Become Present and Wake Up to Enjoy Happiness in Your Life

Have you ever wondered what the point of life is? Sometimes the stresses of life can make us forget what is around us. Many people walk around in a dreamlike state, moving from one goal to the next. By learning to become present you can achieve happiness and change your life forever.

What does “becoming present” mean?

Have you seen people walking around that just look unhappy? Their brow is furrowed and their movements are stiff. It’s like something terrible is going on around them, yet everything appears fine! These people are unconscious. They are in their head reliving negative events or worrying about their day. They are not aware of their surroundings at all.

We’ve all had times when we’re like this, but there is a way out of the madness. The next time you catch yourself worrying or regretting something, become present. You can do this by becoming intensely aware of your surroundings or by paying attention to small things like your breathing or walking. It’s almost like meditation. The more you do this the more you will be at peace and happy with life.

Our natural state as human beings is one of happiness. There is an incredible joy to be had in doing anything if you aren’t covering it up with negative thoughts in energy. If you practice becoming present and aware even once a day your life will be significantly improved and you will have much more happiness in your life. I know it helped me.

Providing Recognition By Presenting Personalized Awards

Personalized awards offer any individual or organization the means to show appreciation for hard work or just plain appreciation. Success in any field must be recognized if these results are to be duplicated. Many agencies even use them to foster an environment of collaboration and productivity.

It is easy for anyone looking for personal awards to become lost among the variety of options available. There are rewards available for every conceivable endeavor. As such various factors will influence the final choice. Sports awards are especially popular as there is always enormous interest in athletic activities.

Any company involved in providing personalized awards is likely to offer just about any type of item that can be used as accolades. These items may not have a utilitarian function, but they are proof of accomplishments; as such quality is important. You will find that the types of prizes are as varied as the reasons for offering them in the first place.

Some of these items are quite elaborate looking, but the material will not pass muster. Certain types have screws and bolts which must be carefully examined to ensure that they are of good quality. No matter how lovely the item, if the quality is poor the recipient will feel cheated.

When buying sports awards the imagery presented must be appropriate. Generic prizes sometimes fail to convey the necessary appreciation for the individual’s or team’s success. Some types use the standard cup shape, but this too must be presentable and able to last for a long time.

The finish of the item will play a big role in how long it lasts. Naturally, after any purchase, they should be checked for scratches and dents. The company should be able to give an assurance of quality and replacement of the items if necessary.

Personalized Awards in Business

Business people frequently seek new ways to energize their staff or sales teams in particular. At company functions, prizes are often given out as rewards for meeting deadlines and targets. This is where personalized awards come in handy.

Employees like to feel appreciated. Everyone likes to know that their hard work is recognized. Giving something such as a scroll or a plaque offers an easy way to get this message across. Dealing with the right provider of these services can help an employer make the right statement.

In this context, a company that makes these kinds of rewards must ensure quality service. The company must be able to deliver the requested items on time and in the right quantity. Having a function to honor anyone with nothing to hand out would certainly send the wrong message.

Typically, these items are engraved at the customer’s request. Here is another chance for something to go wrong. This is another reason to be careful in selecting the company being dealt with.

Once the finished prizes are received they must be checked. This is to ensure that the correct spelling of names or departments and that other details are correct before acknowledging receiving them.

A reasonable amount of time must be given to have the plaques or other items to be presented properly made and engraved. This way a situation with damaged items or incorrect information can be quickly rectified. In some cases picking up the items yourself or going to the source to examine them is an option.

Budgetary factors will influence the amount and types of prizes to be presented. Based on this, a firm decision on what to reward must be taken early on. This will enable a search for the best company that can deliver quality within budget.

It makes sense for any group to show recognition of hard work and dedication to its people. Some businesses offer not just sports awards, but also those for music and academic accomplishments as well.

Personalized awards are great motivators for children as well. For little league and other junior organizations, sports awards play an important role. These awards can act as constant reminders to children of their achievements and can be a great motivator throughout their lives.

How to NOT to Compete With Food While Delivering a Speech or Presentation!

This truly could be the bane of any speaker’s existence. Just think: You have to WOW your audience (who might never have seen you before)…. you have to deal with the set of the room (location of chairs and tables near platform) and NOW, you have the nightmare of having to deal with food that is being served.

That said, when preparing to give a formal speech at a banquet (or any large gathering focused around a meal), experience has taught me you have make “a few adjustments.”

This is why it’s imperative to be proactive and discuss with the event planner the time frame of the banquet. Especially if you want a fighting chance of delivering a memorable presentation.

Doing this step will allow no surprises and give you a receptive audience whose attention is not solely based on food (even if the food is great)…and focused squarely focused on YOU!

Folks Won’t Listen or Laugh if They’re Busy Eating

Here’s what you are up against:

1) If it is a conference many times attendees have been up a 7 AM and attending keynote presentations ALL day. Guess what? They’ve had information overload!

