Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to reduce the margins of a PPT handout

Every time I print handouts of my presentation, PowerPoint always leaves large unnecessary white space around the individual slide. This is a predetermined setting, which is quite annoying.
Here is one simple tip to reduce the margins of the handout and enlarge the slide images:

Step 1:
In the PowerPoint, Print  -> "Print What" choose "Slides"-> OK
For example, print it to "single_slide.pdf"

Step 2:
Open the "single_slide.pdf" in Adobe Acrobat or any other pdf viewer.
File -> Print -> Properties -> Layout -> "Pages Per Sheet" -> choose the number of slides you want on each page -> OK
For example, print it to "double_slides.pdf"

Here you go, now you can have a handout with smaller margin in the "double_slides.pdf".

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tips to be more professional

  1. Practice presentation skills. Speak clear, loud, and slower (especially if you have a foreign accent).
  2. Let figures/charts/graphs tell stories in presentation slides, avoid using too many texts.
  3. Small talk skills.
  4. When speaking with other people, avoid using "mmm", "nnn", "I see", "yes", "you know", "like" too often between sentences.
  5. When reviewing document from coworkers, turn on "track change".
  6. Confirm your receipt of any important documents.
  7. If  you want to change/improve anything proposed by clients, ask for their permission/agreement first. But before you ask, make sure you have prepared enough backup materials to support your proposal and convince the clients.
  8. When you are holding a meeting/tele-conference, it is important to keep the meeting on track and focus on the topic on hand.
  • Have an agenda 
  • Tactfully cut the conversation/discussion not relevant to the topic
  • Identify the decision makers, guide them to actively attend the discussion and don't cut their discussion in the middle.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Free Software to do Statistical Analysis

Recently I was working on a project which requires analysis of thousands of traffic data. Unfortunately, I have to use Excel since I don't have access to software like SPSS or SAP. Excel gave me a headache because it runs slowly and you cannot easily generate some special graphs and change the settings.
A friend recommended R -a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics developed at Bell Laboratories.
R provides a wide variety of statistical (linear and nonlinear modelling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering, ...) and can produce well-designed plots. Users have full control (I like it!).
Most of all, it is Free Software :)

Insert the Number of Pages in Word 2007

In earlier versions of Word, it is quite simple to insert Page Number and the Number of Pages since these two options are placed next to each other on the same menu.
But in Word 2007, it took me a while to find out the Number of Page option:
Insert -> Quick Parts->Field->NumPages

Hey, isn't it a frequently used option? Why hide it so deep??