Powerful Product Presentations, Your Most Potent Tools, Part 3 of 3

In the marketplace, value is built, profit is protected and sales are closed by salespeople who possess superior presentation skills. There are tools that can separate you from the crowd if you take the time to master them. If you don’t, you will find yourself leaving prospects under served and sales opportunities lost. Here is one of those tools.

In this, the third in the series, I want to draw your attention to an area of the presentation that the majority of salespeople overlook on a regular basis. It’s the area of emotions or feelings. It has often been said that customers make buying decisions emotionally but justify those decisions rationally. As a sales manager, I saw that statement proven true every day.

That then begs this question. “Why do so many salespeople neglect involving the customer’s emotions when presenting a product or service?” Often salespeople will “show and tell”. The ‘show’ what a product will do and then they will ‘tell’ what the benefits are. Rarely will they talk about what the customer will ‘feel’ as they experience these benefits.

In many ways this is becoming a lost art. Today, we are shown everything in multi-media sensory overload. Need proof? Watch a 30 second television commercial to see what I mean. Many of those commercials will flash 30 plus different images at you trying to make their point. Modern film does much the same thing. They leave nothing to the imagination.

A good book or an old classic radio program plays not to your eyes, but rather, to your imagination to create a ‘mental movie’. The great part of a mental movie is that we, as individuals do our own editing.

So the next time you are presenting your product or service, encourage your prospect to create their own mental movie with a comment like these. “Just image how you will feel after you entertain your friends in your new hot tub.” or “Just image how good you will look in this new suit. You will be the envy of all your coworkers.”

You get the idea. Simply make the suggestion and your prospect will script the movie. Involve feelings in every possible selling opportunity and watch your closing ratios soar.

This is the third in a series of three articles on presentation tools, please check out the other two if you haven’t seen them and then I invite you to visit us to discover how to add to your selling skills toolbox to close more sales and earn more money. Because getting paid is good!

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The Past, Present and Future of Coaching

There are innovative coaching techniques based on new insights into the nature of human conditioning that are extraordinary in helping to understand what keeps people stuck and more importantly, how to help them get unstuck. Human conditioning includes far more than limiting beliefs. It involves powerful feeling-level interpretations about ourselves and life. These feeling level decisions occur when we are very young, well before we can put words to them. The Core Dynamics model and its insights about human conditioning are important to coaching because it is these feeling-level decisions that cause us to live inside of limitations without even being aware it. These feeling-level decisions are at the basis of the inner conflicts that keep us stuck.

As an example, most people don’t consistently trust and act on their intuition. Why? When we are young, we often have experiences of doing something that comes from an inner, intuitive, creative impulse. If, as a child, we draw a picture all over our bedroom wall, we may get punished for it. These kinds of experiences occur before we have adequate language to describe our inner response to the punishment. If we did have the words for it, it might go something like: “The intensity of the overwhelming emotional pain of being punished is so incredibly unpleasant that I am going to avoid acting on those inner impulses so that I don’t have this awful emotional overwhelm experience ever again.” How many of these experiences does it take before we make an inner feeling-level decision to stop acting on our intuition? This becomes the foundation of not being true to ourselves for fear of how others might react. This forms the basis of the fear of confrontation that so often holds people back from doing what they really want to do. Our life becomes limited to operating inside of early feeling-level decisions such as this.

The Core Dynamic of Ignoring Your Intuition is just one of the 12 Core Dynamics that are in this model. The Core Dynamics system also provides five very powerful experiential techniques that are easy to learn and to teach your clients. These techniques actually resolve the underlying patterns of energy and information that hold our conditioned reactions in place. So the model and the techniques together provide both intellectual understanding of how our conditioning limits us as well as practical ways out of the conditioning’s insidious grip.

Conditioning is not just a human phenomenon either. Dr. Deepak Chopra relates a story about an experiment in which fish were placed on one side of a fish tank that had a glass divider in the middle. After a time, the divider was removed and the fish, conditioned to only being able to swim within the one side of the tank, continued to only swim in that side of the tank for a long time. To what extent are we like these fish, swimming inside of limitations without even recognizing it?

