Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Great Presentation Tips

I heard Guy Kawasaki speak on the Art of Innovation at SoftSummit in September 2006. I've been following his blog ever since.

Guy promotes the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.

Presentations should:
  • have ten slides
  • last no more than twenty minutes
  • contain no font smaller than thirty points,

Ten is the optimal number of slides because a normal human being cannot comprehend more than ten concepts in a meeting.

If you have an hour scheduled, give your ten slides in twenty minutes which allows time in case people arrive late or have to leave early. If all goes perfect you will have plenty of time for discussion.

Force yourself to use no font smaller than thirty points. It will make your presentations better because it requires you to find the most salient points and to know how to explain them well.

related links:
Aspire Communications Relational Presentations



Monday, January 29, 2007

Words of Wisdom on Independence and Empowerment from Susan T. Buffett

Listen to a June 30, 2006 NPR interview with Nicole Buffett, an artist in San Francisco and granddaughter of Warren Buffett, one of the world's richest men. Warren Buffett encouraged his family to be independent. He felt that flooding his heirs with wealth would be "neither right nor rational." Nicole was "pleasantly surprised" when her grandfather announced that he would donate 85 percent of his fortune or about 37 billion dollars to the Bill and Melinda Gates charitable foundation. Nicole said this really would have pleased her grandmother Susan T. Buffett. Nicole thought he was fulfilling her grandmother's wishes. Nicole described her experience as "a middle class upbringing with an upper class education." Her grandparents paid for her education, but she always needed a part time job while in school to supplement the aid she was given. She worked as a Nanny to earn extra money. She enjoyed working with children which was a really nice way to supplement her income while doing something that she feel good about. She described a universal frustration of wanting more money, but focusing on earning the money rather than asking for it which was not considered an option in her family. She learned to focus on personal responsibility to create a living specifically to support herself. Finally Nicole recounted five sayings, words of wisdom handed down by her grandmother.

1. Show up.
2. Tell the truth.
3. Pay attention.
4. Do your best.
5. Don't be attached to the outcome

These were her late grandmother's way of supporting the path and teaching of being independent and really empowering ourselves.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

What can we learn about compromise and win-win negotiation from Senator Henry Clay?

Senator Henry Clay, "the Great Compromiser," brought about the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

Listen to a January 26, 2007 NPR interview with Roert Remini the historian for the US House of Representatives and biographer of Sen. Henry Clay, known as "the Great Compromiser." Clay used win-win negotiation tactics to establish the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which bridged the gap between the North and South over slavery, delaying the civil war for decades.

Clay's achievement resulted from his ability to make each side — in this case, the South and North — feel that it had won something in the bargain. A successful compromise is not simply a brokered quid pro quo – If you’ll do this, then I’ll do something else. Enduring compromise requires the parties to ask "What is your position?"

"If I have the majority and I jam it down your throat, that isn’t going to solve the problem. You’ll only come back when you are the majority and jam it down our throat. The answer he said is that each side must feel that they have gotten something that it wanted, but in order to do that you must give up something that the other side wants, so that there are no winners and no losers.

There were any number of Southerners who, when the Civil War ended, they said if Henry Clay had been alive in 1860 or 61, there would not have been a Civil War. "

When Remini wrote the biography of Henry Clay, he wanted to use the title, "Henry Clay, the Great Compromiser." Arthur Schlesinger advised against using the word compromiser, because of the implication today that compromisers have no principles. "You are ready to do whatever is necessary for pragmatic reasons. Compromise in the 19th Century meant something quite different. That you are willing to listen to the other side and try to work out your differences. " Compromising doesn’t mean that you no longer stand for anything. In order to achieve results, we have got to get together. The only way you can do that is through compromise.

Robert Remini, the historian for the US House of Representatives and author of the book, "Henry Clay, Statesman for the Union."


