Video Tutorials Now Available

Dear Loyal Readers,

We have been preparing video tutorials on key topics in economics, finance, strategy, management etc – basically the entire curriculum.

While we test the videos and edit them, we would like to invite a few users early access to review and provide their comments.

If you are interested, please write to kris@lillilooloo.com. You will need internet access to review the videos.

Thanks for all your useful feedback thus far.

Simple Power Point Feedback

Have you ever sent someone a PowerPoint presentation and asked them for feedback? You are likely to receive the following type of feedback:

“Slide 15, line 3 from the bottom, text should be texts.

Slide 21, I am not sure Japan is a good example to use. Maybe try Spain.

Slide 22, headline is weird. Why do you use 55%?

Slide 23, Japanese does not sound right here as well; maybe you should use Portugal, two lines down second paragraph missing a link”

And on and on….

When you receive feedback like this you actually feel this is too much work and procrastinate as much as possible. Who can blame you? Who wants to sift through these dense comments and link them back to the main document?

For a lengthy presentation this can be up to a few pages long. You then need to print out this list, open the power point and work your way through the list. This is a tedious process and not the best way to polish a power point presentation.

Assuming a colleague sends you a power point presentation for review, how should you respond? How should you ensure that you are providing effective and simple power point presentation feedback?

Step 1 – Determine the feedback required


You first need to find out the kind of feedback they seek. Do they need you to review the styling, the overall messaging and positioning of the message, detailed review of the slides and text, review of the image, compatibility on your laptop etc? As you can see, the word “review” can mean many things and it is important you clarify this before proceeding.

If the co-worker needs a simple power point presentation review, then you can save yourself a lot of time by clarifying this in advance and providing the type of input that co-worker actually requires and not a more thorough check.

If they need a detailed review, then at least you know the requirements and can allocate sufficient time to meet such requirements. The ability to give effective and simple power point presentation feedback is part of your personal style. You will be surprised how these small things contribute to your image in the office.

Step 2 – Prepare feedback


The next step in giving effective and simple power point presentation feedback is to undertake the review and present it in the most effective way for your co-worker to use the feedback. The best way to do this is to place all your comments directly into the power point presentation.

You are probably thinking this will not work since your co-worker may want to review and change your comments. That is a wise assumption. However, when we say, place your comments directly into the presentation, we do not mean you should change the presentation. This is how you should do it.

1 – The reason all your comments should be placed in the presentations is to make it easy to work with the document. If your co-worker wants to forward the presentation and your comments, it is much easier to forward one document. When reviewing your comments and making changes, it is also much faster any more effective to work with visual remarks on the slides. Having to flip between the slides and comments in email is difficult. Time is lost and comments may be overlooked.

2 – When commenting on the overall messaging, styling or anything else where the comment pertains to more than one slide or all the slides, insert a blank slide at the very start of the presentation. In this slide or slides, insert a blue text box and write in your comments. This way your colleague can clearly see your comments. Mention clearly that they apply to all the slides. Write clearly and in bullet points. Succinct and clear writing is always appreciated over long and dense paragraphs of text.

3 – When commenting on each slide, it is advisable to insert a round colourful text box and write in your comments. The text box should be large and noticeable. It is okay if it covers parts of the slide content. It will be deleted later once the comments and corrections are captured. Now use an arrow to connect the comment to the text or image which needs to be corrected. This allows your colleague to quickly see the problem, make the adjustment and delete your comments and arrows once the proper corrections have been made.

4 – For simple spelling mistakes, you may simply highlight the text with a yellow marker or circle the text in a red circle. Whether you use a yellow highlighter, blue or red circle, the objective is to use a color which will not be confused with the rest of the presentation.

Remember the operating phrase is Simple Power Point Feedback. Simple feedback makes it easier for te user to work with your comments.

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Remember the operating phrase is Simple Power Point Feedback. Simple feedback makes it easier for the user to work with your comments.

Presentation Skills: Stand Up and Present with Confidence

Audience during my Wikimania talk

Image via Wikipedia

Effective presentation skills are vital for most business roles. Many people never master presentation skills. Therefore, you can really set yourself apart from your colleagues by developing strong presentation skills. Steps to enhance your presentation skills are outlined for inexperienced and semi-experienced presenters below.

Inexperienced presenter


If you have never had any experience in presenting your work to an audience, the first few times will most likely be really uncomfortable and scary. What could help you greatly is to prepare what you can say. This resembles writing a script. Later, as you will acquire experience in presenting your work, you will no longer need scripts. The next thing you need to do is to practice, practice and practice. Start from practicing alone. Divide the presentation into manageable and logical parts and practice each part separately. Then practice each part together in the correct sequence. When you feel you can get through the presentation more or less adequately, start videotaping yourself. When you will see yourself presenting your work, you may likely notice things that you had no idea you were doing. An example can be noisily clapping your hands together when you are trying to make a point. To avoid embarrassment it is, of course, much better to find out about this problem while you are alone. Since you know that you do particular things with your hands while presenting, you can keep one of your hands on your leg and break the habit. After you have videotaped your presentation a few times and you will see a significant improvement in the quality of your presentation and will be ready to set up dry runs. Dry runs are practice presentations to a friendly audience. You can start with your family and, when you are ready, you can ask some of your colleagues to come in for a dry run and afterwards give you feedback and make suggestions on how to improve your presentation. After about 5 dry runs you should be ready to give a good presentation.

Semi-experienced presenter


If you have some experience in presenting your work to an audience, then the preparation steps described above can be shortened in frequency and depth to reflect what you feel is necessary to adequately prepare. However, if you do not feel confident about your presentation skills then it is better to go through all these steps to ensure you are really well prepared.

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Presenting your work to an audience can become one of your favorite activities as you gain more experience. It is exciting. It allows you an opportunity to show your competence, intelligence and reliability. Presenting your work is an opportunity to shine, it is not punishment. You need to embrace it and make the most of it. The ideas above are very helpful and, if followed, will greatly help you in improving your confidence and effectiveness when engaging an audience.