App Spotlight: Learn More About Your Contacts with CallApp

Android's stock Contacts app is pretty much, well, a stock contacts app. It stores names, addresses, phone numbers, and the like, but does it pull in each contact's latest tweets and LinkedIn updates? Does it let you see your next scheduled meeting with a contact? Or schedule a follow-up call? No, no, and no.

CallApp is a contact manager on steroids. It's not perfect, but it does give you a ton of new and useful ways to track and interact with your contacts -- ways that might just help you impress a client or close a sale.

The first time you run CallApp, it sends you an activation code via SMS. From there you'll need to sign into one or more of your social networks: Facebook, Foursquare, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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The 6 Best New iOS 6 Features for Business Users

It's official: Apple iOS 6 is coming this fall," and with it some 200 updates and improvements. Although there's nothing I'd call revolutionary (to me the updates seem more akin to iOS 5.5), Apple has baked in plenty of good stuff for business users -- starting with its homegrown Maps app, which is good news for iPhone owners but bad news for GPS-app developers.

Here's a rundown of the most business-friendly features you'll find in iOS 6.

1. Turn-by-turn navigation

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Create a Professional Business Web Site in Minutes with IM Creator

What's the first thing a startup needs? Right: lots and lots of cash. But what's the second thing a startup needs? A Web site, of course.

Just one problem: few entrepreneurs have the time, resources, and expertise to build an pretty, functional, comprehensive site from scratch.

There are, of course, any number of tools and services that can provide soup-to-nuts site building. One of the best I've found: IM Creator, which helps you create polished, professional business Web sites.

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PlayThru Turns Human Authentication Into a Game

Only three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and universal hatred of CAPTCHA.

CAPTCHA, of course, is the system that's used on countless Web sites to prove that a user is human, and not some 'bot looking to wreak havoc.

Why the hatred? If you've ever used it yourself, you know why: the user is presented with a box containing some blurred or otherwise altered letters or numbers, then has to type that string into a text field -- assuming he or she can actually decipher it. Turns out the system that's so good at foiling 'bots is pretty good at foiling humans, too.

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App Spotlight: Send Video-Enhanced Business Cards with Eyejot vCard

Goodbye, inconvenient, easily forgotten business cards. Hello, smarter modern-day alternative.

Late last year I told you about Eyejot Video Mail, an iOS app that allows you to send talking-head messages -- including video business cards -- right from your iPhone.

Now the developer has broken out that feature into its own app: Eyejot vCard. With it you can create an electronic business card consisting of a video clip, all your pertinent contact info, and even map data.

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Free Ebook Teaches You to Ace Every Presentation

You already know how to punch up your PowerPoint slide decks, but what about punching up yourself? Do you have the skills to really inspire your audience, to make your presentation not only valuable but memorable? Most importantly, can you use it to close the deal?

There’s an ebook for that. In Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story, presentation consultant Jerry Weissman teaches you to move beyond the slide deck and really engage with your audience.

The book normally sells for $26.99, but for a limited time, Amazon is offering the Kindle edition free of charge. (How limited? I’m not sure, but these freebies rarely last more than a few days. If you’re interested in this title, grab it now.)

Don’t have a Kindle? No problem: You can read the ebook on your PC, smartphone, tablet, or just about any other device.

So, what kind of information can you hope to glean from Presenting to Win? Weissman starts off by noting that most presenters fail to tell a story, which is the key ingredient in a persuasive presentation:

“The overwhelming majority of business presentations merely serve to convey data, not to persuade,” he says, adding: “In business, when the point is not crystal clear, and when the benefit to the audience is not vividly evident, the investment is declined, the sale is not made, the approval is not granted; the presentation fails.”

That reminds me of my days in sales, when a very smart boss taught me the importance of stressing benefits over features. I think the same can apply to presentations: It’s critical to let the audience know how this information will benefit them, using real-world examples.

Presenting to Win is itself chock-full of benefits, so I’d say it’s a must-read for anyone who spends time in front of groups. Even if you miss out on the giveaway, it’s $27 very well spent.

Have you found a better resource for presentation advice? Or do you have your own tips to share? Let’s hear them in the comments.

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