Better Public Speaking


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Archives for : September2016

Questions To Ask A Windows Phone App Developer In The Interview

AppsInterviewing developers is never an easy task. There is a big difference between knowing about programming and actually being able to program. It doesn’t help that there are a multitude of languages and specializations. You’ll find programmers who can claim to do it all while others are focused on a very small niche of programming.

So if you are in need of a Windows Phone App Developer, what questions can help you weed out the bad candidates from the good? Your overall goal is to determine if the Windows Phone App developer across from you is both qualified and a right fit for your team.

Prior to any interview with a developer, you should look them up. Check to see if they have a LinkedIn profile which can provide you with a detailed history of their previous employers. Additionally, you can check to see if they have a personal blog or website which might showcase some of their work. Finally, check Github to see if the developer has a repository.

One mistake made by interviewer’s, especially if they have no coding experience themselves, is to ask questions that use scales. For example, the question might have the candidate rank themselves on a scale of one through ten in terms of their proficiency in a certain programming language.

For one, it is hard for you as the interviewer to actually substantiate that response. Secondly, proficiency on a scale is in the eye of the beholder. A very experienced programmer may rate themselves lower because they know there is still so much to learn. However, an inexperienced programmer might rate themselves higher because they think they know everything but in truth, they just don’t realize the depth at which the language can be used.

With the generalities out of the way, here are some specific questions that you can use to assess the skill level of the Windows Phone App developer.

How do you free up resources and when?

The goal of this question is to get the respondent to think critically about their programming. This is not a multiple choice question that warrants a specific answer. For a response, you are looking for a candidate who can effectively prove that they know ways to free up resources and have actually done so (the when). If they know situations in which they would need to free up resources, they have clearly come across such situations.

Name a couple of ways to persist data on a Windows Mobile device and describe the pros and cons of each.

This question gets a little more specific. Your are essentially assessing how well they know how to preserve previous versions post modification. For example, a beginner programmer might say that they simply copy the data. However, they should also be able to tell you that this is inefficient as it uses a lot of CPU and RAM.

Find out how they handle program errors and warnings.

This is an assessment of how well they handle mistakes. Experienced and dedicated programmers will thoroughly go through their code to fix errors. An inexperienced programmer may not even know where to look. This question is geared towards finding out their process for rooting out errors and warnings.

What are issues associated with developing for mobile devices that don’t typically occur for desktops or servers?

  • Top 10 Job Interview Questions & Answers (for 1st & 2nd Interviews)
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    Top 10 Job Interview Questions & Answers (for 1st & 2nd Interviews)

This question is pretty fundamental but gauges how well they work around limitations of mobile devices. For example, they should know that the mobile device will have more limited resources, lower bandwidth, smaller screens, and potential for loss of connectivity. These are common problems with mobile devices and an experience programmer will not only be able to point them out, but describe some ways that they work through them.

Any C# specific coding question.

C# is the primary programming language for Windows mobile phone app development. Any question you happen to find regarding C# and its programming constructs will help you assess a candidate’s experience.

What does the .NET framework have that the .NET Compact framework does not have?

You’re looking for fairly specific responses here. Listen for references to writing unmanaged code or pinvoke. Overall this questions shows that the candidate is in fact a .NET developer.

Why XAML for Windows Phone?

This question is geared towards seeing if the candidate knows why XAML is used heavily in Windows Phone development. Overall XAML defines the visual appearance of the user interface.

Finally, build some coding tests for your candidates. They should be able to find errors, work with different languages and frameworks, and overall prove their competency with developing Windows Phone apps.


Featured images:

Andrew Fujii is a marketing professional with expertise in digital/web and content marketing. He is also a copywriter for multiple agencies producing copy for blogs, articles, websites, product packaging, mobile apps, and more.

Organizing a Speech for Effective Delivery Part 3 of 3

This article is a continuation of

Last week we wrote about how to organise a speech using various speech outlines or speech structures such as Chronological, Spatial, Causal, Comparative, Topical & Problem-Solution. This week, we’ll move on to attention grabbing techniques in the opening of a speech & the importance of having smooth transitions in a presentation.

