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PowerPoint Presentations

You've seen tens of 'em, maybe hundreds or for the unlucky few...thousands. How many great ones have you seen?

Here's a very, very good powerpoint presentation from Matt Homann at The NonBillable Hour. There are many reasons it's good. A few points of excellence caught my eye:

Graphic images: They best convey emotion. Almost every slide uses powerful graphic images.

Font sizes: Varied from slide to side. Big enough to read without distracting you from the image.

Text: The author's kept the text and the content with each slide simple. It's an easy setup then for him to add his personality, emotion, power, passion.

Also from Matt, is a funny, spot-on video of How NOT to Make a PowerPoint.

As a result we have a 2-step plan for a better PowerPoint presentation:

Step 1) Look at Matt's powerpoint presentation. Emulate his approach with graphics and text and images.

Step 2) Look at How NOT to Make a PowerPoint. Make sure you avoid EVERY one of these errors.

There. Pretty simple. Put those 2 steps together and you can't lose.

Oh. Practice, practice, practice.

And that includes practicing with your web conference service. Make sure you practice your presentation, handling the slides, as you would with our web conference services. We'll even help you practice. Practice makes perfect with Web Conferences.

July 30, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Free The Slaves President on ABC's Primetime Tuesday

Kevin Bales, President of Free The Slaves, will appear on ABC's Primetime Tuesday at 10:00 PM Eastern. His appearance is part of their segment detailing the story of a 9-year old Egyptian girl, sold into slavery and shipped to California from Cairo, Egypt.  There, in sunny California she worked as a a family's maid without pay...She was 9 years old!

This isn't an anomaly, an aberration, an exception to the rule. Modern day slavery continues to exist. According to the website of Free The Slaves, there are 27 million slaves worldwide...TODAY.

You can help end this misery by sharing this story, donating to Free The Slaves and/or calling your US Congressional representative to ask them to co-sponsor HR 2522 which creates a commission to study how best to end worldwide slavery.

Free The Slaves was one of the first groups we supported as part of  our Corporate Philanthropy project. We announced that last year. We're proud to help spread their message and bring attention to their work to end worldwide human slavery.

July 30, 2007 in Philanthropy | Permalink | Comments (0)

Small Business Resource of the Month


This site features over 19,000 training videos covering topics like blogging, podcasting, and web design. In addition, you can find basic office application training as well as more advanced technical training covering things like MySql and PHP. You can watch the videos or purchase DVD and book versions as well.

The videos are created by expert trainers and authors from around the world. At $25 per month for a basic membership, this is a steal!

Link from John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing Blog.

July 25, 2007 in Business Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bit Literacy: A solution for "Information and Email Overload"

Bitliteracycvr175_2 I've found a pleasant, productive, easy-to implement solution for "Information and Email Overload" and I want to share it with you, our customers and friends. It's contained in a book, authored by Mark Hurst, titled Bit Literacy. And it's worked so well for me that:

1) We bought a copy for everyone here in the company;

2) We'll buy a copy for the first 10 customers who follow the instructions at the end of this post.

Now, let me share with you my pain from "Information and Email Overload" and the impact on this pain as I read Bit Literacy.

My email inbox on April 23rd recently carried 2500+ emails. (Before Christmas that number was over 5000.) Some of them I've read...

It's not merely a number. It's 2500 bits that slow the performance of my Outlook. It's 2500 bits that need to be checked when I'm told it was closed inappropriately. It's 2500 bits I look at that, need to be sorted, add to my frustration, distract me...make me much less efficient.

I don't think I'm alone. I'm willing to bet that many of our customers face the same if not bigger problem. From Bit Literacy:

Bits are heavy...Appearing in large numbers as they often do, bits weigh people down, mentally and emotionally, with incessant calls for attention and engagement.

Bits are appearing everywhere today, and people are feeling the strain.

The global economy is full of overloaded workers who are more weighed down, less productive, and ultimately less happy as human beings because of too many bits, and no solution for dealing with them. From CEOs to schoolteachers, designers to doctors, students to retirees, millions of people around the globe have an immediate need to solve their bit overload.

