It might not be your lack of knowledge or competence that’s holding you back from taking the next step in your career. It could be how you present yourself. Whether you’re part-time, looking for a promotion, or have been in the industry for a long time, your career will always benefit when you take the time to brush up on your communication and presentation skills.

These skills also give you confidence and clarity in what you want to achieve in your life. If you want to advance your career, you need to focus on honing these skills.

Why You Should Improve Your Communication and Presentation Skills

You’ll remember when someone was rude to you, or to give you constructive and well thought through feedback. Over time, poor communication breeds poor responses. This makes it harder to influence people, and it affects your credibility.

Two graduates with similar experience apply for the same job. On paper, they have nearly identical skillsets. In person, one graduate walks the walk and talks the talk. The other one comes and in lets their CV do the talking. You can probably guess which one gets the job offer.

Communication is much broader than simply talking to someone – it’s body language, it’s writing, it’s listening, and it can be so much more. Having top-notch communication skills means you’re a better listener, a good negotiator, and a great motivator. You’ll develop high standards and these will reflect in your work and your interactions. This builds your reputation and your credibility in the workplace, which can help you move onto the next step in your career.

Communication is Also Needed for Presentations

Many people dread PowerPoint presentations and standing in front of a group of people. Nerves get the better of many people. What you should realise is that it’s okay to feel nervous. What you need to master is the art of appearing be confident when doing a presentation.

If you can do this, you will start to feel your confidence developing naturally and you’ll soon be communicating decisively.

Then you learn something golden: Presentations aren’t that scary when you’ve done them a few times.

Developing your presentation skills can help you in many ways, including:

  • Research and planning
  • Preparing a message
  • Technical skills
  • Public speaking
  • Focus

Hone your presentation skills and you’ll develop a fantastic skillset that will open up many opportunities. Becoming a superior presenter will make you more memorable, and people will begin to see you as a natural leader.

Improving Your Communication and Presentation Skills

Upping your communication and presentation game is going to take a lot of work. You have to be aware of a lot of things going on around you. You’ll be second-guessing yourself a lot, but in time, these skills will become second nature.

Are You Really Listening?

Listening seems like an easy skill – just let your friend drone on and on about their favourite hobby. There, you’re an exceptional listener.

No. That’s totally wrong. The reality is that listening can be as active as talking.

Next time you have a conversation with someone, check yourself before you jump in and speak. Squeeze your thumb and index finger together as a reminder. It’s too easy to change the conversation topic to yourself or something you know. Can you name at least three things you’ve learned from the conversation? If you can’t, start listening properly.

Zoning out is a bad habit, so avoid it at all costs in the workplace. You’ll seem disinterested and it’ll make your peers doubt whether you actually absorbed any important information. Use a notebook to write information down if it helps. This is especially useful if you have talkative colleagues or bosses who could do with looking to improve their communication skills themselves!

Practice Your Public Speaking Wherever You Are

A lot of people say you should practice in front of the mirror or make a video of yourself speaking, but who really wants to do that? See everyday interactions as your chance to work on your public speaking. Pay attention to your posture, keep eye contact, and smile at whoever you’re talking to.

Consider your key message and what you want to say.

Don’t waffle or get off track.

Structure and Flow Are Important

Why are many presentations mind-numbingly boring?

Often, it’s because they’re too long, poorly planned, and unstructured.

What purpose does your presentation have? Get into the head of your audience and assume they’re going to get bored quickly. How can you make your information appealing and get across the key message?

Think of K.I.S.S. – “Keep it simple stupid.”

Don’t go for fancy fonts or try to cram as much as you can onto a page. When you try to cram you usually do nothing but tell people stuff they already know. Keep slides slick and add value through your own presenting style.

Your presentation should have a start, middle, and end.

If for whatever reason it has to be a long one, build in a pause for short breaks, which will help keep people refreshed and engaged. Tell them at the start you’re going to have a break, it’ll stop them zoning out!

If You Use Emojis in Your Presentation – Stop Right Now

Just don’t. Don’t even entertain the idea.

There is (maybe) a time and a place for emojis. A professional presentation isn’t one of them.

