Important Tips to Choose Professional Catering Services

The very notion of planning a party sends shivers down the spines of many. When you consider all that has to be done before visitors arrive, it’s a frightening idea that may become much more so. Even if family and friends are coming over for a casual dinner party, food and beverages are vital. One approach to guarantee that all your guests enjoy the occasion is by hiring the best catering services.

You would believe that obtaining someone to cater will be straightforward, but there are several factors you need to take into account before arranging an appointment with a professional catering services company:

Experience

Consider the kind of event you’re putting up. It’s crucial to check over prior work done by a catering business so that you can decide if they have the appropriate expertise or not. Inquire whether they have previously worked in the location where your event will be hosted if you are using a particular location. You’ll be able to put your faith in them more easily if they’ve already done this.

The Availability of Special Deals and Services

Make sure you know what the catering company can provide for your occasion. Different firms provide different things. Some restaurants exclusively provide pre-made menus, while others allow customers to place bespoke orders. If you want to hold a party where visitors may bring any food they like, the catering service you hire should provide a wide variety of choices.

Pricing and Payment

There is no such thing as set pricing when it comes to catering in Mumbai since expenses range from one company to another. The most crucial thing to consider is that you have a budget in mind so that you can compare pricing with various firms. It’s ideal to put aside a particular amount of money for catering, since this will guarantee that all your guests are fed correctly. If you don’t want the burden of having to pay beforehand, it’s also feasible for you to pay in instalments or even after the event is done.

Accessibility

Of course, there’s no sense hiring a catering service just to find out that they’re not accessible on your selected day for throwing the party. To determine whether or not they’re available, you should first set up a meeting with them. Also, find out what days and hours they are generally free for consultations. Remember that catering firms also have their timetables to adhere to. If there is no one available at the time you have selected for your consultation, it may be advisable to reschedule for an earlier date.

The Bottom Line

With all of these tips, you’ll be able to identify whether the catering service is fit for your requirements or not. If they’re not, you should explore alternative possibilities until you locate the right one. Before you hire a catering firm to manage your next event, be sure that they have just what you need for your party.

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Planning Your Kitchen’s Design

The kitchen is one of the most important places in the house. This is why many pay attention to the design of their kitchen, either when building a kitchen or remodeling a kitchen. Kitchen remodeling is done when the individual is not satisfied with the design of the kitchen and wishes to change it.

Designing a kitchen tends to be stressful and demanding in both time and resources. However, these demands can be minimized with proper planning. Many individuals spend more designing their kitchen because they have no idea of what is involved in a kitchen design. This article will highlight how to plan your kitchen’s design properly. Read on for more information.

The Professionals Needed For A Kitchen Design

Designer: This professional’s role can be like Ed to the role of an architect in a building. They are responsible for drawing designs and modeling how the kitchen will look.
Structural engineer: These professionals are responsible for using the space to evaluate the costs involved in the design, the number of materials needed, and more.
Mechanical engineer: These professionals are responsible for the plumbing activities in the kitchen.
Electrical engineers: These professionals ensure that the electrical fittings are located in the right spot and install the electrical fittings needed in the kitchen.
Designing A Kitchen

The process of designing a kitchen demands planning. This allows an individual to minimize costs to obtain quality and beautiful kitchen designs. Some of the steps involved when planning include:

Set up an interim kitchen: This temporary kitchen allows you to perform primary kitchen functions. This kitchen should be set up away from where kitchen design work is being done.
Plan your budget: It is advisable to enlist the services of a kitchen designer when planning your budget. This is because a kitchen renovator will help you get the best designs for your budget.
The facilities you want in the kitchen: When planning a kitchen’s design, it is helpful to detail the facilities and events you will like in the kitchen. This enables the designer to know how to draft designs. Some of the facilities or events can include an eating table.
Try to maximize the available space: The best kitchen designs are done to maximize the limited space made available. Hence, when planning a kitchen’s design, look for formulas that enable you to make the most of the available space. Some of the formulas may include removing walls or raising the ceiling.
Review the designs: After your kitchen designer has presented you with a series of designs based on your budget, it is essential to have your family members review the designs to pick the best suitable design for the family.
Allow other professionals to see the chosen design: After choosing a specific design, have other professionals see the design to make copies and use the design to draw their design for their respective roles in the kitchen design process.
Conclusion

The better the planning involved in designing a kitchen, the fewer issues that may arise in the future, and the better the quality of the kitchen’s design. This article has highlighted how to properly plan for a kitchen’s design to ensure that an individual can get the best suitable result for your specific taste and situation.

