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Creativity can be Sparked on the Clock

Nov23

Originally printed in The Appleton Post Crescent, November 23, 2014.

One notion you will never convince me of is that you are not a creative person. I’m not buying it.

Think of all the tasks you accomplish in a typical day. Do you think those might require some creative thinking? From jimmy-rigging the side mirror to your car with tape and a shoestring to scratching your back with a rake or even using the leftovers in your fridge to make a delicious soup, it all takes creativity. Admit it, you have had moments of sheer genius.

With that being said, I understand the office may not be the most conducive place for you to come up with your best ideas.

To help you overcome this challenge, here is some advice on how to keep the great ideas flowing while you are on the clock:

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Marketing Tips for Non-Profits

Apr13

Originally printed in The Appleton Post Crescent, April 13, 2014.

Marketing professionals are often approached by non-profit organizations seeking pro-bono creative and promotional services. Most of us understand that non-profits are strapped for time and resources, and we appreciate the hard work these organizations do for the greater good.

In order to provide some general marketing assistance to all non-profits, here are some tips to keep in mind when tackling your organization’s marketing and before reaching out for help:

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Is your business Simply Excellent Online?

Feb03

Originally printed in The Appleton Post Crescent, March 2, 2014.

While having an online presence is critical for any business, it’s malpractice to think that you can simply set it and forget it. Just as your body needs routine check-ups and regular preventive activities (remember exercise?), it’s also important that your company’s website is regularly being looked after and nourished in order to flourish.

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How to Bring More Life To Your Visual Presentation

Feb02

Originally printed in The Appleton Post Crescent, February 2, 2014.

In the first two parts of this series, we covered what not to do as well as how to do better as a public speaker with a visual presentation. Today, with the help of my fellow colleague, designer Judy Dillenburg, we’re looking at how to make your visual presentation have the same professional clout as you.

While the presenters themselves are the essence of a presentation, visuals play an important role too. Here are some tips you can implement to enhance visual appeal.

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How to Make the Most of Your Public Speaking Presentation

Jan26

Originally printed in The Appleton Post Crescent, January 26, 2014.

In my previous article, How to Disengage Your Audience as a Public Speaker, the focus was on what not to do in your public speaking presentation. This time I’ll discuss ways to make your presentation rise above average, so you can impress your audience and hopefully take home some viable business leads at the end of the day.

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How to Disengage Your Audience as a Public Speaker

Jan19

Originally printed in The Appleton Post Crescent, January 19, 2014.

Many small business owners give public presentations as a way to educate consumers while promoting their own services. This is common practice through local chambers of commerce and industry-specific business associations. It’s a great way for these businesses to raise awareness of their companies and to build credibility as a subject matter expert in their field.

I enjoy listening to these keynote speakers and attending breakout sessions. I admit it; I’m a geek for miscellaneous knowledge. Business owners have occasionally asked me to critique both their delivery as well as the visual presentation (ex. PowerPoint) to help them achieve better results – garnering another speaking engagement or being hired by an audience member for paid work.

Below is a quick list of some of the key mistakes to avoid if you’re a presenter. Learn what not to do by reading this list.

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New Year Brings New Product Launch Outlook

Nov30

Originally printed in The Appleton Post Crescent, November 30, 2013.

With the end of the year nearing, it seems almost impossible not to reflect on the year that has almost past. Having spent part of my year in a corporate setting and part of my year at an agency, it’s only natural to reflect on both. One thing I have found is that regardless of the setting, the speed at which new product launches take place is the same. Fast.

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Are You Speaking Your Customers’ Language?

Oct27

Originally printed in The Appleton Post Crescent, October 27, 2013.

I wanted a blouse I saw in a retail catalog a few months ago, but my but my local store didn’t carry it. The salesclerk special-ordered it for me, and told me not to worry – if I didn’t like it, it would just be returned. So I paid for it upfront and went on my merry way.

After I got home, the allure of the special-ordered shirt started to wear off. When I got the voicemail that the blouse had arrived and I had two weeks to pick it up, I inadvertently forgot about it and never followed up – probably because subconsciously I remembered she said it would just be returned if I decided I didn’t want it.

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Don’t Forget Why You Did It, Then Tout It

Sep09

Originally printed in The Appleton Post Crescent, September 9, 2013.

As many of our clients are approaching the end of their fiscal year, annual planning has been a hot topic around the office. For some, planning is a welcome time to get your goals in a row and set benchmarks for next year’s successes, to rally the team, and to redefine your focus for the next twelve months. For others, planning can be a challenge.

No matter what end of the spectrum you fall in, our number one recommendation always starts the same: Focus on what you do best.

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Tools Available to Make Effective Message in Video

Jul29

Originally printed in The Appleton Post Crescent, July 29, 2013.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, than a video should be worth—let’s see, the length of the video times the standard 24 frames per second plus an arbitrary value for added sound—well, let’s just presume a video is worth many, many more.

This may be one reason why two short-format video-sharing apps—Vine and Instagram video—are getting a lot of attention these days, particularly from marketers. Some big brands have represented the apps’ early adopters.

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