Presentation Training for Narrative and Design

PowerPoint is one of the very first applications that people use when first entering the world of work. They learn how to structure slides, add eye-catching images and how to stop the slideshow from jamming. But for many people, sadly, that is where it stops – they may never learn about the real structure of presentations. In short, many people become competent in the basics of PowerPoint presentation software, but without advanced PowerPoint training, never learn the “soft” skills that can make all the difference.

These skills include bringing out the key points of an idea, engaging language and an eye for visual design. Presentation training can bestow upon the trained employee or self-employed business owner the linguistic confidence of a copywriter, the pizzazz of a great graphic designer, and the clarity of a confident, convincing public speaker.

Narrative is an important part of any presentation. All too often listeners get confused by narratives that ramble off in unimportant directions. The reason for this confusion is simple: the presenter may know which points are crucial, but their audience has no way of knowing. The presenter simply trusts that their pitch will come across if they are passionate about it – but in fact listeners are very simple, and pay attention to concepts and key points that are repeated often and in prominent places in the speech’s structure. If jokes are more common than repetition of key points, all they’ll remember is the jokes!

Many people underestimate the power that a strong narrative and presentation structure has to convince key decision makers and make concepts stick in their minds – but most people are more aware of the power of great design. They know that when a webpage, poster or slide is visually striking, their attention will be grabbed. What they often don’t know, though, is just how to achieve design that will strike others as interesting, worthwhile and useful. In fact, the arrangement of elements on a slide, the nature and variety of those elements, and their relevance to key points and ideas can make all the difference between a pretty but forgettable presentation, and one which inspired the people who heard it.

All these skills, and more, can be learnt in a presentation training book, seminar or course of lessons. With the confidence that comes from knowing how to engage people, much of the nervousness often seen in people faced with giving presentations disappears – which of course will make the PowerPoint presentation even more memorable, persuasive, and likely to seal the deal.

Document processing is more efficient when done online

Automated document processing has been a common and cost-effective method of handling invoices and other records electronically for 50+ years. The capability to scan a document into a computer’s automation software on arrival simplifies the entire process of invoice processing.

No longer do company staff need to go through a lengthy manual filing process of up to 15 steps before an invoice can be paid. These days, accounts payable employees bank on automated document management systems to do the hard work for them. Intelligent Data Capture (IDC) systems save employee time and reduce the risk of human error in a way that, not too long ago, would have seemed unthinkable.

Sometimes, there is the complicationof different companies using different invoice processing systems, or of dealing with a company that is stuck in the past, still completing all of their filing and processing by hand. However, there is a broad consensus across industries that automated systems represent the future of administrative business tasks, and it’s not likely to be long before most companies catch up, especially given the saving of time and error that comes with using automated document management.There is such a big variety of types of files that can benefit from automated document processing, especially given the growth in traceability and communication that has come with the universality of the net. Most companies use automated databases to keep information about sales suppliers employee payroll and performance, as well as to produce pay slips and periodic progress reports.

Another little-appreciated advantage to automating invoice processing and other documentation management is an eco-friendly one. Businesses who take the step to bring filing and databasing online save large amounts of paperwork, especially using innovations like electronic invoices and purchasing orders. Just think about how many trees are downed per year to supply printed invoices, pay slips and sales orders. Most people aren’t aware of the scale of this problem, but almost all companies are more than aware of the exorbitant cost of printing sheet after sheet of paper – often only to feed that information back into a computer manually.

But all of those filing cabinets full of ecologically-unfriendly paperwork are becoming a thing of the past as more and more managing directors realize the importance of cloud-based digital document management. Outsourcing gives companies the liberty to spend valuable time focusing on raising sales, brand awareness and manufacturing levels, whilst able to sleep easily, knowing that the day-to-day filing tasks are taken care of.

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Next generation access is the key to poor web coverage

The UK’s ICT infrastructure is better than much of the rest of the continent’s, but connectivity is poorly distributed throughout the country. Whilst London and the southeast mostly enjoy fast internet access, some of the outlying regions and rural areas are still using the old telephone network’s copper cables for their infrastructure. Consequently speeds can be down to the ‘dial up’ rates of a decade or more back. next generation access involves improving these phone networks – which were never supposed to support high-bandwidth internet traffic – to fibre-optic cables which are capable of transmitting huge volumes of data very quickly. The problem is that such upgrades are pricey, and companies are not always ready to make the investment. However, this means that whole villages can be stuck with slow internet access. Given the role of the web for business, personal communication and life in general now, this is problematic. One solution is community broadband.