Now that you understand the insidious nature of human conditioning, we can explore, from a Core Dynamics perspective, the past, present and future of coaching.

The past:

In the past, coaching has provided excellent support for people in clarifying their direction and helping them achieve their goals and have a better life. The extent to which the profession of coaching has provided people with this kind of support has been a wonderful development in those parts of the world where coaching is being adopted. Coaching is still new to most people and its value is only beginning to be appreciated by the general public. Many coaches acknowledge that although they often help people, they sometimes feel that something is missing. They’d like to be even more effective. If we examine the coaching of the past from a Core Dynamics perspective, we can begin to see how the client and the coach have, in many cases, been both operating from inside of their conditioning.

Let’s take the example of setting goals. It is often the case that behind goal setting is a powerful and insidious Core Dynamic called, Looking for Yourself Where You Are Not. This Core Dynamic is based on a new appreciation of the combination of dependence on our parents as an infant while also being highly identified with them. When a need goes unmet because one of our parents isn’t there at the time, we tend to make a “feeling-level decision” that some part of ourselves that meets our needs is missing. This type of experience and interpretation seems to just be part of being human. The consequence is a deep inner longing to find that which will make us feel whole.

How does this relate to goal setting and coaching? If the Core Dynamic of Looking for Yourself Where You Are Not is active within you, you are likely to set goals with an expectation that you will feel a sense of fulfillment when the goal is reached. It will finally give you the feeling of being complete! The problem is that you are not incomplete in the first place. But it doesn’t feel like you’re complete because of the presence of this Core Dynamic. If and when you achieve the goal, whether it be for the ideal romantic partner, the six figure income or the new house over looking the ocean, the feeling of fulfillment is usually fleeting. It just doesn’t bring about the fulfillment that you thought it would. As a coach, you probably instinctively sense that helping your client set and achieve their goals isn’t really helping them obtain the fulfillment that they have been seeking.

Coaching of the past, however effective it may have been, has lacked the understanding of the insidious limitations caused by human conditioning and what to do about it. Coaches have also been operating inside of the same conditioning. It’s like one of the fish in the fish tank being the coach for one of the other fish while both still think the glass divider is still there. This limitation in the understanding of the nature of human life has had a profound limiting influence on the effectiveness of coaching in the past.

How about the present state of coaching?

The present state of coaching is a mixture of the past and the future. There’s nothing wrong with the old coaching model as it is helpful and many coaches will find that this is sufficient. I was privileged to be the late Thomas Leonard’s personal coach for the last few months of his life. He mentioned to me that he often observed that most coaches made an average of 20 coaching mistakes per coaching call. He realized that it is really great people that make great coaches. His attention was turning to having personal development for the coach become the most important part of coach training. He realized that in order to be a great person, it didn’t matter as much what you know as the extent to which you have “absensed” the things that you are not.

Thomas deeply appreciated my insights into the nature of human conditioning and how I have applied this knowledge to my own life. This is why he asked me to be his coach. He wanted to “absence” everything that he could from his life that really wasn’t truly who he was. He felt that there was nothing more important for coaches to learn for developing their own greatness as people and therefore having a place of greatness from which to coach others.

So the present state of coaching is a mixture of 1) people coaching from inside of the Core Dynamics and living in a similar state of frustration and lack of fulfillment as their clients (sort of the blind leading the blind) and 2) people learning new models for coaching such as the Core Dynamics model and applying these new models to their own lives and the lives of their clients. As they do, they are getting breakthroughs in one session that they simply couldn’t get before.

The Core Dynamics system provides new techniques that allow people to experience their own essential nature as whole and complete. These are experiential exercises that anyone can learn and practice. They are designed to re-establish the sense of being whole. By the way, this is not psychotherapy. It is simply education in how to reconnect with the essential nature of who and what you really are and to use your under utilized capabilities. In addition, the exercises help the client (and the coach) free themselves from old patterns so that they have nothing holding them back from living and enjoying the fullest possible expression of who they really are.

