Presentation Design – Dealing with the Prohibitor General

As part of the presentation skills training services our company provides, we ask participants to send copies of recent PowerPoint files they have created for our review and editing. Hence, we see literally thousands of slides each year. Very few do an acceptable job of aiding Knowledge Transfer.In fact, in the 10 years we have been in business, we have seen a slow and steady degradation in the quality of on-screen visuals from all industries. No sector seems to be immune. As PowerPoint has grown to dominate the boardroom, ballroom, and even the classroom, its overall contribution to the persuasive arts has been continually diminished by its increasing misapplication.Now before you start thinking that this is just one more rant against another evil product from Microsoft, hear this: Our firm not only believes that PowerPoint is a wonderful piece of software, we claim that, overall, it can serve the purposes of true knowledge transfer better than any other visual presentation tool available. And we don’t blame the poor souls who create most of the incomprehensi we see – most businesspeople are simply issued a laptop and a copy of PowerPoint and ordered to go forth and multiply the company’s revenues, with little or no thought to training them how best do so.The real culprits here are found not in the field, but rather back in the main office, from whence, being at least once removed from the actually application of their misdeeds, THEY can comfortably issue edicts of what one shall and shall not do with the design and construction of presentation slides. If you’ve ever been subject to edicts handed down from the Department of Presentation Regulations, you know what we mean.So when we see a slew of equally bad slides from different people in the same organization, we’re fairly certain that the company has a slew of workers in a Presentation Regulations Department working feverishly to hamstring any attempt by an employee to make their slides understandable, much less compelling.Our first such encounter with THEM was while training a large consumer products company in Pittsburgh, where class participants presented us with slides that for the most part looked like full-page Excel spreadsheets copied and condensed to (barely) fit within the projectable borders. Can you imagine how much fun it is to try to read 8 pt. Arial font that’s been compressed lengthwise by, say, 20 percent?Halfway into explaining why its best to not go much below 20 pt. type when projecting images at the current maximum resolution of 96 dpi, one student raised her hand to explain that they had to use very small type to get all the information they were expected to deliver in the maximum of 8 slides THEY allowed. In other words, Regulations had ordered a limit to the number of slides – not the number of minutes (a perfectly acceptable limit) one had to present.When we redo a client’s presentation to conform to the rules of comprehension, we often take 10 slides and turn them into, say, 24 – all for the purpose of being able to deliver the presentation less ambiguously, in less time. With properly designed visuals, there is usually an inverse relationship between the number of slides and the time it takes to deliver. Know this: keeping your presentations short is almost always a good thing. Few people ever complain that the presenter simply didn’t drone on long enough.After numerous inquires by both letter and phone, we discovered that the 8-slide maximum was part of a larger policy that, among other constraints, limited middle-managers to the number of slides they could present based on their company grade level. So managers in the 50-65 level could deliver 8 slides, 70-85′s were allowed 12, 90′s and above could have as many as 20. No mention of the harshness of the penalties for any transgression, but evidently nobody was willing to go head-to-head with the company’s Prohibitor General. Amazingly, a few letters later we learned that the source of most of these dictates had actually left the company four years prior, but her successor was unwilling to mess with corporate policy.And that, it seems, is how many of these immensely damaging protocols come from – people long removed from accountability, who together form that great entity THEY, by whom all things are denied.Only after we were given the opportunity to present one of the redone presentations to an open-minded senior VP was the policy changed – but not without his using up some of his political capital to make it happen. (He has since left the company, too.)Although we also believe that for purposes of branding, or, say, when an executive needs to get similar information on different topics from different direct reports, having consistency in presentation design throughout the company can be a good thing. Our argument is with those who command consistency over quality – and quality in presentation design is all about one thing: do the slides add to the process of knowledge transfer? For the most part we see slides that work diligently against knowledge transfer because they must first conform to protocols that only THEY can dream up. And to change policy, you first need to achieve the impossible: finding THEM.As consultants we often work as agents of change within organizations, and sometimes that means stirring things up here and there. We believe that in large organizations its often more productive to ask for forgiveness rather than permission, so we urge participants in our classes to stand up to THEM, and create slides that persuade rather than simply conform. As often as not, THEY never discover the difference until its too late and the culture’s already changed!