Community broadband is a way of bringing groups of people together and sharing connections between them. These are locally-organised programmes aimed at addressing ‘not spots’ – those areas that presently have little or no connectivity. They are often administrated by social enterprises or not-for-profit groups and are therefore cost-effective. There have already been some great success stories, with tens or hundreds of thousands of people in some towns connected to the high-speed web. This obviously comes with many benefits, not least that e-commerce now accounts for a sizeable proportion of GDP; good internet access is viewed as a prerequisite for the economic recovery which is currently elusive.

Communications technology is fast-moving. Only a few years ago it was almost unimaginable to browse the internet on a smartphone – the mobile phone revolution is itself less than 20 years old. Whilst this makes some businesses (and individuals) wary about upgrading – the new technology may soon become obsolete itself – it also means that those without next generation access are being left behind, reliant on phone cables that were never intended to handle the load that is currently demanded of them. The UK’s ICT infrastructure is patchy, and large areas – particularly remote places – have very slow access. Community broadband is a way of addressing this and bringing equality of speed to the country. This will be fundamental both to economic recovery and addressing the north/south divide in terms of web access.

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Glass louvres preventing high-angle summer rays

In modern cities it has become usual for many buildings to be presented in long, smooth expanses of glass. They look chic, futuristic and efficient, though in many ways they are reminiscent of the principles of early modernist architects such as Le Corbusier, continued in many aspects by the likes of Jean Nouvel and Renzo Piano (the men behind the superbly designed and instantly recognisable Villa Savoye, Centre Pompidou and Institut du Monde Arabe). Certainly, the most recent buildings by Nouvel and Piano are well equipped to deal with the changing light that the coming and going of different seasons brings about. In older modernist buildings, however, there is a pervasive tendency for overheating or other temperature control issues to become problematic. In the summer, for example, the sun enters buildings from a much higher angle than it does during the rest of the year. And this means that the building has to either confront the subsequent rise in temperature inside the building or be faced with unhappy residents or workers who are simply too hot for comfort. Brise soleil can be added to buildings to deal very precisely with this problem. glass louvres and external louvres meanwhile can provide tailored sun shading techniques at the same time as adding aesthetic value to a less attractive building’s façade.

When you think of the positive benefits sun shades can bring to commercial blocks, the value of investing in brise soleil will be very apparent. From an external point of view the building should be sufficiently appealing – that is to say unique, interesting and memorable so that it boosts your brand’s identity – to capture as many business partners as possible and sustain their loyalty many years down the line. From an internal point of view, the focus should be on your workers: a building whose indoor temperature is comfortable is more conducive to high levels of productivity because happy workers are more efficient workers than hot and flustered ones who can’t wait to get on their lunch break or go home to cool down and relax.

Brise soleil will not merely encourage employees to do more work, however; the possibilities are more exciting than than only increasing profits and efficiency. One surprising plus point that sun shading solutions bring is in their capacity to add aesthetic interest.

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Kickboxing London for kids and adults

Many Londoners love their jam-packed lifestyles in which the strains in their careers can almost always be countered through weekend engagement in the capital’s unrivalled social and cultural scene. However, once professional and leisure needs have been fulfilled, there is often little time left for exercise. Or, enough time is available but motivation is lacking. Of course, all of this is more than understandable: a trip to the gym or a run in the park appears as scant reward for a week of mental challenges. What’s more, these kinds of exercise are solitary, and the latter rather off-putting in the wetter and colder months. But this is why alternative exercise ideas such as London kickboxing classes are really worth exploring: a London kickboxing club is as much a social hub as it is a place for physical exertion… and, for all those who feel the cold, rest assured that kickboxing London takes place inside!

Those left unconvinced that the martial arts are going to appeal should avoid basing their assumptions on other classes attended in the past or on the particular experiences of friends and work mates. It is always best to try things out for oneself because the varieties of martial arts being practised in London are so wide-ranging. London kickboxing classes, for example, can include elements of karate, oriental kicking and punching and western kickboxing to constitute an all-encompassing kind of aerobic workout. Indeed, in distinction to the conventional aerobics class that appropriates moves from jazz and even insists at times on feeble handclapping, kickboxing London is more powerful and empowering. It helps participants learn self-defence techniques and improve on their coordination and speed. Altogether, a London kickboxing club is a great place to spend a portion of one’s free time because it leaves exercisers invigorated and better equipped for both their jobs and their social lives.

Finally, even working mothers or fathers are well-catered for in a London kickboxing club: parents will often worry about finding childcare for the hours they wish to dedicate to exercise but, because there are separate London kickboxing classes specifically geared towards young ones, the whole family can get fit in the same place at the same time. What’s more, kickboxing London really benefits children: it helps them concentrate for longer, gain a sense of achievement and earn respect for their teacher – skills that will have a real positive impact on their behaviour and development at school.

