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Creating Great Content
 

Creating Great Content

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In an increasingly networked world, digital content is king. Without mastering the skills and techniques for creating compelling digital content, spreading your ideas is expensive and difficult. By ...

In an increasingly networked world, digital content is king. Without mastering the skills and techniques for creating compelling digital content, spreading your ideas is expensive and difficult. By pumping up your “right brain,” you will be creating inexpensive, remarkable content that spreads itself (and makes you look good). Viewers will learn techniques and principals for becoming a visual designer, storyteller, and digital citizen, which are the hallmarks of great content creators.

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  • Information overload. We all feel it, right? Clay Shirky is a teacher, author, and thought leader on the Internet and social media. He did a presentation in 2008 in which he said we love information overload because it allows us to say “This is why I’m not getting anything done, I’m suffering from information overload! And for fifteen years we’ve been reading the same story about information overload. But if it’s been the same story for fifteen years… then why is it still such a big surprise? It’s because …thinking about information overload isn’t actually describing the problem, and thinking about filter failure is.” Because when you think about it, information overload is nothing new. It didn’t take very long after the invention of the printing press until there were more books in a library than anyone could read in a lifetime.So really what we need to do is to find ways of creating filters for all of this information and so far it’s been difficult. But there’s a new sheriff in town, and that sheriff’s name is social media. Increasingly, we are relying on online, peer networks to vet information, share news and stories, and endorse people, products, and ideas. It boils down to the difference between relying on Google’s algorithm or your own circle of friends and colleagues.As the influence of these social networks grows, digital content is the fuel that spreads ideas.
  • As ISA leaders, you are all in the business of spreading ideas. Whether it’s the value of a new training course, the relevance of a particular standard, or the benefits of being an ISA member, more and more of your communication will be done digitally.
  • In the past, there has been a tradeoff between cost and quality and/or volume. It cost money to hire professional designers with the tools and experience to layout high quality brochures, journals, or magazines. Today, there are some inexpensive tools that allow you to do this yourself, but printing in high volume is still expensive and a bit labor intensive.But the other problem with the “do it yourself” approach is that it’s a little bit like putting a teenager behind the wheel of a car for the first time and expecting them to navigate traffic in Manhattan during rush hour. Without some training and a little bit of experience, they are probably going to crash. We engineers and scientists are particularly challenged because we are predominately left-brained thinkers by nature, training, and job description. We are analytical, detail-oriented, serial thinkers and we’re darn proud of it! It’s a great skill set for problem solving, but they aren’t particularly well suited for creating remarkable content.
  • So what is remarkable content? It’s an email that with a subject line that is compelling and content that gets its point across succinctly, maybe even entertainingly. It’s a presentation that not only keeps people awake, but inspires. It’s a white paper that feels more like you’re reading a Stephen King novel than the phone book. It’s a blog post that poses a simple question and ends up starting a movement.
  • A superior product with poor marketing is a Betamax.
  • An mediocre product with a great message is a Shamwow.
  • And a great product with a great message is an iPod.Compelling content takes a good idea and makes it great, and it takes a great idea and puts a dent in the universe. Remarkable means something that is worth taking notice – worth talking about. Remarkable content spreads itself and takes your ideas along for the ride. It makes it possible for people to fully appreciate you, your Section, Division, Department or District.
  • I mentioned earlier that engineers and scientists are particularly challenged because of their left brain tendencies. The left hemisphere of our brains processes information sequentially and analyzes the pieces individually (and mostly verbally) in order to assemble a complete picture. Conversely, the right hemisphere works in more of a big picture mode, taking in the whole picture (mostly visually). The left side is about details, while the right side is about meaning.It’s the right hemisphere that subconsciously fits the pieces together that are usually classified as “aha” moments. Because we are in the very early stages of understanding how these brain processes work, we tend to believe that innovation and creativity are gifts from muses or just say the people that experience them are “gifted.”The truth is that there are tools and techniques that will enhance your creativity and lead you on a path to creating remarkable content. In this presentation I’m going to share three secrets that will pump up your right brain.
