Archive for: June, 2023

Five Fishing Present Ideas

Jun 28 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Are you looking to buy a loved one some fishing-related presents for a birthday or Christmas? If so, here are five ideas that may make the ideal gift.

1. If their current rod has seen better days, you may want to buy them a new one. Length, weight and brand may all be factors to consider, so consider talking to an expert for advice. Or ask your loved one to help you choose the right one.

2. When buying a present for an angler, one idea for a present may be new fishing lines. Visit a retailer who can help you choose the right length, weight, material, breaking strength, knot strength and UV resistance.

3. Your loved one may benefit from having a new reel and spool. Make sure you find out the type they use and their preferred brands and invest in quality. If in doubt, speak to the retailer for advice.

4. Waders may be the perfect gift choice if your loved one likes to do their fishing by standing in the river. They can help protect them from the cold and wet and, if you get the right quality, they will last for a long time.

5. Getting your loved one the right lure could be a welcome present. From live and dead bait to a broad range of flies, there’s a lot to choose from, so make sure you get the right kind for the type of fishing they intend to do.

Failing that, why not get your loved one a new fishing bag, some outdoor clothing or even a new torch? If your loved one needs new fly lines or even wants to upgrade their fly fishing rod, find a retailer that can help you pick out the right one.

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Body Language: 8 Super Helpful Tips for Your Next Speaking Presentation

Jun 28 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

During this time of year, many professionals have an array of opportunities to speak in public at networking events, conferences, and local shows and events. Any time you have the opportunity to share your expertise and connect meaningfully with potential clients (and build your tribe), you should totally take advantage of it. It is also a good idea to make those opportunities happen where they don’t even exist by letting others know you are available to speak and/or do Q&A sessions. Even a 10 minute speech can go a long way in establishing you as the expert. Always tweak your topic to appeal as much as you can to the audience you are speaking to.

I’d like to share with you some quick tips for using effective body language at your events and in your speeches since it’s not only what you say with your voice that counts for a memorable presentation.

By the way, only 7% of what we actually say really matters significantly. What our movements and body language reveal says more to our audiences than many of the words we share. Good body language will help audience members to have confidence in what you are saying.

Here’s a simple breakdown on body language. According to psychologist and body language expert Albert Mehrabian, the total impact of a message can be broken down this way:

7% verbal (words)

38 % vocal (volume, pitch, rhythm, etc.)

55 % body movements (mostly facial expressions)

Now let’s take a look now at my 8 Super Helpful Body Language Tips for Your Next Presentation. These tips should help you significantly in your very next speaking engagement, regardless of how experienced you are. They will also serve you well in your day-to-day business life:

1. Dress well. Elegantly casual is always nice, but be yourself in terms of style. Wear the best you can afford with clothing that fits you well and totally communicates and supports your own personal style, NOT someone else’s.

2. Make eye contact with individual audience members. It may be easiest to focus on people you had a chance to meet before the presentation, but choose several people to glance out at during your speech. Make sincere eye contact for a few seconds, then move on to someone else- don’t lock eyes on just one person.

3. Hold good posture. This will ensure you are viewed as a professional, and will also help you to feel more in control. Stand up straight and tall, but relax your shoulders a bit. Own your right to share and be the expert during this time. After all, you have useful information that will certainly help others, and they will likely be very happy you are willing to share it with them.

4. Smile when you think of it, and be sincere with your smile. Even an imperfect smile can light up a room! Research indicates that people who smile often are more likely to be well-liked and received by others.

5. Be natural with body and hand gestures, and don’t overdo it. Wait until you are somewhat experienced at speaking before using them to strategically emphasize points, otherwise it seems unnatural.

6. Keep hand gestures somewhat close to the body and use the hands mainly to precisely and neatly emphasize very specific points and important key concepts you want to emphasize to your listeners.

7. Periodically, grasp your fingers together and hold them in a triangle by allowing your thumbs to touch one another at the tips and your pointer fingers to touch each other at the tips. This helps you to relax while feeling more in control, and it helps you to come across as confident, secure, and sure. Look out at the audience as you do this (rather than looking at your hands).

8. When wrapping up your talk, use the “Hand Sphere” just before the close: Picture yourself holding a small globe or a ball in front of you and a few inches away from your body at about navel height. You are cupping the imaginary ball with both hands, in other words, making your hands into a circle or sphere. Make your point using this gesture while giving your wrap-up statement. EXAMPLE: “All of these points can be wrapped up in one word-Connect”

Put these simple body language tips to use during your next presentation, and see how it makes a huge difference for your professional life.

