Friday, 2 October 2009

Newsletter Issue 173, October 2009

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 173, October 2009

Hi guys,

In these less robust economic times, here are Five Tips to Be More Visible at Work.

There's a new piece of price comparison software coming our way called Shopsavvy. Read more below.

Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Five Tips to Be More Visible at Work

Scott Ginsberg has written a great article on making the most of your own skills during this less affluent time, which I have paraphrased for you all here.

If you want to prosper in the down-times, remember this three word philosophy: Anonymity is bankruptcy. To increase your visibility:
  1. Assert your distinctiveness. Your net employee worth is how expert you are. First ask yourself three questions:
    • What are you known for knowing?
    • Who within the organisation already sees you as a resource?
    • What have you done TODAY to show your expertise in your organisation?
    Then think of yourself as a brand, and at every possible personal branding touch point (the answers you give, e-mails you write, meetings you attend, and conversations you hold), demonstrate your distinctiveness. That will attract more responsibility, which will increase your organisational 'net worth' - which will increase your job security.
  2. Prepare to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is attractive, approachable and can be a strength; but the main point is to be honest.
    • Don't lie. Get out of the habit of mindlessly telling people, “Business is great!” No, it isn’t. Not unless you’re a foreclosure company. Stop putting on an act and start sharing your authentic experience. People will notice and appreciate your candour.
    • Own your lack of results. Try saying “You know, business is really slow, but it is providing a whole new challenge. I’ve been thinking about some new business growth strategies that will open up a new area for us.” The team will take notice of your balance between optimism and realism.
  3. Be smart, not a smarty pants. Ensure you are sharing knowledge - not showcasing or trying to be the centre of attention. Smart people attract others and gain greater responsibility; smarty-pantses alienate people and are avoided. Consider these meeting strategies:
    • Bite your tongue. Don’t say anything until the last five minutes of the meeting. That way you can collect you thoughts, clarify your position, and speak confidently. If you look around, listen, and learn first, your comments will carry the most weight.
    • Come out of nowhere. When the meeting leader says, “Does anybody have any questions?” or “Any final thoughts before we finish?” raise your hand and say: “I have an observation…” All the people in the room will turn their heads, rotate their chairs, and look in the direction of the ONE person who hasn’t said anything all morning—you.
    • Articulate your idea. This is the best part. If you only say one thing, it becomes more profound because scarcity creates a perception of value. What’s more, the longer you wait to say something, the more everybody else will want to know what you’re thinking. Ultimately, your calmness, patience, and quietude will draw them in. In the words of the US mistake-friendly president, Barack Obama “Power grows through prudent use”.
  4. Become THE most interesting employee in your company. Intensify your interestingness, and become “That Guy”—or “That Girl”. There’s an inverse relationship between how successful you are and how boring you are. Boring people are ignored. Those who are interesting get noticed. Those who get noticed get remembered. And those who get remembered get business. Consider these list strategies to become more interesting in the eyes of your co-workers and superiors:
    • Distil your stories; don’t just “tell” them. Stories are the most powerful way to get a point across, providing you can relate the lesson(s) learned, a universal human experience/emotion, or practical take-home value.
    • Be passionate. Invest your daily encounters with passion. You will engage, excite, and inspire everyone you meet because the fire inherent in any type of passion is irresistible.
    • Be predictably unpredictable. Position yourself and your actions so that people excitedly want to know what’s going to happen next. For example: What if every morning you posted a penetrating, though-provoking question of the day on the dry erase board outside of your office? People from departments you’ve never even heard of would start stopping by to meet you.
  5. Volunteer to be a company blogger. Whether your company blogs internally for employees / customers or externally, the blogosphere is the perfect venue for sharing your expertise and elevating your visibility. Follow these steps for blogging brilliance:
    • First, learn the ropes. Equip yourself with the knowledge you’ll need to champion your blogging idea - read Naked Conversations ( and The Corporate Blogging Book (
    • Find out who’s in charge of the blogging function. Connect with them. Depending on the size of your company, blogging responsibility may lie in the hands of a team of writers, a few marketing people, or maybe just that 29-year-old wunderkind named Tyler who wears jeans and flip-flops every day.
    • Prepare a list of five ways to make the company blog more value-driven, more engaging, and more viral. Then share that list with key players. You might even consider writing a few sample posts to demonstrate your expertise and writing style. Management will notice. Management will listen. Most important, people’s confidence in you will soar.

When executed consistently, these tips will capture your manager's attention, who will increasingly realise the value you add to the company.
Scott Ginsberg is a regular contributor to the St. Louis Small Business Monthly, INSTORE Magazine, PR Canada, and Expert Village. His articles have appeared in online and print publications worldwide and in dozens of textbooks and resource guides. His books include The Approachable Salesperson, The Approachable Manager, The Approachable Frontline, Hello, My Name is Scott, and Make a Name for Yourself.


Dutch marketing gurus Trendwatching published a VERY interesting little piece in a recent newsletter of theirs about an phone application called "Shopsavvy", viewable at

Called an "Android" app, Shopsavvy allows you to scan almost any barcode using your phone camera, then it searches over 20,000 online and local retailers to find the best price. Based on the Linux operating system, Android apps are an open mobile phone platform developed by Google and, later, by the Open Handset Alliance. Anyone can download an Android software development kit from Google and write an application for Android.