What about the future of coaching?

It’s likely to look quite different from what it is today. We are living in a time in which there is a global paradigm shift taking place from a world view based on classical physics to a world view based on quantum mechanics. The difference between the old coaching and the future coaching may well be as different as sending a typed letter via snail mail is from sending an email.

In the future coaches might be called something different, like Human Software Engineers. These Human Software Engineers of the future might use techniques and technologies to rapidly pin-point what is really keeping their client stuck. They may be able to help their clients eliminate the energy of their conditioning in a way that is similar to canceling out environmental noise with a electronic noise canceling headset. Using such technologies, they may be able to wipe out the barriers to people living and enjoying their lives to the fullest in a matter of minutes. This could produce results for clients that are so extraordinary that people’s lives will be transformed quickly, powerfully and effortlessly. Delivering results of this speed and magnitude will naturally create highly successful businesses for Human Software Engineers. Human Software Engineering may become one of the most valued professions in the world.

As mentioned earlier, the present is a mixture of the past and future. In actuality the future of coaching that I have described above is already here. This powerful futuristic method is called WaveMaker(TM) Coaching. Here’s what a coach who has taken both the Core Dynamics and Human Software Engineering/WaveMaker Coach training has to say about it:

“After attending the 12 Core Dynamics of Common Problems and Human Software Engineering training in Phoenix, I threw away every other coaching strategy and tool I’ve ever learned because I don’t need them anymore. The diagram of the 12 Core Dynamics and my WaveMaker are all I need to help anyone become quickly and dramatically free of the limitations that have been holding them back in life.

I’ve also completely revamped my full-time corporate and personal coaching practice – replacing phone coaching with face-to-face WaveMaker coaching – because I’m not willing to take more time and effort to achieve results that I know the WaveMaker can deliver. People are coming from all over for appointments and are reporting changes of mind-blowing proportions. There is no way to overstate the importance of the Core Dynamics and Human Software Engineering training and the WaveMaker technology for coaching. If you are a coach, you will want to learn this.”

Writing Your Presentation – Winning Over Your Audience!

Being invited to make a presentation to a group of people means that you are considered an expert on the subject at hand; a subject that the group you are speaking to has an interest in.

It is important you speak to the person who offered the invitation before you begin to write your speech. Find out about the individuals you will be speaking to, who do they represent? What part do they play in their respective organizations? These tips will let you know in what context you should write your presentation; what type of power point presentation will be more applicable? What jargon to use? How to avoid speaking down to them or over their heads?

It is best if you research the history of your topic and not introduce your topic as if it was the first thing that occurred, realize that every thing comes to be because of organic growth. I would not discuss Web 2.0 social networks without touching on the telephone, e-mail, Napster, the media, and technology. Because it would be odd to start talking about Web 2.0 right away with out an easy build up. Write your presentation with the above thoughts in mind.

Try to establish a beginning and an end and pay attention that your audience wants to be energised, they want to feel part of your speech, they want to learn and understand things that will add to their already sophisticated knowledge.

Talk to your audience as if you were speaking to your friends, don’t shout, breathe and remember that they do not know what you know, you are the expert, this should keep you from becoming nervous.

Take time when you are writing and make an effort to communicate with the audience in a way that it is in context, politically, and with taste. Know how long you are expected to speak and time your speech to fit into the time allotted to you.

Doing The Right Things The Wrong Way – A Better Way To Present Your Work

In the past I was the Energizer Bunny when it came to booking and giving lectures. I kept going and going and going: I mailed my press kit everywhere, I spoke at any location that would have me, and partnered with equally enthusiastic individuals that were just as desperate for business. I thought I was giving quality presentations, yet I was seeing minimal results from my events.

I didn’t understand why this was happening. After all, I was giving great talks and providing excellent information, right? Why wasn’t I attracting clients as nicely as I imagined? My dream of making a living as a health counselor was slipping away with each fruitless presentation.

