Archive for: June, 2023

8 Ideas For Engagement Presents

Jun 08 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Engagement presents can be hard to shop for. Why not try an alternative approach and walk around your house and consider what you want or need and compare that with an engaged couple?

As you leave your home, it is common to check your appearance to make sure your hair is not out of place and is looking good, there are no marks on your face, your clothes looked pressed and crisp. So why not buy a stylish mirror for the engaged couple.

If you want your engagement present to be the centre of attention, the ideal room has to be the lounge. Often the busiest room in the house, there are a number of things you could buy. You could purchase a painting, a photograph, a standard photo frame or perhaps a digital one.

Does the engaged couple love to cook? Then the perfect gift may be for the kitchen. Consider a knife or utensils set or a dinner set to include dinner plates, bowls, cups and glasses.

Perhaps cutlery for the dining room would suit the couple better or presentation bowl for fruit, dessert or drink, think punch or juice.

Maybe you want something a little more distinct and you want to buy a engagement present that stands out from the rest. A risky strategy, one that may lead to disaster or make you shine above the rest. Consider a tree, plant, pet or how about a garden gnome, a hose or a sprinkler.

How about something for the shed? If either of the couple enjoy or frequently do DIY, consider some tools for the basic essentials, think hammer, screw driver, pliers, wire cutters and nails.

Are you thinking of an engagement present for the bedroom? How about some candles, so they can make the best of a romantic evening. Bed sheets or cover for the couple to roll around, cuddle and get snug in.

Before or after a big day, how about something to help them unwind like scented candles and massage oils to help the stress drift away.

Engagement presents can be delight to give, careful thought will ensure they are a delight to receive.

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The Little Things in Life: Food Presentation

Jun 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

While it may seem silly, the appearance of a little radish rose on my salad plate has the power to tickle me from head to toe. Maybe it’s my fondness for the concept of edible art. Moreover, can you deny that a pretty dessert or any other dish just seems to taste better? Even the slightest special touches in culinary preparation and presentation transform the mere act of eating into a full-blown aesthetic experience. Sprucing up a buffet for a party or a sit-down meal for guests (or an especially spoiled loved one) is easier than you might think and makes all the difference. People will be truly dazzled by these extra little touches. Here are some ideas to get you started in the art of food presentation. Good luck!

Presentation Basics

  • Color- When it comes to color, it’s all about creating contrasts. A dish with a white sauce is going to look boring on a white plate. When it comes to “plating” food, put a few colorful vegetables next to visually bland items like mashed potatoes. Even a dollop of yogurt can look spectacular atop a bowl of split-pea soup!
    • Chargers, the circular settings under plates, are also a great opportunity for color and contrast. They come in all different colors, textures, and materials.
  • Nature- The best food presentation incorporates the beauty of nature. A simple vase of flowers can do so much for a table, but experiment with less common items like pinecones. Fill a vase with crabapples and pinecones for a great-smelling autumn centerpiece. Mix flowers and fruits for especially beautiful and interesting centerpieces. For example, intersperse white flowers with limes in a silver bowl, or combine bright lilies with tropical fruits.
    • While porcelain and glass serving platters are common in food presentation, don’t forget wood! Natural and even exotic woods work beautifully to display items like breads and cheese.
  • Odd Numbers- A good rule of thumb in any type of decorating is that an odd number of items grouped together is more visually attractive. Just as you would, for example, place a group of three pillar candles on the fireplace mantle, keep the same rule of odd numbers in mind when decorating your table or buffet and when garnishing plates.
  • Whiteware- Nothing is as elegant or as easily adaptable as a set of basic whiteware, including white platters, plates, and white linens. You can dress it up or down for different events.

On The Plate

  • Smaller is Better- Take a cue from fancy restaurants and create smaller, more elegant portions. Slice vegetables like bell peppers into thin strips. Use plates with a smaller basin for food, but a larger rim to create the illusion of a larger portion. Arrange the food vertically or fan it outward from the center for more artistic arrangements.
  • Garnish- While this may seem obvious, only decorate with edible food. You want people’s taste buds to respond to everything on the plate. Moreover, the garnish should correspond to predominant flavors in the dish. Garnish with sprigs of rosemary for a chicken dish with rosemary in it.
  • Sprinkle- If a food looks boring, sprinkle on some fresh chopped herbs, nuts, or finely chopped vegetables.
  • Squeeze Bottles- Forget the ladle! The big thing with sauces right now is to paint and drizzle designs over your food with a squeeze bottle. Drizzle thin lines of teriyaki sauce back and forth over dumplings, for example.

