What gets in the way of a great presentation?

By Anil DilawriBored-Audience

I learn a lot from my clients. Recently, I witnessed a couple of clients who had dramatically improved their presentation effectiveness. Their delivery was good, their engagement level was good and the content was clear. But do you know what the real secret sauce was? Their slides really worked for them, not against them. They had simple, easy-to-understand slides that supported and reinforced their strong verbal content.

Those text-filled, complex and cluttered slides may work well in a presentation document that is sent to people via email and then read like a document. But when busy slides are put up on a screen or discussed at a meeting, the audience tunes out the presenter. This is frustrating to you, the presenter, because the presentation should be all about you, your golden verbal content, and your valuable context. The focus should be on you, not the slide.

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Great articles roundup: Content strategists, equity, content distribution, social media and startups

By Daylin Mantyka link

Friday is the day for our weekly content roundup. This week, we’ve read and shared a number of interesting pieces published in Fast Company, Techvibes, Forrester Research, SmartBlogs and Forbes.

First, we’ve got an article on content strategists, followed by a post on granting equity in a startup. Next, we’ve selected a piece on the rise of a new discipline, content distribution. Rounding out our selection is an article on monitoring your social media campaigns and a piece on how to get your new business off the ground.

Five must-know things about content strategists

Rusty Weston, a seasoned content strategist himself, knows the ins and outs of this evolving industry. In this thoughtful post, he shares his wisdom to current and future content strategists on how they can best serve the businesses they work with.

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Angel investors can’t sit on crowdfunding sidelines

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 11.43.11 AMBy Francis Moran

The biggest mistake Canadian angel investors could make if and when equity crowdfunding is made more widely available in Canada “is to sit on the sidelines and do nothing and let crowdfunding pass them by,” says one of this country’s leading legal experts on the subject.

Lawyer Brian Koscak, who will be part of a crowdfunding panel discussion at next week’s National Angel Capital Organization national summit in Banff, said in an interview that the potential broadening of equity crowdfunding in parts of Canada “is a wonderful opportunity for angels to step up and show what they’ve got.” Angels, he said, have a wealth of expertise both in the specific sectors in which they invest and in the investment process itself, making them invaluable participants in any crowdfunding portals that are established.

Angel investors are often the first external source of funding that startups and young companies receive. (A survey of 20 out of NACO’s 24 angel group members reported that angels made 139 investments worth $40.5-million in 2012.) In Canada, as in most other countries, angels must have a minimum income or net worth before being allowed to invest, criteria that shuts out most investors. Securities regulators in Ontario and Saskatchewan have proposed expanding the opportunity for early-stage private investment by allowing companies to solicit small investments from larger pools of individual investors. Even if these proposals never become law, ordinary investors can already, under certain circumstances, participate in early-stage investing everywhere in Canada except Ontario.

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Build more than just a great product

By Leo Valiquettebobs


It’s been top of mind for me the past couple of weeks while wearing one of my other hats – editor of the Ottawa Chamber magazine, The Voice.

The next issue of The Voice will serve as a takeaway for the Best Ottawa Business Awards gala taking place in Nov. 21. The awards, previously known as the Ottawa Business Achievement Awards, recognize local business excellence in a number of categories. I’ve been busy interviewing this year’s Lifetime Achievement recipient (Wes Nicol), the CEO of the Year, Halogen Software’s Paul Loucks, and a host of other business achievers.

From this, I thought I would share some of the gems I’ve picked up that speak to legacy, which, from a business standpoint, I define as creating something that endures and has a distinct identity and reputation in the marketplace.

I have to start with a quote from Wes Nicol. This isn’t something he said to me when we spoke recently, but was part of a convocation speech he gave at Carleton University in 2006. It says a lot about the man himself and what has led to his business success:

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Join Startup Canada for an entrepreneurial invasion of Parliament Hill

HillDay-communities-300x250-White(1)By Francis Moran

In a just over a week, the largest-ever contingent of Canadian entrepreneurs will congregate at the seat of Canada’s government, on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill, to engage in a national celebration of Canadian entrepreneurship.

I’ve been proud to be associated with Startup Canada since its genesis more than 18 months ago and I love the idea of Startup Canada Day on the Hill, a milestone event that will manifest the momentum, impact and scale of the grassroots start-up movement in Canada. The day will also advance discussion on the crucial role  played by partnerships between entrepreneurs, independent organizations and government in maximizing entrepreneurial success.

When you look at the numbers, there is no doubt entrepreneurship benefits all Canadians. Small businesses represent a huge part of Canada’s work force, and they created more than three-quarters of all private-sector  jobs from 2002 to 2012, according to Industry Canada statistics.

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