Time to banish bullet points

Bullet points don't work

Looking for a great way of making your slide presentations stand out from the crowd? Try dumping all those bullet points. A whole lot of research into how the brain works suggests that bulleted lists of information on slides is the least-effective way of communicating with your audience. Dr Richard Mayer, an educational psychologist in …

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How to be successful in the global market-place

make an effort to understand diversity

Understanding diversity is important. If you don’t, when you’re dealing with another culture, you can cause all kinds of communication headaches. So what should you do when you’re about to do business with someone in another country? Here are some basic tips to help avoid conversational misunderstandings: Research the culture of the other party. Know …

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What is your body language saying about you?

use stories to engage an audience

The most powerful way we communicate is not with our words but our body. Body language, or non-verbal communication, is your repertoire of gestures, facial expressions, body position and eye movements. Our brains evaluate all these things and come to a conclusion about the speaker in a nano-second. When you speak, you want your body …

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Is your writing as messy as your desk?

Is your writing as untidy as your desk? The question is prompted by an article I was reading the other day from Halifax-based professional organizer Jane Veldhoven.

Jane wrote: “Before you can design and set up a functional home office, you’re best to get rid of all the excess ‘stuff’. Keep your long-term vision in mind as you slog through the piles of paper, the mounds of old discs and stacks of newsletters that you mean to read one day.”

Jane’s message about clutter applies just as much to our writing as to our desks and offices. Let me rephrase her first sentence: ‘Before you can create a coherent piece of writing you’re best to get rid of the excess stuff.’

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Lessons for all communicators from changing face of media

These are exciting times for young journalists. And very different in many ways from the time when we were reporting and producing stories for the CBC, CTV and BBC.

When we were in the field – not so long ago in calendar years, but light-years in terms of technology – we measured deadlines in hours and thought if we filed for radio as well as television we were seriously multi-tasking.

Now deadlines are measured in minutes. And a journalist might routinely be asked to file for radio, TV, online news and social media.

These thoughts were prompted by a presentation skills session with a great crowd of young aspiring journalists at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

We looked at a New York Times story on the internet. It had video embedded within the written story. So you could watch the video, or read the story – or both. Then, of course, there were links to Twitter and Facebook.

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