4 Smart Ideas For Buying Christmas Presents For Kids

As you begin shopping for presents this Christmas you will be looking for the best place to find good gifts for your Children. However, you will likely be trying to find good items at a reasonable prices. If you are wondering how to achieve this, don’t be concerned. If you know where to look and are willing to spend some time planning and doing research finding great Christmas gifts can be a snap. You can even has some money left over to do something special in addition to the presents you purchase. Here are some great ideas and tips to help you on your search for affordable Children’s Christmas presents.

The one thing to keep in mind is to start planning to set aside funds for Holiday shopping. A majority of the challenges of finding something affordable will be taken care of if you have enough green in your pocket. Having doubts? Don’t worry, because you actually have more than enough time anyway. In ideal conditions you would start saving for holiday shopping the day after Christmas. However if you are like most people you have not thought about doing it until now. You still have time to do so since it is still September. Here are some great ways to start saving. One is the envelop method. Take 50 to 100 dollars and put them in an envelope every paycheck and mark it as Christmas money. This is good because it impresses upon you that the money is for a specific purpose. For an easier method, some banks have a Christmas saving program ask local banks about them. They will be able to do it automatically for you.

The first place to start is in store catalogs and websites. These are great because they will show what items are popular and their retail price. If you can find this out it will give you a ball park estimate of what everything costs. If it is too expensive , the next thing to do is to ask about or look for is sales and rebates. This is your first opportunity to see if you can find any of the items your kids are wanting at a more reasonable price. If you can find good deals take advantage of them. In many cases trying to wait it out will end up with you missing a good opportunity to buy.

Pay attention to the news, especially business. This is a surprisingly good source of information on holiday purchases such as electronics. A good example is video games consoles. Due to a lag in the number of sales many video game companies such as Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft are cutting the base price of their models. This translates into major saving when combine with sales at retail stores also desperate to make sales. This news has been reported in major business news outlets. So look in print and online media to find news that pertains to this year’s holiday shopping season.

Last of all look for similar generic items and keep the receipt. In many cases there are cheaper versions of the most popular toys. You can find them at discount stores and at toy stores in your area. Most of the time, they are as good as the name brand. In the end, if you can’t find something that will be satisfactory go with the name brand item on sale and keep the receipt if a better deal comes along you can return the item as long as it covered by a return policy. You can also do something special by ordering a letter from Santa

The Secret to Exceptional Presentations Is Being Present

Imagine this: you’ve spend hours preparing the right words and the perfect power point. You’ve sacrificed sleep to memorize and practice removing the ahs and ums.

The big day comes. You begin and less than 3 minutes into the presentation, one of the executive attendees interrupts you with, “What’s the bottom line?” Another executive chimes in with, “Skip to your best slide.”

Now what do you do? You can’t think of anything to say now that your perfect order was interrupted. How do you handle this situation–or avoid it from happening in the first place?

The most exceptional presentations happen when you are present. Focusing on your memorized content means ignoring your audience. Follow these 5 simple steps to avoid this disconnect in the future.

Start with an intro that gives the audience the bottom line within 90 seconds. For example, “by the end of this presentation, you will know… “

Talk to the audience instead of the PowerPoint. Yes, your audience is reading the slide when you first put it up. That’s alright. Give them time to read it. Read in your head along with them. When you want to speak–face your audience. Make eye contact. You are the presentation; the PowerPoint is only an aid.

Prepare 2 presentations: overview and detail. If you can ask ahead of time what the audience prefers, then that’s even better. If you can’t, then start with an overview presentation, and let them ask you for the detail. If you haven’t got the detail to the level you are being asked, then say, “I prepared an overview due to time limits, and I’ll be happy to speak with you offline to cover more detail.”

Prepare for their questions instead of yours. Most presenters know if the audience will have hostile questions, if someone will play devil’s advocate, if most of the group will be afraid to ask questions, etc. Think about what the audience really wants to know. If you get no questions, say, “A question I’m often asked is… “

Watch your audience for body language. You know you’ve got them if the phones aren’t in hand, they are making eye contact, etc. You know you’re losing them if they start to shift in their seats, pick up their phones to check email, etc. Watch, and comment directly. If you’re losing them, say, “I get the feeling this isn’t the exact information you were looking for. Is there another approach I should be taking?”

Bottom line, being present with your audience means you’re having a conversation with them, not reciting or reading a power point.

Slide Design – 8 Best Practices For Exceptional Presentations

PowerPoint is a powerful business tool but only if it is used to its best advantage. Matt Thornhill, President of Audience First, a Midlothian, VA business that offers presentation training says, “PowerPoint makes slides; it doesn’t give presentations. Remember that you are creating slides to support a spoken presentation.” With that in mind, here are eight things you can do to create powerful slides to support your presentations.

1. Keep it simple. Don’t use too many words or too many graphics. Figures and numbers do not translate well on screen. Refer to figures and numbers in your handouts where they can be digested more thoroughly, later. If you need to emphasize a statistic in PowerPoint, consider using a graphic or image to convey the point.

2. Use fonts judiciously. Use the same font for your entire slide set and use no more than two complementary fonts (i.e. Ariel and Arial Bold). Regardless of what font style you choose, be sure the text can be seen in the back of the room. A font size of no less than 24 pt should be used for general text. For titles or headings, use 36 to 44 points

3. Use color well. A white or light background with black or dark text works best. A screen image with a dark background and light text will wash out, but dark text on a light background will maintain its visual intensity.

4. Don’t use cheesy or tired clip art. If you found your image in the clipart library that came with PowerPoint, your audience has seen it 1000 times. Use outside images and graphics for variety and visual appeal.

5. Limit bullet points and text. The best slides may have no text at all. Remember the slides are meant to support the speaker, not make the speaker superfluous. Well designed slides are worthless without the presentation that accompanies them; you’ll know you have achieved this when someone who missed your presentation asks you for your slides and later tells you they had no idea what the point of the presentation was.

6. Use bullet points properly. Bullet point should never contain full sentences. Use bullet points to deliver key ideas. Remember the 6 x 6 rule: bullet points should have no more than six words and there should be no more than six bullet points on the screen.

7. Have a visual theme. Similar to the library of clip art available in PowerPoint, it’s probable that your audience has seen every template which is available through the program. Go online to find other PowerPoint designs that are available or create your own with a simple background and color scheme.

8. Avoid movement of slide elements. While moving text or graphics around on the slide may look like fun, it’s very distracting to the audience. Avoid the “build” animation feature unless it is imperative that your points be revealed slowly.