Whiteboard Videos – Lo & Behold ! Featuring My blog’s whiteboard video

Remember my last post about infographic making tutorial? Well the world – especially the professional one –  is changing at a lightning pace and people are emphasizing more on presentation of ideas and their effective communication. According to me, there are two components of a successful idea presentation – spark and “impact” .

idea-sparkYour ideas should be out of the box and this is where your cognitive abilities come into play. But equally important and highly underrated is the importance of impact it creates on the audience. The concept you are trying to communicate should reach your audience in the way you want them to understand. Even if your idea or proposal have the required spark, yet if presented in a lousy and unappealing way, downloadthere is a huge chance you might lose out on that well deserved promotion or the coveted deal with your client!

A sparkling thought isn’t enough; it should create the required impact in the minds of the audience.

Usually people use power point presentations to share their plans and project ideas. But they are so run-of-the-mill nowadays that people are looking out for something creative and refreshing. Videos are  frequently usedBusiness-Meeting nowadays to present one’s thoughts and they are fun to make too. They provide a huge range of options – you can include your own footage and voice, other images, audio, subtitles etc. And they are fun to watch too especially in situations where you can’t be there in person to present.

I have come across these whiteboard videos which are very interesting to watch and easier to grasp – especially effective when trying to explain a complicated concept in  layman’ terms.

I have always wanted to make one too. And here’s my experience!

I have made a whiteboard video as an introduction to my blog !

I have used VideoScribe (Free trial version) to create it. There are other tools available as well – rawshorts, powtoon , drawshop etc. You can  search for other whiteboard video maker tools online.

Every tool comes with its own set of instructions and guidelines. You can select images and audio from the vast database that they provide. Have fun creating !

Here is the introductory video of my blog ! Do share your thoughts…

(Audio could have been better but Spare Me for that !)

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Infographics – Data in visual form

Many a times pictures serve as better medium of communication than words, especially when there is a large amount of data to be analysed or a complex relationship between two or more entities to be understood. Each one of us must have realized that seeing a table of numeric, mind boggling data is very difficult to make sense of! But when the same data is made available in a pie chart or a bar graph, we are at much ease. infographicsIn fact, whenever we think of a work, we relate it with a picture in our mind for better processing. Our brain processes image faster than words. Just imagine reading a blog without attractive pictures to assist in comprehension – It would take a lot of patience to read through that. Even we bloggers use pictures to garner attention of fellow readers !

Infographics = INFOrmation  in GRAPHICal form

This does not mean that infographics do not contain text at all, they do! But the texts are more or less a group of words or labels.

Relevance in today’s world:

Infographics form a part of our daily life, even when we do not realize it: Danger Signs, Traffic signs, advertisement posters, maps, campaign & event posters. The professional world also deals with infographics in marketing of products and brand awareness, market trends, financial data analysis and presentations and much more. Recently, I was asked to present my CV (resume) as an infographic to a recruiter. So even Human resource management uses infographics to judge the creativity of a candidate. There is a huge chance that if you are working, you might be asked to create an infographic for your client to promote your product better or to present your idea in front of your boss. In order to be ready for that day or proactively using this technique for an impactful presentation, here’s presenting to you important tips regarding creation of infographics:

  1. There free softwares available online like Piktochart, Easel.ly, Canva where you can sign-up for free and create beautiful and creative infographics for  that event/fest coming up in your college or the next product-branding pitch to your client at office! Moms can also use it to create birthday invites for their kids!
  2. Be to the point and concise. Restrict use of words in your infographic and convey more through images. At the same time, do not put irrelevant pictures.
  3. Don’t use too bold background colours that distracts the attention from the main content.
  4. In case you are creating an infographic CV, highlight your main achievements and landmarks in your career.
  5. Select the theme and look  & feel of the infographic according to the context. For example, in case you are preparing an infographic for a client at workplace, it needs to have a professional ( and not a cartoon like) feel to it.
  6. Be creative.

Example : This is a very basic sample infographic I created for this blog using Piktochart.

Happy creating  and discovering !

new-piktochart

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For more :

What is an Infographic?

