Diamond Necklace Trends: From Past to Present

Whether modestly small or unabashedly oversized, pear-shaped or princess cut, diamonds have a timeless appeal that lends itself naturally to necklaces. After all, this is where they can best flatter a woman’s d├ęcolletage. Diamonds, like any other accessory, are susceptible to the whims of fashion trends, and as long as the shiny gems have been made into pendants, there have been designs and styles preferred over others. Becoming familiar with the many fascinating eras of diamond necklace trends is about more than discerning between vintage and vintage-inspired. Here are the essential time periods of which keen buyers should be aware.

Georgian

From circa 1700 to around 1840, Georgian-style jewelry was the favored look. Each piece was handmade and therefore unique, making any item from this era particularly valuable. Short necklaces with classical motifs, like laurels, wreaths and repeating patterns and small portraits, were commonly worn. Rare and uncommonly colorful, Georgian jewelry often featured rose diamonds, garnets and topaz, and they are highly sought.

Victorian

One of the more recognizable eras, Victorian, which spanned from before 1840 to around 1900-during the reign of Queen Victoria-features opulently-styled pieces, including diamond pendants, that are eye-catching and elaborate. The fine detail appeals to many jewelry buyers because it has a decidedly feminine air. Colorful, with bright gemstones and gold filigree, vintage Victorian pieces are highly romantic.

Art Nouveau

With a touch of Asian influence and a never-ending parade of whimsical flora and fauna, Art Nouveau designs entranced wearers from the 1890s until about 1915. Heralding from France, the movement presented items that focused on natural themes and curving, organic lines rather than leaning on bright baubles. Finding a diamond Art Nouveau necklace is difficult, though not impossible.

Edwardian

One of the great eras for diamonds, the Edwardian period, which spanned the late 1890s into the early 1920s, was as extravagant as the Victorian age, but designers opted to highlight the almighty colorless diamond first and foremost, with precious and semi-precious gems like pearls, rubies and sapphires serving as accents. The hallmark of Edwardian pieces is the elegant, lacy look of filigree.

Art Deco

One of the best-known eras for jewelry, Art Deco diamond necklaces are long with geometric patterns, Egyptian imagery or African themes. They boast plenty of gold, semi-precious stones and even glass beads, among other decorative flourishes, and they often showcase combinations of stones for a bright, abstract effect.

Retro

The Retro era is the final period of note. Beginning in 1930 and trailing off around 1950, Retro was ostentatious and playful, with a noted emphasis on semi-precious stones. Large-scale diamonds are a bit harder to come by, but diamond necklaces accented with gold, intricate designs and semi-precious stones are still readily available.

Though modern diamond necklaces tend towards minimalism, with clean lines and a single central focus of one or three stones, vintage pendants are far more glamorous and striking, with colorful gems and decorative touches meant to steal the show. Authentic vintage pieces are sometimes hard to find, but vintage-inspired and custom-made options are widely available and offer a similar look.

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What Current Blood Pressure Numbers Convey About the Past, Present and Future

The two blood pressure numbers obtained when a BP reading is taken conveys significant information about hypertension (i.e. high blood pressure) in relationship to the past, present and future, and behooves understanding from a perspective of using that information for establishing health literacy and achieving patient engagement in the area of hypertension management.

The most important instantaneous information that blood pressure numbers reveal about a person with establish hypertension is, whether or not the blood pressure is well controlled. If the BP is 140/90 or greater but there is no record of previous elevated readings of that magnitude or greater, a diagnosis of hypertension cannot be made unless that initial reading is extremely high, or additional information other than BP readings, is available to support a conclusion the person has pre-existing hypertension which has just not been officially diagnosed.