Free software to securely wipe any IDE hardrive for disposal

Prevent Identity theft from old hard drives:

Autoclave - hard drive sterilization on a bootable floppy:

Detailed instructions
Downloading/Installation Instructions Go here to download Autoclave
Usage Instructions See what Autoclave looks like when it's running

Quick steps: If you already have a bootable floppy with Autoclave, skip to step 3.

1. Download and extract clafe03.img & rawwrite.exe from the zip archive
2. Run rawrite from a command prompt to create a bootable floppy containing autoclave. rawrite will prompt you for the name of the image and the floppy name as shown below.

C:\My Documents\tmp>dir
Directory of C:\My Documents\tmp
01/28/2007 01:16 PM
01/28/2007 01:16 PM ..
04/09/2002 12:58 PM 1,474,560 clave03.img
07/28/1996 12:58 PM 14,305 rawrite.exe
2 File(s) 1,488,865 bytes
2 Dir(s) 24,516,186,112 bytes free

C:\My Documents\tmp>
Enter disk image source file name: clave03.img
Enter target diskette drive:
Please insert a formatted diskette into drive A: and press -ENTER- :

C:\My Documents\tmp>


Directory of A:\
04/09/2002 12:58 PM 1,163 boot.msg
04/09/2002 12:58 PM 479,737 initrd.gz
04/09/2002 12:58 PM 1,195 legal.msg
04/09/2002 12:58 PM 18,009 LICENSE.TXT
04/09/2002 12:58 PM 1,271 other.msg
04/09/2002 12:58 PM 165 syslinux.cfg
04/09/2002 12:58 PM 629,389 vmlinuz
04/09/2002 12:58 PM 7,060 LDLINUX.SYS
8 File(s) 1,137,989 bytes
0 Dir(s) 317,440 bytes free

3. Boot the computer with the drive to be erased using the Autoclave floppy.
The initial warning is followed by a request to confirm you want to proceed to DESTROY all data on the selected disk(s). To continue, you must type "I understand.", including the period but not including the quotation marks. This is to make sure you know that using Autoclave is irreversible.

4. Once you've confirmed that you understand the consequences, you should see a list of drives Autoclave has found in the computer: Enter a number to select the drive to wipe. Instructions to wipe more than one drive are covered at the end. For now, enter a single digit number to select a drive. When there is only one drive, so you would type "1" and hit return. If there were multiple drives, you could choose between them.
5. After you've chosen a drive, Autoclave will ask you how securely you wish to erase it. All of the options are slow. Option 3 is sufficient to prevent access to any proprietary business records that might have been stored on the disk and will keep prying eyes from getting at your personal documents, emails, bank account or credit card information that you may have stored on your computer.
6. If you have more than one hard drive in the machine to erase, follow steps 3-5 for the first drive. Once the first drive is being erased, type alt-F2 (hold down the "alt" key and press the "f2" key). You should be returned to step 2, and you'll have to type "I understand." again. Follow the steps again, but this time choose a different drive than the one you chose the first time. You should be aware that it's possible to choose the same drive you chose last time,don't try that. It won't complain about trying to use the same drive twice-and will slow the process down incredibly. If you have yet another drive, hit alt-f3 to get another return to step 2. alt-f4 will get you another, and alt-f5 yet another. Autoclave only allows up to 5 drives. To check on the status of drives being erased other than the one currently being displayed, press alt-F1 through alt-F5 to go back and forth beteween screens.

A shortlist of TechRepublic articles on career development

My shortlist from the Editor's picks on career development from TechRepublic

25 qualities that will get you promoted (Ramon Padilla- may require log-in)
Making smart career decisions: Answers to 20 questions from IT pros (TechRepublic)
Entering an Entirely New Field (Business, the Ultimate Resource)
Communicating Assertively at Work (Business, the Ultimate Resource)
Developing Leadership Skills (Business, the Ultimate Resource)
Effectively Managing Team Conflict (Global Knowledge Network)
How To Use the Six Laws of Persuasion during a Negotiation (Global Knowledge Network)