AD (728x90)

Feature Top (Full Width)

Featured Posts

Latest Updates

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Christmas Quiz 2014 - Answers





As we countdown to Christmas, here are a few puzzles to help you get through your last week... Remember to check back on Thursday for the answers. :-)

Good Luck!  


Q1: There’s an ancient invention still in use in most parts of the world that allows people to see through walls. What is it?

A window.



Q2: What five letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?

Short.



Q3: How many animals of each species did Moses take into the Ark?

None. NOAH built the ark.



Q4: A man was pushed out of a small aeroplane, without a parachute but survived with no injuries apart from a few bruises. How was this possible?

The aeroplane was on the ground.



Q5: In what sport are the shoes made of metal?

Horse racing; or other horse sports.



Q6: How can you throw a ball as hard as you can, and make it stop and return to you, without hitting anything and with nothing attached to it?

Go outside and throw it upwards.



Q7: A farmer owns a beautiful pear tree. He supplies the fruit to a nearby shop. The shop owner has called the farmer to see how much fruit is available for him to purchase. The farmer knows that the main trunk has 24 branches. Each branch has exactly 12 boughs and each bough has exactly 6 twigs. Since each twig bears one piece of fruit, how many plums will the farmer be able to deliver?

None - It's a pear tree.



Q8: If the day after the day before yesterday was Tuesday, and the day before the day after tomorrow is Thursday - what day is today?

Wednesday.



Q9: A man comes to the border of a country on his motorbike. He has three large sacks on his bike. The customs officer at the border stops him and asks, “What’s in the sacks?”

“Sand” answered the man.

The guard says, “We’ll see about that. Get off the bike.”

The guard takes the sacks and rips them apart. He empties them out and finds nothing in them but sand. He detains the man overnight and has the sand analysed, only to find that there is nothing but pure sand in the bags. The guard releases the man, puts the sand into new bags, lifts them onto the man’s shoulders and lets him cross the border.

A week later, the same thing happens. The customs officer asks, “What have you got?”

“Sand” says the man.

The officer does another thorough examination and again discovers that the sacks contain nothing but sand. He gives the sand back to the man, and the man again crosses the border.

This sequence of events repeats every week for the next three years. Then one day, the man doesn’t show up. The border official bumps into him in a restaurant in the city. The official says “I know you’re smuggling something and it’s driving me crazy. It’s all I think about. I can’t even sleep. Just between you and me, what are you smuggling?”

What is the man smuggling?


Motorbikes.


Know people who'd enjoy reading this quiz? Please forward it on, and introduce them to our Blog :)

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Christmas Quiz 2014





As we countdown to Christmas, here are a few puzzles to help you get through your last week... Remember to check back on Thursday for the answers. :-)

Good Luck!  


Q1: There’s an ancient invention still in use in most parts of the world that allows people to see through walls. What is it?



Q2: What five letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?



Q3: How many animals of each species did Moses take into the Ark?



Q4: A man was pushed out of a small aeroplane, without a parachute but survived with no injuries apart from a few bruises. How was this possible?



Q5: In what sport are the shoes made of metal?



Q6: How can you throw a ball as hard as you can, and make it stop and return to you, without hitting anything and with nothing attached to it?



Q7: A farmer owns a beautiful pear tree. He supplies the fruit to a nearby shop. The shop owner has called the farmer to see how much fruit is available for him to purchase. The farmer knows that the main trunk has 24 branches. Each branch has exactly 12 boughs and each bough has exactly 6 twigs. Since each twig bears one piece of fruit, how many plums will the farmer be able to deliver?



Q8: If the day after the day before yesterday was Tuesday, and the day before the day after tomorrow is Thursday - what day is today?



Q9: A man comes to the border of a country on his motorbike. He has three large sacks on his bike. The customs officer at the border stops him and asks, “What’s in the sacks?”

“Sand” answered the man.

The guard says, “We’ll see about that. Get off the bike.”

The guard takes the sacks and rips them apart. He empties them out and finds nothing in them but sand. He detains the man overnight and has the sand analysed, only to find that there is nothing but pure sand in the bags. The guard releases the man, puts the sand into new bags, lifts them onto the man’s shoulders and lets him cross the border.

A week later, the same thing happens. The customs officer asks, “What have you got?”

“Sand” says the man.

The officer does another thorough examination and again discovers that the sacks contain nothing but sand. He gives the sand back to the man, and the man again crosses the border.

This sequence of events repeats every week for the next three years. Then one day, the man doesn’t show up. The border official bumps into him in a restaurant in the city. The official says “I know you’re smuggling something and it’s driving me crazy. It’s all I think about. I can’t even sleep. Just between you and me, what are you smuggling?”

What is the man smuggling?



Click here to see the quiz answers!


Know people who'd enjoy reading this quiz? Please forward it on, and introduce them to our Blog :)

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Make PowerPoint Powerful



Two phrases you commonly hear:

  • ‘I don’t feel comfortable making presentations ‘
  • ‘I use PowerPoint as a comfort blanket’

Which does beg the question: how good a comfort blanket can PowerPoint be, if people feel so uncomfortable using it?

And, even if you like PowerPoint, it’s your audiences – not you – that dictate whether your presentations are a success. So, your slides must be audience aids, not speaker prompts.

