How to make a good presentation

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How to make a good presentation

The best written or oral presentationsin class, businesses, conferences or even TED talks have many things in common. The writing team at Biteable has researched the killer presentation tips and techniques from the experts to find the best advice on how to make a good presentation. Here we go:

How to Make a Good Presentation #1: Scene or Slide Length

The experts all agree on one thing: too much text will kill your presentation. Rule number one in Seth Godin’s extremely popular post on how to make great presentations is: “No more than six words on a slide. EVER. There is no presentation so complex that this rule needs to be broken.” Seth’s technique is to use the slides almost like a chapter heading for the topic he’s talking about, emphasizing the importance of the oral side of presentations. He’s all about smiling at the audience, making eye contact and building a rapport.

How to Make a Good Presentation #2: Presentation Length

Public speaking guru Guy Kawasaki has a rule for the length of presentations called the 10/20/30 rule: he believes a good presentation should have no more than 10 slides, should go for no more than 20 minutes, and the font size should be no less than 30 point. This rule will help you to focus on your core message and only say what is essential to get your point across.

How to Make a Good Presentation #3: Be Genuine

Tony Robbins’ trademark high-energy delivery has made him one of the most well-known motivational speakers in the world. Robbins believes the key to giving an amazing presentation is to believe in what you’re saying 100%, to communicate straight from your heart and try to tell people something real because “information without emotion is not retained.”

How to Make a Good Presentation #4: Use A Remote

Most presentation gurus stress the importance of making eye contact with the audience and smiling, and warn against turning your back or spending too much time looking down into a laptop. Some very good practical advice from author and sought-after public speaker Garr Reynolds is to use a remote to pause and advance your presentation so you have time to be spontaneous and control the flow of the presentation.

How to Make a Good Presentation #5: Use Good Graphics and Fonts

With the prevalence of good, free resources on the web, there’s only one excuse for using ugly graphics or fonts, and that’s not knowing where to get good ones. Excellent sources of well-chosen free fonts are Fontsquirrelor Dafont, and equally excellent sources of free pictures are PixabayUnsplash and Pexels. Now you have no excuses!

How to Make a Good Presentation #6: Focus on Value

Tony Robbins believes in getting to know his audience and goes to great pains to find out about them before he gives a talk, because “the more you understand what somebody wants, needs, and fears, the more you can figure out how to add value,” he said in an interview in Business Insider. By offering solutions to the problems of the people in the room, you are giving them something of real value to take away. Everything else you say will be self-indulgent and irrelevant.

How to Make a Good Presentation #7: Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Steve Jobs was a legendary speaker who would practice meticulously and exhaustively before giving any presentation. He even had standby anecdotes prepared to fill time when the technology he was using to give the presentation failed. He once said “you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving.” The message is simple: mistakes are unavoidable but there’s no need to let them ruin everything. Acknowledge it with a smile and move on.

If you’re after more presentation tips and techniques, I’ve written a short guide on how to write a presentation like a pro here, an article about innovative ideas about how to approach your presentation here, and a simple guide to designing your presentation here. Biteable is a great tool for making presentations, with designer-made templates, animation, footage and music, and it’s free! If this sounds good, you can get started here.

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Want To Land A Job After A Parenting Gap? 10 Mistakes To Avoid

6,457 views Jan 22, 2019, 04:13pm

Want To Land A Job After A Parenting Gap? 10 Mistakes To Avoid

Careers

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Author & Founder of The Fifth Trimester Lauren Smith Brody and her son. (Photo by Nancy Borowick)NANCY BOROWICK

As much as you may want to believe that quitting your job to parent won’t affect your career long term, the unfortunate reality is that landing a job after a gap can be a challenge. You may have to learn new skills to stay current and the longer you have been out of work, the harder it can be. You will also be competing against applicants who haven’t left the marketplace and other parents looking to restart. According to Après Group, a career platform connecting employers with parents returning to the workforce, there are more than three million women in the U.S. with college or advanced degrees looking to get back in.

So how do you make yourself more marketable, boost your profile and get the job you want? Lauren Smith Brody, author and founder of Fifth Trimester Consulting, which helps workplaces improve their culture for new parents, and Jennifer Gefsky, the cofounder of Après, share their advice on how to avoid common mistakes and land an amazing job.  

Mistake #1: Sending Out Your Resume Too Soon

Once the decision is made go back to work, the instinct is to immediately start applying for jobs. Don’t. Start by taking steps to make yourself relevant in the current market. “ You can’t go into an interview and say, “I haven’t worked in five or ten years, but here I am!” says Jennifer Gefsky. Do an internship, take an online course, or update your tech skills first. “I’m a huge fan of taking an in-person class and just being around people other than your social networks at home,” reveals Gefsky. “It’s putting yourself in a different world. It’s getting yourself ready to go.”