The 100 Best Infographics [Interactive]

https://www.canva.com/create/infographics/

 

 

Build Your Vocabulary Part – 8

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Well, since the inception of my ‘Build your Vocabulary’ posts, I have been reiterating the fact that English is a diverse and evolved language, comprising of humongous number of words – many of its own and many borrowed from other languages. I had been focusing only on the quantity – but today I wish to talk about the power a word can have, on your mood, on your relationships, on your life and on you. It might be difficult to believe that words have tremendous power to change situations. A word of cheer can lift your mood, a word of trust can enliven your relationship, and a word of wisdom can give a whole new meaning to your life and change you as a person. Similarly, on the darker side, careless choice of words can be hurtful and dangerous. I intend not to scare you but to make you privy to the enormous power words have and encourage you to harness the power in the best interests of all.A marketing company’s tagline captures the essence of my message- Choose Wisely, Live Well !

Happy Learning ! 🙂

Word Meaning Sentence
Predilection Bias, a preference or special liking for something Your predilection for employees from you native state is pretty evident.
Diabolic Characteristic of the devil, Mephistophelian, wicked, fiendish, malevolent, The diabolical expression on his face was noticeable after he committed the crime.
Syncretic The combination of different forms of belief or practice Religious syncretism is at the heart of a diversified world.
Pique A feeling of irritation or resentment resulting from a slight, especially to one’s pride. Arouse interest or curiosity He was left in a fit of pique when he was denied entry to the prestigious award ceremony.  Hopefully the movie trailer will pique the interest of moviegoers and motivate them to buy tickets to see the film.
Staunch very loyal and committed in attitude Since the two countries are staunch allies it is not surprising they will work together in the war to defeat their shared enemy.
Aplomb Calm self confidence Antonyms : gaucheness Being an orator par excellence, he can deliver any speech with aplomb.
Consonance Agreement, harmony, concord, accord Consonance among all the members of a team, leads to a better performance.
Partisan Prejudiced in favor of a particular cause. Because of your partisan views, you are unwilling to look at other options.
Moratorium A temporary prohibition of an activity. Potential business owners are angry because the county has passed a moratorium on new business licenses.
Clemency Mercy, lenience In their letter to the governor, the victim’s family asked him not to give clemency to their son’s murderer.
Salubrious Healthy, pleasant Vegetables are salubrious foods which provide essential nutrients.
indefatigable Tireless, (of efforts) persisting tirelessly The director of the homeless shelter is an indefatigable woman who works almost eighteen hours every day.
Pastoral A work of literature portraying an idealized version of country life. The story, though a pastoral, has an actual connection with the life of agricultural labor.
Lingua franca  (Italian origin) A language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different. The official language and de facto lingua franca of this country is the English language.
De facto  (Latin origin) In Latin, it means ‘of fact’ Existing or holding a specified position in fact but not necessarily by legal right. The official language and de facto lingua franca of this country is the English language.
Obfuscation To deliberately make something confusing or difficult to understand The loan contract was filled with legal words meant to obfuscate trusting borrowers.
Intelligentsia Intellectuals or highly educated people as a group, especially when regarded as possessing culture and political influence. The intelligentsia of this country has a great influence on the government.
Stalemate a position counting as a draw, in which a player is not in check but cannot move except into check. The government has convened an all-party meeting on Monday to discuss ways to end the stalemate in Parliament.
Obduracy The quality of being obstinate, stubborn or intractable. Your obduracy on this deal has worsened the matter.
Buttress A source of defense or support. Increase the strength or justification for, reinforce After the humiliating way his girlfriend dumped him, his friends rallied to his side to act as a buttress to his deflated ego.
dissidence Protest against official policy The dissident ministers opposed the newly passed bill.
Dissension Disagreement that leads to discord. This maneuver caused dissension within feminist ranks
Cadence Measure or beat of movement A consistent rhythm or beat We were happy when our fast-talking professor started to speak in a slow cadence we could understand.
Perfidy The state of being deceitful and untrustworthy. If you do business with criminals, you should not be shocked when their perfidy comes back to you in the form of a bullet in the back.
Cabal A secret political clique or faction. The cabal of dissident employees is plotting against the executive group.
Cantankerous Bad-tempered, argumentative, and uncooperative. He can be a cantankerous old fossil at times. (Here, fossil means a person who is outdated and resistant to change.)
Aspersion An attack on the reputation or the integrity of someone or something, calumny I don’t think anyone is casting aspersions on you.
Maim Wound or injure so that a part of the body is permanently damaged Jake is an irresponsible driver who will most likely take a life or maim someone eventually.