Additional information that justifies the conclusion that currently recorded elevated blood pressure numbers are indicative of pre-existing hypertension is that which reveals evidence of complications of long-standing BP elevation. Those complications are damage to the blood vessels of the retinae, thickening of the heart muscle, and abnormalities of kidney function, in the absence of other diseases to explain the abnormalities. Damage to the blood vessels of the retinae can be visualized by a primary care doctor with an instrument known as an ophthalmoscope, during a physical examination. Thickening of the heart muscle oftentimes shows up on an EKG. Abnormalities of kidney function can oftentimes be detected by performing BUN and creatinine measurements on a sample of blood. Therefore, a dilemma of deciding whether someone has hypertension based on a sole initial elevation of the blood pressure numbers of 140/90 or greater can oftentimes be solved with the joint usage of a current BP reading and the additional supporting information.

The future information that contemporary blood pressure numbers convey about hypertension is based on the progressive rise in BP and the increased frequency of hypertension with aging. The age-related rise in blood pressure is continuous throughout varying age brackets but plateaus in the 80th and 90th decades. The increase in the incidence of hypertension with aging occurs in all ethnic groups with some variation within different groups and a somewhat greater rise among man compared to women. The third HHANES survey reported an age-adjusted prevalence of hypertension of 3.3%, 13.2%, 22%, 37.5%, and 51% in Caucasian man in the 18-29-year-old, 30-39-year-old, 40-49-year-old, 50-59-year-old, and 60-74-year-old age groups respectively. Another medical study concluded that the incidence of hypertension increased by 5% for every 10 years of aging. Given these facts, knowledge of one’s blood pressure numbers and age at the time of a current BP measurement are fairly good indicators of whether not hypertension will develop in the future, considering life expectancy.

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Suffering In This Present Evil Age

Each and every day we are reminded that we live in a world filled with suffering. All it takes is a quick glance at the headlines or a few minutes listening to the news and we are hit with reality. No wonder the Bible refers to the time we are living in as “this present evil age.”

This morning I was asked by a fried, “How can we move forward day by day with hope in a world filled with so much suffering?”

When the writer of the book of Hebrews spoke about the suffering of Christ Jesus, he said, “For the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross.”

Christ endured the mocking, lies, false accusation, beatings, spit, and nails because there was something joyous in store for Him. He knew that His suffering would ultimately take Him to a place of joy. What about you and me? As we are confronted with suffering and pain what are we to hold on to? I’ve heard people teach that life in these mortal bodies will get easier if we have enough faith. Is that true? Are we promised that life in these mortal and corruptible bodies is going to become more easy? Are we to live with the hope that things will improve in this current age? Or do we need to look beyond our circumstances into the future past the here and now?

What about the pain and suffering that is simply part of being human and wearing a physical body? What about the pain and suffering that simply comes to each of us as a result of the aging process? Are we like a fine wine? Are we getting better with age? Next time you take a look in the mirror and notice new lines on your face consider whether or not things on the inside are aging along with the outside. Do you think that as time passes you and I are going to begin to experience more creakiness in our bones along with aches and pains as our bodies wear out and eventually die? Is this going to be changed in this current age or are these bodies we are wearing going to continue to whither away?

As the Apostle Paul wrote about the suffering we each face in these mortal bodies, he said, “We do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. Our light affliction which is but for a moment is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

Like Christ who endured His suffering by looking forward to a time of joy, Paul seems to be saying that you and I must do the same. We must realize that the suffering of this age is temporary. In light of eternity is is but for a moment and it is working something in us that will ultimately be directly connected with the glory of eternity. Paul seems to be implying that the suffering in this life is necessary in order for us to fully appreciate the greatness of what is ultimately in store for you and me. Could he also be saying that the more suffering we experience the greater our rewards will be? Did Christ teaching anything along those lines? Search it out.

The Apostle Paul experienced numurous beatings, harassment, persecution, shipwrecks, being stoned and left for dead, as well as imprisonment. Understanding this about Paul, it is surprising that he refers to suffering as “light affliction.” What a perspective! I wonder how many of us would refer to the diffuculties we face in this age as “light.”

