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Month: January 2012

Presentation Zen, 2nd ed., Overview by Garr Reynolds

Garr Reynolds’ Presentation Zen is, in my estimation, the best one-volume resource for preparing better presentations. The 2nd edition was just released in December; in the video below, Garr himself shows and discusses what’s new and different:

Want To Do More? Just Say No

Last week I shared some thoughts on productivity with college students, how to get stuff done. One suggestion: learn to say “no.” “No” acknowledges that you have limited time and resources, that you can’t do everything. If you want to do something great with your life, you have to make choices. Choices require you to say “no” to some things.

In a helpful post at the HBR blogs, Tony Schwarz offers executives the same advice:

Saying no, thoughtfully, may be the most undervalued capacity of our times. In a world of relentless demands and infinite options, it behooves us to prioritize the tasks that add the most value. That also means deciding what to do less of, or to stop doing altogether.

Learn to say “no” to get more done.

The Value of Being an Expert

Lee Miller is an expert. He makes cowboy boots, by hand, in Austin for the likes of Lyle Lovett, Slim Pickens, and Tommy Lee Jones. His prices run from $1,900 to $8,500 per pair depending upon the level of customization. He has a four-year waiting list and isn’t accepting new clients.

That’s the value of being an expert.

Time Management for College Students (Revisited)

Today I’m giving a presentation to a group of college students on making a contribution and how to handle the pressures of college life. Here are some additional resources and here’s the slidedeck from my talk:

Grow Your Business With Better Design

Nike, Apple, Target, Herman Miller–top companies in large part because of their emphasis on design. Quoted in a recent FastCompany article, Fahrenheit 212’s Mark Payne offers, “Design is differentiation made visible, visceral, and experiential. Creativity and innovation are emerging as disciplines because we have no other choice.” This comes as no surprise to those who’ve read Dan Pink’s fantastic little book A Whole New Mind. Pink suggests that while the past belonged to left-brained engineers, doctors, and scientists, the future will belong to those who marry technical ability with qualities generally attributed to artists: design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning.┬áSounds very much like a Steve Jobs. Even the folks at Harvard Business Review are advocating muses to inspire creativity and innovation.

The trend is clear: design can be one factor that separates you from your competitor (or, conversely, that will separate your competitor from you.)

Recommended Fonts for Presentations

Last week I suggested that you might give your publications some new life this year and venture beyond the default fonts of your computer. Just today, MyFonts.com has published their list of the most popular fonts of 2011. Of the fonts that made the grade, I think these would work well in presentations:

Remember that not every font should be used for every application. Populaire, for example, won’t sit well for a presentation to investors but would be great in a less formal setting. Experiment by creating some slides with your type choices and see how they work.

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