Copyright Margo DeGange, M.Ed. All Rights Reserved.

Margo DeGange, M.Ed. is a Business & Lifestyle Designer and Coach who will help YOU, the small business owner, get unstuck, make business fun & exciting, and make more money while fully enjoying the process. Margo will help you get real, get focused, and get out there in a BIG way!

Margo has scores of done for you tools and resources for the small business owner to save time and money, so greater sales and profits becomes easy. She will also help you create your own information products to add additional streams of income to your business!

Gain clients FAST and increase profits while working with your most desirable, ideal clients with Margo’s 12-Step Go Build a Biz program and one-on-one coaching.

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Purchasing Recommendations for the Toddler’s Christmas Presents

Jun 28 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Toddler a long time will be the stage in human lifestyle wherein an individual starts learning loads of things-walking, speaking, socialization, and numerous other things. For the reason that this may well be a crucial stage, we demand to make confident that we will be giving the appropriate type of presents for them throughout this vacation season.

It doesn’t mean that since they’re nonetheless younger and does not know significantly about their environment but, we can just let the holiday slip with out giving them anything to appreciate for that relaxation from the 12 months to arrive. Even substantially much a lot more, it’s necessary to offer gifts throughout this stage in human development given that it will grow to be an crucial lesson that they will learn and integrate for that rest of their lives. Of program, we want to very carefully pick the gifts that we will probably be giving on account of the actuality the influence that it’ll later carry. It is also the very ideal time to start getting Santa phone calls. Be particular that you just just capture 1 of the baby’s lists of ‘firsts’ in lifestyle.

Nonetheless, it’s essential that we very carefully consider about the presents that we will be giving to youngsters ages 1-3 a long time previous. To begin with, we can get a careful appear within the gifts that they will be receiving for this coming vacation season.

Since it’s on this stage in human lifestyle that they’re learning new things and adjusting with our atmosphere, we can come up with gifts that can produce essential parts in their lifestyle. Amongst the places that children produce during this stage is their language abilities, motor abilities, creativity, and socialization. Because of those things, our gifts should revolve around these topics and should be able to help in reaching the desired influence associated to these aspects. Santa calls are also an ideal existing for our toddlers. Letting them hear the voice of Santa will be wonderful, particularly ought to you let them see a film or image of Santa prior to receiving the call.

To improve the motor skills of our toddlers, we’re in a position to give them presents that are great as out of doors video games. For instance, we can give them some balls or other similar presents that will carry them to release their power throughout their play time. Encouraging them to move around, play, and also have enjoyable are previously implies to produce their motor skills.

When it’s their logical skills that we want to improve, we’re able to give them inventive toys which are not only fun to play with but are also academic. A number of these toys contain creating blocks, puzzles, and stacking toys. Once we produce this logical talent of our toddlers, we are also boosting their inventive facet. It could also be achievable to offer them tea set or dress up toys, which can be basically for ladies, to nonetheless improve their creativity and logical skills.

But still, we should not overlook that our gifts will need to not be some thing which is highly technical and that we would be stripping their younger a long time absent from them. We still want to make precise that, even though we want to produce certain traits and train them particular lessons, we’re also giving them area to take satisfaction in and do the things that they want. Subsequent all, this stage is actually a time when having enjoyable and experiencing the childhood is critical.

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Mindfulness and Meditation – Quick and Easy Techniques to Stay Present, Aware, and Relieve Stress

Jun 28 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Let’s take a close look at how mindfulness, meditation, and awareness can help you to live in the moment, relax, and help you to release stress and anxiety.

First, ask yourself: Is time slipping by without you noticing? Do you look back after days, weeks, even months and ask yourself what happened to the time? For some of us, years slip by without even knowing what happened. You ask, how did I get here? If this is you, you’re not alone. Most of us have great difficulty living in the present, in the moment.

Have you ever had the experience of driving in your car and suddenly you’re at your destination. It was as if you were on automatic pilot. Your mind was thinking of other things, either things that already happened to you or something in the near or distant future. Where exactly were you as you were driving? You certainly weren’t present, that’s for sure!

Living in the present can be a challenge. You’ve already proven that to yourself. I’d like you do something, right now. As you read this paragraph, focus on the words. Really focus. Experience the act of reading one word at a time. Be mindful of the letters, the space between the words, the sentences, the meaning of what you’re reading.

What was that like for you? What were you feeling? Was it awkward for you? Were you distracted, or in the moment?

Here’s another exercise. You may giggle when you hear it, but go with it. It may give you a whole new way to be in the moment.

