A Beginner’s Guide to Remembering to Breathe in Presentations

I remember clearly being ten years old, and given the “big reading” in my school play. I was genuinely shaking, nerve-wracked, blustering and so on. My teacher told me to plant my feet solidly, hold my script and read out loud and proud to the back of the row. Looking around now I see many professionals still addressing their audiences like that today!

Now I have written many articles, and continue to train many people in speaking publicly and there is one absolute basic that we all need to master when speaking and that is remembering to breathe. Simple of course, but when nerves get involved basics often go out of the window so I am writing this article to offer anyone who find their sentences tailing away a couple of techniques to help a nervous speaker find the space to breathe.

First, have a clear introduction, more than any other part of your presentation, super rehearsed. Knowing absolutely how you plan to start will really help your confidence levels, and increase the chances you will breathe at this point in the presentation.

Have a glass of water on stage. Use it as a prop, and dare yourself, again early on is good to get into the habit, to finish a sentence, and take a sip. Don’t say you are going to take a sip, don’t excuse yourself just do it and allow yourself to understand the audience will accept this. As you do this, you’ll be breathing.

When possible invite comments or questions during the session. Perfect timing to breathe as others talk. This is so easy to do when you know how… Pretty much any topic in many situations will allow you to ask the audience for their opinions first. Or you can invite your audience to discuss a question or a point of view you have given them, before taking their feedback. I do this often early in a presentation when I am sometimes particularly more energetic, and a “breather” is important.

Make use of natural breaks, whether for an exercise you are giving, or for comfort breaks, to get some air. It really helps. If you are a smoker you are probably used to dashing to the exit for your quick fix, but this is a great habit for speakers anyway. Go and get some air.

Our nerves kick in, and we often breathe not so well, in newer material, or those areas where greater discussion or audience disagreement is likely, so be kind to yourself and “wrap” these areas with material you know really well. And consider using a co speaker. Or decide to show a film.

Finally practice the pause. The pause is great because you don’t need more content, you just stop speaking. You allow yourself to calm. You help the audience to calm. You will transmit a really knowledgeable air of authority. Everything will just seem much easier. And during this time guess what? Yes! You are breathing. People usually worry about explaining every last pause. Trying to “keep the flow” of talking,but actually we appear so much more knowledgeable and informed when we allow the silence to speak for itself. Audiences have time to consider what you have said, they make more links on their own minds, and it helps with retention and comprehension too… Imagine stuffing a meal down, all seven courses with no pauses for anything – you would barely digest it would you? And that is how many speakers carry on. So pause and allow your audience to digest what you have been saying and you to breathe.

All the best… Keep bating because promise it’s better for your health than not!

Hard to Shop For Men Christmas Presents – Unique Ornaments

Have you ever gotten frustrated trying to buy Christmas presents for the men in your life? One thing you can try is involving them in the decorations for the seasons and I don’t mean the lights display on the outside. While he may not be interested in fussing over wreaths and such, he would probably enjoy having his tastes reflected in unique ornaments that belong only to him hanging on the Christmas tree.

Ask yourself this list of questions for each of the men in your life. You should come up with some good ideas. Many of them you can fulfill by doing some simple searches, but if that doesn’t work, there is always the custom option. Many individuals who create Christmas ornaments will be happy to design or modify one specifically for you.

What is his favorite sport? You can go with the obvious balls and other accessories or make it more obviously Christmas-themed. A Santa with a baseball bat or kicking a soccer ball is an option, for example. Plus there are ornaments that feature team logos.

Where is he from? There could be an idea in his birthplace or the places he’s lived before. Maybe you could get him an ornament featuring a school he attended. Most colleges have Christmas ornaments in the catalogs they send alumni. If you don’t want to pay for the licensed design then pick something in his school colors.

What activities does he enjoy? Maybe he is passionate about grilling and would be entertained by a small grill or tools or a reindeer with a cooking apron. Maybe he used to play the guitar and doesn’t pick it up very often anymore but would enjoy a little hard rock reminder.

Does or did he have any pets? An ornament that looks like a favorite childhood dog will let him know that you’ve been listening to his stories, for example. Or maybe a snake coiled around presents would show that you really are accepting that unusual companion.

What is his cultural heritage? If you have different backgrounds, then you can give him an ornament that reflects his. If you have the same background and live in the same house, then you might be careful with this suggestion because he might feel that you are actually buying the ornament for yourself.

Does he like bright colors or rich colors? Any of the themes above can be represented many different ways. They can be humorous or serious. They can be complicated and realistic or cartoon like. You can even go for more abstract images.

The one thing that you must do if you give a man some unique Christmas ornaments is allow him to put them on the tree this year and every following year that he wants to. Otherwise it will be as if you didn’t give it to him. So don’t buy him something so awful you never want to see it again. Unless, perhaps, it’s for your brother-in-law and you want to get your sister back for the year she the candy out of your stocking and put it in her own.

Baby Gift Baskets – The Perfect Choice Of Present For Baby

A good friend of ours just had their first baby – an adorable baby girl named Mona Lee. We have been talking about what to buy them for gift. We have had so many ideas, but finally settled on getting a baby gift basket.

Baby gift baskets can be bought pre-assembled. However, we have decided to collect and assemble the basket on our own. We will buy a large basket with a sturdy handle at a local craft shop along with cellophane (preferably in pink or printed with a baby motif). As well, we will pick up some ribbons, tissue paper, possibly a pre-inflated foil balloon with congratulations message, and of course, a nice appropriate card.

Then we started to put the items into our basket. Some items we will look for are good quality baby shoes with a decent support. Then we choose more generic items to fill up the gift basket. These choices will likely include liquid baby powder (real baby powder can affect baby’s breathing), a baby-safe stuffed toy, something to help mommy to relax (bath salts or similar aromatherapy products), an assortment of baby care products and last but not least, a gift certificate for a local restaurant so that both parents can enjoy an evening away from the hectic demands of new parenthood.

Baby gift baskets are an especially good choice for people who live a great distance away (like us). As long as items are non-breakable, these baskets can be safely shipped and it is a great way to send best wishes and practical gifts to new parents and babies.

In the past, when we had our children, we were fortunate to receive many such baskets. It’s a lot of fun to get and give an assortment of gifts items and it’s a good way to ensure that everyone is included in the family. It’s especially good to remember any other little brothers or sisters in the family, who may probably feel somewhat left out by all the fuss over the new baby. Including a couple of special gift for the other children is a wonderful gesture of care and makes things go that much more smoothly while welcoming the new one to the family. Good choices to include in the basket, for the other children will likely include toys and games that they are able to operate by themselves. So it’s very important to be conscious of their ages, since buying a toy or game beyond their age range will require adult assistance and likely result in disappointment for the kids, rather than the original intended distraction.

Indeed, buying or assembling a gift basket is a great way to personalize your present. The extra time it may take to make your gift just right will definitely be appreciated by the new parents and the practicality of the gift will make their job that much easier to start with.