Creating great presentation visuals

I do not remember how many times I used phrase saying "if you are one in a million, in China there 1,300 people like you". I heard it somewhere and did not really know who coined that. Reading through "Prezentation Zen" I saw presentation called "Shift Happens", which uses comparison with China to amplify the changes happening in the world today. I could not resist sharing this great presentation with you:

Going to checkout winners of various SlideShare Contests for more examples of great  presentations.

2 steps to more effective communication

I'm reading Garr Reynolds' "Prezentation Zen" and his points about efficiency of presentations, which can naturally be translated into efficiency of communication, resonated with my mind:

The presentation would have been greatly improved if the presenter had simply kept two questions in mind in preparing for the talk: What's my point? And why does it matter?

Now communication is more important than ever for me, since I work on-site with client and do not have luxury of face to face communication with my team. Should I be asked to generalize Garr's statement I would do it this way:

The communication would be greatly improved if the person speaking now would simply keep two questions in mind, when preparing to speak: Why my speech does matter? And what is my point?

I have heard dozens of perfectly made points, which unfortunately were not relevant and simply consumed the bandwidth. Alas bandwidth of communication is more limited than we usually think.

Keep that in mind and be an effective communicator.

"Can you endorse me?" considered harmful

Every once in a while you receive "Can you endorse me?" inquiries in your LinkedIn Inbox. There is something which I do not like about such requests, if they come without recommendation for you first. It is like saying "I've worked with you long enough that you recognize value of the work I've done, which also means that I can do the same, but I do not really think that your contribution is worth my recommendation. Can you endorse me?" In fact, your recommendation of someone is the best request for endorsement. Indeed, why do you want an endorsement from person, whom you do not respect enough to give your own recommendation. It is not better than asking a stranger to sign a petition that you are the smartest person in this street.

And remember: the one, who cares most (about the other), gets most out of relationship.

About productivity in Ukrainian

A friend of mine, Alexander Babich, started a new blog about productivity - (in Ukrainian). I've been following another his another blog for ages and every so often I've learned about new useful tools and approaches, which changed the way I do things and changed for better. If you understand Ukrainian this blog is well worth checking out.

Intrinsic motivation vs. Extrinsic stimulus

Great talk by Dan Pink at TED about pitfalls of extrinsic stimulus and scientific evidence for intrinsic motivation:

I kind of always felt that way, but now I've got evidence to refer to. Plutarch was right that

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.

You can not stimulate creativity, you can only create environment for it to blossom.

How long does it take to fail?

Failure means distrust. Distrust to you about delivering on your promises; distrust in your ability to make a difference; distrust in you taking care. Basically, it is as simple as:

  1. Drawing attention to a problem without communication of causes and planned corrective actions.
  2. Repeating the same error again (when you do not change anything after step 1).
  3. Making problem a habit, when it happens for the 3rd time. Now it is clear for everyone that you do not give a heck about what's going on.

After step 3 there is almost no way to recover.

At the resort I stayed with my family for a vacation, we had breakfast served at 8:00 am. The first time a crowd of about hundred people had to wait for extra 10 minutes till they started serving, I remember my thought "Can happen. Probably, they wanted to please us with something special and underestimated the time."

Waiting in the crowd the next day I thought "Something went terribly wrong here. There must be a serious challenge involved at serving at 8 am."

After the third time nothing could make me come to breakfast at 8 am. I knew they did not care that we all had to wait for 10 extra minutes in a crowded room. I had to find a solution for myself and I did! Thereafter we came to breakfast 10 minutes late. In other situations, when your customers have more flexibility, they will simply quit your service. They will not do that because  there are issues, but because you do not care.

Take care to fix issues your customers face.