Three Slideshare Presentations For The Communications Expert

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Sometimes, Slideshare is jam-packed with beautiful slide decks featuring not only good information but also good design.  Today, I’d like to share three top-notch Slideshare decks with you.

The first comes from Carmine Gallo.  “Talk Like TED: 3 Unbreakable Laws of Communication” is such a powerful resource for communicators and presenters.  The Slideshare presentation serves as promotional material for Gallo’s latest book: Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds.  I love that TED has been become such an important part of pop culture and that the organization has been featured in so many new business and communication books.  We can learn so much from TED presenters, which is exactly what Gallo covers in his book and Slideshare deck.  Check it out below:

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The second is a visual presentation by Illiya Vjestica, The Presentation Designer, and is called “How To Become A Better Speaker.”  I love this deck because of its simple design and important advice.  Vjestica tells us there is not a quick fix or a detour to becoming a strong presenter.  Being a powerful speaker takes practice and dedication to the craft.  “How To Become A Better Speaker” lays out simple advice on how to begin putting in the time and effort it takes to delivering better speeches.  Click through the deck here:

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The third and final deck was created by the folks at Placester.  Called “The 12 Tenets of Content Creation,” this presentation is for business, marketing, and communication specialists who want to learn how to develop and distribute powerful content to share with others.  Advice includes learning how to listen, making a list, addressing questions, researching, focusing on titles, and other expert advice.  As the incoming Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Junior League of Greater Orlando, I will definitely be taking this advice to heart as we develop our content creation and distribution plan for the 2014-2015 League year.

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What great Slideshare presentations have you seen lately?

Building Your Brand Mantra

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This week, my students are working on their Visual Resumes.  One key piece of this visual resume is an identifying statement that helps them differentiate themselves from their competition.  A helpful way to do this is to create a brand mantra.

Chiara Ojeda introduced me to “The First Step To Building A Personal Brand” by Megan Marrs a few years ago.  Marrs says that to create a brand mantra, a person should determine their emotional appeal; determine a description; and determine a function before putting it all together (Source).  For example, Forbes wrote a piece on a legendary fashion icon and designer called “Coco Chanel: Personal Branding Legend.”  Author Simon Graj lists four traits that defined Chanel’s brand.  Read them here.

My students struggle with this idea of a brand mantra because they’re students – not yet professionals – and don’t have all of those answers to the big picture questions at this stage.  So today, I began looking for other articles to help them define their brand mantra.

First, I found an article in The New Yorker called “The Person versus Personal Branding: You Are What You Tweet.”  This insightful piece explains that we can learn personal branding tips from Facebook by “managing your presentation—your behavior, appearance, reputation, online persona—to stand out in your professional and personal lives” (Source).  Now this can be difficult for college students with Twitter streams ranting about an ex-boyfriend or Facebook pictures from last weekend’s kegger.  What I liked about the article was that The New Yorker gives us ways we can strive for WOW-ness.  Our social media, our online presence, everything we do should seek to WOW others – in a strong, professional, positive way.  To get that WOW-ness, the article teaches us, we can consider what we wear, how we shake hands, how your home looks, what charities we give back to, and others (Source).  Though it may sound superficial, the point is “you must collapse your personal and professional life into static, pixel-perfect unity [...] Your entire personal life now factors into your employability. Your livelihood increasingly depends on being likeable and well-documented, and just like a branded product, your basic worth is assessed by the WOW-ness of its image” (Source).  What you post on Facebook, on Twitter, online anywhere is a forever-captured single snapshot in the big movie of who you are… and if your professional persona doesn’t align with your social media persona, your personal brand is in trouble.  I tell my students this, and they say “I know,” yet they don’t live by this advice as evidenced by their social media pages and profiles.

More practically, I found “Personal Branding For Dummies,” which proved perfect for sharing with my class this week.  This piece contained the building blocks for communicating a personal brand; how to create a promise of value; and how to reach your target market along with tips on how to spread brand awareness of your newly-created mantra online.

