Thought Leadership Presentation Skills: Compressing Pictures to Reduce File Size in Microsoft PowerPoint and Word

In my work with executives, attorneys and others, I am called upon to act as a coach and help clients reach deeper, expand their vision of their own professional value and capacity and increase their emotional intelligence, versatility, resilience and other key qualities.

I also act as a technical advisor, so to speak, by sharing pro tips that save time (sometimes many hours of time), reduce stress and demonstrate proficiencies that put my clients ahead of the pack. On a recent webinar, I mentioned one of these tips to colleagues in the National Résumé Writers Association, and I have been asked to share it more widely.

So here it is.

If your thought leadership includes public speaking and PowerPoint® presentations, as many of ours does, you may have stumbled upon the common problem of large file sizes that are blocked by corporate and other email addresses.

I ran into this problem myself for a presentation I gave to a group at Wells Fargo, and I am embarrassed to admit that we spent days trying to find creative ways for me to send a large file to them. (They loved the first two slides I sent and were eager for the full presentation.) We tried home emails, SlideShare and other means. I ended up creating an abridged version, but it was still to large (over 20MB), so I had to abridge it even further.

Hours of work to create a visually compelling presentation went down the drain.

We all have had times like these in our professional lives, and we can feel at our wits end. Unfortunately, too often they arise exactly when we are very busy working on other important projects, and we end up not with an optimum solution but a hasty compromise that leaves us feeling stressed and out of sorts. Not the best look when you are the presenter, of course!

I resolved to solve this problem for myself and am sharing it here to give you the benefit of my mistakes. The solution is embarrassingly simple, in fact, and I reduced my file size by more than 20x without creating an appreciable reduction in picture quality.

Click on the video below to learn more.

[Note: I do realize there are enterprise solutions to solve this and other common business and technical problems, but I am often of the view that less is more. How many such solutions can a small business entertain, afford and maintain, let alone an individual? In this case, you don’t need a special service or subscription, as no coding or fancy skills are needed to achieve the result of a smaller file. You just need to know the the trick!]


Anne Marie Segal is an executive coach, resume writer and author of two well-received books on interviewing and career development. She served as a corporate attorney for 15 years before launching her coaching practice, including roles at White & Case LLP and a hedge and private equity fund manager. Anne Marie is based in Stamford, CT and serves an international clientele. Her online learning platform is accessible here.

Video copyright 2019 Anne Marie Segal. All rights reserved.

Introverts + Professional Networking: My Own Story of Networking with (and Finally Meeting) Dorie Clark

If you follow me on LinkedIn®, you might have seen yesterday’s post that, after years of following her work, I finally met a mentor of mine, Dorie Clark, in person. Coincidentally, during a coaching call today with a CFO client about networking, the story of how I first “met” Dorie became highly relevant to our conversation.

I put the word “met” in quotes above, because for a long time my interactions with Dorie were simply online conversations, virtual high-fives and back-and-forth comments, given the busyness of business that we all have come to call life. As my client and I were brainstorming this afternoon about ways she could build out her networking and thought leadership, the idea of leveraging LinkedIn naturally became part of the conversation.

With Dorie’s recent “Land Your Book Deal” workshop and last night’s dinner with her and follow conference participants fresh on my mind, I confirmed that yes, online networking certainly can work, if you choose to network with people who are good match for you and make the effort to grow the relationship. And yes, I do practice what I coach and have real-life examples of forging professional relationships online that emerge and take form offline as well.

After first hearing about Dorie and reading her work, I became an immediate and huge fan. Many months after that, I quoted her and J. Kelly Hoey (another bright light to watch and learn from!) in an article I published. When I went back to retrieve this article for my client, I was surprised (and also not surprised) to see that it is from 2 1/2 years ago!

Again, I am practicing what I coach: networking is not transactional. Identify key relationships that make sense to nuture and invest your time and energy there, because you find shared, evolving and long-term value in the connection. Don’t be in a hurry to see some “payoff.” The payoff, in many cases, is in the relationship itself.

With Dorie

In case you would like to read the article in which I quoted Dorie and Kelly back in March 2017, I’m reprinting it below:

Introverts make better networkers.

That’s what J. Kelly Hoey, author of Build Your Dream Network, told a packed room of lawyers and investment professionals at the New York City Bar Association in late January of this year. After interviewing numerous sources for her book who are highly effective networkers, she realized that many of them self-identify as introverts.

