Saturday, January 23, 2010

Reading List Updates.

I can't go home and not go to Powell's. I can't go to Powell's and not buy some books. I don't want to change either of those facts.

On my trip home over Thanksgiving I had time on my way out to look at books at the airport Powell's location. There were 5 employee recommendations in the business section, and I had trouble not buying them all. I came home with 4 books that day. Today I'm moving two of them into the reading list.

See if you can spot the hidden thread that ties these items all together

Present Like a PRO
"The field guide to mastering the art of business, professional, and public speaking."
I flipped through just a couple of pages and decided to stop flipping and just move it directly into the buy pile. As soon as I finish this post I'm going to spend 1 hour curled up on the couch with it. I hope to have a reivew for you soon. It touches on all the parts of a business presentation, from the mechanics of audio visuals (aka slides), to practicing, to connecting with your audience. I've heard it said that, "The fear of public speaking is the number one fear of American adults." If it's not my number one fear, that is only because I have so many big fears. And I'm planning on knocking those fears off, one (or more) at a time.
How to Connect with Anyone
96 ways to All-New Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships
This was another recommended book that fell quickly into the buy pile. Flipping through the first couple of points, I was able to tell that these were tips I could follow, as they included both the high level concept, eg "extend eye contact" as well as specific steps to get there. A fake it till you make it approach of which I am so fond. I may be a "social engineer" as the marketing ladies so sweetly refer to me, but I'm still an engineer and nerd. Make a game of it. "Look at their eyes, what color are they? Not just green, but green with little flecks of black and is that gold? What is the shape? The ratio of height to width?" Now go practice. Practice on your friends. Practice in the mirror. Get to where it feels comfortable and you won't play these games. At that point you can actually look into their eyes just to look at them and connect and listen. 95 more tips to go.
Moose::Manual and Moose::Manual::Roles
I've let some of my basic Moose understanding sink in enough that it's time to branch into the concept of Moose Roles. These are like helpers or mix-ins in other languages. Roles are not directly instantiated, but pulled into another class. The Role interface specifies a contract on both sides. The Role must provide certain functions and can require that certain functions be present in the other class. Once loaded, the Role functions are directly accessible in the class. There are several Roles in the Hadoop::Streaming class that I wish to extend. With my presentation around the corner (Wednesday), this will pop to the top of the reading list very soon.

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