Public Speaking: 6 Tips for a Successful Presentation

February 6, 2017 / no comments

Public Speaking Doesn’t Have to be Scary

Sweaty palms, heavy breathing, that uncontrollable handshake you just can’t seem to get under control: these are a few signs of either too much caffeine consumption or pre-presentation nerves. For some, public speaking is a chore, while for others, it’s a breeze. Rather than picturing the audience in their underwear (which 9/10 times DOES NOT work), hone your skills with these 6 tips and tricks to hit a presentation home run. Continue Reading…

Work – That’s No Excuse!

July 8, 2016 / no comments

We have all heard the excuse that there is no time to work out or be active because work is keeping you busy. Let me tell you, this isn’t a valid excuse. Yes, it is acceptable to enjoy your workout classes, and going to gym; however, there are several ways to strengthen muscles and increase flexibility while at work. 

Turn Your Commute Into a Workout

Make the effort to turn your commute to work into a workout. If you are located close enough to your work try and incorporate some jogging or cycling to work. However, if your commute is longer try and park halfway and then cycle or jog the rest. Getting in exercise before work will make you feel more awake throughout the day.

Swap the Chair for a Stability Ball

Improve your balance by getting rid of your regular chair and swapping it with a stability ball. This will allow you to have better balance and it will also engage your core. This is a more active alternative than slouching in your chair all day.

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Take the Stairs

I realize that the elevator saves you half the time and it’s right there when you walk in the door, but that is no excuse. Get in that extra exercise by panting up all those stairs. It is not the easier choice; however, you are more likely to see results compared to when you decide to take the elevator.

Workout at Lunch

At most offices, you are given 45 minutes – 1 hour for lunch. In this time you can go participate a short exercise class. Scope out the gyms near your office and find a place that works with your schedule. This is a great way to ensure that you get in your exercise for the day.

These are just a few ways to include exercise in your everyday work life. At the end of a workday it is normal to be exhausted and lazy. By incorporating little exercises throughout your day, you are more likely to feel energized!

Sources: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/exercise-at-work#sm.0000sh04wpi9hfl4rbo13ji8pr1xh

Avoiding Screen Fatigue with F.lux

January 7, 2016 / no comments

It’s a tale as old as time, one where you’ve been plugging away at your computer for hours without looking away. All of a sudden you turn to look out the window, and it’s as though your whole life is flashing before your eyes. You’ve successfully entered the mid-afternoon computer screen fatigue panic! Your eyes may feel like the surface of the sun, but you must persevere.

Luckily, screen fatigue doesn’t have to be the rest of your life; F.lux is here to change this daily struggle.

F.lux is a completely (yes, completely) free application which you can access online that will alter thephoto cred: www.justgetflux.com“temperature” of your screen depending on the time of day. Particularly when you work in an office environment with lots of natural light, F.lux alters your computer screen’s warmth to accommodate outside changes as the day progresses. This is especially important after the sun goes down, where your screen will adopt a yellow-orange hue that might throw you off at first. Don’t worry though, as this is supposed to help facilitate pre-sleep. This is especially helpful if you’re a fan of watching Netflix, working, or canvassing eBay for collectible action figures right before bed.

Screen fatigue (and eye strain) from staring at your screen is only going to become more and more of a

photo cred: www.improveeyesighthq.com

photo cred: www.improveeyesighthq.com

problem as the work we do becomes more and more computer-centric. While we have discussed taking breaks away from your screen in previous blogs, it doesn’t change the fact that the majority of your day will be spent in front of your screen’s warm glow. Simple changes, like the one F.lux is providing, are monumental in their day-to-day effect on user’s lives. While it is important to ensure that you aren’t (literally and proverbially) glued to your screen, F.lux is a useful way to successfully complete your work and avoid the piercing pain of the 2 o’ clock screen assault.

F.lux is another example of applications making minor adjustments to our everyday lives, with life-changing results. 

Why Are Snapchat Geofilters so Addictive?