The idea that introverts can truly shine at networking strikes many professionals – including many introverts – as a foreign concept. If they prefer being alone to lighting up a room and are driven more by introspection than connection, how can introverts be great at networking? After all, extroverts more easily strike up a conversation, keep it going and follow up with less fear. By their nature, they crave interactions with others. So how are they not the best networkers?

To get to the right answer, we need to be asking the right question, and that is: “What is the purpose of networking?” Effective networking, after all, is not an exercise in having the most Twitter followers or connections on LinkedIn. It is not, in fact, a numbers game at all. The goal of networking is to build an interconnected group (i.e. network) of individuals with whom you can create – over time and with meaningful energy invested – mutually beneficial relationships. A smaller network of more powerful relationships has infinitely more value than a so-called Rolodex of people who are weak contacts at best.

If you are looking for a place to start, remember that everyone already has a network. Everyone on the planet, in other words, has fellow alumni from high school, college, professional programs, work colleagues, neighbors, family, friends and/or other groups of people who form a network. Add to this basic network the people you may meet at yoga, tennis, church, the public library, nature walks, car shows, birthday parties or the myriad of other activities that may populate your day, and you may already have hundreds or even thousands of connections. If you start to actively associate with those in your existing network with whom you have a professional affinity, rather than envisioning networking as something that “other people do” or “only others do well,” you will make that first step toward actively creating an integrated network that works for you, rather than only belonging to a passive one created by default, not design.

The key to tipping the balance is to reframe the act of networking. It does not need to be a business-card exchange in a crowded event with strangers – something Kelly calls “random acts of networking,” which is generally ineffective – but it instead can be seen as an ongoing project of building relationships. By their nature, introverts are very thoughtful about how and with whom they communicate, so although they may not network in as many settings with as many people, they are more suited to creating a greater return for their ongoing efforts.

So how, as an introvert, can you effectively network in a non-threatening way?

Just as you would invest your money wisely, you can target your time invested to achieve the greatest return on such investment. This means, as I said above, that you first understand why you are networking so that it is a purposeful exercise. Are you building a network for a career transition that you foresee undertaking in the next 12 months, for example? If so, you will want to network with people who are in your target field or have undertaken similar transitions, who can help you along your way. Are you planning to write a book? You may wish to build a network of authors and experts in your area of writing, as well as others who are at the same stage in your writing journey, so you can support and share ideas with each other.

On a practical level, Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You and Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It and a self-proclaimed introvert, has great advice for other introverts who wish to grow their networks. As she offered in an interview with Forbes contributor Kathy Caprino: “There are plenty of new and interesting people to meet who already have some connection to you, so ask for suggestions from friends and colleagues about who they know that they think you should connect with.”

Connecting with warm contacts, in other words, is a good place to target your networking efforts as an introvert. As Dorie says, you will already have a starting point, and the common ground will allow you to build a professional relationship more quickly. In addition, if you grow a network through current connections, your target networking audience will be hand-chosen rather than arbitrary leads, so they are likely to be better matches in any case.

This emphasis on warm connections does not suggest that introverts should avoid conferences and other big-ticket events altogether. Rather, in their characteristically thoughtful way, introverts can carefully choose and plan a limited number of events that are likely to bring results and how to achieve them.

As I mentioned in my own book, Master the Interview: A Guide for Working Professionals, to network effectively, you need to show that you actually value the other person. Many people miss this crucial point, which is one reason so many introverts (as well as ambiverts and extroverts) have formed a negative impression of networking. They have been “networked to” rather than “networked with,” and (wishing to escape further uncomfortable interactions such as those in the past) have turned off to networking altogether.

Showing you value the other person by focusing on the relationship – and not what you can “get out of them” – can transform networking from what may feel or seem like a selfish, needy or transactional endeavor to a fundamental human connection among people who can enhance each other’s lives. With this end in mind, introverts, as well as extroverts, can create a network that works for them.

Anne Marie Segal is an executive coach, resume writer and author of two well-received books on interviewing and career development. She served as a corporate attorney for 15 years before launching her coaching practice, including roles at White & Case LLP and a hedge and private equity fund manager. Anne Marie is based in Stamford, CT and serves an international clientele. Her online learning platform is accessible here.

This article, other than the introduction, was original published on and is accessible here. Image above copyright 2019 Anne Marie Segal. All rights reserved.



Guest Speaking at Lehman College and Why “Buy Low, Sell High” Also Works for Recruiting

Late last month, I was honored to present to two classes at Lehman College as a guest speaker on career development. 

Handsome Hispanic Student Uses Laptop while Listening to a Lecture at the University, He Raises Hand and Asks Lecturer a Question. Multi Ethnic Group of Modern Bright Students.

