Some Useful 21st Birthday Presents For Your Friend

Among various birthday celebrations, every individual will want to welcome his twenty-first birthday with a big bang. This is because it is the day when an individual becomes an adult in the true sense. Not only do they get to drive and vote, but also become responsible adults. Thus, if your friend is turning twenty-one, here are some 21st birthday presents which will make his day extra special. But, when choosing a gift for him, remember to select the one based on his taste and preference.

One of the most popular 21st birthday presents are gifting them personalised items. These are very sought-out by gift givers because it allows them to inscribe some personal message on the gift. If your friend loves jewelry, you can gift her personalised ones. Some of the items which you can give her are bracelets, pendents, etc. When the recipient will open your gift, she will be thrilled with your choice. Apart from these 21st birthday presents, you can also give her a locket with the number ’21′ engraved on it. This gift will be cherished by her for many days to come.

Clothes are also great options if you are searching for 21st birthday presents. If your friend is pursuing higher studies, you can give her casual clothes which will be very useful for her when she is attending her classes. Along with it, gift her a designer handbag. When she opens your gift, she will appreciate it without a doubt.

But, if your friend is getting employed soon, casual clothes will not be very useful for her. As 21st birthday presents, gift her a whole set of formal attire from a blouse to skirt to trouser to jackets. Your thoughtfulness for her will certainly please her. Besides these items, if you know a couple whose anniversary is just around the corner, it is high time that you start searching for a perfect gift for them. If you want to be a little different from the rest of gift givers, you can choose from the collection of unique wedding gifts available. There are various types of such items which you can give the couple.

The most popular unique wedding gifts are giving them items which are humorous. But, when you gift such items to the couple, make sure that they have a sense of humor. This is a very important point to note because you would like to make them laugh on their special day not make them angry. Some of the unique wedding gifts are naming any animal or a flower, etc. If the couple has a really good sense of humor, you will make their day with these gifts.

Besides these, other unique wedding gifts which you can give them are ‘experience’ gifts. If the couple has a great interest in out -door sports, this gift will certainly make them excited. Most of the common activities included in these items are bungee jumping, para gliding and other such activities. You can also gift them vacation tickets to their favorite destination. These unique wedding gifts will surely be appreciated by the special couple.

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Effective Portfolio Presentation – Tips And Tricks To Help You Land The Assignment You Want!

One of the first lessons you are taught in business school is effective presentation skills. Those lessons apply equally well to a portfolio presentation as they do to the boardroom. These suggestions on how to show your portfolio, whether with slides or prints in person or by way of digital images on-line, where drawn from a very expensive education so listen up!

1) First Impressions. Put your best image first. People make snap judgments. They are likely to form their view of you based on the first thing they see. (This goes for your dress and demeanor too if you are making an in person presentation.) Once that first impression is formed, there is often no changing it. It is imperative, therefore, that you put your best image first!

I have often seen an editor act favorably on a mediocre portfolio because they were enchanted by the first image. The opposite is also true, I have seen editors reject strong portfolios because the first image was weak.

2) The Body. No mistakes! People are prone to fault judge. They look for the bad, for reasons to reject. Rejection is less work. Editors like to think that they are very busy people, that they are overworked with lots of deadlines. They look at huge numbers of portfolios from all manner of people. If they can find a mistake they have an excuse to reduce their workload. Do not give them that excuse! At the very least every one of your images has to be technically flawless. Do not include the image with beautiful color and composition that is a little soft. Leave out that very moving moment that is just a tad underexposed. No mistakes. None. Zero.

I realize this sounds a tad cynical, so think of it from another perspective. Would you want the work that represents you to be anything less than the best it can possibly be? I suggest twenty images for a portfolio. If you cannot come up with twenty technically flawless images, perhaps you should take some time before presenting a portfolio.

3) The Finale. Close with your second best image. People remember the last thing they see. That is why it is always best close with strength. If your first impression was not enough to get the job, if the editor has to see more people, consult with someone else or is just plain wishy washy, you want to leave him or her with a highly favorable and very memorable impression.

