Trending February 2024 # 5 Presentations Ceos Must Prepare # Suggested March 2024 # Top 2 Popular

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Being a CEO means wearing many hats ― particularly when communicating your venture’s vision and future plans. While your core ideas and values will remain consistent, you must be prepared to communicate with various audiences, including investors, customers, employees and peers. Tailoring your messages to your audiences’ diverse interests and needs is crucial.

We’ll highlight five presentations every CEO should craft, practice and have ready to go when the moment calls. While your industry and the unique aspects of your organization will inform your presentations, all leaders can benefit from having these pitches and presentations at the ready.

Did You Know?

According to Decktopus, professionals prefer presentations to be 10 to 15 minutes long, have more visuals than text and be interactive. However, ensuring accurate data visualizations is critical.

5 presentations CEOs must have ready

While industry trends and unique situations will dictate a CEO’s specific presentation needs, all leaders need the following five presentations. Be sure to practice and hone your presentations so they’re polished and professional ― you don’t want your business to go viral for the wrong reasons.

1. Investor pitch

Presenting your idea to investors is a delicate balance of sales, partnership, enthusiasm and vision. It’s essential to get straight to the point and convince investors to put their money and trust in your hands. If a CEO can’t make people care about their business in less than five minutes, they must return to the drawing board.

Angel investors and venture capitalists look for signs that a company is worth their time and money. Revenue numbers, customer data, a solid marketing plan and positive business trends are critical. However, don’t rely on the numbers to do all the talking: Investors want entrepreneurs they can trust.

Your investor pitch should weave together data with an engaging story that establishes that you’re an excellent, trustworthy leader with a capable team.

FYI

Finding and attracting investors ― and keeping their attention ― can be challenging. According to DocSend, in 2023, investors spent about three and a half minutes reviewing pitch decks. In 2023, it was less than three minutes.

Tip

Look to your company’s mission statement to inspire your all-hands vision pitch. Avoid abstract platitudes like “We make the world better.” Instead, share stories about how your business lives its mission and impacts the world.

4. Press-worthy announcement speech

Apple has perfected the show-stopping press event. When many people think of Steve Jobs, they often recall his dynamic and unique presentations at Apple’s major product launch events.

Jobs elicited emotional responses from his audiences. For example, when announcing the iPod in 2001, he didn’t describe it as just a beautiful MP3 player. He equated it with the freedom to listen to any kind of music, anywhere. 

Investor pitches and all-hands vision pitches must help an audience see beyond basic facts and figures to something more meaningful. Similarly, press-worthy announcements should drive at something much deeper than technical specs. If you want people to care about what you’re announcing, help them understand the implications of your news in emotional terms.

5. Thought leadership keynote

Industry events are opportunities for CEOs to increase brand awareness and reach a broad audience of potential customers. But when a CEO is asked to give a keynote at an event, organizers don’t want a company pitch. 

Instead, CEOs should cultivate a platform of ideas beyond their products or services to call upon for keynote presentations. They can use these thought leadership tenets to prepare a presentation that is meaningful to the audience while effortlessly raising their organization’s esteem and profile. 

Tip

Incorporate your brand’s story into your keynote. Focus on your experiences, challenges and obstacles to engage your audience.

Did You Know?

Google Slides is part of Google Drive, which is one of the most effective internal collaboration tools a business can use.

Visme

Visme is an all-in-one presentation-creation platform with easy customization features. Visme is more robust than PowerPoint but just as easy to use. It’s great for teams that want a professional look. You can use its free version with limited features or upgrade to its paid tiers for more functionality. 

Here’s some information on Visme:

Templates: Visme provides thousands of templates and millions of graphics, audio and video options for a wide range of industries.

Price: Visme’s free plan has limited features. Paid tiers cost $15 and $29 and provide additional options and functionality.

Compatibility: With Visme, you show and edit presentations in a web browser.

Prezi

Prezi’s presentation software allows you to create nonlinear stories. It can manage slides in groups so you can quickly bounce from one topic to the next while keeping your audience engaged. Prezi also allows you to share presentation links to collaborate with co-workers.