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The Basics of Vehicle Wrap Advertising

A vehicle wrap often known as vinyl wrap is an automotive aftermarket practice that involves a large vinyl cover or printed vinyl decal applied directly over the original paint of the vehicle. A vehicle wrap can be partial and complete both. The partial vehicle wraps is called as vehicle signage and covers some parts of the vehicle like windows while a full wrap covers the entire vehicle.

The vehicle wrap advertising, also called as vehicle branding, can be done on cars, vans, trucks and almost any vehicle. The cost of wrapping a vehicle depend on various factors like type of vehicle, size of vehicle, type of film used, the amount of coverage, etc. Business that opt for vehicle wrap advertising will find that their investment will last for a longer duration (usually 5 to 7 years).

Are you ready to design a visually compelling signage that not only draws viewer’s attention but leaves a lasting impression too? Here are a few things to consider to guarantee vehicle wrap advertising success.

1) Measure twice, wrap once

The vinyl wrap must be properly measured before its installation on a vehicle. Having the right dimensions will help you get a precise quote from the digital printing company. Inaccurate measurements can snatch away the overall appearance and can also distort the design.

To get the right dimensions for a custom vehicle wrap, you should measure the vehicle across its length, width and height. You should also click a few photos of your vehicle from different sides and give it to the signage company as a reference.

2) Keep it simple

It is important that you keep the vehicle wrap simple, attractive and clearly visible even from distance. As you have a limited window to deliver your message, most mobile adverts keep their information small and precise.

3) Consider colors carefully

For perfect contrast, enhanced visibility and better readability, you should carefully choose colors. In order to maximize design effectiveness, stick to two to three color combinations.

Below are some tried and tested color combinations that bring positive and influencing reactions from customers:

Yellow and Blue – Gives a playful, yet confident impression.
Black and Orange – Creates an overall feeling of liveliness and power.
Red, Navy, and Yellow – Exudes confidence and power.
Black and Red – A fierce combination that displays intensity.
Blue and White – Communicates trust and tranquility.
4) Be brief

Make use of fewest words possible to maximize your vehicle wrap advertising. Never try to sell via mobile advertising platforms. The vehicle’s signage design is just for branding of business. For typography, make use of fonts that are best for fast legibility.

5) Use engaging shapes

Shapes play a vital role in visual design elements. They help in customer engagement by generating visual interest. Businesses can use shapes to transform their typefaces creatively. They can also be used to frame content and establish a focal point of design. Incorporating unique and create shapes in vehicle wrap advertising will improve chances of getting seen by potential customers.

6) Choose the right vinyl film
Use the highest quality vinyl film to ensure your design conforms well to the shape of your vehicle. The substandard vinyl films won’t survive long and can even damage the OEM’s paint finish when removed.

Wrapping It Up
The above few principles when followed properly can help you create a mobile advert that is not only dynamic and colorful but also delivers a “wow” factor that attracts customers.

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3 Ways To Make Money At Home Presented On The Laptop Millionaire World Tour

Who else wants to know the 3 best ways to make money online, which I learned from internet millionaires? With around 400 entrepreneurs at The Laptop Millionaire World Tour in London one might expect to discover something new about the internet business. There was no disappointment there. In this article I will share 3 ways from which anyone can make money at home.

Facebook for list building.
Organise “webinar joint ventures” and take 50% of the profit.
Provide internet business services.
Facebook – One delegate explained how she set up a Facebook page and attracted over 28,000 likes in less than 2 days. Every laptop millionaire will tell you that the money is in the list. This strategy helps you build your list fast. Her top tips included the following.

