Archive for: June, 2023

How to Present With Confidence & Credibility

Jun 14 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

The Eyes Have It: Confidence, Credibility, Connection

Recently, when conducting training for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Leadership Development Program (LDP), we helped prepare participants for their “final” – a 45-minute briefing to the Brigadier General and his senor leadership team.

Upon being introduced to the 23 participants, I was impressed right from the start. Each and every one greeted me with a strong handshake while looking me straight in the eye. Holding my gaze for just those few moments communicated confidence, credibility and connection.

I know these are big words for such a simple gesture, and yet direct eye contact conveys that, and more. It says, “I am important – and so are you.”

This resonated with me for two reasons. First, coming from a military family, the participants demeanor made me feel immediately welcome. Second, it is this sense of engagement that every presenter wants to build among his or her audience.

As a presenter, using your eyes to engage your audience is critical to creating a sense of confidence, establishing credibility, and building rapport.

Make your next presentation an eye-opening experience
So, how can you use eye contact to elevate the effectiveness of your next presentation?

As a start, I often suggest that speakers arrive at least 30 minutes before audience members start to assemble. This allows you to greet your listeners as they gather, following the same protocol the LDP participants extended to me. This initial greeting with direct eye contact helps build rapport, which turns into support during your presentation.

Once you’re introduced – but before you say a word – stop, look out at your audience directly, and smile. This “pause and welcome” moment (as I call it) allows your audience to get settled, helps make a strong connection, and establishes your authority.

This may feel awkward at first, but compare it to how you greet a house guest when they enter your home. It’s not that different – you’re fostering a sense of hospitality that allows people to connect with you.

Managing meaningful eye contact
During your presentation, shoot for a minimum of 90% direct, continuous and roving eye contact. “Direct” is looking your listeners right in the eye, not over their heads or at the back wall. By “continuous and roving,” I mean scan the room – looking at people seated right and left, front and center, and in the back.

That may mean turning your head, panning you body, walking around the stage, or even out into your audience (depending on circumstances). You may find it helpful to pick out several friendly faces scattered around the room – those attendees you welcomed upon arrival – and direct your eye contact at them.

When your presentation is completed, you might be tempted retreat quickly. Please don’t – you’ll be doing yourself and your listeners a disservice. End your remarks by looking out, scanning the audience, and smiling.

Like putting a period at the end of a sentence, this gesture signals completion and allows your listeners to thank you with a round of applause. It also gives you a chance to take a breath, connect with your audience one last time – and bask in their applause for a job well done.

Remember, if you want “all eyes on you,” you need to be “all eyes.” By following these best practices for strong eye contact, you’ll be much better able to communicate that valuable sense of confidence, credibility, and connection to your own audience.

Comments are off for this post

Presenting – Alex Winch & the Beaches Solar Laundromat

Jun 13 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Over the last couple of years I have had the opportunity to interview many interesting personalities: tourism experts, authors, philanthropists, and enlightened entrepreneurs. For my article series about Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood, I have specifically been looking to interview business owners who have come up with socially and environmentally innovative business ideas.

Michael Prue, the Provincial Member of Parliament for the Beaches / East York, pointed me in the direction of Alex Winch, owner of the Beach Solar Laundromat. You might think – a laundromat, how can that be an interesting business? Well, read on and you will see that this business and its owner are definitely outside the norm.

Early this cold Thursday morning I met Alex at his premises on Queen Street East and got an introduction to this unusual business. When Alex bought the laundromat in 2002 it was outdated and dingy, so Alex got to work and replaced almost half the washers and dryers with new high-efficiency machines. He also put the place through a complete cosmetic overhaul and brightened it up considerably.
But where it gets really interesting is behind the scenes, where the entire operational process of the laundromat was redesigned. Alex always wanted to turn this business into a leading-edge environmentally sustainable business. So in October of 2002 he ordered eight solar panels which were commissioned in December of 2002. Alex had planned all along to use solar energy for heating the water needed in his laundry facility.

Alex explained that the eight solar panels on his building’s roof measure about 250 square feet and were installed by a company named Solcan, located in London, Ontario. The thermal panels include a layer of black copper with a four inch copper vane that contains a three/eighth’s inch copper tube with antifreeze flowing through it. This antifreeze consists of food-grade propylene glycol and transfers the heat energy from the roof through the entire system down to a heat exchanger in the basement. Even if there was a leak in the antifreeze conduits, this would not contaminate the water supply.

