Get heard with visuals: 5 questions to make sure your PowerPoints pass the visual test

By |December 11th, 2011|Categories: Presentations|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Get heard with visuals: 5 questions to make sure your PowerPoints pass the visual test

Because IT stands for “information technology,” you would think that IT would be Best-in-Class when communicating via PowerPoint, the quintessential information technology communication tool. Wrong. No surprise to all of us who work in IT. We generally stink at PowerPoint. And we really can’t afford to do this badly. Good communication is vital to our success if we want to create understanding about our organization, processes, systems, innovative ideas and change. But, the undeniable truth is, until we can communicate well, we can’t expect others to recognize IT’s value.

Believe it or not, visuals are the most effective way to express ideas and get people to nod their heads in agreement with you…which, of course, is the appeal of PowerPoint (not the nodding of heads, the visuals).

Before your next important presentation using Powerpoint, ask yourself the following five questions. The answers could make all the difference between being a good communicator and being a great one!

1. Does your presentation have a balance of words and imagery?
Ideally, a balance between words and imagery is best, but when in doubt, cut the copy. The more words you have, the less will stick.

2. Does your presentation resemble a rainbow or a 1940’s black & white film noir?
Neither is the right answer. I’m all for presentations that are full of life with the use of color, but make sure to use it judiciously. The use of too many colors will confuse not only the slide’s message, but the viewer as well, because the eye won’t know what to focus on first (or second or third for that matter). Color is a great tool for things like hierarchies and for making a presentation easy to scan. Make sure to use
[ Read More ]

Terminate the time guzzler: Inefficient meetings

By |November 15th, 2011|Categories: time|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Terminate the time guzzler: Inefficient meetings

Are you a big fan of impromptu meetings via Skype, Instant Messaging or other technology? These meetings seem to be laser focused because the meeting originator contacts you for a specific reason and has some targeted questions already at hand. Therefore, your ad hoc meeting has a clear-cut purpose, and resolution and closure is fast and painless.

So, how do you take this paradigm and apply it to the biggest time guzzler in most people’s day—the inefficient meeting?

Here’s how. Every meeting should have an agenda and specific objectives. This information should be communicated to participants well in advance so they arrive prepared. Your meeting should also be run by a facilitator who brings well-formed questions to the table; these are considered time-management “gold.” Every item on your agenda should have specific, corresponding questions that are used to elicit information and move you on to the next item. For example, if your project has the agenda item Risk Planning, some questions might include:

An interesting thing occurs when the objectives and agenda are clear, the participants come prepared, and the facilitator keeps the discussion reined-in through the use of thoughtful questions: meeting objectives are met and meetings are adjourned on-time or early. Participants think, Wow! We finished everything on the agenda and I’ve even got some spare time to put back into my day…I love it. As the meeting owner or facilitator, you might even find participants actually look forward to your meetings as the most productive time of their workday. How cool is that?

– See more at: http://www.transaccelgroup.com/blog/2011/11/15/terminate-the-time-guzzler-inefficient-meetings-2/#sthash.A0bkSWDv.dpuf