Audiences hate sitting through tedious, wordy slides. Presenters hate delivering alongside them. So, here are five simple guidelines to using PowerPoint more effectively:
  1. Start correctly: begin by thinking what you want your audience to do after your presentation – not what your content/slides should be. Let this ‘do’ govern your entire preparation
  2. Go to PowerPoint last, not first: PowerPoint should be a tool to convey your thinking, not the way you think
  3. Less wordy: your slides should accompany - not duplicate – you. They must not tell the whole story, or there’s no point you being there. Only put key, simple, digestible words/visuals on your slides, for you to elaborate on
  4. Use the visual medium for visual things: PowerPoint is an excellent tool for communicating visual messages – graphics, charts, etc. But it’s a rubbish way to communicate full sentences and reasoned arguments. You – the presenter – are better at doing that. Either create visual, text-light presentations; or wordy, text-heavy documents. Don’t create something that tries to be both and, thus, is neither
  5. Use slide builds: if a slide has four points, your audience will be reading points 2-4 while you discuss point 1. This means they aren’t fully focused on any of them. Stop them reading ahead by clicking to bring up each new point
And the best thing about PowerPoint? When you press ‘B’ on the keyboard, it blacks out the screen – perfect for when you want your audience 100% focused on you, not the slides.

Action Point


Review a recent PowerPoint, and see how well you follow the five guidelines. Then, think of 1-2 simple ways to improve your next presentation.


Know people who'd enjoy reading this post? Please forward it on, and introduce them to our Blog :)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Leadership communications - make a PACT with them





Leadership is doing things with people, not to them.

One way to achieve this is by making a PACT with them, where you focus on:

People
Attention
Context
Timing

In more detail…

People

Treat your people as people, not things. Ask their opinions. Publicly recognise them when they do well. Make sure you align their personal objectives to what you want them to do. The better you do this for them, the better they do things for you.

Attention

People can tell what you prioritise by where you focus your attention.

So, for your people to feel they’re a priority to you, it’s crucial they feel they get the attention they deserve. Giving your time to them is a good start; as is making sure they see your face, not just your emails.

But it’s more than that. It’s about being ‘in the moment’ with them – making them feel they’re the most important person in the room. It is about proactively approaching them, not just waiting for them to come to you.

Context

People are more likely to embrace your messages when they understand where they fit alongside everything else. So always explain the context. Why will this particular communication help them, their team, your company? Where does it fit with things they’ve heard before?

When you ask them to do something, be clear what you’ll do with it once they’ve done it. After all, when they see the positive ramifications if they do - and negatives if they don’t – it helps motivate them to act.

Timing

Everyone knows the importance of time. So, respect yours and theirs. When you communicate, add value; don’t just add noise. If meetings can take 15 minutes, make sure they take 15 minutes – not an hour because Outlook suggests you should. And, when meetings add nothing, stop having them.

PACT was a concept proposed following research by Professor Gillian Stamp of BIOSS. Whenever I hear new concepts like this, I always ask ‘do I agree with it?’ And then, if I do, which element could I improve fairly easily.

I do agree with this one.

Do you?

And, if so…

Action point


… Which of the four do you think you could improve fairly easily? And which of the four would your team like you to improve?


Know people who'd enjoy reading this post? Please forward it on, and introduce them to our Blog :)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The best way to PERMANENTLY improve your communications




If you want to permanently improve how you communicate, you have to identify:

  • What you want to improve; and
  • How you’ll make it permanent

Sounds obvious, yes?

But I’ve seen plenty of people think of the former (“I want to be better at delegating”); but not the latter (“I know I want to improve my delegating. But, I’m busy so don’t have time to think about it now”)

So, instead of thinking “what do I want to improve now?”, then changing for a couple of days and then reverting back, use my Halve-It Approach:

  • Identify what you want your communication skills to be like at future date X (Let’s assume you want to become a brilliant presenter, and X is 16 weeks from now)
  • Halve-It: ask ‘what must I be able to do 8 weeks from now (it’s 8, because 8 is half of 16), to ensure I’ll be where I want to be 16 weeks from now? (In this example, it might be that you will have delivered a few presentations to large audiences and have had good feedback, but have clear areas to improve
  • Halve-It: ask ‘what must I be able to do 4 weeks from now, so I hit my target of where I need to be 8 weeks from now?’
  • Keep halving it: ‘And what must I be able to do two weeks from now? One week? Half a week?....’
  • ‘…so what must I do today/tomorrow to get going? Because, if I don’t, I already know I won’t hit my 16 week goal’

This approach is more likely to lead to permanent improvement. Of course, you’ll need to give yourself lots of help, to increase the chances of it working:

  • Follow the steps
  • Put all the relevant things in your calendar, so you give it the right time and priority
  • In addition to your calendar, think what/who else will help you on the journey – your colleagues, boss, peers, available resources, and so on

One thing I’m known for is that all my presentations are very interactive. My audiences always interact with me and/or each other and/or exercises I ask them to do.

But they weren’t once. In fact, nobody asks me why my presentations are so interactive now. But if I hadn’t used the Halve-It Approach a few years ago, they wouldn’t be.

So, what permanent change would you like to make?

And how will you ensure you do?

Action point


This week’s actions go back to the top two points of this week’s Tip - identify:

  • What you want to improve; and
  • How you’ll make it permanent (for example, by using Halve-It)
Without the first, you won’t improve. Without the second, it won’t be permanent.

Know people who'd enjoy reading this post? Please forward it on, and introduce them to our Blog :)

Education Blogs Directory

Find this blog in the education blogs directory

© 2013 NATIVE ENGLISH SPAIN. All rights resevered. Designed by GauravVish | Templateism