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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Presenting with Visual Aids

The visual aid is an invaluable tool which should be utilised in a presentation.

Remember that over 70% of communication is non-verbal. Hence, visual aids can definately help to enhance the quality of a presentation.

What are Visual Aids?
Visual aids are materials which you can use during a presentation to help your listener understand, accept and be motivated by what you have to say.

You should use visual aids when you need to
1) Focus the audience's attention
2) Reinforce your verbal message
3) Stimulate Interest
4) Illustrate factors that are hard to visualise

You should NEVER use visual aids to
1) Impress your audience with overly detailed tables or graphs
2) Avoid interaction with your audience
3) Present simple ideas that can be more easily stated verbally

Examples of Visual Aids
Examples that can be used to enhance a presentation include:
1) Computer-based visuals such as Powerpoint
2) Overhead transparencies
3) Flipcharts
4) Whiteboards
5) Props
6) Video
7) Photographs

Some questions to ask yourself when you make a presentation are
1) Are your visual aids appropriate for the speech and message that you are trying to convey?
2) Do the visual aids help you to carry your point across?
3) Are my visual aids simple, clear and concise?

Some addition presentation tips from my own experience are
1) Be careful not to block your visual aids when you make your presentation.
2) Do arrive earlier beore hand to check the working condition of the electronic equipment such as computers, projectors and microphones.
3) Visual aids are good, but you can make a good presentation great by integrating effective body gestures in your presentation.
4) Use more layman terms to elaborate your points. When you are presenting, there is a tendency to use jargan within your speech.
5) Do add a personal touch to your speech. You can do this by providing examples that the audience can relate to.

Here are some addition resources and tips for a better presentation
The 3 Simplest Steps to a Better Vocal Presentation
10 Attention Grabbers for Better Public Speaking
Public Speaking Via An Audience Centered Approach
Presentation Tips

Monday, October 4, 2010

How a Complement can turn into an Insult - Communication Process

Interpersonal communication is indeed a tricky thing to manage. Messages are frequently distorted though the communication process, such that even an intended complement might even turn into an unintentional insult.

Case in point. I was talking with a good friend the other day. She pointed out something that i thought was very interesting. She actually felt offended when somebody complemented how hardworking she was.

How could this be, you might wonder? The adjective "hardworking" certainly must be complementary, one must imagine. The free online dictionary defines the word hardworking as "habitually working diligently and for long hours." Certainly this must be a complement, especially considering the Asian culture where we both come from, where the trait of being a hard worker is encouraged and celebrated.

In her opinion, she linked the word "hardworking" with requiring long hours of work and effort in order to get things done. This is opposed to someone who can achieve the same result with little effort.

This is an example as to how the message gets distored as it moves from the receiver to the sender. There is a process of coding and decoding of the message which distorts the message from its original meaning. As mentioned in the post "Understanding the Communication Process", this could be due to cultural factors as my friend has lived many years of her life in an European environment which is different from an Asian environment.

And that is how complementing someone as being hardworking can actually turn into an insult. And i'm not even referring to complements that sound like insults either or "complisults", an urban slang meaning a half-compliment and half-insult.

The point to take away from this message is that unintentional miscommunication frequently occurs in our daily lives. This can happen anywhere, from our home to our workplace. This is a result of many different distorting factors as information flows through the channel of communication.

There is a need to put in the extra effort to ensure that your message is properly received and interpreted by the other person. Continue to be mindful of other person's feelings and continue to develop your interpersonal communication skills.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Love and Respect

`Love and respect are abstract, intangible aspects in interpersonal relationships. Everybody wants it, few people get it. It cannot be bought and can only be earned. However, it is something that each and everyone of us craves.

This post talks about the various aspects of respect and how it can strengthen your relationships.

Respect and Friendships

I have noticed in my daily life that love, friendships and respect are aspects that are strongly interlinked. We tend to become good friends if there is something about he or she that i greatly respect or admire. The converse is also true.

Just think about it. Think about your best friend whom you love and treasure very much. There must be something about he or she that you really respect or admire.

This could be their way with people, their intelligence, their analytical ability or maybe even about the way he or she looks. The fact that you respect your best friends shows that love and respect are often connected.

Respect has implications beyond friendships, and extend to relationships in all walks of life such as in marriages, workplace or even in the sporting arena.