Dress the Part

What message are you sending to your audience if you turn up in shorts and flip flops?

Dress for the target audience and event. Some events will need a formal suit, while others can be more relaxed. It’s stressful, tiring, and tricky trying to pick the right outfit, but dressing well can help further your career.

It’s often said, dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If managers wear a suit jacket, follow their lead. If you’re speaking or networking at an event or venue where you don’t know the dress code, just ask someone!

When Networking, Don’t Just Suck up to the Most Important Person

Find the most important person in the room, compliment everything about them, hang on to their every word. Job done! You’ve advanced your career!

Everyone else has tried this approach. It won’t advance your career in the way you hope and this is a perfect example of poor communication in action. When networking, treat everyone with the same respect and be interested in their business and conversation. Never brush someone off because you don’t think they’re important enough.

You never know who they know, and you could miss a huge opportunity.

Improving Your Communication and Presentation Skills

Put these ideas into action and watch your confidence soar and your career take off. Becoming a better communicator and presenter may seem daunting, but learning these new skills is great fun and well worth the effort in the end.


Maurice De Castro is the Founder of Mindful Presenter. Maurice is a former corporate executive of some of the UK’s most successful brands. Maurice believes that the route to success in any organisation lies squarely in its ability to really connect with people. That’s why he left the boardroom to create a business helping leaders to do exactly that. Learn more at https://mindfulpresenter.com/

Being more conscious about your impact on the environment is important because humans do have the ability to better preserve the world they live in. There are a number efforts being made all over the world to reduce the environmental impact of humans, such as the Cadiz Water Project, but living a more environmentally responsible life ultimately begins at home. There are things you can start doing today that will aid you in reducing your carbon footprint so that you can further the efforts being made to sustain the environment.

Reduce How Much Meat You Eat

You do not have to give it up completely, but consider only eating meat one to two times a week instead of most nights of the week. It is estimated that in order to support and raise livestock, it requires over 30 percent of the Earth’s surface. This industry is responsible for greenhouse gas emissions and might be contributing to global warming. When you are eating less meat, you are doing your part to reduce greenhouse gases and global warming.

Make It a Point to Recycle

Many cities throughout the country have been working on efforts to make it easier for residents to recycle. If you have this type of program in your area, make sure to take advantage of it. If not, you can usually separate and bag your recyclables and then drop them off at a recycling center. As part of this same effort, it is also a good idea to reduce your reliance on paper products.

Think about all of the paper items you use daily and now consider which ones you can replace with more sustainable materials. For example, instead of using a paper calendar, take advantage of the digital one on your cell phone.

Conserve Water at Home

One way to improve how eco-friendly your home is involves working hard to use less water. You can actually make a difference do this and it plays into the larger efforts, such as the Cadiz Water Project, that works to improve how people store, capture and renew water.

There are many ways that you can use less water at home, such as fixing all water leaks promptly, turning off the faucet when washing your hand or brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers and measuring the water you use for cooking. You might also consider plumbing fixtures that automatically use less water, such as an eco-friendly toilet.

Create a Compost Bin or Pile and Plant a Garden

Instead of throwing away all of the food scraps and other items, you can use them to create a lush and thriving garden. It is not too hard to build the bin you would use to store this and they do not have to be big, so you can even take advantage of it if your yard space is limited. Just make sure you know what can go into the bin and what to leave out so that your compost has the right mixture of nutrients for your garden.

Your garden means that you get to control the pesticides and other products that are used on your produce. This allows for a healthier and more eco-friendly selection of foods in your home. The use of pesticides and similar products can have a negative impact on the environment, so by gardening, you are helping to alleviate this.

Switch Out Your Light Bulbs

Switching your light bulbs for ones that are the CFL type can cut the electricity usage in your home. These bulbs tend to be much brighter and have a lifespan as much as six to 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs. So, they cost slightly more to purchase, but since they last longer, you will actually save money over time. You will also not have to worry about bulbs frequently burning out in your home.