4) A random thought. I always try to tailor, as much as it is possible, my presentation to the audience seeing it. No pictures of flowers please, when showing your work to a newspaper editor.

To conclude, you can maximize the effectiveness of your portfolio if you:

Put your best image first,

Have zero mistakes in your images, and;

Conclude with your second best image.

Good luck. If you have any questions or comments I can be reached at [email protected].

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7 Tips For Great Powerpoint Presentations

Power Point presentation skills are a must have requirement for most Sales managers in
Today’s selling environment.

While actual body language and voice tone will create the greatest impact. It can all be lost if the wrong things happen with your Power Point presentation.

Here are 7 practical tips to consider when putting together your presentation

1. Plan ahead

Who is the audience and what your outcome is. The local scouts compared to a key group of buyers need different presentations.

2. To many Words

As the saying goes to many cooks spoil the broth. Well to many words on a slide switches off the audience. It has no impact and often confuses people. Remember paragraphs where invented for a reason

3. Spell Check

Yes I know it is obvious. Just make sure you do it. If possible for major presentations get someone else to give it the once over as well.

4. No more than 7 bullet points

The brain cannot remember more than this in one go. Strange yet true. It’s the way our conscious mind works. Trust me its true. Bullet points are a great idea. Ideally no more than 4 or 5 per slide if you really want to have impact

5. Color Schemes

Think of the color schemes you use. Though boring white backgrounds are best.
With black writing.

6. Two many slides

I know when it’s your favourite subject you want to tell people everything. When you want to make a major point or sell something. Less is more. Studies have shown that one slide per 4-5 minutes presenting will give the best impact and memorability.

7. Flying in and Out and all that jazz

Power Point as the name suggests is powerful. You don’t have to use all the builds, animations, sounds and diagrams. Think about your audience and what works best.

These attributes should enhance from your message rather than detract. It does not mean don’t use anything. Just don’t have your audience on a knife edge waiting for the next explosion to occur on screen. It’s OK if it’s a presentation for a friend’s party. Not if it’s the presentation to your senior management team.

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Present Value of Lottery Payments

Every year thousands of lottery winners convert their future lottery payments into present money. The value of your future lottery payments will considerably depreciate over the traditional payoff schedule of 20-25 years. Often, recipients of lottery payments receive less than the amount offered by state lotteries. The calculation of present value of lottery payments is done by many personal representative guidance services.

The concept of present value is important in the field of corporate finance, banking, and insurance. Present value is the value today of an amount of money in to be received in future. Mathematically, it is equal to the sum of payments at a given a particular interest rate. It is essential to know the present value of lottery payments for selling or buying them.

There are certain court rules on how to determine the worth of future lottery payments. The value of future lottery payment is calculated under section 7520 tables. Several tax courts have emphasized the need for valuation of future lottery payments using annuity tables.

The following example will illustrate what actually a present value of lottery payment is. A state government in the U.S. advertises that one of its lottery prizes is $1 million (the face value.) But that advertised amount is not the actual value of the prize. In its place, the government offers to pay $50,000 a year for twenty years, on a discount rate of 10%. After receiving the first payment, if you did calculations for each of the other 20 years of payments, you would see that the present value of your entire 20-year stream of lottery payments is only about $468,246. Present value of lottery payments are based on the idea of compound interest in reverse.

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Presentation Power – Does Your Audience Hate To Read?

Clients, prospects, and employees. Are you hearing the same thing? They hate to read, right?

No time to read is the biggest complaint.

Have you been getting this from your clients, prospects, and internal groups? My clients sure have.

And here’s the secret: don’t fight it.

If you notice that everyone is too busy, too distracted, and too impatient to read, you have a simple choice. Go with it.

Don’t try to buck the trend. Don’t try to be a schoolmaster and force folks to read your presentation. Don’t try to fight a losing battle.

