Who Looks for Motivational Speakers? Seriously?
Honestly. I hear the term "motivational speaker" and I conjure up an image of Chris Farley. He's in that famous Saturday Night Live Sketch -- where his character "lives in a van, down by the river."
It's a hilarious skit. However, it portrays motivational speakers in a less than positive light!You already are a motivational speaker!
When you think about it, anyone who speaks or presents should be a "motivational speaker". After all, the primary goal of every presentation is to inspire action or enthusiasm. If you're speaking and you're not motivating -- what the heck are you doing?Google Goofed!
So I was amused to look at my stats last week
and find that I suddenly had a ton of folks visiting this blog from Google, looking for the term "motivational". During a Google programming flux this month, this little blog was momentarily at the top of the search heap for that word. Here is the picture -- titled "Paranoia" -- that Google deemed an appropriate result for the "motivational" search.Yes, that's me.
I found this Google goof kind of amusing. After all, there's nothing motivational about my silly picture! And I swear, I didn't do anything to "game" Google into putting this unlikely picture at the top of the results!
But it did get me thinking about what kind of person goes to Google looking for a motivational speaker. What's their thought process?
"Hey, I need a speaker. Guess I'll Google one. Or maybe I can get a bargain speaker at eBay."That scenario seems unlikely.
It seems that if you want a motivational speaker, you go by personal referral. I could be wrong, but sites like Facebook
might be more valuable for finding a motivational speaker. With a social media site, you can get referrals from other people you know and trust. Personally, I'm behind in developing my social networking profiles. But if you target your professional services to people in in their 20's and 30's -- you might want to get going with the whole social media thing, pronto.But who searches for motivational speakers, really?
It seems to me that folks who are looking for motivational speakers at Google are probably looking for information on how to become motivational speakers
. That scenario seems much more likely than actually using a search engine to find a speaker for your organization.So, if you're a motivational speaker, speak up!
Feel free to comment or contact me. If you feel so inclined, please answer the following three questions:
- How did you get into your line of work?
- What's the best way to market your services?
- What advice might you have for newbies?
And what do you really think of that phrase, "motivational speaker?" ;)
PS -- if you want to hire me as your company's motivational speaker, I insist that you provide me with a van. Down by the river...
Labels: fun, images
Every Feature in PowerPoint!
If I were to list every feature in PowerPoint, how many might there be? One thousand? Ten thousand?
Counting the features in PowerPoint is like a "guess how many jelly beans are in the jar" contest. There is a dizzying display of different and colorful features. Most people who use PowerPoint will probably (hopefully!) deploy less than a tenth of them.
In her latest ebook, author Ellen Finkelstein writes 101 Tips Every PowerPoint User Should Know
. Instead of an exhaustive description of every feature, this refreshing guide provides shortcuts and techniques that make creating a PowerPoint presentation much, much easier.Not just for newbies!
The new ebook is available for download at Ellen's site for $15 US. The ebook is terrific for beginners -- but even if you're an old pro with PowerPoint, I suspect you will learn quite a few tips and tricks to make designing your presentations a more elegant experience.
Labels: PowerPoint Tricks
Disposable Learning Objects and Jing
Yesterday, I downloaded TechSmith's Jing Project
-- just to give it a test. I was a little cranky about getting it to work
. But then again, it was my first day back from vacation, so I was a little cranky about everything!Disposable Learning Objects.
Today, I easily and happily used Jing to easily create and share three disposable learning objects. Here's what happened:
- Quick "How-to". A client emailed me, and asked "how-to" do a text link in their blog. Easy enough, but it would take minutes to write or phone instructions. But with Jing, it took me less than a minute to create and share a personalized 39 second video.
- "See what I see?" Another client emailed an almost-final draft of an event invitation. I used Jing to show her how it looked on my computer, and took 26 seconds point out a small design flub -- which she promptly fixed before sending the invitation to her list.
- "Show and tell." My third client also had a small email error, so I took under a minute to "show and tell" the problem and explain the fix.
Oddly enough, I didn't start my day thinking that I'd use Jing. But I used Jing 3 times before 3:33pm to create what you might call disposable learning objects
.These objects are entirely ephemeral -- and useful for a limited audience. I think of these three little Jings as visual voicemails. Many times, a moving picture with narration can take less time and communicate much more richly than a page of written instructions.About the Jing Project.
For the moment, TechSmith is providing Jing and online media hosting -- for free -- to see what you'll do with it. Eventually, the project will evolve into something else. Today, I used it for Disposable Learning and Video Voicemail.How will you use the Jing Project
-- while it lasts?
(Thanks again, TechSmith!)
Labels: Presentation Applications
Transform posts into podcasts
Some people don't like to read.
They're not illiterate or uneducated. They simply prefer other modes of communication, entertainment, or information exchange.