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Bacs payments made with ultimate levels of efficiency

It doesn’t matter what kind or what size of business you are in, it is quite certain that it has in common with all businesses the need to make and receive payments. Indeed, the very definition of the word business connotes the practice of obtaining or selling goods or services. The most commercially successful businesses tend to be those that make the greatest number of exchanges; for those with their sights set on topping the market, buying and selling the right items at the right price becomes an art to be repeated as frequently as possible. With an increased number of exchanges comes an increased level of responsibility, however, clients will expect to pay for and receive their goods quickly and without encountering mistakes or delays. BACS software can help meet these clients’ demands by minimizing errors and time lapses because, quite simply, bacs payments are both efficient and almost infallible. There was once a time when BACS were synonymous with slowness – sometimes taking over three days to clear. Now it is a different story; these automated payments represent one of the fastest and safest methods of exchanging money.

The improved service supplied by BACS means that increasing numbers of businesses are using this payment method to manage the transactions they are involved in. The fact that one improvement has been in security has been a key factor in this increase: excellent levels of security really are paramount in business because not only do they keep businesses’ secrets confidential and their revenue protected against fraud, they also safeguard the banking and personal details of clients.

Customers who feel valued by the businesses they deal with are much more likely to use a company’s services or invest in their goods again. Indeed, in the reverse situation clients who feel badly treated are likely to complain and adversely affect the reputation of a business. Altogether, businesses and their clients are advised to use BACS software to make and receive their bacs payments. Anything other than BACS has simply not stood the test of time and proved itself to be efficient.

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Glass louvres can reduce bills

There are several architectural features that can decrease energy expenditure and might be considered in the design of a new development. Since awareness of environmental issues has risen – plus energy costs – these technologies can be good ways of combating either excessive heating by the sun and/or using the sun’s energy to heat space where possible. Foremost amongst these features are the brise soleil and external louvres. The first is a catch-all term for different sun barriers, from the simple to fairly complex versions. glass louvres are another way of controlling the amount of solar heating that a building receives.

Modern offices and other buildings often have big windows. This has a number of benefits, including giving them a light, spacious feel, cutting down on the need for indoor lighting and, to an extent, heating – even in Britain, where the sun cannot be relied upon. However, in the height of summer this can result in a different problem, as the space quickly heats up and starts to feel like the inside of a greenhouse. This, in turn, results in an environment that is so uncomfortable that a cooling system is needed. Air conditioning has costs associated with it, as does heating. The question therefore becomes: how to use the sun for heating when it is needed, but not to allow it to overheat the space in hotter weather?

The brise soleil and external louvres can be set in such a way as to exclude the sun’s rays at their most intense. The angle of glass louvres, for example, can be adjusted to block high-angle sun characteristic of the summer months of the year or the middle of the day. At the same time, they allow low-angle sun – characteristic of winter months – into the building. This means that you get the best of both worlds; the sun can be used for heating in cooler weather but excluded in hotter weather. In more sophisticated cases, the louvres are actually movable, meaning that they can be adjusted at the time if the weather is abnormally warm (or cold). These systems are more complicated and therefore expensive, although the building may earn back these additional costs in lower heating and cooling bills. Nevertheless, even fixed systems can go a long way to reducing energy bills and making buildings more pleasant, all year round.

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School uniforms without the agony

If you went to a school with a uniform, and most of us in Britain did, then you will remember the annual pain of obtaining school clothes for the new year. Twenty years ago and more, before supermarkets sold basic school uniforms and before the growth of the internet, children and teenagers, already glum about the end of the long summer holidays, were dragged kicking and screaming into either one of the larger department stores or into a local outfitters to be subjected to hours of trying on too-big clothing. And that was before you repeated the whole torturous exercise with shoes! Thankfully, a London schoolwear supplier, Uniform4kids, has transformed the whole shopping experience for both Mums and school children, meaning that both can now relax during the last moments of summer while all the school uniform items needed are ordered on-line and dispatched to the door.

Many of the previous disadvantages of shopping for school uniforms have now been removed, and it’s advantageous for the suppliers as well as the purchasers. In the “bad old days”, both average-sized kids and those needing more unusual sizes missed out with traditional outlets running out of the normal sizes and often failing to stock the larger or more petite options for a specific school. This doesn’t have to be an issue with on-line purchasing as the on-line suppliers can keep all the uniforms needed in large warehousing complexes out of town and can have large stocks of the items common to several schools in the region – the grey trousers, the navy pinafore dresses and the ubiquitous plimsolls. Parking issues are entirely irrelevant, let alone the threat of having to make a return visit if an item wasn’t in stock.