Here’s what you should know about Prezi:

Templates: Prezi offers over 200 templates catering to various industries.

Price: Prezi has a free plan and paid tiers. The Plus plan is $15 per month and the Premium tier is $19 per month.

Compatibility: You can use Prezi on Windows PCs and Macs (offline access). You can also access it on iOS and Android devices.

Beautiful.ai

The chúng tôi software uses artificial intelligence to upgrade the standard human presentation. The platform is excellent if you are short on time. Import all your information and chúng tôi will organize your slides to be clear, concise and aesthetically appealing.

Here’s some basic info on Beautiful.ai:

Templates. chúng tôi provides 62 templates that focus on use cases instead of industry.

Price. chúng tôi costs $12 per month for unlimited slides and $40 per month for sharing capabilities and custom templates.

Compatibility. With chúng tôi you show and edit presentations on a web browser.

Peter Arvai contributed to this article.

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5 Cybersecurity Trends Organizations Must Be Aware Of In 2023

Business is based on trade offs. Digital solutions provide ease of doing business to corporations since they accelerate the flow of information. On the other hand, they provide new opportunities for criminals to steal value from businesses.

Knowing current cybersecurity trends can help businesses utilize the benefits of digital platforms while limiting cyber threats. This article discusses five major cybersecurity trends and their implications for businesses. 

1. Cyberattacks are on the rise

The number of cyberattacks has exploded in the last decade (see Figure 1). This pattern appears to be continuing and will likely continue for some time. For example, Gartner predicts that in 2025, more than half of companies will check the cybersecurity posture of candidate business partners to make business with.

Figure 1: Number of malware attacks in millions

In comparison to 2023, the total number of cyberattacks climbed by 30% in 2023. When compared to the previous year, ransomware was the most common type of attack. Ransomware attacks surged by more than 100% in total.

Phishing assaults, according to Deloitte, are another form of cyber danger that harms businesses as much as ransomware. ENISA, on the other hand, warned about the potential of brute force assaults due to the new algorithms and models used by criminals.

Despite the fact that we are only a few months into 2023, the cyber risk landscape does not appear to be bright. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Fitch Ratings gave a notice to businesses about the increased cyber threats.  

2. Building a fortress is not a cybersecurity solution anymore

Until a few years ago, IT professionals structured an organization’s cybersecurity model as a fortress, in which everything within the office networks was assumed to be fundamentally trustworthy. To shield business infrastructure from the outside world, they build/buy hardware-based cloaking and web filtering solutions like VPNs and on-premise firewalls.

When employees operate in an office environment with secure Wi-Fi, laptops, and on-premise platforms, such a cybersecurity plan works well. However, after the Covid-19 pandemic people started to work from anywhere with any devices and corporations migrated to the public cloud platforms as an outcome of hybrid/remote working. As a result, ensuring Wi-Fi, laptop, or network security is no longer viable.

New-normal of working dictates that users, gadgets and networks should not be trusted inherently and always verified before providing access to any document or tool. Furthermore, because users and gadgets may be dangerous, staff should have access to as little data as possible. This new cybersecurity paradigm is called zero trust architecture.     

According to Microsoft’s study, 35% of companies fully adopted zero trust cybersecurity architecture and another 42% started implementing zero-trust architecture in 2023. Significant transformation is apparent on VPNs where around 60% of companies switched them with zero trust mentality implemented software defined perimeters (SDP).  

According to AIMultiple, the following cybersecurity solutions will be popular in 2023 and beyond due to their ability to secure businesses with hybrid/remote workers and public cloud platforms:

Secure web gateway (SWG): A web security tool that ensures least access principle thanks to URL filtering capabilities 

SDP: A zero trust driven web cloaking tool that allows micro segmentation. Thus, recently preferred over VPNs. 

Zero trust network access (ZTNA): Ensures safe remote login to firms’ data and tools.

