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Can you join the telecommuting trend?

I’m a writer.

The urge to put pen to paper … er, fingers to keyboard … can strike at any given time. I’m rarely far from my laptop and, when I am, I have a wonderful little tablet to keep the words flowing.

And you know what that means.

I can do my job from anywhere. As long as I’m just writing, I don’t even need an internet connection … only when it’s time to post my work.

My office space can be my dining room table (most of the time, it is), the couch, the gym, Starbucks or the park.

What need for a daily commute to the office and home again?

What need for desk space, surrounded by co-workers just as annoyed by overhead fluorescent lights and the bustle of a communal area?

A manager towering over me, nagging for copy?

Writers and editors are on a list of occupations prime for telecommuting.

Compiled by The Conference Board last year, the list is grouped into three categories: travelling salesman, tech expert and “The Recluse.”

Those of us who need a quiet space to accomplish our tasks are classed as “recluses.”

“For individuals whose work is often independent and benefits from a quiet workspace, the solitude of one’s own home can be as, or even more, conducive to success than an office environment,” The Conference Board writes on its Human Capital Exchange blog.

Telecommuting and telework still belongs to “niche occupations, which share similar characteristics,” TCB says, but technology like web conferencing and conference calling allows for seamless communication between employee and employer, or client and business professional.

Is your profession on the list of occupations? Can you approach your manager or employer for the opportunity to work from home? Or anywhere?

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Designing your web conference slide deck

The secret to a great speech or presentation is the delivery, right?

Sure thing. The right person with that soupcon of charisma can sell me darn near anything.

But when it comes to webinars and web conferences, we shouldn’t be leaving it all up to our personalities. And we certainly don’t want our participants doing this:

Man asleep at computer

We can make sure our content helps us engage our audience and sell our topic. All good webinars and web conferences have an introduction, a body and a conclusion that all wraps up with a Contact Us/Me slide.

Here are a few simple tips on making your slide deck  just as interesting as your delivery:

✔ Use Pictures

The Visual Teaching Alliance has some amazing statistics on its front page:

• The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text
• 90 per cent of information that comes to the brain is visual
• Visual aids in the classroom improve learning by up to 400 per cent

Amazing, right? Something as simple as a photo, graphic or pie chart can capture your audience and help them better absorb your content.

But make sure the picture is relevant. What does someone running through a field of daisies have to do with social media anyway?

✔ Minimize the Text

That sounds crazy coming from a writer, write? Er … right?

Your audience members typically aren’t interested in reading great volumes of text to get to the point.

Keep each slide simple with a single thought. Some might tell you to add supportive bullet points but evidence has shown your audience doesn’t always make the connection.

With a single thought on each slide, you give the idea more impact and allow your audience time to process it.

✔ Be Interactive

Use slides that ask questions or takes a poll of your audience. You can encourage your audience members to answer on the chat feature of OnConference’s web conferencing platform.

As the presenter, you are notified of any responses in your web conferencing control window.


Keep it simple, silly … that’s something I learned a long time ago from a photography mentor. Above all else, keep your deck simple. There’s no point in throwing tons of information at your audience members and forcing them to digest it all.

You want to present your case, solve their problem and give them a call-to-action.

And when you’re reading to give your web conference, hook up with OnConference for a service provider that offers 24/7 live operator support and a 100% guarantee. If you’re not happy, you will not pay.

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