How exercise can boost work performance

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This is excellent advice via the Courier-Post on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018:



We’re all familiar with the obvious benefits of exercise — regular physical activity can keep us looking and feeling fit and healthy, increase our energy levels and confidence and help us maintain high levels of self-esteem. Staying active can also help us fight off a wealth of potentially life-threatening illnesses.

If you’re still not sold, perhaps this will help seal the deal — exercise helps fuel and maintain a healthy body, and it can actually improve your ability to think and retain information.


Recent studies have shown the following cognitive benefits of exercise:

Boosts brainpower: If you’re looking to take your brain’s ability to the next level, you can’t do much better than regular exercise. Studies have shown that exercise can actually increase the volume of key areas in your brain.

Enhances thinking ability: Regular workouts will help kick away the dreaded “brain fog” that keeps you from thinking clearly and keep your mind and thoughts razor sharp all day long.

Helps you process and remember new information more effectively: If you’re trying to acquire a new skill or task, like learning a new language or tackling a new job responsibility, combining it with regular exercise can help. New research suggests that physical activity can increase the size of the medial temporal and pre-frontal cortex of your brain, key areas that regulate and control thinking and memory, so you’ll be able to master that new skill faster.

Improves ability on cognitive tasks: Do you have an important test for work or school coming up? Whatever your mental goals are, exercise will help you succeed on all sorts of cognitive tasks that test your intelligence and brainpower.

Keeps away the negatives: Regular exercise will help keep your mood positive and upbeat, help you achieve more restful sleep at night and help reduce anxiety and stress, ensuring your brain works at its best.


Now that you know it works, let’s explore how you can make it work for you.

Although there’s some debate regarding the type of exercise that best serves to promote brain function, according to a recent article by Harvard Medical School, “researchers found that regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. Resistance training, balance and muscle toning exercises did not have the same results.”

Research also suggests that although you’ll receive a brain benefit regardless of when you decide to exercise, the most promising results typically occur when you do your workout before or even during a cognitive task.

Another big question you might be wondering about is how much exercise you should do in order to receive a cognitive benefit. The same Harvard Medical School report suggests that “standard recommendations advise half an hour of moderate physical activity most days of the week, or 150 minutes a week.”

If you’re worried that you’re simply too busy to exercise or find the very idea of exercise daunting, a great way to take a step forward toward a regular active lifestyle is to start small. Try taking a brief yet brisk walk for 10 to 15 minutes each day, and gradually increase your workout in both length and intensity as time passes.

Now that you know all about the many benefits that exercise will bring to your life, put the excuses aside and get up and get moving toward yoursuccessful future!

Eric Titner is a career advice journalist for, where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.

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11 Experts Predict the Future of Content Marketing in 2018

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From Inc.
Reaching the members of your audience through a content-cluttered landscape — and their ad blockers — will be harder than ever in 2018. Fortunately, there are new technologies and techniques that can help.

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5 rare public speaking tricks the best presenters use

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Inc.s Janice Tomich wrote this article, first published on Jun. 25, 2016:

When you’re giving a speech, you need to be different, like Mary Meeker was when she recently delivered her presentation at the 2016 Code Conference.

She challenged the trend of using an image-heavy presentation style delivering 213 data-dense slides in 24 minutes and 40 seconds while sharing her 2016 Trends Report.

Rather than speaking at great length to her slides, Ms. Meeker moved at lightning speed spending about seven seconds on each one.

Image-heavy presentations aren’t the only traditional trends you should avoid. A few more examples:

  • Talk about yourself and your authority ad nauseam
  • Blatantly repeat your key message three or more times
  • Always use a slidedeck — no matter the circumstances
  • Count the number of ums and ahs that pass your lips
  • Sell from the stage

If you fall into the trap of misguided techniques, you’ll be lost in the sea of noise and no different than every other speaker.

How do I know? Whenever it’s possible, I attend my client’s presentations. I sit near the front, close to a wall, so I’m able to do an inconspicuous 180 to evaluate audience reactions. My eyes and ears are listening and watching for the nuances of persuasiveness — those that are connecting and the ones that aren’t.

Here are five things you can do instead of following old-school public speaking instructions if you want to excite your audience:

Provide a skinny version of your CV

I’m talking really skinny. Three or four lines that tell the story of why you are the person who is best suited to speak.

Have someone introduce you and be dogged about having them repeat your short bio word for word. If you’re not able to have someone introduce you with a delicate hand, thread your credentials throughout your speech in places where it aligns conceptually to illustrate your experience.