2) The banquet is usually at 6:30 at night (give or take an hour)

3) The audience, YOUR audience is tired. They want to eat, but the President or CEO has to speak, give out awards, and have a few VIP’s “have” to put their cents in (I mean speeches)

4) Add it all up and the whole event last a few hours, and then YOU have to go on!

Then IT happens! Dessert has been scheduled to be served right before it is your turn to give your words of wisdom to an audience that has a full stomach!

GULP! You are then competing with the clanging of dishes along with the wait staff hustling and bustling about.

Not to mention the oohs! and aaahs! of the crème brulee and audience members turning to each other and saying, “Joan please pass me the creamer!”

The secret is to take control of your environment. It’s prudent to get this all taken care of BEFORE the banquet speech and get it into the contract right from the beginning!

This will ensure no distractions when you bound onto the platform to begin your work.
You don’t know how many times an organizer has said (at the event) “Hey Pete, we’re going serve dinner… finish… have some speeches by some members… and then you’ll go on during dessert!” I’m thinking, “No, I won’t!”

Look, you have to get it through the event planner’s head (and if they’re good they should know this) the LAST dessert tray should be whisked away before you speak and the wait staff instructed to drift back into the woodwork like ninjas.

Again, get it into your contract so there are no misunderstandings. I’ve had to put up with this behavior a few times in the beginning of my career, that I swore I wouldn’t go through it again.

Once it got so distracting that I jumped off the platform and helped the waiters serve the dessert. It moved the service along quicker, got LAUGHS, and then I continued my presentation.

On the flipside, if you just don’t have the clout to make such arrangements with the staff, (and the organizer is adamant and on a time constraint) at least give the audience fair warning that your talk will begin shortly.

Again, this will get them into the mindset for listening. Even if your audience is waiting for their coffee to be served. (You do want them awake, so that’s a good thing!)

The Formal Dinner Atmosphere

Make no mistake: Giving a banquet speech is a little different than speaking in front of an auditorium full of people sitting in neat rows of chairs. In that sort of situation you have more control.

They are right there in front of you with little distractions. As you get more platform experience you will discover you NEED an advantage when giving your talk to people distracted by food, social chatter, and an open bar in the back of the room (especially if it’s a room full of men!)

Want a better response and more focus from your audience. Tell the event’s organizer that you need the tables closer together. By doing this, YOU become more accessible.

You and your speech will become more intimate with your listeners. The audience will be more involved with you in a closer setting. And that’s what you want – to be able to look them in the eyes and make a connection.

Keeping Your Audience Close at a Banquet Speech

Of course, you don’t want people eating on top of one another, but you do want them fairly close.

You also don’t want the table or dais YOU are sitting at to be too far from THEM. The room shouldn’t appear to be a sterile lecture hall with the professor (meaning YOU) up high on a dais, far from the lowly students.

To your best to keep it close and intimate and your audience will find you more approachable and listen more intently.

Loosen up. Step in FRONT of the dais. Walk over to a table or two and let the audience follow you. Movement grabs an audience’s attention. They’ll love it! It gives the impression that the speaker is talking to each of them personally.

I’ve been in this scenario so many times where I’ve been so close I can almost touch the person’s shoulder in front of me. If my platform is far away from the audiences tables, I break the fourth wall and go right up the first table. It really does get the audience’s attention.

Distractions Hinders Speakers NO Matter How Good They Are

If your banquet speech is set up as a buffet service, be sure that the buffet table is miles away from where you are going to be giving your talk. Imagine if, in the middle of your speech, some guests decide to get up for second, even third, servings.

All heads turn to see who wants more food and THEY become the focus of attention, taking away from YOUR important talking points. And that just won’t do. Set it up so that your words are the focus and not the food – or the people needing second and third helpings of chicken.

I remember once where the buffet table was right up against the stage where I was giving a performance.

Thankfully, the food service was over, but the moment screamed for humor and I looked out at the audience and said, “Folks, I’ve been performing for over 35 years — but this is the first time I’ve given a speech in front of rising steam!”

It got a HUGE laugh because it was obvious, it was in the moment, and everyone was thinking the same thing in the room.

These are moments that every speaker should want to have. It’s called being in the MOMENT. It was a very self-effacing line that put the audience at ease.

In conclusion, you want to give yourself the best odds of giving a great banquet speech.

And know this; if you’re competing with chatter and glasses clanking together, the impact of your words while giving a banquet speech will fall on deaf ears.

If that happens, you will get a poor evaluation and it won’t be your fault. But if you don’t do everything in your power to control your environment, it will be!

Graphical Presentation Of Tabular Data – Bar and Cylinder Charts (Part 3 of 5)

This is the third article in a series aimed at showing the benefits of presenting tabular data in graphical format.

This article considers the use of vertical column, horizontal bar and cylinder charts and shows how they should be used, how they are constructed, and the benefits that they can provide both to the presenter and their audience. This form of chart is for plotting and displaying discrete data such as the hat sizes of people or the colour of their eyes.