Intellectually, I knew that my workshops were supposed to result in new paying clients, yet something was missing. Didn’t people want information? Diet books are hot sellers! Isn’t this what they want?

Actually, I was doing the right things, but I was executing them in the wrong way.

The type of workshops I was giving were only perpetuating the American habit of collecting health information and doing nothing with it. Like reading a good book, participants went home, were pulled back into their daily obligations and forgot about me and my tips. To my surprise, my sharing of really good tips was ineffective in causing health changes.

I realized I needed to change.

The most important thing I finally got was deeply understanding, or “knowing in my body,” that the only way my participants would ever get healthy, was if they took action about their health concerns. And a good first step was to sign up for my free consultation I offered at the end of my talk. I got really clear that at the very least this initial session would cause some change, even if they didn’t sign up. This had me show up for my talks in a much more daring, unique and effective way.

Here is an example of my old way of presenting my workshops:

o I gave talks anywhere they would have me.

o I often tried to fill my own talks.

o My host sites didn’t have their marketing together so I did a lot of work to get people there.

o I gave lots and lots of information. So much so that my participants would leave feeling overwhelmed and unaware that they would need me to help put this stuff into action. I essentially assaulted them with information in an effort to prove I knew what I was talking about.

My improved way of presenting my workshops.

First, my talk locations must meet my preferred criteria:

o They get the participants to attend. I just show up.

o They have an effective marketing system and simply plug my event into their schedule and guarantee a set amount of participants.

o The host site is in abundance and is already successful.

o The host site attracts my type of clientele.

o I really like the place and it’s somewhere I would enjoy spending time. (Which usually means my ideal clients hang out there too)

o They have an online presence. So they can put me on their website and vice versa.

Second, I show up with a few tips and spend the rest of the time demonstrating what I do:

o I treat workshop participants as if they were already paying clients: coaching them rather than talking to them.

o I share a few insightful tips through my on-the-spot demonstrations.

o I leave ample time to pass around my schedule and encourage participants to sign up for a complimentary sample session.

These basic upgrades now have me booking and presenting talks the right way. Meaning, I’m working smarter and attracting clients.

Public Speaking – Do You Make These Common Presentation Errors?

As English as a foreign language teachers or other types of business professionals, we will need to give a presentation before a live audience on occasion. Just how often likely depends on your field of expertise and how well you handle public speaking. If you want or need to generate a continuous series of new leads for your business or service, public speaking can be a real boon. During the course of your presentations though, do you make any of these common, but easily-correctable presentation errors?

1. Poor presentation slide layout

Give me a dollar for every time I’ve sat through a presentation written in unreadable yellow letters and I’d likely be writing this from my yacht off the coast of the French Riviera. White letters on a dark background can backfire on you too. Don’t try to cram too much onto a screen slide. Those tiny little letters simply are not legible to your audience besides looking awful.

2. Saying large numbers incorrectly

Again, if you’re providing statistical data, practice beforehand and make sure you can properly pronounce numbers, especially large numbers dealing with populations and economics.

3. Having Out-of-Control Body Language

Unless you’re a mime, going through an exorbitant routine of twists, fumbles and contortions is not going to help enamor your audience. A self-assured pose, facing forward and on occasion, to the side, with arms and hands under control at all times, is best. You can walk or stroll across the stage or platform, but don’t pace back and forth like a caged animal.

Practice A Bit Beforehand

You should always practice a bit beforehand in front of an audience of family, co-workers or friends. Try to become aware of your body language during a public speaking engagement. Correct these erroneous traits, one by one and your confidence as well as your public speaking skills will continue to grow.

The Sublimely Simple Secret to Creating Powerful Presentations Your Audience Will Love

It’s 10am in the Moscow household and Mrs M is stressed.

Tomorrow is Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and we have around 30 family members descending on us.

Like so many religious festivals, at its heart lies a feast and so coming up with a winning menu comes with a certain amount of pressure.

Mum is in charge of the meal and she’s having a hard time working out what to make.

