Dr. Jason’s Speak Life™ Newsletter – Volume 8 Issue 2
Inside This Issue
• Delivering A Winning Presentation
• Message from the President
• Consulting Focus: Workplace Stress
• Industry Perspectives
Delivering A Winning Presentation
The key to delivering a winning presentation is to begin with a plan. Planning is probably the most important and overlooked step in creating a successful presentation of any kind. Planning helps the presenter decide on the content and the order in which the information will be presented. The speaker should know from the very beginning where he or she is taking the audience. The idea is to begin with the end in mind.
When doing an audio/visual or slide presentation, it is important to keep the presentation simple. A rule of thumb is to have no more than six bullet points per slide. Anything more than that would mean that the font size would be too small for the audience to read. The objective should be for the speaker to speak, not for the audience to read. If the audience is expected to read the entire presentation, the presenter would be better off passing out handouts, rather than giving a slide show. The focus of the presentation should be the speaker, not the slides. If it is the other way around, the speaker is unnecessary.
Resist the urge to make your slide show so elaborate that it takes away from the information that is being presented. The audience can become mesmerized by the impressive graphics and screen transitions and miss the most important thing—the content. There should be a balance between substance and flash.
It is imperative to know your audience and tailor your presentation to it. People like to hear stories, so incorporate illustrations into your presentation. Understand when it is appropriate to use humor in your presentation. Include the audience in the interaction. Always allow time for questions and answers. You want to ensure that there is clarity on the information being disseminated. Make sure the audience has some takeaway points. You want to leave a lasting impression beyond your presentation.
Message from the President
“Love…is not a feeling, but rather an action.”
February is considered the month of love. Every year around Valentine’s Day, there is a focus on showing and expressing love. People give flowers, chocolate or other gifts to convey their affection for people they love. However, I believe love should be our motivation at all times, not just on one day in February.
Love is a term that is thrown around haphazardly these days, without much thought or meaning. People love everything from potato chips to certain television programs. Love is really about caring for the wellbeing of another. It is not a feeling, but rather an action. It’s not simply saying the words “I love you”. We demonstrate love by what we do for others. Everything we do as leaders involves people. It has been said that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Caring for others should be a hallmark of our interaction with people, no matter their level.
Would your followers classify you as a “lover”? Make sure that you are doing something to show love to someone today and every day! You’ll be glad you did.
Consulting Focus: Workplace Stress
In a healthy work environment people and productivity will flourish. Where there is stress, the opposite is true. Stress is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demands placed on them. Many factors can produce stress in a workplace. One major cause has been the reduction in the workforce due to corporate cost cutting and downsizing. This reduction has resulted in workers taking on increased responsibilities and workload. Organizations can do little about the overall economy, but there are steps that can be taken to ease the burden on team members dealing with stress. Addressing and alleviating the environmental causes of stress can create an atmosphere to which workers enjoy coming and in which they thrive.
Stress can be very costly to an organization in terms of lost productivity, employee turnover, absenteeism and litigation. A threat to workers is a threat to the entire organization. Job stress is also a large cause of worker fatigue, burnout and other health issues. Reducing stress helps a person to feel more in control and have a more clear perspective on work demands.
Healthy organizations are adopting and implementing stress management programs to make the workplace more manageable. Stress management can include:
• Providing adequate training to employees
• Creating employee empowerment
• Improving conditions identified as causes of stress
• Offering relaxation resources to employees throughout the work day
• Cultivating a friendly social climate
To survive in the fast-paced work climate of today, it is important for employees to find a good balance between work demands and coping abilities. With the proper skills, workplace stress can be managed.
A reason that is not often considered by organizations when it comes to engaging a consultant is the time factor. There can often be substantial time savings achieved when a consultant is hired versus a full-time employee. There is usually a comprehensive training period that must occur with each new hire. A consultant can often hit the floor running from the outset, thus reducing the time to proficiency. When an aggressive schedule exists for the completion of a project, this will be an important consideration—although not the only one. In this case, the use of a consultant can be a short-term consideration, and not a permanent option. Reducing time can also help you be more competitive. Time savings can also be obtained in the area of research. The consultant can bring with him or her a wealth of cross-industry experience and additional resources that greatly reduces the time it would take an organization to gather the necessary data for the endeavor. In this case, the saying is indeed true: time is money.