Secure access service edge (SASE): Cobines networking and security tools such as firewalls, ZTNA and SWGs.

3. Digital supply chains are on the risk

In today’s world, supply chains are monitored and coordinated via supply chain software and telematics (Internet of Things devices). Therefore, an attack on supply chain tools or gadgets might entirely disrupt operations.

The hacking of SolarWind in 2023 demonstrated how a strike on an supply chain IT infrastructure company might disrupt the movement of commodities. According to Gartner, cyberattacks on supply chain infrastructure and software will increase in the coming years, with nearly half of all organizations being impacted by such assaults by 2025.  

As global political tensions rise, digital supply chain attacks may become more common as a means of causing damage to infrastructure and the well-being of opponents. The 2023 SolarWind hacking case, for example, is being blamed on Russians by US authorities. 

4. AI models improve both cyber risks and security

Improvements in AI capabilities introduce better defense capabilities for firms against cyberattacks. According to Capgemini more than 70% of organizations use AI models at least to some degree to cope with cyber risks. 

AI models are effective in:

Detection: AI/ML models are taught to detect abnormalities in regular patterns which might indicate cyberattacks.

Prediction: AI models are used to forecast the emergence of different types of cyberattacks.

Response: When a cyberattack occurs, AI models automate the response that should be taken. They can, for example, remove patient zero from the network to prevent infection.

Professional hackers have enhanced tools for research and development of malicious software, including AI models. Hacking is now a multi-billion dollar industry so they have capital. Criminals can quickly adapt their attack methods thanks to AI models. In 2023, AI capabilities were used to improve the finance sector targeting the malicious code Emotet. 

5. State actors are significantly involved in cybersecurity issues

Cybersecurity is a national security issue. Digital platforms are used by the supply chain, the finance sector, and government entities. As a result, state actors intervene in cybersecurity to improve national cybersecurity postures. They also encourage or orchestrate cyberattacks on their opponents’ infrastructure to harm it.

On the bright side, cyber-related regulations and control mechanisms have been improved. Biden’s Executive Order on Cybersecurity, for example, requires federal agencies to improve their cybersecurity posture. The Executive Order also affects commercial enterprises that cooperate with federal agencies. Forbes views Biden’s choice as a blueprint for a safer internet for everyone, emphasizing the importance of cybersecurity and techniques like the zero-trust cybersecurity paradigm.

In addition there are some upgrades at cyberattack reporting. On March 10th, the US House and Senate passed legislation requiring companies in the financial, transportation, and energy sectors to notify any cyberattack to the government within three days. If a company makes the payment for a ransomware assault, the government must be notified within 24 hours. Senator Rob Portman, has expressed the rationale behind the decision with his concerns about a possible increase in Russian-based cyber attacks on US companies.

Senator’s concern highlights the darker side of government involvement in cybersecurity. According to ENISA, state-related entities was active cyber threats in 2023. 2023 can be even worse. For example, before the invasion of Ukraine, Russian intelligence services launched a series of cyberattacks to weaken Ukraine’s infrastructure. Political tensions and war-related cyberattacks, according to the Guardian, will continue to escalate.        

You can check our sortable/filtrable cybersecurity software, cybersecurity companies and secure web gateway vendors lists to improve your cybersecurity posture.

If you have further questions regarding cybersecurity trends you can contact us:

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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Definitive Guide To Prepare For An Analytics Interview

Looking to land your first data science role but struggling to clear interviews? We have curated the most comprehensive course to ace your next data science interview. Hundreds of questions, plenty of videos, and multiple resources – the ultimate course!

Let’s face it! Facing an analytics interview can be daunting at times!

I have met a lot of analysts, who are good analysts when you interact with them informally. But something happens to them, as soon as they enter into an interview!

Have you seen one of these analysts and wondered what happens to them in the room? Or have you faced this situation yourself? This guide is meant to help you / your friend to ace the next analytics interview!

The first thing to keep in mind before appearing analytics interview is:

As long as you know your subject, are a logical person and can stay calm – you can ace these interviews easily!

