Category Archives: Productivity

creating engaging presentations

5 Rules for Creating Engaging Presentations

“Graphical excellence is that which gives to the viewer the greatest number of ideas in the shortest time with the least ink in the smallest space.”

-Edward Tufte

Edward Tufte is an expert in the field of data visualization. While his methods may seem quite simple, they can be difficult for people to grasp in our world of information overload. With the entire Internet at our fingertips and 24-hour news cycles blasting massive amounts of content at us all the time, a streamlined approach almost seems impossible. Nonetheless, E.T. (as he is known) is revolutionizing the way we get our ideas across to audiences.

This is not to imply that your average audience can’t handle large concepts or high-volumes of data when it is presented. Instead, what he focuses on is changing and perfecting how that data is shown to your audience. As E.T. has said, “If the statistics are boring, then you’ve got the wrong numbers.”

I recently attended one of his conferences and it was a fantastic learning experience! His main theme was reducing confusion in your presentations and making information clear and concise for your audience. He provided a lot of valuable tips and I will share a few of them with you here.

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Businessman Pole Vault

9 Super Ideas to Help Achieve Your Goals in 2015

“Each year one vicious habit discarded, in time might make the worst of us good.”
–Benjamin Franklin

Big changes can be difficult to implement. Human brains are wired to create and distinguish patterns, and our tendency to follow routines reflects this. Work practices are even more regimented—and often ingrained—than our activities at home. But, by slowly and incrementally changing workplace habits, it’s possBaby Steps 1ible to quickly become a significantly more efficient and successful employee. In this article, I’m going to go through some simple ways to approach, set, and accomplish goals in both your professional and personal life.

The first important step in creating goals is to prioritize. There are lots of things that you need to do, but which are the most important? Which tasks affect your life on a regular basis? Are you always forgetting to check your email, or do you get sidetracked easily? Little habits that suck time away and constantly get in your way can make a difference. Figure out what you need to change now and what you can work on later.

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LinkedIn Contacts

LinkedIn’s Killer App: Contact Management

Social media properties want to increase the time you spend with them.  They call it ‘engagement’ and it is a key metric that social media sites like to quote when soliciting more VC funds or in the case of Facebook, to make their analysts happy

LinkedIn has been called ‘Facebook for Business’ and for good reason.  They have become the defacto portal that most professionals use to manage their networking.

Social Media EngagementA social media analysis site called Shareaholic compiles a “Social Referrals That Matter” Report that measures user engagement across 200,000 sites. They said:

Although Google+ and LinkedIn drive the fewest social referrals, they bring in some of the best visitors.

What does this mean?  It means that LinkedIn users spend more time (over 2 minutes) on each link they click and view 2.23 pages during each visit.  As you can see from the chart, LinkedIn users spend over two hours there, on average, each month.  This ranks third behind only YouTube and Google+.

User engagement is a valuable metric and allows sites to charge more for advertising.  LinkedIn has built an active user community that is attractive to businesses.  The more engagement goes up, the more attractive their community becomes.

To increase their stickiness and keep you on their site even longer, LinkedIn has been quietly adding new features to their core functionality.  I’m going to show you how you can take advantage of some of these and turn LinkedIn into a free contact management tool. Continue reading LinkedIn’s Killer App: Contact Management

4 Mistakes That Can Doom

4 Costly Mistakes that Can Ruin Your Job

If you make listening and observing your occupation, you will gain much more than you will by talking.

— Sir Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of the Boy Scouts

A beginning is a very delicate time.”  Starting a new job can be a trying experience.  Especially if you were out of work for a while, moved into a new industry or even an entirely new line of work.  There are a host of unknowns; unfamiliar faces, opaque office politics and where exactly is the bathroom?

If you want to excel in your new job, there are a number of behaviors you should avoid, to make your life easier in your new role  and put yourself in the best position to be successful.  In this article, I discuss four costly mistakes that can ruin your job and give you some useful techniques to keep yourself from making them.

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Is Your Life Full of Clutter? Organize Your Life With Evernote!

The trouble with organizing a thing is that pretty soon folks get to paying more attention to the organization than to what they’re organized for.

     — Laura Ingalls Wilder

My daughter, Emma, kills what seems like an entire forest each year writing things down to try and keep herself organized for school. Her desk is littered with papers, notes,  index cards, lists, and reminders that she is constantly misplacing.

Her problem is similar to that of many adults I know, who have trouble organizing themselves at work or at home.

Spending twenty minutes trying to find that note that you’re Pretty Sure Was Really Important by hand is frustrating to say the least.  Fortunately, a host of technology options are available to stay organized and assist with all of the consolidating, categorizing, and arranging that we just do not have time to do.

One of the best and most user-friendly programs that I have found is Evernote.

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