It is beyond our comprehension to fully understand how our suffering “is working for us a far more exceeding weight of glory.” However, we can find comfort knowing that the suffering of this age is not all there is. This age will come to an end. We can encourage one another to look ahead with hope to that day when we meet our Savior face to face. We can point one another forward to that moment in time when Chrst Jesus experience the joy of receiving all that He purchased with His blood and we have the joy of receiving new bodies described by Paul as immortal and incorruptible.

At the end of all the ages we will finally be able to look back with full understanding, which is something we currently don’t have. We will then be able to see how God truly has been working all things together for the good, including our times of suffering.

I remind myself of this every day as I see my dad’s body slowly withering away. I remind myself of this when I see dad doing his breathing treatments twice each day and as I see him forcing himself to eat. His outward man is perishing. But according to the Apostle Paul the pain, suffering, and affliction he is experiencing is working a far more exceeding weight of glory. I have to believe that!

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Remote Control Toys Make Great Presents!

The Holidays are here! Have you finished your shopping presents? Still looking for that perfect gift for your teenage son who is difficult to shop for? Look no further than remote control planes and helicopters! These toys are a blast to fly and can spark interest in engineering and science. But you may be unsure about where to start when looking to buy a remote control (RC) toy. That’s why I am here!

I am going to tell you about the first 4 RC vehicles I owned and which ones I would recommend to you. I got hooked on RC toys not too long ago. I had joined a club at my college where we designed, built, and flew unmanned aerial vehicles at competition. When I joined I didn’t know much about RC, but I learned quickly and got bit by the RC bug pretty hard. I wanted to start small so I went out and started looking around. I found a little coaxial helicopter that looked really fun and after shopping around found it on Amazon. It was the Syma S023G 3.5 Channel Helicopter. It was awesome. It is a coaxial helicopter designed after the Apache military helicopter. One problem with it was it was pretty heavy for its size, so the battery life was not that great.

Next I bought the Syma S107N, and 5 minutes after flying it, I ordered another one. It was that much fun. The Syma S107N is much more nimble than the first helicopter I had bought, and also half the price. The battery life is also much better.

Syma had earned my trust with their quality engineering, so I also bought a Syma X1. This is a little quadcopter. But it is extremely well built. It features 3 axis gyros and stabilization. It comes with 2.4GHz transmitter so you can fly outside and get really good range. It also comes in two modes, trainer mode and acrobatic. In trainer mode it is slower to react so that you don’t accidentally crash it easily, and in acrobatic mode you get more maneuverability and speed. If anyone is looking into getting into quadcopters, this is my first recommendation.

My first plane was a Sky Hawk. It is a 4 channel beginner foamie. My brothers and I bought it because we wanted to learn how to fly. It is durable. But not durable enough! We learned that it is important to learn from someone who knows how to fly, or to spend some time on a flight simulator. Rest in peace Sky Hawk. Rest in peace.

If you would like to invest in a flight simulator, I highly recommend it. The two most popular out there are Real Flight and Phoenix RC. My favorite is Phoenix RC which has free updates and you can download new models as they come out. You can also play with many different types of transmitter via the USB hookup, whereas Real Flight uses a proprietary controller.

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Pop Up Displays – An Exceptional Tool to Present a Company

Have you ever faced a situation where you need to exhibit an event or a trade show, but you do not have any knowledge what kind of displays should be used? If you are among those who have arranged a trade show earlier but were not able to make it a success then, you have come to the right place. In order to make a show successful, one must use attractive displays. Have you ever thought how can you give a professional look to your company or business by utilizing trade show exhibits?

Nowadays, with the advancement in technology, there are millions of methods and tools by which one can promote their business in a trade show. One among them is pop up displays. There are many business owners who have started using such displays for their business. Many of you might not know what a display actually is. So, first let us focus on this. It can be defined as a lightweight ad display that comes with a mounting framework that supports graphic panels and fabric.

Some of them include accessories like shelves, lights, innovative 3D graphic panels, case to counter podiums along with monitor cut-outs. These kinds of displays have emerged as modular trade show displays over the past years. Manufacturers of such displays have begun adding 3D standoff graphic, huge format graphic panels, monitor mounts to make it look more attractive and useful.