  • The first secret is, “Learn to become a visual designer.” Visual design is critical to creating great content. It’s important not only because it makes the content more aesthetically pleasing, but because it improves the learning experience. Let’s parse these words out and examine them individually.First word, “visual.” The amount of brain mass dedicated to processing visual information dwarfs that of any other single function, which leads to something called the picture superiority effect. Research has shown that people will retain about 10% of the information presented orally after 72 hours. However, add a picture to the exact same content and that number goes up to 65%. Isn’t that incredible? So why don’t most of us harness this power? Nancy Duarte is the principal for one of the largest design firms in silicon valley, and she says that “Unfortunately, most people never make the jump from verbal expression – which is what we were all taught in school – to effective visual expression, which is neither easy nor natural.”Second word – “design.” This term is often misunderstood – especially when paired with the word visual. Museum curator Paola Antonelli describes design as “a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty to produce something that the world did not know it was missing.”Let’s look at three techniques that will get you started as a visual designer.
  • The first step in good visual design is using restraint and simplicity to create impact.
  • Creating simple visuals is not the same thing as creating “simplistic” visuals. Sometimes this is interpreted as “dumbing down” but as Da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” By simplifying your visuals, you allow your main point to take center stage as a soliloquy instead of a chorus line.Many amateurs confuse design with decoration. It’s an easy mistake to make when word processors and presentation software give us hundreds of fonts and clip art images to use in concert with millions of color variations. If they took the time to create all this stuff, it seems a shame not use it, right? Wrong! This can be summarized by the famous quote, “The designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • I like to think of restraint as “forced simplicity through the application of constraints.” Does your graph really need data labels, a header, a footer, a legend, axis labels, and a background image? Is all of the extra stuff adding to your message or distracting from it? Is your chart really more effective by making it 3D?
  • As engineers we like to be thorough and so sometimes it’s difficult for us to restrain ourselves. But it’s more effective to include only enough detail to make our point and if you’re in doubt, throw it in an appendix or handout.
  • Filling up empty space is the greatest sin we amateurs commit and it’s by far the easiest to correct. It’s similar to the design tools we talked about earlier – we feel the need to cover all of the empty space with content. But I like to think of it the other way around – I imagine that all of the space on a page or a slide is Tokyo rental space. If you’re going to rent it, you better be sure you’re going to get great value for it!If your design doesn’t have room for white space, it generally means you’re trying to fit too much and should consider breaking it into pieces. Clutter is a failure of design.
  • We’ve seen how important it is to simplify and restrain the elements we include in our visual designs. Now it’s time to learn how to best utilize those elements we decide to keep.
  • Ironically enough, this acronym is the secret to avoid creating “crap.” It was developed by Robin Williams (not the comedian) and are covered in her book “The Non-Designer’s Design Book.” These letters represent contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity.
  • Contrast is an interesting subject to me because it has the dual ability for both good and evil from a design perspective. The danger of contrast is that small differences between similar items on a page actually trigger a stress response. And the fascinating thing about that are the evolutionary effects of living in a dangerous environment. Think about walking around an African savannah for a moment. Seeing a lion a thousand yards away in the middle of a field might be off-putting but it’s no cause for panic. It’s very easy to assess the danger level due to the lack of ambiguity. On the other hand, a slight rustling of a bush or modest color differential a few feet away could indicate the presence of a saber toothed tiger, which is cause for great alarm.When it comes to contrast, it’s a matter of go big or go home. Significant differences is size, shape, orientation, or color are effective ways to convey differences, organize sections, and create interest.
  • Repetition is a principal that involves using same visual element over and over throughout your content. This element can be a font, an icon, a spatial relationship, etc… Another word for repetition is consistency. But much like contrast, it’s most effective when we deliberately “kick it up a notch.”
  • Use alignment to establish relationships between design elements, rather than haphazardly dropping things onto a page where ever there is space. If you are consistent with alignment throughout a piece, then you can combine it with contrast as a double-whammy by changing it up to call attention to something important. The point is to make a deliberate, conscious decision every time you place something on a page or slide.In this slide, for example, just the simple act of changing the alignment of the text clearly joins it to the image. When the text is left justified, it almost feels like the text and the image are repelling one another – like recess in first grade with boys on one side of the school yard and girls on another.
