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 http://www.myspace.com/togetherottawa, 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

C H O R U S
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

C H O R U S
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

C H O R U S
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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Unique 50th Birthday Present Ideas

Jun 08 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

A birthday is a very special day in a person’s life. It calls for celebration of life in one’s own way. It is a celebration of a person’s freedom, dream, and all desires. It comes once in a year and so you should make every effort to make it memorable for you and your dear ones. Your friends and family do their every bit to make it an unforgettable experience for you. So, it is your responsibility as well to do the same on their special day.

No birthday is over without a birthday gift. A birthday gift can be anything from a wrist watch to a silver photo frame, but it should come from your heart. It is important for the birthday gift to carry your love and affection for the person. Sometimes a very less expensive gift can convey a lot of feelings and care for the person and express your sentiments, compared to a highly cost present. So, a birthday gift should be selected with utmost care and interest.

Some birthdays become even more special when they convey a milestone or bear a special significance in one’s life. For instance, it is a very very special occasion when a person is celebrating his/her 50th birthday. So, when you think about this special occasion and about the 50th birthday present ideas, the first thing that should come to your mind is about a gift that can leave an everlasting impression on a person’s mind. The next important thing that should pass your mind is your budget. The gift should be a good one and a memorable one but it should be at the same time within your budget.

The 50th birthday is extremely significant as it represents the end of a person’s important phase of life, and marks the beginning of an exciting new phase of journey. So, if you have the intention of making this day memorable, present him/her with a gift that is unique. However, it should match with the preference and taste of the receiver. You should always buy a birthday present keeping in mind the interests of the person you would be gifting it to. You should never allow your preferences to dominate while making the buying decision. A silver photo frame can be an excellent pick. And if you can gift it along with an old picture that features both of you, it would be a great gesture. It would make the person realize your love everyday. The silver photo frames comes in various designs, shapes and sizes in the market. So, it is certainly among the perfect 50th birthday present ideas for your loved one.

Music CDs or even a wrist watch are some other options that you may like to consider among your favorite 50th birthday present ideas. These can turn out to be good options, as a wrist watch will always stay in touch with the receiver and can remind the person about you, and a music CD has the potential of becoming a great companion and will never fade out.

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Look For Quality Present Ideas For Him on Valentines Day

Jun 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

There are so many different ways you can show your appreciation for the man in your life. Finding quality present ideas for him on Valentines Day doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive. You can purchase many different things that can be from simple items to more complex. The more complex items can cost more, but if you have the disposable income you can make sure that things move forward in a good way this Valentines Day. Areas you can check for unique and good ideas are entertainment, a subscription to a magazine, or simply a piece of sports memorabilia to name a few.

An easy way to approach this Valentines Day is simply by purchasing their favorite entertainment on Blu-ray or DVD. You can choose from a variety of shows, movies, and live musical performances and not necessarily break the bank while doing so. You can certainly try to get complete series box sets, or stand up comedy. There are millions of choices in regards to entertainment ideas for him. Heck, if you’re stumped, why not just get him an action movie box set, that’s bound to be appreciated. Seriously, what guy wouldn’t appreciate some action films?

If getting entertainment options isn’t really your cup of tea, nor something that you necessarily want to get, you could try getting them some memorabilia from their favorite sports team. Whether they are interested in football, baseball, hockey, or basketball there’s enough memorabilia floating around to get them something they don’t have. Consider an authentic jersey, a helmet, or something that fits their love for sports. That is of course if they enjoy sports in general. If they’re not into sports, this gift idea might be a little unusual and not necessarily worth it.

If you’re looking into quality present ideas for him on Valentines Day, consider getting him a subscription to a magazine that he has enjoyed in the past or present. Not necessarily an adult magazine full of models and nudes, but something specifically for him in a genre that they would enjoy. For instance, if they like photography why not get them a subscription to National Geographic or something along those lines? You can also try getting something like Cigar Aficionado, Sports Illustrated, anything that they might enjoy the topic of publication. This particular gift idea is a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year.

Finding the right gift should not stress you out. It is important to make sure that you don’t just get something random. That is a fact that can not be stressed enough. Anyone can simply get a gift and try to make it mean important things, but a genuine gift from the heart should reflect their interest in it not just a random presentation for Valentines Day. Something from the heart trumps anything else, so make sure that if you’re stumped in regards to what to get him, you at least consider something from the heart, even if it is home made. You’ll be thanked with genuine emotion, that’s for sure.