Attention Grabbing Techniques

Some techniques to use to craft a strong introduction would be:

    Starting with a bold or challenging statement
    A quotation which relates to speech
    A bold body movement
    An object or picture
    Vocal plays

Avoid these general openings:

    Weak questions
    Long winded story
    Apologetic statement
    Story or joke not related to speech

With the crafting of the introduction complete, we now move on to the body of the speech. This will contain the meat of the speech, the entire message which is the objective of the speech itself.

The Power of Three

The body should ideally convey 3 main points, in a technique called the “The Power of 3s” where 3 is ideally the number of points the audience is most receptive and able to remember. Writers call this The Language of Three. It essentially means the same. Anything beyond 3 main points will make the speech seem too heavy and loaded. Anything less will seem under-prepared and inadequate. With the 3 main points, you can have supporting materials to reinforce the 3 main points.

The supporting materials can be as below:

    Personal stories
    Visual aids
  • Public Speaking Tip Tuesday | 3 Tips for Organizing A Speech
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    Public Speaking Tip Tuesday | 3 Tips for Organizing A Speech
The next part to craft will be the conclusion. This is just as important as the introduction. This is your final chance at reinforcing your message. This is also crucial that you add in that bit that urges a “call to action” to the audience. If however, when you have reached the conclusion and you suddenly realized you have missed out some points earlier on, resist the urge to go back. Remember, a speech development is one-way traffic, you only move forward, not backwards (unless you are using the flashback method in storytelling).
If there’s something you have missed out, do not go back and say the point, this will confuse the audience and will give the impression that you did not fully prepare and rehearse the speech in advance.

With practice and the tools provided in this article, you should not be at that stage where you missed certain points. The conclusion should ideally end with a “bang”; end with a powerful statement or reinforcement, or a “call to action” technique.

A typical skeleton speech outline would be as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
    ~ Main point 1
    ~~ Supporting materials
    ~ Main point 2
    ~~ Supporting materials
    ~ Main point 3
    ~~ Supporting materials
  3. Conclusion

Smooth Transitions

Another important thing to note is the transitions from one part to the next. The audience should be able to follow your speech development if you have crafted the speech and organized it in a coherent and flowing manner. You will also need to use carefully placed transitions to signal that you are moving on to the next part. This directs the audience to the flow you intended in your crafting of your speech. In an article like this, headings, bullets, and punctuation provide cues to the reader that help them understand the flow.

In a verbal presentation, pauses and transitional words or phrases help to achieve this effect so that the listeners know when one point ends, and the next begins. Transitional words and phrases are required to link the speech together in a cohesive unit.

Examples of transitional words:

Also, but, consequently, considering, finally, instead, later, meanwhile, moreover, next, then.

Examples of transitional phrases:

According to, as a result, for example, in addition, let’s begin with, more importantly, this means.

All the best to you for your next presentation. May your oratorical skills be uplifted by using the communications tips & tricks learnt in this article.

7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

Communication is the highway of building a solid relationship. Without a healthy one, it would be impossible to continually work together and pursue a common goal. This is why companies and organizations pay high regards to establishing a communication system that works well for all their members.

At an individual level, this could mean enhancing your skills in connecting with different people. But while this is a given to many, relating to different personalities has become more difficult than ever. Add it up to the fact that a lot of us right now prefer communicating online. Digitalization has undeniably affected the amount of human interaction we spend at a daily basis.

Good thing is, communication skills can be improved. However, for you to see its effect, commitment has to be practiced. In both oral and written form of communication, the following tips can help you improve this skill.

Practice It Often

They say that practice makes you perfect. Even though it doesn’t, it is still a fact that it helps you improve. Communication is not an exception. To ensure that you keep yourself sharp in conveying information, using it often is the most important way. Talk to people, write journals, or do anything else that allows you to communicate.

Consume Media Items Using The Language

A good example would be to watch movies on the language you are trying to master. Aside from the language itself, exposing yourself to these shows allows you to have an idea on the culture of the speakers as well. Of course, it’s also a great learning tool for honing your accent to help you sound like a native.