Mistake #2: Only Applying For Part-Time Openings

Part-time jobs can seem like a less jarring way to ease back into the workforce, however, Gefsky advises against limiting your search: To close off that majority of available jobs is a mistake. You will be excluding potentially great jobs that might ultimately be able to offer part-time down the road, but maybe aren’t going to offer it for a new employee.

Mistake #3: Not Leveraging Social Media

“The number one piece of advice I give people who have been out for a period of time is get on LinkedIn as soon as possible,” says Gefsky. Not only should you update your profile to include relevant skills, classes or internships, Gefsky suggests writing short articles on topics related to the career you want. This will build up your digital presence, personal brand, and show your expertise. “That advice surprises a lot of people because they think, ‘I’m not a writer!’  But that’s the amazing thing about LinkedIn, you can publish articles on your page,” says Gefsky. “Then, when people look you up, it’s, ‘Oh, wow, this person is totally up to speed on what’s going on in our industry.’”

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Mistake #4: Not Asking For Help

Once you have established your digital presence and updated your skills and resume, you are ready to network. The key is to leverage all of the relationships you have. “There are all kinds of things we can learn from our personal relationships that apply to work,” explains Brody. Her advice? Ask a friend currently in the workforce to run through a mock interview with you or find out what qualities they look for with new employees. Even if they are in a different industry you can gain valuable insight and direction.

Mistake #5: Discounting The Skills You Learned As A Full-Time Parent

It’s easy to see your work life and home life as two totally separate arenas, but the skills learned in parenthood can definitely be a boost to any career.  “You are probably better than ever at managing your time, your budget, your goals. You pivot more quickly between tasks. You know what’s worth saying yes to, and what’s not. Feel that empowerment when you enter into negotiations,” advises Brody. Also any volunteer work you did around your child—helping to organize events for school, leading committees, etc. Those should be added to your resume too. They can provide examples of your leadership, organization, finance, and management skills.

Mistake #6: Only Submitting Your Resume Online  

One way to get noticed by recruiters who might overlook applicants with parenting gaps is to ask friends, family, or former co-workers to hand-deliver your resume to higher ups or their company’s HR reps.  “It’s very hard to submit your resume and get noticed, especially when you’re competing against people who haven’t had a break,” says Gefsky. “The way you’re going to get hired is by people who know you. Networking is critical.”

Mistake #7: Revealing Your Previous Salary

Women are underpaid compared to their male counterparts in the same roles. They also undervalue themselves when they return to the workforce. A common mistake? Revealing your previous salary. “There are actually a number of states, including New York, that have passed laws recently that do not allow employers to ask about your previous salary. The thinking there is that it perpetuates the wage gap,” explains Brody.  “If you were underpaid five years ago, don’t tell them that salary, because you are going to continue to be underpaid.” Instead, do your homework and research what going rates are for the role you are applying for.

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Jennifer Gefsky Co-Founder of Après Group (Photo by Carolyn Simpson, Doublevision Photographers)PHOTO BY CAROLYN SIMPSON DOUBLEVISION PHOTOGRAPHERS

Mistake #8: Rejecting A Step Back

The hard truth is that in some careers like law and finance, the longer your gap, the more likely you will have to take a more junior role when you return. Gefsky works with a lot of women who left managing director roles in finance when they had children, who then are surprised to only be offered jobs with Vice President titles upon their return. “Being humble, reasonable, and realistic is really important,” explains Gefsky. “You have to be cognizant of the fact that the world has continued to evolve while you’ve been out.”

Mistake #9: Underestimating Millennial Change

Back when you left the work force, millennials were the 20 year-old interns who seemed to push the envelope in the workplace. Well, fast forward to now, and that envelope pushing has led to real change and real integration of work and life that will benefit you as you adjust back to work, explains Brody. Discounting millennial colleagues is a mistake. Millennials will be 75% of the workforce by 2025 and Brody believes they are leading us toward more flexible and meaningful workplaces that will make it easier for working parents to stay balanced and connected to their families.

Mistake # 10: Not Using A Gap As An Opportunity To Pivot

“When you are working, you don’t have that time or ability to step back and say, “Is this really what I want to do?’” says Gefsky. Taking a career break offers the chance to reset your financial, work, and personal goals and find a career that can help you achieve them.  You will have to prepare yourself for a new career by interning or taking a class, but you might also be doing those things to stay current in your former career. So why not use your gap as a chance to go for the career you really want?

Three Things To Stop Doing When Working Across Cultures

EDITOR’S PICK9,939 viewsJan 8, 2019, 06:43am

Three Things To Stop Doing When Working Across Cultures

Darren MenabneyContributorCareersI help leaders communicate and collaborate with a global workforce.

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Just like fish might not know they’re swimming in the water, we’re often unaware of the cultural surroundings we move through.  GETTY

Working globally requires unlearning, as much as it requires learning.

