Wednesday 25 April 2012

Keyboard shortcuts to use during PowerPoint slideshow

I find following keyboard shortcuts quite useful during slideshow of my PowerPoint slides. You may also find them useful.

You must be knowing following shortcuts as they are widely used.
  • Advance to Next Slide - Mouse Click, Space bar, N, Right Arrow, Down Arrow, Page Down
  • Return to Previous Slide - Backspace, P, Left Arrow, Up Arrow, Page Up
  • End Show     ESC, CTRL+Break, Minus, END
But the following ones are not so much widely known:
  • Go to Slide -   ENTER
  • Black/Unblack Screen -    B or Period
  • White/Unwhite Screen -    W or Comma
  • Show/Hide Pointer  -   A or =
  • Erase Screen Annotations   -  E
  • Advance to Hidden Slide -    H
You may want to try out these shortcuts, which could help you remember those during your next presentation!

Book Review: say it with Presentations

I read this wonderful book by Gene Zelazny, Director of Visual Communications for McKinsey & Company, titled "say it with Presentations". I had read its earlier edition but the current edition is quite revised, providing a lot more content. The best part of this book is the checklist near the end of the book, which can be referred each time while designing a presentation to ensure a successful presentation.I strongly recommend this book to every one, who needs to make business presentations.

Monday 23 April 2012

Book Review: Engaged Leadership


Written by Clint Swindall, "Engaged Leadership" is a management book offering a framework for leadership style. This framework supposedly addresses a concern that 54% of employees are disengaged at work, as found in a survey done by Gallup Organization. The framework is depicted as a triangle containing four puzzle pieces. Three peripheral pieces are directional, motivational and organizational while the center piece is character core. Author offers 12 challenges that leader has to encounter in three areas: directional, motivational and organizational. He mentions following four challenges in the directional leadership area:
  1. Recruit support from the top 29 percent (these ones are engaged employees)
  2. Prepare the organization for change
  3. Let them know how they contribute
  4. Constantly communicate progress
The challenges in motivational leadership are as follows:
  1. Lead with positive motivation
  2. Celebrate small successes
  3. Encourage life balance for all employees
  4. Create a fair work environment
The organizational leadership area contains following four challenges:
  1. Identify and position the appropriate talent
  2. Build a bridge between generations
  3. Move towards real empowerment
  4. Establish a strategy to maintain success
The book is divided into two sections: fable and how-to. I found this format very useful since fable provides a good context to learn the framework and the how-to part reinforces the learning.

As far as framework is concerned, it does not provide any breakthrough thoughts or ideas. Since it is based on author's experience as consultant, the framework does not have backing of any rigorous research. One may also say that it is an old wine in new bottle! Nevertheless, some organization would find this framework useful for their leadership development programs.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Virtues of CHILD

While reading "If God was a banker" book by Ravi Subramanian, I came across this acronym, CHILD which stands for
  • Commitment
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Leadership
  • Dedication
I would agree with the author that one should have virtues of CHILD!

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Book Review: The Coalition of Competitors

Written by a former president of NASSCOM, this book provides a sort of "official biography" of NASSCOM. Additionally, this book tells the story of Indian software industry, which is represented by NASSCOM.

First chapter of this book provides a quick overview of initial days of both Indian IT industry and NASSCOM. Second chapter covers Indian IT industry in 1990s before Y2K and dotcom boom. In chapter three, the author has discussed how Indian IT industry responded to three major events: Y2K, dotcom and 9/11. Chapter four tells BPO story as it got unfolded during first decade of 21st century. It also discusses other emerging services viz., Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), Remote Infrastructure Management (RIM) and Engineering Services (ES). This chapter also touches upon how domestic market in general and Indian Government in specific, is opening up to use IT and how that present opportunities to Indian IT companies.

The author has devoted fifth chapter to describe the constraints faced by Indian IT industry. These constraints include crumbling infrastructure, shortage of suitable human resources, domestic political backlash and regulatory speed-breakers. Sixth chapter covers the role played by Indian Government in shaping Indian IT industry. It specifically elaborates industry-friendly Government policies/initiatives such as STPI and tax incentives. Seventh chapter then focuses on multiple roles played by NASSCOM over a period of time. Besides mentioning NASSCOM's contribution in the areas of industry brand building, providing unifying vision, lobbying etc., this chapter describes NASSCOM's structure and governance model. In eighth chapter, aptly titled as "crystal-ball gazing", the author has provided his outlook and vision for both Indian IT industry and NASSCOM. In final chapter, the author has elaborated how the mantra of "Compete, but Cooperate" as exemplified by NASSCOM, can be applied in wider context.

I found this book quite informative and would recommend it to every Indian IT professional.