Making Presentations

1. Draft your presentation before making the slides. Outlining helps you make sure you have a clear message for each slide, and removes the temptation to stuff each slide with too many words, or too many points.


2. Use simple layouts; Skip the stock template and create cleaner presentations by starting with a clean presentation and building from there.
3. Use a consistent colour scheme for slides, headings, charts. For example: the first bar/pie in the chart must always be blue, the second red and so on.
4. Use few (~5) colours
5. Make sure your charts present data in descending/ascending order.
6. Have clear titles and headings.
7. Cite sources on the slide and not in a compendium at the end.
8. Have only one key message per slide and present it in a yellow box or in the heading.
9. Have an Executive Summary slide. This could also double as the conclusion slide.
10. Have slide numbers.
11. Have a slide with the names/photos of the team-members.
12. Change colour/size for emphasis instead of bolding.
13. Do not use cliches.
14. Avoid bullet points as much as possible
15. Use Sans Serif Fonts

Tips & Tricks

16. Start with a date. It gets people thinking about how long ago it was, if they can guess what happened on that date, if it was in their lifetime, what were they doing back then. It is one of the few universal presentation openers that is almost guaranteed to engage your audience immediately.




18. Give handouts to the panel.
19. Have the team members introduce themselves.
20. Always speak in “we” and not “I”.
21. Mention the key takeaway from each slide.
22. Know thy numbers.







How to Answer?

In a job interview, what you say matters as much as how you say it. So don’t qualify your speech with unnecessary or unconfident adverbs.

Common Mistakes

1. Not smiling. People like to be around happy people.
2. Not making eye contact. Eye contact shows confidence.

3. Knowing nothing about the company. Do your research.

4. Practicing bad posture. Stop crossing your arms. Sit up straight.

5. Fidgeting too much. It can be hard when you are nervous, but try not to act like you are missing your drug fix.

6. Not showing enthusiasm. Act like you want to be there.

7. Complaining about previous jobs. Bad mouthing former employers won’t make you look good to potential new ones. Show some class.

8. Dressing too trendy. Don’t be flashy. Keep it boring and professional.

9. Not asking any questions. Yes, they want to make sure you are the right fit for the job, but you also have to make sure the job is the right fit for you.
10. Not being punctual. Arrive a little bit early. If you’re late, don’t bother showing up.

To effectively answer the “Tell Me About Yourself” question, your response should be broken into five categories.

  • Recent professional achievements
  • Educational achievements
  • Applicable skills
  • Professional goals
  • Reason for interest in the company

Unless necessary, try not to go over 30 seconds per category. That gives you a solid 2 minute and 30 second presentation to start yourself out on the right foot. Try not to go less than two minutes, and avoid going over 3 minutes.

For more details see:


At the end of your answer, add a line that shows why your skills and what you just said would make you a good asset for the firm. You should try to do this even with irrelevant questions. The Daily Muse even suggests using the opportunity to ask a question of your own, and when you do that, make it a question that makes you look favorable

Source: Lifehacker

What Are Your Strengths?

Frame your strengths as: ‘I accomplished X, relative to Y, by doing Z.’ Most people would write a résumé like this: ‘Wrote editorials for The New York Times.’ Better would be to say: ‘Had 50 op-eds published compared to average of 6 by most op-ed [writers] as a result of providing deep insight into the following area for three years.’

Source: Google’s senior vice president of people operations Laszlo Bock

What Are Your Weaknesses?


Questions You Can Ask The Interviewer

At the end of a job interview, most potential employers ask if you have any questions. If this makes you nervous, ask the interviewer their opinion, rather then asking a direct question. Frame your question as if you’re asking for the opinion or experience of the interviewer.

For example, instead of asking “What’s the company culture here?” try “What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about office life?” Instead of “How is the company hoping to grow in the next year?” try “What are you most excited about for the company in the next year?

Source: Focus on Your Interviewer’s Opinion to Avoid Dumb Questions


  • Is This a New Position, or Are You Looking to Backfill the Role?
  • What Are the Expectations for This Role—and How Regularly Are Employees Evaluated?
  • What Opportunities Do Employees Have for Professional Growth?
  • What Made You Excited About Joining the Company?

Source: 4 Nosy Interview Questions You’re Allowed to Ask (Because the Answers Matter)

What are the common attributes of your top performers?

What are the 5- and 10-year goals of the company? — This tells the interviewer that you’re thinking about the future, and that you care about where the company is going. You’ll get an idea of whether this is a company you want to stick around with or not.

What’s the process for on-boarding employees, and how do you handle beginner mistakes?

What are some ways the company focuses on team development?

Is This a Vacancy, or a New Position (and, if It’s a Vacancy, What’s Up)?

What Is the Turnover Rate on the Team (or, at This Organization)?

Do Team Members Typically Go Out for Lunch, or Do They Eat at Their Desks?

After This Conversation, Do You Have Any Hesitations About My Qualifications?