What is the employer trying to judge you on?

The actual skills, which the employer might be judging on, would vary from employer to employer, but it is likely a mix of the following skills:

Technical skills – comfort and knowledge about various analytical tools

Knowledge of statistics – whether you apply algorithms blindly or actually understand what they do?

Structured thinking – Can you take ambiguous problems and put a framework around them?

Business understanding – How well can you put on your business thinking hat?

Problem solving – Can you provide (out of the box) solutions to problems?

Communication skills – Can you communicate your thoughts clearly and crisply? Can you influence people?

Comfort with numbers – How good are you at crunching them?

Attention to details – Do you pay attention to small details and at them up to see the bigger picture

This article can help you understand the perspective of an employer in some more details.

Types of analytics interviews:

Analytics interviews can be divided in broadly three categories:

The preparation for technical analytics interviews happens over time. These interviews test how much time and efforts have you put, in learning your subject and tools.

If you are really good at what you do, these rounds should be a cake walk. If you are not, the best strategy is to be honest about what you know and what you don’t and let your potential employer know. Here are a few articles to help you with technical interviews:

There is a lot of material available on the internet to prepare for behavioural interview, hence I would skip those details.

Skill assessment interviews:

These are the deciding factor in most of the analytical hiring, and for a good reason – if a person has sound logical skills and can demonstrate good business thinking and logical skills – he can pick up technical skills easily! Since these interviews are aimed to assess various skills, what matters more, is that you demonstrate those skills. The actual answer and solution is irrelevant in most cases. Any hiring manager would prefer a wrong answer with a better approach rather than an accurate answer with bad approach.

Skill interviews, again can be categorized in  2 categories:

Guess estimates

Case studies and role plays

Guess-estimates:

Guess estimates are puzzle like questions, where you are expected to estimate a figure by putting a framework to a question, creating segments, making assumptions and adding up the numbers to arrive at a number.

You can read details on how to ace a guess-estimate along with a few examples here. Here are a few tips I would recommend:

It is the approach that matters – not the exact numbers. However, you should cross-validate numbers once you have them.

Always go top down to solve a problem. Draw neat segmentation & diagrams to illustrate your approach.

Keep a few common starting points / proxies on your finger tips. Population of your country, population across the globe, the GDP of your country are a few good starting points you should definitely remember.

Analyze all possible uses of the subject. E.g. You should consider B2B & B2C markets, if you are asked to estimate market of tablets or smartphones.

Call out assumptions and possible blind spots.

Case studies / Role plays:

Here is what Capital One says about case studies on its website:

Case interviews are broad, two-way discussions rather than one-way tests. You will be assessed more on how you go about dealing with the problem rather than on the specific answers you come up with.

A case typically starts with a broad question providing a business scenario and then narrows down in a particular direction. Cases might also evolve and grow in complexity as the interview progresses. Here is how a typical interview evolves over time:

Here is an example of a typical case study interview. Here is another one.

Following are some best practices to follow in a case study round:

Case study is all about illustrating 3 things – Structure, structure and structure! Focus on putting framework to the problem provided, and you will be safe. Try deviating from it and you’ll find yourself in trouble.

For example, when asked how can you increase Profits for a product company, you should not jump to conclusions like “I’ll improve marketing or I’ll cut costs”. You should say Profits = Revenues – Costs. In order to increase profits, we can either increase Revenues or reduce costs. Revenues can be increased by increasing Sales or increasing the price. Costs can be reduced by doing ….

Keeping a structure will not only help the interviewer understand you better, it will also help you make sure that you have not missed out any thing.

Call out assumptions, whenever you are making them. These could be assumptions about business or the sector in discussion.

Lay out things neatly on paper, such that, they can be re-used later. Most of the times, case studies evolve over time. You will be asked to do similar questions, multiple times under multiple scenario. Keeping them handy can reduce calculation time!

Think out loud – it is the thinking process, which matters. If you are not sure – ask the interviewer rather than staying quite!