Me, I'm somewhat compulsive about reading. I often have to visit foreign countries where I don't speak the language to force myself to take a vacation from reading. (And even then, I try!)
But there are times that I simply cannot read a word.
- In a car, train, boat, or plane (I get motion sick.)
- When my eyes are tired (at the end of the day.)
- On the treadmill (too much jouncing.)
I started to wonder about how to serve blog readers that might be visually impaired. Or how to reach people who prefer listening to reading. And I still believe some people -- info junkies like me -- might prefer to get caught up on blog news while they are commuting or exercising.
So I decided to give Odiogo a try at my other blog site
. Odiogo automatically transforms blog posts into podcasts. The free service gives your written content a spoken "voice" -- and by creating a special podcast feed, it also claims to give a blog "legs".Here's how Odiogo works:
By implementing Odiogo, an articulate male voice reads each one of my blog posts. While "the voice" is somewhat robotic, he's pretty good with inflections and pretty easy on the ears. People can choose to subscribe to the audio feed instead of the written feed -- and hear
my content rather than read
the posts. Further, those who prefer to take their feeds "on the road" can save the audio content to their iPods or other portable mp3 player devices.What do you think of services like Odiogo?
Implementing the service was a snap -- I filled out a form, and pasted in some code to my blog template. And I do like the idea of being kinder to the visually impaired. I also like the concept of better serving those who don't find themselves in a position to read.
But how will people respond to services like Odiogo?
Labels: content ideas
Free PowerPoint Add-In: YouTube Video Wizard
Back in August, these four online videos showed us how to embed YouTube videos into PowerPoint
presentations.That was August.
And while these "summer of 2007" instructions still work, today, there's an even easier way...Enter the autumn of 2007.
Microsoft MVP Shyam Pillai offers a PowerPoint Add-In called YouTube Video Wizard
, or YTV. It took only minutes for me to download, install, and test this new and extremely useful PowerPoint add-in.
After installing the YTV add-in, you will see a new tab under "Insert" titled "YouTube Video". Click it, and a wizard will walk you though everything you need to do to insert a YouTube Video into your PowerPoint presentation. Easy!One small caveat.
You must have a live internet connection for this add-in to work properly during show time. If you do not, you still must download and convert the YouTube Video before inserting it into your presentation.
Labels: PowerPoint Add-In, video
Funny PowerPoint - Halloween Dogs
I know the Halloween Dogs make the email rounds every October -- but for some reason, the pictures always seem to make me laugh. And I like
This year, you can see and share the latest round of sadly funny dogs in a PowerPoint presentation at Slideshare. No need to email the images and choke up your friends' inboxes - just point them to Slideshare:
Personally, I would never dress up a dog in a Halloween costume. Would you?
Labels: fun, images, Presentation
New SnagIt Outputs
I love using SnagIt Screen Capture
by TechSmith. See an image, grab an image. SnagIt makes it just that easy!
And with just one click, you can output your newly-grabbed image directly to PowerPoint. Sweet.Not just for PowerPoint.
SnagIt 8.2+ users can also download a bunch of handy free outputs. Here are just some of the latest:
- Blog Output
- Skype Output
- MindManager Output
- and more!
I downloaded the SnagIt Skype Output today. It took less than a minute to download and install. In seconds, I was grabbing and sharing images over Skype.
If you already have SnagIt, go check out some of the latest free outputs that TechSmith offers.
If you don't have SnagIt, why on earth not? :)
Labels: Presentation Applications
Fun New PowerPoint Add-In Is Named "Opazity"
Today, Steve Hards of SteveHardSoft Skyped to tell me the news: his fun new PowerPoint add-in
that applies a Gaussian blur to images finally has a name!
It's… (drum roll please!) Opazity
Of the three name choices, both Steve and I were in favor of "Fuzzy Touch". But we were overruled by public preference, so...
Opazity it is.Thanks for voting!
“I’m extremely grateful to the people who voted,” said Steve. “Colleagues thought I was mad to put up the options for people to vote on, but the result shows that without testing these things, you never really know what is going to be best.”Beta testing is going well.
Steve also gave me the opportunity to Beta test Opazity. The fun little add-in installed in minutes. And it took me less time than that to actually learn how to use Opazity to "blur and reveal" different images in PowerPoint.So for Beta test fun,
I quickly created a 5 slide PowerPoint presentation called "Stupid Questions" -- and used Opazity to reveal the "Stupid Answers". (You can see the lighting-fast video results
at YouTube...)Worked like a snap...easy and fun.
Steve said that he will be launching this new PowerPoint add-in product in a few weeks. If you didn't get a chance to view the demo before, go ahead and visit opazity.com
. The voting is over, but you can register for a launch alert at this new site.
Labels: content ideas, fun, PowerPoint Presentation, Presentation Applications, video