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Posts Tagged ‘innovation

Exercises to hone public speaking skills inspired from Toastmasters

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Once, I had the opportunity to attend a sample club meeting of a Toastmasters Club.
Although I found such a meeting provides a platform to develop & hone our public speaking skills, I decided not to join immediately because I had other priorities at that moment.

However, whenever we have the opportunity (time & audience) to give a speech (e.g. to an audience of strangers), we should cherish it.

Below are some exercises to improve our communication skills, especially for giving public speeches / talks.

# Storytelling : You can tell a story to your (younger) family member, this activity nurtures companionship & communication. A friend’s Dad used to tell stories to her until the age of 10 – that is when her father died due to lung cancer, but to her, who chooses to believe in every cloud has a silver lining, her father lives forever in her heart.

I have also been telling stories to my baby from the lovely books written by others, but how I wish I could tell him more on personal stories, something related to him, his family members, the place where he was conceived & born. To many of us, the most meaningful stories are those that are personal or those that we can relate to personally.

# Prepare & practice : Remember the 10,000 hours of deliberate practice that the best in every field have diligently undertaken. When you practice more, your create new brain connections, you become smarter, stronger, & healthier.

# Count Ah : While you practice delivering your speech / giving a talk, record it. Then re-listen to your speech, count how many times you make the audible pauses such as "ah," "er," "um," "well," and "you know". Try to minimize it next time.

# Impromptu : Get a collection of common topics. Give a 1-2 minutes or 5 minute speech about it. This exercise trains your mind to think fast & clearly, to organize your thoughts well in a very short amout of time.

# Timer: Besides using timer to keep track and manage time while cooking, heating up food for your baby, you can also use timer to refine our speech, so that we do not over talk & give other people a chance to speak.

# Record & Review : You do not need an expensive gadget, you can simply use your mobile phone to make a video.

Bonus exercise:
# Listen to inspiring talks (e.g. TED talks, BBC documentaries), note down the main points, re-deliver the talk using your own words & illustrations (personal / local examples) & if you can, add your own reflections. Be innovative!


Written by blueroselady

August 29, 2013 at 8:13 am

Ten cool things about Marissa Mayer

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1. among the best: No. 3 on the 40 under 40 according to Fortune edition October 29, 2012.

2. wears multiple hats: A CEO, a Mom (to a baby boy since September 30, 2012), a wife (to Zack Bogue since 2009).

3. visionary and ambitious:
(A) Google’s 20th employee, Google’s 1st female engineer. She was offered a job in Oracle, Toyota, Carnegie Mellon, McKinsey, Google. If she went to McKinsey, she could give advice to Fortune 500 companies, but she chose Google (to help change the world), although she admitted that she gave the drilling Sergey Brin and the quiet Larry Page a 2% chance.
(B) has planned to make Yahoo "the absolute best place to work". Will this talent-focused approach make Yahoo’s products more innovative and delightful?
(C) Marissa told Yahoo employees that she will follow
"the rule of 100 million", invest only in products and ventures hat have a good shot at reaching 100 million users and $100 million in revenue. Possible e.g. PubMatic, Criteo, Pulse, Flipboard.

4. Courage to move out of comfort zone. Her personal career credo: "Do things that you’re not quite ready to do. And surround yourself with the smartest people." She gave up daily programming that she loved for moving into management.

5. nurture talent: leadership depends on nurturing talent. Delegate to succeed. Her proteges include Jess Lee (CEO of fashion startup Polyvore).
incredibly energetic, loves hard work, she pulled an all-nighter at least once weekly in Google’s early days. Sometimes I wonder if over-work results in a trade-off, e.g. beauty for women. I find that her photograph by Robyn Twomey used by the Fortune magazine (p49) makes her look older with a line on cheek and no smile. As a woman, I prefer to look younger and smiling.

6. transparent: she admits that she is an introvert, but she is not a loner.

7. Well-educated: In undergraduate, she focused on symbolic systems, that integrates psychology, linguistics, philosophy, computer science. Aims: to figure out how people learn and reason, to endow computers with human-like behavior. She later graduated from Stanford with a master’s degree in computer science. Before then, she got accepted at every college she applied to (Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, Duke, 6 others). It is always good to be interdisciplinary.

8. Well-rounded: her Dad was a water-treatment plants engineer, Mom an art teacher, brother is sport (hockey)-loving. Her Mom instilled in her a willingness to try anything; every day of the week, her Mom took her to a different lesson: swimming, skating, ballet, piano, cake decorating.
This can be an inspiring plan for my progeny.
In high school, Marissa was an all-round over-achiever:
captain of the debate team.
captain of pom-pom squad, thanks to her sheer talent, hard work, fairness.

9. data-driven (she used spreadsheet / matrix to decide which college to attend, which of her 14 job offers to choose upon graduation), democratic, fun.

10. acronym-loving e.g. PB&J = Process, Bureaucracy, Jams.

Written by blueroselady

January 24, 2013 at 3:46 am

$: Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology : Global Research Outreach Program

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The SAIT Global Research Outreach (GRO) Program is SAIT’s annual call for proposal, open to world’s leading universities. With this call, SAIT invites your novel research ideas in SAIT’s research fields. Your ideas will be reviewed and selected by annually appointed SAIT technology board members for its novelty and alignment with SAIT’s research direction.

Selected proposals will be financially supported for one year, contract based, in a range of US $50,000 to US $100,000, including any overhead. Based on research outcomes and internal request for research continuance the contract may be renewed up to three years. Joint research proposals will be also accepted.

Most of all, we expect the SAIT GRO to be a platform that universities and SAIT build mutually prosperous relationships on research collaboration. Your questions or comments are gladly welcome. We look forward to your participation.