  • Proximity means spatially group together items that are related and separating items that are not related. It makes your content easier to navigate and understand. This slide shows you a bunch of words that have no meaning, but their proximity tells you an awful lot about their relationship to one another. We can see here that there is a title and a subtitle, three main ideas, and a conclusion.In addition to organizing your design, proximity can also provide meaning by establishing relationships like equality (or inequality), imminence (or distance), cooperation (or obstruction), and so on…
  • The secret weapon of visual arts is the rule of thirds, which can help you make decisions about alignment and proximity. The rule of thirds states that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. This is a screen shot of how I set up my PowerPoint grid so that the thirds are always there to help me layout the screen. It has completely transformed the way I place objects on the screen.
  • The third aspect of understanding visual design is color. As someone with slight color blindness, this has always been a struggle for me. But just grasping a few of the basics makes a huge difference.
  • The first topic in the discussion of color is learning how to use the color wheel. The color wheel was discovered by Sir Isaac Newton and combines hues, tints and shades. The hues are the pie slices that represent different colors. Tints comprise the inner half of the circle and are created by adding white to a hue, while shades make up the outer half of the circle and are created by adding black to a hue.In computer applications, colors are generally represented by their individual Red, Green, and Blue components, or RGB. Many graphics programs have color pickers available that you can use to extract individual colors and create exact matches based on these numbers. And you can also translate them into hex format, which are used in web pages.
  • The colors you’re going to use for particular content are based on several factors including medium, personality, and emotion.The medium dictates where and how the content will be consumed. If it’s a presentation, will it be projected? If so, will it be dark or lit? If it’s a document, will it be read on a computer screen or printed? If printed, will it be black and white or color? Take these factors into account when deciding on a color scheme.Colors can reflect personality, too. Blacks and charcoals are commonly associated with corporate themes, green with environmental, and so on.Finally, colors can also elicit emotion, as shown here.
  • Kuler is a phenomenal, free tool from Adobe that helps you create your own color schemes and pallets. You can upload an image and allow it to extract a color scheme or begin with a single color and create a theme based on six rules; analogous, monochromatic, triad, complementary, compound, and shade. It’s a really powerful tool that can deliver professional results easily and free.It’s available at kuler.adobe.com.
  • Those are some of the essential elements of good visual design. There’s lots more I could have covered but I think those are lowest hanging fruit and biggest bang for the buck.Now we switch gears from images to the written word. And let’s face it… most of the writing that we ISA leaders do is relatively dry, some would say “boring” non-fiction writing. I mean, who in this audience would be pumped up and excited to listen to a presentation titled “Disaster Recovery and Emergency Response Planning?” OK, what if the title were “To Hell and Back in Five Days: Lessons in disaster recovery and emergency response planning?” How many people are at least curious and would take one extra step or make one extra mouse click to find out more?But you can use storytelling techniques for all writing, including non-fiction. And the truth is that you can make boring stuff interesting and – who knows? – maybe even entertaining. I’m going to show you three ways you can do that.
  • The first technique you can use to engage readers is leveraging conflict. The concepts I’m going to cover in this section come from a book called “Story” by Robert McKee, who’s seminars on screen writing are attended by writers like Stephen Pressfield, actors like Kirk Douglas, and directors like Joel Shumacher. McKee says that a good story is “something worth telling that the world wants to hear.” But he warns that “Literary talent is not enough. If you cannot tell a story, all those beautiful images and subtleties of dialog that you spent months and months perfecting waste the paper they’re written on.”Now, it’s doubtful that any of us will ever write a Hollywood screenplay, but it is amazing how applicable these techniques can be to non-fiction writing. And the results can be remarkable. So let’s dig in.
  • The secret sauce of great storytelling is conflict. If you remember one word from this section of the presentation, I hope it’s this one. As humans, our brains learn from actions and consequences, and conflict is always in the middle. We have a need, a desire, a lust to find out what happens. How does the story end?All conflict begins with what McKee calls the “Inciting Incident”, which is an event that “radically upsets the balance of forces in the protagonist’s life.” The remainder of the story is a quest to restore that balance and that can only be accomplished through conflict.So far, this sounds a little esoteric so let’s try to apply it to our real life example of disaster recovery. Here’s the inciting incident: “Between February 7th and March 14th, 2009, more than 400 bush fires across the state of Victoria, Australia scorched over a million acres of land. Goulburn Valley Water (GVW) had one of its control rooms completely incinerated. With only five days worth of water stored, an emergency response plan to rebuild the control room and recommission the plant went into action.”