Be stealth-like when using repetition

What do you think when someone constantly repeats themself to try to persuade you? I think they’re either “a dog with a bone” and are in desperation mode to sell me, or they underestimate my intelligence.

You need to be savvy when building in repetition to have your key message stick into hearts and minds. Use a variety of learning methods or phrase your key message in different ways.

For example, you can ask a question to draw out what you want to be remembered, use the power of gestures to illuminate your point, or switch up every fifth image (the keystones) for contrast in your PowerPoint decks.

There are times you shouldn’t use a PowerPoint deck

We’ve been conditioned to believe that every presentation needs to use a slidedeck and that everyone who can turn on a computer is a graphic design pro.

Ask yourself, “Do I really need slides to support my ideas and can I make it look professional in the time I have?” Consider how you’ll stand out while being different than most presenters when you’re front and center and simply speaking of what you know.

No one is counting your verbal ticks

Toastmasters is a fantastic venue for practicing. It’s a low cost opportunity to create a habitual practice for improving your pubic speaking skills.

There is one aspect of Toastmasters I have issue with. It’s the counting of verbal ticks such as ums and ahs. If I had someone counting the number of times I say “right” it would stress me out.

That aside, you have your unique tics and nuances that make you, you, and without them, you’d come across as predictable and over polished. I do draw a line, though. When verbal ticks are distracting, work to alleviate them so you’ll communicate with easy flow.

It’s not OK to sell from the stage

If you’ve provided a stream of helpful information, those who see you as the one to solve their problem will reach out to you. Whether people contact you or not is one of the strongest indicators of a successful presentation.

You’ve been warned. Old tired techniques will  irritate your audience and put up a barrier to winning them over. Excite them instead. 

Read the original article on Inc.. Copyright 2016. Follow Inc. on Twitter.

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How to describe yourself in a job interview

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From THEJOBNETWORD, the Courier-Post (on Nov. 12, 2017) and writer Peter Jones come these “tips.”



You know you’re going to be asked about yourself in a job interview, so don’t get caught tongue-tied.

It’s smart to have a small collection of adjectives that describe you well and show you off in your best light — bonus points if they aren’t the same old tired words everybody else is using.

Often the best strategy here is to think of action verbs, then modify them into adjective form. Think about how you would sincerely describe yourself, both personally and at the office, then put together a list and memorize it for ultimate interview success.

Here are eight powerful examples interviewers are sure

to love:

  1. Communicative

Communication is one of the skills most highly valued by employers, so this is a shrewd word to use. It suggests that you’re a people person, you are effective at disseminating information, you care about connecting with your clients and coworkers and you are intelligent enough to do so clearly and professionally.

Plus, you can segue this into concrete examples of how you used your communication skills to problem solve.

  1. Reliable“Consistent” or “accountable” are also good ones. You’re in it for the team — you don’t just show up for you. You realize that your work is part of an ecosystem of other people’s projects and you don’t let anybody down. You’re not late for work or meetings. You can be relied upon to do your job, do it well and deliver whatever needs to be done.

      3. Driven

If you’d rather, “ambitious” works here, as well — any adjective that shows you are not just showing up for the paycheck and free coffee is great. These words prove that you are in it to win it — both to advance yourself in your career and, in the meantime, to advance the company and its most important goals. Subtext: no one is going to need to hound or micromanage you to keep you motivated. You’re “self-motivating.”

  1. Meticulous

This word hints at your attention to detail, your precision, your organizational skills, your ability to prioritize and the fact that you hate letting anything slip through any cracks.

If you’re meticulous, you’re thorough and self-managing and trustworthy. See how much work this kind of word can do?

  1. Impactful

Go ahead and say what a difference you made at your last gig. Go ahead and gloat.

You come on the job and get things done. You can totally brag here at this point, and throw in a mention of any accomplishments or awards you may have earned along the way. This word shows you don’t just make promises, you get results.

  1. Persistent

You don’t quit until the job is done (and done well). What’s more, you’ll get the project done on time. You’ll put in the extra work until the solution is found. This conveys that you’re “results-oriented,” as well.

  1. Flexible

You’re not rigid. You think outside the box. You’re able to adapt to challenging circumstances and find the workaround that no one else can see. You adapt on the go and keep adapting. You’re the kind of employee everybody wants because you’re willing to do things outside the purview of your job description — provided it makes sense for the company and for the goals of your team.

