Showing posts with label Powerpoint. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Powerpoint. Show all posts

Jan 18, 2012

Interactive Map Charts

Remarkably interesting interactive charts at Chartsbin.

Just some examples:
- Press on 'Key' to toggle descrition square
- Press on Big Screen to view more details

1. Current World Life Expectancy at Birth


2.Body Mass Index (BMI) by Country


Want more chart examples with dropdown-menus for non-IE-users...?

Click Here

It's also possible to
- Embed Chartsbin charts in your Powerpoint presentation!
- Search voor Chartsbin charts


Oct 23, 2010

Actuarial Word Clouds

We all know the saying 'one picture is worth a thousand words'....

What if that picture also contained words itself?
Such a Word-Picture must be worth at least a million words.....

What if that Word-Picture is also an Actuarial-Word-Picture?
This kind of picture must be worth a billion words!

Enough balderdash..., there's a fabulous online application, called Wordle, to empower and spice up your traditional power-point presentations.

Wordle uses words and their frequency to turn them into a Word-Cloud - or better - a Word-Picture.

You may use Wordle on any group of words or even a RSS-feed.
So in fact Wordle creates a weighted summarized and visualized impression of what you, your document or your employer is. 

Here are some examples of Wordle voor the RSS pages of two actuarial giants....

Let's start with Mercer:

Towers Watson

And now for some Towers Watson's...

Actuary Info
Let's conclude with an example of a more modest and smaller actuarial giant: Actuary Info

Presentation Tip
Next time you give a presentation,  instead of summing up the standard dry bullet points, replace them by a Wordle cloud.

Your audience will be spellbound , 'turn their head', 'look for expected words' and 'immediately grasp the relative size of the issues mentioned'. All resulting in (1) you - the presenter - will have much more attention and (2) the facts shown on your slides will be longer remembered, because the are 'your visualized words' and therefore will be better memorised...

An AON Example...
Let's end with a simple example from AON's 2010 Risk Survey:

I. Traditional (PPT) Slide Presentation

Risk Quantification Tools Used (2010)
(to measure demonstrable Value Received from ERM Efforts)
  • Qualitative tools 59%
  • Industry benchmarks 34%
  • Earnings/Cash flow/Value at Risk 27%
  • No use of risk quantification in ERM process 23%
  • Actuarial analysis 13%
  • Stochastic/Monte Carlo simulation 13%
  • Not specified 7%

II. Wordle Presentation

Now..., get your head in the 'Actuarial Word Clouds' an have even more success with Wordle!!!

- Download: AON Risk Survey (2010)
- Wordle

Feb 21, 2010

Powerpoint Mortality

Whether you're an actuary, accountant, consultant or salesman, when we take up a new challenging project, we're inclined to spend most of our time on data mining, modeling, reconsidering, detailing, arguing, making things perfect and finally, drawing the conclusions and writing the exhaustive proposal report....

Fortunately - in this case - your right on schedule! You've got exactly one day left before your Board presentation of the project. Still completely in a rush and overexcited about the stunning results of your successful investigation, you start up your laptop to wrap up your proposal report in a full flash Powerpoint presentation.

That night at 01.00 AM, you successfully finish your ppt presentation. Just in time! Completely satisfied about this phenomenal achievement, you e-mail the ppt to Nosica, the Board's secretary you know well. She, as well as the Board, will be impressed by your 'night shift work'. Who said that actuaries had a 9 to 5 job?

The next day, at 14.00 AM you enter the Board room, full of confidence. Your presentation is start-ready, the beamer glows, you're fully concentrated on your audience and in a 'cashing' flow....

After 20 minutes of presentation, including your ten recommended practices and some questions, you leave the 26th floor. All went well...
Time for a drink and a well earned good night sleep...

Next morning, 09.00 AM, the Board's secretary replacement calls you: Your proposal has been declined....

You're flabbergasted, how could this happen? After all this work you've been through.

What went wrong?