Nope. Instead of going against the tide, go with it. If participants don’t want to read, give them something more fun: Eye candy.

Make your information instantly engaging with color, photos, and simple charts. Sure, you can sneak in a couple key words. That’s also known as a title for your graphics. This is a good idea. It appeals to both sides of the brain.

But don’t go overboard. If you stuff your charts with a lot of tiny hard-to-read print, you’ve just recreated the same problem. Charts with lots of words are as hard to read as bullet-point-only slides jammed with text.

Your participants may have different reasons for why they don’t like to read. Perhaps they are busy, important, and highly visual decision makers. This is a perfect time to create a one-page visual summary. Use it instead of a written executive summary. You’re in for a pleasant treat.

My prediction is your super-busy clients will want one handout — the visual summary. They’ll grab it and wave it around, saying, “See! This is what I’ve been looking for!”

But maybe your clients don’t like to read because English is not their first language. Recently I coached a social worker facing this issue. She needed to present information to her clients so they could fill out necessary forms and complete government paperwork..

They did not read English. Many of her clients were illiterate also in their original language.

Instead of trying to go the reading route, she created visual maps showing the processes. With a series of simple drawings and diagrams she explained the concepts they needed to learn. It worked like a charm.

A little while back, I spoke to a passionate woman, who directs of a prominent leadership program in Washington, DC. Here’s what she told me: “No one likes to read. They all complain about it. I’m constantly looking for solutions.”

If you are hearing comments like this from your participants, take a different tack. Get visual. Challenge yourself to find different ways to share information. Choose from some of these options and you’ll be ready to go:

• One page cheat sheets

• Visual blueprints

• Video clips

• Hand-drawn cartoons

• Visual overview maps

• Flow charts

• Colorful timelines

To find out how to increase the impact of your presentation, you may want to dive deeper into all the options to connect with your clients and prospects – in addition to written material.

Now, I bet you have a presentation coming up. Take a look at it with fresh eyes. Where can you help your audience with visual charts and diagrams? How can you reduce the stress and tension of reading?

Grab a piece of paper right now. Jot down your ideas and get to work. When you remove the pain your audience experiences, you’ll find a simple fact: they will be more receptive to your presentation.

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Great Presentations – 5 Keys to Success

Making a big presentation can be one of the most troubling moments in a career. There’s the fear of public speaking combined with the fear of losing that deal/promotion/etc. Yet giving a presentation is actually very easy here are 5 keys to making the best of your opportunity.


It might seem trite but most of the real presentation is in the preparation. You need to know what you’re talking about and feel confident about your material. I’ve given hundreds of presentations around the globe, and the only one that stands out as terrible is the one I failed to prepare for. I had 20 minutes to write a 40 minute speech for an audience on a subject I knew nothing about, never again.

Drop the unimportant tasks and concentrate on the presentation, get your facts and figures together and know them.


I use the “three tells” approach to presentations, tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them and then tell them what you’ve told them. I focus on no more than 5 points (and ideally 3) and make sure my audience is with me all the way.

Keep it simple and straightforward, unless you’re a natural entertainer concentrate on your message and stay on point.

Cut down on the Graphics

PowerPoint may be the most overused tool in the world, try and keep your slides uncluttered and minimal. When I present my slides are a backup to keep structure, I’d be most upset if people remembered them rather than my message.

I’ve delivered whole day presentations with fewer than 10 slides, so just keep asking “what can I cut?” and then cut it.


Eventually you can drop this, when I write a presentation nowadays I can hear the way I’ll present in my head, I don’t need to do any formal practice. But when I started I’d get an empty room and deliver and deliver again until I was happy, then I’d get a practice audience and deliver to them and see if they were as happy.

If you use an audience for your practice, listen to their feedback – it might be painful to hear you missed the mark, but that’s what they’re there to tell you so you can make a success of it when it counts.

Involve Your Audience

Finally on the day, get your audience involved. Don’t talk AT people, talk WITH them. This is possible with even the largest groups, like him or loathe him Tony Robbins is a world class presenter and if he can involve an audience in the tens of thousands you can involve yours as well.

