March 11, 2005

Business Writing Seminar

March 11, 2005 - Categories: presentation, writing

My mom sent me information on a seminar
(http://www.teamasia.com/events/communicating2005_april/index.htm) on
business writing, knowing how I’d like to improve my communication
skills. P 8,500 (early bird discount) buys a lot of business writing
books, though, and I don’t think I’ll be able to make use of these
skills just yet. Perhaps after grad school?

Does your job entail a lot of writing? Do you panic when confronted
with a writing assignment? Does preparing a business report or a
business proposal send shivers up and down your spine? Are you unsure
of what words to use? If so, then this workshop on effective business
writing is for you. Peppered with exercises and easy-to-grasp,
practical tips for better business writing, this workshop is designed
for Executives like you who regularly compose their own
correspondence. You’ll benefit from on-the-spot mentoring and
participating in discussions that identify and address your own
particular writing challenges.Plus, you’ll take a look at what works
and what won’t in writing:

  • Cover Letters
  • Sales Letters
  • E-Mail Messages
  • Memos
  • Business Reports
  • Business Proposals
  • Responses to Complaints

Maybe later, when I think I’ll be doing a lot more writing. Right now,
I’d love more classes on presentation and public speaking. Actually,
scratch that—I know the _theory_, but I want to see it in _practice._
I want to listen to good speakers, people who aren’t dependent on
random Microsoft Powerpoint transitions or pretty clip-art, people who
don’t read off the slides, people who can hold an entire hall captive
with just voice and a few visual aids. I want to meet masters.

That’s what I picked up from Ranulf’s talk at La Salle. He and Niel
Dagondon talked about game development in the Philippines, but what
_really_ struck me was their presentation styles. Ranulf was a typical
geek; sincere, informative, but with halting delivery and not much
audience connection. Niel—Niel knew how to work the crowd. He got
them to laugh. He made them feel special. My (paper) notebook was full
of notes on his speaking style. Niel’s not perfect, but he’s better
than Ranulf, and he’s more at ease with the crowd than I am. I have
much to learn.

I’m a strange kind of geek. I devour books on public speaking,
negotiation, sales, even marketing—all of these things that most
geeks don’t think necessary. I _like_ presentations. I enjoy getting
up there and sharing what I’ve learned. Yes, my knees get weak and I
get annoyed with myself when I can’t figure out a good way to explain
something, but it’s _fun._ Scary, but fun.

I like explaining things. I like exciting people, making them curious,
helping them get started. I twitch whenever I see a nifty idea
obscured by poor presentation skills. I hate it when people think
computer science is boring or difficult, because it can be so much
more fun than that. I want to learn how to sell ideas, how to set
people on fire.

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University of Asia and the Pacific: Business talks

March 11, 2005 - Categories: business, presentation

Raven said

Hi Sacha! UA&P usually hosts a lot of such talks, ranging from
business writing to power dressing. I’m sure they’d have seminars on
public speaking / giving presentations. I’ll inform you when I
receive such a memo. ^_^

I’d like to share this as well: when I was in undergrad I was a member
of a laboratory where each of us had to deliver a seminar or two about
certain papers related to our research. I thought that that was such a
great training, since we not only get to practice public speaking on a
regular basis, we also got to watch others do it so we knew how a good
(or a bad) presentation looked like.

Amen. I still wince when I watch other people read off the slides.
Students hate it when their teachers do that, but they don’t get
exposed to enough good presentations to learn how to deliver them.
Presentations in other departments are pretty good—I always looked
forward to the Comm presentation during Faculty Day—but people in the
sciences often miss out on presentation skills…

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