But, as of May 4, 2007 and through July 16, that number in my inbox is...15. I've not completed Bit Literacy. But following the advice of Mark Hurst, its author, I've reduced the number of emails in my inbox from 2500+ to under 15.

That makes me happier, more focused, less distracted, more productive and that translates throughout my day into better interactions with everyone in the company and outside the company.

And we'll help you achieve the same Bit Literacy with your emails. Leave a comment in this post. In the comment field include your account number as a customer with Conference Calls Unlimited. We'll use that to confirm your order and mailing location. We'll deliver a free copy to your mailing location on file. 

We'll gather your comments and feedback over the next weeks. And based on that feedback we'll decide to expand that offer for more customers...or not.

Here are the instructions again:

1) Add a comment

2) Include your account number  as a customer with Conference Calls Unlimited.

3) I'll call and confirm your contact and mailing information with you before we order your book.

4) One book per customer.

5) Towards the end of June, if I haven't heard from you, I'll call you to get your feedback.

6) We'll share your comments in a separate post (with your prior permission). Good or bad. This is the greatest book ...ever! Or what a waste of time. We'll share 'em, again only with your prior permission.

July 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Customer Service Podcast

A Day in the Life is a twice-weekly podcast series created Theresa Chatelle and Cindy Whitney, our Customer Service Mavens. They'll share their rubber-meets-the-road, or phone line-meets-the-conference-bridge, tips you can use to gain more value from your conference calls and real-life stories from serving our customers' needs.

You can hear Theresa and Cindy several different ways:

* Subscribe to the podcast with your RSS Reader. Here's how:

1) Right click the graphic below:


2) Choose 'copy shortcut'

3) Paste the feed into your rss reader.

From there you'll receive the feeds with each new recording added to this podcast series. And you can manage the recording files on to your desktop for later listening, listen to them in streaming mode immediately or add them to your MP3 player of choice.

* Subscribe to the podcast with your iTunes. Here's how:

1) Right click this link.

2) Choose 'copy shortcut'.

3) Enter it into iTunes' search function.

4) Follow its steps to subscribe.

* Subscribe to the blog Conference Call Best Practices with your RSS reader:

1) Right click any of the feed icons within the right margin in the Subscribe to Conference Call Best Practices.

2) Choose 'copy shortcut'.

3) Paste the feed into your rss reader.

* Subscribe to the blog Conference Call Best Practices by email. Visit the blog and enter your email in the field on the right in the section called Subscribe to Conference Call Best Practices. With each new post you'll receive an email with the content to the post and a link to the blog.

With each new recorded conversation in A Day in the Life we'll create a post that includes a link to the MP3 recording so you can download for later listening or listen in streaming mode.

Get to know Theresa and Cindy, our Customer Service Mavens, as they share their day and tips to help you make your conference calls more productive.

July 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

July's Customer Winner: Analysts in Media

Analysts in Media, Inc. is our monthly winner for July. They'll receive an engraved iPod Shuffle in the mail shortly.

According to their website, Analysts in Media, Inc, headquartered in Manhattan, NY, is a leading global provider of high quality, comprehensive information resource for the professional and enthusiast markets. They are changing the world of media by providing leading U.S. organizations of all sizes and across all major industry verticals the opportunity to encourage a meaningful dialog with premier research firms to not only address business and technology challenges, but forecasts industry trends.


July 16, 2007 in customer winners | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Customer Benefit

We’re pleased to announce our partnership with PeerSightOnline. PeersightOnline offers an innovative affordable approach to traditional Peer Advisory Boards for your organization’s leaders.

We’ve used it with great success! And that’s why we brought this resource and the chance to judge for yourself, as our customer, with a complimentary month.

First, what’s a Peer Advisory Board?

A Peer Advisory Board is a group of your peers offering advice and counsel. For business, Peer Advisory Boards usually consist of C-Level executives (Chief Executive, Chief Financial, Chief Operating…Officer) who meet regularly to share with each their solutions and insights gained from their experience. The purpose being to bring renewed focus, improved execution and sustainable growth to their businesses.