As your go through your day, ask yourself: Where’s my rump? Seated on a chair? Leaning on a desk? Walking down the aisle in the grocery store? As silly as it seems, it’s tough not to be in the moment when you’re focused on where your bottom is. Being mindful and learning to get focused and centered doesn’t have to be serious. It’s great to lighten up…and more than once in a while. And if doing this goofy experiment is what it takes to get you to realize what it’s like to live in the moment, it’s worth it.

OK. Now that you’ve tried rump-awareness, let’s get quiet and calm and experience meditation. Meditation is a wonderfully simple and easy mindfulness exercise to help you stay present and focused. There are so many uses for mindfulness exercises–to relieve stress and anxiety, to tap into your higher consciousness, to access your creativity and imagination, to get focused on a project to completion, to end procrastination, and to still the mind to allow feelings of inner peace and calm to wrap you like a warm blanket. These are just a few things meditation and mindfulness can help you achieve.

It all starts with the most basic of life’s functions. The breath. Like the rump-awareness exercise you just did, let’s focus on the breath. Stand or sit, it doesn’t matter. Simply become aware of your breath. Draw in a deep breath. Feel the air as it enters your nostrils. Is it cool? Warm? Notice as the air passes to the back of your mouth, down your throat, past your esophagus, and into your lungs. Feel the lungs fill with a fresh breath. Allow your lungs to expand. Hold. Now slowly exhale, pushing out the breath. Do it again. Take in another deep breath. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you become centered and focused in the moment.

So whenever you’re feeling anxious, stressed, scattered, overwhelmed, or need to come back to center, take a minute to meditate. It’s incredible what just a little mindfulness can do for you. This is your time. Don’t let it slip away. Savor it, relish it.

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Presenting Weaknesses During an Employment Interview

Jun 28 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized


In almost every interview you can expect a question relating to your weaknesses and what you are doing to overcome them. You may be asked “What did your Boss say about your weaknesses in your last performance appraisal and what have you done to correct them?”….or “In what area do you need to improve in order to become a better Manager?” In this section, we are going to demonstrate how you should respond to questions such as these during an interview. Identifying your weaknesses and what you are doing about them is up to you however. Below are some examples of how you may present a weakness.


I think I could do a better job with my presentation skills.

Continue by saying:

Sometimes I have not felt comfortable speaking to large groups of people or making a presentation to my peers, but I have enrolled in a speech course and have become a member of Toastmasters. I try to speak to any group I can in order to gain some experience, and I am beginning to feel much more confident in this area.


I sometimes don’t understand all of the accounting reports that are provided to us or sent to me periodically.

Continue by saying:

We received many different reports that I had not seen before, so I asked a friend in the Finance Department to go over them with me. My expertise is not in this area, but after getting this assistance, I have been able to relate the reports to my job, and I think I am really learning more about the accounting side of the business.


Sometimes I am so focused on getting something done or meeting a deadline, that I have not listened to others when they had something to tell me.

Continue by saying:

However, I finally have realized that input and information gathered at the proper time and in the right manner is a big help to me. In order to get the information I need, I am now conducting weekly meetings every Friday at 3:00. These are open meetings, roundtable discussions, and everyone has learned a great deal, including me.

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Tips in PowerPoint Presentation

Jun 14 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

PowerPoint is generally used for presentation and in order to make the presentation a good one, there are a number of points that you require to keep in mind. One of them is the common layout of the presentation. This covers essential aspects such as the background and the appearance. It is proposed that you should maintain the background consistent and delicate.

The use of the clipart should be doe sparingly and you are needed to select the graphic that need to relate to the topic of the particular slide. The other issue you require to maintain in mind is to use the exact same type of graphics all through the presentation as it enhances consistency. The use of flashy graphics, number of transitions and noisy results should be stored to the minimum.

When it arrives to the coloration of the presentation, it s recommended that you limit the number of colors you use on a single screen. The colours utilised in a chart really should not be more than four in order to make it much more visible. While vivid colors make thin lines and little objects stand out, using them could make the presentation difficult to read especially when projected. To ensure that this does not happen, check on the hues prior to the presentation so that you can make the needed modifications when want be.

The font is also a really essential consideration when it comes to use of PowerPoint for presentation. Make certain that you have selected the fonts that can be effortlessly study when projected and they need to be not much less than 24-point min size. You want also to ensure that you have differentiated the headings, subheading and the body of the slide by use of greater fonts or font in different colours. To ensure that the presentation achieves the contrast it needs, use a light background with darkish text or darkish qualifications with light text. Be mindful when making use of darkish background although, simply because some of them might be difficult to read.

