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  • Does the prospect of making a public presentation send you into a state of panic? If so, then you're far from alone. In fact, three-quarters of people suffer from speech anxiety, which means that it's the most common phobia of all. That said, most employees and managers who are considered key contributors within their organizations and industries will need to make a speech from time to time, and that includes those in the IT profession. (Remember, it's not all about programming and other tech skills.) So, to help make the experience less stressful and more successful, we're presenting the following 11 tips for giving a great speech. They include best practices for calming the nerves, as well as advice about delivery, preparation and the overall presentation. As is the case with most professional pursuits, the more time you invest up front in researching, planning and practicing for your big event, the more likely it is that you'll be a hit with your audience. Our tips are compiled from a number of online resources, including those posted by The Leader's Institute and Lifehack.org.

  • Professionals with Linux skills are in greater demand than ever, according to a recent survey-based report from Dice.com and the Linux Foundation. Nearly all hiring managers surveyed plan to bring on more Linux talent this year, and many of them said they will be hiring in greater numbers than they did last year to cover Linux-supported functions. The vast majority said it's difficult to fill these positions, and, as a result, many are offering special work arrangements and/or compensation to land Linux professionals. In fact, to fill these needs, many of the organizations surveyed are willing to pay for at least some of the cost of certification training. "Demand for Linux talent continues apace, and it's becoming more important for employers to be able to verify that candidates have the skill sets they need," says Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation. "Formal training and certifications are a key way of identifying qualified talent." More than 1,000 hiring managers and 3,400 Linux professionals took part in the research.

  • While the number of U.S. telecommuters represents only a small percentage of the overall workforce, the trend is clearly on the upswing. Still, given that half of American employees hold a job that's compatible with a telework schedule, there's plenty of room for improvement. Managers and senior executives (most famously Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer) often present obstacles to telework, citing the need to keep staffers in the office for accountability reasons. There's also the prevailing perception that in-person interaction improves team cohesion and collaboration. With that in mind, if you want to state your case for a work-from-home arrangement—even on a part-time basis—you may want to present the following 10 facts about telecommuting. For starters, they show that organizations can cut costs significantly when they provide this benefit to employees—if just from savings in office space allocations and operational expenses. Meanwhile, research shows that employees who telecommute work more hours than office-based professionals. And they're more productive too. The following 10 facts are compiled from a number of online resources, including those posted by Global Workplace Analytics and PGi.

  • Build your structures, processes and environments in a way that preferred employee behaviors are a natural outcome, not something that's externally enforced.

  • A majority of IT leaders surveyed said their organization's employees lack needed tech training, according to a recent survey from Cybrary. As a result, budgeting for these sessions is expected to either hold steady or increase for most companies. Still, only a minority of the companies surveyed pay for training for employees throughout the enterprise, with many opting to cover training costs only for the IT department. Given the surging presence of bring your own device (BYOD), cloud computing and other self-determined uses of technology by employees, an enterprise's decision-makers may want to reconsider such a position. The problem is that most companies designate a relatively small share of the available budget for training employees. "Companies do not provide enough means for IT training, despite a lack of IT talent and ever-increasing technology and cyber-security challenges," says Ryan Corey, co-founder of Cybrary. "Additionally, the current state of IT training makes it very difficult for employees to advance in their careers and for people to break into the IT industry, thereby eliminating a lot of talent from the start." Cybrary provides tuition-free massive open online course (MOOC) offerings, covering materials related to IT and cyber-security. More than 400 senior-level technology professionals took part in the research.

  • Data scientists spend too much time cleaning and organizing data, which pulls them away from what they should be doing: conducting business-benefitting analysis, according to a recent survey from CrowdFlower. Being understaffed contributes to the problem, as does a lack of access to required tools and resources. These professionals would also be better served by a clearer sense of their organization's goals for individual projects, findings show. "Data scientists are valuable to their companies, but there's still a disconnect between what they actually do and what they want to do," says Lukas Biewald, co-founder and CEO of CrowdFlower. "At the end of the day, the time they invest in cleaning data is time that could be better spent doing strategic, creative work like predictive analysis or data mining." Despite the challenges, it's reassuring to find that a large majority of data scientists are happy with their jobs, and quite a few consider what they do "awesome." More than 150 U.S. data scientists took part in the research.

  • The way you resign from a job may have nearly as much impact on your future as the way you performed it. At least, that's the impression conveyed by a recent survey from OfficeTeam, which gives a humorous perspective to this topic with these outrageous ways to quit a job. Clearly, you can't afford to burn bridges when you quit, and you definitely can't act the way the employees depicted in these slides did. It doesn't matter how you feel about the job, the company, your bosses or your team members. Keep in mind that prospective employers will check your references, and former colleagues and supervisors are often contacted for these recommendations. In other words, be classy when you leave a job. Write a professional, gracious resignation letter, and maintain a respectful tone during face-to-face discussions with everyone in your current organization. "How you quit a position can leave a lasting impression, so make sure to exit on the best terms possible," advises Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Doing a great job when you start a new role is expected. Doing a great job as you leave cements your reputation for professionalism. Schedule a meeting with your manager to discuss your resignation, and give at least two weeks' notice. Keep conversations positive, tie up loose ends and help train your replacement if one has been identified." More than 600 North American human resources managers took part in the research.

  • If you want to work for a company where most employees are engaged and happy with their jobs, the tech industry may be the best place to look. In fact, seven of the top 10 happiest companies in the United States are in the IT sector, according to the fifth annual survey of employees from CareerBliss. True, a tech employer didn't take the No. 1 spot: That went to Johnson & Johnson. But a who's who of industry players—including Google, Microsoft, Intel and SAP—dominate the list. You may be surprised to discover that some comparatively lower-key tech companies are ranked higher than some more recognizable brands. Nevertheless, the list, along with comments from current and former employees, reflects overall positive sentiments about IT companies, especially with respect to how tech professionals perform on the leading edge of innovation and strategic leadership. "This year, we saw a surge of STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math]-related companies ranking in the top 10," says Heidi Golledge, CEO and "chief happiness officer" at CareerBliss. "As we evaluate the factors that affect happiness, such as growth opportunity and company culture, it is also important to understand what types of industries are creating happier work environments overall."