Thousands of small business executives in all parts of the world use Peer Advisory Board services. And rightfully so with just these 2 reasons: 1)  90% of their members would recommend it to others. 2) Industry standards indicate that for the past 5+ years businesses that have joined a board have grown at a rate of 2 to 3 times faster than before they joined.  (I don’t know about you. But I’d like to see our business grow 2-3 times faster. )

What’s unique about PeerSightOnline?

PeersightOnline offers a Peer Advisory Board benefit to entrepreneurs, majority owners and C-Level executives in a format that best fits the busy, time-pressed, schedules they may face. Using online resources, audio, and soon web, conference services, PeerSightOnline can provide the same benefits but at far less cost and a more convenient schedule.

Peer insight and review has proven itself as an invaluable tool to build sustainable, profitable and growing businesses and organizations.  The value from regularly scheduled meetings with C-level peers in a variety of industries comes from the wisdom and experience shared in a confidential setting to address challenges and obstacles common in business today.

What’s in it for you as our customer?

Our partnership offers you, our customers, a complimentary month of PeerSightOnline’s innovative and effective approach to Peer Advisory Boards.  This complimentary month will allow you to judge for yourself the effectiveness of PeerSightOnline in creating sustainable growth and profitability for small business.

But the true benefit we hope you experience is an affordable resource to help sustain your growth. Executive isolation is one of the biggest challenges of leading an organization. The setting of PeerSightOnline’s advisory boards provides a confidential setting where peer executives can share challenges and solutions, wisdom and experience, to help each other face similar challenges. The common challenge for all businesses is sustainable growth.

How does it work?

It’s simple. There’s an online application process that’s described below.

There’s a 3-month minimum commitment. This will allow you to judge the benefits over several Board meetings with your peers. Meetings are held by conference call every 3 weeks. There are personal coaching sessions and quarterly (or more) presentations from leading business experts. There are online tools and content for members. Click here for details of PeerSight Online's program.

And all you have to do is participate. Bring your unique knowledge and expertise to share in an open, confidential setting with your peers facing many of the same challenges you face. You learn; they learn. They grow; you grow.

Can anyone join?

Membership benefits are best found with CEO, President or majority Owners of businesses with at least $500,000 annual revenues and 3 employees who can make the commitment to meet by phone every 3 weeks for 2 hours. Members come from companies of this size to those with over $20 million in revenue and dozens of employees. 

Board members bring a full range of business expertise from marketing to operations, finance to IT. The leaders at PeerSightOnline will make sure you join a board that allows you the greatest benefit from participation as a problem-solver and with members whose backgrounds offer diverse knowledge, expertise and solutions.

How to Join:

It’s very easy to join PeersightOnline. And it’s very easy for you, as our customer, to receive the added month of complimentary service with PeerSightOnline.  Here are the easy steps:

1) Review PeerSightOnline: www.PeerSightOnline.com

2) Apply Online: http://peersightonline.com/apply.aspx

NOTE: Part 2 of the Online Application asks for Referral Code. Make sure you enter your 6-digit Account Number with Conference Calls Unlimited. We’ll be notified when you apply with only your account number and company name and contact information.

3) Interview. You’ll be asked to schedule a time for an interview with PeerSightOnline’s executives. The purpose of this is to insure the greatest fit between you and the members of your Peer Advisory Board.

4) Your Story. We’d love to hear your stories of success with PeerSightOnline’s Peer Advisory Boards. With Steve and Andrew MacGill, the founders of PeerSightOnline, we plan to interview you at a later date and with your permission share your story with our customers.

Your success drives ours. We’re confident you’ll experience the same benefits for your company from membership with PeerSightOnline that we’ve experienced. Success isn’t guaranteed. But this resource adds to those resources you use now to drive your organization’s success.    That’s why we wanted to make it available to you.

As an enthusiastic customer of PeerSightOnline, I’d be happy to answer your questions.

Thanks for being our customers.

Zane Safrit


Conference Calls Unlimited

877-227-0611, ext. 12

July 16, 2007 in Business Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)