Why Does Your Dog Deserve a Present?

Birthday – Everyone gets a birthday present. Your kids, your parents, even you. It’s not fair that your dog sees everyone else getting spoilt on the anniversary of their birth, but not them – and they do know, trust me. So treat your dog to a wonderful birthday present this year. Unlike your kids, they wont moan if you bought them a PlayStation 2 instead of 3, they’ll just be thankful that you thought of them.

Anniversary of when they were bought - If you can’t remember their birthday, or you can but you want to treat them for both instances, get them an anniversary dog present. I’ve heard the saying a happy dog makes a happy home, and just think how happy the home will be if the dog is doubly happy!

A ‘well done’ present – If the dog in question is a puppy in training, you might want to congratulate them on going a whole week without doing its business indoors. Even if it’s not a pup, you might want to say well done because they keep doing things that really surprise you. They might have done something courageous like saved a life, or found something you were looking for. I’m sure your dog does so many things that deserve praise, so don’t just say it, show them how proud you are.

Thank you – You might have just gone through a relationship break up, or lost a job or a family member. You might have just had an operation and are in need of a friend who can really cheer you up. If your dog has done this for you, they deserve something to say thanks.

Apology – You might have been neglecting the dog recently in favour of the cat, hamster or rabbit you’ve just bought. You might have been spending more time at work recently and aren’t giving your dog the affection they’re used to. Either way, a nice dog present ought to soften the blow a little.

Cheer up – Your dog might be upset about something too. They may have lost a companion, a cat, another dog, or their playmate from the park might have just moved away. Whatever the reason, the poor thing needs something to cheer them up, so don’t hesitate to do so.

Return from holiday – Imagine your whole family goes on a 2 week Caribbean cruise and you have to spend that time holed up with a bunch of strangers smelling your behind? Exactly. Find something on that boat that your dog will love!

Just because – A bit of spontaneity goes a long way with humans, so why not dogs? Treat them because they’re your best friend and always there to make the day a little brighter, however dark the weather may be.

I’m sure these aren’t the only reasons to buy your dog a present, but it just goes to show that there are many ways to do so. There are plenty of shops and websites available with a huge array of dog presents aimed at any dog, any breed, any age, any size and any price. Time to start shopping!

Five Ways to Make Video Presenting Easier

Every time someone presents on camera, the experience is unique. But you may notice recurring obstacles that prevent you from concentrating, or enjoying the process.

Presenting on camera is something that you can learn to do with confidence and ease. You can learn the skills from books, audio courses, online courses, classes and boot camps.

Here are some challenges people have shared from me, as well as some practical ways to overcome them.

1. Getting Started
Making the commitment to practice video presenting is often the biggest hurdle for busy professionals.

“I’ll do it someday,” becomes the ever-present item on your To-Do List.

Solution: Start experimenting today. The next time you have a flip cam in your hand, don’t shy away. Eventually, try to get on camera for a few minutes every week…if not every day.

2. Getting Over It
Chasing after the perfect image is hard work for every presenter.

“I hate my hair…I hate my wrinkles…I should lose 10 pounds.” These are the kinds of comments that keep you from standing in front of a camera and making an impact.

Solution: It’s a common problem–but once you start providing valuable content, your focus shifts. Your viewers are much more concerned about what you are offering than judging your appearance. They will value your ideas, tips and learning points. If you start sharing now, you’ll find the rewards of video presenting will out number the concerns about how you look.

3. Finding Time To Improve
Your crazy-busy day and urgent demands of your business make it challenging to find time to improve your video presentation skills.

“My day is already overbooked and I’m running as fast as I can!”

Solution: Schedule time with an expert coach. If I don’t work with an expert, I tend not to do it at all. Remember, presenting on video is a critical skill for professional success. Remind yourself why you want to gain confidence in this medium. Make the call.

4. Moving On Purpose
Fidgeting, shifting weight, and pacing distract from your professional presence on camera.

“I don’t know what to do with my hands, feet; how to stand, when to move and when to stand still.”

Solution: Stand tall and deliver your key point. Move on purpose. Then stop. Deliver your next point. Focus on purposeful gestures, emphasizing key ideas. If you aren’t sure how to move or are concerned about body language, take a video presentation class. You’ll get the attention and personal feedback to take your skills to the next level.

5. Presenting For Today
Your body, speech, and delivery are unlikely to be radically different from one day to the next. Avoid starting off with unrealistic expectations.

“I need to be like a talk-show host or professional television star.”

Solution: Accept that the most important thing about video presenting is this: starting! Realize that your skills will develop gradually, with training, coaching and practice.

With steady steps, you can realistically expect improvement. With a steady commitment, you will be able to reap the benefits of video presenting. It’s the fastest way to reach more clients and grow your business.

Making a Presentation? It’s Not Just About Your Topic

Jerry Seinfeld once quipped, “At a funeral most people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.” Over 41% of people have this fear of speaking in public – that is, giving a speech, report, or presentation. This can be at a business, in an academic setting, in church, your office, or in any organization to which you belong. But there are times when no matter how you feel about it, you have to do it – period.

Most people feel that once they can control their anxiety about speaking – their racing heart, hyperventilation, sweating, or shaking, they are all set to present. Of course, you need to address your anxiety first because you have to be calm, comfortable, and present with your audience. But that is not the most important thing on which you have to focus. You are going to have to know more for your presentation than just your subject.

You are going to have to know who your audience is, why they are there, and what they are likely to expect from you.

You can use the following checklist to see that you are presenting what they need and want to hear in a way that is most understandable and useful to them to meet their needs.

1. Who is your audience? You need to consider what is relevant (age, generation, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic group).

2. Why are they there to listen to you? Are they just interested in the topic; are they seeking help; do they want to learn something new to add to their working knowledge base; or have they been told to be there?

3. How much do they already know about the subject? What is their information base, their education level, professional level, or experience – personal or work?

4. What are their general and specific goals in listening to you? Are they personal or work-related?

5. Do they have a current problem (personal or work) that they are hoping you can help them solve? If they do, this should be your primary focus. Knowing and understanding this, you can provide them with necessary information to help motivate them to act on their problem.

6. What is it in concrete, specific terms you are going to offer them? Is it facts, useful action-oriented techniques, new relevant how-to information, perspective, reassurance, support, advice, or feedback?

7. What specifically do you personally want to achieve through this presentation?

8. What role or attitude will give you the best chance of making a successful presentation? Are you there to act as a Teacher, Enlightener, Analyst, Expert, Advisor, Supporter, Problem Solver, Inspirer, or Guide?

Following this checklist will help you scope what you are going to do so you can tailor your presentation to the needs and wants of your audience, as well as enhance your credibility and visibility in the process.