To learn more about this year’s SAIT GRO program and 2010 GRO result you may find out more information from 2011 GRO and 2010 GRO links.

Written by blueroselady

June 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Posted in funding

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Insights in early 2011

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Indonesia and Philippines are gifted with amazing destinations perhaps more than Thailand, Malaysia, or Vietnam but they have messed up badly in marketing and suffer from (in)security issues.

It is an open secret that no Asian countries are capable of developing intimate ties with China and India simultaneously. Kavi Chongkittavorn. The Nation (Thailand)

The US Federal Reserve’s decided to print US$600 billion stoked fears of formation of bubbles that could lead to sudden crashes. The prices of vegetables and houses went up in many Asian countries.

Dai Haifei (24, a junior architect hailed from Yiyang in southeast Hunan) built a 6sqm mobile egg-house as an answer to Beijing expensive housing where the average home is selling for about RMB 19,500 / sq m (USD 3,000).

Shares that have performed well in the recent past continue to do so for some time. This kind of momentum effect is also present in commodity prices and currencies, they rise or fall for long periods. The Economist Jan 8th, 2011.

There will soon be 7 billion people on the planet. National Geographic. January 2011.
1 in 7 people on Earth lives in slums today.
By 2045 global population is projected to reach 9 billion.

Facebook has secured $500m in financing from Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies, a Russian investment firm, to fuel its expansion plans.
The business model of Facebook is unproven.
Much of Facebook’s revenue comes from low-end display advertising.

CD sales collapsed.
YouTube runs few ads, for not much money.

Airlines keep finding new things to charge for, from pillows to checked-in luggage. Additional note in  September 2012, my mentor AK advised against buying stocks of airlines companies, because they belong to price competition, instead of sustainable competition.

Investors who buy the best-performing shares over the previous year earn much higher returns (10% points a year) than those who buy the laggards of the preceding 12 months.
Fund managers create the MOMENTUM EFFECT by WINDOW-DRESSING their portfolios with the market’s recent favourites (it looks much better to close a quarter owning the market leaders).
Clearly the momentum effect cannot last for ever or share prices would head for infinity.
An irrational market sends misleading signals, causing capital to be allocated in the wrong places, e.g. encouraging the building of houses in America, Spain, and Ireland for which there was scant underlying (as opposed to speculative) demand.
Momentum effects help to explain why bubbles develop.
Too often, central banks have tended to give speculative buyers a one-way-bet – cutting interest rates when markets falter (weaken), but leaving them unchanged when asset prices boom.
The Economist Jan 8th, 2011. The Big Mo.

Letters on the Disposable academic. Dec 18th.
Society needs highly trained critical thinkers to tackle complex problems with rigor and research skills.
Non-research jobs where they must analyze large amounts of evidence for complex decision-making.
Amanda Murphy (Chicago): I have the opportunity to teach and lecture. My adviser is supportive. I can spend all day thinking and reading books, and that is OK as it is my job.
Paul Greenberg (Managing principal, Analysis group, Boston): I am reminded of my very wise prof’s words of wisdom: the PhD students is someone who forgoes current income in order to forgo future income.

Go south, young scientist.
Brazil is a world leader in research on tropical medicine, bioenergy and plant biology.
Sao Paulo = Brazil’s richest state.
Research funding is being squeezed in Europe and North America.

The most important and difficult problem of academia in Italy was its non-transparent recruitment system. The Economist Jan 8th, 2011.

The best companies e.g. GE, Procter Gamble, are obsessed by the VITAL FEW.
Universities welcome the masses: more people now teach at British universities than attended them in the 1950s.
Novartis, a drug firm, asks high-flyers to produce LEADER PLANS and share them with their mentors and contemporaries.
The best companies single out high-flyers for special training.
Agilent and Novartis like to turn specialists into general managers.
Elitism has its drawbacks. In their rush to classify people, companies can miss potential stars.
People who are average in one job can become stars in another.

Well-paid fund managers have spent decades trying to find ways to beat the market.
Why the bother devoting so much $ and effort to researching the fortunes of individual companies when the momentum approach appears to be easy to exploit and has been aroud for a long time.
SMALL COMPANIES tend to do better than bigger ones in the LONG TERM, but they tend to be LESS DIVERSIFIED and thus MORE RISKY.

MOMENTUM may = the lag btw BELIEFS and the NEW REALITY.
TRENDS occur because there is disequilibrium between SUPPLY and DEMAND.
How to exploit momentum ? trade faster and faster with a time horizon of ms rather than months. But not all market movements are part of a trend. As you trade faster, it is easier to get misled by the noise.

MOMENTUM EFFECT tends to work for the best performers over the past 12 months, but not for those that have shone for longer periods, say 3 or 5 years.

Momentum works over the short term.
Value is successful over longer periods.

1975, 2000, 2003, 2009 are bad years for investors who used a short-term momentum strategy.

After the development of benchmarks like the S&P 500, clients began to demand that fund managers proved their skill by outperforming an index. Many failed, but even some who succeeded may have done so by holding concentrated portfolios of only few stocks (which more risky thank overall market).

These days investors can not only match a benchmark through simple index-tracking funds, they can also own portfolios that exploit the VALUE and MOMENTUM effects without paying hefty fund-management fees.

Momentum effect suggest that an irrationality might be at work; investors could be buying shares (and commodities) just because they have risen in price.

China: price rises in China = inflated fears.
If the prices of vegetables, fruit, other crops are more flexible than other prices, FOOD INFLATION may be an EARLY WARNING of an overheating economy.

20% of UK graduates out of work. Guardian. Jan 26th, 2011.

Written by blueroselady

January 31, 2011 at 2:58 pm