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Opinion Archive

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Let me spell this out for you

Janet Howd | 09 February 2015

In a world of instant access to ideas and information, isn’t it time that we acknowledged that English spelling - the code we use to write down our thoughts - is well past its sell by date?

Your thoughts can catch you out

Janet Howd | 18 December 2014

When speaking to an audience, a little empathetic laughter can be a dangerous thing, causing even the most polished presenter to drop a verbal gaff that completely destroys the message they were hoping to get across.

The act of presentation

Janet Howd | 25 November 2014

Managers who are expected to give presentations can learn an enormous amount from the techniques of acting. So forget the Powerpoint slides for a moment and take some lessons from the stage...

Voicing thoughts

Janet Howd | 23 October 2014

Every emotion, every word and every sound you utter, from birth till death, expresses what you are, what you feel, what you think and what you do. So voicing your thoughts out loud can be a powerful and cathartic psychological tool.

Words are all in the mind

Janet Howd | 04 August 2014

Only words related to consciously-held ideas can pop out of a human mouth without forethought. So don’t allow sloppy thinking to distort your language and undermine the crux of your argument.

World-wide word power

Janet Howd | 09 June 2014

They may be separated by more than 400 years, but Shakespeare and the European Court of Justice both remind us of the enormous power of the written word holds over information and our perception of history.

Standing up on the job

Janet Howd | 19 May 2014

Human beings are designed to stand on their two legs. So standing up and moving around during our working day makes a job more interesting as well as being better for our physical and mental health.

Clear and present danger

Janet Howd | 07 April 2014

Human beings are social animals. They need real, physical contact with others, not just the often-spurious connections made online. So neglecting real connections means neglecting who we really are.

Attention is the key to the memory

Janet Howd | 07 March 2014

To present effectively, you need information at your fingertips. And if you want your memory to work effectively, your mind must, at some time, have paid full attention to the subject it is expected to recall later.

Keep on with the tablets!

Janet Howd | 03 February 2014

The iPad is nothing new. After all, writing on tablets is almost as old as the hills – except that today's tablets are altogether more dynamic, possessing the power to bring information to life and electrify learning.

Want to be a better leader? Learn to be poetic

Janet Howd | 06 January 2014

A key component of leadership is the ability to make sure that other people understand what you want from them. The best way to go about that is to use "the best words in the best order" - which happens to be Samuel Taylor Coleridge's description of poetry.

Google, open minds and extended life

Janet Howd | 09 December 2013

Google's launch of Calico earlier this year to seek new ways to fight the aging process was met with some amusement and much skepticism. But the business plan of this novel venture is by no means novelty-based.

Changing your tone

Janet Howd | 25 November 2013

When you listen to a recording of your own voice, it never sounds like the voice your hear inside your head. But as vocal coach Janet Howd reveals, there are ways to change this.

Learn to be wrong to get to be right

Janet Howd | 04 November 2013

If you really want to improve your voice and presentation skills, learning how it feels to present badly is an essential step on the road to learning how to do it well.

Keep an eye on what's going on around you

Janet Howd | 30 July 2013

Why do peacocks fan their tails? Surprisingly, it isn't the size or the beauty of the peacock's tail that attracts a mate - in fact the female pays little attention to it once the two are face-to-face. So what has this got to do with management?

Boxing clever

Janet Howd | 18 June 2013

It's been argued that the invention of containerization led directly to the modern global economy. But it isn't just the packaging of goods that matters. How ideas are packaged is equally important.

Sharing information well

Janet Howd | 29 April 2013

You cannot be responsible for how a person uses information you present to them, but you are responsible for delivering it in such a clear and helpful a way that they can use it if they want.

The feel good factor of voicing thoughts

Janet Howd | 08 March 2013

Mark Twain once described lecturing as "gymnastics, chest expander, medicine, mind healer, blues destroyer all in one" - the same ingredients that make up a successful recipie for delivering a presentation.

To work is to act

Janet Howd | 04 February 2013

Today's jobs market is more uncertain than ever, with periods of unemployment and underemployment set to become commonplace. So perhaps we need to learn a thing or two from a group of people for whom this is the norm – actors.

Happy New Year

Janet Howd | 08 January 2013

As Cicero noted, "to consider and contemplate nature is the essential food for people's spirits and intelligence." Let's hope, then, that by drawing on the example of nature we can find new points of connection and a gain clearer understanding of one other in 2013.

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