Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Effective presentation

Making and giving effective presentations is the basic key of success for a consultant's career. We cannot become masters of all the topics before we actually present it. So here are a few things that needs to be kept in mind to give a good presentation :
  1. Know your audience and their background (their level of awareness of the topic you are going to present )
  2. Know the trouble makers in the audience and handle them tactfully ( you can ask them to answer some questions which others raise / Ask them some general awareness questions relevant to the subject being presented to divert their minds from asking questions)
  3. Let the (presentation) be prepared by a person who is well aware of the topic and ensure that you go through the same with him/her atleast once
  4. Be aware of timelines (total time for presentation and the time you need to spend for each slide)
  5. Chose a simple layout, one or two fonts and stick to it.
  6. Give slides a sense of openness - use plenty of white space.
  7. Donot write essays on the ppt and try to use simple animations whereever possible
  8. Try to build a case on the topic you are going to present (Belive me it becomes very easy to take the audience for a ride !! )
  9. Watch your non-verbals
  10. Have some quiz time at the end (or a slide on what we learnt till now)
  11. Remember first and last 10 minutes are the only times which create an impression on the audience, use it smartly.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Laughing at a joke

I am not an english movie buff but I don't want to miss the legends. So very often I google out the "best hollywood movies to watch" and try to glue myself to that.
Accent is not really difficult to follow if we
follow it scrupulously (initially).

I had my education from a catholic school where speaking in english was ineluctable. But during my graduation and postgraduation desi languages were a major mode of communication. I hardly remember a single day in my education where I concentrated on accent rather than the voluble vocab of english.

When I travelled abroad
I felt the most difficult part was -laughing and reacting to a joke of a native. I really never understood them, so just smiled when others smiled. Later when I ruminated the joke I heard, I hardly found them as a laughing stock. Initially I felt that probably I am not getting their accent and I might not have a good sense of humour but after spending some time abroad I feel that I don't have sense of humour at all ... coz I dont feel like laughing at any of the jokes uttered. I feel that I should have done my homework back in India by reading dexter and flintstones regulary.

London's theatre

I love movies , similar interest as of an average indian population. The first thing I did once I landed in London is that checked for the ticket prices at various cinemas.

The prices seemed to be high, 11 pounds per movie, whereas back in India I can watch movie in a multiplex with popkorn, pepsi and a dinner later - all at a price of Rs500.
So I waited for a movie release for which I will not repent spending 11£. I am a fan of "Shahrukh Khan" so obviously bought the tickets for Rab ne bana di jodi.

I found it difficult to find the cinema complex in the first place as here you don't find crowd. The movie complex seemed more like a IBM or TCS office back in India situated in a remote place with no hushing of people. I felt that every Indian walking in and out has carried an attitude with them. I suddenly felt that If I was standing among English people I would have felt more warmther, with exchanging smiles rather than standing among the so called Indian crowd.

But the Indian flavour remained - people absolutely knocked at each other with out an uttarance of "sorry". Later I found more of Indain-ness when people joined the queue in- between and when a lady fought with another guy for stamping her leg. Yeah !! inherent qualities might not have changed but the Indians here are not the ones I knew back in India. No one speak with the other in our native Indian languages,Our teens aged 14-16 are smoking in public places, older people are not given prioity to tresspass the long queues, babies are not given the warmth of the parents by carrying them in hands (they are more like a baggage - in a perambulator) Yes.. I am missing my India .. Incredible India.

Consulting !!

A consultant is usually an expert or a professional in a specific field and has a wide knowledge of the subject matter - Wikipedia

I wonder why was I hired as a consultant from the MBA campus (non- experienced hire) when I myself require some consulting on career aspects. The sole decision of going with the crowd in to IT consulting changed my whole life.

I can now never successfully decide what is good and what is bad. If one says terrorism is bad, I immediately start my consulting gyaan saying... "Not really, terrorism might also be a part of international politics ..so called bigger picture over and above the normal terrain ". And you know my brain is so tuned to consulting now that I even garner some seemingly realistic examples like Sept-11 American attacks paving way for Saddam's downfall and oil wells!!!

You know.. I stick to my uttered sentence inspite of knowing that it is wrong. I wonder that my conscience no longer fights with me. I am fully aware that the IT product I am offering doesn't fit my customer's business requirement, but "ABRACADABRA" I can make them belive that the product I am offering is a distant long dream for them to raise their business by 30%. (Hey.. Don't ask me how I derived the figure of 30%)

I try to do cost benefit analysis of every single damn thing I buy, whether it is a blanket or a soap case. Hey.. I am paid well .. but believe me these consulting principles are in my blood.

I use most of the geometry and painting lessons I learnt in my upper primary to draw different shapes (circle, pentagon, 3D figures) and colour them which depict the utilization percentages of the IT product across the departments of the business.

Consulting - Yes I teach my customers who are decades (some times centuries) old in doing business as how to do business the right way !!