THE D.A.D Test: Impactful PowerPoint Slides

Remember: Everyone can make a presentation, but not everyone can make a convincing presentation. Do you use PowerPoint to present?

There is a tip to ensure you can create compelling slides every time you present. The D.A.D test is an effective aid for measuring the effectiveness of your PowerPoint slide. What it does, is to prompt you to access each slide against the three important considerations:

If my audience is Deaf and cannot hear what I am saying about the slide or…

If my audience is Dumb and cannot ask   me to explain what is on the Slide…

Then, would the slide still make sense to them?

The D.A.D (Deaf and Dumb) test is your effective tool in rating the quality of your slides as you produce them.

Use the D.A.D test to create your winning presentation… … … Today!

To Succeed, Learn to Handle Criticism

Remember: The people in our life are often our mirror. They reflect the impact of our actions, sometimes their feedback may come out as been harsh, but when we can handle the criticism with an opened mind and willingness to learn, we tend to be happier with our jobs, increase our performance rate and self-esteem.

People often do 2 things when they are faced with criticism:

  1. Run to escape when there is a way.
  2. Rise to fight when they are cornered.

Instead of overreacting to criticism and going into an attack or defense mood, these are 5 ways to handle criticism:

  1. Egoism: Let go of your ego. Understand that you cannot be your own mirror, only the people around you can give you the feedback concerning your attitude. Accept both positive and negative feedback the same way.
  2. Positivity: Take criticism as a spring-board for self-development, show a positive attitude, demonstrate that you take the feedback seriously and you are keen to improving your attitude.
  3. Mindful: Shift your attention from the words and start to take note of the things and the activities around you.
  4. Re-treat: Step back, try to see the big picture, try to re-think the whole situation while labeling your reactions and weighing your options before taking the next step.
  5. Practice: Imagine beforehand, rehearse your best reactions to different situations, reinforcing your behaviour before reacting to criticism tends to strengthen your judgement and increase self-esteem.

Develop the right attitude towards receiving criticism… … …Today!

Easy Reading is Quite Hard Writing

Remember: When something ca be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing. Good writers face the challenge of using plain language to express clear meaning.

They write in simple styles and constantly use words that are familiar to the reader. We cannot conclude that words are simple because they have few letters, they must be familiar as well.

A young enthusiastic, investment analyst wrote a report to his marketing colleagues using the word “dogmatic”. He waited 5 weeks to get a feedback but there was none. Upon contacting his colleagues, they told him of their decision to cut business ties with him because he called them “dogs in his report”. A more familiar word could have saved him that trouble.

Simple words do not just blend into forms of writing but they are easy and meaningful to the reader.

The desire to impress our readers via our choice of words often result in cosmetic formation of complex words. The singular objective of business writing is to promote consistent understanding across all readers.

Use familiar words to improve the readability of your writing… … … Today!

Achieving Results Through Communication

Remember: Skilled communication is assumed to have happened when the intended message has been received and understood by the recipient. What has really transpired, however, is Active Questioning and Listening.

The real standard for skilled communication, is to ACHIEVE RESULTS through communication. Adopting this performance standard means that you combine the Question Toolbox (open and closed questions, probing questions, choice of words, tone, expression and body language) with the Problem Solving Model (problem identification, exploration, analysis and evaluation) to arrive at a good communication plan and style.

With results as your communication motive, you will find yourself using these tools seamlessly to achieve your goal.

Use your advanced communication tools to achieve your desired results… … …Today!

Making a Positive First Impression

Remember: You can control that critical first impression by observing the rule of twelve, which suggests that we notice and remember three things about people we meet, which are:

  1. The first twelve inches from shoulder up.
  2. The first twelve steps a person takes.
  3. The first twelve words a person speaks.

The first rule tells you that people notice everything from shoulder up. This includes: Your jacket, your tie, tie knot, how well pressed or ceased your collar is, the length and neatness of your hair, your complexion, your eyes, and your smile.

The second rule tells you to enter a room with confidence and to look as if you have a reason to be there and are happy to be there.

Smile and extend your hand. Keep your shoulders back and stand up straight. If you carry a briefcase or purse, keep it in your left hand so that the right hand is ready to shake hands.

The third rule concerns your first twelve words. If this is a meeting, your fist twelve words should always include thank you of some kind. For instance, you could thank the manager or client for taking the time to see you.

Use the rule of twelve to make a positive first impression… … …Today!