Presenting doesn’t have to be nerve wracking and uncomfortable, as you give more and more presentations you may find you come to enjoy it. But stick to the basics and you can’t go far wrong until you do.

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Turning Your Written Speech Into A Successful, Effective Presentation

It is one thing to write a speech. It is, however, a completely different thing to present that speech as a successful presentation. We have all experienced how boring it can be to sit through a presentation where someone simply reads what they have written, whether they are reading from a script or from PowerPoint slides.

It really is difficult to maximise the impact of your presentation if you read it or recite a written piece. Reciting makes it very difficult to sound sincere and it questions your confidence with your subject. It also dampens your personality. Another disadvantage is that if you have a blank you will have difficulty remembering what comes next. It also makes customizing to your audience and the specific event very difficult. So in finding that compromise between spoken and written, you will need to develop a way of remembering your material and presenting it in the best way to create an impact.

As you created the presentation, you chose the main sections and the best order for them. Remember that decision, the logic and power of it and it will be the basic framework of your memory. If there are key words or phrases that are vital you can write them on your notes or highlight them in your visuals.

If you are using notes, try to use paper or card that does not rustle. If you know the size of the podium/lectern, you can choose the size of your notes. If not, you may be able to use A4 sheets on a clipboard. Be aware that your audience may see its back. Prepare the transition of your notes – either the sheets of paper or the visuals.

One of the main reasons that reading from a script is often less than successful is that spoken language is very different from the written. Writing tends to use far longer, more convoluted sentences, which often use voices that we would not use in speech. Try reading out the sentence you just read and see how awkward it sounds when it is spoken.

As always, to connect successfully with an audience, we need to speak to them in their language – the language they expect to hear spoken.

So if you need to write your presentation first, take the time to read it out loud. Then say those same ideas as if you were telling someone face to face. You cannot miss the difference and success lies in a compromise between the two.

If you absolutely have to have a written draft, then re-write using what you said aloud. Make sure, though, that you can make eye contact.

Practice is vital. One of the reasons is that you get a chance to feel the speech. If it feels boring or awkward or out of balance when you say it to yourself, or the cat, or the mirror, then you will need to change it. If you are presenting a written speech, then write in the changes. If you practice, you can also visualise not only yourself and your presentation, but also the audience and their reaction. Visualise how they will react to each thing – each word, each idea, each presentation technique, and you will get a better feel for how to organise your material, the language to use and the presentation techniques to use.

You will also develop the performance energy that you will use at the actual presentation. Energy is vital to presentation success. So you will need to create your material to support your energy, and how you want the speech to feel. If necessary, annotate your notes to give you reminders about the energy, the tricks and performance techniques you will use.

Each time you put these techniques into action, you will hone your compromise – find better ways to make it work. And when you have the best compromise – for you – between reading or reciting a written speech and presenting “off the cuff”, you will have a very effective presentation.

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Get More Business With Attention-Getting Presentation Folders

What do meetings, conferences, sales presentations and trade shows all have in common? Presentation folders are an opportunity to spread the word about your business. In order to spread the word at these events, you need to attract attention to get noticed.

So, how do you go about grabbing people’s attention? Before you think about hiring someone to streak with the name of your business painted on their back, there is a cheaper, simpler way that’s more effective and won’t result in any legal trouble. One of the best ways to attract attention is with a presentation folder. A custom printed presentation folder creates a powerful first impression. Once you grab attention with your folder, you will be able to pique interest with the information that you have included. A well designed presentation folder establishes you as a credible, professional in your field. It levels the playing field for small and medium sized businesses.

