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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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Microsoft Sway – Putting Content & Presentations into Design Templates – Trying Embed Code Feature

by Kelly Vandever

Sway is a new Microsoft produce available for free…  but it’s a little hard to explain.  Wikipedia calls it a “presentation program” and it can be used for presentations, but it’s probably better suited for publishing content.  It’s part of Microsoft Office, but it’s free and not part of the Office 2016 download.  You can access it online at Sway.com or you can download Sway app to your laptop, iOS, Android device or your Windows phone.  You have to have a Microsoft account …

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Presenter, Know Your Audience

by Bob Goodyear

I have been working with a company to help them improve the presentation skills of their technical sales people. One challenge this company has identified is that their sales force struggles with giving the right information to the audience with whom they are meeting. In working together with their management, we have identified two areas where they can improve.

 
Before the meeting
Many technical sales people are asked to come to a meeting and present on a certain topic. When this happens, the person who is asked …

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When A Speaker’s Mind Goes (Completely) Blank

by Claudia Brogan

When working with aspiring speakers, I have found out at least one secret fear that we all have about public speaking.

What will I do if my mind goes blank?

Even more than the fear that there is a trap door in the center of that speaking area, it’s like we WISH there would be a trap door, once our mind has gone blank!

The truth is that this happens to most speakers. The second truth is that –though gulp-inducing— this occurrence is quite survivable, by employing one …

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Don’t be afraid of big fonts!

by Tom Nixon

In general the defaults and templates that ship with PowerPoint and other programs are meek and mild in the font size department. Go bold and use large, short headlines to introduce your ideas. Once you begin to use keywords instead of complete sentences or (gasp) paragraphs in your bullets you can enlarge those words for maximum effect.

 

 

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 …

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Could Your Company Be the Next Volkswagen? Create a Business Environment Where Leaders and Employees Have Permission to Speak

by Kelly Vandever

While the details of the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal are still pouring out, the results are clear.  Volkswagen has lost millions… in stock price, in dollars to fix the emissions cheat, and in the trust of loyal fans who believed the automaker cared about more than making a buck.

From what we’re hearing so far, you just have to believe that dozens of people along the way had to have made a conscious decision to cheat the …

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