Invest Time On More Human Interaction

As we have mentioned, there is a visible increase of youngsters who prefer communicating using social media and other communication methods online. There is nothing wrong with this. However, it is very important to talk with people ‘personally’ so you can practice aligning your facial reactions and gestures while you speak.

Find A Skilled Coach

You can use this to up your language training. By getting a coach, you will get objective comments and practical instructions on what to do to make you a better speaker. Coaches can also be in-charge of devising training activities, quizzes and any drills that will allow you to apply your speaking skills at a constant basis.

Listen To Confident Public Speakers

Anyone who always speaks in front of the public is likely to be a confident speaker himself. They include politicians, reality show hosts, academicians, stars, artists and more. Choose someone you see on television and web or hear from radio and watch them speak.

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    How to Improve your communication skills? Speak English Fluently | Understand Native Speakers
What gestures do they use? How do they make contact with their listeners? You’ll be surprised by the amount of useful information you will get by simply listening to them. Needless to say, be an active viewer and learn from their bearing.

Join Opportunities That Allow You To Speak More

There are several of these around. They could come in symposiums, community gatherings, workshops and more. Take time to participate in these activities and volunteer to speak when opportunity knocks. This could be the perfect avenue to train your confidence in public speaking.

Read More

Last but not the least, read materials using the same language you are mastering. Reading has proven to enhance retention. In fact, there are people who learn better by reading rather than listening. Choose materials you wish to read about and take notes if you want.

There are no shortcuts to learning something. It needs a combined time, effort and commitment on your part to see any progress. Start enhancing your skills in communication using the seven tips we have above!

Author Bio

Raphael Rico Zamora is a Filipino blogger working in an interpretation company Philippines, a professional translation and interpretation company located in the business district of Makati City, Philippines.

Organizing a Speech for Effective Delivery Part 2 of 3

This article is a continuation of

Last week we wrote about how to organise a speech using the Introduction, Body & Conclusion structure. We also emphasised that the speech must be easy to understand, remember, follow, believe & enjoyable. This week, we will explore other aspects of speech organisation.

To have an organized speech, you need to firstly select a topic you will talk about. This will sound a lot easier than it seems, especially for novice speakers. Once you take the first step, the rest will follow. Topic selection should be something you are passionate to talk about, share with others and have access to knowledge or information about.

Start collecting potential speech topics as you go through your daily life. Build on it bit by bit, so when it’s time for you to make that presentation, the whole speech is almost ready. The saying “Never judge a book by its cover” is not totally true in the speech title selection. The audience judges the speech from its title. To wow an audience, the title of the speech must be evocative. It should have enough oomph to bring interests to the topic, and enough information on what to expect from the speech itself. It serves as a directional sign on what the audience should expect. Sometimes, for the advanced speaker, selecting a speech title which is exactly not what the speech is about is intended, this is known as an Unexpected Twist or Abstract Technique to arouse curiosity, build suspense or to grab the audience attention.

Once you have your topic in mind, we can move on to building a speech itself. The speech consists of 3 parts; the Introduction, Body & Conclusion. The first thing to ask yourself is what the main message that you wish to convey to the audience from your speech is.

Once you have the direction, you can craft the 3 parts of the speech to that direction. Make an outline for the speech. What is it you will cover, what are the main points for the body, and what examples or supporting materials you will put in your speech.

Suggested Speech Outlines or Structures

Some of the possible outlines strategies you could adopt are:

    Chronological: Time
    This could be the past, present and future. Then, now and what will come.

    Spatial: Direction
    You will bring them on a journey along your speech, where we are currently at, and which direction should we be taking.

    Causal: Cause and Effect
    You mention the cause, the reasons for it, and finally the effects which are directly and indirectly linked as a result of that cause.

    Comparative: Compare and Contrast
    This is one of the easiest to use as you basically bring two or more ideas together, and you list down the similarities and differences in them.