December 31, 2015 / one comment

Chances are if you’ve been on Snapchat in the past year, that you might have noticed the opportunity to scroll (left or right) on your ‘snap’ and add filters — images which lay atop of the image you’ve just taken, often designating where you are, events in your area, or general advertisements.

What are geofilters?

Snapchat geofilters were originally released in July 2014, and since then they have gained a significant amount of popularity. Snapchat actually crowdsources the submissions for prospective geofilters, allowing users the opportunity to ‘rep’ their neck of the woods. This approach emphasizes the ability to design, contribute, and witness your work in action (should it receive approval). 

Why use geofilters?

First and foremost, geofilters are a great marketing strategy for companies. Millennials are flocking to

photo cred: therelacape.com

photo cred: therelacape.com

Snapchat in droves, and they represent an attractive demographic for marketers and companies alike. Simply put, it pays to be where the young people are most active. In addition to this, there are multiple locations which provide geofilters — with more being added every day. Miami, Oakville, and even Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood have their own unique geofilters. Geofilters are popular because they are unique to specific locations, that they are “exclusive” to certain areas makes them attractive to users. 

Why are geofilters so popular?

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From a big-picture perspective, geofilters allows users to identify with their current location. Users have the opportunity to share with their family and friends where they are, what they are doing, and what is going on in the world. Consider it one large social experiment in the ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO), where people share what they are doing so that everyone they know can acknowledge it and share back what they are doing. Companies are even able to create time-sensitive geofilters to market events, holidays, or social events. 

The next time you’re on Snapchat, no matter where you are in the world, swipe right or left to find out if your location has a geofilter. Soon enough you might be embarking on your own personal scavenger hunt to discover as many unique filters as possible. Happy hunting! 

New Year, New You: 6 New Year Applications For 2016

November 26, 2015 / no comments

The beginning of the year is often a mixed bag of emotions: first there is the inevitable holiday comedown, followed by the injection of promise and hope that comes from sketching out resolutions for the New Year. Often people lay out their goals with an eye towards remaining organized, bettering themselves, or maintaining that aliphone holdingl-important balance between work, family, and self-improvement.

What typically gets in the way? Our ability to follow through!


Thankfully, we have the technology to organize and maintain our goals! The following is a list of six new year applications which can help you maintain these goals, whether they are saving up for a trip to a faraway land, or simply remembering the day of the week:

Mint (https://www.mint.com/)

Many resolutions revolve around money;  There are many apps out there to help you keep in control of your finances, whether it is saving, budgeting, or simply tracking how much you’re spending. Mint provides the opportunity to intuitively keep track of your finances, coupled with tips and tricks about keeping your finances in order.

wunderlistWunderlist (https://www.wunderlist.com/)


The New Year application for to-do list for pros, Wunderlist offers the opportunity to sketch out all of your to-do’s in an intuitive and attractive space. Whether they are putting together a grocery list, compiling a list of action items for work, or simply remembering to walk the dog, it is easier to regiment and maintain everything you have to do for the day/week/month.

Wonderful Day (http://www.wonderfuldayapp.com/)

If repetition is the key to success, the app Wonderful Day will help make sure that you are tracking your consistency no matter how small the task. Wonderful Day is based simply on the idea of practice, where you make a list of activities and mark its accomplishment (ideally) every day. The streak alone will keep you motivated!


Headspace (
https://www.headspace.com/)

Maybe you’re looking to jump into 2016 with a more holistic approach to your health. Headspace is a meditation app designed to help make meditation simple. In only ten minutes a day, your “gym membership for the mind” can start off strong.

Sunrise (https://calendar.sunrise.am/)

photo cred: imore.com

photo cred: imore.com

In keeping with the theme of organization, Sunrise is a calendar app designed to streamline your day-to-day actives in a way that is effective and aesthetically pleasing. It can be combined with your other calendars, via Facebook or Google, to keep all of your appointments in one handy location. It’s a new years application made to keep you as organized as possible! 

