Teams calls – stop background noise (and “vulgar video”)

Person signalling "shh" (by pressing their forefinger to their lip)How often do your Teams calls get disrupted by background noise? You know, like when someone thinks they’re on mute, so talks to a person next to them.

And hands up if you’ve even watched swirling video of the ceiling – or worse! – from an attendee who didn’t realise their phone’s camera was on.

The latter’s what you might call “vulgar video” – and it’s so distracting!

Luckily though, you can use little-known features in Teams to take back tech control. (That way, you and your audience get a great experience – as you both deserve!)

What’s more, you can do so either during or before your event. (And without nagging everyone to put themselves on mute.)

 

Here’s how

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How to avoid YouTube ads when you play videos during your talk

Man with McDonald's sign seeming to stick out of his headIf you play a YouTube video in your talk, training, or Teams call, you can really engage people.

For example, a video lets you:

For all those reasons, I wanted to play some clips in a couple of talks I gave lately. But I was at first put off by all the ads that tend to show up on YouTube clips.

In this post, you’ll see a quick way around the ads, without violating the terms of service by downloading the video or using an ad-blocker.

To learn more, you can click any of these headings – or, just scroll down:

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Banish bullets – prove you’re a pro! [@NolanHaims video]

Bullet casings strewn on the groundYou’ve probably heard that if you base most slides on bullet points, you’ll bore people. (Making you and your message less effective.)

But what can you do instead?

Well, below is a great 45-second clip of ideas for you:

That’s from design expert and Microsoft PowerPoint MVP Nolan Haims. I love how he uses Morph transitions to walk you through 3 options to improve your bullet points:

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Tableau trouble? Recent resources to the rescue! [Videos by @sqlbelle and @TableauTim]

Map of China in TableauHere’s what you’ll find in this post:

  • The trouble with Tableau
  • Help’s at hand!
  • Your turn
  • Also check out
  •  

    The case for TableauScroll to Contents ↑

    If you don’t yet use Tableau (or a similar data visualisation tool, such as Power BI), chances are high that you may well in future. As businesses become more data-driven, I’d say presenters will use tools like Tableau more and more.

     

    “Author” and “viewer” explainedScroll to Contents ↑

    As a presenter, your role when you use Tableau is likely to be as either:

    • an “author” – you build charts and other visualisations, then present them
    • a “viewer” – you purely present visualisations built by an author

    Either way, Tableau can become a core part of your toolkit:

    • As an author, you can even use Tableau as your presentation software
    • As a viewer, you can easily export visualisations from Tableau to PowerPoint

     

    The trouble with TableauScroll to Contents ↑

    But if you use Tableau, I’m betting you’ve had trouble understanding some parts of it. (I certainly have!)
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    6 tips to curb your nerves in public speaking, from Alex Lyon [Video]

    Meme saying “Mindset is CRUCIAL”Because fear of public speaking’s such a huge issue, any useful advice on it’s a great help – to speakers everywhere.

    So I was delighted to find a really helpful video on that topic from speaking coach Alex Lyon.

    In fact, Alex posted a pair of related videos in recent weeks.

    In this post, I’ll focus on the 1st of those, which looks at ways your mindset can help to reduce your fear of public speaking. The 2nd video (which you’ll find at the end of this post) looks at ways your behaviour can help to lessen your nerves, too.

    In the 1st video, I love how Alex starts:

    “These tips will help you
    cut your anxiety in half”
    Alex Lyon, at 0:08

    What a winning way to open! He doesn’t claim you can crush your nerves completely. And that distinction’s key to managing your fear – yet it’s all too easy to forget.

    Here’s Alex’s 6-minute mindset video. (This clip skips his 40-second intro.)

    For your easy reference, these are his 6 points:
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    DON’T tell this story, says @KindraMHall. I’m not so sure. YOU decide [Video]

    Person's throat with a sticker on it that says “crying blocked”If you’re like me (and most other people), you’re fascinated by stories.

    As a speaker, stories also help you to connect with, to deeply engage, and even to transfix your audience.

    But expert storyteller Kindra Hall has a stern warning for you:

    “There is one story you should never tell
    – the story that makes you cry”
    Kindra Hall, at 0:05

    She goes on to say:

    “Crying in front of an audience
    shows a lack of control and
    is simply irresponsible
    …You can tell I feel
    strongly about that!”
    Kindra Hall, at 1:35

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    Build your talk on messages, not topics – Secret #15 of star presenters [Video]

    Scrabble letter tiles saying “Wordy slides KILL your message!”Have you heard of the “assertion-evidence approach” for making slides? It’s a simple, powerful, evidence-based approach to presenting your talk.

    It was devised as a more effective way to share scientific findings. But you can also use its direct­ness and clarity in business – to great effect.

    And that’s especially so when you present insights from analysing data. You know, like:

    • customer touchpoints
    • company financials
    • employee survey results.

     

    What’s in this post?

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    Speak online – 8½ terrific tips from Eric Winters [Video]

    Title slide: "Elevate Your Online Presentations"

    In a rush? Watch the video (30 mins) or read the tips.

    When you present online, the tips below will help set you up for success. They come from my friend Eric Winters, who’s a coach, author, and international public speaker.

    I love the metaphor Eric uses to explain why it’s hard work watching an online talk:

    “There’s a good reason they call it paying attention,
    because you have to give up a lot of energy…

    So if we want to help our audiences…
    we need to lower the price
    of paying attention

    Eric Winters – at 1:42 in the video

    In his video below, Eric presents what he calls “8½ tips” to elevate your online pres­entations. The clip’s about 30 minutes long, and he spends about 2-3 minutes dis­cussing each tip.

    Below the video, you’ll also find:

    • a list of the tips
    • discussion of each one
    • useful links to help you build your skills.

     

    The video

    As I think you’ll see – and as Eric’s live audience commented – this was a very engaging and helpful session:

     

    The tips

    Here are Eric’s 8½ tips – click any of them to jump to the relevant part of my post:
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    From numbers to narrative – 4 keys of data storytelling [Video]

    Data dashboard shown on a laptopWhen you’re preparing a data-rich talk, where could you learn to get your message across better?

    In my opinion, you couldn’t do much better than watching the 55-minute video below, by Isaac Reyes. (The first 45 minutes or so consist of Isaac’s talk, and the rest is him answering questions.)

    Isaac’s a data scientist, and the video’s from ODSC Europe 2018 (Open Data Science Conference).

    The talk describes these 4 keys of data storytelling:
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    Who knew? 3 things a bank can teach you about public speaking

    A pair of handprints surrounding a hand-painted heart symbolIf you look carefully, you can often learn great public-speaking tips from all kinds of places. (Not just from obvious ones, like courses.)

    Let’s check out an example

    As my LinkedIn profile can tell you, I work at CommBank – Commonwealth Bank of Australia, also known as CBA.

    Recently, CommBank’s values were updated, so they’re now succinctly expressed in just 3 words:

    • Care
    • Courage
    • Commitment

    When I first heard those words, I was struck by how well they work together. And as I reflected on exactly why that is, I realised it’s because they have these 3 traits:
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