  • Once the inciting incident is established, it’s time to move the story along by creating “acts.” I’ve developed a template based on his techniques that I’ve actually turned into a worksheet that is proving to be very effective for crafting book chapters and blog posts. I think if Mr. McKee ever saw it he would either think it was a clever adaptation of his teachings or else lose his lunch – I’m not sure which.In a nutshell, the template begins with an inciting incident, then contains a series of action/reaction complications centered around a controlling idea that inevitably reach a climax, at which point the closing value of the story (relative to the opening value) is revealed.Now I could spend at least forty five minutes on that one sentence, but since I obviously can’t I’ll use another example. And just in case some of you think I was cheating by using something as dramatic as a bush fire, this time I’ll use a chapter from my upcoming book (sorry for the shameless plug) – Content is King.Remember that all stories are character driven. Your challenge is to identify the conflict in your story and personalize it for your reader by attaching it to an emotion. The frustration of knowing a PID loop can perform better. The accomplishment of implementing an industrial standard. The friendships that are formed at ISA meetings. When you have a story, tell it. When you don’t a story, write it.
  • Another classic storytelling technique is “show, don’t tell.” It’s something that journalists learn and writers are taught, and McKee addresses this by saying that “Master storytellers never explain. They do the hard, painfully creative thing – they dramatize.” So whenever possible, let pictures, charts, and graphs do the explaining for you. For example, I could describe the effect of the bush fires using these couple of sentences. It’s accurate, but would it be more effective if I simply said, “The effects of the bush fires were felt far beyond affected areas?”
  • Leveraging conflict is helpful in building the foundation and exterior of a story. Now we’re going to revisit some of the same principals we discussed with visual design and see how they can also apply to writing. These will form the interior walls of our story.
  • Robert Frost said that writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, for it’s the self-imposed, indeed artificial demands of poetic convention that stir the imagination. And then there’s the more “folksy” version by Mark Twain who said “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter so I wrote you a long one instead.”Twitter and presentation abstracts are both examples of constraints that force us to choose our words carefully. In the case of Twitter, where messages are limited to 140 characters, every letter and punctuation mark is valuable and a word is worth its weight in gold. I’ve really started to become aware of my own wordiness by crafting messages that can fit in a Twitter update.This is a screen shot of a message I sent a few days ago. I’m showing it here because I remember that it took me four or five tries to get my message to fit in those 140 characters.
  • Francis Flaherty is a New York Times editor and author of a fantastic book called “The Elements of Story: Field Notes on Nonfiction Writing.” He says that, “The writer who indulges in fancy-pants prose sometimes has too large an ego, and sometimes too small.” He calls this the Snoots.Simpler, fewer, less abstract words are easier to understand and less fatiguing. Remember, Flaherty says, “A story should never be as heavy as a fruitcake. Every word you write, the reader must read.”
  • Flaherty advises us that “White is whitest on black. Let contrast work for you.” As we read, our brains create visual representations and so the same rules of contrast apply in writing. Springing the unexpected is the most powerful tool you can wield as a writer. Neurological research shows that while dopamine neurons get excited by predictable rewards, they go bonkers for unexpected rewards. If you want to be interesting, be surprising.
  • With the foundation poured and exterior and interior walls built for our story, now it’s time for the finish carpentry. Making certain stylistic choices and carefully selecting words can go a long way toward making your content remarkable.
  • As an engineer, I was horribly guilty of this and I have to say, most engineering and scientific stuff I read is much the same. It goes back to left brain thinking, which processes information sequentially, one detail after another. We feel the need to provide information in a linear, start to finish, beginning to end fashion where each fact or detail logically builds on its predecessor. There are two problems with this approach. One, it’s boring! Two, the reader may not last long enough to get to the good stuff because you haven’t given them a reason to be interested.But now we can use some of the tools we’ve learned about to build that interest right at the beginning. We know that we can find the inciting incident for our story and make an emotional connection with the reader that makes them want to find out how the story ends. Ask a question. Introduce a conflict. Promise a transformative experience. If you don’t grab their attention up front, they may never make it past the first couple of paragraphs.
