Monthly Archives: February 2013

Go Green with Your Handouts…

In this day and age, being environmentally friendly is important in a lot of respects. First, we want this earth, the trees, and the animals inhabiting it to be around for a generations to come. Second, from a corporate culture’s point of view, “going green” is a hot topic today, from big organizations to little mom-and-pop shops. So jump on the green bandwagon, save money, save trees, and save the environment while projecting a socially conscious image to your prospects / clients. Use the following environmentally friendly tips when creating handouts in the future:

  1. Print front and back. There’s no reason to leave a blank page, so cut your total sheets in half by making use of the back side of each page. Many high-end printers will even do this for you.
  2. Print four slides to a page. Forget about one slide per page. Your prospects don’t need life-size images of your presentation (as lovely as they may be). Three slides per page with lines for notes is a popular option but most people never use those lines, opting for note-taking in the white space or on the slide itself. By using the option to print four slides per page, you will use up to 25% fewer pages.
  3. Print black and white. We get this question a lot — what’s the difference between black and white and grayscale? When you use the default grayscale, each color on your slide is converted to a shade of gray. With black and white, all backgrounds are converted to white, saving a lot of toner in the end.
  4. Eliminate a title page and a contact page. Make these your opening and closing slides in your four-slide-per-page presentation. People won’t miss it and you can save two full sheets per printed presentation.
  5. Eliminate other unnecessary slides. Rather than printing the entire presentation, maybe you can create a condensed take-home version with the most important information. This has the potential to eliminate 5% to upward of 50% of your presentation and can also save toner and paper.
  6. Use print preview. Is there one lonely slide on that last page? If so, figure out a way to eliminate or combine slides for printing purposes and save a page.

These seem like little things, but they go a long way. Just imaging a presentation with 60 slides being handed out to 50 people — that’s potentially 3,000 pieces of paper! Cut it to four slides per page and that saves you 2,250 pages. That’s earth-friendly thinking that your clients will appreciate and your bottom line will thank you as well.

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Getting Organized…

Let’s face it: We all waste time. We all have clutter. And we are all guilty of the occasional procrastinating. Unfortunately, it can catch up with us if we’re not careful. Here are a few tips for managing your time and getting back on track.

  • Don’t obsess or spin your wheels. If you can’t make a decision or complete a project or task in a reasonable amount of time, leave it, move on to something else, and come back to it.
  • Use your company’s flex time option to take advantage of your best times of day and / or have time in the office when noise and activity levels are less.
  • Have a list of all upcoming deadlines in a conspicuous location where you’re forced to look at them every time you enter your office or return to your desk. It’s almost a subliminal reminder system.
  • Leave the office early if you want to work at home in the evening. Have a relaxing dinner, and then settle in to work. Productivity increases after a few hours away from the task.
  • Clean out your e-mail inbox and outbox a couple of times a week. Not only are you getting rid of extraneous junk, you’re also being reminded of pending items you need to handle.
  • Use your Outlook calendar as your nagging secretary. With an important upcoming deadline or meeting, schedule a reminder a week before, three days before, the day before, and the day of the deadline – whatever it takes for you. There’s no way you will forget with such a nagging assistant!
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Save the Best for First…

In crafting and delivering a PowerPoint presentation, it may seem like a great strategy to introduce a slide and slowly build up to the most important and compelling point of that slide. However, paying close attention to any audience indicates that this may not hold true. In fact, you will very often notice the following pattern: at the introduction of a new slide, the audience sits up, their eyes fix on the slide, and after about 15 seconds, they begin to slouch in their seat and their eyes wander around the room until the next slide is brought up on the screen.

Contrary to popular belief and the strategy of “building up” to the powerful message of each slide, the introduction of a new slide is the best time to get your message across. It is by far the most compelling moment – there’s movement, new graphics on the screen, and the audience is curious and paying attention. This pattern repeats every time.

This, therefore, creates the perfect moment to get your slide’s message across. Never again while that particular slide is on the screen will you have the audience paying such close attention as in those first 15 seconds. The longer you speak on a particular slide, the fewer audience members are paying attention and only a fraction may get your message.

This new strategy will require practice as we have been programmed to do the exact opposite. Keep in mind, this isn’t about changing the content but rather the order of the content. So, save the best for first and get this new pattern down, and your presentations will certainly have a greater impact.

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