  1. Team player

It’s always good to round off a list of descriptors of yourself with something that conveys a bit of humility — your willingness to sacrifice your own time and ambitions now and then for the good of the group.

“Team player” transitions easily enough to a description of how you’re also a “leader” … for those of you who want to score that last bonus point.

Peter Jones is a career advice journalist for, where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.

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3 tips to soothe your interview jitters

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Thanks to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, we have these interview tips from Jon Simmons, Monster contributor.

Your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. Why? Either you’re Eminem about to rap battle your opponent, or you’re about to go to a job interview.

If the thought of standing in front of a stranger, asking to be judged on your professional merits makes you want to vomit, you’re not alone—according to a study by Everest College and Harris Interactive, 92% of people say they get nervous at some point before a job interview.

Nerves are natural, but if your high stress level makes you appear less capable than you really are, that could be a big problem during your job search.

Take a deep breath and try to relax. Monster talked with some experts who shared their top tips for staying calm and focused, so you can conquer job interview jitters and land your next job.

  1. Practice your pitch

One of the questions you’re most likely to trip over is also one of the simplest: “What can you tell us about yourself?”

It should come as no surprise that practicing talking about your skills and accomplishments will help you stay calm. But what exactly should you focus on, and how should you practice?

“Your pitch should include your most recent job, two accomplishments, key skills, length of experience, education and languages you speak,” says Amy Geffen, founder of Geffen Careers, a career coaching business in New York City. “Write down your pitch, and practice it in front of the mirror and with a friend. After you have it memorized and you become comfortable, say it in a conversational tone.”

It’s that easy familiarity that can help calm you down when you feel the pressure building in the real-life scenario.

  1. Do your homework

You’re probably familiar with the feeling of taking an exam that you were underprepared for. It’s not a good feeling, obviously, and it’s also a total recipe for a stress attack. But on the flipside, you probably also know the opposite feeling—sitting down for a test that you know you’re going to crush since you took the time to prepare. That same recipe for success applies to heading into interviews.

Google the company to see if they’ve been made any news headlines in the past year. Of course, scouring a company’s website and social media accounts other ways to do your homework. What is their mission? What are their values? What are their future goals? What’s on their radar right now? Familiarize yourself as much as possible with the company.

Company homework aside, your research should also include preparing answers to some of the interview questions recruiters are most likely to ask.

  1. Take your time responding to questions (and take notes!)

Which do you think hiring managers prefer: a candidate who fires off a quick response right after the question (and doesn’t answer particularly well), or a candidate who takes a moment to gather her thoughts before replying with a concise, detailed response?

“Applicants are often nervous and feel they have to provide an immediate response as soon as the question ends,” says Susan Hosage, senior manager, human resources at CTE, Inc.,a PA-based construction services company. “Unfortunately, this practice often results in applicants not understanding what information is being requested or the required level of detail.”

So if you’re asked something you aren’t 100% sure about, stay calm, knowing that hiring managers prefer to wait for the right answer than listen to something that’s tossed back quickly and nervously.

“Listen to the question—even take notes if it’s a long one—and provide a thoughtful response,” Hosage says. That way, you’ll be able to calmly respond, which is half the battle when it comes to looking like you know what you’re talking about.

Content provided by The Inquirer Advertising Department

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Public Speaking — 4 Ways to Own the Room During Your Next Presentation

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This comes to you thanks to Dale Carnegie and Inc:

By Jordan Scheltgen


 Jordan is Co-founder and managing partner, Cave Social
When you’re on stage, finding your groove starts with finding out what the audience really wants from your presentation. It’s not about what you’re saying, but what they’re hearing.

“And next to the stage, we’ve got Jordan Scheltgen from Cave Social.”

A light, non-enthusiastic applause followed.

As I approached the stage I probably looked like I had seen a ghost. I was anxious, full of adrenaline and had one too many cups of coffee that morning.

The long and short, I was terrified.

See I had played football in front of thousands of people during college. That was fine because I had played my whole life but being on a stage was something completely new.

I was presenting to 300 marketing executives, my now peers, to educate them on how they could incorporate content marketing into their businesses.

I was 25 and looked 18.

This isn’t a benefit when you’re trying to gain credibility in your field. Being young means being perceived as inexperienced and untested — I had an uphill battle to win the crowd.

I started my speech like I do most, “So I was 23 and broke…” and then go on to tell the story of how I stumbled into becoming an agency owner. It was important for the audience to know me before I expected them to listen to me. To give any insight or advice you have to earn the attention of the people you’re talking to.

