The Practices of the Heart Part III – The Practice of Being Present

When I enter a room, when I commit to a project, I am present. I show up fully. I let things matter. I realize that I make a difference in this world. I am present with my undivided attention. I don’t let my attention wander to where I am not currently-the past or the future. Do you have a hard time being present? Do you notice your mind wandering to regrets of the past or dreams for the future? The practice of being present is about being mindful-focusing your attention on the here and now? For the truth is that there is only the present.

The past and future are thoughts we are having in the present moment! When you are not focused on the task at hand, whether you are engaged in a personal activity, or on the phone with a client-you are not giving 100% to the endeavor. So how do you practice being present when your mind wanders all over the place? Start simply by tuning in to your five senses, a quick way to bring you into the moment. Then ask yourself what you are feeling. Close your eyes and identify what’s going on with you in the present moment.

When you are tuned into your environment through your senses, you know you are present. When you are focused on your feelings, you are in the present. Another practice of being present is to take time out of your “doing” and spend time “being.” We are often so caught up with what we could be doing now, and in the next moment, and the next. Give yourself the gift of quality time to focus and be aware in the present. It’s a great time for renewing your energy. Take slow, deep breaths. Allow your mind to quiet down and be at peace. You can’t be anywhere but in the present when you are breathing slowly and ‘being” in the moment. Use this practice when you’re on overload. You don’t want to show up for a meeting physically while your mind is thinking about last night or where you need to be in an hour. You want to give your full attention to those around you.

Be present for your business associates, your clients, and your prospects. You know what it’s like when you want the attention of someone who is clearly not tuned in with you. How does that make you feel? Disrespected, unimportant? You don’t want to do this to others. Let them know you value and respect them enough to give them the full and present you. Take the peace from your practice of “being” into your “doing.” Live in the present for the sake of yourself, your sanity, and those around you.

Presentation’s Best Friends Is PowerPoint

Microsoft is the brain behind having introduced PowerPoint, which is a program that was developed especially to give effective presentations. It is a part of the standard Office suite along with Microsoft’s Excel and Word. This software lets users to create anything that ranges from the very basic slideshows to the most complex of those. More often than not, it is used to create business presentations but not limited to that since even for educational and informal purposes, it is very much brought into usage. The word comprises slides, which might contain text, pictures and other media components such as video clips and audio. Multimedia and other graphical elements could as well be included to give that extra edge to your work or creation.

This however should be kept in mind that inappropriate usage of audio and visual contents might just devastate the entire look and even annoy viewers extremely. PowerPoint presentation is usually developed with the help of templates that are bundled inside such tools which comprise features such as color for background, image, font styles and many choices of layouts to be used in slide shows. Customization of the templates could as well be done easily in order to personalize the look and match ones needs. Master slide is the one that saves the main theme. Given any form of changes are made, they are propagated to the rest of the slides. This is one major feature since it helps in maintaining a harmony in all the slides. When presenting the presentation, the tool might opt for slide alterations on a periodical basis or even might control the flow on its own.

To do this, you could use mouse, remote control or the keyboard. Further the flow could be customized by loading the slides entirely or one at a time in a row. To make easy changes in your document, you’d need using word format and for this you’d have to convert from pdf to word via a converter. PowerPoint is a format that is best for this purpose and similarly after creating documents and to send them over to others over the Net, the best format that could be used is portable document format. PDF is a fixed-layout format used for representing two-dimensional documents in a manner independent of the application software, hardware, and operating system. Its best utility is that it does not fall prey to viruses and also does not get corrupted when transmitted over the internet.

How to Present Successfully

Delivering a presentation requires a lot of confidence, but the whole process is much smoother if you prepare well. There are several things you can do to make sure your presentation runs smoothly and has the effect you wish.

Firstly, think about the aim of your presentation. Do you want to provide information, or do you want to change people’s opinion of something? Are you presenting to a group of workers or to a group of board members? The aim of your presentation and your audience should influence how you present your information. For example, board members may just want concise facts and figures, whereas workers may need a more motivational presentation filled with stories and jokes.

A good point to remember is that no-one likes to sit through a boring speech. This means that dozens of powerpoint slides filled with text are out of the question, and try not to just read off a screen. If you can, memorise what you’re going to talk about or use some bullet points to help you keep talking. If your presentation sounds natural and you can modulate your voice, change your tone and make eye contact with members of the audience, you will keep them interested.

Practice really is key to giving a good presentation. It allows you to learn your subject well and prepares you for many eventualities. What do you do if someone asks a question during your talk? The more you practice the more confident you will sound because the presentation will become automatic. This allows you to focus more on being a good presenter on stage, on projecting your voice and thinking about your breathing.

Using props during a presentation is a great way to keep the audience interested. Pictures, flip-charts and cartoons give them something to look at and somewhere new to direct their attention. They can also help to emphasise your point and make what you’ve said more memorable.

Finally, make sure that you look the part on the day. Some presentations, for example to students, are informal and it’s OK to dress casually as the audience expects this. A presentation to board members on the other hand probably requires a suit. If you work in a creative industry a suit might look a little out of place. Again, think about your audience and the points you’re trying to get across and dress accordingly.