The anti-freeze has a freezing point of -25 degrees Celsius at which point the glycol gels, shutting down the solar water heating system since the glycol simply stops moving inside the tubes. In this case a natural gas backup boiler system kicks in and starts heating the water.

In the interest of making his business more environmentally sustainable, Alex has also replaced the lighting system and installed new high-efficiency fluorescent tubes that are under an aluminum reflector. The reflector essentially doubles the light output of the actual fluorescent tubes. Combined with high-efficiency electronic lighting ballasts, this measure alone has resulted in lighting energy savings of 72%. Alex adds that these energy-conservation measures are important since the lights in his business are on for 18 hours a day, 7 days a week.

One of the first things that Alex explained to me was an air handler above the door which draws warm moist air in from the Laundromat, runs it through coils and dehumidifies the air. The condensation is captured and gets transferred through a pipe system into a basement drain. The condensate water is not re-used in the laundromat out of concern for lint contamination of the water.

To illustrate the operation of his company’s solar water heating system, Alex took me into the basement where he showed me an assortment of water tanks, piping and sophisticated measuring equipment that calculates the actual energy output and natural gas displacement provided by this solar water heating system.
In the basement there are two different water heating systems: the solar heating system that works with a heat exchanger and a 200 gallon warm water storage tank, and a backup natural gas heating system that uses a natural gas boiler with a separate a 100 gallon hot water storage tank. The separate 100 gallon storage tank replaces two 200 gallon storage tanks that were previously used. The new natural gas boiler can heat 100 gallons of water in seven minutes, and this new smaller and more efficient system provides “just-in-time” water heating, and only heats water when needed. The additional benefit of this system is that it stores a much smaller quantity of hot water which significantly reduces energy losses from water storage.

The building’s brick chimney was knocked down to roof-level and now serves as a conduit for the pipes holding the glycol that circulates up to the solar panels on the roof. From the panels the heated glycol then travels back down to the basement, passes through a heat exchanger and heats the hot water for the laundry facilities. A second heat exchanger heats water that circulates through the radiators and provides the space heating for the building. An air conditioning system links three different air handlers in the building The water temperature for the laundry is 120 degrees Fahrenheit (about 55 degrees Celsius) which is just enough to dissolve laundry soap, resulting in no additional heat loss.

All the heating and cooling processes are controlled by thermostats, and a sophisticated measurement system calculates how much natural gas has been saved by using solar energy. This measurement system is connected to a website on the Internet ( which provides live energy monitoring to anybody who is curious.

The website also provides a “live laundry cam” that allows customers of the Beach Solar Laundromat to see how busy the Laundromat is. Alex has installed a low-resolution camera to improve customer service so his clients can conveniently check from home when a good time for doing laundry would be. A second high-resolution camera, whose images are not publicly available, was installed for security purposes since the laundromat is not regularly staffed. Some of the clients were originally concerned about the cameras’ intrusion on their privacy, but once Alex explained that the low resolution cameras would not provide sufficiently clear pictures to identify them (or their dirty laundry), those concerns were alleviated.

Obviously Alex has a great connection to technology, and as he was trying to explain the intricate details of his solar heating system to me – a total novice to things such as heat exchangers and volumetric flow meters – I asked him if he was an engineer. He explained that he graduated in 1985 from engineering physics at Queens University. Four years later he added the designation of chartered financial analyst to his resume and set up his own company to sell research about Canadian stocks to US hedge funds. In 1990 he started his first hedge fund which was followed in 1993 by the opening of an office at 667 Park Avenue in New York City. Based on his success, he retired in 1995, an event he refers to as “Freedom 31″.

After that point he became a major shareholder in a casino company, volunteered as head of investor relations and became the Chairman of the Board. Alex was not happy with the way things were run at that company and demanded that various changes be made. When management did not respond to his concerns he left in 2002 and launched a hostile proxy fight threat, in other words he threatened to take over the company. Alex had talked to all the shareholders, and they were prepared to vote for change. Alex demanded that the President resign or he was going to “kick him out”.

Management initially ignored the threat, and three days later all of the management and the Board of Directors resigned and named him as the contact for the company. Alex explained that in a public company you cannot do that, officers cannot simply walk away from their responsibility. His lawyers advised him not to do anything. A few days later another discussion ensued with the management and Alex stated that he was not going to file the hostile proxy papers. Instead he wanted management to make the changes he had requested, otherwise he would sue them for willful damages.

