With the end of winter comes the arrival of spring soccer. Last fall, I coached 25 Pre-K soccer players and it was a challenging and yet rewarding experience. Surprisingly, there are multiple parallels between the lessons I learned in coaching and the strategies I use in public speaking. In this post, I will summarize six key learnings that apply equally to both activities. Hopefully you will appreciate these real world learnings and get a chuckle along the way.
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Last December, I found that my old and reliable HP LaserJet 4 was on its last legs. My LJ4 is built like a tank and while it is not the fastest, it has dutifully served since 2000. However, the time had come to introduce a new printer. Given my changing needs, I decided to focus my search on multifunction devices that incorporate scanning, printing and faxing, and the first question was whether to go with an inkjet or laserjet.

Historically, the choice of inkjet versus laser printers was clear. Laser printers were more expensive to purchase, but were significantly cheaper when it came to buying toner and inkjets were the opposite – inexpensive to buy with expensive ink. Thus when it came to purchase a new printer, I assumed that these long held assumptions were still true and was I ever wrong!
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A business colleague recent tweeted a question about choosing a home generator. He was concerned about recent power outages in New England and worried that they would continue in the upcoming months and years. He was looking at options to protect his home in the case of a significant outage. I had recently considered adding a generator and wanted to share some learnings. The process is not that complex but there are four key questions that need to be considered:

1. Generator size

There are two differing perspectives on this question.

The first strategy is to use a very large generator (someone recommended a 20Kw to me). The benefit of this approach is that the large unit would power everything in the house and so you could run all your appliances including air conditioners, electric dryer and even electric stove without a problem. However, there is a trade-off. The larger generator typically means higher cost, more noise and increased fuel consumption.

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As a frequent credit card user, I find the ease and security of paying with plastic convenient, and also believe in fully paying off the card every month. Recently I had an experience that showed both why credit cards are beneficial, and yet also why botched customer service can ruin an experience. (Read More »)

The Twittersphere was abuzz when Google announced their new Google + social networking functionality.  For me it was déjà vu as I remembered similar enthusiasm over Google’s ill-fated Wave service.  Thanks to Greg Knierieman I have been playing with G+, and at this point, I am undecided about its usefulness and here’s why.

There are a myriad of Social Media tools and networks and as a potential user you need to rationalize the innumerable options.  I have found it simplest to categorize my primary social networking tools into buckets which define when to use what.  Here is my categorization: (Read More »)