Making an incredible meal is not the problem. My Mum is a brilliant cook and New Year is always a multi-course gastronomic epic, full of wonderful starters, soups, fish and meat dishes and an array of mouth-watering deserts.

Time is the issue.

Usually she’d have weeks to prepare and plenty of time leading up to the day to get everything in order. This year, however, she’s been super busy at work, which means that everything has been left to the last minute.

Enter her son stage left… me. I’d been thinking about what I’d really like for lunch. While I’m a lover of what you might call fine cuisine, I also like my earnest, hearty food… a lot.

So I suggest that we cut down the number of courses and find a main dish that’s easy to make but something we know everyone will like.

We agree on fried fish from the local fish and chip shop and that we’ll dress it up with an assortment of salads.

Mum is a little dubious at first. She’s not sure if it’s going to be good enough. She’s worried about what people will think. She’s convinced they’ll expect something more adventurous.

However, time is of the essence and her options are few. So with a promise that we’ll all muck in to make it a wonderful meal, she agrees.

Best meal ever

The meal was a resounding success. In fact, it was possibly one of the most successful New Year’s lunches we’ve ever had.

It’s not that the food isn’t always great. It’s just that it’s not always to everyone’s tastes. Every year there are those who abstain from certain courses and those that only eat a small amount.

This time, everyone dug in because we gave them something they all loved to eat.

By the end of the meal the whole family was sitting around the table clutching their bellies.

Are your assumptions sabotaging the impact of your presentations?

Like my mum, it’s not unusual for us to feel we have to impress in order to win our audience over.

I’ve found it’s the fear of what people will think, if we don’t come up with something awesome that sabotages the power and impact of many presentations.

It’s also the reason why so many people steer clear of presenting altogether, even when they know it can be a very powerful way of attracting prospects.

The problem is our definition of awesome is usually very different from our audience’s. So instead of giving them what they really want, you can spend too much time trying to come up with something original or clever.

You may also pack your presentations full of content because you believe that the more you give away, the more your currency increases with your audience.

However, as the eighteenth-century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau warned, ‘this universal desire for reputation, in which we judge ourselves through other people’s eyes, is fraught with dangers.’

Here’s why it might be harming your presentations:

  • When you try to offer original, you often fail because in reality there’s very little that’s truly unique in the world. The result, you end up stressing and giving yourself a hard time because you can’t come up with something you feel is worthy. Some might even give up on the presentation altogether.
  • The problem with devilishly clever is that in many circumstances it leads to content that is over-complicated and beyond the needs and understanding of your audience. Rather than impressing them, you leave them confused or worse feeling stupid.
  • Stuffing your presentation full of content is a problem because there’s only so much your audience can consume. Give them too much and they feel overwhelmed and retain nothing at all.

Don’t serve a gourmet meal: deliver something simple but tasty

More often than not, your audience is attending your presentation because they have a problem they want help to overcome.

They are not looking for devilishly clever or unique. They want straight-forward, easily digestible advice they can take back to their office and use immediately to generate results.

So give them what they want.

Your originality will come from the unique way you address their problem and in the process you outline for overcoming it. After all it’s your process and therefore distinctive to you. And like the salads we used to dress up the meal, your uniqueness will also come from your unique way of presenting the information.

Your devilishly clever will come from your ability to help your audience realise where they are going wrong, your skill at finding solutions that exactly meet their needs and the results you help them achieve.

Keep things simple and obvious. Some of the best presentations I’ve ever been to are the ones where I think to myself that is so simple and so obvious, why haven’t I thought of it before?

So what’s the sublimely simple secret to content creation?

As my old sales trainer used to say, when you assume you know what other people want you make an ass out of u and me… see what he did there???

If you want to know what content to present to your audience that will create the credibility and trust you need to attract them to your business… ASK THEM.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so.

Here are 5 you can try:

  1. Talk to clients who reflect your audience and find out what they are struggling with
  2. Use social media platforms to find out where your audience hangs out and listen to the problems they’re sharing
  3. Speak to the organiser and get them to email the attendees of your talk with a questionnaire that helps identifies the areas they want covered
  4. Talk to attendees before you take to the stage
  5. Once you’re on stage before you start your presentation, ask your audience why they’ve come and what they hope to gain. Flip chart their responses and make sure you cover each one

Remember your talk should be flexible enough that you can tailor it to the specific needs of your audience at will.