Apart from the design aspects, keep in mind the basic presentation basics. Ensure that the spelling and the grammar of the presentation is correct. Commence the presentation with a brief overview and end it with a review of the points. Use the bullet points as a cue for the presentation as it will assist you avoid reading it.

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Unique Present Ideas for Long Distance Relationships

Jun 13 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

These days, more and more people are involved in long distance relationships. It’s becoming increasingly important to spice things up and remind that special someone that you’re thinking of him or her. Though they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, nice and thoughtful presents to your long distance lover are sure to make the heart grow fonder! Surprise your special someone, whether he or she is 200 miles away, or 2000, with one of the unique long distance relationship gift ideas listed below. These gift ideas are sure to bring smiles and love across the miles!

Personalized Telegram:

Back before we relied so much on Smart Phones and the Internet to talk to our loved ones, people had to wait days, even months, to hear from their heart’s desire. The telegram became that form of communication. Telegrams can still be sent today with various online sites like Telegram Stop. Simply fill out what you want the telegram to say, and it’s sent snail-mail to your loved one. A personalized telegram is the perfect timeless gift that’s both unique and affordable.

Tangible Comfort Gifts:

There’s something about tangible gifts that make someone feel extra special. From a “boyfriend pillow” (think a normal pillow wearing a man’s shirt) that can take your place when you’re away from your loved one, to his and her pillow cases, there are endless gifts on the market today catered specifically for those in long distance relationships.

Personalized Gifts:

Want to tell that special someone all of the reasons you love them? You can do that with a personalized love book. Or how about sending a personalized message in a bottle or fortune cookie declaring your love? There are even personalized pillows that help to celebrate your cross-country love by customizing the pillow to connect the two cities you each live in (even if it’s across the world!). Personalized gifts are a great way to get creative and express yourself all while putting a smile on that special someone’s face.

Name a Star:

When we look up at the night sky, no matter where we are in the world, we see the same thing; the moon, the big and little dipper, and billions of stars. Here’s your chance to name a star after the person you care about. A great gift for Long Distance relationships, you could be in NYC and your loved one in Bangkok and you’ll still both be able to look up and see the same star. This is the ultimate romantic gift for any long distance relationship!

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Presenting – Bob Murdoch from Centre 55 Has My Vote for an Honorary Doctorate of Community Service

Jun 12 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

No neighbourhood portrait about Toronto’s Beach could be complete without one of the key pillars of the community: Since he started at Centre 55 (a local community centre in the Beach) in 1980 Bob Murdoch has been at the heart of making this community work. He has started numerous creative and innovative initiatives to improve the lives of a wide range of people in the Beach community. Bob is a down-to-earth, straight-forward guy who does not mind rolling up his sleeves and working hard. He does not crave the spotlight, but I thought it was definitely time to put the limelight on him.

Bob is deeply rooted in the Beach Community. He grew up in this neighbourhood and has always had a deep attachment to the area. Before attending a recreation program at Centennial College he went to a local high school and local churches.
Following college and university, and along with some additional courses in human resources management, Bob decided to ply his trade at the YMCA.

Bob Murdoch gathered his original work experience at the YMCA where he was a program director. He informed me about the “Y-Experience” which is focused primarily in leadership experiences in sports and fitness programs and provides many great professional learning opportunities for candidates with high potential.

One of the special events that Bob used to run was called the “Great Lakes Race”, which involved six people racing across Lake Ontario in a 26″ north canoe (similar to a voyageur canoe). The 30 mile race would start in Niagara-on-the-Lake (on the Ontario side) or Youngstown (in New York State) and end in Toronto, during rain, hail, or high winds. Bob adds that the world record for north canoe racing was set in Toronto and won by a company called Techcan from Hamilton. Racers would have to train for three months to get ready for this challenging competition.

At the YMCA, Bob ran squash tournaments, sports programs and various arts and crafts programs; he also managed a “vertical village”, sports facilities run by the YMCA inside a private condominium building where Bob was in charge of the sports and fitness program. This varied employment background helped him make his next career move in 1980 to a community centre in the neighbourhood where he had grown up, Centre 55. Founded in 1975, Centre 55 originally offered programs such as a nursery school, a day camp, evening user groups, volleyball and yoga. Bob describes it as a small facility with a good infrastructure.

Over the past 25 years Centre 55 has become a comprehensive social service provider in the Beach. Its most well-known program is called “Share-a-Christmas” which involves a hamper or basket full of goods that is delivered to needy families in the centre’s catchment area. This assortment of goods includes one medium to large frozen turkey, 6 litres of 2% milk, bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, desserts, non-perishable foods and an age-gender appropriate toy for each child.