A simple design using your logo and business name is all you need on the front. Keep it clean with open space so you don’t distract attention away from your logo and name. This is an excellent way to establish a brand if you don’t already have one. If it is simple you may wonder how you can make it stand out. Make your design stand out by using a WOW FACTOR effect to ensure that your presentation folder will capture the receiver’s eye. WOW FACTOR effects are special coating and inks you can choose to give an eye candy effect. Some options are using a matte/dull or spot UV coating. A matte/dull coating gives your presentation folder a very elegant look, while a spot UV coating can highlight specific areas with a high gloss laminate. If you want to use inks to make that stand out effect, you can use silver metallic ink (PMS 877) or colored metallics effects. These inks make your presentation folders very impressive. These effects are can be done to all 14 Pt. coated card stock. I recommend any one of 6 papers for your printing. Heavy 14 pt. gloss coated and 14 pt. uncoated card stock have a durable and heavy feel when it’s picked it up. Using 100 Lb gloss cover will give you a lighter weight folder while using a 16 Pt. silk laminated card stock will give you a unique, stylish satin finish. Another option is using Eco-friendly 30% recycled 100 Lb. uncoated linen or Extreme Green sustainable 100% recycled 95 Lb. Reincarnation matte coated cover stock allowing you to show your commitment to the environment. Any one of these attention-getting effects and papers will open your presentation or meetings with a brilliant beginning.

The way that you organize the information you include in your presentation folder is also important. The contents of the folder should work with the design of the cover for a cohesive look. In order to make your material interesting, you need to know your audience ahead of time. Since you will most likely include more than one piece of material, you will want to ensure that they are organized in a manner that flows. You might want to stagger cut the sheets in the folder so you can see the titles of the sheets from front to back It’s also a very good idea to include business card and or cd slits on the pockets. Printing on the flaps may be good idea, and it shouldn’t cost any more.

If you make presentations, custom printed folders are a marketing tool which will help you succeed. Remember these items will leave a lasting impression. Grab their attention immediately by using Wow factor effects. You will be glad you did.

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7 PowerPoint Presentation Bloopers

Microsoft PowerPoint is the software of choice for many when it comes to making a presentation before students, employees, project team members and the like. As with other similar presentation packages, it offers many useful features and functions. The downside is that in all too many presentations, the technology takes centre stage, shunting the presenter to the role of supporting act. We have all witnessed presentations that seemed designed to help us catch up on our sleep and others that were a whirlwind, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.

Over the years of witnessing hundreds of presentations, I have seen my fair share of yawn promoters and storms in teacups. As a professional trainer, I thought: Why not condense the most common errors that I have seen and draw some useful lessons from which we can all benefit? Here are my top seven PowerPoint annoyances and what we can learn from each of these to improve our own performance.

1. Not telling the participants the purpose of the session
You know the kind of presentation I am talking about. From one slide to the next, you have little to no idea of where the presentation is going. You wonder whether you should even have turned up. Eliminate the guessing game by letting your audience know up front the purpose of your session and how you plan to achieve it.

2. Overdosing participants with information
Novice presenters often suffer the illusion that some content is good, so more is better. With this mindset, these presenters cram as much as possible onto each slide, filling it with font sizes as small as 10 point. Help your participants avoid eye strain and to stay interested by using plenty of white space and font sizes large enough to read from the back row. Add to your slides tables, charts and other graphics that will aid understanding your message.

3. Avoiding personal interaction with the audience
Some presenters display discomfort in revealing their personalities. They hide with their backs turned toward the audience, reading each word on each slide, and avoid eye contact by burying themselves in their notes. Hearing the presenter’s words and reading them at the same time not only slows down learning, it robs the presentation of the presenter’s personality. Participants are yearning to engage with the speaker and not be simply read to. So, take time to turn off your slide show and put down your notes to make a connection with your audience. Use plenty of eye contact and generate interest with your voice and body language.

4. Showing as many slides as possible
In an effort to get through volumes of material, inexperienced presenters try to break records for showing the most number of slides in the shortest possible time. As time starts to run out, the pace of the presentation increases until each slide seems to be but a blur. To avoid giving your participants a headache, allow about five minutes per slide. If time gets short, eliminate the least important slides.