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Diamond Ring – A Classic Present For Your Loved One

Jun 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

For me, a Diamond Ring is the most admirable and sentimental gift from anyone. May be it is the attraction of gem of diamond which fascinates any lady so easily. Diamond ring is usually a symbolic gift of engagement. Not only women, but men also like to present it to show their emotions to their loved ones. Contrary to general conception, this gift is not limited to engagements or weddings only. Mostly people like to present it on any special occasions related to the females like on weddings, birthdays, mother’s day celebrations, anniversaries, valentine’s day etc. It is the best gift to be presented to any women.

I have stated about the Mother’s day celebration. This can be an ideal gift if you present it to you mother on next mother’s day. You may have noticed that when our mothers get older they don’t like to wear too much jewelry as they want to look more graceful and sophisticated. So the diamond ring, with its own grace, can be a very precious jewel gift, for such a lovely relation like mother. She will love and admire to have a piece of diamond ring in her finger.

As we know that diamond is a precious stone among all stones but the cost of diamond increases according to the shape and cut of the diamond.

There are different types of diamonds ornamented in the rings like pear, the traditional one, round, the classic one and the marquise cut.

When you go to the market to buy a diamond ring, the shopkeeper tells you the details about the ring. Sometimes the detail card is also attached with the ring. With the help of this card you can find the weight, color, clarity, and other features about the ring. The similar details you can also get by visiting the website of that particular shop. So, it is recommended to gain complete information online, before visiting the ring store.

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How to Do Effective Phone Presentations

Jun 04 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

For the internet or non-internet sales professional it is vital to develop strong telephone sales skills. It is important to see your phone as a money machine. Being able to create larger and more sales is totally linked to being able to have effective phone presentations.

The nice thing about phone selling is that one can do it in their bathrobe. Although, if you’re in an office setting, this may not exactly comply with the established dress code. (even if it IS Casual Friday) However, the full time phone sales pro can dress in a more relaxed manner which will also help them in their presentation.

It’s important to remember that all the rules of sales presentation still hold true. You need to warm up with your prospect. You must qualify them and then do a product presentation. You still must close them and complete the sale. However, controlling the phone sales presentation, takes a distinctly different path.

Since the only asset and tool you have, while making your presentation is your voice, you need to convey a great deal with it. Let your personality come through. In your warm up, always smile a LOT and ASK questions that the customer will enjoy answering. The best types of questions is finding out what their interests are and discussing that, by letting THEM do most of the talking.

While doing the presentation, ask many tie down questions. Tie downs are close ended questions that are designed to illicit agreements from your customer and keep them on the buying path that you are creating. Questions also keep the customer involved with your presentation rather than having them start to zone out on you.

Here’s a very good mantra to remember: The one who is asking the questions, is the one who is controlling the conversation. Even though it may SEEM like the customer is doing a lot of talking, remember that they are RESPONDING to your questions, therefore YOU are the one controlling the phone presentation. Asking questions, along the way, will also tip you off if you’re losing the customer’s interest or agreement with you. Needless to say, if either of those things happen, stop where you are and handle the situation, before it becomes unhandle-able.

Always remember, when concluding the phone presentation, wait until your customer hangs up the phone before you do. No one likes to be hung up on, even if they may rationally know that you haven’t.

See you at the top!

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Professionally Speaking – Delivering Successful 4-Mat Presentations

Jun 03 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

The purpose of this article is to introduce a model that makes presenting or ‘speaking in public’ easy and ensures all your listeners get the best out of your content. It’s called the 4-Mat model of learning which suggests that individual learners have preferences for how they perceive and/or process new information.

By understanding and employing the 4-Mat model, you can design and deliver a training or presentation in a way which will more effectively engage each member of your audience, thereby improving the overall effectiveness of your training or presentation. It doesn’t matter how short or long the presentation is or how technical or boring your topic is.

Does the thought of presenting to your peers scare you?

Do you know your stuff but freeze in front of an audience?

Do you find yourself rambling even with a script?

The 4-Mat model is based on the belief that learners perceive and process information differently, and the model identifies the following four learner types: Imaginative; analytic; common sense; and dynamic.

The imaginative learner tends to ask ‘why’ questions,

the analytic learner tends to ask ‘what’ questions,

the commonsense learner tends to ask ‘how’ questions and the

dynamic learner tends to ask ‘what if’ questions.

For this reason the 4-Mat Model is also frequently referred to as the ‘what, why, how, what if’ model.

