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Tips on how to write a great article or presentation - Fast!

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You’ve been asked to write a blog, do a presentation, talk, or assignment and you’re running out of time - what do you do? This article has some tried and tested tips that I use, and I’ve heard others use. Read on, save this article somewhere, and read it again...

  • Hi Jonathan, Thanks for small but useful tips. I am myself writing a new article on this topic. Would like to hear some feedback from you here is the link: https://www.selldigitalproductsonline.com/blog/id/18/How-to-Write-Articles-Fast
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Tips on how to write a great article or presentation - Fast!

  1. 1. AESTROAESTRO You’ve been asked to write a blog, do a presentation, talk, or assignment and you’re running out of time - what do you do? This article has some tried and tested tips that I use, and I’ve heard others use. Read on, save this article somewhere, and read it again… FAST!WRITEAGREAT ARTICLEOR PRESENTATION TIPS ON HOW TO 072 // JUL 2014 // THE-MARKETEERS.COM
  2. 2. JONATHAN(BILAL)A.J.WILSON
 SENIORLECTURER&COURSELEADER, UNIVERSITYOFGREENWICH,LONDONUK EDITOR:JOURNALOFISLAMICMARKETING, EMERALDGROUPPUBLISHING. I’ve found that whether you’re creating something, preparing for a gig, big match or big pitch, the process is actually very similar. Perhaps the only differences are how much time you have to prepare, make decisions, or what you write down as opposed to just thinking them. What you need to do The more times that you practise the processes and stages I’ve outlined in this article, then the faster and better you’ll get at them, and ultimately at achieving your overall task.They will add structure to your activities, help to build up your confidence, and make it easier to work again and again – even when you feel that you are up against it, or are suffering from a mental block.The key thing to remember is that you are finding a way for your mind to turn this mountain into a pebble, and that relies upon your ability to manage your mind, more than the reality around you. Manage your mind, and the rest of your body will follow. Think about all those other people, day in, day out, around the world, that are able to do the same in their fields of expertise: colleagues, medical doctors, athletes, rock guitarists, chefs, and many others. If they can, then you can. Remind yourself that you’ve been asked to do this task for a reason; and that reason is that people think that you can do it, and do it well. Remember all of the times that you’ve been able to succeed at anything, even when you thought that you wouldn’t be able to. Reflect upon how you came out of the other side, able to turn up for work the next day, stronger and more accomplished.Tell yourself that you don’t need as much sleep and food as you think. Imagine what it will feel like when you succeed and how others will look at you. Plan how you will reward yourself, celebrate your achievement with others, and convert it into another stepping-stone towards your career goals. It might sound like an obvious thing to say, but don’t panic. Stay calm, start taking some deep breaths, try to relax - but stay alert and keep that adrenaline pumping, but under control.The mark of a professional is being able to handle and channel that pressure in a way that others struggle to do, and to deliver the goods. That also means handing more matters back to your unconscious, rather than your conscious mind.The more that you use your conscious mind, the more tired, slow, and stressed you are going to feel.Think about Olympic sprinters, rock guitarists; or footballers and stand-up comedians reacting – when they’re in the moment, they don’t really have to breathe or think about what they do.They trust in their training and the unconscious takes over. Now that you’ve built up your confidence and started the process of talking to yourself; delving deep into your emotions and memory - the real work begins… Go back to the task at hand and study what it is that you’re being asked to do carefully – it’s easy to see something that isn’t there, or to add more than is required from you. If it’s a 20 minute talk, 10 PowerPoint slides, or an 800 word article, then aim to do no more.Anything more is a waste, and you don’t have much time to waste. You need to draw from your experiences and not reinvent the wheel - you are an expert in something, with experiences and a perspective that collectively no one else has.Think about what material you might already have sitting somewhere on your hard drive, smartphone, and browser history.The key is to link them to the task THE-MARKETEERS.COM // JUL 2014 // 073
  3. 3. AESTROAESTRO at hand. Actually now, go and reinvent the wheel. Well, add something new to the wheel that everyone already knows about and understands - a new perspective, an innovation, something... Something that makes people think; something that maybe they’ve not heard of before, or at least for a while; share something of your own thoughts and experiences, good and bad; let people into your world. But make it interesting.Tell us a story – something that you’d like to hear, even if it’s not actually strictly your story.The fact that you’ve chosen to tell that story, and chosen to share it with us, is what makes it special. But don’t forget to tell us why you’re telling us this story, how does it relate to what’s going on here, and what’s in it for us? Also, don’t make the story too long… Before you start, you need to get warmed up.WatchTV, whether that’s the news, a documentary, a sitcom, stand-up comedy, a movie – whatever gets your brain ticking, stimulates and relaxes you. Phone your friends, surf the net, watchYouTube andTED talks, and absorb what’s going on around you. Make notes and draw pictures on paper, or your smartphone and tablet – anything and anywhere, just save them in one place. Now switch off from the world and isolate yourself. Have a coffee, wash the dishes, iron some shirts, cut some vegetables, go for a walk, do something boring or simple that let’s your mind wander some more and process all of this information. Make some more notes on paper, or your smartphone – anything, but start to write bullets and phrases... Now put your notes down, go away and do something else - anything… Now go back and sit down, lock yourself away and write. Put: who, what, how, when, where, why, and wow at the top of your page. Write the body first, then the conclusion, and then the intro and title last.  