Friday, 4 February 2011

Newsletter Issue 196, February 2011

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 196, February 2011
Hi guys,
The economic outlook for Nelson - Employment Likely Static for 2011. Read on below.
We take a quick look at some tips for preparing easy-to-absorb PowerPoint Slides
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.

Nelson - Employment Likely Static for 2011

Te Tau Ihu (Nelson/Tasman/Marlborough) and West Coast has a low unemployment rate at 3.9% (DoL, 2010). Many of the fully unemployed in the region are on the West Coast, with seasonally unemployed evenly spread through Te Tau Ihu.
Employees in Nelson/Tasman (DoL, 2010) predominantly consist of 13% agriculture, forestry and fishing, 13% social and healthcare workers, 12% manufacturing, 12% retailers and 8% hospitality. Compare this to Auckland, where the top five employee groups are 12% manufacturing, 10% retail, 10% scientists, 10% social and healthcare and 9% educators; quite a different mix.
Nelson’s key employment market of agriculture, forestry and fishing drives the region. Nelson does not have the research depth that Auckland does, but the steeper retirement bulge in Nelson requires more elder-care. Auckland’s tourism sector is of less economic importance than it is in Nelson.
Whereas New Zealand’s Maori population is 14%, European 70% and other 16%, Nelson’s population mix consists of 8%, 89% and 3% (Statistics NZ, 2006) – far more mono-cultural than the rest of the country. Nelson has an eight Iwi constituency, which co-exist relatively quietly via two main communal Marae. There is very little Pacific Island presence in Nelson. There are a number of international students – largely Chinese and Indian – who study in Nelson at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and PTEs , some of whom stay, post-graduation.
The Department of Labour feels that our labour market is continuing to soften (DoL, 2010). So, with an eye to enhancing my understanding of our region’s workforce, I asked some employers their views about the New Zealand labour market, technology change and work.
The employers’ collective views on our New Zealand labour market were that it was definitely below average, but the impact was felt least in manufacturing and most in tourism. In the latter, it was difficult to obtain skilled seasonal staff. The professions had noticed a broad-scale redundancy trend, but felt in some industries it was now reversing.
This theme of views continued with technology; which was most positively embraced in manufacturing and least in tourism, with the professions seeing both ends of the spectrum. Technology-wise New Zealand’s manufacturing industries are turning more and more to computerisation, automation and mechanisation to drive down operational cost, allow 24 hour processing and to remove duplication, error, labour cost, risk and insurance levies. However, this cost-reduction model is also being embraced in accounting with a number of firms off-shoring processing to India. Tourism operators are unable to take advantage of a cheaper cost model, and so was being increasingly squeezed by customer demand for reduced cost, and increased demand for higher employee remuneration.
NZIER's (2010) predictions for NZ’s coming quarter is bleak, with an economic recovery reversal until mid-2011. All respondents saw the national economy as flat in the short-term. With regard to Nelson, the professions saw Nelson as recovering more quickly than many other regions because of the diversity of activity, while manufacturing and tourism felt it would be at least another year before recovery commenced.

Tips for PowerPoint Slides

If you need to do a presentation, and need to convey quite a bit of data or theory, most people tend to use PowerPoint.
PowerPoint has been much maligned, but if it is prepared well, with plenty of thought, breaks and activities, it works very well to meet a range of learning needs. Well-structured slides are particularly good at helping visual learners stay on track, while your narrative will engage auditory learners. Give kinaesthetic learners something to do - like write notes on the handouts, structured activities, asking questions, case studies - during the presentation.
However, a well-prepared narrative that engages the learners through story-telling must be your main focus. It is not enough to talk at people, or to read from verbatim from the slides. Your slides are the garnish, not the main dish. They only need to indicate where your story will lead next - to key the learners in and emphasise the key points of what you are going to say.
Preparing slides which can be read quickly so the audience can get back to what you are saying is ideal. You want them distracted for less than a minute - and it takes approximately 8 seconds to read 40 words. 20 words is better than 40 - you have only lost your audience for 4 seconds then. Images are even better than that (providing they are relevant to your story).
Wearing one of my business hats, I am a lecturer in Management. I have found my students absorb lectures best if I prepare slides which:
  1. Have less than 40 words per slide
  2. Use non-serifed body fonts between 24-28pt
  3. Use dark fonts / light, unfussy backgrounds
  4. Have a clear SHORT heading & lead-in
  5. Avoid animations
  6. Use only exactly RELEVANT images
  7. Avoid text over any images
  8. Have six or fewer points per slide (three or four is best for recall)
  9. \Outline | Deliver | Summarise "tell 'em what I am going to tell 'em; then tell 'em; then tell 'em what I told 'em".
  10. Use the notes function for my script, as my aide memoire, print it & take it with me when I speak, along with whiteboard markers, in case of technology failure :-)

Excel Name Formula Tip

To find a first name, last name and middle initial in Excel, construct the formula:
 =MID(A2,FIND(" ",A2)+1,IFERROR(FIND(" ",A2,FIND(" ",A2)+1)-FIND(" ",A2)-1,0))

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:
  • IATA, International Air Transport Association. Global representative of 230 airlines, which makes up around 93% of scheduled international air traffic. These are the guys who come up with those fabulous 3 letter codes for your airport - eg LAX, LHR and AKL...

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 going to look at all you can do with Function keys. This time it is F3:
  • Excel "Create names from row and column labels" Ctrl & Shift & F3
  • Excel "Define a name" Ctrl & F3
  • Excel "Paste a defined name into a formula" F3
  • Excel "Paste a function into a formula" Shift & F3
  • Outlook, PowerPoint, Word "Change the case of selected letters" Shift & F3
  • Outlook, Publisher, Windows Explorer, Windows "Find" F3
  • Windows Media Player "Search specified locations for digital media files" F3
  • Word "Insert an AutoText entry" F3 or Alt & F3
  • Word "Cope and remove selected text to the Spike" Ctrl & F3
  • Word "Paste the Spike contents into a selected area" Ctrl & Shift & F3

Hot Linx
If you needed any more proof about how wasteful we are as a species on this third rock hurtling around our sun, check out Check out some of the categories & see some of the older posts clustered together.
Like a trip down memory lane? Then check out Google's Doodle archive at Have a browse through and be surprised how many you remember in the past twelve years :-)
And yet another summary from Google - check out how Google captured "How the world searched" the web in 2010, via timeline, map or events at

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

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