Curls, Roses, and other Edible Accoutrements

  • Butter Curls/Rosettes
    • Heat a butter curler under hot water for a moment and pull gently over a stick of firm butter to create curls. Dip in hot water between each curl.
    • Use softened butter and a piping bag with a flower nozzle to create pretty butter flowers. Remember to keep chilled until right before serving!
  • Vegetable Creations
    • Carrots- Use a vegetable peeler to cut strips of carrot, roll each into a spiral, and secure with a toothpick. Submerge in ice water for several hours and the carrot strip will remain curled after removing the toothpick.
    • Cherry Tomatoes- To create a cherry tomato flower, cut a small X on the blossom side of a cherry tomato. Partially peel back the tomato skin in the four sections with a sharp knife to make four petals.
    • Cucumber/Zucchini- Create fluting along a cucumber or zucchini slice with a fork.
    • Green Onions- For green onion “brushes,” cut the roots and most of the top portion from a green onion and make several cuts at both ends to produce a fringe. After being submerged in ice water for a couple hours, the onion ends will curl back like brushes.
    • Leeks- Make pretty leek “asters” by first cutting off the roots and the bottom a little. Cut into 3-4 cm parts. Using a sharp knife, make many cuts along leek but don’t split the bottom. Soak the leeks in cold water for a day and the flowers will curl out. Sprinkle with beet juice for a touch of color.
    • Radish- Slice small triangles all around the radish and peel back the red skin to create flower petals. Or, make several cuts radiating out from the top center of the radish, soak in cold water, and the radish will “open” on its own. For a cute and simple trick, slice the radish very thin and use the round slices as petals for a flat flower. You can use a carrot slice for the center of the flower and scallions or cucumber peel for the stem.
  • Sweet Touches
    • Chocolate- Let a bar of chocolate come to room temperature and carefully draw a vegetable peeler along the bar to create long curling strips. Use the narrow side to create thin curls and the broad side to make bigger curls. To make chocolate leaves, find some nontoxic, broad leaves such as mint, rose, or lemon. Brush melted semi-sweet chocolate on the underside of the leaves, wiping off any that runs to the front of the leaves. Repeat layers of chocolate to make sturdier leaves. Place chocolate leaves, chocolate side up, on a baking sheet lined with wax paper, and freeze until hard. Then, simply peel away the real leaf from the chocolate leaf.
    • Fruit- Make strawberry fans with stemmed strawberries. Simply cut many, small slices into the strawberry almost to the green stem but not quite through and then fan out the strawberry. Or for an easier trick, brush fresh fruit with a mixture of water and meringue powder, and then immediately sprinkle with (granulated) sugar for a frosted look.
    • Sugar- Powdered sugar (or cocoa powder) can easily create designs on top of brownies or a cake. Cut out a design from a piece of sturdy paper, such as swirls or stars, and then lay the piece of paper over the dessert. Sift the powder on top and then carefully remove the paper. Voila!

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5 Steps To Planning A Technical Presentation

Jun 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

As a technical expert your success and your organization’s success depend in some way on your ability to present your ideas clearly and persuasively. Follow these five steps to create a presentation that other people will understand and remember.

1. Know your Subject

If you’re like most technical experts, you probably spend too much time doing research. Then, because you haven’t allowed yourself enough time to pull it all together, you panic. You try cramming everything into your presentation, creating more slides than you can possibly do justice to.

Since you usually don’t have the time you need to say everything you want to say, you have to prioritize. It’s your job to know what to say and, just as importantly, what not to say.

2. Know your Audience

Knowing your audience is as important as knowing what you’re talking about. Their knowledge level, experience, learning style, and attitudes will – or should – affect how you shape your presentation.

Answer these questions:

What does you audience already know about your subject? How much knowledge can you take for granted? How much background will you have to explain? Will they understand basic jargon?

What is their learning style? Are they accustomed to sitting through lectures and holding their questions to the end? Or will they expect to interact with you, asking questions throughout your presentation? Do they like lots of PowerPoint(TM) slides? Or are they expecting you to be more interactive?

What are their opinions, prejudices, preconceived notions, agendas? How will your presentation affect them?

3. Know your Objective

What do you want to accomplish? What do you want your audience to do as a result of your presentation?

Do you want them to confirm your assumptions or data? To implement your procedure or technique? To renew your grant? To approve your proposal? To give you the go ahead for the next step of your research? When you know what you want them to do, ask yourself what they need to know and to feel in order to do it.

4. Know your Outline

Rough out the general shape of your talk. Break it into smaller pieces that flow logically one into another.