You need pictures. Either that means actual images, or painting images in peoples’ minds through your storytelling. If there’s an opportunity for both, then great! Within your work, you need to offer several perspectives.Try three angles as a starting point; odd numbers work better, and remember to tell your audience the number in your list – it makes it easier for us to process your message. Break things down into several points. Use this as a three-stage structure for each perspective that you present: facts, explanations and conclusions; or conclusions, explanations, and then facts. It may take you some time to work out what flows better; and often the first time you’re putting things together, the explanation might pop-out first. However, resist the temptation to let your mind jump to conclusions, missing out a stage, or bounce back and forward. This is all about communicating in a clear, logical and easy to understand manner – no matter what the topic is. Don’t be afraid to pose questions, even if you don’t know or provide the answers to everything.This is about looking to connect and engage with your audience.Whether 074 // JUL 2014 // THE-MARKETEERS.COM
  4. 4. you like it or not, their brains will be asking questions, as they process your information and everything around them; some of which may not be intended by you or within your control. By asking questions, you’re bringing them back into your space and your script. Whilst you’re preparing and writing, imagine you’re having a conversation. Sometimes it helps just record you chatting into your phone. I’m going to make this point again. Make it interesting. Make it something that you would be bothered to listen to, or read, and share. Link it to what’s happening now.  A real example to get you thinking Okay, so you might be thinking about what stories or examples you could use. I mean how far off track can you go, and then bring it back on track? Here’s one of my stories that I used in a talk about the importance of cultural understanding in leadership and branding: So here goes… Now, we all know that not everything is as black and white as it seems, right? Well, when I was thinking about this point, an image of a zebra popped into my mind. So what about the zebra?Well, here’s a question for you: is a zebra a black animal with white stripes; or a white animal with black stripes? It might seem strange, but that’s the first question that popped into my mind. But as an academic, creative and consultant who spends a lot of his time thinking about things and finding solutions, then actually I’m used to my mind asking these seemingly irrelevant questions, when there seem to be more pressing matters. So, as you might expect, my mind was quick to answer this trivial question. However, the more that I thought about it, I started be become unsure about whether I knew the right answer so not. What do you think? Let’s have a hands up who thinks it’s a black animal with white stripes; now hands up who thinks that it’s a white animal with black stripes? Okay, you want to know the right answer, right?Well, I did what any academic would do; I suspended my own judgments for a minute, and went searching through various literature sources. Well, the answer is – it depends… If you take the position put forward in one academic study, in the field of anthropology, then they will tell you that it depends too. From their findings, it depends on your cultural frame of reference. It appears that people from Africa, tend to see it as a black animal with white stripes; whilst people from Europe see it as a white animal with black stripes. So I’m sure that you can see how that works. But, when I’ve asked this question on my travels amongst various ethnic groups, especially from former colonies, more often than not, they tend to see zebras as white animals with black stripes. So does that mean they have colonized minds? Think about what impact the culture of today and yesterday has on the way that we see things.Also, think about when you get older, does your hair go white, or does it get darker? If you take the position of some zoologists, then they will tell you of course it’s a black animal with white stripes; because the white stripes are the places where there is an absence of pigmentation. So why am I telling you all of this?Well I’d THE-MARKETEERS.COM // JUL 2014 // 075
  5. 5. AESTROAESTRO like to say that it is for three reasons. Firstly, not everything is black and white, or black and white in the way that we think. Secondly, that our culture, experiences, and frames of reference shape the way that we see things; and that may be different to the way that others do. And finally, that we have the ability to change the way that we see things, if we want to. But this can only happen if we ask questions, no matter how simple or trivial, that it’s important to do this both alone and in groups, and through looking for answers in diverse sources. Once we do this, and we share what it is that we have found, then we can start working out what makes a great leader, or brand – because culture matters, it’s everywhere, and it touches everything. A personal admission And do you wanna know a secret? Most of this article was written on my iPhone. I was stressing about what on earth I’m going to write for my next column piece, after I missed the deadline - because I was fighting jetlag and other work distractions, whilst I was away speaking at: the Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN) Global conference, at Northwestern University, USA; followed by the PR Trends Summit in Qatar. Happy writing to you all! 076 // JUL 2014 // THE-MARKETEERS.COM

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