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4 Ways to Upgrade Your Work Presence

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Work Presence

In competitive industries, it is valuable to have skills that set us apart in order to become innovative or to evolve. When it comes to presentations, PowerPoint is wonderful but often expected in a professional setting. Recently, I attended a conference in which each speaker went through each of their PowerPoints, slide after slide predictably.

PowerPoint definitely hits the nail on the head for professionals, but depending on your industry and audience, we have a few recommendations, should you feel adventurous or want to try something new. After all, this could be what sets you apart or indicates your potential for a better position in the future. Here are four ways to upgrade your work presence when it comes to your boardroom presentation.

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1. Skip the PowerPoint

If you are looking to have a unique presentation, we suggest trying a user-friendly yet dynamic alternative like Prezi. With plenty of templates to choose from that range from ‘plain jane’ to ‘unimaginably original’, you can wow your audience with the aesthetics as well as a more creative approach.

The truth is, everyone and their dog uses PowerPoint. You are likely aware of this by now, if you have been in your role for a few years. Dropping this for something that is more technologically advanced or digitally appealing can make you look organized, confident and innovative.

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2. Poll the audience

Are you presenting for a hard-to-please group? Give them a dose of democracy, and poll them using technology like sli.do. This allows your audience to anonymously vote during your presentation if you have designed questions for them to answer. You can also activate a live Q&A period, in which participants can write in questions for you to address.

I recently used this during a conference I spoke at, and found it quite easy to use. It actually worked very well for keeping my audience awake and active during our session. Especially when you need to be watching several presentations consecutively, it can help to have something different.

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3. Know Your Group

Perhaps you are presenting for a group that is smaller than ten? A presentation style that is a bit more intricate is Keynote, an app that specialises in presentation design on a mobile device. You can deliver your message in style on an iPad, with an easy-to-use format and several options in graphics and animation.

Additionally, this could allow you to strut into an interview and show exactly why you deserve a place at the table, potentially using graphs to indicate your strengths or creative ability to show that you love what you do.

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4. Avoid the Typical Mistakes

There are a few traits that can give PowerPoints a hard time – spelling errors, excessive bullet points, too much information, too much cheese, too few images or diagrams, or a lack in focus can drive your PowerPoint right into the ground, regardless of how bright or talented you are.

Of these four ways to upgrade your work presence, be sure to take #4 to heart when it comes to your presentation content. Even if you prefer to stick with an old-fashioned PowerPoint, making sure it is correct and organized will be sure to give you an edge.

In a world that is becoming increasingly tech-based by the minute, jumping on board with software and methods that showcase your informative with creative appeal is helpful. As you have seen, this is helpful in the sense of making you look good and showcasing your ability. However, it also makes existing in a presentation room more bearable for those watching and attending – and who doesn’t want happy observers when presenting?

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

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2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

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Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

4. Don’t Take Sides

In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

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5. Don’t Get Personal

In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

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Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

7. Think Win-Win

As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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