How to Have a Positive Impact: Practical Presentation Approaches

Think back and consider what it took for you to feel comfortable with a new situation, change, or a new process. It helped to trust the person who led the initiative, and this trust arose because we all admire people who come across as knowledgable, relaxed, entertaining, and warm. For you to create a positive impression, you want to make sure that you generate these core impressions with your audience. These attributes are fundamental regardless of the message, and without them, you will experience greater difficulties in getting people to relate to you and your messages.

The techniques listed below will help you develop better presentations, and for practice, use them in informal settings with people familiar to you. The more you practice the more comfortable you will become in front of larger audiences in unfamiliar situations.

Directly link your main topic to who you are. Although people may know something about you, say a little more. In one or two sentences explain how your background matters–to frame the topic for people to easily digest.

Connect. No matter how big the crowd, help everyone in the audience feel like you are speaking with him or her personally. Try to make eye contact with a number of individual audience members, looking many of them in the eyes.

Help people contact you. Start with your email on the opening slide, and keep it there for a while.

Give them something to take home by saying, “You can use this easily tomorrow by doing the following… ” Inspiration is helpful, but you want to have something tangible to offer for people immediately.

It’s good to repeat. To explain a principle, first explain it then give two examples. At the end of your talk, go over the principle and briefly highlight how its use.

Share a story. We all relate to stories. When you want to explain something, translate it into a story. If the story is something that happened to you, great, and if the story is funny, even greater.

Entertain. People are spending time listening to you away from something else, and they will listen more closely when they enjoy themselves. It’s okay to begin with something tangential to the topic as long as it’s entertaining.

Don’t talk too long. You are borrowing your audience’s time. Your goal is not to use every available minute. It’s much better to end early rather than late.

Should You Eat Before Giving a Presentation?

The question of whether you should eat before speaking is very individual. Some people want to eat – others don’t. By the way, you are not alone in this dilemma. Most professional athletes, stage actors, and musicians do not eat a large meal before performing.

There have certainly been times in the past when I’ve been teaching a private session on an empty stomach and my stomach started to growl. In a situation like this, it is a good idea to have some type of snack food available like a granola bar or some fruit that you can nibble on; however, when it comes to the speech or presentation, chomping on an apple is not in the picture.

The real question is the big presentation in front of the microphone or standing at the head of the boardroom table. Good microphones today can pick up a lot of sound, especially in close range. On the other hand, if you are at the head of the boardroom table, those sitting to your immediate left and right will hear every sound your body makes.

You should definitely have something in your stomach so that it doesn’t growl during your performance; however, the last thing you want is too much in there. Feeling full is not good when your nervousness is at its height. If you feel like you could unbutton the top button of your trousers, pants or skirt or need to unloosen your belt, you definitely overdid it.

Remember, too much food in the stomach can produce undesired audio results as well as too little!

Eating a few hours before you speak is ideal. But what happens when you are the after-dinner speaker and they have the place of honor for you in the center of the dais?

Eat lightly.
Forego dessert.
And
Do Not Drink Alcohol.

While you may think that you can handle a drink before speaking or that it may help to relax you, I beg to differ. When you drink, you lose your edge. The last thing you want in public speaking is feeling too relaxed. You need to be sharp, clear, crystallized. Alcohol allows for none of that. It dulls the senses. So stay away from liquor. Instead, drink water, coffee, tea or juice. Avoid milk products as well because they create extra phlegm. Excessive clearing of the throat while speaking is annoying and hard on your vocal folds (cords) as well.

The best advice I can give is to use common sense in your choice of foods; have something in your stomach so that you are not starving; and save your dessert for afterwards.

