Creating Communication’s Spring Break

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This week, Creating Communication is officially on Spring Break…

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Sadly, that doesn’t mean I’m taking any sort of break.  I have a presentation with my Modern Com Theory class mid-week; a poster session tomorrow in the UCF Graduate Research Fair; four Junior League meetings every single night this week; and a mountain of grading.  I am also celebrating my birthday this weekend, and my best friend of 28 years will be in town.  The week will be busy, but the fun weekend will be worth the hard work.

While I am on a brief hiatus, please visit a few of my favorite websites and blogs on all things public speaking and presentation.  You can find those links along the left-hand side.  See you next Monday, April 7!

Do you take a Spring Break every year?  What are your ideal Spring Break vacation plans?

Exciting Leadership News!

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As many of you know, I’ve been a member of the Junior League of Greater Orlando since January 2010.  Back in November, I accepted the nomination of Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and our JLGO slate was finally announced today!  It is very, VERY difficult to keep a secret for three months, so I am glad the word is out…

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Our membership will vote on the slate at the end of February, and I am crossing my fingers that I will be elected as our 2014/2015 VP of M&C.  I will keep you posted.

Thanks for letting me share some excitement from my personal life with you!  Happy Monday!

Creating Communication’s New Look!

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Creating Communication has undergone a makeover!  This morning, I received an email from Mark Battaglia:

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After reading Mark’s constructive criticism, I sprang into action!  I certainly had no idea about these studies he referenced, so I asked my design-obsessed colleague and superteacher BFF, Chiara Ojeda.  She confirmed that, indeed, Mark was correct.  My response: “WHAT?!  How do I not know this?”
If you have links to any articles to help me begin my journey to learn more, please share them in the “Comment” section below!  And, of course, constructive criticism on the new look is welcome.  Please email me at alexrister1@gmail.com.
And thanks again for your feedback, Mark… I hope this new layout and color scheme do you proud :)

Creating Communication’s 2014 Goals

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Looking forward to 2014, I definitely have some goals for this blog.  Check out a few of my answers to this precious Pinterest questionnaire below:

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A bad habit I am going to break will be late night blog posting.  My goal is to post every morning so that readers have the entire day to take in new content.

A person I hope to become more like is Nancy Duarte.  If you’ve read a single post on this blog, you know I am her biggest fan and adore her and her work.  She is an amazing role model, and I am fortunate that I can continue to learn from her every time I read her books, her articles, or her blog posts.

Several books I’d like to read in 2014 include the recently released second edition of Garr Reynolds’ Presentation Zen Design; Jerry Weissman’s Presenting To Win; Cliff Atkinson’s Beyond Bullet Points; Jonah Sacs’ Story Wars; Amy Spaulding’s The Art of Storytelling; Nick Morgan’s Give Your Speech, Change The World; Dave Gray’s Gamestorming; and David Sibbet’s Visual Meetings.

I’m going to do better at writing quality posts for Creating Communication so that readers find the content they need to help them become better, stronger speakers and presenters.

What are your 2014 goals?  Did you use the above template?  Please share your resolutions with me in the “Comments” section!

Creating Communication’s Year 3 Goals

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Can you believe Creating Communication celebrates its 2nd anniversary this September?  It’s hard to believe a blog born out of my desire to spread the presentation revolution with others has been such a blessing in my life.  Whether you’ve banned bullets or broken out of terrible template-land, I hope Creating Communication has also been a blessing in your life… or at least to the lives of the audience members you present for.

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Last year, I created some specific goals for the blog that I’d like to reflect upon today.  I wanted to 1) develop better content navigation; 2) include more reader questions, feedback, input, and contributions; 3) nail down a concrete focus area; 4) keep writing every single day, but ensure each day has a quality post; and 5) be thankful.

To address my five goals from last year, I believe I fully realized #3 and came as close as I could to meeting #4 and #5.  The blog has a clear focus area which is reflected in the banner and in the content.  While I haven’t posted every day, there are enough posts per week to help readers learn new concepts and to explore the world of 21st century public speaking and presentation.  Lastly, I am so, so, so thankful for this blog and the connections I’ve made.  I’ve had the opportunity to host Nancy Duarte for a Skype interview with my class.  I’ve welcomed Steve Cherches into my campus class to meet my students.  My slides have been awarded “Top Presentation of the Day” on Slideshare, and some blog posts have been featured on Speaking.Alltop.com’s “Most Topular Stories.”  Garr Reynolds Tweeted about the blog for goodness sakes!  I am lucky, and I thank YOU for reading.

This year, I’d like to keep on goal and to add two additional ones.

1) Develop better content navigation.  I want to work on where information is stored and how it is presented for even easier navigation.  I hope to work with a web designer in 2013/2014 to create a layout that is original, beautiful, and user-friendly.

2) Tie my blog to my graduate research.  My goal is to eventually do academic research in the area of professional communication and presentation; public speaking; visual presentation; and teaching/learning.  I would love to begin making connections between what I’m writing on my blog and what I’m researching, studying, and learning while a graduate Interpersonal Communication student.

3) Incorporate guest articles.  When I first began my blog, I began working on collaborative projects with a few of my co-workers.  I love collaboration, and learning from others inspires me.  While I don’t know how to begin, I’d love to see more guest authors contributing to Creating Communication in 2013 and 2014.

What would you like to see from Creating Communication’s third year?

On Vacation!

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Even a workaholic needs a little bit of time off… I haven’t taken a vacation in nearly four years, so I thought it was high time for a week and a half of rest and relaxation.

In the meantime, please check out some of my favorite blogs:

Are you taking any vacations this summer?  Let me know your destination in the comments section.

Creating Communication’s Year 2 Goals

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Creating Communication turned one last week!  In 2012/2013, with the advice of blogging guru and Six Minutes author Andrew Dlugan, I came up with 5 goals for the CC‘s second year.  The first day of October seems like the perfect time to introduce those goals:

1.  Develop better content navigation.  Creating Communication is a bit difficult to read because of the blog model.  This is one reason why I started the “Join The Presentation Revolution” tab along the top menu of the page.  However, I do need to work to create a well-organized, effective way for readers to find exactly what they’re looking for.

2.  Include more reader questions, feedback, input, and contributions.  This question from a reader sparked a post, and I think tackling more reader questions and concerns will help Creating Communication meet the clear need for effective communication practices for the everyday communicator.  After all, “we” at CC are just one person, but we believe one person can do just as much as a company like Ethos3 or Duarte Design.

3.  Really nail down a concrete focus area.  Creating Communication needs a clear focus area.  What is CC‘s story?  What do I want people to think, believe, and feel when they read the blog?  How do I want to infuse myself into the blog?  It’s helpful to see what other bloggers do.  It’s helpful for me to see what others do on non-presentation/communication blogs.  For example, I am a big fan of Young House Love and Pink Peonies.  What can I learn from other blogs that I can apply here?  I was doing a bit of research and stumbled upon this list of 100 female bloggers this morning… How can I make sure my brand is communicated as effortlessly as these female-run blogs?

4.  Keep writing every single day, but ensure each day has a quality post.  It’s important that I post every day because I love to write and to share my inspirations with other people.  However, I do want to make certain I’m working on quality as well as quantity.

5.  Be thankful.  This blog has opened so many wonderful doors.  I’ve been able to meet and network with the modern pioneers in the field of public speaking and presentation.  Every single day that I get to share my passion and love with the world is a great day.  Even if Creating Communication isn’t perfect, I must continue to enjoy each day as I commit to growing and getting better.

What would you like to see from Creating Communication‘s second year?