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My Top Five Books That Made Me Think This Year

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAccording to goodreads.com (join me there—it’s great for keeping track of what you’ve read) I finished 117 books in 2013. I read just about anything, for if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that ideas, and new knowledge, and “aha’s”, and creativity, and laughter, and profound insights, can come from the strangest places. Here are five books that kept me thinking long after I closed the covers.

The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal. The author, a pottery artist, traces the history of Chinese figurines he inherited from an uncle, and thus learns of his Jewish ancestors’ rise to the very top of Parisian and Viennese society, their fates during World War II, and how they rebuilt their lives. I constantly found myself thinking, “How would I have handled both the triumphs and the tragedies? How would my family talk about it all?” If you decide to read it, I’d suggest

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Conference Aha’s from APTi 2013 in Miami

Slide01I’m just returning from the 20th Biennial Association for Psychological Type International Conference. Jerry Black, Conference Chair, challenged everyone to come up with an “aha” for each session they attended. Those who wrote them down were even eligible for prizes. Big ones!

I decided to organize my top three aha’s into an acronym—ALPs. Besides helping me remember these actionable learnings, the acronym reflects that the conference, which went quite smoothly, was a bit of a peak experience for me as Program Chair.

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  • Action Tomorrow. Susan Nash of Em-Power and Type Academy (which houses all kinds of great type resources) opened the conference with a great keynote on ensuring that your message reaches people with different learning styles. The last step in her TEACH process involves helping people identify how they can make immediate use of new knowledge.
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What’s In Your Handout?

IMG_0200I’m just back from speaking at two conferences and getting ready to teach at another–and I’m Program chair for the APTinternational Conference this summer. The topic of making handouts valuable to participants is near and dear to my current life.

Part of my viewpoint comes from my methods of running sessions. I’m strongly opposed to “death by PowerPoint,” trying to convey information through dense text on slides that is better conveyed via other mediums. So my slides highlight main points, use images to convey ideas, state key quotes, and occasionally provide specific directions for group activities. A handout of my slide deck isn’t all that useful if you weren’t in the room. So I don’t provide it.

If you aren’t sure what great slides look like, check out the samples

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