Selecting the Best Contractor For Your Home Improvement Project

Maintaining or renovating a home can be a very daunting task for most people. However, after all the hard work and investment in time and resources you have allocated for a home improvement project, the satisfaction of seeing a superbly crafted home that you can call your own can be priceless indeed. Such is the importance of choosing the best and most qualified contractor who is knowledgeable and capable enough to turn your vision into a remarkable work of art.When choosing a contractor for repairs or renovations for your home improvement project, it is vital that you first acquire all the important information about a particular contractor before ever committing in getting their services. You need to make sure that they are capable of performing all the inclusive work, including customized builds and improvements that you would want your home to have. To get all these pertinent information, you should ask your contractors a strategic set of questions designed to extract all the data that you will need. To help you start in this direction, you should ask the following set of questions:* Does the contractor have the appropriate knowledge and experience with the type of home improvement project that you have in mind?According to recent information from the industry, approximately 80 percent of contractors and builders are knowledgeable and are adequately trained in the latest construction and building techniques. However, even though they may have the training with these new techniques and the certifications to show for it (ex: techniques in energy-saving green building technologies, etc), their actual experience may have just been picked up or even achieved as they work on new projects. On some cases, the home renovation projects may involve a historic home with irreplaceable artifacts or sections. A contractor may not have the expertise in dealing with such a home nor could they match the craftsmanship involved with these historic masterpieces.* Is there an existing relationship between your contractor and architect/designer and have they worked together on a project before?For your home improvement project, you may take on the services of some of the best architects and interior designers in the whole of Massachusetts. To complement the expertise of these professionals, it is but proper to also get the services of the best contractors for the project. In such cases, it would be best to choose a contractor whom your architect or designer knows. They may be aware of the track record of these contractors and may be comfortable working with some that they can identify. With such arrangements, you can be assured of a timely completion of your project and in the manner that you envisioned it to be.* When you inquire something about the project, does the contractor communicate well with you?It is a normal thing for homeowners to ask something about a home remodeling project from their contractors. However, if all you get is a hasty answer without much details and it would appear that they want you off their faces, then be careful of such contractors. A good contractor should be receptive of the needs of their clients and should be ready to discuss every detail of the project should you ask for it.* Is the contractor experienced in working with your kind of home?A commercial construction is different from a home construction in terms of details and even on building and safety codes. The contractor should be adept in the type of home that you have, otherwise they might turn your priced possession into their laboratory for trial-and-error building methods.* How fast can the contractor start and how soon can they complete the job?Finding the best contractor is one thing, but having them start on your home as per schedule is another. You might be at the end of a long list of clients and would have to sit it out for months on end. You should weigh the urgency of having the work done as soon as possible or getting the services of the best contractor that you can get.* Is there a guarantee for their work after completion?A competent contractor will give you the assurance of an excellent renovation or repair work and will provide you with a guarantee on the work done. They should be confident enough of the quality of their work and give their clients the assurance that they need.Conducting a one-of-a-kind home improvement project for your Massachusetts home entails the best services from the best professionals available for the job. Taking a few extra moments in checking out your contractors before hiring them can spell the difference between a disastrous undertakings or a magnificent work of art you can call your home.

Treat Your Food and Drink Allergies

Certain food and drink allergies can make you very uncomfortable in few situations, keeping you always suspicious of what you are about to eat or drink. This can affect a human in a many different ways. Just think about it! How easy it is to have the same food every day you are already bored with? Well let me give you a clue, ”It’s NOT Easy.”Even worse factor is, in some of the cases when you were able to enjoy a certain food or drink, but in the meanwhile you have developed an allergic reaction to it. It surely is very unpleasant to hunger after a certain food and to resent it at the same time because you anticipate the disagreeable effects it will have on you.Food and Drink sensitivityThe way you get allergic reaction is when a specific enzymes in the product you are having can not tolerate some chemical or natural substance of it.The main symptoms are: gas, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, skin rash, headaches, and cough.From another point of view, allergy is an immune response to some allergens, or food proteins that generate the allergy, and has a partially different symptomatology: soft tissues (tongue, lips, eyelids, etc.) swelling lesions itches vomiting culminating anaphylactic shock.Most common Food generating allergies include milk, eggs, seafood, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat.Aloeride effectivenessNow there is a easy way to regain the possibility of using food and drinks banned for long time from your diet. Few cases reports an increased tolerance to substances you could never even think to ingest again after undergoing terrible reactions to them. The fact that Aloeride performs on the immunity system guarantees that allergic reactions, as immunity responses to some mixtures found in food or drinks, can be dealt with. Using Aloeride for drink or food allergies doesn’t really mean you should go and grab everything you had allergy before with. It would be really irresponsible from your side, however Aloeride may actually surprise you, it offers you an opportunity to learn simple things like rightfully appreciated food, especially after a period of constant prohibition and frustration.