When you set up your fan page, choose the “community” option not “small business”.
Post a minimum of twice a day. Between 7 and 9 am and around 9 -10 pm is the best time to find Facebook fans online.
Funny pictures help fans relax. Interesting quotes give fans a different slant on life. Information and latest gadget pictures attract fans.
Like other people’s pages. Show you respect other people’s contribution to the community.
Recommend and send people to your own or affiliate websites, where your fans can get irresistible offers, including signing up (opting in) to free reports, newsletters etc.
Webinar Joint Ventures – If you have a large list of prospects, offer to organise a webinar for others with a great product. Offer to get their product (be it an eBook, a DVD set etc.) in front of your list customers in a particular niche. In order to give excellent value to your Joint Venture partner make sure your list of prospective customers’ match the product from which you both wish to make money.

He/she builds the product or service and a presentation explaining its benefits.
You set up the webinar using software, email people on your list and invite them to see what this exciting venture is about.
Prepare an introduction promoting the main speaker.
Although you might set the session up in London, your partner might be in Sidney. Your partner joins the webinar as the presenter and talks through the presentation. Have plenty of information, but hold something back. At the end offer (his product or service).
You end by thanking the audience and reminding them to buy now.
Record the webinar and email out the replay to your list a few days later.
Share the profits from the sales generated by the webinar 50:50.
Services – Most people are 50% more busy in 2013 than they were in the 1970s. Many feel “time stressed”. You can take the pressure off by offering services to other internet business owners. Here are just a few ideas for services you can charge for.

Set up Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts. Build an audience, update the content daily and link people to your customers’ websites.
Write articles promoting a website where your customer has products that he wants to make money online from.
Copy writing. Write webpage content, advertisements, squeeze pages.
Outsource the work to build attractive opt-in pages.
Monitor the traffic to the customers’ websites and prepare weekly reports.
Webinars and videos.
The fees you charge for these services will be several times the fees you paid (more on how to find them and manage them another time).

At the seminar a delegate who had Facebook knowledge worked with one of the key speakers to combine her expertise with a service offering to deliver a highly attractive product. Then she learned how to build a webinar which she presented to the audience, many of whom took up the offer there and then. By combining the 3 ideas in this article, it looked easy to build a new and effective business model, which the delighted young lady concerned is planning to take forward.

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How to Bring Your Audience Into Your Presentation

One of the best and easiest ways to bring your audience into your presentation is to ask a question. In doing so, they probably will raise their hands. They may also nod positively or shake their heads negatively. What is happening is that you are building a rapport with your listeners. This is a great way to keep their attention because you have involved them in your message. Essentially, you are establishing a bond.

In one of the presentations I give, I ask three questions in my opening remarks. Those three questions immediately interest my listeners because I hit a nerve. As one who teaches voice and presentation skills, I often speak on The Power of the Voice and ask them the following:

1. How many of you think that the image you project has an impact on your business life and/or your personal life?
2. How many of you had heard your voice on some form of recording equipment?
3. How many of you like what you hear?

While everyone agrees that image is important and while pretty much everyone has heard themselves on a camcorder, answering machine, or voice mail, most in the audience do not raise their hands with question #3. With those three questions, I immediately gain their attention, especially with the 3rd one, because most people are unaware that they have a better voice inside of them.

In discussing your topic, not only will questions involve them but so, too, will interesting stories and anecdotes because you are drawing on their emotions, their sympathies, their humor, their intellect, or whatever. They then share commonalities with you.

It is important to understand that public speaking is not a performance but is the art of communicating orally with an audience. The word of value in that last statement is the word with. Their reaction to you, their response to you, is the communication.

If they do not feel involved in your message, then there is no reason for you to speak or for them to attend. This is why it is important to talk to your audience and not at them. When you make eye contact with your listeners, they feel the connection. If you stare at just one person in the audience or at an object on the wall, for example, they will not feel the bond.

