Top 5 Biggest PowerPoint Mistakes: #5 Using PowerPoint in the First Place

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When the going gets tough, shoot the messenger. Don’t laugh. According to the New York Times (“We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint,” April 26, 783414_92347913_no_projector_royalty_free-stock-xchng_3002010), we can blame the ubiquitous PowerPoint for stultifying creativity, a false sense of security, and thousands of hours of lost productivity. (Disclosure: I drafted the bulk of this article – the first of a five-part series – the weekend before the Times published their story.) How could something that feels so right be so wrong?

Let’s start with something a mentor told me before the Trash-80 even made it to the shelves of your neighborhood RadioShack® store. I had to give a presentation to the board of directors of the radio station I so happily spun disks for. These various music directors had no idea what I intended to spring on them – I wanted to add sports broadcasting! I felt a handout might ease their concerns.

“Good idea,” said the mentor, “but don’t pass it out until you’re done with your Continue Reading “Top 5 Biggest PowerPoint Mistakes: #5 Using PowerPoint in the First Place”

3 Essential Public Speaking Lessons I Accidentally Learned While Playing the Violin

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There I sat, fear pulsing through my veins. I had never seen anything like this before. The page had so much black ink it seemed more like a string of 918308_53296922_violin_royalty_free_stock_xchng_300incomprehensible Chinese characters than the opening music to the Overture of My Fair Lady. Mind you, I had dwelled with the elite of the orchestra pit since my freshman days in high school. Nothing scared me. Usually. This thing did.

Bluntly facing me lay four measures of thirty-second notes – a “run” in the vernacular of the musician. I had easily tackled runs of eighth notes and, perhaps with a little more practice, runs of sixteenth notes. I’ve even snuck in a furtive trill of a thirty-second note – but never a four measure run of these speedy bars. I looked at my teacher and agonizingly admitted, “I can’t play these.” What she said next stunned me.

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Day 17 – November 30, 2009 (Mon): Post an Action Tweet

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 107 Followers: 88 Listed: 5

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 16 – November 29, 2009 (Sun): Post a Discussion Tweet

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Today’s the first day I’ve been really disappointed with this experiment. Although I admit I’ve been busy this weekend, I didn’t totally ignore Twitter. I followed a number of folks back. I did continue to do as Joel Comm suggested and I even got a big bounce in activity on my blog – at least as judged by Google Analytics.

But, given all that, I wake up this morning to find only two more followers. I’m beginning to formulate a hypothesis. I’ll call it the “Twitter Churn and Burn Hypothesis.” Here’s how it works:

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It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

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A lot of people had Veteran’s Day off. Not me. Not only did our office remain open (we’re open whenever the market’s open), but my day overflowed with meetings and conferences. I spent the bulk of the day at the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery participating in the Social Media Today conference with easily a couple hundred other folks interested in the latest happenings in the Web 2.0 world. Graciously organized by Ana Roca Castro, who did a wonderful job despite forgetting to include bathroom breaks in the agenda, the event exceeded her expectations and deservedly so.

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Oddly, it didn’t take long for an eerie feeling of “haven’t I been here before?” to course through my ancient synapses. No, the presentations didn’t tell me things I already knew (quite the contrary). Hmm, how can I describe it? More like teetering on the eager cusp of undiscovered opportunity. (The last time I felt this way occurred nearly 25 years ago in the German House, but that’s a story for another day.)

Continue Reading “It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again”