Before you make arrangements for your next trade show exhibit, ensure to check the components included in ad displays. One of the unique features about a pop up display is if one wants, he or she can add innovation to its design for making the trade show stand apart from the crowd regardless of the services and products one is providing to the customers. Here, you will come across some of the benefits that you will attain from light weight display stands.

>> People understand about the products and services of a company better when it is displayed in a special way. The design of pop up display stands will reach out to your audience when compared to other traditional exhibit ideas. This will automatically save you money that you would otherwise spend on set up and shipping.

>> A pop exhibit can add life to a trade booth. It has been found that visitors get easily attracted towards a booth that uses beautiful displays in front of their store.

>> This type of display can be tailor made according to one’s business requirements which means that one can use a unique design or concept to represent their business. Ranging from lighting concepts to presentation of your items, visitors will find that each and every special detail used in the display is properly thought.

>> Using such displays is also one of the affordable means to promote your products and service. With an effective pop up exhibit, you can successfully create a “huge company” existence for your medium and small size business.

>> Such exhibit display stands can be easily installed and carried from one place to the other when the event gets over. These stands are durable, manufactured with strong and sustainable materials which make it usable in several trade shows for years.

So, now as you are well aware of the benefits that you can gain from ad displays, start using them for your trade shows. You will definitely find a difference in your sales. However, in order to gain all the benefits mentioned above, you should choose the best ad displays. Before choosing any one among thousands of varieties found in the market, have a look at the material used in it, the experience of the manufacturers, size of the display etc.

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Six Steps to Creating Online Presentations for Telephone Selling

How much extra money could you make by closing just one or two additional sales a day? You can double, or even triple, the effectiveness of your telephone selling by showing prospects why they should buy from you, instead of just telling them.

Clients and prospects are visually oriented. They process and retain 75% of the
information they see, compared to about 15% of the information they hear.
There are six steps involved in preparing online visuals you and your prospects can look at online during telephone conversations and teleconferences.

Step 1: Desired result

Start by identifying what you want to accomplish during each phone call. Ask yourself:

o What is the primary message I want to communicate?

o What action do I want my client or prospect to take?

o What information can I provide to convince them to take the desired action?

Your answers to these questions will provide the framework you need to begin preparing for your upcoming calls.

Step 2: Benefits

Next, translate your product or service into benefits they will enjoy if they take the action you want them to take. Identify as many different ways as possible your product or service can benefit your client. Be as specific as possible.

Step 3: Framework

Open your presentation program and create an “empty” set of visuals to support your upcoming calls. This will provide a framework for developing your telephone sales presentation.

Don’t be concerned the contents of each visual. At this point, don’t stop to fill in the details for each visual. Simply create an empty presentation visual and title for each of the points you want to cover in your upcoming telephone calls.

Hint: You may want to create a template with placeholder visuals to help quickly prepare future presentations.

Step 4: Provide proof

Next, go through your presentation framework and complete each of the visuals by adding appropriate text and graphics. As you complete each visual, strive to make your benefits as specific and as visual as possible. Translate your products or services into added dollars and cents revenue, reduced costs, or time savings.

Whenever possible, show, rather than tell. Translate words into information graphics, like tables, charts, and graphs, to emphasize:

o Comparisons, i.e. before and after revenues or expenditures of time and money.

o Trends, i.e. growing market share.

Add photographs to personalize and reinforce case studies and testimonials. Use logos, rather than words, to emphasize case studies and satisfied clients.

Step 5: Contingency visuals

Next, prepare to respond to objections that prospects may bring up during your calls.

Start by identifying the possible objections that prospects might come up. Determine how to respond to each one. Then, prepare visuals that will only be used if your prospect brings the specific objection up.

Typical objections concern price, competitive features, ease of use, and economic uncertainty.