  • Start on time. State your goals. Keep gatherings small.
 1. “Keep the meeting as small as possible. No more than seven people.”
2. “Ban devices.”
3. “Keep it as short as possible — no longer than an hour.”
4. “Stand-up meetings are more productive.”
5. “Make sure everyone participates and cold-call those who don’t.”
6. “Never hold a meeting just to update people.”
7. “Always set an agenda out ahead of time – and be clear about the purpose of the meeting.”
Source: Harvard Business Review

Waste Less of Your Time in Meetings with the 10-30-50-90 Method

10 minutes for check ins and quick questions.
30 minutes for status updates and one-on-ones.
50 minutes for addressing multiple issues or topics.
90 minutes for brainstorming and problem-solving.

Source: Alison Davis on


OK! I can definitely tackle this, but I’d like to review something before I proceed.

Right now my current priorities are: [list them in order].

Would you like this new assignment to be my top priority?

If so, that’s no problem, but it means that—since we’re pushing several other items down the list—all of my other projects will get completed slightly later.

“Happy to help.” End conversations with this phrase to let the other person know you’re a resource for them going forward.
“Great question, I’ll find that out for you.” Buy yourself the time to find out the right answer for someone to be seen as a reliable worker. If you want, you can add specifically what you’ll do figure out the answer.
“May I ask why that is?” You can use this question to respectfully dig deeper into a complaint or negative feedback from a coworker.
“As much as I’d love to help…” When you have to turn down a request, soften the blow by starting with this phrase and ending with the reason(s) why.


1. Preparing For Class

  • Watch a YouTube video, about the subject you will be taking notes on tomorrow, before the class if you don’t want to do the reading.

2. In Class

2.1. Note-Taking


  1. Handwrite Your Notes Instead of Typing Them for Better Memory Retention
  2. Use your own standardized shorthand
  3. Practice active listening
  4. Stick to keywords and very short sentences.
  5. Consider using the Mind-mapping Method or Cornell Method of note-taking or a personal hybrid mixture.



3. After Class

Plan weekly. Attend all your classes and sit in the front. Take notes. Do all the homework. Apply the 45/15 minutes rule.

LPT: College students, attend your professor’s office hours and ask for letters of recommendation at the end of the semester.

  • No matter whether you arrive early or late, sit in the first row.
  • Recap and complete any missing bits: Spend five minutes right after the lecture to complete any missing information

3.1. Writing A Paper

Here is my personal technique for organizing my research. It’s time consuming, but I find it extremely useful. When doing your reading, keep a word document open and transcribe passages from the books or articles, with page numbers. Not just quotes you intend to use, but the key points in every source, so that you can review them easily without going back to the book every time. A good writer will stop occasionally to summarize succinctly what he’s just said. Collect these key sentences in your notes and you will always have an easy guide to each of your sources, not to mention that simply writing it all down will help it stick in your brain. 90% of what you’ve copied out won’t make it into your paper (I sometimes wind up with 30 pages of notes for a 15 page paper), but you will be able to easily copy-paste quotes into your paper, and remember how they fit into the original article, so you don’t risk misinterpreting.

Outlines are annoying, but it’ll cut the time it take you to write a paper in half. It lets you see how your ideas fit together, so you can move them around and organize them without having to re-write entire paragraphs or pages. If you write without outlines you probably find that you often get stuck on a certain point and can’t move forward. The outline will let you progressively flesh out the whole paper without hitting a writer’s block. Use the outline to strategically place your quotes and make sure they’re all well-supported. The word you should always be keeping in mind is “Because.” Every claim you make should be “because of” several examples from your sources. Every quote should have a “he says this because…” If you can’t think of any “because”s for a certain idea, it should not be in your paper. Once you have an outline, all you should need to do is fill it in with transition and topic sentences.

The intro and conclusion paragraphs should be last things you write. In the course of writing a paper you will almost definitely reach conclusions or think of new ideas that didn’t occur to you when you set out. If you get too attached to your original intro and thesis statement, you risk fudging your results to fit your hypothesis, when you should really make your thesis fit your findings. Your introduction should be written like you’re trying to explain the paper to a friend who doesn’t know anything about the topic. Your conclusion should be written like you’re trying to explain to your professor why your paper is important.

Topic sentences: It should be possible to read only the first and last sentences of each paragraph and still understand what your paper is saying. Not only should they capture the point of the paragraph, they should indicate how one paragraph leads to the other.


3.3. While Studying On Your Own

  • Maintain an Anti-Distraction List on Google Keep, as was mentioned in the Google Keep post.
  • Leave your desk only after cleaning it

Public Speaking

Write down main points, sub points and certain exact phrases you think are powerful. However, if you stick too much to a script it will come off as less persuasive. Why should the audience care to remember your speech if you don’t even remember it while giving it?

That being said, the way to handle a speaking engagement is to memorize the ideas, not the words

However, if you must read from a sheet of paper, when delivering a speech, print it and change the text color every four lines to keep your place.

What to Say?

Author Ramit Sethi explains this method:

This storytelling framework has three parts: situation, obstacle, and solution. It’s perfect for telling stories about “challenges” you faced.

Using this technique to craft your story helps you create a compelling narrative because obstacles naturally evoke powerful emotions. This framework also forces you clarify what your beginning, middle, and end are, giving you a cohesive and clear story. This S.O.S. framework can also be adapted to both social and professional situations.