These on-line stores are particularly popular with schools with a number of distinctive uniform items. A growing number of schools are returning to the blazer, shirt and tie style and are moving away from the more casual school sweatshirts popular for the last couple of decades, convinced that smart clothing leads to better behaviour and a more serious learning environment.

National organisations are also in on the game with Brownie, Cub, Scout and Guide uniforms available from the on-line suppliers, as well as generic exercise and sports equipment. It really is the ultimate one-stop shopping experience.

Although catching on outside the capital, it makes sense that London schoolwear suppliers have expanded on the on-line supply model first. With so many schools in a relatively dense area and the legendary issues of parking to shop in the capital, it’s no wonder parents see buying school clothes by the traditional method as a treat they can easily forgo. It may not be long before going into a traditional outfitters to buy school uniforms becomes just a painful memory of the past. But for those rare parents who used to enjoy taking their children uniform shopping, all is not lost. You still have to buy the shoes!

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Hospitality jobs Singapore can give you

The hospitality industry in Britain took a pounding during the recession, as people resolved to stay at home rather than enjoy eating out and going on trips. Food delivery companies and supermarkets did well out of the dip, but hotels, restaurants and theme parks took a knock. Now, the country is rising out of recession, but the service and hospitality sectors are still struggling. If you are seeking for hospitality jobs singapore might be one area where there is still demand. Or, for hotel jobs Dubai might be a welcome change. When it comes to looking for work in a hard industry, like hotel jobs, Gulf states might be able to offer something that the UK can’t.

Although Dubai, along with other places, was seriously affected by the recession, the tourism industry is still very strong there. In fact, Dubai is one of the most visited cities in the world. (In particular, it is very popular with shoppers and has been called the ‘shopping capital of the Middle East.’) That brings with it opportunities for anyone with a stake in the hospitality industry. Plus, the prognosis is good: by 2015, by some reckonings, the city will see 15 million tourists per year.

The Gulf offers a different sort of life than the one you will be used to in this country. Of course, one of the biggest differences is the heat. Famed for its cold and rainy weather, the UK is rarely a destination for sun-worshippers. The Gulf, on the other hand, is hot by British standards almost all year round. Further east, Singapore’s tropical climate is as different again to the dry heat. Then there is the culture change. Although some of the expectations might be difficult to adjust to in the short term, there is much that Brits find a welcome change when they repatriate East.

For hotel jobs Gulf locations give much for those in the hospitality industry. Dubai’s economy is reliant on tourism, so if you need to narrow your search for hotel jobs Dubai might be one place to look at more closely. If you’re looking further east still for hospitality jobs, Singapore also has loads in the way of vacancies. The pay is generally good, there are a huge range of roles available, and you will have all the added benefits of travelling and experiencing a different way of life for the time of your career there.

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A short term loan can be a way out of short-term problems

Christmas isn’t supposed to be all about presents, tension and expenses, but for many it can turn out that way. A huge number of families go into debt over the holiday period – in fact, it can often take almost the whole of the next year to pay it back. A lot of that debt will be on credit cards and overdrafts, but sometimes there’s a problem more worrying than the interest rates – fines for late payments, and even worse at times. Those are the occasions when a cash advance might make sense. Instant loan approval can have the result that a sum of money is in your bank account on the same day (for an additional fee), or within the normal three days. Such a short term loan might be the answer to the problems caused by overspending in the run-up to Christmas.

Whenever you think about taking advantage of such a loan, it’s important to do the maths before you do. The only question you really need to ask is whether it makes sense financially. If the consequences of not securing such a loan – which are typically given for a period of one month, at rates of around 30 percent – are more expensive than the cost of the loan, then that may be all you need to know. If not, and there are alternatives, that’s another answer. There’s also the short-term/long-term problem: if securing a short-term loan is just a strategy of staving off problems until the next month, when the same thing will happen again, then it’s not really a fix at all. It simply delays the inevitable of rewriting your budget and getting to grips with the figures of income and outgoing – and curtailing expenditure to sustainable levels.

Thus it’s best to consider a cash advance as a last-ditch solution to money problems, if the consequences of not taking a short-term loan will be more problematic. Instant loan approval certainly has its place, but it’s not for everyone. Many people will be able to find an advance more cheaply – assuming you have access to credit cards and overdrafts, you shouldn’t need one. Others will not, and if there are no alternatives then it may be worth looking into. Fortunately, as the name suggests, the loans are almost instant; fees should also be stated somewhere obvious, and the credit check carried out online and usually within a couple of minutes of your application. Companies screen their clients carefully to make sure you’re likely to be able to repay, too, as non-payment isn’t good for either of you.

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