The average value of this basket is $300, and families as well as corporations are able to adopt a family. The Beach is generally perceived as a wealthy neighbourhood, but according to Bob’s hamper delivery map, there are many streets in the Beach, even in the wealthy areas close to the lakefront, where there are families receiving Christmas donations. Low-rise rental apartment buildings with low income families are often located right next to million dollar homes. The total number of families who benefited from the Adopt-a-Family program was 973 this year.

The official mascot of the Share-a-Christmas event is an oversized reindeer called “Hamper”, which nicely coincides with the Christmas basket idea. Bob told me a funny story about how the name “Hamper” came into being. In the old days of the orange and black computer screens, one of Bob’s co-workers had created a vertical listing of Santa’s Reindeers and the last word on the list was “Hamper”. Along with “Dasher”, “Dancer” or “Prancer”, “Hamper” sounded like a pretty good name for an additional reindeer.

Bob thought this was brilliant and commended his coworker for coming up with this creative idea of naming a new addition to Santa’s reindeers. His colleague looked perplexed and said he had just added the name of the file at the bottom of the listing, there was in fact no new addition to the reindeers. A much less dramatic story, but the name “Hamper” stuck and the cartoon reindeer has become the poster child of Christmas charity in the Beach.

A 9 foot mascot was built a couple of years later, whose image incidentally adorns the building’s east façade, and Centre 55′s Share-A-Christmas program now consists of about 700 individual and corporate contacts encompassing a total network of about 2500 active volunteers.

Bob Murdoch is a strong supporter of volunteer recognition, and he has developed an entire program to honour the people who make his programs work. He has created “Hamper’s University” which bestows undergraduate, masters and doctoral “degrees in Christmas” on the volunteers, and his award system is based on the volunteer’s contribution to the community.

Bob Murdoch believes in the magic of Christmas, which is a symbol of universal kindness, unconditional peace and harmony. The Share-A-Christmas program itself is non-denominational, and volunteers and beneficiaries of the program come from all backgrounds and religions.

Hamper’s Annual Christmas Convocation honours those who have made a significant and sustained effort in the local community. This year the youngest graduate ever, an 11 year old girl, was honoured with a Doctorate in Christmas. Children who participate in the Share-A-Christmas program sort or pack gifts, they fundraise, sing carols or give up their own Christmas gifts for other more needy people in the community.

Bob adds that these honorary degrees have a tremendously positive effect on the recipients, and he guarantees that the volunteers that have been honoured with these “degrees” will find a job when they start looking for work. Employers are always looking for good corporate citizens, and volunteering adds an impressive dimension to any resume. The Adopt-A-Family program offers a great deal of synergy between the volunteers, the community, and the businesses. Centre 55′s Share-A-Christmas program ends every year with deliveries of gifts on the 22nd of December, and the very next day a new round of fundraising and volunteering is kicked off for the next year.

A variety of other programs are run at Centre 55. From a chapter of Al-Anon, to free income tax clinics, free flue shots and Meals on Wheels, Centre 55 is an all-round social services agency. The Pegasus Community Program for Adults with Special Needs runs one of its programs here, the Beach Photo Club and the Beaches Speeches Club (a chapter of Toastmasters), and the Professional Academy of Drama and Music all have their home here.

Different groups within the entire wider community benefit from Centre 55′s services. Apart from funding for the operational costs, Centre 55 does not receive any funds from the city for its services. All the money required for the various programs has to be generated from fundraising efforts. Bob explained that this type of social service delivery is a unique Toronto-based model.

There are 10 community centres in the former City of Toronto grouped together in an umbrella organization called the “Association of Community Centres” whose mandate it is to provide a diverse range of services to the community. These facilities differ from regular recreational centres which, as their name says, have a specifically recreational purpose. Bob explained that the other former cities that today make up Metropolitan Toronto (the suburbs of Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough) do not have these types of community centres. Instead they have recreational multiplexes that encompass swimming pools, hockey rinks, gyms and other facilities in one location, while social services are mostly delivered by non-profit organizations like the United Way.

This community-centre-based model of social service delivery is truly unique to Toronto, and according to Bob’s description, the entire approach is fully driven by the community. The needs for the social services are defined by the neighbourhood, and the residents get together to try to find solutions how to address these needs. This grass-roots approach of communities helping themselves is a very unique approach, and it is quite time-consuming and complex to get such a community organization off the ground. That is why there are only 10 of these types of community centres in Toronto. Bob added that there are 13 designated communities in Toronto that need help, and not all of them have access to the multi-service community centres.

