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Consulting skills for ITPros - Mar 2013
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Consulting skills for ITPros - Mar 2013


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Soft skills for IT Pros (presenting, mind mapping, etc.)

Soft skills for IT Pros (presenting, mind mapping, etc.)

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  • Our early-bird special (free admission to the SharePoint Excellence gala) expires Friday at midnight but we could extend it to Sunday for any person who registers after your presentation and send me a message at
  • Your career may be positively or negatively affected by the success of your project
  • …and you’ll have to fight hard for the win
  • The valley of despair is a dangerous place, with creatures that have their own agendas ready to ‘eat’ your project
  • A lot of doing this job well comes down to soft skills: - Listening - Honesty - Humour
  • You really can improve your listening skills – search online – there are lots of courses and methods to follow.
  • Brutal honesty (not rudeness, but reality)Tell the truth about the state of your projectPut ‘money’ in the trust bank
  • Humor can be good for relieving tensionDON’T make fun of the client (that leaves you as the target of your humour)
  • But, since you are already there – why not have the focus be on you and your message?
  • The goal is avoid what Gar Reynolds calls “Sliduments” – documents that are created in PowerPoint.If you need to have a detailed ‘leave behind’, create a Word doc with the details.
  • Slides with lots of ‘build’ steps almost invariably mess you up.
  • Make sure the presentation is pitched at the right level – you don’t want to leave your audience confused
  • Your presentations need to find the right balance of informative and entertaining.Just entertaining = low valueJust informative = low engagement
  • You want your audience to be engaged with your content, listening to what you are saying and not trying to read all the words on the screen
  • Avoid having people spend the whole sessions scribbling by letting them know that you have tons of detail in the speakers’ notes, and that you will be sending them a copy of the presentation, or making it available for them for download.
  • Cheesy clip-art is NOT appropriate for business presentations (or anyone older than middle-school!)Stretching low-resolution images to fit just looks really BADDon’t steal copyright images (you can download great images from, and you can buy them from shutterstock, dreamstime, depositphotos and others)Crazy animation is really not necessary – it’s distracting, I use it RARELY. I do use ‘fade’ transitions between slides, just to soften the switch.
  • Just picking images is not good enough… you have to find the right image that supports the message, not distracts from it.
  • If you have three main stakeholders, and they have different mental models for what success looks like, then you have zero chance of real success. Only when you have shared commitment to the same goal, do you have any chance at success.
  • Our project is to build a bridge… so here’s a bridge
  • But so is this,
  • Or this…
  • Even this is a bridge
  • Our stakeholders are excited about this project!We’ve agreed that we need a bridge!But, if one person pictures a giant steel roadway bridge, others a covered bridge and one simple stepping stones… then…
  • Our odds of success are low – in-fact, I’d say zero
  • This is the most important message of this talk: You MUST achieve a shared understanding to have a chance at success.
  • Mind mapping – wireframing – process flow diagramming
  • There are two types of problems: Tame & Wicked.Landing a person on the moon is Tame (but really, really complex)Solving poverty is wickedYou don’t understand the problem until you’ve developed the solutionYou don’t really know when you’ve accomplished the goalSolutions are not right or wrong, they are just better or worseEvery wicked problem is uniqueEvery solution is a one-shot operationYou are dealing with social complexity
  • All the mapping that I’ve shown so far, uses facilitation and a shared display.The new thing is IBIS: Issue Based Information System
  • IBIS grammar has only four elements: Question, Idea, Pro, and ConIdeas respond to questions (and ONLY questions)Pro’s support ideas (and ONLY ideas)Con’s challenge ideas (and ONLY ideas)Questions can respond to anything
  • Transcript

    • 1. Consulting Skills for IT Pros Ruven Gotz
    • 2. Intro - Animated @ruveng Toronto London, UK Johannesburg, SA Sydney, AU ruveng.gotz@avanade.comRuven Gotz
    • 3. Canada’s biggest commercial SharePoint conference
    • 4. This presentation is excerpted from thisbook, authored by me,with contributions fromMichal Pisarek and Sarah Haase Buy the Book (or Kindle):
    • 5. We are often working indangerous environments © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 6. Someone has ‘sold’your stakeholders © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 7. Reality: The waters can be rougher than expected…
    • 8. …but the results can make it worthwhile
    • 9. What makes it so difficult? © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 10. Dealing with humans in tough circumstances © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 11. Soft skills © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 12. Listening © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 13. Honesty © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 14. Humour © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 15. PowerPoint Presentation Skills
    • 16. They can read the slides,or they can listen to you… © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 17. PRESENTNG RIGHT: This slide contains essentail information • The first things you need to know are: – Keep it simple • Use simple words to state your concepts • Don’t over-clutter your message • Too many words are hard to comprehend – The problem with too many words is that, to make them fit, you have to shrink them really small, which can make them hard to read for the attendees Especially true For code – Make it look great • Find great imagery • Follow well established design principles • Use a combination of fonts that work well together – Plan appropriately Crucial that you understand this!!! • Give yourself plenty of time to brainstorm • Get all your ideas down 350000 30% • Hone your message 300000 26% 24% 25% • Give yourself plenty of time to practice so you can be 250000 19% 20% smooth 200000 15% – Present well 150000 10% 100000 9% • Don’t read your slides 8% 5% 50000 • Speak clearly 4% 4% 4% 3% 0 0% • I hope you haven’t tried to read all this fine print – it’s 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 meant to be a joke  TOTAL HOURS % of total hours TOTAL COST (LCR) % of total cost © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 18. Oops, I went to far, let me back up… © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 19. Confused
    • 20. Bored
    • 21. Engaged
    • 22. Help for scribblers © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 23. © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 24. Avoid: Clipart, low-rez, stealing, crazy animation © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 25. Avoid: Images that confuse rather than support © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 26. The best books I’ve read on presenting © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 27. How do we get to this happy state?
    • 28. You have got to get everyone onto the same page
    • 29. SHARE 2012 | 29
    • 30. SHARE 2012 | 30
    • 31. SHARE 2012 | 31
    • 32. SHARE 2012 | 32
    • 33. Yes! A bridge!
    • 34. Odds of success?
    • 35. The key to sharedcommitment isShared Understanding © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 36. Visual tools are a greatway to get to sharedunderstanding © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 37. We will cover visual tools that assist with shared understanding © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 38. Let’s start with Mind Mapping © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 39. Building a simple mind map © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 40. Using a mind map for navigation © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 41. Using a mind map for prioritization © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 42. Discovery workshops © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 43. Using a mind map for taxonomy © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 44. Dealing with Wicked Problems
    • 45. Dialogue Mapping Facilitation Dialogue Mapping & Mapping Notation Shared (IBIS) Display © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 46. A very simple example IBIS map © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 47. Real example © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 48. Wireframing with Balsamiq © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 49. Process mapping © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 50. This stuff is hard © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 51. Social complexity makes every problem ‘wicked’ © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 52. Getting to sharedunderstanding iscrucial © 2012 Ruven Gotz
    • 53. Visual tools with shared displays can help
    • 54. Tools Mentioned:- Mindjet MindManager-- Balsamiq Mockups BizAgi Entry Level Ruven Gotz- Microsoft Visio @ruveng