Archive for the ‘Articles by Chris Plant’ Category

Ever thought about your Social Media footprint?

Friday, January 8th, 2010

The idea of a Social Media Footprint came to me this week after contemplating this gift of life that we are bestowed. As I swiftly approach my 40th birthday, I am actually trying to be philosophical, as we are only here but a fraction of time, so the question on my mind is “what do we actually leave behind” as individuals, a trace of “who we were” or “what we achieved”?

Our predecessors, people such as Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Jules Verne have left us enchanting books, filling our heads with fantastic images. Da Vinci, Picasso and Rembrandt left us great works of art which bring us joy hundreds of years after their deaths. The great compositions of Beethoven, Mozart and Bach to name but a few have given us magnificent classical pieces of music. Inventors like Karl Benz who is generally acknowledged as the inventor of the modern automobile, the light bulb by Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell and his telephone. The first pioneers of flight, Icarus and the Wright brothers, all these people have given us things to remember and things to improve our lifetime… so what can we, the “everyday” folk of the world do to make us remembered in the future?

Not all of us are lucky enough to realise childhood dreams. Many boys hope to become a professional footballer, an astronaut, to conquer Everest or to follow in the footsteps of musical legends, like the Beatles songwriting duo of John Lennon and Paul McCartney or perhaps to become Movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe, James Dean or modern greats like Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and Elizabeth Taylor.

So how can we leave a little bit of history or a footprint of ourselves behind, something that actually makes our everyday lives seem a little more worthwhile and creative?

Many of my older relatives have started work on their family trees to see where their past lies. This seems to keep them contented and of course it is pretty amazing if you can find out that you are a direct descendant of someone rather unique. Others turn to religion and Christ to make their final days more worthwhile. I believe that all of us are rather special and if you were to analyze each of our lives we may be of interest to future civilisations even if we haven’t invented the Microchip, the world wide web, electronic mail or Microsoft.

The future for us is our Social Media Footprint. I truly believe that in many many years to come, when people are surfing the net in their brain with built in microprocessors in the ear so they can call their friends from anywhere… they will look back to their relative’s footprints, their blogs, their online photos and social media posts to understand from where they have descended! Probably a much more personal probe into someone’s life than ever available before!

My son for instance will be able to read how his Mother and Father felt when he was born, see scans of him inside his mothers womb and read how he grew up, watching video clips and listening to sound clips of those first important years. Learning how he developed and matured. Looking at and remembering all the countries he visited in his early years. He may then show his son and his son’s son and so on, whilst perhaps even continuing adding to that particular content long into the future!

How strange and incredible to know that our writing, anecdotes and rants may make people laugh or cry long after we and our families have passed on… start your blog today!!

10 tips for giving a First Class Presentation

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Many clients ask me what makes a good presentation and how to give one,They are often worried about not seeming professional. Well I think anyone can give a presentation, there are only a few simple rules and like anything if you spend valuable time preparing then anything is possible. I have compiled this list of points to give you a helping hand when you are presenting.

1. Making the presentation interesting:

Know your subject and the topic, of course you will have done your research before you begin your presentation.
Rehearse in front of yourself (try a mirror, you will see your body language), and in front of your colleagues or co-presenters.
The introduction is very important, make sure you use this opportunity to grab your audience’s attention.
Explain the main of objectives of your presentation. Give some key points that you will address and tell the audience how long the presentation will last. Make sure your presentation flows well and if you have visual aids do they support each of your points.
Your conclusion must be strong and it will give you a chance to re-emphasive anything you said in your introduction.

2. Your Confidence:

You are the expert on this topic as you have all your research material in front of you. This makes you the most knowledgeable person on your presentation in the room. You are sharing your knowledge, so have nothing to be afraid of.
Do not be tempted to say this is your first presentation or you do not normally do this. You are a professional.
If you blank out or forget something, take time to gather yourself as your audience will think it is part of the presentation.
Do not worry, you can pick up again after checking your notes or cue cards.

3. Self Presentation:

Present yourself well, smartly, dress well and feel good about yourself. Makeup and a haircut is a good idea. I know it sounds lie a cliche but guys, don’t forget to comb your hair and take a breath mint. Try and avoiding garlic or drinking the evening before.
You are as important as what you are presenting.
If you can avoid a stage or podium do so, as simply standing when your audience sits is good enough. Of course when you are public speaking a platform and the microphone is something you will have to get used to.

4. Sharpen up your voice:

It is important to remember to breathe, do not hold your breath. Breathing also helps control the volume of your voice. The shorter you become of breath the quicker you will speak, so relax and pause often. Make the speed of the presentation comfortable for you and your breathing. Change the pitch of your voice at times, this will add interest. Try to learn to listen to yourself,  you will be able to control your pitch and tone more easily. Doing this you can also avoid saying er or urm.

5. Body Language:

Your body language is important, When introducing your presentation, smile and look at the audience. Always keep eye contact and smile until your cheeks hurt! This will demonstrate you are confident. It is much more interesting to listen and support a happy person than a glum one.
Look at your audience and keep eye contact, this alone is a great method of communication. Gesture with your hands, to some this comes naturally so don’t be afraid to use this method of communication. Keep your hands out of your pockets. I would suggest a straight posture, shoulders back, you will not look tense or nervous and will feel in control also.

6. Visual aids:

Many people like to have visual aids to help with their presentation, just make sure you keep them simple and minimise the amount of words on any powerpoint slides. Use large fonts and list your key points. Colour should be used and the slides should be designed by a professional, not your assistant. Hand outs are a good idea, preferable after your presentation although they can be a good supplement whilst giving your presentation as long as you like the sound of rustling paper!