Fundraising is a key skill for this organization and Bob is a gifted and creative fundraiser. One of the latest fundraising efforts is called “Slobberfest”, a humorous take on an interesting, consumer-based idea sure to succeed in the pet-friendly Beach neighbourhood. This festival was held for the first time last year and presented a variety of pet contests, including owner-pet look-alike contests and a wide variety of pet tricks. Vendors at the event had to pay a fee which became part of the fundraising campaign for Centre 55.

Bob is already thinking of a new event: “Pipestock” (in analogy of Woodstock) will be a bagpipe festival which will involve competitive piping and a gathering of tartans and clans. A new project, the Village of East Toronto Christmas Parade, was held for the first time this past Christmas. Participants included local marching bands, politicians, residents and businesses, and the effort was intended to support the local community and economic development. Bob was expecting about 500 spectators to show up. Once the police count of the crowd was in, the number was more in the 5000 to 6000 range, something that exceeded everybody’s expectations.

One important annual event run since 2000 by Centre 55 is the Annual Citizen of the Year Award. This joint initiative between the Beaches Lions Club, the Beach Metro Community News and Centre 55 honours important volunteers in the community who have dedicated their effort over many years. Gene Domagala was the first such recipient and Bob refers to him as a “utility man” because Gene is present throughout the whole community and offers his help wherever he is needed. People such as Glenn Cochrane, Arie Nerman and Marie Perrotta have also been honoured for their contributions to the Beach community.

Millennium Park at Coxwell and Eastern Avenues features the Walk of Fame honouring the Citizens of the Year as well as a tablet with engravings of 200 names of people who have become donors for the park. Community involvement is big, and Centre 55 held a competition to design a flag for the Beach community. The flag features a stylized image of the Leuty Lifesaving Station and flies proudly at Millennium Park.

We had talked a lot about Centre 55, but I also wanted to get to know Bob Murdoch as a person. Bob shared with me that he is an avid musician. He wrote a sound track for the Terry Fox Story back in 1984. The sound track was not accepted, but it might come out on CD next year, and some of Avril Lavigne’s musicians were involved in the project. But not only does Bob play the guitar, he has recently taken up bag-piping. His wife gave him an entry level bagpipe and some lessons as a present. Bob had an incentive to learn how to play the bagpipe within a very short time: his sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer and was projected to die within 10 months. His bag-piping teacher said that it would be very difficult to play this instrument within less than a year. Bob said that he didn’t have a year, and when his sister-in-law passed away he was standing outside playing the bagpipe and played Amazing Grace at her funeral.

A few years ago Bob’s good friend, Mark Daley from City TV, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and Bob’s father-in-law had been afflicted by the disease earlier. He and Mark talked about the fact that prostate cancer is really a silent disease that men do not like to talk about. Bob decided to organize a whole parade of bagpipers to raise awareness for prostate cancer, and on September 17, 2005, the Pipes and Drums for Prostate Cancer Research, consisting of 325 pipers marched from Nathan Phillips Square to Queens Park, accompanied by the Lieutenant Governor. The masculine music of the bagpipes was intended to be the voice of men who were afraid of talking about prostrate cancer. Bob showed me a photo of the event, and there were bagpipers as far as the eye could see.

Bob Murdoch is a gifted musician and song-writer and here is a sample of his work (go to, and click on “Marathon” to listen to his partner Doug singing it). Bob is planning to turn the following song into a fundraiser and introduces the song with the following comments:

On the Road to Marathon is an epic song about one person’s battle against overwhelming hardships. It is a message of hope and a call for action from a spirit who’s tenacity of purpose created a force of desire so profound and so passionate that when their determination was brought to bear on their subject their energy and commitment could have animated a lifeless universe.

On the Road to Marathon is a bitter sweet story about the victory of an unsung Canadian Hero. It is based on Herculean strength, duty, hour and sacrifice and the selfless devotion that one person had for the welfare of others.

Similarities are drawn from 490 BC on the plain of Marathon, near the ancient city of Athens where gallant Athenian warriors gave their lives to preserve Greece from conquest by a huge Persian force. Pheidippides, an Athenian messenger, ran 150 miles taking the news to Athens. He ran for two days. The message he delivered to the King was “Rejoice we Conquer”. After delivering the miraculous news, Pheidippides collapsed from exhaustion and exposure and died at the feet of the King. To honour this legendary runner, the Marathon Race was made part of the Modern Olympic Games in 1896.