Communicate crisply and clearly – if you are not clear about your thoughts, take 2 minutes from the interviewer to arrange your thoughts and then communicate them nicely.

Finally, here is a list of activities / behaviour, you should avoid during the interview. These, along with the best practices mentioned above, should give you enough ammunition to handle any analytics interview.

If you like what you just read & want to continue your 

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Related

How To Prepare For A Virtual Job Interview

Grabbing that dream job in the current times is not an easy ride, and you need to excel in lots of areas. Your excellent resume certainly creates an impact; however, verbal skills still hold the utmost importance. It is true for a face-to-face, as well as for a virtual job interview. The current scenario indicates that virtual interviews and video introductions will be the most prominent way of hiring in the coming years.

More and more organizations are now using video interviews to shortlist the candidates for various positions. This is not only cost-effective but also timesaving and a comfortable option for both interviewer and the candidate.

Virtual Job Interview Tips

First, get to know the various video conferencing platforms available these days, which can be used by the organization to interview the candidate. These tools are generally sophisticated and highly user friendly. However, the challenge lies in being accustomed to using these tools with finesses and creating a lasting impact on your interviewer, seemingly like face-to-face interaction.

Hence, before knowing the ways to prepare for a virtual job interview, here is a glimpse of specific challenges that arise during the video interviews.

Challenges you may face during a virtual job interview & how to avoid them

2] Besides, bad lighting and inability to view your gestures clearly can annoy the interviewer. Hence, make sure you are sitting in a bright room. The surroundings should look clean and tidy; you must not appear clumsy and unorganized to the interviewer. It is better to have a bare wall or clear background. Make sure there is no clutter in your location. You may also use some professional virtual backgrounds or blur the background, feature available on some platforms. Teams, Zoom, etc, all allow you to set a virtual background. You also have the option to blur the background in Teams and Skype.

3] External disturbances can make a wrong impression on the interviewer. Hence, select a room that causes the least disturbances and external noise. While appearing for an interview from home on a video call, make sure that you are at a quiet and secluded spot where there are minimum distractions and noise. Make sure you are away from the kitchen or living room to avoid unnecessary noise.

4] Shabby dressing and inattentive appearance can create a negative impact. A virtual job interview is as important as a face-to-face interview. Hence, make sure you dress smartly, if not over.

5] Do not look unprepared. Be Technology ready. In case you want to pursue a career online and plan to appear for virtual interviews, it is essential to invest in quality microphones and web cameras. If the inbuilt camera on your laptop or computer is not high quality, it is good to upgrade or arrange a better one. Interviewers may not want to look at a grainy image of their prospective employer.

Check your video quality on your computer camera

Check the microphone to ensure your voice is not breaking or echoing

Check Speakers? headphones to make sure you can listen to what the interviewers are saying

Setup your workspace near Wi-Fi Router or use LAN cable to make sure that the connectivity is good

6] Professional Tip: Avoid taking an interview on a mobile phone. It may not have all the features and holding the smartphone in your hands while appearing for interview/ Video conference may look unprofessional.

How to prepare for a virtual job interview

1] Make sure you have all the paraphernalia sorted and placed right on your desk before the interview starts. This is to ensure you do not look disoriented to the interviewer. Make sure you have your answers, your objectives, and your expectations clearly defined. Do not fumble during the interview and never look for answers on the internet while appearing in a virtual interview.

2] Professional Tip: Always have a printout of essential documents like your resume and experience letters, in front of you.

3] Dress well and look sophisticated. Often people forget that even though the interview is happening from their homes, virtually they are connected to the official group. It is essential to look professional and dress in formal wear like you would do in your face to face interview. Make sure to dress up in a blazer or a formal shirt; the business formals are preferable for virtual interviews. Do not appear shabby and unprepared for the interview.

4] Get to the point fast. The virtual meetings and interviews are timed, so you do not have all the time to start small talk to warm up the group. It is essential to make a connection fast, indulge in personal stories, and share your real-life examples and experiences with the interviewer to make a lasting impact.