The answer is simple, you denied Wayne Burggraff's Law of Presentation:

It takes one hour of preparation
for each minute of presentation time

So next time, in case of a 20 minutes presentation, invest 20 hours of your time in research, development, organizing, outlining, fleshing out, and rehearsing your presentation.
In essence: if you fail to prepare well, you are well prepared to fail.

Here are some practical tips that might help you with your preparation:
  1. Ask yourself: ''If I had only sixty seconds on the stage, what would I absolutely have to say to get my message across."
    -- Jeff Dewar --
  2. The simplest way to customize is to phone members of the audience in advance and ask them what they expect from your session and why they expect it. Then use their quotes throughout your presentation."
    -- Alan Pease --
  3. No one can remember more than three points.
    -- Philip Crosby --

Fear of presentation
As actuaries it's surprising to see that people are more afraid (41%) of speaking to a group than of death (19%).
Now it's clear why we search the help of Powerpoint to 'survive' on stage.

Powerpoint Mortality
We all know Powerpoint..... Powerpoint itself is not good or bad, it's the way you use it.

The mortality rate of Powerpoint is humorously demonstrated by Don McMillan:

Who Needs Powerpoint?

Last January I was heading for a presentation with the help of Powerpoint. Full house. However, on the supreme moment the local beamer gave up. I simply decided to bring my message in an interactive session with my audience, without the help of Powerpoint.

Yes, it was different, challenging and even fun! Because of my thorough preparation - I was able to concentrate on almost everyone of my audience. So...., another Maggid's tip could be:

Prepare your presentation without Powerpoint!

A presentation try out
In the mid nineties my employer's company was heading to get listed at the stock exchange. I remember I had to give a presentation before a panel of 70 international analysts, who would probably raise all kind of difficult questions. In order to prepare 'abap', I called my strategy director as well as my CFO and asked them to act as my 'try out analysts audience'.

I told my colleagues I would give the presentation three times in a row. In the first two presentations they were obliged to interrupt me as much as possible, to raise difficult or weird questions and to put me to test (keeping my humor and concentration). During the third presentation they had to act as normal audience.

To make a long story short: after three presentations, my two colleagues kept their breath in combination with a desperate look in their eyes. I told them not to worry and reassured them my presentation at the analyst session would be successful.

And so it was, as I was fully prepared on every possible question and didn't had the need to look at my ppt presentation, I could fully focus on my audience. Lesson: Make the preparation tough, you'll benefit from it in the final presentation.

The actuarial master
Yes, there are a lot of rules, regarding the use of Powerpoint.
The Golden Rule is that all PowerPoint presentation rules, principles, and guidelines are just secondary to doing what is ultimately right for your audience. Critical point is, you can only break the presentation rules if you know them .

It's just like in actuarial science, once you've become an actuary (a master) the real art of your profession is not anymore in applying equations and methods 'by the book'. Now it comes down to break the existing rules and conventions in a such a professional way, that new risk and social challenges are being (re)solved in a different way. Key point here is that not only your professional skills have to be outrageous, but your presentation skills as well. As the success of a good peace of actuarial craftsmanship, is completely dependent on the way it is presented.

Let's conclude with some practical free(ware) presentation tips.
Although you're probably aware not to overuse clip art, it's good practice to set up your presentation in a consistent and well polished style.

Of course you can use expensive business packages to illustrate your presentations, but there's also an excellent freeware application called: EDraw Mindmap 4

With the help of Edraw, creating presentations and mind-mapping is a question of minutes.

Enjoy preparing and giving presentations, learn to be(come) yourself on stage and overcome any possible fear of speaking to groups......

Related links:
- EDraw Mindmap 4 (Completely freeware!)
- EDraw Mind Map 1.0
- Edraw Max (not freeware)
- Lovelycharts (free, one application; online)
- Presentation skills (youtube)
- The New Office Math (youtube;Don McMillan )
- Presentation skills (ppt)