Pillow (https://neybox.com/pillow/)

photo cred: geekwire.com

photo cred: geekwire.com

Trying to get better sleep, or to track your sleep patterns? Pillow is an effective app to keep track of your sleep, with detailed reports and an alarm component built to wake you up at the exact right time for your body.

With the help of these productive apps, your 2016 resolutions might become more than ideas floating around if your brain. These apps will help keep your organized, motivated, and hungry for more this year.

Personal Branding in the Workplace

October 15, 2015 / no comments

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As children, we think about what or who we want to become when we grow up. Maybe it’s a rock star or a fire fighter–or even a superhero! As teenagers, our imagination becomes a little more pragmatic and we begin to think more sensibly. ‘Maybe, I’ll become a doctor or a lawyer, even an investment banker’. But, as years pass and we enter adulthood, nearing the end of our academic career, the nightmare that is commonly referred to as ‘the real world’ begins to sink in, anxiety rises and we ask ourselves: ‘What the hell am I going to do with my life?’

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As many people have experienced, it’s not always easy to answer this question. Maybe it’s because people are still trying to find themselves, figuring out who they are and what they like. Thus, the answer to the question isn’t the problem, but the question itself is. It’s too overwhelming and scary to think about what we have planned for the rest of our lives. So instead, let’s tone it down and think basic. Ask yourself, ‘Who am I? What makes me different? How do I want people to see me?’ These are the most authentic questions we can ask ourselves. Everything we do is somehow founded upon these basic questions. For example, when an entrepreneur decides to start his/her own business, he/she has to figuring out their corporate identity; what sets themselves a part from their competitors, how to humanize themselves and build relationships with consumers and how they want to be perceived in the public eye. Thus, in many factors of life, we go back to the beginning and ask ourselves these types of questions. We can also use the answers to these questions to develop our own personal branding. Now that you know what you want–how do you sell your brand to a potential employee, client, or boss?

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Moreover, these are the basic questions of self-identity. By figuring out the answers to these questions, we uncover our passions, interests, hobbies, and eventual life goals. These revelations are what will help guide you to the second chapter of your life, when you begin to think about real world issues like: ‘What type of job do I want?’ By understanding your identity and your personal brand, the opportunities are endless. Your journey has only just begun.

Using Your Social Media Profiles as a Resume Boost

May 13, 2015 / no comments

Importance of Social Media for Your Resume

I’m slowly learning being in the digital marketing industry, especially social media it is more important how your social profiles and website look rather than your traditional resume.  Employers are more often than not using social media networks to find the right candidate, rather than going through resumes. Although it is important to maintain a proper resume, it is becoming even more important if not already as to how you conduct yourself on LinkedIn, Twitter and more recently Instagram.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is your professional tool that shows employers and connections that you mean business. Your profile is basically a digital resume showcasing your past jobs, responsibilities and how many people have recommended you on your skills. If you are seriously looking for a job keeping a polished LinkedIn page is your best bet at getting noticed and taken seriously. Not only does LinkedIn have millions of members which translates into millions of possibilities for connections, your profile also shows up in Google searches. When someone Google’s your name you want to ensure your professional profile comes up polished and well-kept and not an embarrassing Facebook photo, Google likes that.

Twitter

In the social media community management world, employers often want you to submit your Twitter handle. This allows them to see your thoughts, what brands you follow and care about, and how your content writing skills look in 140 characters or less. If you’ve become an emotional “tweeter” may I suggest not doing this and use your Twitter account to start conversations with brands or reach out to social influencers in your space to show that you are in the know.

Instagram

With the viral popularity of Instagram, employers may look at your account to see who you are as a person. The saying goes “pictures or it didn’t happen”. Instagram let’s employers briefly see into your life, what activities you participate in and how you see the world. Corporate culture and how you fit into a company is becoming more important than whether you have the right skills. If you are serious about making it in the social media industry, you better be on Instagram and you better know how to use the right filters.

