How to Send Better Email – Without Second-Guessing a Single Word

At Buffer, we strive for 100 percent awesomeness in the emails we send to customers, and that pursuit of excellence carries over to the emails we send to teammates, colleagues, friends, and family. We want to send better email, the kind that delivers the intended message plus the desired emotion.

So I’m happy to share some of my sources of email inspiration. These are the templates … [ Read more ]

How to Curate Content: The Secret Sauce to Getting Noticed, Becoming an Influencer, and Having Fun Online

If you’re looking for a competitive edge, a way to establish your authority, a way to get more followers, one of the best, proven paths to online success is content curation. It’s both as simple and as difficult as finding great content and sharing it with your audience. The difficult part is that there is a lot that goes into a world class content curation … [ Read more ]

A Checklist for More Persuasive Presentations

We all know the basics of good presentation skills: don’t read from a script; don’t overwhelm your audience with verbose slides; and the like. But for a particular kind of high-stakes presentation — one in which you’re trying to get buy-in from key decision-makers — those basics aren’t enough.

To persuade the people who have the power to approve your idea or let it die, you … [ Read more ]

Top Excel Tips For Data Analysts

Data and business go hand in hand. And whether you’re analyzing a client’s data or using your company’s data to make executive decisions, your tools have to be able to handle the tasks you perform with that information.

If you’re a data analyst, most of the time you go through these stages of data analysis:
– Data Cleaning: Transform and rearrange the data in a way suitable … [ Read more ]

Beyond 10,000 Hours of Practice: What Experts Do Differently

Whatever your chosen field or avocation may be, if you take it seriously, you probably wish you could become an expert – the sort of person who earns real success, better opportunities or even just more personal satisfaction from what you do. And if you’re not an expert, you may look at those who are and think, maybe they just came to the task with … [ Read more ]

A Big Data Approach to Public Speaking

Key takeaways from analyzing 100,000 presentations.

Seven Useful Microsoft Excel Features You May Not Be Using

Microsoft Excel is packed with useful data management features that don’t see a lot of use, like pivot tables, index and match, and conditional formatting. If you’re just using excel to sum and chart columns, this graphic can show you some other tools to help you become the spreadsheet ninja you always wanted to be.

Of course, real spreadsheet ninja probably already use these features on … [ Read more ]

Two Things to Do After Every Meeting

There are a number of reasons why the productive conversations in a meeting seemingly go nowhere. Attendees are often immediately running to another meeting where their attention shifts to a new set of issues. Or people leave the meeting without clarity about what was agreed upon.

To make sure productivity doesn’t slow after you walk out of the room, do two things after and in between … [ Read more ]

How to Give a Data-Heavy Presentation

Knowing how to develop and deliver a data-driven presentation is now a crucial skill for many professionals, since we often have to tell our colleagues a story about the success of a new initiative, the promise of a new business opportunity, or the imperative of a change in strategy — stories that are much more compelling when they’re backed by numbers.

In the past four years, … [ Read more ]

Seven Tools for Creating Infographics Without Using Photoshop

How can you create beautiful infographics without using Photoshop? I’m not a Photoshop expert, so I take days to create a basic infographic. I’m a Paint ninja, but I can’t create nice infographics by using Paint. So I searched for fast, easy, and cheap (even free) alternatives. [Easel.ly, Piktochart, Infogr.am, Venngage, Canva, Visme, Infoactive]

Conquering Complexity With Simple Rules

A Stanford professor offers a better way to make decisions.

The Only 10 Slides You Need in Your Pitch

Guy Kawasaki evangelizes the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. It’s quite simple: a pitch should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.This rule is applicable for any presentation to reach agreement: for example, raising capital, making a sale, forming a partnership, etc. This infographic will help you fine tune what to put on your ten slides. … [ Read more ]

Things to Buy, Download, or Do When Working Remotely

Whether you’re working from home full-time, living life as a road warrior, or simply working the occasional day away from the office, you’ll be most effective if you have the right digital infrastructure for remote work. What needs to be in that toolkit depends on the kind of work you do, your personal working style and your family life. Whatever the particular circumstances of your … [ Read more ]

Effectively Influencing Decision Makers: Ensuring That Your Knowledge Makes a Difference

The 11 guidelines listed below are intended to help you do a better job of influencing decision-makers. In some cases, these decision-makers may be immediate or upper managers—in other cases they may be peers or cross-organizational colleagues. I hope you find these suggestions to be useful in helping you convert your good ideas into meaningful action.

The Art of Persuasion in a Multicultural World

Effective leadership often relies on your ability to persuade others. If you manage a team whose members come from different cultures, learning to adapt your persuasive techniques is crucial.

Reflecting on Work Improves Job Performance

New research by Francesca Gino, Gary Pisano, and colleagues shows that taking time to reflect on our work improves job performance in the long run.

The Five Traps of High-Stakes Decision Making

I’ve been studying decision-making at the top for many years and what I’ve found is that good decisions nearly always result from robust decision processes. Similarly, decisions that go wrong nearly always stem from procedural or organizational failures. In fact, just five mistakes account for the vast majority of poor decisions.

How to Persuade Audiences to Action

If you have ever finished a presentation to a polite smattering of applause, you probably didn’t start out by asking yourself the right questions. As IESE’s Conor Neill explains, most communication fails because the speaker isn’t clear, specific or realistic about what he or she wants from the audience. Winning the argument is all well and good, but the ultimate prize is winning audience action, … [ Read more ]

The Five Steps to Better Decisions

Decisions are the coin of the realm in business. No company can reach its full potential unless it makes good decisions quickly and consistently and then implements them effectively. For more than 25 years, the three authors have consulted to organizations of all sorts and noticed all these organizations share one consistent trait: when they focus explicitly on decisions, they improve their performance. This article … [ Read more ]