The casino company’s management responded by issuing a statement rescinding their resignation and implementing the changes that Alex had demanded. Over the last few years the stock value has multiplied seven times, the company is profitable and Alex Winch is one of the largest shareholders.

At that time Alex was generally disenchanted with public capital markets, and decided to create his own small business. Living just five minutes away, he immediately looked at the laundromat when it became available for sale and concluded that it might be an opportunity for an interesting engineering project. And that’s how the story started.

Alex’ interesting business model for the laundromat also includes a wash and fold service that is offered by two local ladies from Monday to Friday between 1 and 7 pm. The “fluff and fold” service affords customers the convenience of simply dropping off their laundry and picking it up completely done later. Alex does not charge the two ladies for running their business out of his laundromat, but his business benefits from greater capacity utilization and load-shifting from the busy evening and weekend hours to less busy daytime hours, creating a win-win situation for his business, the wash and fold service providers and the customers. Alex Winch always strives to find solutions that will provide the greatest possible benefit to everyone concerned.

But Alex’s knowledge of renewable energy generation and innovative business models did not stop with the Beach Solar Laundromat: Alex combined his unique process of on-site energy generation and monitoring and turned it into a successful international commercial venture. Alex founded Mondial Energy, a company with global capabilities to install solar water heating equipment, complete with the requisite monitoring systems, that generates solar thermal energy at the customer’s site and charges for the solar heat energy generated, regardless of where they might be located.

The advantage to the customer is that they do not have to invest in the expensive up-front capital costs to get their solar water heating systems up and running. Instead, Mondial owns and operates the hardware to generate the energy, and it assumes the maintenance responsibility for the equipment. Customers are then billed at a fixed monthly rate, based on how much energy the equipment generates.
For customers the ability to lock in energy costs is an important factor in an environment of fluctuating and increasing energy prices. In addition, the price of the solar energy delivered is lower than the cost of a comparable amount of natural gas, making this an increasingly attractive alternative to conventional natural gas water heating. Last, but not least, energy production is completely green, free of greenhouse gases.

Today, Alex is involved in several large-scale sustainable energy retrofitting projects in Toronto: In November 2006, Mondial Energy commissioned a renewable thermal energy system for the domestic water needs at a 172 suite senior’s residence, operated by a local non-profit organization called Neighbourhood Link Homes. Mondial installed 60 flat plate solar panels which are expected to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 40.3 tonnes and will bill Neighbourhood Link monthly at affordable rates.

Solar energy generated by Mondial Energy will also provide water heating at Wood Green Community Housing Inc., a 170 unit social housing site on Queen Street East in Toronto. 108 solar panels will displace an estimated 32,000 cubic meters of gas, resulting in 53 tons of greenhouse gas emission reductions per year.

Alex explains that at the present time his system is most well-suited for commercial or multi-unit residential buildings. The economics for single-family private homes do not yet work so well, particularly since Canada offers very few incentives to switch away from conventional energy sources. As a result he focuses on medium to large size projects. Several substantial commercial projects are currently being negotiated, including a major hotel in Atlanta and a casino hotel in Reno. Mondial Energy is also bidding on a large-scale solar water heating project in Hawaii. Contacts throughout the United States have been very receptive to his unique way of on-site thermal energy generation. In a way, Alex explains, he has come full circle: he went from being involved with big corporations to becoming a small entrepreneur and is now back to dealing with big business.

For his innovative sustainable energy efforts Alex has received numerous awards, including the Bremen Partnership Award (the “Bremer Umweltpreis” – The Bremen Environmental Award) for providing high customer value, wide use in the community, sustainable use of water and solar energy and for providing additional value in terms of “social dimensions”.

Alex himself is so highly committed to sustainable energy that his company Mondial Energy has become a partner in creating the Annual Tourism Climate Change Awards. Two awards of $10,000, sponsored by Mondial, will be handed out in November 2007:

o A World Tourism Responsible Energy Award with a global focus

o A Mission Africa Responsible Energy Award focusing on Africa

The Judging Panel for the Award will include prominent figures from global organizations such as Maurice Strong from the Rio Earth Summit, Jose Maria Figueres (past-president of Costa Rica), as well as representatives of the National Geographic Society and the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization). With this award Alex has indicated his commitment to raising the profile of finding Climate Change Solutions for the tourism sector.