Each of the four types of learner will have preferences for how they perceive and process information, as outlined below.

Analytic Learners focus on what they are learning, that is they focus on content,facts, and concepts. They seek information, formulate and think through ideas and they favor abstract processing and reflection. Learning strategies that suit this learning style include observing, analyzing, classifying and theorizing.

Imaginative Learners need to know why they are learning something, before they are ‘hooked’ in to learn the ‘what’ or content. They seek personal involvement, meaning and connections in what they learn and they act concretely and reflect on their experience. Learning strategies associated with this learning style include listening, speaking, interacting and brainstorming.

Common Sense Learners need to know how what they learn can be applied and they learn by doing, experimenting and applying ideas. They gain information by active experimentation and process it abstractly. Learning strategies favored by these learners include practical exercises, experimenting, manipulating, and having the opportunity to try something for themselves.

Dynamic Learners like to ask what if, as they think ahead and seek to apply, adapt and modify what they have learnt to new situations or contexts. They like to learn by exploring, seeking possibilities, self discovery and trial and error. They like to experiment and test their experiences concretely. The dynamic thinkers use strategies such as modifying, adapting, risking and creating.

(How)

At our business, I regularly have our staff present topics at our regular training nights using the 4-Mat model as a template.

We draw up 5 headings, and they fill in the content with dot points of relevance.Even the dot points do not need to be complicated just quick reminders of what they are going to talk about. It’s simple, keeps them on track, helps them learn the content on a deeper level, and gives them experience presenting, as well as disperses the information to the rest of the crew effectively.

I have actually written this article in the 4 mat system.

The first ‘what’ – gives a broad outline of what’s going on? Your listeners will like to know what to expect.

The first ‘why’ – are normally set up as 3 questions? Your listeners are thinking why do I really want to listen to this? You have to supply them with good reasons. (Why’s – can easily tune out if not convinced of the relevance to them, so they need to be hooked in early, and kept hooked in with regular reminders of why the training or presentation is relevant and they need to be there.)

The second ‘what’ is – to explain to your listeners what this “4mat system” is all about. (What’s – love the detail, often they are not as keen on the exercises, and often they don’t like having a go themselves without full explanations, instructions or a walk through example. They may need more one-on-one assistance during exercises.)

The ‘how’ is – for those listeners who need to do it. ( How’s – can’t wait to get into the exercise and practical component and are more confident of their ability to ‘have a go’ and work things out for themselves. If they can get into the ‘practical’ straight away, they might not pay attention to the why and what.)

The last section is the ‘what if’ – these listeners aren’t convinced and will want questions or queries answered before they will consider processing your information. So if not in a position to open the floor then always finish the talk with some pre-framed question. (What if’s – think ahead and frequently pose questions about areas of course content that haven’t been covered but quite possibly will be. Therefore, it can be beneficial to acknowledge the ‘what if’ questions, and suggest holding the answers until the relevant section or module, or until after any practical exercises as often going through the exercise answers the questions being posed.)

(What if)

Well you might ask me but what if I don’t really speak in public?

I guarantee you at some stage of your career you will find yourself in situation where this will be handy. Especially if you have the confidence in the 4 mat systems, this will be an enormous benefit to you. Good luck with your future speaking engagements.

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Present Your Way To The Top: Selling At The Whiteboard

May 30 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

What if sales presentations were easier, faster and better without slides? What if you could engage your clients, create meaningful conversations and collaborate together-from the start? Find out the 3 secrets to unlock unstoppable results.

Selling at the whiteboard revolutionizes what you know about sales presenting.

It’s not just that slides are boring. It’s that audiences are fed up with being passive while sales presenters ‘spit sand.’ There’s a lot of discussion about what makes sales presentations really work.

It’s not as simple as benefits in…sales out. If it were all that simple, sales professionals would take the time to truly distinguish a feature from a benefit. But that’s another topic for another time. Right now, let’s focus on heating up sales conversations at the whiteboard.

If you’ve ever taken a presentation skills training, you know that it truly is possible to learn new skills. It’s the same with whiteboard presentation skills.

Only a few things stand in the way. Belief. Skills. Training.

Let’s look into each one and see how to build skills to successfully present your sales story at the whiteboard…in minutes not weeks.

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
- Mahatma Gandhi

1. What Do You Believe?
Have you been repeatedly telling yourself that you’re hopeless at the whiteboard? Do you say it over and over again, with firm conviction?