Christmas Presents For Men

Trying to find just the right gift can be a challenge when you aren’t shopping for yourself. One group that often stumps women is how to shop for the men in their life whether it be a boyfriend, husband, brother or even dad. This is perfectly understandable as we all know that men and women are different making it sometimes difficult to know what the other gender likes. So to help give you some ideas on what may be just the right gift for the men in your life, we have picked out several good ideas that may be just the right gift idea you are looking for.

Kindle

First up is the Kindle. The Kindle is a wireless reading device that can upload hundreds of books, magazines, and newspapers. This one works great for those who like to read and is perfect for those who travel. This lightweight device is much more practical and comfortable to take with you rather than carrying around a stack of books. In addition, it has a service in it that allows you to get books immediately uploaded to the device regardless of the location. This service is a nice little feature than can help people save extra time.

Rubik’s Touchcube

The Rubik’s Touchcube is another choice will be popular with people of ages. Just about everyone is familiar with the original version, so there will already be a healthy amount of curiosity concerning this one. They will be impressed to see it has been upgraded with a touch screen that allows you to make moves simply by swiping your finger across it. This one also has some other features the original doesn’t like sound effects, an option to show you the next move you should make, and even an option that will complete the Rubik’s touchcube for you. Not to mention, this one also looks really cool even while charging. We bet this one will be a popular choice this fall.

Tickets to Sporting Events

As most women may already know, many guys are addicted to sports. This is one reason why getting tickets to sporting events can make a great gift idea. Since the gift giving will be done around Christmas, popular choices could include College Football bowl tickets, Pro Bowl tickets, NBA floor seat tickets, Hockey Tickets, etc. Ideally, you should pick the sport that he most enjoys. Even if it is a little out of season like for soccer or baseball, you still should get the tickets he would enjoy watching and seeing the game. His enjoyment of the tickets may be delayed slightly, but he will certainly appreciate the gesture and be looking forward to that date.

Tools and Hobbies

Some stereotypes are there for a reason. One is that a lot of guys really enjoy certain hobbies and tools. This is very true especially for the older generation. A great new drill or tool set can be a perfect gift for dad or those who are handy. In addition, giving them gifts in their hobby can also be great because it shows that you are aware of what they like. Therefore, if they are into biking, a new bicycle or other equipment can work great. The key is to find something that they will like and try to avoid getting too micro in the buying decision to ensure they are more likely use it and enjoy it. One easy way of finding out what they like is to ask them about their current equipment and what they would like to have and why. This is a fairly innocuous way for finding out what are on their wish list. 

Using these choices above, you would have a solid group of Christmas presents for men. However, don’t’ think for a minute that these are the only good ones.

How to Create a Default Presentation

Normally when you start PowerPoint, you can choose between creating a new blank presentation or a presentation based on one of the included templates. But suppose the default blank presentation is simply too boring for words (suppose? SUPPOSE? It IS too boring for words!). And further suppose that you want to base all new presentations on a template of your own design automatically. You can. Magic? No, just a matter of knowing a simple little trick: PowerPoint’s “blank” presentation is actually a template file; if you create a replacement for it–one that uses your own custom formatting–it will use your template in place of the default blank presentation.

Here’s how: Start PowerPoint and open a new presentation. It’ll save some work if you base it on an existing template that’s fairly close to what you want to end up with for your custom template. Set the defaults you want to include with each new presentation. You can set defaults for Slide Size and Orientation (File, Page Setup); color scheme; colors for fill, line, shadow, and text; text styles; the formatting for Title and Text placeholders on the Slide Master; and so on. And of course, you can include any background graphics you want on the Slide and Title Masters.

Once you’ve got everything just the way you want it, choose File, Save As. Select Design Template (*.pot) in the Save As Type list box. Name the presentation

Blank Presentation.pot

and click Save. PowerPoint will automatically choose the correct folder for this file, so let it; if you change the folder, it may not be able to locate and use it later.

Now close the file and choose File, New. One of the available templates in the General tab of the New Presentation dialog box will be Blank Presentation.pot. That’s YOUR new Blank Presentation.pot. Choose it and enjoy your new default template.