  • Symbols and metaphors are writer’s turbo charger. They are the fulcrum that allows a few words to lift a boulder of ideas. See what I did right there? That’s a metaphor and symbol in one sentence. They’re not just shortcuts – they are important learning tools that use the familiar to explain the unfamiliar.As Flaherty says, “Symbols are powerful, so use them. Symbols are powerful, so use them carefully.”Here’s an example of a slide from one of my other presentations where I talk about web content management systems. I used to have a screen shot of one with a bunch of bullets that listed all of their features. I replaced it with this simple analogy and I think it is far superior because the audience needs to do much less work to understand.
  • Titles and headings are the bane of engineers and scientists. We’re too logical for our own good. We think that the purpose of a title is to describe the content. In fact, the purpose of a title is to make a sale. You need to convince the reader that the time they are about to invest will be worth it. When I write a blog post, I spend about equal time writing the body the article, finding the appropriate graphics to go with the story, and crafting a title. I only spend a third of my time actually writing the content.I want to wrap up this section on story telling by telling a story that I think encapsulates the difference between writing to answer a question and writing to tell a story. I was watching a movie named “Let’s Get Lost,” which is a black and white, independent film about jazz trumpeter Chet Baker. He came from an artistic, musically inclined family and at one point in the movie he was looking through the baby book his mother had crafted. In this book was the hospital form his mother filled out after his birth. On it, she wrote “dark brown” for his hair color and for eye color she wrote “steel blue.” My immediate thought when I saw that was, most engineers would have just answered the question, but an artist never misses an opportunity to tell a story.
  • OK, I’ve explained the value of visual design and some techniques for becoming more proficient in that medium. I’ve also talked about the power of using storytelling in your writing, even for dry, nonfiction topics.Now it’s time to put that all together and become a digital citizen, not a digital denizen. I’ve got three tactics I’ll show you to earn your citizenship.“Geek cred” is the first step to becoming a digital citizen. You need to learn the rules of society like, when, where and how to pay your taxes, find yourself a community, build a home and then make it your own.
  • The first thing a society wants to know before you can be given citizenship is where you’re going to live. I am absolutely adamant the every individual person should own their own domain name and host their own web site and email. Money is not an issue – costs less than two dollars a week. And you don’t need to be a computer scientist to do this either. The tools and interfaces for managing all of this stuff are getting easier and easier to use. Anyone can figure it out.Make sure you own your home as a digital citizen, otherwise you’re essentially squatting in a vacant lot that you don’t own and could get kicked out of on a moment’s notice.
  • The problem with WYSIWYG editors is that more often than not, what you see is what you get but it ain’t what you want! It’s frustrating moments like this that make just a little bit of basic HTML and CSS knowledge a godsend. It will save you countless hours of frustration and, depending upon your particular temper, a smashed peripheral here or there.The other advantage this has is in interacting online. When you’re entering comments on blogs or filling out online profiles, you’re at a relative advantage if you know how to embed a link, add some text formatting or reference an image.
  • This is another tactic that you can file under the “low hanging fruit” category and it involves learning two different skills. The first is to understand the most prominent file formats like GIF, JPG, and PNG – what the differences are and when is type is most appropriate.The other is to get a decent image manipulation program and learn how to properly resize, crop, and touch up digital images. Every day I see images posted online and used in newsletters or web sites that cut off because they’re not properly cropped, or pixelized because they weren’t properly sized or distorted because their dimensions were wrong. A good digital citizen doesn’t make these gaffs.
  • Once you establish residency and learn the rules, the next step is to establish a reputation and build a legacy. This is known as personal branding, which is a term that some people feel is a little overused these days, but I do think it’s important today and will be critical tomorrow. So let’s take a look at what this means and how you can make it happen.
  • Guy Kawasaki was the original Brand Evangelist for Apple back in the 80’s and now he’s an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Kawasaki hates mission statements. He believes they are a complete waste of time – even when a company comes up with one you can understand. Instead, he favors a mantra, which is simply three or four words that uncover the essence of what a company does or what it stands for. Kawasaki says the reason matras are better are because they are more meaningful and more memorable. This makes it possible to use the concept of the commander’s intent. The idea is that each commander, company, and soldier has a clear understanding not only of the plan, but the intent of the plan.  While plans may fail due to any number of reasons, the soldiers are able to adapt, improvise, overcome and complete their mission if they understand the commander’s intent.Establishing a mantra gives you a touchstone for the content you create so that your branding is clear and unambiguous.
