Hi, I am Martin.

This is my blog on mainly technology, entrepreneurship and design. Links about just about anything comes through now and then though. I also run a site on photography called Digital Photo Guide! If you are into photography, why not check that out?

Go to digitalphotoguide.net

Speak up and rule your executive presentations

Many of us perform presentations in front of people in our daily work. It might be short or long presentations for a few or in front of many. We have been taught that to perform well as a presenter we should capture our listeners, keep them engaged and move them in a direction we want. If we are booked for an hour we should plan to finish of in five minutes short to open for questions and we should always keep a smile, trying to connect with the audience.

Now with all that knowledge in our head, how hard can it be to make a presentation for a board of directors or executive members of a Fortune 500 company? Presentation like presentation?

The answer is no.

I currently are reading a book called “Speaking up – Surviving executive presentations” by Fredrick Gilbert and I got an eye opener to why I have crashed in executive meetings in the past. I want to share some of the insight from the book on this topic to help you in the situations where I fell short.

Your executive audience

Executive directors and board memebers have lot of challenges they need to tend to. Their role in the company is to make decisions and take responsabillity for those they take. Your problem is unique for you but for them it will be just another decision in that day.

You; the presenter

Your role in an executive presentation is to give a clear picture of the problem, possible solutions, costs attached and a decision point. The shorter amount of time you can give this, the better you will look. There is no real time to speak about the weekend, weather or what’s on tv tonight. A thirty minute presentation done in five minutes is always preferred and the reason is simple. They all have meetings booked after you, they have other buisness, they have more important things to tend to.

Now you might wonder how to train these skills if you have not yet given an executive presentation or perhaps you have one planned. What can you do to prepare?

The elevator pitch challenge

This challenge is that all presentations you should do, you should practice to give them in the time it takes to take an elevator ride. If you can’t get your problem through and what decision is needed in that time you need to go back to plan your presentation. In these few minutes you need to give all the hard facts and leave out all the fuzzy thoughts and perhapses.

Facts, solutions, costs and decision. These are your priorities in an as short time span as possible.

Excel in the elevator pitch and you will be a master in giving executive presentations. Remember though, chances are still great you will get shoot down.

It’s buisness after all, nothing personal.

Datavision from 1979

Found this gem earlier tonight. It is in Swedish but in short it is a demo from 1979 where they show a system where a user can dial to a computer central and retrieve data. There is still a system like this in action in Sweden where information is provided over the same network as TV.

Amazing to see how they look at this service and how they could not see what the future had just a few years later.

What can a single developer do?

I am currently in a situation where I am actively looking for a new challenge professionally. The reason is my current employer is moving business to another country and by doing so downsize the office I’m in. With all this going on the question arose in my mind on what it is that I want to do and were my strengths lie. For a long time I’ve had a bunch of ideas that I would like to wrap a company around and try my own wings but I have not yet been able to get a solid enough business plan to do so. While in these thoughts I asked myself, what can really a single developer or IT person do? Where are the limits for a small size software company?

Behold, the game Banished. Banished is a resource and gathering game where the player takes control over a small number of people who was banished into the wild and need to survive. The player need to help out by building homes, get food production going, educate the people, trade and in other ways take care of the banished population. The goal of the game is to get from a small number of people who have nothing and help them build a great thriving self sufficient town.

So, why am I talking about the game Banished in the same article that was about what a single developer can do? Well, Banished is a game created by a development studio called Shining Rock Software. Shining Rock Software consist of a single guy – Luke Hodorowicz. He is the developer, tester, requirement handler, graphic artist and sound artist. The entire studio is wrapped around one developer who loves what he does so he created a game. For two years he created the game Banished and just a few days ago, it was released to the market and open for sales.

The game software market holds companies with thousands of developers and here is a single guy company who can create and roll out a game which in many ways is a more polished product that we are used to see. I am truly amazed of the work done.

“A lot of people ask me for advice on how to get started – I tell them just start making games.”
— Luke Hodorowicz in an interview made by RedBull.

In my situation a story like this is really an eye opener as I can see what is possible. The boundary of what can be done is not in the individual, it is in where the individual decide to put their most personal boundaries. Luke wanted to build a game, so he went out and did.

So, to answer my initial question on what a single developer can do?

Anything.

The Internet of Things

I continue my 750 words per day project and here is yet another text from one of those sessions. The Internet of things is one of the hottest buzz words of 2014 it seem but what is it all about?

The Internet of things is really the appliance of networked technology into every day appliances. An example of Internet of things that we have been using for quite some time is that as a runner I can have a heartbeat monitor on my body that is wirelessly connected to my wrist watch where a GPS is tracking my moves. This makes it so that when I have been walking about or been out on a run I can sync all this data and replay the route I took, see on a map where I’ve been, the times when I was at specific points and at the same time the exact heartbeat I had when I was there. I am using multiple small devices that can communicate with each others to give me more data out of things I do. But there is more!

Change every app specific keyboard shortcut on a mac

Now and then you run across something that you had no idea was there. It simplifies you everyday life tenfold and you have no idea for how long you were missing out.

I have been using mac computers back and forth for almost twenty years and today I found something I that may or may not have been there for years. Let me share this little gem with you.

Application specific keyboard shortcuts that are made for a specific keyboard layout can in fact be changed even though they are not in the application’s own preferences.

Many applications have shortcuts made by the developers who were using US/UK layouts. Now for me who is using an SV layout keyboard this becomes bit of a problem mostly since the keys for [ and ] often are used. Now on an SV layout these keys are for Swedish letters å ä and ö.

Keyboard Shortcuts Mac

To change shortcuts using [ and ] you simply need to open up your System Preferences –> Keyboard -> Shortcuts (tab) and select App shortcuts. Here you can overwrite what ever shortcut you want and by doing so, the shortcut is actually changed in the application to.

Good stuff!