Phrasal verbs – B

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Phrasal Verbs are very interesting. Aren’t they ? With the actual meaning hiding behind a veil, the words give an enigmatic turn to your writing skills. Here is a list of phrasal verbs starting with the letter ‘B’ for your reference. Use them in your piece and let it do wonders for you !

Phrasal Verb Definition Example
back down stop defending your opinion in a debate Jane never backs down. She always wins arguments.
back out not keep (a promise, agreement, deal) Sam backed out at the last second.
back out of not keep (a promise, agreement, deal) Sam backed out of the agreement at the last second.
back up give support You need examples to back up your opinion.
back up move backwards, reverse Could you back up a little so I can open this drawer.
bawl out criticize, reprimand (inf.) She bawled him out for arriving late.
bear down on bite The soldier had to bear down on the leather strap while the doctor removed a bullet from the soldier’s arm.
bear down on take strong measures against The U.S.A. is bearing down on drug traffickers.
bear on have to do with This information may bear on this case.
bear up withstand I didn’t think he would bear up so well in that situation.
bear up under withstand How did he bear up under such extreme pressure.
bear with be patient Please bear with me while I fill out the paperwork.
blow in visit unexpectedly (inf.) My cousin blew in unexpectedly with his entire family.
blow over pass without creating a problem All this negative publicity will blow over in a couple of weeks.
blow up make explode; destroy using explosives The terrorists blew the bridge up.
blow up explode The bomb blew up before they could defuse it.
blow up suddenly become very angry When Joan heard the news, she blew up and rushed out of the room.
break down analyze in detail We need to break this problem down in order to solve.
break down stop working properly The truck broke down in the desert.
break down become mentally ill She broke down after her husband died.
break in wear or use something new until it is comfortable I need to break these shoes in before I go hiking.
break in interrupt While we were discussing the situation, Terri broke in to give her opinion.
break in enter a place unlawfully The burglar broke in between midnight and 3 AM.
break in on interrupt (a conversation) Jane broke in on the conversation and told us to get back to work.
break into enter a house unlawfully The burglar broke into the house between midnight and 3 AM.
break into interrupt (a conversation) Jane broke into the conversation and told us what she knew.
break off end something Sally broke her engagement to John off.
break out appear violently Violent protests broke out in response to the military coup.
break out use something extravagant for celebration He broke out the champagne to celebrate his promotion.
break out  of escape The murderer broke out of the prison.
break up break into pieces I broke the cracker up into pieces and put it in the soup.
break up disperse (a crowd), stop (a fight) The police broke the demonstration up before it got out of control.
break up end a relationship Sam and Diane broke up again. What a rocky relationship.
bring about cause to happen Democracy brought about great change in the lives of the people.
bring along bring with When we go to the forest, bring your wildlife guide along.
bring around change someone’s mind, convince someone She doesn’t want to go, but we’ll eventually bring her around.
bring away learn or gain (from an experience) My trip across the Sahara was difficult, but I brought a new appreciation for life away from the experience.
bring off succeed at something difficult or unexpected You robbed the bank! I can’t believe you brought that off.
bring on cause something I can’t believe she got so angry. What brought that on?
bring out highlight, stress Your new shirt brings out the color of your eyes.
bring over bring to someone’s house When you visit me, why don’t you bring over your son?
bring to revive consciousness We used smelling salts to bring her to after she fainted.
bring up mention I didn’t want to bring up the fact that she was unemployed.
bring up raise ( a child) Sam was brought up in South Carolina.
brush off ignore something or someone (inf.) Mary brushed her ex-boyfriend off at the party.
burn down destroy by setting fire to The children burned the house down while playing with matches.
burn down burn until completely gone (building) Two buildings burnt down in the fire.
burn up be hot I am burning up in here – open the window.
burn up consume by fire The papers were burned up in the fire.
burn up destroy by fire He burnt up the files.
buy out buy the shares of a company or the shares the other person owns of a business Pacific Inc. was bought out by a company from Oregon.
buy up purchase the entire supply of something We bought up all the beer in the store.

Source: www.englishpage.com/prepositions/phrasaldictionary.html

Commonly Used Idioms – Part 2

One can never have enough of spicy English Idioms. So here is the second part for the list of idioms.