  • Establishing an identity means selecting an appropriate avatar, short bio, long bio, and web site that can included in all of your social media profiles and activities. It’s like establishing logo guidelines for your personal brand.
  • As an engineer, I just couldn’t resist coining my own acronym, so here it is: BARE. This represents an online strategy that I advocate and stands for “Be Authentic, Relentless, and Everywhere.”Authentic means two things. First, it means use a channel according to its customs and social norms. Twitter has a different set of social norms than Facebook which has a different set of social norms than LinkedIn. Second, it means don’t try to game the system. Establish your relationships organically.Relentless means being consistent and not giving up. It does not mean spending four hours a day Tweeting or checking Facebook. It means establishing a realistic and sustainable schedule that works for you and then sticking to it.Everywhere means spreading your content and reputation on as many sites as possible. Got a new presentation? Upload it to slide share. Tweet it to your followers. Post a link on Facebook. Share it on your LinkedIn profile. Embed it in your blog.
  • So if this is a presentation about creating great content, why did we just take a short detour to talk about social media? Well the first reason is that social networks are vital tools in establishing credibility and spreading ideas in the Age of Content. But the second reason is that they themselves can become valuable tools in helping you become more innovative and creative.
  • I am not referring to the adjective “intelligent” but the noun.  For me, intelligence is the oxygen that fuels my content generation and there’s scientific evidence to support this approach. Our brains use something called working memory, which is like an assembly area for ideas. The prefrontal cortex is the Linda Richman of the brain: “Talk amongst yourselves… I’ll give you a topic.” And then working memory grabs a bunch of information and starts mixing it together until something new emerges that makes sense. New ideas are simply several old thoughts that occur at the exact same time. In order for this to happen, those old thoughts need to be stored in a shoe box somewhere in our brains so we can use them later.These are my intelligence gathering tools: books, RSS feeds (I have 228), and Twitter, which is a tremendous source for peer-recommended news and information.
  • Now that you’re collecting ideas, you also need to collect raw material, which usually means pictures and/or video. My BlackBerry smartphone is a tremendous collection device because it has a serviceable camera and video recorder built into it. I also use a great screen capture tool called Snagit that is much better than using the standard Windows print screen.The critical point here is to Always Be Collecting. Get yourself into a habit of recording interesting ideas the second they occur. For that purpose I have two tools that I make sure are always with me – my blogging ideas notebook and my phone. If I don’t have the notebook right by my side, I make sure to record a quick voice note to make sure I don’t lose the idea.There are two critical things to remember here. First, it takes a minimum of 21 days to form a new habit, so you need to help yourself during that period by leaving yourself notes or adding guides to your calendar. Second, don’t give a single thought to quality – this is all about quantity. After nearly a year of doing this, I’ve amassed a lot of ideas and information. As I review it, more than half is absolute junk that I doubt I’ll ever use. But there are lots of times where I read an idea that I jotted down six months ago and think, “I came up with that? That was brilliant!”
  • One last secret for creating great content is to crowd-source your creativity. Post questions on LinkedIn. Ask for stories on Facebook. Have conversations on Twitter. There is an incredible amount of wisdom and generosity out there in social media. Every single one of you can use it to enrich your hobbies, your career, your Section, your Department, and your District. If we all learn to create more compelling content, ISA will be stronger for it and we make the world a better place.
  • I want to leave you with a simple message from Seth Godin: be remakrable.He says “Boring is invisible.  Remarkable products and remarkable people get talked about.  How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?”

Creating Great Content Creating Great Content Presentation Transcript

  • Design simple (not simplistic) visuals instead of applying decoration
  • Left-Brained Professionals Computers & Mathematical 3.45 Engineers & Technicians 2.32 Social Scientists 0.52 Science Technicians 0.27 Life Scientists 0.26 Millions Employed Physical Scientists 0.25 Postsecondary Teachers 0.22 Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009