Alex demonstrates his commitment to sustainable living even in the selection of some of his personal accessories: he showed me his Citizen Eco-Drive Watch, a stylish looking timepiece whose face is a photovoltaic cell that powers the watch, eliminating the need for batteries. Alex said the watch will work for 270 days without exposure to light and Citizen’s marketing slogans often refer to this timepiece as “unstoppable”.

Unstoppable is a moniker that could equally be applied to Alex Winch – Alex will not stop until his mission to do his part in reducing greenhouse emissions is accomplished.

Comments are off for this post

Want to Feel Calm and Confident on the Golf Course? Stay in the Present and Practice Correctly

Jun 12 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

If you go and stand at any driving range or golf practice area you are going to be witnessing something very strange, even if you’ve never realized it before. You will see hundreds, and if you keep going back, thousands of golfers practicing to “improve my golf” in ways that bear no resemblance to play on the actual golf course.

If it was a cooking class you were watching, they would be practicing to bake a cake without following the recipe and using the wrong ingredients. What’s the use of practicing something that bears no resemblance of what it is you are trying to achieve?

There are many aspects of the average golf practice which are very poorly done and we will not be discussing them all but here is a generalized overview of some good effective practice. You should develop a “whole game” practice system with your local professional and many good things have been written about effective practice if you browse the top golf books.

Firstly, have a specific plan. If you need to work on your short game, take only those clubs you need to practice so you are not tempted to get the big dog out and beat the cover off the ball in a meaningless and destructive manner. And by the way, you should spend 80% of your time practicing the short game if you want to play your best on any given day.

Spend most of your time practicing areas you know you need to practice. Don’t get sucked into hitting most of your practice balls with your favourite club. This happens all too often, but remember that it is not your favourite club that costs you the most shots on the golf course. Decide which shot is troublesome, develop an effective practice plan – with the help of a professional preferably – and then be disciplined and stick to the practice.

If you need to practice your driver pick specific targets left and right that would be the fairway edges and then practice hitting your drives down your imaginary fairway, while following your entire pre Shot routine on every shot.

Always target each shot to a very specific spot. NEVER hit balls generally “down the range” one after another, which I call “play and spray” golf. Pick a spot you want the ball to finish and focus all your attention on sending the ball there. You should as a general rule never hit the same shot twice in a row, as you would not do this on the course. Hit to different targets and if you are practicing a range of clubs, keep swapping them for each shot.

It is very important to make sure you take your time and give each shot your full attention and follow your Pre shot Routine religiously for every swing. This will ensure that you are practicing like you intend to play so that when you get on the golf course, it feels familiar and becomes comforting mentally. Your brain will begin associating your calm practice (I hope you remain calm in practice?) with calm play on the course.

If you practice ball beating remember that you are not practicing golf the way you play it so when you get on the course you are going to have little or no calming effect resulting from effective practice. By playing one shot at a time in the practice environment, giving it your fully focused Pre-shot Routine every time, you will very quickly start feeling calmer on the golf course. This is because your system (unconscious golf mind) will start to associate the calmer, less pressurizer situation in practice with what you are doing on the course. But if you don’t practice as if you are on the course, don’t expect to get very much from your hours and dollars spent.

You must practice like you want to play. If you want to play focused and calm, playing one shot at a time and remaining in the present for each shot, then this is exactly what you need to do in your practice, other-wise it will not happen on the course.

I hope that some of this general practice advice has been useful to you and in finishing off let me just say that if you work on practicing properly and effectively, you will see far greater results than you can possibly imagine. Effective practice is a discipline and an art that should be intrinsically linked to play on the course. Please seek more professional help and advice about your own practice routines that you as a unique golfing individual want to develop for maximum effectiveness in your game of golf.

Remember you mind is a powerful tool and with effective practice you will trigger it into doing some pretty amazing things for you which you may not even be aware of right now. Especially important if you want to stay in the present on every shot on the course, then you must use your mental game effectively during your practice sessions.

Comments are off for this post

Some Traditional Memorial Presents

Jun 11 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

The passing of a loved one is never a pleasant experience, even if their passing relieved their suffering. Giving those who are suffering the loss of a loved one memorial jewelry or other memorial gifts is a gesture that is appreciated, but nothing can make the pain go away completely. Loved ones of those who passed away still feel the pain and sadness that accompanies that passing. Realizing that they will no longer be a part of our physical life brings forth hurt feelings that only time can help soothe.

Some traditional memorial presents include items such as memorial rings, engraved plaques and other keepsakes, gift baskets with food, religious items, framed poems, photo albums, pies, cakes, music boxes, and other small items. Memorial jewelry is among the most popular of bereavement gifts. Whatever you choose, it is sure to be appreciated.