Step 6: Upload and rehearse

After reviewing your work, use your presentation program’s Save as… command to save your presentation in the appropriate online format.

Then, upload your presentation to the server where you and your prospects can access it online during calls.

Rehearse your presentation, until you can comfortably proceed from point to point, and easily access the contingency visuals, (if needed).

Consider your web-based presentations a “work in progress” that you continually update and refine. Prepare additional visuals as new objections come up. And prepare personalized slide titles and visuals for specific clients and prospects.

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An Elephant in the Room – No. 3 – Avoiding Unacceptable Behaviour in Presentations

The techniques discussed in this article can also be applied to presentations & meetings; both internal & external.

Situation:

David, A Senior Product Manager in a Multinational Pharmaceutical company, was giving a presentation to members of the Marketing Department and sales force. Halfway through his presentation, the door slammed open and one of the area sales managers noisily walked into the room and, totally ignoring David, proceeded to walk around the room greeting everyone in a loud voice and shaking hands / kissing all of the attendees and generally disrupting both the presenter, the presentation and the audience. David was absolutely astounded: he had never seen such a public display of bad manners or lack of respect before. His first impulse was to get angry, however, as he considers himself a leader of his team he decided to let it go… for the moment! He did, nevertheless, do something after the presentation. (See below)

The above scenario is our first example of unacceptable behaviour in Presentations & Meetings which indicate a lack of respect for the presenter and the audience and an over-inflated sense of self-importance which can often be a subconscious sign of psychological problems!

Other types of bad behaviour can include but are not limited to:

Problem 2: Using laptops / tablets / (smart)phones during the meeting.

While many people are now using laptops/iPads, etc., as a note-taking device, the use & manipulation of these gadgets (typing, swiping, etc.) can distract the other audience members from the contents of the presentation. Also, while the person is using the device they are not listening to the presenter which means that they may miss important information which could result in unnecessary questions later.

Problem 3: Parallel conversations.

These frequently occur when the presenter is reading text on the screen and NOT observing, & controlling, the audience. Parallel conversations happen when members of the audience are talking with the person sitting beside them The conversations are frequently off-topic and unrelated to the area under discussion. This type of activity distracts both the presenter and the audience and is another sign of a lack of respect for others.

Problem 4: The Presentation getting side-tracked.

This occurs when audience members use too much time discussing their own particular problems or trying to show their level of knowledge during the presentation which leads to the presentation getting side-tracked from the main topic under discussion. To resolve this problem requires the use of specific nan-management skills / techniques by the presenter / meeting leader.

In English we have a saying: “Prevention is better than Cure” so let’s see how to prevent this type of behaviour. I would like to propose the following techniques for resolving the four problems indicated above:

Recommended Solutions:

IN EVERY CASE, If you have a person who habitually behaves in an undesirable manner, talk to them face-to-face before the meeting and let them know how you expect them to behave from now on! Then… Always decide, and if necessary, agree the required “Norms of Behaviour” with the appropriate people in the organization, and then include them in the agenda of the presentation / meeting.

Problem 1: Disruptive entry into the presentation / meeting.

- Include the “Norms of Behaviour” in the Agenda.

- Post a notice on the door, in BIG letters, restating the norms indicated above and telling late arrivals what to do, For example:

“If you arrive late and wish to attend this presentation, please follow these instructions:

a. Enter quietly.

b. Do not interrupt the speaker or members of the audience.

c. Sit in one of the chairs located near the door.

d. Wait until the break to greet friends & colleagues.

e. Show respect for everyone in the room.

Thank you. You cooperation is appreciated.”

In the situation give above, After David finished his presentation he immediately called for a coffee break and then took the disruptive regional sales manager into a nearby office and told him how he felt about his behaviour, the effects it had on him and the audience and, more importantly, Exactly how he expected the sales manager to behave in future presentations. Remember, this is NOT a negotiation – it is an intervention to correct undesirable behaviour! Before returning to the presentation site, David ensured that the sales manager understood the change required and agreed to modify his behaviour in future.