I’ve found an honest story the best way to do this.

I ended up being on stage for an hour, finding my groove, engaging the audience and settling into my talk. Was it my best presentation, not a chance, but it taught me some valuable lessons I wanted to share with you.

Public speaking is often about the story you tell and the lessons learned over the amount of information you provide. If you want to lose the attention of the audience start rolling out stats, figures, and graphs.

1. Put yourself in the shoes of the audience members.

If you’ve been to a conference before, you know there is always one speaker that could put you to sleep after you’ve chugged four Redbulls and another who is doing a glorified sales pitch.

Audience members don’t want to see these speakers. They want to get value through seeing a different perspective or direct strategic takeaways.

In your presentation, think about two things: How can I get my lesson/point across through a story and (ii) how can I give this audience one actionable takeaway for their own work? If you answer these questions, you’re on a solid path to having a useful presentation.

2. Throw out the script.

Scripted speeches feel unauthentic. This will only drive you further away from connecting with your audience.

This doesn’t mean your presentation shouldn’t have structure–it should. Organize your presentation as a loosely scripted presentation. This means you’ll have talking points but not a word-for-word script to follow.

This turns your speech into a conversation with the audience.

3. Leave ample time for questions.

Even though you’re on stage in a place to speak, you need to make time to listen to your audience.

By hearing their questions directly it does two things: (i) it gives you a chance to demonstrate knowledge and connect with the audience in that room further and (ii) it gives you valuable information to possibly incorporate into future presentations.

4. Be real before and after your talk.

If you’re a speaker at an event you are not better or worse than any attendee there. I refuse to hang out in “speaker rooms,” or not engage with event attendees. Just because someone isn’t another speaker at an event doesn’t mean they can’t be a valuable connection, resource or friend.

This means hanging out after your speech, checking out other speakers and talking with other people at the conference.

If you get selected to speak at an event you can have a larger than life persona on stage, but in the time before and after your speech you better be normal. Nobody likes a prima donna.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

8 steps to help you find a job in 30 days

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The following appeared in the Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 edition of the Courier-Post.



You need a new job and you need one fast.

Maybe you’ve just been laid off, or quit or you’re just starting out — or you’re doing some secret job hunting from a position in which you’re miserable. No matter your reasons, if you follow these steps, you’ll have a great shot at scoring a new job in 30 days.

  1. Make a spreadsheet.

Excel is your friend in the organization game. And organization is the key to getting a job fast. Keep track of company name, position title, a link to the job posting itself, application materials, due dates, plus the date you applied, follow-up dates and notes. If you hate Excel, try JibberJobber or Fresh Transition instead. But do keep all your details organized and easily referenced — you’ll be glad you did.

  1. Do your homework.

Be informed — very informed — about the industry where you’re applying. Research every company and every position. Research the people who might be interviewing you and supervising you. Research the top people and the company’s mission.

The more you know and the more prepared you are, the better you’ll do. And the more you strategize and target your applications, the more efficient your search will be.

  1. Dig deep.

What do you actually want in a job? What have you liked and disliked about your current and former positions?

Why do you want a change?

Think about your values and which kind of work environments suit you best. Try to aim for places that match up with your innate talents and tastes first. You’ll be a better fit right out of the gate.

  1. Budget your time.

Once you have a game plan and an organizational system, you’ll want to devote time every day to your job search for 30 days.

You couldn’t possibly spend all day every day on it, but even just 30 minutes of concentrated work a day will move you that much closer to the finish line.

  1. Get social.

Your promo toolbox consists of your social media platforms. Get them all up to fighting speed. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn … make sure these accounts are active and up to date. Make sure you’re using them correctly and are working consistently toward building your personal online brand.

  1. Network.

The one step you might like to avoid is probably the most important. Sometimes all the difference is made in who you know and who knows you.

Think of it as initiating mutually beneficial relationships.

Keep in mind what you have to offer. It’s not just a one-way street.

  1. Follow up.

Your interviewer will likely tell you that they will be in touch with you soon. Tell them immediately how much you appreciate them taking the time to interview you and mention you are eagerly awaiting a response. Then follow up with the same. Send a handwritten thank-you note — you’d be surprised at how effective this can be. Then follow up with a phone call if you haven’t heard back in two weeks. And don’t forget to note when and how you’ve followed up on your spreadsheet.

  1. Be patient.

Keep looking. Keep working at it. Don’t get discouraged after a few rejections. If you’re consistent and keep honing your tools, you’ll get there.