There was considerable diversity among the student body in all senses of the word, including their professional goals. Some wanted to go the entrepreneurship route, while others were focused on tax, audit, financial advising and other “traditional” paths. In each case, we focused on their value proposition and how they could articulate to a target audience what they brought to the table.

We had some surprisingly in-depth discussions, and many of the students articulated a subtle and sophisticated understanding of themselves, their goals and the world at large. And, of course, we stretched them a bit further during the course of the presentation.

For example, one entrepreneurial student said his value stemmed in part from getting someone the “best deal.” We discussed the downsides of competing on price, because someone can always undercut you, so you will be sacrificing profit margins in order to win customers. We also explored how to extend the concept of service and relationship-building to make sure the “best deal” is more comprehensive than low-cost merchandise.

Another entrepreneurial student proposed creating and offering a specialty hair product for a niche market, and we explored what relationships she might need and want to build with scientists, investors, patent attorneys, social media influencers and others to bring her product idea to fruition and distribute and market it to her target audience.

We also discussed how presenting yourself in a job interview requires the same set of skills: understanding your value to the hiring company or client (i.e., what are the needs for that job or consulting engagement?) and how to best articulate your value (ability to meet those needs and exceed expectations) to your target audience. These concepts echo points I have raised in my books, Master the Interview and Know Yourself, Grow Your Career and are the key means to breaking down a daunting job search or other career decision-making process into manageable steps.

Each time I speak to a group of students, I am reminded that questions arising at the beginning of one’s career often continue to arise over the years. Many of the concerns these students had – such as confidence-building and personal branding as well as how to seek out, choosing among and making a positive impression on potential mentors and hiring managers – are similar those I hear from my executive clients.

As I imagine some of the readers of this post will be Lehman College and other students, I wanted to close with an article I read recently in the Harvard Business Review that is particularly apropos to job candidates at the beginning of their careers, entitledWhy Hiring is a Lot Like Picking Stocks.” (The specific classes were corporate finance and investment analysis courses, so the analogy is even more relevant to this particular group of students.)

I love that this article puts the hiring process in the same light as investment decisions, translating concepts such as due diligence, valuation, growth potential and other terms. As career coaches, we consistently try to help job candidates see beyond themselves to the goals of the team that will be hiring them. This article goes a long way toward making that clear in terms of the return on investment companies expect from job candidates, the risk-reward ratio that they consider when looking for new (or even experienced) talent and the delicate calculus that goes into talent retention.

And, by the way, if you are reading this and looking for a new source of recruits or investment opportunities, consider giving Professor Gary Jacobi a call. He just may have some suitable candidates for you!

Anne Marie Segal is an executive coach, resume writer and author of two well-received books on interviewing and career development. She served as a corporate attorney for 15 years before launching her coaching practice, including roles at White & Case LLP and a hedge and private equity fund manager. Anne Marie is based in Stamford, CT and serves an international clientele. Her online learning platform is accessible here.

Image above: Adobe Images.

Optimizing Your Transition Into a New Role: The 30/60/90-Day Plan

As you start a new job or take on a significant promotion, implementing a 30/60/90-day transition plan will help organize and optimize your first 90 days in the role.

You have likely spent weeks, months or even years seeking out and securing the next step in your career. Once settled, it might be tempting to celebrate, give notice to your current employer, hunker down (or enjoy a brief vacation) and then jump right into the mix. But what if you could create a more deliberate entry point for greater success and to ease your transition?

Through my work as an executive coach, I have witnessed time and again that the final step in a successful job transition is not accepting the offer. Candidates who make the greatest and most lasting impact consistently prepare themselves ahead of time for those critical first few months in their new role.

Herein lies the genius of a well-devised plan.

Recognizing Why You Need A Plan

When I work with coaching clients to develop 30/60/90-day plans, I invariably start by sharing this article by David Gee, which he wrote about his first 90 days as the chief investment officer of Credit Union Australia Limited.

As Gee attested, and as many of us have experienced over our own careers, either we set an agenda and priorities for a new role or our days are quickly overrun by the sheer volume of activity. Gee wrote, “I learnt very quickly that events and meetings would consume me unless I was clear where I wanted to focus my time and energy.”

While you may enter a role with the expectation of a fresh start and ample ramp-up time, work often takes on a life of its own as early as the first day or week on the job. Communicating an actionable 30/60/90-day plan to your team goes a long way in ensuring you are doing the right things among the busyness of business.