Benefit of this technique:

If someone enters the room and interrupts the group, the presenter has every right to immediately cut short the interruption as the late-arrival has been instructed how to behave before entering the room and if he decides not to follow the instructions, it is a clear sign of lack of respect for the presenter & the group and should be dealt with IMMEDIATELY!

Problem 2: Using laptops / tablets / (smart)phones during the presentation / meeting.

As mentioned above, the use of these devices should be covered in the expected norms of behaviour indicated in the agenda. However, the presenter should also request, at the very beginning of the presentation, that these gadgets be turned off until the end of the presentation and the reasons why this instruction should be obeyed – Then look at the audience and wait for them to comply!

Benefit of this technique:

The audience know what is expected from them from the very beginning of the Communicative Activity and the reasons for compliance. It also indicates that the presenter is taking control of the presentation from the very start of the activity. When the audience comply, it is a sign that they have subconsciously recognized the power & authority of the Presenter. If someone resists or refuses, it is a sign that they are probably going to be problematic during the presentation and the presenter can prepare to deal with them appropriately!

Problem 3: Parallel conversations.

Always maintain orientation towards the group and work on the computer screen, NOT the projector screen. When the presenter reads the projector screen he has to turn his back on the audience which gives the members the opportunity to start talking to the person beside them, take out their mobile phones or iPads “unobserved”, etc.

Benefit of this technique: Increased psychological control.

Problem 4: Presentation getting side-tracked.

During the preface of the presentation tell the audience that questions will be answered at the end of the presentation, NEVER answer questions or ask for comments during the presentation as it leads to side-tracking. Remember that the presenter’s non-verbal communication is the key to maintaining control of the group.

Benefit of this technique: Increased psychological control.

Remember; Power is Given, Control is Taken.

Many presenters have a tendency to surrender their power to people in the audience because they wish to appear polite, educated, “understanding” and flexible in meeting the desires of the audience. However, this is frequently perceived as weakness and could be taken advantage of by audience member who have a hidden agenda!

It is essential that presenters & meeting leaders show that they expect, & demand, respect from the audience. If they do not respect themselves, how can they expect the audience to respect them? Assertiveness is vital, but NOT aggressiveness.

So… end the bad behaviour and become a LEADER!

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Use Illustrations During Financial Presentations of Direct Marketing Math

Direct marketing is measurable and accountable. What that means is that for every dollar you spend on marketing, you can figure out if you made money. In today’s tough economic climate, direct marketing should be the last thing you cut. It’s the only part of your entire marketing budget that you can show that for every action, there is a reaction – and that reaction boosts profits or losses. It’s that simple.

I once managed a catalog for a large non profit corporation. When I took over the catalog, it was in a sorry state of affairs. Two consultants familiar with the industry had been hired to fix it but with each mailing, the response great grew worse and worse. As a last ditch effort, my boss tossed the catalog and a great mound of files on my desk. “Here,” he said. “See what you can do with this.”

It was the end of the fiscal year, and like many people working in non profits, my budget would mysteriously and suddenly go POOF and disappear at the stroke of midnight on the last day of the fiscal year. Just like Cinderella’s pumpkin coach. Back to a gourd and horses back to mice.

The first thing I did with that catalog was make ugly into pretty. Ugly rarely sells (unless it’s Ugg boots or Crocs, both of which I will never wear upon my feet – ever). The original book catalog was a black and white affair with long, dull lists of words and no pictures.

Using the internal group of graphic designers at the company, we transformed it from a portrait orientation to landscape, added a colorful cover and lots of product shots inside, and updated the copy. We re-categorized the books, added an index so that customers could find topics of interest, and coded the ordering and response mechanisms so I could track which customer segment responded most favorably. The little bit of money I could squeeze out of the marketing budget I put towards increasing the print run, gambling that our new catalog would do better than the old one.

The results were staggering. We shot past the financial target until we garnered five times the original response rate!