If possible, break your presentation into three basic sections. (You can divide each section into more, smaller units.) Here are some 3-section outlines you might find helpful:

  • The problem, its causes, and the solution.
  • The illness, the symptoms, and the treatment
  • The current situation or standard operating procedure, the problems associated with it, and an alternative
  • The state of your research, questions raised by your research, and the next steps
  • A product, how and why it was developed, and its application

Once you’ve clumped the various elements of your talk into their major sections – I strongly recommend three sections, but you could have as many as five – add an introduction and conclusion.

5. Create your Slides

Now you can turn on PowerPoint(TM) and begin creating your slides. Use graphs, charts, illustrations, and pictures as much as possible. Avoid using lots of words.

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Presentation Goofs That Will Guarantee That You Will Be Forgotten as a Speaker

Jun 05 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Realize that the following techniques are to be avoided. I have observed presenters that practice all of these no-nos and are never asked back.

Never look anyone in the eye. Scan the room with your gaze somewhere above the heads of audience members. I know that I have read this tip somewhere in the past, but I also know that if you do this, you will never make contact and interact with your audience. Yes, you will avoid seeing some who look bored and others who are dozing off, but you will never give the impression that you are speaking directly to everyone and never feel the encouragement and energy given back by those you look at “eyeball to eyeball” for at least three seconds.

Put your whole presentation on PowerPoint slides. Then, you can read the information right off the slides. You will even be able to copy the slides and use the copies for your handouts. What could be easier? Not much. But it will also be easy for those attending your presentation to take a nap while the room is darkened, glance quickly at the handouts following your session to find any worthwhile tidbits of information and then toss it all in the wastebasket.

Phew! You are ready to close your presentation. You have already gone way over your time limit, but after telling the audience that the end was near, you remembered all sorts of extra facts and points you had forgotten to tell them. You know that you have succeeded at driving them crazy when everyone starts looking at his or her watch — especially the next speaker. If you have reached this part of the article, you realize that I have almost overstated techniques to avoid, and even if none of the previous habits in any way describe you, be sure to take heed of the next no-no. Many a fine presenter makes this mistake at the end of a super presentation.

Rush off the stage/podium before the audience gets a chance to show its appreciation. You have given the best presentation of your career (and each time you present, this should be so), but before the audience gets a chance to applaud with gusto, or even get on their feet for a standing ovation, you are not there anymore to graciously accept their thanks.

Pay attention to the above techniques, so that you can remove them as quickly as possible from your presentations.

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Preparing and Planning For a Presentation

Jun 04 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

You may sometime in your career be called upon to make a presentation. Then on delivering or speaking in front of people you wished the ground would open up and swallow you. Even the most confident people will have this fear and dread. Being nervous prior to any preparation is perfectly normal, in fact a certain amount of nervousness will get the adrenalin going and can produce the best performances. However, too much nervousness can spoil performances.

By reading through these notes you will discover that by doing more and more presentations, preparing and planning you will be able to reduce the fear.

In fact many of the fears and problems in public speaking can be overcome by two things:

Practice and Preparation
Preparing and Planning your preparation

Only by doing more and more presenting with plenty of planning and practicing, you will be able to reduce the fear and become a more confident person.


To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail.


Before making a preparation there are certain questions you need to know:-

Why am I making the presentation? Is it to communicate new information, to make proposition or to inspire or motivate.

What am I going to say? Really know your subject, make use of books and directories etc, make lots of notes, think of questions you may be asked and how you will answer them.

Who am I going to speak to? You need to know the size of your audience to help determine the level of formality, also how much do they know about the subject.

Where will I be making the presentation? You should visit the venue to determine the seating arrangement and to organise any equipment you will be using.

How will I say it? Is it formal or informal and what will they expect.

After you have determined the above questions the next stage would be in the Planning.


How much time have you been given for your presentation?
To write your notes.
Time needed for each subject (if more than one) to rehearse and read over.
For research and preparation
To practice, practice and practice.


Welcome courtesies
Identify your self, name and job
Intention – topic
Time – any breaks
Questions and Handouts

Techniques and skills in presenting

The notes
Write out your whole preparation in full, read it through, make notes on cards, sheets of paper or use power point speaker notes

The Audience
Maintain eye contact
Don’t bury your head in your notes
Avoid distractions
Make sure you do not over run

The Questions
Knowing why people ask questions will help you answer them
Listen carefully to the question
Decide and tell the audience when are you going to answer them
Ask for clarification if needed
Answer briefly keeping to the point

The Delivery
Gear it around ‘what is it in for your audience’
Begin without referring to your notes
Use a minimum number of note cards
Do not fiddle
Do not give materials out, it detracts attention
Appear to enjoy what you are doing
Focus on your audience throughout your presentation
Speak with enthusiasm
Vary your speaking rate, tone and volume
Do not panic if you make a mistake
Give a genuine smile
Be yourself, be natural

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