Structuring Your Plan

If you are not familiar with 30/60/90-day transition plans, Gee’s article offers an excellent overview. He structured his plan as a chart with “People,” “Process” and “Technology” as headers. Within each, he defined high-level departure points to guide his execution of top priorities, such as:

What does success look like?

What are the CEO’s expectations?

Who are the key players (outlined in a stakeholder analysis and influence map)?

Gee’s chart features both a high-level structure and sufficient detail to keep him on track. As you review it, reflect on the relevant questions and guiding principles for your own plan and how to best structure what you want and need to make your greatest sustainable impact in the first 90 days.

Individualizing Your Plan

One of my C-level clients, let’s call her Jordan, structured her own 30/60/90-day plan as follows:

In successive rows of her header column, Jordan listed her main constituents (board of directors, CEO, other C-suite leaders, regional managers and her team) followed by top anticipated projects and other areas to address. In the remaining columns across her chart, she mapped her goals for each over 30, 60 and 90 days.

While Jordan would have valued time to settle into her role before leaping into action, she was hired by her new CEO on the assumption she would swiftly shore up certain trouble spots in the organization (and be compensated accordingly).

On her plate was to help realign a splintered board of directors, merge diverse geographical regions under a smaller subset of managers and replace two key employees (which she labeled as Projects A, B and C), all while meeting the overarching goals of increasing revenue and raising the organization’s reputation in the marketplace.

People – Impact

30 Days 60 Days 90 Days
Board of Directors
Project A
Project B
Project C

By breaking up each of Projects A, B and C into achievable goals over manageable periods, Jordan could better predict the steps, time investment and travel schedule she would need to tackle each one. She also could clearly map out how her efforts across these projects would support larger organizational goals.

Tempted to triage and move to execute on each of these projects as soon as possible, Jordan nonetheless recognized that she first needed to set the tone and goals for her own team. She devoted the mornings of her first week at her new office to meeting with team members individually and spent afternoons on conference calls discussing each project in turn. In this way, she gained clarity, demonstrated authority and made initial progress on all key areas, as well as with her team.

Jordan then devised a tight yet manageable travel schedule for the following three weeks. She planned flights to five cities over two trips—making creative use of layovers—with a short break in-between. This put her face to face with individuals (scattered across the country) who were critical to her understanding of long-standing issues and generation of practical, optimal solutions.

AdobeStock_92595365 (priorities).jpg

Setting and Achieving Your Priorities

As you reflect on Gee’s and Jordan’s plans and devise your own, you may wish to include some agenda items from Gee’s chart:

  • Building relationships, coalitions and your team.
  • Branding yourself.
  • Setting the time to reflect.
  • Establishing and monitoring key personal metrics.
  • Ensuring accountability.
  • Executing quick wins that can foreshadow more substantial improvements.

Gee took pains to meet as many people in the organization as possible in his early days in the role. Speaking from a position of leadership, he also told his team what he stood for, how he liked to work and what he expected from them. Finally, he made sure that his progress, as measured against his 30/60/90-day plan and more generally, was “very visible” to his manager and team.

While a 30/60/90-day plan cannot guarantee success in a new role, outlining high-level goals and priorities with an accompanying action plan will facilitate the right mindset and allow for more seamless execution. Seek feedback from others as appropriate – either prior to your new role or in the first days at the office – and make sure to consider and include enterprise, team and individual goals.

Anne Marie Segal is an executive coach, resume writer and author of two well-received books on interviewing and career development. She served as a corporate attorney for 15 years before launching her coaching practice. The above article, other than the chart (added here), was originally published as a Forbes Coaches Council post and available here.

Image above: Adobe Stock.

Four Leadership Traits of High-Performing General Counsel (Women GC’s Speak)

This week I attended “Women GC’s Speak,” a New York City Bar Association panel moderated by Debbie Epstein Henry. Among the four General Counsel panelists, the leadership message was exceedingly clear:

Take on challenges,

find opportunities,

push yourself to be a little uncomfortable,

fill leadership gaps, and

figure it out.


Women GC's Panel image - 11-6-19 - NYC Bar.jpg

Panelists and moderator, from left to right: Ayssa Harvey Dawson, Cari Robinson, Debbie Epstein Henry (moderator), Romy Horn and Sonia Low. Photograph copyright 2019 Anne Marie Segal. All rights reserved.

Here are four specific insights the panelists shared that echo and underscore the coaching work I do with my General Counsel clients:

Romy Horn, General Counsel of the W2O Group, suggested that among the business aspects a law firm attorney (for example) needs to learn to transition into a GC role, there is one key aspect that many would-be General Counsel fail to grasp:

“Finance. [To be a trusted advisor and excel in a GC role], lawyers in companies need to understand the financial aspects of what they are doing.”