When I went to present these findings to the CEO and the Senior Vice Presidents, I had all my spreadsheets with every little financial detail I could muster up. I had samples of the catalog. I started going over the numbers. I was astonished when the CEO said, “I think we should cancel the catalog. It costs us $100,000 to print it!”

“But we made $500,000 in profits!”

“We should put it on the internet.”

“It is on the internet… but [customers in this industry] have told us they prefer print catalogs.”

He stubbornly persisted that we should discontinue the catalog, while vice presidents all nodded.

Except my boss, the VP of Sales.

Slowly, my boss took out his wallet. He thumbed through it. The CEO glared at him. My boss smiled across the table. “Do you have a dollar?” Clearly annoyed now, the CEO opened his wallet and pushed a dollar bill across the table at my boss. Now I was annoyed. What was this, a diet cola break? Was my boss running to the candy machine now that the meeting had stalled? Was he leaving me high and dry to defend a catalog that was profitable?

My boss took the dollar. With a smile, he extracted a five dollar bill from his wallet and pushed it across the table at the CEO.

“That,” my boss said to the astonished CEO, “is what Jeanne’s catalog does for this company. For ever dollar we spend, we make five back. Do you still want to discontinue it?”

I’ve heard the catalog lasted ten years after that day, but I’m not sure. What I do know is this; direct marketing is the language of numbers. But sometimes numbers alone aren’t enough. The numbers tell a story, but sometimes you have to illustrate the story quickly and clearly.

Mathematics may be the instrument of reality, but storytelling is as old as the hills. And everyone loves a good story.

The next time you are presenting numbers, I challenge you to get creative – not with the numbers, but how you illustrate them!

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Present Buying Made Easy for You – Get Astonishing Gifts Without Even Leaving Your Front Room

There are many gift voucher companies to choose from today but the only problem is that some of the bigger gift voucher companies are quite inconvenient, firstly you may have to travel to London to experience your “rally day” even though you live in Newcastle or other problems are trying to redeem a weekend away for two with a romantic dinner etc but you are faced with a 8 week advanced booking issue, yes! they would like you to start the process of looking and booking your most favourite country house or guest house well in advance thus allowing the company to say no to you if they are in the busier times.

All this said you have vast amounts of categories to choose from so you can purchase gift vouchers for your sons birthday, daughters wedding or grandparents 70th, as these fantastic gift voucher companies have done all the searching and handpicking for you, so you can sit back and choose from relaxing day spas, fine dining, fashion boutiques, jewellers, adventure experiences, things to do, makeup artists and much more….

Flying lessons or hot air balloon rides can give somebody a fantastic experience that they will treasure for a lifetime, there are not many services out there today which offers such quality presents as these outstanding gift companies. You can sit from the comfort of your own home and do this, even if you have forgotten a close friends birthday or anniversary you can have e- vouchers sent directly to them on the same day it doesn’t get any easier.

There are now gift voucher websites that support, promote and advertise local services and businesses, meaning you can choose businesses that are on your door step so you no longer have to travel for hours to experience that driving experiences or visit a day spa.

Some more modern gift voucher companies make it their aim to only allow services in your local area I.e. they will only use fine dining restaurants that are not part of a huge chain or fashion boutique that are not part of a massive department stores, by supporting these they are helping people choose their more local, independent business as they feel they offer more unique and quality products and services that surpasses expectations rather than being treated like cattle.

I feel that you have more choice for presents and gift if you use services like gift voucher companies for all occasions, also you do not have to wait in huge queues or take the risk of that perfect item being out of stock along with the stress of looking for every single family member and friend all at the same time in the busy high streets buying items which have been massed produced for large chained companies.

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How to Present to an Audience Using Simultaneous Translation

Brief them

The translators will come in pairs, as it’s an extremely tiring job, and they’ll switch over after 20 minutes each. In Japan, I met with the two girls the night before and talked about my topic. I ran through some technical terms that wouldn’t normally translate, and I gave them a generic picture of the presentation. I answered their questions, they attuned to my accent, and I calibrated theirs.

