<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=289291844809425&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Less Is More Blog Productivity Tips

Join us at the Webinars


Click for our Webinars Schedule.

The Perfect 15-Minute Day Method is here!


Order the book, eBook, journal, or eCourse to get started right away and inject a healthy dose of accomplishments and happiness in your workday and beyond!

Learn more!

Get Our Free eBook

The Results Curve: How to Manage Focused and Collaborative Time

Less-Is-More Blog by Pierre Khawand

Accomplishing More With PowerPoint: Don’t let your slide become a “brochure”! Eliminate the PowerPoint clutter!

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Mon, Jan 25, 2010 @ 07:24 AM

One thing we see often when we work with business professionals on their PowerPoint presentations is that the typical slide tries to tell too much. Their intentions are good but these intentions tend to backfire. They want to be complete, detailed, and accurate. They want to tell the whole story and not leave gaps. However this overwhelms the audience and causes them to "check out"! You probably heard about the death by PowerPoint.

When the audience are subjected to this slide, are they going to see the completeness, the details, and the accuracy. Unfortunately not! This is what the audience is more likely to see:

PowerPoint Slide

You lost them right away! And now you have to fight to win them back.
Here is one of approaches that we teach to help eliminate the PowerPoint clutter, avoid losing the audience, and get them curious and engaged instead. This approach is called "breaking down the content." Here are the related steps and a couple of illustrations below:

  1. Reduce the slide to the core messages; ideally 3 to 5 of them, expressed in 3 to 5 words each. Let us call this the "3x5" rule. This leaves the audience curious. It opens up the room for reflection and then conversation.
  2. If some of these core messages require additional details, create a separate slide for this core message, following the same rule (3x5 rule). However use these detailed slides if and when necessary; right when the situation calls for it.
  3. Balance between text and visuals, and select your visuals carefully. Visuals need to be relevant, simple, and clear. They should easily convey the point instead of making the audience think or wonder.

The reduced slide might look like this:

PowerPoint Slide Improved

The slide that expands on feature 1 might look like this:

PowerPoint Slide Details

Stay tuned for more PowerPoint and presentation tips this week, including the complimentary lunch & learn webinar about Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 Techniques this Thursday January 28, 2010.

Topics: Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft PowerPoint Training

How to find some of the familiar Microsoft Word 2003 commands in Microsoft Word 2007

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Tue, Dec 01, 2009 @ 12:26 PM

If you have move from Microsoft Word 2003 to Word 2007 recently, you may be at a loss. Even participants who have been using Word 2007 for some time still get stuck at times trying to find one of these commends that they don't use often (such as "Send for Review" to easily e-mail a document to someone else to review it).

The answer is actually pretty simple. It is nicely packaged in an interactive guide that is part of the Microsoft Office Online help. Here are the steps on how to get there:

  1. Click on the help button in Word 2007 (little question mark on the top right area)
    Search for "Word 2003 to Word 2007"
  2. One of the results that appear will be "Interactive: Word 2003 to Word 2007 command reference guide"
  3. Click on this reference guide to get it started
  4. Once is starts, you will see the Word 2003 familiar user interface
  5. Then you will be able to click on a menu item, and get the immediate answer as to where this command is in Word 2007

This is what the guide will look like, ready for you to indicate which comand you want help with:

Microsoft Office 2007

Your Turn: Find where the "Send for Review" is and put your answer below!


Topics: Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft Word Training

3 ways to get rid of e-mail--Using Microsoft SharePoint

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Tue, Nov 17, 2009 @ 11:10 AM

Microsoft SharePoint TechniquesWe all seem to complain about e-mail, and that we get too much e-mail, and yet we all seem to contribute considerably to this e-mail mess! How do we sent our documents? Via e-mail. How do we setup meetings and coordinate events? Mostly through e-mail. How do we ask questions, answer questions, and share information? via e-mail. This needs to stop, if we want to get a handle on e-mail.

How can we change this? By using better collaboration tools such as blogs, wikis, and Microsoft SharePoint.

Let us consider Microsoft SharePoint for a moment which is one of the tools that we have been using, evangelizing, and teaching for years--as an effective way to help streamline collaboration and information sharing while easing the e-mail overload instead of adding to it.

Here are 3 ways to get rid of e-mail, using Microsoft SharePoint

1. Instead of e-mailing documents around and filling these mailboxes with attachments, how about storing these documents in document libraries in SharePoint. While I am editing a document in SharePoint, if someone else tries to edit the same document, they will be gracefully notified and given the opportunity to take control of the document as soon as I am done with it. Most importantly at any point in time, I can see the revision history, and review each of the edits that were made to this document along the way.

Figure 1: Notification that user receives if they try to edit a document that is in use by someone else

Microsoft SharePoint Techniques

2. Instead of coordinating the next meeting or event via e-mail, and sending these supporting documents and action items back and forth, how about creating a meeting workspace in SharePoint and customizing it to enable tracking meeting tasks and a list of things to bring. This may rid of a few dozen e-mails and avoid these endless confusions about who is doing what.

3. Instead of answering the next question you get via e-mail (relating to your subject matter expertise), how about your start a blog in SharePoint where you share the answers so that everyone on the team can benefit from them.

Join us at the Microsoft SharePoint Techniques webinar and learn more!


Topics: Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft SharePoint Training