Sonia Low, VP, General Counsel and Secretary of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, reminded the audience that GCs are valued not for reciting the law but for helping senior leaders and others meet their business goals. To be a problem solver and transcend the legal function, don’t be afraid to ask:

“Can I come with you to these conventions? I’d like to meet more CEOs and CFOs, so I can better understand what drives them.”

Ayssa Harvey Dawson, General Counsel, Head of Legal, Privacy and Data Governance of Sidewalk Labs, shared that too many attorneys are caught in the “qualifications” trap and talk themselves out of opportunities as a result.

“Qualifications are subjective. When my last company was bought, I thought to myself, what do I want to do next? What I have learned from that is to never be afraid to embrace change.”

Cari Robinson, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Revlon, echoed that advice, adding that you are never going to know everything about a business, especially if you change industries, so:

“You can’t be bashful about asking people to slow down and explain things to you.”

Robinson also shared two essential factors that have helped her succeed as a GC:

first, her global litigation background, which showed her “a little piece of a lot of things” that collectively taught her “how to think about business” and made her a very nimble attorney, ready to face any opportunity, challenge or crisis situationand

second, her evolution from a focus on building her own career to supporting and building out her team.

For more information about this panel and the sponsoring committees, click here.

Anne Marie Segal is a career and leadership coach, writer and resume writer for attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs. In her practice serving lawyers, she coaches General Counsels, law firm partners, counsel and associates, as well as government, academic and non-profit attorneys.


Should You Attach Your Resume to Your LinkedIn Profile?

Have you often wondered if you should attach your resume to your LinkedIn profile? Maybe it would help boost your job search?


Why not?

1) If your home address is on it – which it shouldn’t be; only use city, state and zip or equivalent – you are putting your information at risk for identity theft.

2) You also may find (or never know) that people are borrowing your information and creating a resume that is essentially a copy of yours with another name on it. Because they do not need to post that publicly – unlike a LI profile – they can secretly trade on your goodwill and dilute your brand.

3) If you have one form of resume posted on LinkedIn and bring another (targeted) resume to an interview, you may compromise your credibility (i.e., if the two versions do not to match).

In other words, you will have less control of your personal branding in the interview because your audience will have already seen your resume. They may not even read a new one.

Instead of attaching a resume, put the important information and keywords directly into your profile, so the LinkedIn algorithm can do its work to match you to the right jobs.

Website Anne Marie Segal 2019 Barragan Square Say CheeseFor more LinkedIn tips, click here.

To find or follow me on LinkedIn, click here.

– Anne Marie Segal, Executive Coach

Image of Anne Marie: Copyright 2019 Alejandro Barragan IV. All rights reserved. 

Remaining images: Adobe Images.

What to Write (and Avoid) in Work Emails to Advance Your Career

I was honored to be quoted recently by Daniel Bortz, a contributor to, in13 things you should never write in a work email.”

Ah, the many thoughts and human interchanges that should never be reduced to email, and the myriad of ways you can be too casual (or not enough). Bortz captures a good many of them in his article.

Woman typing on laptop at workplace working in home office hand keyboard.

Conducting the interview for Bortz’s article, and reading it in print, brought me back to my former life as an attorney. At one point, I was tasked with reviewing a large set office correspondence. I skimmed through tons of emails. Thousands, in fact.

While the vast majority were innocuous – as boring as a string of indecisive lunch plans – I saw firsthand more than once how damaging certain private exchanges could be if they ever saw the light of day. 

A quick and poorly thought (or worded) email can do a lot of damage, while a strategic one can enhance your credibility and grow your career.

Bortz is not the first, nor will he be the last, to sound the alarm on the damage – indeed, at times, the unending vortex of negative results – that a quick and poorly thought (or worded) email can do. 

On the other hand, the goal with email is not only to avoid the downsides, but also to communicate, inviting others to respond and take action. So after you check out what to avoid in Bortz’s article, you can read what to include in mine: Four Steps to Creating Emails that Prompt Action and Get Results.

Anne Marie Segal 2019 Web Image Square #2 Copyright Barragan
Anne Marie Segal is an executive coach, author and resume writer. She works with executives, senior attorneys and other leaders to clarify and heighten their personal branding, increase their impact and accelerate professional goals such as Board or C-Suite candidacy, other leadership advancement, career pivots and job transitions.

Image above: Adobe Stock.
Image at left: © 2019 Alejandro Barragan IV. All rights reserved.


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