5] Genuineness matters. Pretentiousness is often not appreciated, especially when employers are looking for the right candidate for their jobs. Thus, it is essential to be yourself and speak naturally while appearing in a virtual interview. Make the conversations real and engaging instead of looking unreal and giving a prepared speech.

7] Avoid typing or answering text for the entire length of the interview. It appears as a significant distraction to the interviewer. Though you are not in a boardroom, you are virtually inside a meeting room, so you should look attentive and confident.

8] Sit upright with the back straight to look more formal and prepared. People who lean or laid back appear sloppy and disinterested in conversations. It is better to select a comfortable chair and cushion it well, so you do not struggle with your position while seating.

9] Prudently make use of hand gestures to appear confident and informed.

Follow prudent video conferencing etiquette.

Final words

You can successfully make a lasting impression on the interviewer during a virtual job interview if you follow these simple tips and stay prepared beforehand.

Useful link: Best free Job Search Sites for searching for jobs online.

3 Essential Tips To Prepare Your Business To Reopen

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the way businesses operate – if they’re able to operate at all. As many states lift stay-at-home orders and consumers begin reentering their semi-normal lives, businesses have to prepare for a reopening.

While resuming business as usual sounds like a dream right now, it’s important to be realistic: It’s going to present its own set of challenges. Consumers will likely be more cautious, many states have released ordinances where people can’t leave home without face masks, and businesses are going to be under scrutiny over their cleanliness and disinfecting practices.

So, how can you prepare to reopen your business and what do you need to do? Here are three major things to start thinking about now.

1. Create a 30/60/90-Day Marketing Plan

Your marketing plan was likely strongly impacted by COVID-19 and the surrounding events, and you probably had to pivot, put on hold, or maybe even halt it altogether. Now that we’re talking about reopening, it’s important to create an adjusted marketing plan that accounts for the evolving situation we’re all in. A 30/60/90-day plan is a perfect solution. Outline what’s going to be important right now, a month from now, and up to three months from now so you can have some flexibility in your plan. Make sure to include how you’re going to communicate to customers and any deals or promotions you’ll be offering.

We put together a short guide that walks through just how to do this and what’s going to be important to include in each plan. Plus, it includes a free template to help you start planning. Download it here.

2. Establish New Business Operations & Get Your Team Onboard

Consumers are now used to seeing what businesses are doing to keep employees and customers safe. If your business doesn’t have a protocol around this in place, now’s the time to create one. Think about where and how often you’ll disinfect if you have a storefront, what personal protective equipment you’ll provide to team members, and more – following CDC guidelines.

The next step here is going to be ensuring that your staff is trained and adhering to these guidelines at all times. You can have the best-outlined plan in the world, but if your people aren’t following it to the letter, you can put your customers, your team, and your business at risk. Make sure they understand the importance of the plan, get their buy-in, and create a way to keep each other accountable.

3. Communicate What You’re Doing to Customers

Establishing open and transparent lines of communication with your customers is going to be key. Make sure they know what you and your team are doing to keep everyone safe, what services you’re offering (are you still offering curbside pick-up or delivery as well as in-store shopping now?), and how they can support your business as we enter this time of reopening.

This is also a great time to ask your most loyal customers what they’d like to see from you, where they most enjoy getting communications from you, and when they think they’ll be comfortable to do business with you again. This can help you with your planning and show them that you care.

Now, more than ever, it’s going to be important to stay attuned to what consumers want and need. The first priority is safety – for your team, your customers, and your business – but this can be an exciting time to return to supporting our favorite local businesses.

We’re excited for businesses to begin safely reopening, and we’re here to support you as you reopen your business. Reach out today to learn how we can partner!

Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the Associate Director of Content for LocaliQ and WordStream. She has over 10 years of experience in content and social media marketing and loves writing about all things digital marketing. When she’s not researching the latest and greatest marketing news and updates, she’s probably watching reality TV with her husband, reading, or playing with her two pups.

