This week I’ve been mostly doing stuff beginning with ‘P’.
New Presentation Skills Course
I’ve written a new course to add to the training that I already offer. This is something that I’ve been meaning to do for 9 months but I kept letting it drop off the end of my to-do list. Which was daft because how can people see what I can do if I don’t tell them!
However a couple of weeks ago I attended a 2 day coaching skills course run by the Coaching Academy. It was brilliant and we had the opportunity to do a lot of practice coaching sessions with all the other delegates. A really fun way to spend a couple of days and I learnt a lot. I also got motivated to do a few of the things I’d been procrastinating on, which was a direct result of the coaching I received from the people I met there.
I’m really delighted to have got this done and really enjoyed planning what it was going to include.
You can have a look at the course outline on the Presentation Skills page of my website.
Starting to play with Prezi
Another thing that kept dropping off my to-do list was learning how to do Prezi. I think if I’m training people on how to do presentations then I really should be able to use a variety of presentation tools. I kept saying I’d do a Prezi for my next training session. AND THEN NEVER DID. Far too easy and quick to just drag out the old PowerPoint again. Totally laziness on my part and not wanting to leave my comfort zone. The problem was that I wanted it to be a good or even beautiful Prezi but it wouldn’t ever be for a first effort. So I just didn’t really try. AND I’ve been on Ned’s Prezi training. (Shame on me)
I’ve had little forays into the world of Prezi. Sam Aston and I did a session a couple of years ago on blogging for researchers but Sam essentially did that. Then last autumn I had a look at creating a Prezi from a PPT. Good god it was hideous. I’m probably not using PPT in a very standard way and it went completely tits up. Only I didn’t have the skills or time to sort it out. It IS however a great example of what not to do. Go on – have a look. Your eyes will bleed at the horror of hideous formatting and peculiarity. (Probably stemming from my unorthodox use of text boxes)
PPT into Prezi: Enhancing customer experience using social media. (I can hear the screams from here)
So this week I’ve started from scratch with my Introduction to Twitter course. At the moment I’m still not very skilled. I’ve got Ned with me at all times. (Well, his post anyway: Prezi for the win? Ten top tips to make a good one.) and I’m plodding a bit at the moment. I’ve realised I’m a bit of a linear thinker and I’m not hugely creative so although I’m trying to think of the canvas as a whole, I’m not really getting past the whole “I’ve 12 bits of learning to get in”. So that means I have (or will have) 12 blocks of text organised in a line. No really. At the moment it’s in a line. And there are no images. And it’s black and white. And seemingly a bit whooshy.
Again you can have a look. But I’m warning you it’s not pretty. Prezi: Introduction to Twitter. (Dull, dull, dull)
My plan is to do about 30 mins a day on learning how to create a visually attractive Prezi. and then I was going to tell you about it. (I’m not going to blog every day you understand but maybe when I’ve got something to say!) I realise for those of you who can do beautiful Prezis this will be very dull but I’ve said it now and so I’ll have to do it. It will be a diary of sorts. Trials and tribulations. (cock ups). The hope being that this will be useful to others and get me to reflect on what I’m doing. I can see how great it can be for presentations. But can I use it for training? Will it work? Does it lend itself to a 6 hour day? Will I ever be able to work out where I am on the canvas? Watch this space.
I’ve been wanting to have some professional photos done for a while. My previous avatar was taken on a night out and obviously quite early on in the evening as my eyes didn’t appear to be crossed. I also had to quite severely cut my friend Anne out of the picture. Some feat I can tell you, we’d put our heads together for the photo. Then there’s the photo that was on my website. I really wasn’t keen on that at all. There were chipmunk cheek issues, but it was the only ‘professional’ photo I had.
So in the first week of January I met up with Percy Dean to take some photos. Percy also did the Mimas staff profile pics, which are excellent.
It was really good fun. I wasn’t expecting it to be but Percy is great and has lots of great stories. (My particular favourite was the Lemmy one). We started off at Chortlon Water Park. (To my great shame, and I’ve lived in South Manchester all my life, I didn’t know that Chorlton had one of those. Sale, yes. Chorlton I had no clue about) and then headed back to take some shots (get me using the lingo 😉 ) in the village. We also drove to Trafford Town Hall to take some photos with a more officey feel, but by that point I’d forgotten how to smile naturally and although the background looks brilliant, I look a little forced to say the least.
Anyway as you can see from the way I’ve liberally spread them around this post, I’ve got the finished versions now and I’m really pleased with them. I’ve spent a happy hour changing avatars all over the place.