While the thrill (or dread) of speaking to an audience may be uppermost in your mind, the reality of public speaking is that you are there to share a message with those who have gone out of their way to hear you. Your job is to solve their problem and the best way to accomplish that task is to bring them into the fold.

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Giving Cakes As Thank You Presents

People give gifts for all kinds of occasions. When a couple announce they’re going to be having a baby everyone showers the mother to be with presents at a baby shower, giving her items she’ll soon need. When people have a birthday, they too are showered with gifts by their friends and family, as is traditional with most birthdays. These are only two of the wide range of occasions that people can celebrate together for each other, bringing friends and family closer together, and marking regular points throughout the year they will be able to see one another. In some cases, the birthday of a relative is a huge occasion and acts more as a family reunion, particularly if the relative is elderly and each birthday may be the last opportunity to see them.

As people have their birthdays and other occasions where parties are thrown by them, they can be overwhelmed by the fierce generosity of their friends and family. A party or organised day out can be one thing, but presents on top of this can sometimes blow you over with how much people care for you. For these reasons many people send thank you cards after each occasion in their honour, helping them to feel as though their friends and family appreciate everything they’ve done for them. Sometimes however, a card can feel like a small gesture, and not really enough to justify the magnitude of appreciation felt for a particular gift.

Baking a cake as a way to say thank you can seem like an odd thing to do, but it really will show someone exactly how much their present was appreciated. With baking a cake, the choice of type and flavour is completely up to you, meaning you can find out exactly what the person likes and make them their favourite. Alternatively, finding out what someone has never had and making it for them is always nice, as it helps them to try new things, some of which may be their favourite without them even knowing.

For a thank you present to cover a large group of people, someone can organise a thank you party after their own celebration. This brings everyone who needs to be thanked together in one place, where they can all appreciate how much their generosity is appreciated. Baking a cake for the thank you party will make the ultimate gesture people are unable to put into words to write in a card, and will also create another occasion in itself, which could spark a trend with friends and family, maybe even becoming a tradition.

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A Guide to Presenting Yourself on Twitter for Design Students

Being connected to what is happening online can be one of the most beneficial actions you can take for your future. Having a well-rounded web presence through your personal brand can help you gain more followers, connect with designers and build credibility as a student. In this section, we’ll go through how to appropriately present yourself on Twitter as a design student and why people do or don’t follow you.

Your Personal Brand

If you’re still in college, this is an opportune time to better prepare yourself for your future. Although juggling coursework and class and work schedules can be difficult, the more you do now, the farther ahead you will be when you graduate. Your personal brand is how you define and present yourself through social media channels. Do you want to be funny or professional? Serious or laid-back? Whatever you decide, your tweets will look fairly different.

You must understand that you are what you tweet. Keeping up a healthy Twitter image will help you get found, discovered and shared, and ultimately, build your credibility as a professional. Use your personal brand to differentiate yourself from other young designers. Employers and clients are generally impressed by a student who takes the time to grow their personal branding.

Being Consistent

Your voice on Twitter is possessive, it’s something you own and have control over. Most followers need some type of credibility to hold onto before they follow you. Avoid being chaotic with your tweets because you won’t attract or entice many users to follow you. Being consistent on Twitter doesn’t mean you have to be boring. Providing your followers with a mix of professionalism and personality is great – after all, most businesses like working with people who bring a great mix to the table. Just remember to be consistent about the way you behave so that your followers eventually know what to expect from your tweets.

Why People Follow

In our previous article, we talked about expanding your network on Twitter. When you were following users on Twitter, most of you probably looked for a few key qualities in people you followed, such as quality of posts, how often they post, how credibile their branding looks, etc. You probably didn’t just follow anyone that claimed to be a “web designer.” When others are searching for people to follow, they follow the same judgmental procedure on your background, biography and recent tweets, and decide in a couple seconds whether you are worth following or not.

Taking the time to present yourself well on Twitter as a design student can pay dividends. There are many techniques you can use to build yourself a tight-knit mini community. Understanding why people do (or don’t) follow you can help you build an effective branding plan in helping you get the most out of Twitter as a design student.