Friends and family of the deceased are proud to sport memorial gifts like personalized memorial rings because it is a piece of jewelry they can wear daily to keep a loved one’s memory fresh in their mind at all times. Every time they put on the ring, they will think of the good times they had with the person who passed away. Memorial presents like this can be very therapeutic and actively assist the healing process.

Unconventional memorial gifts can work well, too. Sometimes a gift that cheers them up or makes them laugh is what is called for. Laughter is very therapeutic, especially when someone is sad. Also, gifts that you have to pay for aren’t always the best choice. Sometimes simply talking to those who experienced a loss or offering to talk anytime they need a listening ear is the best gift to give. Gifts don’t have to be expensive or traditional to be effective and appreciated.

Whatever route you choose to pursue in terms of giving memorial presents, remember that it must come from the heart to truly be considered a bereavement gift. The loss of a loved one is a highly emotional time for all parties involved and a thoughtful gift is the only gift that should be given during this extremely sensitive time.

Pour your heart and soul into the gift, otherwise just give a simple sympathy card if you aren’t sure. Sometimes a simple card really is the best gift if you aren’t an immediate family member of the person who passed away.

Comments are off for this post

Powerpoint To SWF (Web / CD Rom Presentations)

Jun 10 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

THE INTRODUCTION: Want Your Powerpoint Presentations To Preserve The Animations in your SWF File

I must admit i’m the kind of person that like things to be well presented, for 2 particularly good reasons

1. It Is More Likely To Hold the Attention Of The Viewer.

2. It Shows Dedication And Conviction To What You Are Featuring.

The challenge of course is to attract the attention of the right kind of people, it could be that your business demands that you hold meetings to discuss statistics and long term goals or strategies, alternatively you may want to attract an audience with selling a product that either you market or produce, whatever reason you have in a business it usually costs a lot of money, and a lot of time to find the right kind of software that will perform all the features you require.

What Are The Benefits of SWF Conversion?

I notice that businesses today need a presentation tool to attract people worldwide or in a specific location, the internet is definitely the way to achieve this at the present moment in time, many corporations or other concerns use Microsoft Powerpoint, it is a relatively easy piece of software to use, and is most effective in getting peoples attention.

However if you are not careful your PPT / PPS files can start to accelerate in memory size due to the content you might be using, and presents the challenge as to whether it would be worth uploading to your website.

In today’s market their is a fair selection of software that either acts a plugin to Microsoft Powerpoint, or a standalone GUI that converts the PPT file to SWF but with no bells and whistles to it, additionally you can purchase a software that acts a motion camera to record all the screen movements to ouput as a video file or a SWF file.

Video files could be a backward step if you are wanting to publish to a website in that you would have to compromise quality to make the file smaller, or keep the quality and let viewer have the frustration of waiting for the presentation to load which could take several minutes. the real solution is to export as a SWF file which would be considerably smaller and therefore would be much more acceptable.

Want To Know About A Software That Gives You More Than Its Competitors ?

Whilst considering purchasing a software that can do this for you namely converting PPT to SWF, you find that for your money you just have a software that justs perform that one function and nothing else, this could be disheartening to some.

For some time I have had an affiliation to find a software that could perform this conversion plus many other functions that could be used in business, for instance conversion to PDF, and then the ability to edit that PDF, also to have access to Desktop publishing features, the provision to take good quality screenshots that outclasses Microsoft Windows in built utility, (ideal for tutorials and other uses), then consider the possibilites of book keeping / accounting and spreadsheets use for database usage etc, the list is endless.

Just consider how much money you would spent just to perform these functions it would be a great deal of money.

Getting to the point, the software I recommend for consideration and even evaluation is COREL WORD PERFECT OFFICE X3 I use the standard edition it accomplishes with ease all that I have spoken about, and feel that it performs exceptionally well, no worries of major resources being used on the PC, plus you have the satisfaction that you are paying out for a software suite that caters for all your business or home user needs

Additionally COREL provide a Professional edition that has even more features than I have glossed over in this article.

In conclusion if you have to spend money it is wise to consider what you can get for that amount, you will find that this software recommendation is certainly one to consider if you are looking to get the best value and quality and use.

