October 12, 2010

FleetWeek 2010: Adventures with Scribd

FleetWeek San Francisco 2010, Adventures With Scribd


Jessica ValenzuelaI’ve been wanting to use Scribd to share more anecdotal experiences. Today, I did just that. Check it out and let me know what you think. You can download my FleetWeek 2010 San Francisco Adventures With Scribd. It is free (unlike many of the presentations on Scribd).

The story is accompanied with beautiful photography from San Francisco/Bay Area photographer Erin Loscocco and startup founders you probably know.

Let me know what you think!

October 6, 2010

Best practices for public presentations

Photo by James Jordan on Flickr


How to effectively communicate your ideas in a public forum

JD LasicaWe’re a month away from the 5th Annual SNCR Research Symposium, Awards & Anniversary Gala, which will take place Nov. 4-5 at Stanford University. (You should come!)

The nonprofit Society for New Communication Research holds annual conferences in Boston and Northern California to advance social media research and training. Over the years, the organization’s members have developed a series of best practices for media professionals.

Short but sweet: Here are SNCR’s best practices for giving a public presentation (including PowerPoint and Keynote slide shows):

Tips for public presentations

  • Keep the background simple to enhance readability
  • Always include at least one slide on your research methodology, i.e., quantitative or qualitative, sample size, error ratio, etc.
  • Be clear about your sample and whether or not the results are able to be generalized
  • Clearly title slides on methodology, sample, findings and conclusion

General purpose

  • Slides should not serve as note cards you read
  • Slides should show highlights of your presentation with you filling in the rest

Bullets and numbers

  • Keep bullets simple and avoid too many on one slide
  • Do not use more than one additional set of indented bullets
  • When conveying rank or order, use numbers instead of bullets

Fonts, colors and graphics

  • Use easy-to-read and professional fonts like Helvetica or Times New Roman
  • Do not use all caps or all bold
  • Using italics or underlining may cut off letters or be hard to read
  • Use a strong contrast between slide background and font color
  • Individual words can be emphasized in a contrasting color
  • Try to limit your color palette to two to three colors

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April 30, 2010

Tips on how women can attain ‘true power’ on stage

Power and Presence for Women from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

Speakers get guidance on how to enhance their public appearances

JD LasicaI‘ve been astonished by how many of my friends and colleagues have thrust themselves into the public eye by writing books, appearing on panels or going full tilt into public speaking. I’ve even detected a small uptick (finally!) in the number of women appearing on stage at tech conferences.

I’ve spoken at my fair share of public events, and what public speakers often have in common is an uncertainty of how to engage the audience with command and assurance. That’s especially true of many women, who’ve been taught by the culture to prize “false power archetypes” rather than being true to their own voices, says Bronwyn Saglimbeni, a public presence coach in Silicon Valley.

“We’ll hold our hands in front of our bodies, or behind our backs, or in front of our mouths — and the problem is those are not powerful positions.”
— Bronwyn Saglimbeni

“As women, we need to come up with our new power archtetypes,” she said at a recent Girls in Tech retreat in Santa Cruz, Calif. “Unfortunately we’ve been fed a steady diet of false power archtetypes — aggression, intimation, or leaning too heavily on our sexuality, or hiding behind our sexuality.”

Saglimbeni offers coaching on speaking, presenting and how to attain “true power.” “It happens when personality aligns with purpose to serve the greater good,” she says. “Where does the purpose of our work life and personal life intersect? During public speaking, what are the elements of our personality that need to be brought forward? Every time we have an opportunity to get up and speak, we have to really cherish that time and nail it.”

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