If so…you’ll realize one thing. You’re really good at convincing yourself!

Use the same talent of persuasion to believe that you can acquire the skills to simplify complex ideas and engage clients-at a whiteboard.

Funny how that works, right?

2. What Skills Do You Have?
When is the last time you picked up a marker? Was it in kindergarten? Was it to draw a picture with your kids? Was it to plan a cool sales training program at the whiteboard?

If it’s been a while since you worked on your interactive visual storytelling skills, don’t despair. These skills are learnable. In fact, it’s easiest to think of it like a language-a visual language.

To speak a language you must learn the alphabet, words, sentence structure and story flow. Just like a foreign language. To speak a visual language for whiteboard presenting, follow the same organization.

Learn visual icons. Discover how to combine words and icons. Organize this symbolic language into ‘sentences’ so everyone ‘gets’ what you are describing. Then, organize sentences into visual frameworks. Finally, learn how to talk ad lib, engage with other people and respond on the spot. This kind of fluidity in speech is why whiteboard presenters learn the skill of facilitating interaction.

It’s real-time visual storytelling. Just remember…when you learned to speak your native language, you had to start at the beginning. A baby learns by experimenting. They rarely start speaking fluid sentences from the get-go. There’s a whole lot of trial and error first.

The same is true for learning a visual language. Don’t miss the beginning steps. Everything else builds on this foundation.

3. What Training Do You Need?
Training in skills is critical-if you’re serious about being poised and professional in front of important clients. Standing with a marker in your hand is something you want to learn well, practice, and get personal training to do effectively.

Many of my clients start out swearing that they are ‘incapable’ of thinking visually, drawing, sketching on the spot, or creating a visual map that guides conversation. They are thrilled when they realize that by following a step-by-step approach, the impossible becomes very do-able.

The most important training is to challenge limiting beliefs, build hands-on skills, and target specific opportunities to whiteboard sales conversations with your customers.

But the key is to start.

Start with uprooting negative self-talk and attitudes that hold you back. Continue to build your skills in a visual language.

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Delivering a Presentation – Voice Controlling

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

It has been a common mistake for most of us – in which we tend to spent too much time in preparing the presentation material content, rather than how we are going to present them.

Our mental preparation on how to deliver our presentation is such a crucial point, especially on how our verbal tone, taking advantage of pause and pitches — presents different phrase of emotion and emphasize which could help the audience easier in understanding which parts are the important points that they should give more attention to.

From the way you pronounce your tone and voice of presentation, audience could figure out if the speaker is being confident or in such unconfident state of mind in presenting his/ her ideas.

The most common problems in presentation voice controlling are:

- Mumbling, unclear words or just bad pronunciation
Exercise Your Clear and Correct Pronunciation — you must have a big heart and be honest to yourself to realize your own true level of pronunciation clarity in presenting your message. Especially for those who use English as a foreign language it’s an obligation to do so, but even though you are native to English, sometime your local dialect or popular slang words could make a different perception for others.

- Forceful entrance voice but fading out ending
Manage your emotion – plan on how you going to distribute your emotions and power throughout the whole presentation time. Prior to certain points, you might required to make a forceful stressing while other points will require you to make a soft deliberation — to get certain kinds of emotional feedback you can expect from audience. Don’t get too much carried away by your emotion when presenting some points which related to own personal experience.

- Soft voice
Take a Breathing Exercise (diaphragm breathing) – take a deeper breath from the diaphragm at the beginning of a phrase to prevent your voice from being too soft and getting a better power of your voice. By practicing diaphragm breathing, you can get a bigger lung capacity to breath, more oxygen intake and longer time to maintain your speech power. Build your confidence and practice your speech as much as possible if your soft voice is coming from the lack of confident in presenting your messages.

- Rapid statements
Insert pitch and pause – many great orators deliver their speech making benefit of using pitch and pause to emphasize their points and giving a greater emotional impression to their audiences. It is better way to avoid an emotional drained and making an impression to audience as if you are just nervous. Although rapid statements are more acceptable in debate contest or bidding auction, it is not recommended in a normal presentation to prevent message-misunderstanding.

- Flat speech
You must avoid a flat and boring presentation, since it will only give the audience the reason to fall asleep and even snoring while you are presenting you ideas. Emphasize to deliver an impressive and with a little theatric presentation by mastering your presentation inside out, sideways and under. Learn when you must give a strong powerful emphasis or soft tone in dramatizing a necessary phrase.

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