What great resources would you share with someone trying to create his or her brand mantra?

Careers and Side Hustles

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With all of the talk this week on Creating Communication about a body of work and a visual resume, you might be wondering if the career path you’re on is the best one for you.  That’s why today, I encourage you to take a short and well-designed quiz called “What Career Should You Actually Have?”

I’ll admit that I am one of the lucky ones.  I’ve known for seven years that teaching fulfills me on many levels.  As a teacher, I apply my two most important values: growth and volunteerism/service to others.  As a teacher, I encourage and grow potential in others by sharing what I’ve learned and studied.  It’s a wonderful job and a wonderful life.

When I took the quiz, I got this result:

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Pamela Slim talks about having a “side hustle” in her previous book and in her new book, Body of Work.  Slim says, “If you are still working in a corporate job, a side hustle is a great way to test and try new business ideas. It can also be part of your backup plan in case you lose your job” (Source).  If your current job doesn’t align with the job you SHOULD have, maybe it’s time to consider a side hustle!

For example, I do a whole lot of side hustle.  Balancing work and side hustle is essential because volunteerism is a core value for a successful, happy life.  Though teaching is my career, and I love and live for it, I have to do other things so that I continue to grow as a professional and as a human being.

Right now, my most important side hustle is researching, reading, and writing as a graduate student in the Nicholson School of Communication.  When I’m not at work or in school, I’m volunteering at my campus to help fellow faculty and students AND volunteering in my local community.  My most important role is that of incoming Vice President of Marketing and Communications for JLGO.

A side hustle fulfills a person when a job does not.  I’ve learned that a good balance of work and side hustle keeps me sane and focused on the bigger picture – where I want to be 5 and 10 years from now as opposed to where I’m going to be tomorrow.

Do your quiz results align with either your career or your side hustle?  Please share your results and your thoughts with me in the “Comments” section!

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 :)

Seth Godin’s Fail Until You Succeed

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Earlier this week, I posted a great new Slideshare deck called “By What If I Fail?” by my favorite designer JesseDee.  The video below inspired the message of JesseDee’s deck.  Watch Seth Godin discuss success and failure below:

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Godin’s concept of success and failure goes back to Carol Dweck’s growth mindset, and I love his idea that if you’re not failing, you’re not doing anything.  Failure is an essential part of learning, growing, and living.

This relates directly to public speaking and presentation because people are typically terrified that they are going to fail in front of an audience.  This fear of failure and public humiliation prevents them from taking the risk at all.  According to Godin, we MUST take appropriate risks in order to be successful.

We can overcome that risk aversion by realizing it is a part of the human experience.  We must learn to embrace the growth mindset and to see failure as a part of the process as opposed to the fixed mindset view that failure is the end, the cliff.

How do you work out failure in your mind so that you take a chance and give a speech or presentation?

“But What If I Fail?”

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When we make our resolutions and our promises for 2014, in the back of our minds, some of us ask ourselves, “But what if I fail?”

When we consider public speaking and presentation, failure is often the ONLY thing we think about.

Slideshare superstar JesseDee released a new deck today which answers that very question:

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I love this Seth Godin quote, and I love JesseDee’s simply designed slides applying the picture superiority effect to support the quote.  One of my students asked me last week what Seth Godin book to read next.  I am a huge fan of Godin, and my favorite book of his is called Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?  I highly recommend it for the new year.

What happens if you fail at one of your 2014 resolutions?  What do you do when you have a speech or presentation fail?

Chip and Dan Heath’s Advice For 2014

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Ever since I read Made To Stick in 2011, I’ve been in love with Chip and Dan Heath.  They released Switch, which I read in early 2012, which was a great take on persuasion.  I signed up for their mailing list, and I received a great email on the last day of 2013 with advice for the new year: 4 research-backed tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolution.  To join the Heath brothers’ mailing list, sign up here.