A survey was cited in parts one and two of this series of articles and it is again used and extended for the purpose of this article. The continuous data of 25 children’s heights obtained for producing the histogram in article 2 can now be grouped in order to produce discrete or discontinuous data for which vertical, horizontal and cylinder charts are primarily designed.

Vertical Column Bar Charts

This visual representation of data is a chart where data values are represented by vertical columns whose heights are equivalent to each of the values of one of the survey’s criteria and all these vertical heights are proportional to each other. The width of the column is immaterial and is usually the same for each value displayed.

From the original survey a frequency table needs to be produced from the sample of 25 children used. A decision needs to be made of how to group the height data and what increments should be used. For the purpose of this article an increment of 0.1m has been chosen so that the grouping of the heights in metres shall be 1.0 to 1.1, 1.1 to 1.2, 1.2 to 1.3 etc up to 1.7 to 1.8. Each child’s height is considered in turn and it is determined into which height range their height falls. When all the children’s heights have been allocated into a height range, then it is known how many children fall within each height range. This is known as the frequency that each height range occurs. The survey may have produced a table, such as the one shown below:

Height Range (m.) / Frequency (No.)

1.1-1.1 / 0

1.1-1.2 / 1

1.2-1.3 / 4

1.3-1.4 / 9

1.4-1.5 / 7

1.5-1.6 / 3

1.6-1.7 / 1

1.7-1.8 / 0

Total 25

Using this reorganised data, a vertical bar chart can be created. The vertical axis of the chart, also known as the ‘y axis’, would represent the frequency that each height range occurred within the survey and would range from 0 to 10. This ensured that all the frequency values of 0 to 9 were contained within the chart. The horizontal axis, or ‘x axis’, would represent the height range increments used in the survey and would therefore range from 1.0m to 1.8m in 0.1m steps.

For each increment of height a vertical column is drawn which is equivalent in height to the survey frequency result. For example, for the 1.2m to 1.3m height range on the horizontal axis, a column is drawn to a height of 4 on the vertical axis and a value of 7 for the 1.4m to 1.5m height range value. The height values for the 1.0m to 1.1m and 1.7m to 1.8m ranges would be zero as no child’s height fell within these ranges. When the vertical bar chart has been completed for all the height range values, a series of vertical columns can be viewed, each representing the frequency that each height range value occurs. By drawing horizontal lines across the chart, the actual frequency that each height range occurs can be easily read off the vertical axis of the chart. The individual columns can be displayed in different colours to enhance the visual display.

The representation of data in the form of bar charts is more pleasing to the eye and more understandable than the original spreadsheet table. The person viewing the chart can determine visually far more from the graph, not just that the second most frequent height range was 1.4m to 1.5m but more children were higher than the most frequent height range of 1.3m to 1.4m. Whilst these conclusions can also be achieved from the original table, the person interpreting the chart obtains a better understanding of the dispersal of the survey data.

Each vertical column within the bar chart could be enhanced by subdividing each frequency into a girl and boy frequency. The two resulting frequency elements for each height range could be displayed using two different colours, say red for the boys and yellow for the girls. If the boys’ frequency is always displayed at the bottom of each column, the information displayed adds a new dimension and can be better understood and interpreted by the survey audience.

Horizontal Bar Charts

Horizontal bar charts are used in the same way as vertical bar charts except here the data is represented by horizontal bars instead of vertical columns.

Using our survey frequency sample again to demonstrate this technique, the horizontal and vertical axes of the horizontal bar chart are reversed, so that the frequency is now on the horizontal axis and the height ranges are represented by the vertical axis. The chart is produced as before but instead of vertical columns, horizontal bars are produced.

It is mostly a matter of personal choice as to when vertical columns or horizontal bars are used. However, there are instances when the use of the horizontal bar chart is preferable. Such a case is in project planning where Gantt Charts are used to enable critical path analysis to be carried out. Here the horizontal axis always represents time, and each task element of the project is represented on the vertical axis. Engineering and building projects can take many months and/or years to complete and can contain many hundreds of individual tasks. A horizontal bar chart enables an engineer to plan and construct a project in the correct sequence of tasks, ensure tasks are completed before others commence and complete a project in order, and within time schedules.

Cylinder Charts

These charts are very similar to vertical column charts and are constructed in the same way. There are however two main differences. The first is that instead of representing a value by a two dimensional vertical rectangular column, a representative three dimensional cylinder is used. In addition whereas in the vertical bar chart adjacent bars touch each other, the cylinders within cylinder charts mostly have a space between them. Cylinder charts are generally shown having a base on which the cylinders sit on and the vertical axis is portrayed as a wall. Zero values also show up more clearly as ovals on the base axis.

When considering which type of chart is best suited to represent the data you wish to display, it is important to ensure that the chart chosen not only aids you in your presentation, but also aids the audience in understanding the message you are trying to convey to them. It is no good showing off your skills in chart production and presentation if you don’t get your message across to your audience or perhaps even confuse them.

The next article in this series considers the use of scatter and line graphs and when they should be used, how they are constructed and the benefits that they can provide.