Friday

Business presentation skills differ from those of general public speaking

If you are terrified of public speaking, you are not alone. This does not necessarily mean that you are likely to have a problem making a business presentation. The skills needed in both cases may be similar however, the audience is generally different. Here are some of the ways that business presentation skills differ from those of general public speaking:

Your audience - Chances are that general public speaking is going to involve talking to (or in front of) a group of people who have varying degrees of interest and knowledge about the topic you are speaking about.  In some cases when you are doing a general speaking engagement, people are looking for more in-depth information than you might be prepared to provide.

A business presentation on the other hand, is generally made to a group of like minded individuals with some knowledge of the topic you are discussing. While making a presentation to a group of like-minded individuals has challenges, they are often far less intimidating than a general speaking engagement.

The setting - In general, a public speaking role is done in a larger setting (auditoriums, halls, etc.) while a business presentation is often done in a much smaller setting. This can be a conference room or an even smaller setting such as an office.

From time to time you may be asked to do a business presentation in a setting that is not ideal (such

Thursday

How does Twitter handle the accounts of deceased users?

More people are becoming involved in some form of Internet socializing, blogging and other Internet activities than ever before.  What is not always clear when signing up for these websites is what happens when the person who owns the account dies.  While many websites that share content do not clarify this, Facebook did so in October of 2009 and now Twitter has taken steps to do so as well.

Proving Legal Access Rights

According to CNN Twitter now has very specific requirements to prove that someone is in fact deceased and another person has legal rights to access their Twitter accounts. Once this right is proved to the satisfaction of Twitter, one of two things may occur (1) Twitter will completely close the decedent's account, or (2) an archive of all the decedent's tweets will be sent to the family for offline use.  The survivors do not have any other alternatives via the Twitter policies.

Comparison to Facebook

Twitter's policies are not the same as Facebook's policies. Facebook policies state that in the event of the death of a user, the account may still remain active and others can post to the decedents wall.  Facebook does ensure that no other person is allowed to log into the decedent's account however, though it may remain active.  In the event that the family does not wish for the account to remain active, the account may be completely blocked and will no longer show up in searches.

What is Missing in Twitter's Policy

What is lacking in the Twitter policy to handle the accounts of deceased users is that there is no allowance for those who might wish to have the account wiped out completely (e.g., complete removal of all tweets) and there is also no allowance for those who might wish to have it archived anyplace but the Library of Congress.

The only two options that Twitter offers both include removal of all of the decedent's information from the Twitter stream.  This is regardless of what the wishes of the decedent. In addition, Twitter has made no allowance for what might happen if more than one family member submits requests that are contrary to each other.

Business owners who have business partners may also face problems. For example, assume that one partner manages a business marketing account on Twitter and that partner dies.  Twitter's policies in effect "kill" the account with it, potentially damaging the company by removing access to their marketing account.

Options for Protection

While Facebook and Twitter make their policies known (and some other sites do as well) many internet users have online accounts that have money in them (e.g. PayPal, AdSense) and some even have online banking accounts.  These users may use a service like Legacy Locker to store all of their online information and have it sent to a loved one after they die.  There are other similar services that allow users to add a "digital beneficiary" but the Twitter policy may not be compatible and there is no indication they have to honor the wishes of the decedent.

Since more businesses and individuals are doing business online, there is a great need for a general policy on how to handle the accounts of deceased users. As you review the terms of service of various online networks, find out what their policies are and how they may impact you and your business. Twitter offers a very narrow policy on how they handle the accounts of deceased users.

Wednesday

How business bloggers can maximize their time on Twitter

Twitter can quickly turn into a second full time job if you are not careful.  It is extremely helpful for business bloggers to use Twitter to help them promote their business.   The challenge is how business bloggers can maximize their time on Twitter to reap the benefits of this social media tool.

Use Plug-Ins

There are several good plug-ins for blogs that will automatically feed your newest blog posts to Twitter. This is extremely beneficial for those who post several blog posts a day.  This means that you have more time to devote to writing your posts without worrying about notifying your readers about the update.  This is especially good if your blog is WordPress based.  WordPress offers Twitter plug-ins that you can use.

Use RSS Feeds

If you are not interested in using any plug-ins to automatically send your new posts to Twitter, you may elect to use an RSS feed service to do it for you.  It is not difficult to learn how to Twitter using RSS feeds.  Remember, only your new blog posts will be sent through the RSS feeds, not your older posts.  Most blogs have a built in RSS link in them and you need only list the RSS feed in one of the many Twitter tools available to you such as SocialOomph (at a cost) or HootSuite (free).

To Feed Previous Posts

As your blog grows, your older posts may suffer from a lack of traffic. This does not mean that the information contained in those posts is no longer valid, it means that your readers are not necessarily

Tuesday

Advantages of earning an hourly wage

Budgeting, a regular source of income and knowing how much you can spend may all be classified as advantages of earning an hourly wage.  For many, this helps them maintain their homes, pay their bills regularly and know exactly what they can and cannot afford.   There are some significant advantages of earning an hourly wage and for most people, this is critical. Not everyone has a fixed income, even those who work on an hourly basis sometimes face limits in hours, change in hours and cutbacks. Here are why there are significant advantages of earning an hourly wage.

Being able to pay bills

For those who earn an hourly wage, one of the most significant advantages is their ability to pay their bills at regular intervals. This can result in lower stress levels, lower debt and better finance management.  Knowing when their next paycheck is due and what can be paid with it allows those with an hourly wage to manage their finances better.

Setting and sticking to a budget

Those who are earning an hourly wage can create a budget without having to worry about irregular payments. Generally speaking, those who earn an hourly wage know how much their paycheck is going to be on a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly basis.  This can be a significant advantage when setting up a budget.

More regular savings

Those who are getting a regular hourly wage can often set savings goals that can easily be met. Automatic savings plans can help ensure that a savings account is set up and funded on a regular

Monday

Disadvantages of earning an hourly wage

There are many reasons why someone would prefer to work in an hourly job. However, there are some disadvantages of earning an hourly wage that you may not have considered.  Hourly wage earners are often employed by a company that has set hours for work, specific policies for days off and set holiday hours.  Here are some of the disadvantages of an hourly wage:

Inability to increase earnings

Although most companies offer at least an annual review of income, this does not mean that you will receive an increase in your hourly wage.  When the economy is bad, companies often cut or eliminate annual wage increases meaning that you may go more than twelve months without a change in your income.  Those who are working in a traditional brick and mortar establishment for an hourly wage may not be able to do any type of freelancing because they do not have time.

Restrictive working hours

In most cases, companies who are offering their staff members and hourly wage restrict working hours.  For some, this means less flexibility, a "standard" work day and less ability to control their