What Followers Want to See

Each tweet you send out into the world represents a small faucet of your personal brand. If you tweet regularly about what you had for lunch or what your cat is doing every 5 minutes, you’ll be known as “that guy that tweets about his cat too much.” You’re going to want to be consistent in what you tweet about because it reflects greatly on your personal branding as a web designer. There are a few things that your followers want to see – you provide them some form of value, you interact with others through discussions and provide help when needed (you’re friendly) and you want to build rewarding relationships with others.

Provide Value

In Jack Humphrey’s blog post on the 90-10 rule for Twitter networking, he suggests that 90% of the time you should use Twitter for personal insights and thoughts along with a heavy dose of helpful links, while the other 10% should be messaging that directly benefits you. When someone follows you on Twitter, it is implied that they followed you because you can provide them with some sort of benefit or value. Here are a few ways you can provide your followers with value:

Answer Questions – Taking the time to help others. Give detailed responses to questions you feel qualified to answer. If you provide a solution to a followers problem, they will likely be more willing to provide assistance to you when you encounter a problem.

@ Replies – Reply to others! If you don’t, your followers may take it personally and think you are unfriendly or just a robot who tweets to get followers. Start, follow and contribute to conversations happening in your niche.

Retweet – Retweeting is beneficial for both parties – you’re sharing interesting content with your readers and helping out fellow Twitterers at the same time. Many people are thankful for retweets and will pay back the favour.

Links – Provide links that are entertaining, informative and relevant to your reader’s interests. The more interesting your links are, the more likely your followers will share it with their followers, further spreading your messaging. Remember that these links will contribute to your level of consistency and credibility online.
Why People Don’t Follow

Frequency of Posting

There is a striking balance between posting too much, and annoying followers, or posting too little and becoming inactive. The secret to having success on Twitter is to keep your feed fresh by maintaining a balance between the two. You also have to be careful of alternating between promotional tweets – you’ll look selfish – and links to outside sources – you’ll lack originality. A good rule of thumb is to post high quality content, often.

Obviously you want to use Twitter to help promote yourself and your services as a designer, but it’s not always about you. People don’t like others that just talk about themselves. What’s worse is that you might come off as a spammer – you don’t want to be one of them. If you spend the time determining how you want to present yourself as a design student on Twitter, you can provide followers with massive value and create a pool of knowledge, experience and help that you can tap into at any point.

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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Presents Opportunity and Risk

On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced that it would implement a new program to grant deferred action to undocumented aliens who were brought to the United States at a young age. This action came about one year after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it would concentrate its enforcement resources mostly on cases involving criminal issues. ICE published criteria that the agency would use to determine whether to exercise prosecutorial discretion to close cases already pending in immigration court. Together, these actions signaled a greater tolerance for aliens who were present in the United States in violation of immigration law, but who did not pose a danger to the public or to national security.

Two months after the Administration announced its deferred action program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, it promulgated guidelines on how an undocumented alien could apply for the benefit. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also published the criteria that it would use in deciding whether to grant deferred action. Through the guidelines, USCIS provided detailed instructions on the documentation necessary to apply, and explained how it planned to use the information submitted.

Deferred Action

Deferred action is itself simply a promise by the U.S. Government that, although an alien is present in the United States illegally, it would not seek the removal or deportation of that alien. It is an exercise of executive discretion. That is, as the chief law enforcement officer, the President has the authority to decide which cases get brought to immigration court for removal, and which cases will not. It is much like the discretion a police officer has in deciding whether or not to arrest a person even when the officer has seen that person break the law.