It was before the Birth of Christ when David drew upon faith to fight the undefeatable and slayed Goliath near the Gates of Ekron using with a sling and a single tiny stone. Terry Fox is an errant messenger and combatant who fights a battle against a terrible killer. He is offering to pass the torch to all of us to take up the conflict. On the Road to Marathon is a song for Terry, a baby faced warrior, who’s promise of youth and who’s rite of passage has included sickness and disease, either of which combined, could not and never will extinguish his flame of hope.

On The Road To Marathon ©

Bobby Murdoch

He ran out to the high way with the west coast on his mind
no ordinary runner on the road just clocking time
if you get the wind behind you, you could run around the sun
no ordinary runner on the Road to Marathon

Saw sweat bead on top the guard rail like opals in the rain
No ordinary hunter stalking ordinary prey
Race not always won by the swift or battles by the strong
but by the sling and stone near Ekron and on roads like Marathon

You got the outside track but you won’t turn back in the half light of the dawn
no ordinary runner pacing on to Marathon
In the lamp light of the evening a moving shadow in the halogen beam
no ordinary runner with an ordinary dream

He ran out to the high way with the west coast on his mind
no ordinary runner on the road just clocking time
Race not always won by the swift or battles by the strong
but by the sling and stone near Ekron and on roads like Marathon

This was a great introduction to some of the many facets that make up Bob Murdoch as an individual. Just before we were starting our tour of the building, Bob pointed out a picture on the wall, depicting him with former Lieutenant Governor Hilary Weston, the former provincial minister of social services and a young lady who had just received a medal. Bob was invited by the Ministry of Culture and Recreation to be on the selection committee for awarding the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship. He became the Chair of the Committee and had to read 12 to 15 binders full of resumes of individuals who had been suggested to become recipients for the award. Amid all these resumes Bob came across one resume that struck him: it was not unusual as far as accomplishments went, the candidate had volunteered in a breakfast program, with the food bank and a seniors program, actually it was not one of the most impressive resumes.

But Bob noticed something unusual about this young woman’s background: she had Down’s syndrome. He asked his colleagues if they noticed anything special about this particular resume and they concurred that there was nothing particularly outstanding about it, until he made them aware of the woman’s disability. Once the committee members became aware of this fact, Doris Bell was selected as the recipient of the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship. Bob refers to this experience as his proudest moment.

Now it was time to start our tour of Centre 55, a former Toronto police station. Bob showed me several multi-purpose rooms that were former police station lockers, or rooms for weapons and communications, or areas for search and seizure. The former detectives’ office is now a multi-purpose room and features a picture of Norman Jewison, one of several prominent (former) residents and community contributors in the Beach. Bob also pointed out that Centre 55 was given a Civic Award of Merit by the Toronto Race Relations Committee a few years ago for their positive work with at-risk youth.

As we walked downstairs Bob pointed out that the building was damaged by fire in 1979 and that the eastern part of the wooden staircase had to be completely rebuilt. Downstairs we walked by Irene who was manning the front desk and Nancy who is the volunteer coordinator. Towards the back of the building are the former garage and the holding cells of the police station which were converted into a nursery school many years ago. One of the rooms was also the location of the Pegasus Community Program, Marie Perrotta’s brainchild, a wonderful daytime program for adults with special needs that I had visited a few days earlier.

So many people depend on Bob Murdoch and Community Centre 55. Bob is an expert in creative fundraising and an accomplished master of ceremonies. Usually Bob is the one handing out awards and giving recognition to others for their contributions. There is no doubt in my mind that for his effort and hard work Bob Murdoch himself deserves a medal, or even better, an Honorary Doctorate in Community Service.

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Tips For Topnotch Presentations – Part 1

Jun 11 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

There are very few of us that relish the idea of standing up in front of a group and giving a prepared talk. We get nervous, we lose focus and we are terrified of “not doing a good job”. Fear not! Here are the first five of ten tricks of the trade from my ten years in academic communications instruction. Follow any or all of them to increase your poise, confidence, and power at the podium.

Tip 1: Know your subject. This comes from personal experience, not all of it pretty! There’s a reason all of our teachers tell us “Do your homework”.  You can’t communicate what you don’t know — but what you don’t know will quite clearly get across to your audience. It always pays to be prepared, and to know a little bit more than you will present, so that you can be ready for questions that may arise. In addition, just the simple fact that you are well prepared will translate into confidence and that also gets across to your audience.

Tip 2: Be enthusiastic. Facing your audience with energy and enthusiasm draws them in and entices them to want to know more about you and your subject. Enthusiasm can cover up a lot of other flaws, because once you have your listeners curious they’ll want to stick with you. This also means finding ways to maintain your own enthusiasm for the subject matter of your presentation and that can re-double your knowledge and confidence.