Peter Jones is a career advice journalist for, where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips, and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.


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Why keywords are so important in a resume

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The following comes from CAREERBUILDER’s Deanna Hartley (June 26, 2016)


Did you know that, according to CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study, more than 3 in 4 full-time employed workers (76 percent) are either actively looking or open to new job opportunities?

That means in today’s job market, you need to find a way to stand out among the competition and shine. To accomplish that, the first step is to get the person on the other end to sit up and pay attention to your resume instead of tossing it into a pile of “maybes.”

One trick is to use certain keywords throughout your resume.

Keywords are descriptors of skills and attributes that industry insiders typically use to describe themselves and others in the profession. Hiring managers sometimes use computer programs known as applicant tracking systems — or ATS, for short — to save time and effort on their part. Keywords matter when they’re scanning your resume in these programs to gauge if your skill set is the right fit for an open position.

According to a Forbes article: “Depending on how a specific ATS works, the location and frequency of keywords within your resume can be extremely important. Typically, the better your resume matches the job description requirements, the higher you’ll rank in the ATS. Additionally, it’s common practice for companies to begin reviewing applicants from the top of the ranking list – bad news for job seekers who haven’t customized and keyworded their resume.”

3 reasons to keep in mind

  1. It helps you to get in front of a human being. Remember that applicant tracking systems use keywords to sort and organize resumes and cover letters. This is designed to save the hiring manager some time, so make sure your resume doesn’t get lost in the shuffle simply because you didn’t use the right keywords.
  2. It helps you home in on what’s most important. Some job seekers submit resumes that are multiple pages long — and the truly important information gets buried beneath other achievements that are completely irrelevant (such as how many high school basketball championships you won when you’re applying for an accountant position). Making a list of keywords up front can help you to whittle down your long list of experiences to just the ones that the hiring manager will actually care about.
  3. It shows you’re speaking the same language as the hiring manager. Hiring managers use certain keywords in the job posting or description, and it’s important to show that you’re on the same page by using similar terminology to convey your specific skill sets, qualifications and experience.

Need tips on how to get your resume noticed by a company’s applicant tracking system? We did the homework for you. Check out our blog on how to get past an ATS and read up on some best practices on how to conduct an ATS-friendly job search.

Deanna Hartley is a writer for the Advice & Resources section of She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

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A bit of bathroom cellphone etiquette — A health disconnet

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From The Philadelphia Inquirer (Oct. 10, 2017)

By Mari A. Schaefer – Staff Writer

Next time you want to check your cellphone on the way to the bathroom sink after using the toilet, fight the urge.

You could make yourself sick, warns a microbiologist at London Metropolitan University.

“Toilet seats, handles, sinks, and taps are covered in germs such as E. coli, which can cause urinary tract infections and intestinal illness, C. diff.,which can result in diarrhea, and acinetobacter, which can cause a contagious respiratory infection,” Paul Matewele recently told the London newspaper the Sun.

Those germs could be transferred to the phone, which then might wind up on your table when you eat out.

There’s more.

A small study in the journal Germ looked at the mobile phones of 27 high school students. They found traces of E. coli and even greater amounts of “potentially pathogenic microbes” such as Staphylococcus aureus, Acinetobacter spp., Pseudomonas spp., Bacillus cereus and Neisseria flavescens.

The good news was that no antibiotic-resistant genes were detected on cellphone surfaces, according to the Germ study.

This news bears a resemblance to studies that found kitchen sponges are also teeming with nasty bacteria.

And it doesn’t stop there.

“Handbags, wallets, purses and tote bags often test positively for whole communities of germs, including norovirus, MRSA and E. coli,” said Matewele. He suggests taking a vacuum and wipes to those items once a week and keeping them off eating surfaces.                                                        

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Tips to Succeed: Marketing yourself online

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From Larry’s More ABCs of Strategic Communication (check it out on the website)…

1. Don’t lie – Whether on a resume, application or personal website, make sure facts about you are accurate.

2. Be professional – For college or job applications, use a simple e-mail address with your name or initials that helps connect an e-mail to you.

3. Censor yourself, and friends (if need be) – If you know a college or potential employer might Google® you or search you out on MySpace®, make sure the content posted by yourself or others is appropriate.

From the Des Moines Register

There are nearly 300 Tips and Techniques in both The ABCs and the newer More ABCs Proceeds from the books’ sales go to the Public Relations Student Society of America and Parsons (Iowa) College Alumni Association.

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