    Topical: Sub Topics
    This is to have a main topic or story as the backbone of the speech, then having sub topics or smaller chunks of stories which link back to the original main idea. The sub topics will serve to reinforce the main idea and to support the findings of the main concept.

    Problem-Solution: Problem and the Solution
    People like to always have solutions fed to them. People generally have a lot of unsolved problems which they would absolutely love if someone would just present to them a simple and fuss-free solution. You mention the problem the audience might be experiencing and you present the solution. This gives the most value-add in any speech.

  • Public Speaking MasterClass - Delivery is as Important as Content
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    Public Speaking MasterClass - Delivery is as Important as Content
Once you have the outline ready, we can begin to craft the introduction which is an important element of the speech. You need to have a very strong and memorable introduction. This is the part where the audience judges if you are a good speaker or not, and whether the speech is going to be a good one or not. This makes or breaks the entire speech and manages the audience’s expectations.

This article will be continued next week at the link

Organizing a Speech for Effective Delivery Part 1 of 3

Organizing a speech is crucial of any speech because when you talk, an organized speech enables the listeners to “get it”. We have had experiences of hearing from speakers or people that ramble on and on. They have the tendency to go off-tangent in all directions of their speech that we find it difficult to follow and get the point.

If we need to ask at the end of their presentation, “So, what’s the point you’re trying to make?” that speech most probably lacks clear organization. As a speaker yourself, if your crowd doesn’t get a handle on your message (despite the fact that your subject is one you know they are keen on), you have to re-examine the way you deliver it. You have to sort out your thoughts to enable easy comprehension.

Let us look at the essential objectives of this task, get tips and strategies on how to organize a speech.

For a speech or presentation to be effective, it must be clear, and straightforward. A typical speech will have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. For the introduction, you tell the audience what you want to tell them. For the body, you tell them what you said you will tell them. For the conclusion, you tell them again, what you have told them.

Introduction ~ Tell them what you will be telling them.
Body ~ Tell them.
Conclusion ~ Tell them what you have told them.

This organization works very well for informative speeches. This is a prerequisite for the planning and preparation of your speech. This forces you to think about what message you intend to deliver to the audience. If you yourself are not clear on what you are going to say, how can you expect the audience to know it?

As a speaker, your role is to tell the audience your message. If your speech is well organized in a coherent and flowing manner, your audience will be more receptive to your ideas and messages. You will be able to connect to your audience and persuade them to take action.

Qualities of a Well Organized Speech

Well organized speeches are able to have the following qualities.

Easy to Understand

Audiences have a relatively short attention span. This is especially so if your speech involves technical and difficult concepts. People enjoy simple concepts and ideas, and it is the speaker’s best skill to conceptualize and present a difficult idea or concept in its most simplest and understandable format. If you cannot explain an idea simply, you simply do not understand the concept well enough. Put it shortly, you have to present your idea and speech such that even an 8 year old kid will understand.

Easy to Remember

In today’s generation and technology driven market, we are constantly bombarded by marketing gimmicks and publicity stunts in all formats and media. There is also an information overload and overdose. There is simply too much information going on around the world we live in today. All this information is screaming for attention, but what is more important once you pay attention, information retention takes place. Your idea in your speech should be easy to remember so the audience can retain the information once your delivery is over.

Easy to Follow

As simple as every well organized speech should be, there should be a logical flow and straightforward direction to follow in your well crafted speech. This will enable the audience to follow your ideas and messages and will aid the audience in assimilating the ideas.

Easy to Believe

Be true to the genre of your presentation. This means that your speech must be credible and authentic such that the audience will believe it. If you are including any stories in your speech, all conflicts, solutions or problems stated should be logically solvable within their own worlds (genre). If it sounds too far-fetched or even too incredible, it will appear too remotely distant to the audience, and once they sense no rapport to the idea, they will shut down their senses and will cut you off from their attention.


Lastly, every audience will hope for an enjoyable time listening to any speaker. They have invested a considerable amount of their time and effort in coming to hear you speak. Therefore, besides wanting to learn something new from your speech, they want to be entertained by you as the speaker and to have an enjoyable time.

This article will be continued next week at the link