Respect and Marriage

Respect is an important component in a successful marriage. One of the most important ingredients for a successful marriage is mutual respect.

Do show appreciation to your significant other for all the little things that he or she does for you. By paying attention to your spouse, you are demonstrating your respect, and your love for them.

Respect and in the Workplace

Respect is also especially important in the workplace.
Disrespect for others in the workplace creates an atmosphere of negativity, which leads to suspicion, hostility, harassment, bullying, malpractices and frustration.

Respect in Sports

A quick Google search of "lack of respect in sports" brings many examples where a lack of respect has led to unpleasent situations such as requests to be traded to another team etc...

In addition, a lack of respect in combat sports is a serious problem when it happens as this may lead to unnecessary brutally when the match is over.

The main objective of this post is to emphasize the fact that love and respect are often interlinked, and this often leads to strong relationships and friendships. This has been demonstrated using examples from friendships, marriages, the workplance as well as in the sporting arena.

Thus, you should always show respect to others, because this will lead to mutual respect. Respect is earned and never given. It does not instant, but earned over a long period of time.

If you are interested, here are some nice Love Quotes and Quotes about Respect.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Three Little Words in Relationships

Three Little Words in Relationships

There are many things that we can do to lift up and strengthen our interpersonal relationships. One of the most effective techniques involves the use of saying three special words.

1. "I'll Be There"

If you ever had to call a friend in the middle of the night when your car has broken down some miles from home, you will know how good it feels to hear the phrase "I'll be there." Being there for another person is one of the greatest gifts that we can give to another.

When we are truly present for other people, important things happen to them as well as to ourselves . We are renewed in love, as well as in friendship. We are restored emotionally and spiritually. Being there is at the very core of civility.

2. "I Miss You"

Perhaps more marriages could have been saved and strengthen if couples simply and sincerely say these three words to each other. "I miss you."

These three words act as a powerful affirmation that lets partners know that they are wanted, treasured and loved.

3. “I Respect You”

Respect is another way of showing love. Respect conveys the feeling that another person is a true equal. For example, if you were to talk to your children as if they were adults, you will probably strengthen the bonds and become close friends. This applies to all interpersonal relationships. Do make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.

4. “Maybe You’re Right”

This phrase is highly effective in diffusing an argument and restoring frayed emotions. The flip side to "maybe your right" is the humility of admitting, "Maybe I'm wrong".

Let's face it. When you have a heated argument with someone, all you do is cement the other person's point of view. They, or you, will not change their stance and you run the risk of seriously damaging the relationship between you.

Saying "maybe you're right" can open the door to further explore the subject, in which you may then have the opportunity to get your view across in a more rational manner.

5. “Please Forgive Me.”

Many broken relationships could be restored and healed if people would admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. All of us are vulnerable to faults, foibles and failures.

A man should never be ashamed to own up that he has been in the wrong, which is saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.

6. "I Thank You"

Gratitude is an exquisite form of courtesy. People who enjoy the companionship of good, close friends are those who don't take daily courtesies for granted. They are quick to thank their friends for their many expressions of kindness.

On the other hand, people whose circle of friends is severely constricted often do not
have the attitude of gratitude.

7. "Count On Me"

A true friend is one who walks in when others walk out. Loyalty is an essential ingredient in the recipe for a good friendship. It is the emotional glue that bonds most people.

Those that are rich in their relationships tend to be true and steady friends.

When troubles arise, a true friend is one that says "count on me"

8. "Let Me Help"

Best friends see a need and try to fill it. When they spot
a hurt they do what they can to try to heal it. Without being asked, they pitch in to help.

9. "I Understand You"

People become closer and enjoy each other more if they feel the other person accepts and understands them.

Letting your spouse know in so many different ways that you understand them is one of the most powerful tools for healing your relationship. This applies for any relationship.

10. "I Love You"

Perhaps the most important three words you can say. Telling someone that you truly love them satisfies a person's deepest emotional needs. The need to belong, to be appreciated and to be wanted.

Your family, your friends and yourself all need to hear these three words. "I Love You"

When spoken or conveyed, these statements have the power to forge new relationships, deepen old ones, and restore relationships that have mellowed.

These three word phases can be used to enrich any relationship. Use them and enjoy better relationships in your life today!