7. Terminology and acronyms:

Don’t be too arrogant with your terminology, communicate with your audience in a language they can understand.
Keep your phrases and “tech” talk to a minimum and explain each acronym, just in case someone is not familiar with it. You can then continue with the acronym for the rest of the presentation.

8. Nervous:

If you put in the effort in the points we have spoken about, then this will reduce your nervousness. A good warm up is to take a few deep breaths as it will help pace yourself. 
Make sure you eat before you present, nerves come from a rise in adrenalin, eating and /or brief exercising can counteract this. Think positive as this will pep you up, think of three reasons why the audience should listen to you.
Don’t be nervous or shy, the audience are waiting to learn something from you. They are not waiting for you to make a mistake or slip up.
If there is a software or hardware glitch, with any luck someone else can deal with the problem whilst you can continue.

9. Question time:

Try to think of some sample questions and see how you deal with them. If you can refer a question back to something you have said in your presentation, then that will be even better, but don’t sound condescending, the questionee may have missed that point.
If someone answers a question you cannot answer, either direct the questionee to a colleague that is better equipped in that area or ask if you can come back to this in more detail after the presentation, then go to them with a colleague.

10. Wrapping the presentation up:

When you are wrapping up, thank your technical assistant especially if you don’t know them and of course your co-presenters, then finally thank the audience for their patience and for listening.

Copyright © 2009 creative images sro.

Not just plain old text please

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Someone told me this week what a perfect blog should be;

It will have good content, lots of readers and should be completely text, text, content and text… with a very limited graphical interface! His reasoning? That graphics slows the whole reading and communication process down.

just plain old boring text? Liven it up!

Well, I have to say I disagree with the last part of that, probably down to the fact of my design background you say or my love of a good picture.
For sure a blog needs to have great content otherwise no one would be interested to read it, having a massive amount of readers is fabulous too, but everyone has to start somewhere!

A graphical interface is very important as it is the window to your soul, it communicates life and depth to your potential clients, business partners and peers. A slick, visual representation of you or your company is what is needed and it doesn’t need to be complex or intricate. Often the best design is the simplest.

Brand isn’t everything but it does unify who you are and what you would like to say. People recognise your “home” and get used to the feeling they get when they are there. Of course your content must be interesting as your readers will always have the opportunity to take a feed and view the content however they like anyway.

I prefer to go directly to websites, blog’s and forums, then I can get a feel of who they are and what they are trying to say to me. A text canvas always looks a little daunting to say the least. It reminds me of studying, it feels already like boring content before I have even started to read it. Sure headlines draw you in and are incredibly important but without a little softening even the best headlines can get lost in a sea of words.

In this day and age the graphical interface doesn’t really slow things down unless you have let loose some sort of neanderthal designer who doesn’t know a giff from a gaff!

My suggestion, keep your blog simple, clear, precise and if you can beautiful.

Copyright © 2009 creative images sro.

How safe is your personal data?

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

To give you an example of the answer to the question, how safe is my personal data? I was reading a blog today that caught my eye. In that blog the author offers a “follow me” on Twitter, when I click on the link I am forwarded to his twitter page, on twitter he has a tweet which says something else that interests me further, I then click on the tweet’s link which directs me to the Author’s “facebook business page” which has over 2704 fans… and I can see all these fans… as the preferences allow me too.

Is this a way for me to find out who his clients are? Should he be worried? Does he realise this?

In facebook you cannot contact these people directly however from their profiles or their restricted information we already know a lot about them…
Most people do not check their security settings on facebook thus you can often see a lot about a persons profile and who their friends are. Often they will have some information, for instance a weblink – and following this takes you to that person (if you use your common sense and click on contact and find out who it in or behind that company.) Then you have direct contact details to that person.

Interesting or scary?

Copyright © 2009 creative images sro.

The world of OCC

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Picture this…

a place where business user’s pop in to have a chat and catch up with all the latest “tips” Not just the headlines but what is under the hood.

Today we have a massive influx of information before us, sifting through the net can take hours so to find something compelling and informative that hits the spot, whether it be of interest or of direct help to your business you are not going to find it in two minutes.

Most entrepreneur’s, business professionals and amateur experts simply don’t have time for their day to day job, let alone the time to find new information that could help them save time and/or money, or even to keep them ahead in the world of business… perhaps many of them read the Financial Times or listen to business news or perhaps have a team of savvy experts feeding them info? The one thing in common that they have however is that they crave the information that will make their job easier, quicker and more successful.

With the introduction of Facebook, Twitter and alike the information highway has become ever more broader and increasingly diverse. So how can the decision makers, the heads of industry, the high flyers, the white and blue collar workers find the pieces of the industry puzzle that will give their job and more importanty their companies the knowhow and potential to make the grade in todays competitive environment.

Perhaps the solution lies in a place where information can be found. There are thousands of really good pieces of advice, the tips from our peers that often get lost or are not noticed.

I would like to create a superblog of sorts that would give advice and help professional people in their day to day life… somewhere they can always find the latest information… the information that can streamline their business, save them time, brighten their gloomy day, tell them what programs they should be utilising individually or in their companies, which and who are the type of staff they should be employing and what is the latest communication trend that they may be missing…

Once you have this type of portal with information updating every hour, you can slowly and carefully introduce other aspects into your portal such as product placement, perhaps advertising, but more importantly… you are now open to take the next step to Online Community Communications with one of the most powerful user groups. The Business Community.

You may also be thinking where would all this information come from and how could you manage it….?
The most important thing is to decide how to utilise the site once you have the traffic business craves..

 Next step? Lets see.

Copyright © 2009 creative images sro.