Other posts by Stephanie Heitman

15 Must Have Linux Applications

An operating system is of no value whatsoever without needed applications to get things done on a day to day basis. And even though this sounds obvious, it’s something that is on the minds of many new Linux converts.

Will they be able to relinquish control over their tired, older legacy apps on the Windows desktops? While finding usable, Linux compatible alternatives?

In this article, I’ll share fifteen software titles I use frequently — often everyday. These are applications that quite literally make using the Linux desktop a real pleasure.

1) LibreOffice – Long before LibreOffice even existed, I was a big fan of OpenOffice. So my history with the software suite predates many folks as I’ve been a full time user of OpenOffice since day one.

Today however, LibreOffice is the preferred option for distributions looking to offer a cutting edge, dependable office suite to their users. My most commonly used applications within the LibreOffice suite are Writer and Calc. I use Writer because it’s stable, provides me with strong control over my word processing documents and the options of installing extensions, and only further increases the software’s functionality in my eyes.

2) Evince – An application that doesn’t always make it into everyone’s list, Evince is a PDF viewer that is fast and stable. In my humble opinion, I’ve found Evince to be a preferred alternative to Adobe’s PDF viewer for Linux. It may have less options, but Evince makes up for it with speed and stability. Best of all, it comes pre-installed with many desktop Linux distributions these days.

3) gscan2pdf – Thanks to the SANE backend that comes with modern Linux distributions, scanning a document is usually as simple as connecting a scanner and selecting Simple Scan. And while it’s a good application for scanning images, even supporting export to PDF, it’s a pretty basic tool.

By contrast, gscan2pdf offers greater functionality, a better UI and of course, even supports network document scanners. In an enterprise environment, you’re going to want to have access to gscan2pdf’s capabilities. Another benefit to using gscan2pdf, is that it generally performs better, and works with greater stability for higher resolution scans.

4) Self Control – When you’re on your PC, distractions are something you have to contend with. And usually, I am able to make the most out of my work time. But every once in awhile, like during big events that I might be tracking, I can get distracted. This is why I use an application called Self Control. It allows me to easily block specific websites, for a set amount of time. Best of all, once activated, it’s very difficult to undo. So you won’t be temped to simply turn off the app, should you wish to stop working and visit those time-wasting websites.

5) Kazam – Perhaps not an application that is going to be used by everyone out there reading this, but for me, it’s a must-have. I have used a variety of screen capturing programs over the years on the Linux desktop. Without exception, nearly all of them were unusable. Worse, they offered poor results and left my recorded video looking over-compressed and grainy. Kazam is fantastic! It works well with most Linux audio connections, plus the video can be saved as WebM or MP4. Coming full circle, back to the audio connections, I love that it can actually record from two separate audio devices at the same time.

6) VLC – Whether I need a video player to view my own screen captures or perhaps instead I’m catching up on my favorite video podcasts, VLC is always my first video player of choice. This cross platform player plays practically anything, without needing to worry about which codecs are installed on your Linux distro. Everything that’s needed is already included with the VLC application. It’s also worth mentioning that VLC will also play DVDs, without any extra configuration. With this functionality, VLC saves me time and is hassle free. I know that any media file I throw at it will likely be played without missing a beat.

7) guvcview – Cheese, the photobooth app provided in many distributions, is garbage in its current state. The concept, layout and filters are pretty neat. But sadly, the application is a buggy, crashing, software mishap. Thankfully, there is still a solid solution for those of us using the UVC (Universal Video Class) powered webcams under the Linux desktop. Appropriately called guvcview, this software will provide you with much of the same photobooth functionality found in Cheese. The difference being, it won’t crash or over-tax your CPU in the process of running. This software is capable of capturing still images and video recordings. You can even save your captures in a wide rage of file formats and codecs.

8) Pithos – Regardless of where you happen to work from, I believe that music can often help to avoid distractions. But one of the problems of managing an MP3 playlist, is that it can become a distraction in and of itself. Therefore, the next logical step might be to look to services like Pandora. The best way to enjoy Pandora on the Linux desktop in my opinion is through an application called Pithos.

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