Keep the size of a PowerPoint file low with these three tactics: (1) Choose a smaller file format for graphics, such as JPEG rather than TIFF; (2) ungroup and regroup objects such as graphics and embedded spreadsheets; and (3) don’t allow Fast Saves, which can inflate the file size.
Put a halt to communication overload by limiting the number of people you add to any group or process. Every additional person adds complexity and reduces productivity—since with every comment comes additional responses. Reconsider every individual you add to an e-mail’s “cc” line.
Give your goal a fighting chance by writing down one key objective and three tangible results you’ll achieve from it, says Charlie Judy on HRFishbowl.com. Simplicity is key: “It fits on a quarter of a page, it’s fewer than 75 words, and it’s something you can sink your teeth into.”
Customize the toolbar of your web browser, so handy little functions—such as “E-mail this page”—appear as icons across the top. To see what functions or options are available, right-click or Control-click somewhere at the top of your Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari window, in the gray area of the browser. You’ll see a pop-up box listing customization options.
Calm public-speaking jitters with this tip from Christopher Willard, a staff psychologist at Tufts University who specializes in treating anxiety: Prepare. Rehearse with a friend or in the mirror. Write on your notes things like “take a deep breath here” or “pause and feel your feet on the ground beneath you,” he tells The New York Times. Those reality-based notes will distract you from negative thoughts.
Let your boss handle his own tweeting. With more CEOs tweeting, your boss may be tempted to get his own Twitter handle. Caution: When employees tweet on behalf of the boss, “it runs the risk of coming across phony,” says Reid Carr of Red Door Interactive. Instead, steer him toward simple tweeting strategies.
Make sure your e-mail messages aren’t misinterpreted by giving yourself an emotional-intelligence safety net, using Tone Check (tonecheck.com) plug-in software. It flags unintended emotion or tone as you draft e-mail messages, then suggests ways for you to rewrite them. (The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reports that e-mail messages are interpreted incorrectly 50% of the time.)Team up with your boss to maintain strong connections with strategic partners. Example: The executive assistant to restaurateur Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group helps him check the online reservation system daily to see who will be visiting one of the restaurants each day. Meyer jots down a quick note to say hello and thanks. “The less time I have to do something, the more important it is to do it,” he says, “because the more meaning it will have to somebody.”
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