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What I loved most about the email was the reminder of all of the free stuff on their website!  If you sign in, you will see the free resources divided by book title.  They have 8 items that go along with their book Decisive: How to Make Better Decisions in Life and Work including the entire first chapter, a workbook, a podcast, a book club guide, and a 1-page WRAP model summary for your desk.

You will also find resources for both Made to Stick (“Teaching That Sticks” is an amazing pamphlet for superteachers) and Switch as well as a completely free e-book and audio book for The Myth of the Garage, a collection of columns the brothers wrote from 2007 to 2011.

Do you know any authors who offer free resources on their websites?  Share with us in the “Comments!”

The Ultimate Guide To Unplugging

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Unplug

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I am a big fan of unplugging.  I gave up Facebook years ago and recently quit Twitter this summer.  Living without social media is incredible.

Last year, I tried something I called “Solitary Sundays.” My goal was to go without computer, television, and telephone for one day a week.  This worked very well for about two months, but then I let work and grading for my online classes get the best of me.  I would love to go back to spending one day a week without technology.

What ways do you “unplug” on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis?  Any recommendations?

Charisma As Something You EARN…

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My students learn about charisma when we discuss delivery.  Some scholars have found that delivery influences audience’s perceptions of charisma more than any other factor (such as content).  Some people buy into the idea that charisma is a gift bestowed on the precious few.  I firmly believe in this idea that charisma is an action, something we do, something we work toward and develop through our interactions with people over time.

We can have a nature versus nurture debate all day.  Certainly, yes, some people learn at an earlier age than others how to appeal to the needs of people.  Even so, I believe a personality trait is something we can all grow over time.  While we may never all be at the same level – the pinnacle of “charismatic,” we can work to develop our charisma over time.  Therefore, I believe charisma is a combination of both nature and nurture, and I believe it is something we can develop.

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The BBC News recently published an article about charisma.  Researchers claim that charisma boils down to three things: 1) showing passion, 2) inducing passion in others, and 3) avoiding the influence of other charismatic people (Source).  Researchers also claim “charisma” is 50% nature and 50% nurture.  While I don’t know that we can specify charisma as 50/50 in every single case, I support the idea that we can grow our charisma.

Jeff Haden discusses charisma in “How To Be More Charismatic: 10 Habits Of Remarkably Charismatic People.”  I like Haden’s approach.  He says charisma isn’t something we are but is something we do, a collection of people-centered actions.  He describes 10 ways we can be more charismatic.

First, we can listen more than we talk.  Second, we can really hear people and listen closely to their needs.  Third, we can put our “stuff” away – our devices – so that we really connect with people.  Fourth, we can give before we receive and sometimes never receive at all.  Fifth, we can stop acting as if we are self important.  Sixth, we can make other people feel important.  Seventh, we can shine a spotlight on others.  Eighth, we can carefully select our words.  Ninth, we can stop discussing the failings of others and gossiping about people.  Tenth, we can readily admit our own personal failings (Source).

Even if we weren’t born charismatic, using Haden’s tips, we can make a choice to grow and cultivate this personality trait in our everyday lives.  After all, haven’t we already learned from Amy Cuddy that we can fake it ’til we become it?

What are your feelings on charisma?

Best Quotes About Presentations

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Big Fish Presentations and Ethos3 inspired today’s post on presentation quotes.  First, scroll through Big Fish’s slideshare presentation called “25 Awesome Public Speaking Quotes” here:

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Next, take a look at Ethos3’s “Our Favorite Presentation Quotes” blog post here.

Lastly, I’d like to share some of my favorite gems with you:

“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” – Dale Carnegie

“It takes one hour of preparation for each minute of presentation time.”  – Wayne Burgraff

“If you’re an average speaker, you suck.” – Andrew Dlugan

And, finally, comes the Presentation Golden Rule: “Never deliver a presentation you wouldn’t want to sit through.” – Nancy Duarte

What is your #1 favorite quote about public speaking and presentation?