Literally all I've been hearing for the past two weeks is eclipse this and eclipse that. Well, guess what? I DON'T CARE. There, I said it. I literally don't care at all. I get that it's not something that happens every day. Still don't care.
I legitimately am in disbelief over the craziness, especially with those glasses. The 7-11 down the street has been sold out for days. My local library was handing out glasses to card holders and there was a line full of people WAITING IN LAWN CHAIRS! Seriously folks?
So while everyone else is staring up at the sky, I'll be over here working away. Maybe I'll give it a glance from my window (mom thinks I'll get a retinal burn if I do) but, other that that, business as usual.
Enjoy the eclipse today...if that's the sort of thing you're into.
To quote my great friend, Carol Campbell, "I can't believe we're still talking about this." Talking about what? Accepting women in the AV industry. Over the last 20 years, CEDIA could count on one hand the number of women it has had on its board.
Research has shown again and again that women have an equal (if not more than equal) say in home technology purchases. So why isn't the CEDIA board gender balanced? Despite so many industry big-timers, both male and female, expressing outrage, nothing has changed.
For the first time ever, CEDIA has gone on-record stating it is actively recruiting women. Tabitha O'Connor, the organization's COO, "We need female perspectives. We need diverse viewpoints. We need a Board that best represents the depth and scope of our association’s members as it stands today."
LISTEN UP: you can help. With all the buzz around this topic, I expect to see some stellar women on the ballot. Take the time to carefully review all of the candidates and VOTE.
Go ahead, tell me one more time how hard your life is as a white person. You grew up poor, you didn't live in an all white neighborhood, you're NOT racist. I get it, you're a good person and you don't discriminate. All of these circumstances apply to me as well. At the same time, I'm not naive enough to think I don't have every advantage over a person of color in the same situation.
Why am I writing this today? Because i recently came across this article from Ijeoma Oluo speaking about white privilege and she hits the nail on the head. I've never been forced to figure out white culture and not because I live it - it's because MY survival does not depend on it.
Unfortunately, even in today's world, I can't say the same for minorities in this country. Because I can't articulate these points nearly as well as Ijeoma, I suggest you stop what you're doing immediately (including reading this little blog) and check out her thoughts.
You can read the full article here: https://theestablishment.co/white-people-i-dont-want-you-to-understand-me-better-i-want-you-to-understand-yourselves-a6fbedd42ddf
What are you going to do to help create a cultural shift? I'm asking you because I'm not even sure what I can do. I'd love to hear your ideas - let me know in the comments below.
As I write this, I'm wrapping up my first official week as Editor of Systems Contractor News. My quote to everyone has been "I'm so excited for this new adventure". And that's what it is - a new adventure. I love that I was fortunate enough to take on a new challenge in the AV industry. Everyone has been so supportive of my transition, from my former employer Peerless-AV to the NewBay team to my #AVTweeps.
I'm very much looking forward to bringing a fresh perspective to SCN. You'll read a lot of this in my first Editor's Letter (check out the September issue!) so I'll try not to repeat myself. I want SCN to be an industry collaboration now more than ever. I don't want to hear about your widgets, I want to hear why your products are making #AVTweeps and end-users lives easier. I want you to Tweet me (@MeganADutta or @SCNMag) and tell me why you LOVED the last issue or what you think we got wrong.
I want to see all of your faces at our cool new events like the SCN Think Tank. Trust me, you don't want to miss this - the genius that is Kirsten Nelson has lined up a BANGING group of innovators ready to discuss next-level technologies. Check it out here: http://www.scnthinktank.com/
I'll end this with a quick thank you to everyone at NewBay who has been as kind, thoughtful and helpful as you expect, especially Adam, Margot and Jeremy. And a special shout-out to Gene Kinsella who is an all-around wonderful human and has spent the last 10 years encouraging my growth in the industry. Looking forward to this new chapter in my life. Hope to hear from all of you soon!
The time has come for me to close a significant chapter of life - today is my last day at Peerless-AV.
I've spent 11 wonderful years here making great memories, learning new skills and pushing the team to think outside the box.
What am I going to miss most?Hands down: my amazing team. I'm honored to manage such a young, talented group of women. All three of them will go far in both life and the business world. If you haven't met them yet, you should definitely connect with them on LinkedIn: Kelly Yuen, Rachael Hinds & Yesenia Martinez. I wish them much success in the future and look forward to seeing the big things they do!
As my time here ends, a new story begins. Stay tuned to hear about my next adventure!
Do you sigh every time you walk into a meeting and a PowerPoint on the screen? Me, too! Even the most exciting topic can lose the room with a boring presentation. Here are some tips I have learned to help make my presentations more stimulating.
1. Know Your Audience
First and foremost, you HAVE to know whom you’re speaking to. Have a room full of busy executive? Make it short, sweet and to the point. Younger audience? Add videos and make it really interactive.
2. Tell A Story
Make it entertaining. There’s nothing worse than someone sitting there and listing off facts…except if they’re just reading said facts right off the screen with no eye contact. Engage your audience. Tell them a story and make them remember. If you’re looking for tips on storytelling, check out Matthew Luhn.
3. Make It Relatable
Let’s be honest – if there’s not a benefit for the listener, they’re tuned out. Connect to your subjects, make them see why they should care.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
This sounds so basic but practice truly does make perfect. Take the time to craft your message. It’s not only what you say, it’s also how you say it. Figure out which points you want to emphasize. Grab your team (or even your friends and family) and ask them to sit through your rehearsal. Ask for honest feedback. You want to know if you’re dropping ummms and likes all day or if you’re swaying from side to side like you’re rocking a baby. Small things like that can be distracting during a presentation and if you’re aware of your issues, you can consciously work to make them better.
What are you doing to improve your presentation skills? What has helped you? I’d love to hear your answers in the comments below.
Megan A. Dutta