Showing posts tagged business tools
by Dominic Wells
There is an increasing expectation for organisational professionals to communicate using slide-ware technology such as PowerPoint, Keynote and Prezzi, all great tools for enhancing our message. Yet we have all sat through presentations where technology takes over working against the presenter and amongst the fumbling and mumbling the message is lost.
Enhance your message, improve credibility and connect with your audience by avoiding these seven deadly sins of presenting with slides:
1. Rely on technology
Batteries go flat, software crashes, lights go out and speakers breakdown, we all know it and yet we rarely give ourselves enough time to set up, test and re-test our presentation tools.
2. Read your slides
Slides are fantastic, we love them for their ability to enhance the spoken word but they are not The Message itself. Reading your slides will kill your, credibility and engagement, please don’t do it!
3. Dim the lights
Low light sends us a subconscious signal to relax and prepare for sleep, probably not the emotional state you want your audience in! Wherever possible set your room with natural light that doesn’t glare the screen.
4. Appoint a ‘Slider’
A Slider is a person who is asked to press the ‘enter’ key to move the slides on your behalf. Lovely people but a complete distraction and incapable of working in sync with your natural rhythm. Insist on a wireless slider clicker, discreet and highly effective.
5. Deliver a monologue
Effective communication is a two way street. Where possible move away from your slides, even blank the screen to engage with your audience.
6. Get stuck in the mud
Being conscious of the projector light is a good thing but don’t get physically stuck in one position while trying to avoid a shadow on the screen.
7. Using your slides as a prompt
If you don’t know what slide is next you will fall into the ‘click, pause, deliver’ trap where you are reliant on your slides for what to say next. Know your stuff and create verbal segways between slides to deliver consistency and flow.
Serial Entrepreneur, Columnist, Mentor & Investor
Most of us are trained to believe that practice makes perfect; but the best advice I’ve ever received preaches the exact opposite: Don’t be a perfectionist. Today I embrace this, but when I first heard this 7 years ago, I refused to accept it.
As it turns out, I needed that advice more than anything, and I now apply it in professional and personal settings alike. Nik, my partner at Ciplex, was the one who changed my life with this advice. He recognized the need for it, and for that I am forever grateful. I started Ciplex when I was 17, so my lack of formal management training and experience meant I learned along with my employees. I expected them to work as hard as I did, do as good a job as I did, and deliver the same quality results. While this approach reached a few employees, it drove the rest crazy, and rightfully so.
Nik’s experiences were highly educational (Harvard) and professional (IBM, idealab), but he, like me, did not come from a background in management; so when he advised me to stop micromanaging and to start accepting that 80% is good enough, I dismissed it. Disbelieved it. Disregarded it. When situations and people started fitting together like puzzle pieces, it started to click back to the advice Nik gave me. I gave his advice a shot because I knew I was headed towards an entrepreneurial path and my (micro) management style was simply not working and could not scale. It took time, but once this theory was proven, I saw the importance in allowing for imperfections.
My old ways of micromanaging forced employees to not feel autonomous and prevented them from thinking creatively on how to solve problems on their own. Employees would feel stress instead of feeling empowered to make their own decisions. They constantly felt demotivated and incompetent. There would be feelings of resentment and an overall hostile work environment.
Not being a perfectionist is a lesson that I look at as not just a piece of advice, but a worldview and a core value. It applies to a wide variety of different situations, regardless of scope or scale. Striving for perfection in every area all the time, wastes time, harms egos unnecessarily, and proves detrimental to any business. This piece of advice has stuck with me for so many years and through countless situations. The outcome? Productivity is through the roof, the culture is amazing, my employees are happier, I have full trust in my team, and I am happier than ever - both personally and professionally.
Interested in finding out more? Check out my article on delegating using the ‘80% is good enough’ rule.
About Ilya Pozin: Founder of Ciplex. Columnist for Inc, Forbes & LinkedIn. Gadget lover, investor, mentor, husband, father, and ‘30 Under 30’ entrepreneur.
Quick question. I have a large gathering of pens. I do not know what the collective term for pens is but that is not the question.
The majority I have collected from venues and conferences. They are often branded with the venue or event. Is that post marketing as I am already there?
Also has anyone actually looked up anything after seeing pen advertising. The one I have now says “Ask about the elephant” and relates to smoking cessation, as elephants are world renown for smoking 60 a day!
When are you at your most productive? When are you in a space where time just disappears and what you are doing seems to pass in minutes?
Do you have techniques or approaches to improve your productivity and allow you to be in flow more often?
When you are more productive you feel better and enjoy what you are doing.
In today’s modern environments there can be some many distractions and things that divert you from what you want to do. A simple task may take double the time. Labour saving devices become instruments of frustration. How do you remove the clutter from your mind to focus on the little things that matter?
Take the time to reflect and prepare for what you want to achieve.