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Is your work appreciated?

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July 8, 2013 by smallarmyjeff

I can vividly remember how my former partner, Mike Connell, treated every piece of creative work he produced.  The way he meticulously mounted it on black boards, carefully aligned each border to perfection, smoothed out the tiniest of air bubbles, and lightly held each board by the edges to avoid the slightest hint of fingerprints.  As a result, despite the often frustrating last minute rush to get to meetings on time, the work was always deeply appreciated and met with awe by clients.

However, great work (i.e., creative ideas, research findings, data analysis, strategic recommendations, etc.) is not always appreciated.  So, I’ve put together these five tips to help ensure it is:

1.    Show respect for your work
As Mike did so well, treat your work like a masterpiece.  Others will follow.

2.    Let your passion shine through
If you are not excited about your work, how can you expect anyone else to be?  Show enthusiasm, and encourage others on your team to do the same.

3.    Remove extraneous matter
Don’t include details that are not necessary.  Otherwise, your audience may focus on the wrong things.

4.    Proof for mistakes.  Again.  Again.  Again.
Credibility can go out the window with one wrong number, a spelling error or incorrect reference.  Proof your work.  Then have someone else do it.  Repeat as necessary.

5.    Make it digestible
It’s important that your audience doesn’t get a headache or, even worse, fall asleep (I’ve seen it happen).  Smart use of colors, charts, fonts and other design elements can help avoid this situation.

Next time you have to present work to your boss, a colleague, a client or anyone else, keep these tips in mind.  Your work will be appreciated much more – and good things generally follow.

Have a great day!

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