Reduce Your Usage of Energy

Energy usage is a major factor when it comes to making your life more eco-friendly. As a bonus, when you reduce your energy usage, you will also reduce your energy bills so you benefit in multiple ways. You might consider investing in appliances that have the Energy Star rating so that they automatically use less energy during operation. Avoid washing and drying clothes until you have a full load, lower your thermostat just two to three degrees in winter, or raise it by the same amount in the summer and do not turn on lights unless you are using them.

You can see that there are a number of things that you can start doing to make your carbon footprint much smaller. It is ideal to implement as many eco-friendly changes as you can so that you have a positive impact on the environment. Start with one or two changes and then work your way up, making it easier to transition into a life that is greener and more sustainable.

40 Acts of Service

by Lance Ekum on August 13, 2017 · 0 comments

Sometimes it’s nice to do something for someone  just because. With to-do lists a mile long and life’s other responsibilities clouding your mind, it can be easy to forget how important it is to nurture our closest relationships. Whether it’s reminding your loved ones just how loved they are or doing that chore they dread, you’d be surprised by the impact you can make on someone’s day.

And the best part is, these inexpensive tasks cost you nothing but a little time. Not to mention, making someone smile is priceless. As a reminder of the many things you can do for someone else, ProFlowers created a collection of acts of service ideas. Save the ideas below and share them with the ones you love.

acts of service

Image courtesy ProFlowers.com.

With the ever-growing stress and intensity of our jobs and everyday lives, time is becoming a much treasured commodity. Because we are constantly “out of time”, many people feel too overwhelmed with their daily tasks and job obligations to make a space in their schedules for exercising or running.

But, the fact is that one shouldn’t neglect their body, fitness level and overall wellbeing because of the lack of time. In order to stay in shape, improve your flexibility, tone your body and release yourself from the stress, implementing some form of exercise on a daily basis is a must.

You do not need to spend hours and hours of strenuous training. All it takes is establishing a fitness routine which includes workouts, runs or other activities 3 or more times per week.



One way to stick to your fitness regimen without this affecting your work and other daily chores and activities is to get up pre-dawn or just an hour or so earlier in the morning, and do your

 

workout or go out for a run then. This will give you an early start, and will energize your body and boost your metabolism, so that you can go on with your daily schedule as normal in time.

The problem which many people have is developing the habit of exercising or running early in the morning.

Here are some tips which will help you adapting this new exercise routine in your life:

  • Set as many alarms as you need to make sure that you wake up in time, and place them somewhere within your reach, so that you need to get up to turn them off.
  • Prepare your morning snack on the night before and set the timer of your coffeemaker for earlier as well.
  • Also, lay out all your exercise clothes, gear, shoes, your mp3 player, phone and anything else you need for your workout or for your run before you get to bed, so that you don’t lose time looking for this and that in the morning hours.
  • Do not be tempted to check your Facebook profile, your e-mail, or start browsing through your favorite social media timelines. This could take more time than you intended, which will lead to a delay in your whole daily schedule.

 

    By adding just a little bit of effort to your morning program, you will soon feel the impact this effort is having on your body, your fitness level, your energy level and your overall wellbeing! Your body will continue burning the calories from the exercise for about 14 hours after training, so you can rest assure that the food you consume will be used to replenish the body, rather than be stored under the form of fat.

  • Consider going to bed earlier than usual. Try to relax with some soothing music and go to sleep earlier, so that waking up earlier isn’t such a painful experience for you.
  • Find a running or training buddy to join you. Having a friend with you for your early workouts or runs is definitely motivating, and will make you feel guilty for letting the person down by skipping a training session. Also, working out with a friend is fun, because you can catch up on the latest gossip and news early on in the day.
  • Keep in mind that at first all new initiatives seem difficult, but in time as you get into the habit of getting up early and exercising early, you will find that it will actually grow on you, and you will be anticipating it every time.
  • Keep track of your runs or training performance, and enjoy reaching your goals and watching the improvement you are making.

About the author: Cara is addicted to running and healthy food, loves taking pictures, writing, and spending quality time with her family. She writes about running at ComfortHacks and about sports gear and other sports related topics for Fitaholic Gear.

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