Idiom Meaning Sentence
Bat an eyelid To not show any shock or surprise With both the eurozone and US in economic doldrums,aid from these sources have dried up; hence African nations do not bat an eyelid while accepting Chinese aid,which comes with strings attached.
Strings attached Special demands or constrains
At the crack of dawn Very early in the morning He used to get up at the crack of the dawn to study for his exams.
An apple of discord The root cause of a fight The ancestral property was the apple of discord between the two brothers.
Fall off the back of a lorry Something that is very cheap or acquired in a dishonest way or stolen. This laptop is very cheap. Did it fall of the back of a lorry?
Get an earful To have a lot to listen,often used for criticism and unwanted suggestions Modi got an earful for remark that Bangladesh PM is fighting terror ‘despite being a woman’.
On a knife edge In a difficult situation and worried about future Talks between Nitish and Lalu appears to be on a knife’s edge.
To cut corners When something is done badly to save money If a company tries to cut corners on quality, it risks losing customers.
Let the cat out of the bag To reveal information that was previously concealed He let the cat out of the bag and told us about his girlfriend.
An eagle’s eye If someone has an eagle’s eye, he/she has very accurate vision My father has an eagle’s eye– he saw the small dent on the rear of the car.
A left handed compliment a remark which seems approving but which is also negative The senator said that her opponent was quite competent for someone so inexperienced; you hear nothing but left-handed compliments in these debates
Wax and wane to increase and then decrease, as the phases of the moon. Voter sentiment about the tax proposal waxes and wanes with each passing day.
Turn the other cheek to ignore abuse or an insult When she yelled at him, he turned the other cheek.
Carve a niche To create one’s own style or position Actor R Madhavan has managed to carve a niche for himself both in the Southern film industry and Bollywood
Bone of contention Point of argument The question of a fence between the houses has become quite a bone of contention between the neighbors.
Spill the beans to give away a secret or a surprise. There is a surprise party for Heidi on Wednesday. Please don’t spill the beans. Paul already spilled the beans about Heidi’s party.

Build Your Vocabulary Part-2

English language is an ocean of words, phrases, idioms, proverbs. The moment you feel complacent that you have sailed across this ocean, you realize that you have not even left the land. It was just a wave that had hit you while you were standing on the shore. Such is the infiniteness. And so I believe, even if I cover 10,000 parts of vocabulary section, it will be a mere drop. Nevertheless, let’s just keep going drop by drop. Here is part -2 for the vocabulary section.

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Word Meaning Sentence
acrimonious Bitter, angry, ascerbic (usually of speech/discussion) The acrimonious dispute for ancestral property between two brothers brought shame to  family’s name.
hegemonistic Referring to political domination,hegemony China’s hegemonistic ambitions to conquer coveted resources of Africa clearly indicates that China aspires to be a superpower in the coming decades.
reinvigorate Give new energy or strength to something After economic depression, the banking sector reinvigorated the economy of the country.
prescience The fact of knowing something in advance, foreknowldege We could not deny the fortuneteller’s prescience when his prophecies were realized.
venerable Commanding respect by virtue of age, dignity, character or position The venerable investment bank Lehman Brothers filed bankruptcy on 15th September,2008  which led to the  great economic crisis.
kaput Broken and useless, no longer working, demolished SBI had merged State Bank of Saurashtra in August 2008,jus a month before global meltdown was triggerd by Lehman brothers going kaput.
Phlegmatic Relaxed and peaceful

Four temperaments is a proto-psychological theory that suggests that there are four fundamental personality types, sanguine, choleric , melancholic, and phlegmatic.

The normal phlegmatic banker was shocked to hear of his bank going bankrupt.
sanguine Optimistic ,leader-like   I am sanguine about his career.
choleric Bad tempered, or irritable His choleric temperament did not earn him good friends.
melancholic Pensive sadness, analytical and quiet  After his failure in the exams, he became melancholic.

Determination slowly replaced melancholy and we returned to work.

