Category Archives: How To

How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds

When I joined a new networking group last year, the kind where every week you speak for a minute about your business, I remembered a perfect little book from over twenty years ago: How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less, by Milo O. Frank. It’s full of practical tips on delivering a short message.

So I reviewed my notes from a class I taught based on this book. I’m including some of the tips here. They’ll help you focus your message in spoken, written, and video communications. Here goes.

Have a Single Objective

Your objective is your goal, purpose or destination.

  • It is why you are there. You can have only one objective.
  • In every form of business communication, your thoughts and words should introduce, reinforce or help you achieve your objective.
  • You do not have to state your objective except to yourself.
  • The FIRST BASIC PRINCIPLE of the 30‑second message is to have a SINGLE CLEAR-CUT OBJECTIVE

Who’s Listening

Go to the RIGHT PERSON, the person who can give you what you want.

  • Know as many facts as possible about the person or persons you’ll be talking to.
  • Identify with your listener. What does he/she want from you, and what one thing more than any other will get a favorable reaction from him?
  • Knowing your listeners and what they want is the SECOND BASIC PRINCIPLE of the 30‑second message.

The Right Approach

The right approach is the single thought or sentence that will best lead to your objective. To me, this is the strategy to appeal to your audience. It’s about appealing to your audience’s motivation.

  • The right approach will also take into consideration the needs and interests of your listener.
  • The right approach will give you focus, and always keep you on track toward achieving your objective.

Knowing WHAT you want, WHO can give it to you and HOW to get it are the three BASIC PRINCIPLES of the 30‑second message.

The Hook

A hook is a statement or an object used to get attention.To get your listener’s or reader’s attention, use a hook as the first statement in your 30-second message.

  • Your hook should relate to your objective, your listener and your approach.
  • Your hook can be a question or a statement, and it can be dramatic or humorous. If it’s a question, it must be answered.
  • Anecdotes or personal experiences make excellent hooks. Your entire message can be a hook.

Your Subject

The subject explains and reinforces your objective.

  • The subject contains and corresponds to your approach.
  • What, Who, Where, When, Why and How are all part of your subject. The subject is what your 30­‑second message is all about.
  • Know your subject and present it as concisely and forcefully as possible.

Ask for It

A message without a specific request is a wasted opportunity. He who don’t ask, don’t get.

  • Decide your close in advance.

Find More in the Book

This just scratches the surface. There’s lots more in the book to improve your spoken, written, and video communications

Find the book on Google

Multipage Booklet

Setting Up A Multipage Book

Booklets and catalogs are a little more complex to design than single sheet pieces.

Here are rules to follow when creating your multipage booklet:

  • Page counts start on the cover as page 1, inside cover as page 2 and so on.
  • Total bleed is .25” and total Safety is .5”. For example, an 8.5×11 booklet with bleed should be 8.75×11.25 total. This allows us to set up your crossovers properly.
  • Only single pages will be accepted. NO readers OR printers spreads.
  • We prefer a multipage PDF but single page files are also ok.

Typically page counts for booklets start on the cover as page 1, inside cover as page 2 and so on.

Crossovers are common in booklets and require extra attention. A Crossover is an image, text or other graphic element that goes from one page to another.

Below you can see a good example of how to create crossovers:

Booklet Crossovers

Designers must pay close attention to the crossover design and make sure it is as seamless as possible on the finished piece. Also, do not use text or thin lines as crossovers. Big pictures work best.

Note: Due to the nature of saddle stitch binding, crossovers may not line up 100% on the final booklet.

Artwork done in Indesign or other layout software as spreads or facing pages must be saved out as single page pdfs. When creating your design, keep this in mind especially when doing crossovers. The easiest way is to create the bleed is when creating your document. Below are instructions on how to create your document in Indesign.

When creating your document, make your page size the cut size and your margin size .25” for safety for a .5” total:

InDesign Settings for Booklets 1

Then, click the More Options button on the right. It will reveal Bleed and Slug settings below. Enter .125” as the bleed for a total of .25”:

InDesign Settings for Booklets 2

Your Indesign document is now ready for proper booklet layout. You should see proper bleed and safety guidelines:

InDesign Pages Showing Margins, Trim and BleedWhen your ready to export your booklet as PDF, make sure to Use Document Bleed Settings in the Marks and Bleeds menu:

InDesign PDF Export

After submitting your booklet, we review artwork for proper set up, so please include a few extra days in your plan for review, production and delivery.

Top 3 Tips from Photoshop World

I’ve been to Photoshop World 26 times, and I have a really great job there. As a conference moderator, I get to introduce speakers and watch the classes. It’s long hours, and I have to do some paperwork and respond when a problem pops up. But along the way, I get to chat with lots of friendly people and learn lots of cool stuff about Photoshop, Lightroom, photography and lighting.

Last week was the 30th Photoshop World. Here are my top three tips from the week.

Duotone Presets Using Gradient Map

From Richard Harrington’s class Color Correcting Video In Photoshop, Photoshop has some nice presets for changing the tones and color values of an image. And these presets are hidden away.

  1. Add a Gradient Map adjustment layer by clicking the adjustment layer button on the layers palette and choosing Gradient Map.
  2. On the properties pallet, click the triangle next to the gradient.
  3. Click the settings icon (the little gear).
  4. Choose Photographic Toning. (This will load more gradients to pick from.)
  5. Click either Append to add the new gradients or OK to replace your current set of gradients.
  6. Select one of the newly loaded gradients to apply it to your image.

Photo Toning Using Gradient Map Layer

Noise Reduction in Low Light Images

This one is from Alan Hess‘s class on Photoshop processing of low-light images.

When processing images with Adobe Camera Raw, you can use the Masking slider (on the Detail tab) to mask the sharpening so it applies to edges only but not to areas of gradients and solid colors where noise is most noticeable. That way you don’t sharpen and accentuate the noise.

Here’s Alan’s cool tip. Hold the Alt key when you click and drag the Masking slider to see the mask. It’s like magic…when you hold the Alt key and click the Masking slider the preview displays the mask in black and white.

Hold the Alt key while clicking and dragging the masking slider.

And some good advice from Alan’s low-light class: Only other photographers see noise the same way we do. Photographers are more sensitive to technical imperfections than non-photographers. For most purposes, we can back off the noise reduction a little.

Copy-Paste Vector Graphic From Illustrator to Photoshop

From Dave Cross‘ class Using Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

You can copy vector objects in Illustrator and paste them into Photoshop as scalable Smart Objects. You can also paste them as vector shapes or pixels, but Smart Objects have an advantage—you can double click them in Photoshop to edit them in Illustrator, save them and automatically update the Smart Object in Photoshop.

  1. In Illustrator, select the vector objects you want to use in Photoshop.
  2. Type Ctrl-C (Cmd-C on a Mac) to copy the objects.
  3. Go to Photoshop
  4. Type Ctrl-V (Cmd-V on a Mac) to paste the copied objects.
  5. Select Smart Object in the Paste dialog box.

That’s it. You now have a Photoshop Smart Object layer that contains your Illustrator vector graphics. To edit it, double click the thumbnail in the Photoshop layers panel. It opens in Illustrator where you can edit it and save it. Once saved, you can return to Photoshop where you’ll see the updated graphic.

Technically, this isn’t a new tip. I learned this from Dave Cross’ class years ago and saw it again last week. I use it regularly. It’s a great tip.