Comments are off for this post

Impact and Importance of Visual Aids in Presentation Skills

Jun 08 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

No one can deny that Presentation skills have become part and parcel of our professional life. Verbal presentations finally end up with lecture mode and may become boring for the participants of the training program. Visual aids add value and clarity to your presentation and gives clear picture of your thought process. Using visual aids in training program will help you create an indelible impact on the trainees.

Visual aids enhance a presentation; but they cannot rescue a poor communicator. Indeed, used without sufficient planning and practice, they can demolish the most expert orator. But once you have mastered them, you can increase the confidence and communication skills of your staff by coaching and encouraging them in the same techniques. It will improve the quality and efficiency of the way they pass information to you and to each other. The following visual aids can be considered to strengthen your presentation and communication skills.

•Use flip charts for brainstorming, building up graphs, budget statements, etc., during briefings and formal presentations. Check your writing can be read at the back of the room and ensure the pad is firmly fixed. Striding up with pen poised over the pad only to have it fall in a heap at your feet is more amusing for the audience than the speaker.

•White boards are just as quick and easy to use, and there are now sophisticated models which print out on the spot any number of paper copies of what is written on the board. It is expensive, but might impress customers and members of the board. Do not use indelible or spirit-based – what you write will not wipe off.

•Overhead projectors are useful because no blacking out is necessary and transparencies can be made professionals to a high standard. Any printed material can be copied on to photosensitive acetate, but normal type and detailed art work will not be legible more than a few feet away. For the greatest impact, images should be bold and colourful – use cartoons, humour and symbolism, which are great communicators. Draw your own, or identify one of your staff who can draw and encourage them to develop their talents, or make useful contacts with your public relations or training departments. A little preparation is time well spent with any visual aids. Your words of wisdom are likely to evaporate when you switch on the OHP and find your progress chart is upside down. Finally, always have a spare bulb – and know how to fit it!

•Photographic slides and video film need more forward planning and preparation of course, but can have a lot of impact. It can develop a perceptive and critical eye in your staff if they participate in producing them. Get them to take slides, or video clips of site works, new projects, good and bad practices, the behavior of customers, or any other aspect of your business or service. The results can be used for team discussion, induction for new recruits, or demonstrating progress to your boss or the board of directors.

•A range of ready-made training films is available on 16mm or video formats for informal training sessions in your own unit when it suits you. John Cleese has made a whole series which are not only very funny but thought provoking, e.g. on time management and effective meetings.

If your organization has a training department, take time to go and look at the equipment and resources there. Try them out and become familiar with them before you decide what suits you best.

Finally, using visual aids effectively need only three things – practice, practice and practice.

Comments are off for this post

Past, Present and Future Evolution of Technology

Jun 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

These days, tablets, computers and Smartphones run our lives, but in a short time, the market has exploded with technology more than most people can imagine and to the point that they cannot imagine being without it. To understand the evolution of this technology from the dark ages to today, you should began with understanding how it evolved. Technology was born out of a purpose. An example would be in the creation of search engines, which are used to sift through all the massive quantity of online data.

As upgrades are made to technology, it combines with the present technology and creates a better technology that it was before. As this continues to happen, technology evolves to the point that it is an essential thing to have. Present technology continues to evolve into being even greater and more powerful. As fast as technology has evolved, many people have to struggle to keep up. Below is a short overview showing you how fast technology and the internet have evolved in recent years.

The Past: Back in the 1990s, the internet was something new that most, but not all, businesses and households had. If you were living at that time, chances are high that you remember the sound of the extremely slow dial up signal that would connect you to the internet. Technology began to take off when more people discovered value in the internet, especially when access eliminated the need for a phone line. With the advancement of webpages, most people had either a Tripod or Geocities webpage.

It was during this time, blogging started on the consumer level making sharing information much easier. Rather than using a floppy disc or CD-ROM, people started using either email or a USB drive to store and share large files. As more new technologies began to pop-up, they would combine to form a faster, stronger and better technology. With every new technology and internet development, people’s lives, were changed, as well as the way they work and operate.

The Present: Since those early days of dial up, there are very few places you cannot find the internet. Rare are the days now that Wi-Fi internet cannot be found at the library, coffee shop or place of business. Even if you cannot find a Wi-Fi signal close enough, many people still can access the internet with their cell phone or Smartphone. Because of the anytime/anywhere internet access, most businesses have created for their customers, web applications, or apps, that will answer most common needs. Consumers can use these apps to do everything from keeping track of food portions to sending large amounts of information with just the click of a button. One difference that is most noticeable with today’s internet is its ability to be personable in a very impersonal setting, while improving the way people engage with each other online.