The best advice I can give for people looking to dive into a social media career are;

1) Clean Up Your Social Profiles

Facebook photo albums of parties when you were 18 were fun but it’s a blast from the past that can be kept private.

2) Care About Who You Are Connecting With

Follow and engage with brands and companies you care about. Creating a personal community you are proud of will show potential employers you know how to manage their communities.

3) Create a Website, Landing Page, or Online Profile

Yes the profiles you manage live online and are available for anyone to see, but when employers are looking for the perfect candidate pulling the best stats from a profile or campaign you worked on will make their job a lot easier.

How to Make the Best of Your Morning Commute

March 27, 2015 / no comments

Photo cred: @cherngzhi

A morning and evening commute is everyone’s least favourite part of the day, but it’s really what you make of it. You can complain about how noisy, uncomfortable, slow and smelly the bus, subway or streetcars are, but do you feel any happier about it?

Here are a few tips that will make your morning commute more bearable:

subway+book

Photo cred: @huffpostbooks

1. Bring a book

Reading a book on your morning commute seems like a relatively simple thing to do, but getting lost in a story really helps distract you from what’s going on around you. You also don’t have to make awkward eye contact with anyone around you.

subway+sketch

Photo cred: @pandaporch

2. Bring a sketchbook

If you are the creative-type, bring a sketchbook and sketch the people around you (without being too obvious about it). It can start the creative juices inside of you and you might be inspired to create new ideas at work.

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Photo cred: @transcendent-one

3. Meditate

It may sound impossible to do, but if you close your eyes and focus on your breathing, meditating can be a great way to relax and de-stress on your commute. It takes practice, but you commute every day so there will be lots of time for that!

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Photo cred: @weheartit

4. Listen to music

Create a few awesome morning playlists to give you the energy to begin your workday and zone out and into your beats. Music can be a healing tool – especially when you’re trying to cancel out the screaming kid sitting beside you.

angry+birds+wallpaper

Photo cred: @mblng

5. Play Angry Birds

Angry Birds, or any other mindless game on your phone, will really allow you to focus on the task at hand (throwing birds in this case). It’s also a fun way to spend your time instead of starring at the bald guy across from you.

So these are five tips to zone into art, games, meditation, music or a book for the time you have to spend on your morning commute. Complaining does nothing for you and we’re all in the same boat. So make the best of your travels and start and end your workday in a positive frame of mind!

4 Ways To Be More Productive at Work

February 24, 2015 / one comment

Prioritize

Prioritizing tasks takes a lot of effort, but can ultimately help you be far more productive during your workday. Start with your most daunting tasks first. Completing your largest, most difficult projects at the beginning of the workday, when your mind is the freshest, will ensure that they are not avoided. Give yourself realistic time limits for each of your projects and execute accordingly. Not only will this help you have a more efficient workday, but it will also decrease stress. Prioritizing is key.

 Create To Do Lists

First thing in the morning, make a to do list of all the things you need to accomplish over the course of the workday in a priority sequence, along with any other notes you need to remember. Making a to do list first thing in the morning helps to organize your entire day and allows you to clearly see what you need to achieve. Set time goals for each task and try and stick to them. A good tip for creating to do lists is to break down when you are at your peak performance each day, and plan your to do list tasks accordingly so you are using those peak times to complete your most complicated tasks.

 Schedule Breaks

Strategizing and writing take a lot of mental effort and you brain can only focus for a specific amount of time. Schedule a break into your workday routine. Short breaks help you to be more productive during your workday as they help you focus, reenergize and keep your momentum up. Getting away from your desk for even a few short minutes allows you to come back with a fresh perspective and can help you produce better quality work!

 Don’t Multi Task

Since we are creatures of habit, it is safe to say that our brains are not good at multi-tasking or task switching. When multi-tasking, you are unable to focus on important details and are more likely to forget things, or leave things out. Multitasking also makes you less productive. Experts say that individuals experience a 40% loss in productivity when multi tasking or task switching between projects. It’s better to focus on one task at a time to produce effective, quality work and be more productive in the workplace.