5. Distributing copies of the slides before the session
You may think it a bonus if the presenter hands you a copy of their presentation before it starts. In fact, listening to the presentation whilst trying to follow the sequence in your handout only impedes your understanding. Avoid handing out copies of the slides until after the presentation. Giving participants pen and paper before the session starts will be of more use to them as they write notes in their own words.

6. Neglecting giving out support materials
Effective slides contain the key messages only, with the presenter filling in the detail. Presenters that only handout a copy of the slides may leave many participants bewildered some days or weeks later as they try to remember what each bulleted point meant. At the appropriate time during the presentation, hand out supporting materials that will allow participants to use the information you presented after they leave. You could distribute bibliographies, instructions or diagrams, for example.

7. Using a mishmash of slide transition effects
The technology so enamors some presenters that they feel you will be a better person through experiencing every “wow” effect in the package. You find yourself reaching for the motion sickness tablets after you’ve seen the slides crash, slide, twirl, dissolve… Help your participants stay focused on the message by using just one or two slide transition effects. Remember, your audience came to see and hear you and not a special effects show.

How many bloopers did you recognize? How many have you committed? Now choose the one or two worst bloopers that you have done and commit to eradicating those in your next presentation. Once you are satisfied that you have those licked, select the next one or two practices to improve upon. Ask your participants how you are doing. In time, by focusing on your key areas for improvement, you will be regarded as a PowerPoint master.

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Beyond Bullets, Making Presentations POP

Beyond Just Bullets

I have seen many presentations where the presenter just reads the slides. What advice would you give for going beyond just the bullet points?

When you are first starting out as a writer and are doing presentations, the temptation is to use the PowerPoint presentation as a crutch. You put the information on the slide and then as a matter of comfort, you read them to make sure you do not miss anything. Unfortunately, doing this will let everyone know that you are an unseasoned presenter.

Thank goodness there are simple tricks to get beyond just reading the slide deck. Try these ideas as a starting point.

  1. Use the 5 by 7 rule. No more than five bullets on a slide with a maximum of seven words each. I know this one is not always that easy to follow and at Author’s Success Guild we push the boundaries by using animations and images.
  2. Use images with captions instead of bullet points. You can illustrate your ideas with the right graphic and a good caption and often this will have a longer lasting impression on your audience.
  3. Use short videos embedded into your presentation. Create a “trailer” like those done for movies, that emphasizes your point and then discuss what people saw through a series of questions. You certainly cannot read a video on the screen but you do have to be quiet while it plays.
  4. Make your presentation interactive by posing a question and filling in the blanks right on the presentation as you are giving it. This is a little more advanced and we tell you how to do this in other lessons. It is actually very easy to do but it does take a little practice to execute during a live presentation.
  5. Involve the audience through polls and surveys inside your presentation and then, depending on the results, alter your presentation automatically. If you have five questions and each question leads into a different presentation, be prepared to change your presentation on the fly to accommodate audience needs. Yes, you will need to have five branches to your presentation. They can be prepared as one presentation using appropriate linking strategies.

Now for the hard part. Preparing your slide deck is simple as long as you know what you want to say. The more difficult aspect is practice! Yes, practice and rehearsal will make the difference between a great presentation and simply reading the slides.

The best ways to practice entail the following:

  1. Sit in front of your computer with the webcam turned on.
  2. Put your presentation and your presentation notes on the screen or as an alternative, print out what you want to say.
  3. Use a free service such as to allow for recording.
  4. Run through your presentation while recording in front of your webcam.
  5. Play back your recording. Remember the first run through will be the one where you are constantly looking at your notes.
  6. Continue the recording and playback process at least ten times until you are spending most of the time looking at the camera and only glancing at the slide deck on occasion to keep your place. When you are happy with what you see, then you are almost ready for the live event.
  7. Find a few people to rehearse with each day. Look at your presentation as your part in a Broadway show! The actors do not go on stage and read their scripts, and neither should you.
  8. Get out there and do the presentation!

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