Tip 3: Be polite and professional. This means that you show respect for the audience and for yourself, and includes both your appearance and actions. Show your listeners that you respect them and your role by dressing appropriately. Dress the part even if you’re speaking over an audio line only — if you look sharp, you feel sharp, and you will communicate that.

There are two other essential parts to being a courteous and professional speaker: Always, always, always show up on time (which means early). And always, always, always stay within the allotted time. You cannot expect your audience to wait for you to get there, or to let you talk forever. They have other classes, appointments, and commitments. The room may be scheduled for another use. You cannot expect life to go on hold because you woke up late or had too many slides.

Tip 4: Speak to the people in the room. Be aware of who will be your target audience and prepare your presentation accordingly. If you are speaking as a guest, ask your host ahead of time who will be attending. Avoid jargon that is part of the informal lingo of your field, it can be very confusing. Make the effort to be sure that everyone understands specialized words or concepts you do include. Show how interesting your subject is in an inclusive way, and the audience will be riveted, regardless of whether they are specialists in the field or interested members of the lay public.

Tip 5: Tell a story. Many of people balk at hearing another lecture, but nearly everyone loves a story. In addition, this encourages you to develop a good habit: Every talk, like every story, should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Presentations with clear structure are easy to deliver and to follow. If you are using visual aids (slides, overheads, handouts) use those to clue you to the next point and to enhance the experience. Your slides are your accessories; you should be the main attraction. Unless you are using a direct quote, don’t read your slides, it tempts you to drone and tempts the audience to drowse. Avoid scripting too tightly. A heavily scripted talk tends to sound very stiff. It also may lead you to get flustered if you realize that you’ve gone “off-script”. Save yourself the anxiety by knowing the over-all flow of your talk, using the slides to clue you to the next point, and avoid scripting.

Using these tips will help you give your talk that extra edge to be enjoyable and memorable for your audience and for you. In the next installment, I’ll cover more tips for delivering your talk with power and ease.    

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Public Speaking – How to Use Visual Aids For More Effective Presentations

Jun 10 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

In public speaking the primary method of getting ideas across will be through the auditory sense of the audience. However, visual aids make a speech more interesting for the audience and more effective when used well. They provide an interesting variety from so many words. By using visual aids you are engaging another of the audience’s senses.

In recent years one particular visual aid has been extensively used (and possibly overused) and that is the power point presentation. If used well it adds to the effectiveness of the speech or presentation. Other visual aids that can be used effectively in public speaking are video clips, whiteboards, flipcharts, models, objects, pictures etc.

To get the best out of the using visual aids apply the following techniques;-

1. The visual aid should help to make a difficult subject clear and easily understood. For example, when a high school boy was explaining jet propulsion he used a toy balloon. He blew it up and let it go and said “jet propulsion works like that.”

2. The concept or information being portrayed must be quickly taken in and grasped by the audience. For PowerPoint slides this means they should be uncluttered and not filled with too many words.

3. All the audience should be able to be see the visual aid at the same time. Before the audience arrives try sitting where your listeners will be sitting to ensure they can see from the floor. If you are using an object and holding it up – be bold and do not half hide it in your hands or clasp it to your chest.

4. Speak to the audience and not to the visual aid. Inanimate objects have yet to act upon anything said to them. While writing on a whiteboard, flipchart or blackboard keep your back away from the audience as much as possible. Also when using PowerPoint slides they should contain a few points outlined, not the whole speech and not be read word for word.

5. Visual aids can be used to help steady nerves as they can give your hands something to do – writing, drawing or holding something up for the audience to see. Naturally once you have finished talking about an “object” it should be put down. Similarly with PowerPoint you could consider blanking the screen when you have finished with a slide.

6. The visual aids should be completely planned for the situation. Practice with the aids to make sure they fit with your speech and can be worked in naturally.

7. The visual aids selected should make the ideas being presented clear, vivid and effective. Spare no effort to find aids that will support the points being presented. Carefully think through the aids to be used to support the ideas being presented.

8. Be prepared. When using video clips, PowerPoint etc check that they work before you start to present by going through a dry run before the audience get there. It will also pay to know any technical staff at the event or meeting as you will need their help during the speech, especially if the unexpected happens.

In public speaking your audience will give you a million silent thanks if you use your visual aids effectively. Use them to support your speech not to give your speech. Choosing aids wisely that support and illustrate your speech will greatly increase the effectiveness of your public speaking.

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