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Filtering by Tag: 2009

037: GTD on the iPhone or iPod Touch


Think you can't do GTD on an iPhone or iPod Touch? Think again! In this episode, you'll hear about how to be productive on your iPhone or iPod Touch device as well as get recommendations on numerous "must-have" apps. Enjoy!

Download the podcast here.

A few important notes:
• There will be no call on Thurs, Dec 24. Merry Christmas!
• Our next call will be Jan 14 when we'll be joined by special guest, Leo Babauta, author of the popular blog and Zen to Done.
• Save the Date! the VSG will meet live and in person in San Diego, California on Saturday, Feb 6. Stay tuned for lots more details to come!=

036: Tackling Immunity to Change


Drawing from two terrific books (Immunity to Change and How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work), host Tara Rodden Robinson introduces a way to take on significant change in your life. The idea is to uncover your "big assumption"--the obstacle that's getting in the way of your improvement goal--and dismantle it to free you to experience the change you want to see.

Download the podcast here.

The Magic of the "Push Left" Transition


Thank Nancy Duarte for this fantastic piece of visual eye candy!  As I read slide:ology, I began thinking: how can I implement the Push Left transition in PowerPoint?  What is this "use sparingly" transition I speak such lofty things about? In Nancy Duarte's book she says:

There are times when one slide isn't enough real estate for all your content. Instead of piling it all on one slide, split the content between two will create the illusion that the content is all in the same scene. A transition that makes the slides feel like one large space will help the audience feel like the information is connected within that space. p.190.


How did I implement this idea?  A colleague recently showed me his slide he was using to demonstrate the great power of one of our products.  I thought the idea was great; however, there was so such rich content all on one slide that the font size was down to 8!  I suggested we space out the idea over a series of slides, using Nancy's awesome suggestion. What does it look like?

Here's the before:

How Data Flows (Before)

And here's the after (ignore my lack of talent in photo-stitching!)

How Data Flows (Before)

I'd love to hear what you all think!

What Dora the Explorer Taught Me About Presentations


It might not seem to make sense at first, but if you think about it, Dora and her friend Boots, Backpack & the Map excel in the art of storytelling - specifically, in highlighting for us why repetition is so important in our presentations.

By way of a quick background, you may have guessed that I've been reading a lot lately on how to give more powerful, compelling presentations through design and storytelling.  Through the wizardry of Nancy Duarate of Duarte Design & her book slide:ology, Garr Reynolds' Presentation Zen, and Scott Schwertly of Ethos3, I feel like Luke Skywalker on his path to becoming a Jedi.  I started out as a lost soul in the world of boring bullet point presentations and 12-point font, to seeing that there actually is a better way to present that is more in tune with how our brains perceive messages, to now where I can honestly say I haven't bored a soul (as of yet) with my visually compelling and persuasive presentations.

So, back to Dora the Explorer.  So, one afternoon around 4:30, I took a break from working in my home office, and went downstairs to sit with my kids as they were watching Dora.  For a moment, I dismissed this as just a children's show ... but then, as I sat there trying to figure out with my kids how Dora is going to find the chocolate, bananas & nuts for her mommy's special birthday cake ... it clicked! Dora is a master storyteller who excels at the art of storytelling.  I couldn't believe it - the very methods we use to teach our children about remembering ideas & messages is equally applicable to adults in presentations!  It was like this epiphany I had sitting there at the couch, and suddenly, I was more excited about Dora than my kids!

Here's how Dora does it - first, she lays out in her introduction what she wants to do: bake her mommy a special chocolate banana nut birthday cake.  Then, she lays out the problem.  She has no idea how to get the ingredients.  So, she asks her friend, the Map, to help her.  Map comes out and lays out the Agenda: First, you need to go to chocolate tree; second, you need to go to the bananas, and then you need to get the nuts.  Then, Map repeats it: chocolate tree, bananas and nuts.  Instantly, my kids and I remember exactly what Dora needs to do -- and just in case we didn't get it the first two times Map said it, Dora repeats it: chocolate tree, bananas, and nuts.  I'm guessing by now, you've also remembered exactly what Dora needs to do.

After Dora successfully gets each ingredient, she then repeats where we need to go next - constantly reminding us of our mission, where we were and where we need to go in order to be successful.  Finally, after Dora gets all of the ingredients, they celebrate, goes home, adds all of the ingredients, and we see the final product before our eyes where her mommy rejoices in happiness that her daughter made her this lovely cake!

How have I applied Dora's mastery in storytelling in my presentations?  Simple: like Garr Reynolds does in his book, I'll focus on 2 or 3 themes.  Each theme is 1 or 2 words and is accompanied by an image that specifically relates to the theme.  For example, let's say my 3 themes are: 1) efficiency (image: fluorescent light bulb); 2) control (image: business man on a unicycle reading a report); and 3) return on investment (image: a nice shot of a pocket watch & a $100 bill).  I'm not the pros listed above, but I thought it was pretty clever.

3 themes

Throughout my preso, I remind the audience of where we've been, what we'll discuss next, and where we're heading.  This repetition allows the audience to constantly remember the mission - no different than Dora when she needed the ingredients to bake her mommy's birthday cake.  If you think about it, my 3 themes are the ingredients my audience needs to understand my message!

So, when the Dora the Explorer show was over, it turns out it was me pleadings to watch more episodes of Dora - but alas, my wife shut off the TV.

031: GTD Virtual Study Group Turns Two!


We're turning two! The Virtual Study Group celebrates its second anniversary with a lively discussion about what makes the group work, our favorite past episodes, and lots of ideas and topics to consider for the coming year. Help yourself to a big slice of the virtual birthday cake and join the fun!

Download the podcast here.

030: TheBrain (How to Use PersonalBrain to Get Organized and Get More Done)


One of the key aspects of GTD is getting things out of your head. In this episode, you can learn more about how to use TheBrain's amazing prowess to do just that. Our guests were Harlan Hugh (CEO and Brain inventor) and Shelley Hayduk ( blogger). You can hear how to use tags to create contexts, thought types to categorize, link out to other files, and much more.

Download the podcast here.
Access the webinar here.