Illiquid (of assets) not easily converted into cash. The bank faced a bankrupt situation because most of their assets had become illiquid.
audacity Boldness, fearlessness, impudence Only and only Kangana Ranaut could have done this. The ‘Queen’ of b-town has shown the audacity to refuse a movie with Salman Khan.
truce An agreement between  opponents to stop fighting for some time After general assembly’s heated debate, the speaker called for a temporary truce.
Vex Make someone feel annoyed,frustrated,worried The problem vexed him until he decided to face it.
Nepotism Patronage granted to relatives

By person with power/influence

We see a great deal of nepotism in Indian politics.
prerogative The exclusive right or power held by a person Since he was a senior member in the golf club, he had the prerogative to reject new member applications.
Kingpin a person or thing important for success of the organization or an operation Joint commissioner of police, southwestern range, Dependra Pathak said the kingpin of the gang, Vinod Kumar (42), set up RJJS in 2011 and then roped in Shiksha Chowdhary (28) and Anil Pandey (29) as co-directors of the unregistered NGO.
farce farce is a broad satire or comedy, though now it’s used to describe something that is supposed to be serious but has turned ridiculous. If a defendant is not treated fairly, his lawyer might say that the trial is a farce. The trial was a complete farce, the jury obviously knowing their verdict before proceedings even began.
adept Skilled or proficient at something Mark is an adept juggler who can easily manager four balls in the air without dropping one.
ebullient cheerful,full of energy The ebullient song was so uplifting that I danced in my chair.
vagary an unexpected and inexplicable change in a situation or in someone’s behaviour Today’s stock market vagary cost investors millions of dollars.
innocuous not offensive or harmful Because the virus was innocuous, the hospital staff had no need to worry about the leak.
alacrity brisk and cheerful readiness She accepted the invitation with alacrity.
sartorial related to dress There were no sartorial distractions this time when Modi visited Bangladesh.
sojourn a temporary stay My husband’s perfect idea of a sojourn is a two-nights stay at a secluded cabin in front of a stream overflowing with fish.
brevity shortness of time, use of exact words I hope the chief guest exercises brevity in his speech today.I am tired of listening.

Inspite of the brevity of his shopping trip, he bought a lot of things

grappled engage in a close fight or struggle India has grappled with terror — internally and externally — for a long time.
umbrage annoyance, offence She took umbrage to my joke.
cognizant have knowledge or awareness I am fully cognizant of the side-effects drugs will have on my health.
sacrilege misuse of something regarded as sacred It is considered an act of sacrilege for anyone to touch the sacred statue.
blasphemy the action or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk. When Jake made a joke in church, his mother accused him of blasphemy.

Phrasal Verbs ( Introduction – A)

Phrasal verbs are verbs which when combined with different propositions/adverbs change the meaning of the verb. The meaning of the phrasal verb is very different from the actual verb. Sometimes, reader might geta confusion about the usage of idioms and phrasal verbs. What is the difference between the two? More importantly, is there a difference? Yes, there is. That is why they are defined in two different categories.

Idioms are phrase or fixed expressions (which may contain verbs, nouns ,adjectives etc.) that convey a meaning different from the meaning of the individual words. The words cannot be broken down to understand the meaning of an idiom.

e.g

Idiom Meaning Sentence
At the crack of dawn Early in the morning Birds start singing at the crack of the dawn.

A phrasal verb is a group of words(verb+adverb/preposition/particle) used together as a verb with a meaning different from the individual words when broken down. But the difference here is phrasal verbs are verbs. So we can say, phrasal verbs are idiomatic verbs.

Phrasal Verb Meaning Sentence
Get up leave bed after waking up He used to get up at the crack of the dawn to study for his exams.

Here is a list of commonly used Phrasal verbs (starting with A ):

Phrasal Verb Meaning Sentence
Act up Not behave properly, not work properly (for machines) My laptop is acting up.

I scolded my son because he was acting up.

Ask out Ask for a date He has not asked her out yet.
Ask over/round To invite someone to one’s home I have asked him over/round for lunch.
Ask around ask people the same question I asked around but nobody has seen my purse.
Ask in To invite someone James is knocking on the door. Please ask him in.
Ask after To enquire about someone

‘ s health

I called dad to ask after my grandmother.
Ask about To enquire how someone is doing, a general information about  someone’s well being He called to ask about my brother.
Ask for To request for “I had asked for tea, but I have not got it yet”, customer complained to the manager.

She is in great trouble after arguing with the boss. But his boss is not at fault. She asked for it.

Abide by Follow a rule or decision We have to abide by  the company’s policy.
Argue down To beat someone in a discussion or argument He tried to argue the child down, but he could’nt.