The Power of Gratitude at Work

Remember: As leaders, it is important to develop the practice of gratitude to be able to lead and influence others. Employers who see their employees through the lens of gratitude will always see the untapped potential in them and will inspire them to achieve their goals.

Here are 4 Benefits of Building the Culture of Gratitude at the Workplace

  1. Gratitude Builds Connection

We tend to look for gratitude from our superior. The feeling of being appreciated by those above us goes a long way towards creating a culture of thankfulness among other co-workers.

  1. Gratitude Refills your Energy

When we look at any situation and we focus on what is working rather than what is not working, we feel happier, more optimistic and energized. This energy helps us to meet our goals and face challenges.

  1. Gratitude helps us have Perspective

Gratitude affects our attitude and the attitude of those around us. It is the antidote to fear and anxiety, it builds our strength. It helps us from becoming self-absorbed because it sustains a focus on our purpose in life.

  1. Gratitude helps us Develop Productivity

People feel valued for their work and cared about as individuals, when we show gratitude towards them and this helps to drive productivity at work and outside work.

Genuine words of thankfulness never fails to have an impact on both the receiver and the giver. Gratitude is a gift to be given and to be received, say a word of gratitude to someone… … …Today!

Building a Positive Attitude

Remember: The best place to look for gold is in a gold mine, and the best place to look for powerful positive thoughts in someone with a positive attitude. When you have a positive attitude, your language becomes different and the environment becomes enabling.

A positive attitude will aid you in continuously improving yourself, your performance, your goals, keeps you hungry and not complacent. This is the global language of winning teams.

This same positive attitude in all situations transforms your social and working habits into a results yielding orientation.

Hard effort is uniform and innovative thinking becomes norm and work becomes fun.

Develop a positive attitude to get guaranteed results… … …Today!

Kaizen – The Practice of Continuous Improvement

Remember: Every action or company begins with an idea, your perseverance is crucial to determining if your idea will come true and last long. Continuous improvement is the act of continuously doing whatever helps to develop your idea and thus makes it more valuable and long lasting.

Kaizen is the practice of continuous improvement. It is a Japanese word that means     “Good Change”. Dr. W. Edwards Deming is the philosopher behind Kaizen, he was invited by the Japanese industrial leaders and engineers to help rebuild Japan after the World War II and also create room for improvement.

Dr. Deming shared his philosophy to continuous improvement, which we have broken down into 12 stages:

  1. Set goals and expectations
  2. Plan
  3. Track
  4. Identify waste
  5. Create counter measures
  6. Track the measures
  7. Make changes
  8. Measure the result
  9. Verify and Modify
  10. Standardize process
  11. Celebrate success…
  12. Do it again.

The Kaizen approach helps organisations or employees to identify the 3 killer virus i.e Muda (Waste), Mura (inconsistencies), Muri (Strain).

Use the Kaizen model to bring your ideas to life, Challenge your Mindset….Today!

Learning to Listen: Steps to Better Communication

Remember: Good Leaders and Good Communicators are Good Listeners, to be a good communicator you must learn how to listen with three ears.

Ear 1 – You must hear what others are saying.

Ear 2 – You must hear what others are not saying.

Ear 3 – You must hear what others would like to say but for some reason, they are not able to express themselves.

Listening helps you learn, while encouraging other people to talk. How do we encourage other people to talk?

The following steps below would assist you in encouraging other people to talk:

  1. Maintain eye contact, It shows that you are hanging on to every word.
  2. You want to make them feel comfortable.
  3. Smile, Nod your head, stop talking and listen.
  4. Ask questions and make movement as they continue talking.
  5. Encourage them to expand on their ideas.

Getting other people to talk can pay some rich dividends for you. Not only do you learn the facts and observations you might not otherwise have known, you are also showing the other person that they are valued.

The art of listening indeed is an invaluable and often ignored skill in the workplace. As you start this week, make a conscious effort to practice active listening, starting… … … Today!

The Power of Feedback

Remember: Feedback is given to individuals with high potential who are unaware of the behaviour that is hindering performance.  Feedback is thus one of the most powerful influences on learning and achievement and it is therefore typically positive, but the impact on the receiver can either be positive or negative. This is based on two things:

  1. The interpretation the receiver gives to the Feedback.
  2. The manner in which the giver presents the Feedback.

It is important that the giver has to identify a need or prompt from the recipient before giving his/her Feedback. In a situation where this doesn’t exist the receiver may take the Feedback as a form of criticism.

We have to understand that Feedback ensures that we have a mirror put in front of us that allows us to know correct things based on the gift of awareness.

Give this gift of awareness to someone… Today