(Information is Beautiful)


18 secrets to giving a presentation like Steve Jobs

[ From The Week ]

In his book The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, Carmine Gallo lays out 18 steps you can follow to give talks like the founder of Apple:

1. “Plan in analog.”
Don’t get stuck in PowerPoint from the start. Play with ideas loosely on whiteboards or index cards.

2. “Answer the one question that matters most.”
And that question is, “Why should I care?”

3. “Develop a messianic sense of purpose.”
Where is your passion for this subject coming from? Convey that.

4. “Create Twitter-like headlines.”
Be to the point in your copy. People don’t want to read, they want to hear a story.

5. “Draw a road map.”
Use a three-act structure so your audience feels the presentation is organized, with a beginning, middle, and end.

6. “Introduce the antagonist.”
What’s the problem that needs to be solved or the enemy to be overcome?

7. “Reveal the conquering hero.”
What’s the solution to the problem? What’s the new angle or development that will lead to victory?

8. “Channel their inner Zen.”
Keep everything simple, to the point, and minimalist.

9. “Dress up your numbers.”
Present stats in a context that is relevant to your audience.

10. “Use ‘amazingly zippy’ words.”
Review your copy closely, and edit, edit, edit.

11. “Share the stage.”
It’s not a one-man show. Rotate in other presenters if possible.

12. “Stage your presentation with props.”
Add life and break up stretches of talk by giving demos.

13. “Reveal a Holy Shit moment.”
There’s always a surprise at the end — a scripted one.

14. “Master stage presence.”
Manage your body language and delivery. Match them to what your presentation requires.

15. “Make it look effortless.”
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

16. “Wear the appropriate costume.”
“Dress like the leader you want to become.”

17. “Toss the script.”
Once you’ve rehearsed it all, make it relaxed and natural.

18. “Have fun.”
Even if things go sideways, roll with it. [The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs]

His two all-time favorite books on giving great presentations are Presentation Zen and Slide:ology.


Urgghh. Silos baad. Collaboration goood.


Sticking your Necto out

I like the ‘social BI’ idea, it’s interesting. The CoverFlow would drive me nuts though – I hope you can turn it off. Also, I have to admit being a bit skeptical about the social aspect – most people don’t have the time to have a ‘discussion’ in this manner when an interactive meeting can happen. It might work for remote workers, though.

Story construction insights from Pixar

They say that in order to communicate effectively and win an audience over, you need to tell a story and get them emotionally engaged .

Here are some tips from a pro that are worth considering.

[From: 22 #storybasics I’ve picked up in my time at Pixar ]

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

#22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

Calculating ROI of a Business Intelligence initiative

“Pain and Gain the ROI of BI” http://feedly.com/k/19MCyOp

I have always found this a difficult exercise, based mostly on measurement of efficiency. The most compelling argument is usually based on risk and allegorical evidence of failures.


Considerations for High Volume ETL Using SQL Server Integration Services

Considerations for High Volume ETL Using SQL Server Integration Services

I just happened upon this when looking for SSIS interview questions. What a wonderful article

Untangling Excel versions

Excel 2013 upgrade by itself adds (these are just the BI ones):

  • PowerView dashboarding (ProPlus only)
  • Inquire (ProPlus only)
  • Quick Analysis tool (ProPlus only)
  • More data sources
  • Flash Fill
  • Slicers


BTW, there are no compatibility issues between Excel 2010 and 2013 files. You don’t even have to save it to an older version.


With Office 365 Enterprise plans, we can’t get a standard version of office, but if we could, here is the BI-specific difference:

Business intelligence: Explore different views of data with a click. Conduct a cross-tab analysis of large datasets for a 360° view. Predict trends by quickly charting historical trends. Scan spreadsheets for errors, hidden info, broken links, and inconsistencies. View audit trail of changes in spreadsheet.”





“Prerequisites: Requires Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 or Office 365 ProPlus.”




“The PowerPivot add-in for Excel 2013 is only available with Office Professional Plus 2013. You must choose the Office 365 ProPlus or Office 365 Enterprise trial for download and installation in order to use the PowerPivot add-in for Excel 2013.”

Also works with Excel 2010 as an add-in.


Data Explorer


“Requires Microsoft Office 2013

Also works with Excel 2010 as an add-in.