Even though the internet is superficial, it is a form of communication that has helped to keep people closer when they may have lost contact otherwise. You can even have face to face conversations via video/web conferencing, which bridges the geographic barriers. Businesses can also communicate with customers on a more human level and without the need for long distance travel, they can communicate face to face with people even on the other side of the world. Due to all the new technologies people use to access the internet, each other and information, the future looks promising for more technological developments.

The Future: With every present technology that is bound together, they are developed into other technologies that are even greater for the future use of both businesses and consumers alike. Future technology will undoubtedly be able to accomplish more, be even faster and will make work easier. Tablets, Smartphones and other smart devices will keep on evolving to work better together.

These devices will be able to automatically share information and limit the need for human involvement. Rather than store everything on a single device or online, most companies and people will put their companies on the cloud. Not only will this give a huge potential to change how companies do business, it will also change the traditional way an office looks as well as the way people and businesses interact.

Comments are off for this post

Pauses for Presentation Power — The Sound of Silence

Jun 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

When we are presenting, and especially when we are new to speaking, we often speed ahead — afraid of leaving blank spaces. Successful sales people know the power of silence. As presenters, if we learn to use silence and pauses to our advantage, we will not only reach our listeners more effectively, they will also understand and remember our messages more readily.

Begin with silence. It takes “guts” to stand in front of an audience after being introduced without saying something immediately, but this can prove to be one of the strongest ways to get their attention and to create rapport. Lee Glickstein, a well known speaking coach and speaker, suggests that we start our presentations by standing quietly, making eye contact with audience members, letting them make contact with us, and then once everyone is waiting with anticipation, start with a dynamic story. You will be amazed at the level of attention this produces.

Pause to develop a relationship between you and your listeners. During a pause, the speaker is more like a listener. This is a time when both are listening and the speaker can take note of the audience’s quality of listening. We might realize that as the presenter we need to change course and tell a story or possibly ask for questions. If, however, we don’t take a moment to evaluate reactions and interest, we might just forge ahead without maintaining the audience’s attention.

Pause with purpose. There are many times throughout a presentation a pause can add emphasis and/or give the listener a chance to ponder, or even laugh. When we have just made an important point, a startling or unusual statement, or a call for action, participants need a moment to take notes, think about what we just said, or catch up. I have also heard speakers who make a humorous statement and then don’t let the audience members have time to “get it” and laugh. People need time to laugh. And laughter is important because it bonds the audience and speaker.

Transition with pauses. As a speaker with content, you have many different points to make. Nevertheless, if you jump too quickly from one point to another, you will leave your listeners behind or confused. When this happens, they will oftentimes “tune out” and you have lost them for the rest of your presentation. A well-placed pause will help you and listeners prepare for the next portion of your presentation. I suggest picking transitional sentences as carefully, and then taking a moment of silence for the ideas in these sentences to take hold before you launch into the new point.

Pause for a show of confidence. The confident pause is an earmark of the accomplished speaker. The courage to stop the flow of words is an act of trust in the power of your presence, your nonverbal communication, and your relationship to your listeners.

Comments are off for this post

Eight Things Not To Say During a Presentation

Jun 05 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

We have all sat through many presentations in our professional lives. Unfortunately far too many of them are, shall we say, “less-than-awesome”. Unfortunately, we see some of the causes for failures over and over. In other words the wrong things get repeated by those who aren’t thinking, or don’t know any better.

With that in mind, here are some things you have likely heard in many presentations, that aren’t worth repeating – and why. So without any further setup, here are eight things not to say in your next (or any) presentation.

“You probably can’t read this but… ” OK, if we can’t read it, why are you showing it to us? Here is usually why – because you didn’t take time to create a slide or image that we could read. Unfortunately this phrase is often followed by the presenter turning toward the screen and fumbling to make their points for the too full, too busy and ineffective slide. If you don’t think we will be able to see it, fix it!

“As you can clearly see… ” Usually when people say this, we can’t “clearly see”. You have provided a chart or graph to make a valuable point, and you are intimately aware of the point, and how the slide shows it. We on the other hand are seeing the slide for the first time. Help us “clearly see” by explaining your art work so we can be moved by the point you want to make.

“I didn’t really have time to prepare but… ” If you tell me that, you have just informed me this is going to be painful, and my time isn’t important to you – and neither of these things set you up to succeed. Maybe you aren’t as well prepared as you should be, and if that is true, do your best, don’t tell us, and remember the pain so that next time you will be prepared.

