Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Perfect Team

There are many articles on Millennials in the workforce, with some comparing them to Baby Boomers.  To be fair, I read these articles as generalization. People must be viewed for their individual merits, experience, education, most of all, skill sets and company/position fit.

So, what does this have to do with teams? It might be obvious - diversity. Currently, I’m using my decades of project management experience, including managing project managers, from multiple industries, to online banking software. I am teamed with a Millennial. When our team was first formed we were literally inverse ages. Our diversity does not stop with age, we are different ethnicities and gender.

The Perfect Team - Millennial and Baby Boomer. We work extremely well together, which like any team, is based on respect. One of the main differences is our problem solving approach. Having different approaches, which at times is exhausting, augments a collaborative environment providing a sound solution. Our collaboration does not stop with problem solving, but extends to process, customer focus, all facets related to our responsibilities.

This blog post is specific to our skill sets, but I hope to illustrate how diversity can benefit any company, by blending Millennials with Baby Boomers.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Long Distance Presentations

In today's world, people travel less and present more using Skype or similar tools to conduct presentations over the internet. I recently did a Presentation on Presenting to a group of new staff members. Here is the outline of that presentation.

Skype Presentation Training
PowerPoint Suggestions
  • All type the same font – no more than two; can include italic and bold
  • Headlines and subheads – consistent location, size and color
  • All type off black – projected on a large screen, the contrast is too stark if full black
  • Standardize the format and color scheme – see previous bullets
  • Animate by presentation points – if you don’t your audience will always read ahead of you
  • Avoid transitions – if used, use only one style
  • Use your “arrow” keys, not your mouse. It’s quieter
  • Include an opening and closing slide
    • First Slide – Company Name you are presenting and date
    • Last side – “Thank You” 
  • Customize to your audience

Presenting Guidelines
  • First Rule – Be yourself
  • Be prepared – practice speaking aloud – go in an empty room
    • Record and listen to yourself
    • Mock presentation with feedback from coworkers
  • Be set up early
  • Show confidence – even if you’re not
  • Don’t be afraid to laugh or goof up – correct yourself and move on
  • Have a glass of water available
  • Have Pencil and Paper for questions available
  • Be conscious of repetitive speech - aaa, you know, um, and the word “like” (if you’re from the 1990’s)
  • If you smile while giving the presentation, it will show in your voice
  • Know you represent your company and the product
  • Pace yourself, i.e. not too fast or too slow – Stay in allocated time
  • Explain you will allow interruptions or pause for questions at given time or the end
  • Don’t read the bullets verbatim, unless it’s succinct
    • By using click animations, the audience will read it
  • Avoid long paragraphs, unless you explain why or break it down into multiple slides
  • Use a script – but don’t sound like your reading

How to Handle Dead Air – The audience may be gathering and the phone is live
  • Telling jokes is very risky – avoid
  • Know a little about the audience – location, recent news, traffic
  • Weather always works