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Project Skills Newsletter Issue #3 - Top 5 PowerPoint Tips For Consultants
December 24, 2013


Welcome to Issue #3 of my Project Skills Newsletter.

Also, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!

1. Featured Article

If you’re a consultant or a business analyst, you usually have to produce a LOT of PowerPoint slides. These could be used for anything from updating project status, to delivering a sales pitch for a new proposal.

Whatever your objectives, it’s clear that PowerPoint skills are imperative for a consultant or business analyst.

In this article, I want to show you 5 PowerPoint tips for consultants. Consultants I speak to swear by these tips and agree that they are critical to developing good and persuasive PowerPoint slides ...

Click here to read more.

2. Tip of the Week

My tip of the week is to pick up the phone and talk to your stakeholders.

Yes - literally pick up the phone and speak to them.

One of the problems I see in project management these days is the lack of communication with stakeholders.

We define a project plan, brief all team members and stakeholders at a kick-off meeting and later, during project status meetings.

But in between, many PMs just send out email updates to stakeholders. And I know some PMs do that because they prefer not to "face up" to stakeholders. In case they ask for something more or try to increase the scope.

That's the wrong viewpoint. You should engage stakeholders, and not just through email.

Get out there, speak to them on the phone. Or better yet, walk over to them and ask them out for a lunch or coffee. Understand their concerns and worries.

Yes, it takes more time to physically speak to someone than email them.

But in the long run, doing this will greatly increase your stakeholder management capabilities and improve your chances of project success.

So get out there and speak to your stakeholders!

3. Book of the Week

Each week, I pick out one book related to project management, business analysis or project delivery.

My book of the week this week is "The Business Analyst's Handbook".

Many of the reference books for business analysts I've read are pretty dry. They're nice as a reference but usually very theoretical. It's hard for a beginner to apply the BA concepts to the real world.

What the author Howard Podeswa has done in this book is to blend theory with practice. And he is one of my professional heroes - I salute him for standing up for the Business Analyst profession.

In my opinion, the BA role is way under-rated in the corporate world. Many of my project successes are attributable to solid business analysts and their application of their skills to define good business strategies and requirements.

If you need help facilitating, organizing and disseminating business information - this book will help you.

If you need a pocket reference to learn more about business analysis, this book will help you too.

If you want a "starter kit" for Business Analysts joining your firm, this book would be the mandantory reading material.

If you're working in information systems analysis and design, consulting or similar areas, this book is a must.

I highly recommend it, and you should check it out!

Final Thoughts

To all my subscribers - I hope you have a Christmas week ahead! If you have any questions, send feel free to send me an email. I'd love to hear from you. We'll speak soon!

Very Respectfully,
Gary Tan
Author, Project Manager & Business Analyst

P.S. Check out my tips and resources for the PM and BA.


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