“Wow – I know I am out of time – but let me go through these last 15 slides quickly.” Really? How much of the rest of this are we going to retain or care about? (and we don’t believe it will be quick either.) The time to realize you are behind isn’t when someone is waving their arms at you or making slashing motions across their throat to get your attention. Again, preparation will solve this in most cases. Knowing how long it takes you will help you adjust on the fly. Questions or conversations might lead you towards running long – and remember it isn’t about your slides, it is about your message. Do everything you can to make sure your key points are made, regardless of how many slides might be left.

“I have a lot of information to cover, so let me get started.” This statement is the kiss of death to your audience. When we hear this as your audience, we are already expecting to be bored, and we know you have your focus in the wrong place. Look up the word “cover” in a thesaurus and you will find synonyms like bury, obscure and hide. When people open with “I have lots to cover”, you can be sure that the information won’t be clear. The next time you feel like you have too much to cover, get out your scalpel. Decide what the audience most needs to be successful and cut everything else out.

“I’m sorry for the technical difficulties.” Yeah, so are we. And usually, though not always, they could have been avoided if you would have done your homework and checked out your equipment before the meeting/presentation started. Why didn’t you? When it truly is unavoidable, rather than getting flustered, immediately focus on your group and how you can get going – even if it is without your technology (and if possible have someone else fix it while you get started).

“Does anyone have a laser pointer?” (or “I’m not sure how this clicker works”). Did you feel your eyes roll when you read those words? Listen – we are in your audience ready to listen to you. The least you can do is be prepared enough to have your pointer or have tried out the clicker ahead of time, right?

“Any questions?” There is nothing truly wrong with this question, except when it is always asked – which is after you are already finished (and everyone knows it). While there is much I could say about this (and will in another post soon), the short answer is – when you ask for questions at the end, you either don’t get any, or the ones you get aren’t focused on the most important points in your talk. You want to close strong, making your most important points in your most persuasive way. That will never happen during a random Q&A. The bottom line is ask for questions early and often, but not as the last thing you do.

Maybe you are thinking some of these are little things, and perhaps they are. But it is the little things that communicate much about us; and if we want our message received by others, we want every possible thing in our favor.

I have tried to make this light, and even a bit humorous. Remember that it is only humorous to you because you have seen all of these things before and you know they don’t help you communicate successfully.

While there may be a place for lightness and humor in your presentations, saying things like these aren’t funny for real and if you want to make a successful presentation, you will do the things necessary that make these statements unnecessary.

Comments are off for this post

Getting it Done With Presentation Folders

Jun 04 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

There are times in life when we need to put forward ourselves or our ideas to the world and we know only too well that the key to succeeding is to do it with style. It could be for work. It could be for school. It could be for the local community group. Regardless of why, we all understand the importance of getting it right because you only get one shot at making that first impression. That is where presentation folders could help.

When we think presentation folders, we generally really have little understanding of what is meant. For many of us, our only ideas come from the movies where we instantly conjure up some large showy marketing presentation designed with all the bells and whistles to impress some cynical marketing team. Fortunately, presentation folders are so much more than that.

In its most basic form, they can be any type of binder that is used to keep important papers. In their most complex, they are the highly glossy marketing packages you receive from colleges trying to sell you their school as superior to all others. The majority of them though, are used as very much the business tool that most people associate them with being.

The folders themselves can be whatever you need them to be. There is a vast selection available and they can bought in forms that range anywhere from a more traditional styled manila folder right through to hard wearing document sachets. Every spectrum is available, with all kinds of other styles available in the middle.

There are some things that should be kept in mind whatever the reason for using presentation folders. By following a few basic pointers they use can be a great success. All of them are simple and easy to implement.

They need to be eye catching. Something that is attention-grabbing has more chance of being remembered. Add color and embellishments yourself if you have too. You may just find yourself rather amazed to see how much of an effect even the barest trace of color can produce.

The folder needs to be suitable for its purpose. The finished product you need is going to depend on its target audience. The presentation for the local community group is not going to need the same style and pizazz as a folder being sent to a prospective employer! Ensure also that the size of the folder is correct as they are available in a number of different sizes.

Make sure that the folder has a way of securely anchoring your papers inside. This ensures that nothing important is going to be able to fall out. Put an end to ever having to be concerned about losing anything unexpectedly again.

Comments are off for this post