Once Shopsavvy has found the best deal, you can either purchase online, or use your phone’s built-in Google Maps feature to find your way to the bricks and mortar shop.

Launched in the US, UK, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic, Shopshavvy won the 2008 Google Android Developers contest.

Roll over PriceSpy; I think you have been superseded by something MUCH bigger!

View the original article at

Creating a PowerPoint Pop-up

Sometimes in PowerPoint you want to hide info on a slide, then display it - if you need it - as a pop-up. To do this, you need two things:

  1. A trigger is an object that executes an action or animation when clicked. This technique requires a graphic for you to click. If you’re lucky, your slide will have an appropriate graphic to use as a trigger. If not, you can create one by inserting and then hiding an AutoShape.
  2. A callout is a quotation in a larger font (on the same page), to highlight a key point or topic - and in PowerPoint they are speech bubble - callout - AutoShapes. This tip uses the callout AutoShape for the popup window (NB: you could use any shape).

By using a trigger and a bit of animation, you can get PowerPoint to display the callout with a mouse click. You can use an existing slide graphic to trigger the callout. How to use the trigger and the callout:

  • In Normal view, with the slide you want the pop-up on screen, choose Basic Shapes from the AutoShapes icon on the Drawing toolbar.
  • Select and insert a square shape as your trigger. How big you make square is depends on how much of an area you want to cover. The advantage to using this additional square as the trigger is that you control the size of trigger area (callouts themselves are small and can be hard to click on during a presentation).
  • Then select Callouts from the AutoShapes icon on the Drawing toolbar, selecting and inserting your chosen callout shape, and insert it inside your square. Enter your required text.
  • To animate your callout:
    1. Right-click your callout and choose Custom Animation from the pop-up menu.
    2. The Custom Animation sidebar pane will open.
      • Click the Add Effects button and select Entrance | More Effects
      • Select (under Subtle at the bottom) Faded Zoom
      • Click OK. PowerPoint will add your animated callout to the effects list.
      • To set the trigger, click on the drop-down arrow at the end of your new "Faded Zoom" effect (in the effects list) and select Timing drop-down list.
      • In the Faded Zoom dialog box, click Triggers.
      • Click the 'Start Effect On Click Of' option and then select from the drop-down list your square that - when clicked - will display your callout. Your square is probably called something like 'rectangle 4'
      • Click OK
    3. To hide your square:
    • Right-click your Trigger square double-click it, or right mouse click it & select Format AutoShape from the pop-up menu
    • in the Fill section, move the Transparency slider to 100%
    • In the Line section, click the Color drop-down list and select "No Line"
    • Click OK
  • Save your presentation
  • To preview the slide, click the F5 key
  • Click your hidden square to display your callout.
  • To go to your next slide, click anywhere other than your trigger square.

You may not need a trigger graphic - you could use an existing graphic or even the callout itself (if it is big enough). Experiment with the shapes and timing once you’re comfortable with the technique to get the most efficient and effective results. You might want to add an exit animation as well. That way you can hide the callout if you want to continue to view the slide without the callout.

Thanks to TechRepublic for the original tip which can be found at

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:

  • CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility. Operating a business in a manner that meets or exceeds the ethical, legal, commercial and public expectations that society has of business, usually measured using one of two accounting methodologies; Triple Bottom Line or Balanced Scorecard.
  • TBL, Triple Bottom Line [Reporting]. Measuring organisational (and societal) success using economic, environmental and social factors. In 2007 the UN ratified TBL as the standard for urban and community accounting, so TBL became the main public sector management accounting method.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys

Over the next few newsletters, we are looking at all the things you can do with Alt, Shift, Ctrl in Windows Media Player. This is our fifth section in this series:

  • Windows Media Player "Open a file on the Skin shortcut menu or the File menu" Ctrl & O
  • Windows Media Player "Open or play a file in the Anchor window" Ctrl & O
  • Windows Media Player "Play or pause a file" Ctrl & P Windows Media Player "Stop playback" Ctrl & S
  • Windows Media Player "Rewind (not available for all files)" Ctrl & Shift & B
  • Windows Media Player "Turn captions and subtitles on or off" Ctrl & Shift & C
  • Windows Media Player "Fast-forward (not available for all files)" Ctrl & Shift & F
  • Windows Media Player "Play faster than normal speed (time compression)" Ctrl & Shift & G
  • Windows Media Player "Autohide the menu bar in full mode" Ctrl & Shift & M
  • Windows Media Player "Play at normal speed" Ctrl & Shift & N
  • Windows Media Player "Play slower than normal speed (time expansion)" Ctrl & Shift & S

Hot Linx

If you are a Contact Energy customer, calculate your carbon footprint with their calculator at

There is a new marketing tool in town - the facebook fan page. Learn about it at and create one at

If you like wine, go & check out the results of Liquorland's Top 100 wine competition for 2009, which have been posted on their website at

If you have seen all those ads for losing ten tons of fat in three minutes and wanted a bit of a laugh, head over to Crabby McSlacker's blog site at to find out all about it.

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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