Don’t think for a moment that your talk will translate literally. It won’t, and they’ll need some background first.

Give them slides and handouts/notes

My two translators in China were ferocious consumers of my written materials. They wanted slide copies, the handouts used and copies of my books. In English too. During their 20 minute breaks, they read and digested the written word to help them in their translation. They preferred hard copies so do ensure you have these available.

Increase the time

It will take you longer to deliver the presentation and I’ll explain why in a moment. Start with the time it normally takes and multiply by 1.5. So if it normally delivers in 60 minutes, assume it’ll take you 90 minutes. Plan around this concept.

I was delivering day long sessions to around 25 people in the room so I had to cut topics down to size.

Shorter sentences and more pauses

The mistake many speakers make is to speak slower; ironically this doesn’t help and is just plainly difficult. Instead speak in shorter sentences, include a full stop (period to my American cousins) by physically pausing longer. Get used to this staccato approach and your translators and your audience will live you to bits.

Graphic based slides – 65% visuals

I’ve seen three sources recently that state that 65% of adults are visual thinkers and prefer pictures and images to understand meanings. We’ve always known this. My advice is to put more pictures, movies and images on your slides and animate them more. Pictures cross language barriers.

Ditch the flipchart, welcome the whiteboard

Continuing the theme of visuals, I found building pictures and infographics on a large whiteboard very effective for getting across complex messages. The physical building and creation of an infographic helped the audience to understand the message more clearly. But make sure your translators can see the image clearly as they use this to help with their translation.

Flipcharts are too small for images for large groups.

Involvement

Some speakers feel involvement is nigh on impossible when being simultaneously translated. I disagree because I was delivering day long sessions to groups up to 25 people and without interaction and involvement, I would’ve bombed.

I’ll explain the kit needed in a moment that you need.

The involvement is team based activities that we often call syndicate exercises. Choose random teams and set them tasks to complete. Small team discussions work really well and they can communicate in their own language. Choose your feedback mechanism well and let teams come back to you with their findings or conclusions. Let them populate a flipchart sheet with writing or images to help their presentation and let them present back in their own language.

I had a great time with my mandarin friends in China who just loved spending 20 minutes in small group activities and reporting back in their mother tongue. I had them move around the room, present back whilst standing, pinning their charts to the walls for a peripheral image set.

Get the kit right

I’m tooled up to go interactive. I have a lavaliere or lapel mike pinned to my shirt so whatever I say in English can be translated immediately to the group who all wear earphones. On my left ear I have an earphone which is wirelessly linked to the translator’s booth so anything my group say in Japanese or Russian, my translators will give me in English.

This allows me to get interactive and to hear them feeding back in their own language and respond in mine. It does take a little longer, naturally, but is very effective.

Taking questions

I tried the odd group discussion but it was clunky and didn’t work. Instead I ran regular Q&A sessions. I made sure that each table had a mobile or cabled microphone so the group could talk to me in their own language. A ratio of 4 people to 1 microphone is desired.

Then you do a normal Q&A session. When receiving their answers, there’s always a delay as the translator translates, so to prevent the embarrassing silence I would hold my hand to the earphones when I was listening to indicate to the group that I was still listening. This allowed for a 3 to 4 second period of silence.

Asking questions

This worked well. Rather than setting a timed group activity, ask a question and let the group respond. Point them to their microphones on the tables; they’ll need to be reminded. My friends in Tokyo were so keen to answer; they forgot the microphones so needed to be reminded.

Other than these tips, be prepared to repeat things occasionally, keep an eye on the translators in the booth in case they don’t understand something. And finally if you tell a joke, don’t expect the audience to laugh immediately on the punchline, be prepared for them to laugh 4 seconds afterwards. That’s a surreal experience. It’s probably best not to tell jokes as these don’t always translate, culture etc. I told funny stories; they went down well because everyone can relate to these.

And above all enjoy as its great fun.

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