

When a speaker uses strong, descriptive words — and uses them correctly! — credibility is strengthened and audience members sit up and take notice.

 

Here are two specific reasons for using strong, descriptive words:

First, studies show that it is good for our own brains to increase brain capacity by stretching to learn new things. No need to do rote memorization of 20 random words, over and over. But more realistically and effectively, it works …

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Surround Your Words with Space

by Tom Nixon

Experienced speakers and designers know the power of space. Speakers use the auditory device of the pause; for the designer it can be the visual use of white space.

In either form it is the equivalent of a stunning image viewed by itself on an otherwise unadorned wall in a museum. We are setting apart something special from the rest of our noisy world. Space (or the pause) conveys the subliminal message that this is important – pay attention.

If you are designing a slide, use space to illustrate …

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What’s In It for the Manager When an Employee Speaks Up?

 

by Kelly Vandever

One of my bosses (whom shall remain nameless for purposes of this post) had a bad habit.

Instead of the word “organization,” he would say another word that begins with the letters “orga” and let’s just say, the word he used really wasn’t suitable for use in our workplace. He only used the inappropriate substitution when in the company of the senior leadership team. He never ever did it in front of the rest of the employees. And other than the unfortunate substitution, he didn’t swear …

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