Thursday, February 21, 2008

Is the iPhone dead? (No, and neither is reading)

"It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is. The fact is that people don’t read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year." -Steve Jobs on the Amazon Kindle

In his NYTimes 'Outposts' blog, Timothy Egan takes aim at Jobs' assessment, suggesting that any reports on the death of reading are greatly exaggerated.

Egan writes,
Reading is ... an engagement of the imagination with life experience. It’s fad-resistant, precisely because human beings are hard-wired for story, and intrinsically curious. Reading is not about product...

This year, about 400 million books will be sold in the United States...[H]alf the population bought nearly 6 books a year. If only Apple were so lucky. The latest Harry Potter book sold 9 million copies in its first 24 hours – in English... Apple reported selling a piddling 3.7 million of the much-hyped iPhones through 2007. Is the iPhone dead? Of course not. But what should be dead are foolish statements about how human nature itself has changed because of some new diversion for our thumbs.
Egan's post is spot on and a fun read. Go check it out at:

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Talk Good: Giving Effective Presentations

Note: See related post from October 2008

Since I started doing Toastmasters about two years ago I've been Furling every good piece of information I could find on how to be a better speaker and presenter. I mentioned this recently to some of my fellow Toasties and they asked me to share my links.

The pieces speak for themselves (no pun intended), so without extensive annotations, here are my top 10:
  1. Garr Reynolds (see also: his great blog, Presentation Zen):
  2. 10 Tips for a Killer Presentation, Neil Patel

  3. Get Your Message Across by Creating Powerful Stories, Kevin Eikenberry

  4. How to Change the World: World's Best Presentation Contest Winners There are some great examples of how to effectively use powerpoint.

  5. Bert Decker (Also see his blog, Create Your Communications Experience)
  6. How to Get a Standing Ovation, Guy Kawasaki

  7. Kathy Sierra (See also: her blog Creating Passionate Users which, sadly, is no longer being updated; but there's great archived content!)
  8. Effective Presentations: More than one way to impress an audience Dave Pollard

  9. All Presenting is Persuasive Guila Muir (see also: Guila's other training/presenting resources)

  10. A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods From Great ideas for how to use visually represent your ideas.

  11. BONUS LINK: The 5 Immutable Laws of Persuasive Blogging, Brian Clark.
    Ostensibly written for bloggers, I'm finding that the "5 Laws" (provide value, have a hook, etc.) are also helpful in organizing talks and presentations.
I'd love to get feedback on your favorite resources and tips. What's helped you be a kick ass speaker or presenter?

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