Doing business can be challenging enough with people from our own culture. Doing business across cultures adds a whole new layer of complexity. But the reality of modern business is that we work with colleagues, customers and business partners from diverse backgrounds, across the country and across the world.

So how to make sure that our business interactions are a success? How to not let cultural differences and communication challenges get in the way? To be truly effective when working globally requires a shift in mindset, and making that shift means first dropping some of our pre-existing views.

Working more effectively on the global stage is more than a matter of learning. Unlearning is required to make that mindset shift.

Here are three things you need to unlearn.

1. Drop Your Common Sense

Culture can be defined as “the way we do things around here,” with every culture having its own norms and standards of expected behavior. Of course, those are not always apparent to someone from outside that culture, but they may also not be apparent to those of us inside our own culture.

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Just like fish might not know they’re swimming in the water, we’re often unaware of the cultural surroundings we move through and of how that influences our assumptions about the right way to behave. We all have assumptions about the “right” way to do things and all those assumptions, accrued over our lives and influenced by our culture, is what we think of as common sense.

As Voltaire said, “Common sense is not so common.” This is true between individuals, and even more true between cultures. What is common sense in one culture is rarely common sense in another.

So that is the first thing to drop when working globally, our common sense.

Before we can think about cultural differences, we need to first understand our own cultural assumptions and our common sense. Drop your assumptions, have an open mind and ask yourself “Why do we behave this way?” How do people in your culture disagree, build trust or view formality?

Identifying your common sense—and being ready to drop it in cross-cultural settings—is only a first step, but it is a valuable benchmark. Once you have that benchmark, then you can be ready to stop relying on what is common sense in your culture when working globally. You can begin to understand where any major gaps lie and where your own common sense won’t work.

This mindset has served me well working in Tokyo. When I’m in a business situation and some behavior seems to be going counter to my expectations, I take that as a sign to pause, take a step back and question what’s going on and whether my assumptions are leading me to miss something. For example, say there’s a long period of silence in a meeting. Has something uncomfortable been said? That would be my assumption as a Canadian. But when I drop that assumption and go with the flow by staying silent—rather than speaking out to fill what feels to me like awkward silence—I learn the value of unspoken communication and silence in Japanese business culture.

2. Drop The Golden Rule

Most cultures have some variation of the Golden Rule: “treat other people how you would want to be treated yourself.” If you don’t want someone to be a jerk to you, it helps to not be a jerk to others.

So when working across cultures, the Golden Rule should be a great rule to live by, right?

Actually, it’s a terrible idea.

Why? Because of those differences in common sense and assumptions about what is the right way to treat people and be treated.

Our different contexts and backgrounds lead to different ideas about what is the best way to treat other people, and so how we expect to be treated. If you treat people from other cultures by your standards, by how you expect to be treated, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. Conversely, don’t expect those from other cultures to treat you in the ways you expect.

A better idea is to replace the Golden Rule with the Platinum Rule, which is “treat other people how they would want to be treated.” Treat your counterparts by their standards, not by yours.

Applying that Platinum Rule requires studying other cultures, to learn what is considered the appropriate way to behave and how people in that culture like to be treated. Not an easy thing to do, but with time and practice we can learn about other cultures, learn about our counterparts and then turn that into action. Understand how others negotiate, communicate, disagree, build and maintain trust. Then make sure you can stretch your own behavior—and suppress your assumptions—as much as possible to understand your counterparts’ culture; know when to shake hands or bow, speak up or be silent.

Studying other cultures is a necessity and using that knowledge in tandem with the Platinum Rule will start you on the path to cross-cultural competence. But to be truly effective, you need to make one final shift in mindset.

3. Drop The Emphasis On Differences

When working across cultures, there is a natural tendency to focus on differences, as that’s where we’re most likely to step on landmines and encounter challenges. A lot of the literature and training on cross-cultural communication dwells on gaps and differences, but understanding differences is not enough to build meaningful business relationships across borders.

To communicate and collaborate effectively, we need to build stronger bridges by also thinking about cultural similarities. Don’t focus too much on cultural challenges and what separates us, also consider the opportunities and what unites us.

Do that through finding what we have in common with others, just as we do with people in our own culture. Finding commonalities and similarities is the way to build meaningful business relationships within a culture and across cultures, so look for similarities between your culture and that of your counterpart.

Even if we find few cultural commonalities, we can consider what we may have in common with our counterparts as individuals. Try to make a personal connection around common work experiences or even more basic things like food or hobbies. Get to know your counterparts as individuals, not simply as representatives of Country X. Find something you share and start building bridges from those commonalities. Regardless of cultural differences, we are all humans and share the same basic wishes and hopes.

By dropping these three things, you can shift your mindset and be a more effective global business leader. Everything that comes later—studying cultures and turning that into action—will work much better once you have made this mindset shift.