Executive Discretion

Above all, it must be remembered that deferred action is based on an act of executive discretion. It is not based on law. That means that it is not a grant of legal immigration status. It is not a path to permanent residency or citizenship. Under the law, a person who has been granted deferred action can be granted the authority to work in the United States. But, it is not a permanent solution to the problem of illegal status.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the DACA program, an undocumented alien must meet certain criteria. They are: (1) the alien must be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; (2) the alien must have been brought to the United States before his or her 16th birthday; (3) the alien must have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 up to the present; (4) the alien must have been physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012; (5) the alien must have entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or had his or her lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012; (6) the alien must currently be in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and (7) the alien must not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Application Process

To apply, the alien must submit an application on form I-821D, an application for work authorization on form I-765, a worksheet disclosing income and expenses to determine if work authorization is necessary on form I-765WS, and a filing fee of $465. As part of the process, the Government will take fingerprints and perform a background check.

Through its Frequently Asked Questions, USCIS promises that it will not turn over the information gathered through the application to ICE to begin removal proceedings, unless the application shows serious criminal activity, fraud or that the applicant poses a threat to national security.

Some Are Reluctant to Apply

Although the program promises significant benefits to those who qualify (a promise not to be deported, and possible work authorization), early reports have been that many aliens who meet the criteria are reluctant to apply. Many recognize that this is not a permanent solution to their situation, and are distrustful of the Administration’s promises not to use the information for deportation.

Uncertain Future

Such concerns are indeed well-founded. As mentioned, deferred action is a grant of executive discretion. It is not law. Therefore, it creates no rights or privileges. Indeed, USCIS itself, on its Frequently Asked Questions page, states that it could change its promise not to use the information submitted for enforcement purposes at any time, and without prior warning.

Consideration must also be given to the fact that this is a presidential election year. Even if the Obama Administration is committed to the program, the race appears close. This could mean that the country will have a new president in January. The new president would not be bound to follow the policy choices of the Obama Administration with respect to the DACA program.

To that end, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has announced that he would not seek the deportation of undocumented aliens who have been granted deferred action under the DACA program. On the other hand, he would not continue with the DACA program in his administration.

This announcement creates somewhat of an incentive for undocumented aliens to apply for deferred action now. If the benefit is granted before President Obama leaves office, then they can hold Romney to his promise. But, if an undocumented alien waits, and Romney does become president, then that alien could lose this opportunity to obtain the promise of not being removed along with work authorization. Indeed, it has been reported that Romney’s position on immigration issues has already prompted some undocumented aliens to apply for deferred action now.

This leaves many undocumented aliens with the decision of whether to apply for deferred action, or wait for some more permanent form of immigration reform. Whether to apply is a decision that should be made only after considering the risks and weighing the potential benefits.

Criminal Records Must be Given Careful Consideration

For example, those with criminal records should give very careful consideration before applying. USCIS has stated that those with a felony conviction, a conviction for a significant misdemeanor, or three convictions for any other misdemeanors will not qualify. The Frequently Asked Questions gives detailed guidance on what exactly constitutes a significant misdemeanor. If an alien applies, and has not given full consideration to his or her criminal record, then USCIS may very well refer that alien to ICE for removal proceedings.

Risks and Potential Benefits Should be Weighed Before Applying

In the end, the question will be whether the promise of the legal ability to accept employment in the United States outweighs the risks posed by calling attention to one’s self and one’s illegal immigration status. Such a determination is personal in nature, and ought to be made after seeking competent legal advice.

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How Does Prezi Compare to PowerPoint for Presentation Visuals?

When it comes to presentations, PowerPoint can be considered the go-to software. However, those looking for software for their presentation may not be aware of other platforms that are available. For all the perks that PowerPoint is able to offer, it can come with a few things that let it down. For example, some of the clipart and graphics used can be deemed a little dated.

Prezi is known as “zooming” presentation software due to its Zooming User Interface and can be considered a little more dynamic than PowerPoint due to this. A presentation can be laid out on a virtual canvas for all to see, but it zooming capabilities means that a certain area can be explored further in more detail. To gain a better understanding of how this works, users should look into how Google Maps works. User can view a map of the whole world on one screen, however if they wish to view a certain country or street in more detail, the simply zoom in for a more detailed view.

Many may opt to use PowerPoint on the assumption that it’s free, but unfortunately this isn’t the case. While it’s certainly true that it does come bundled with some desktop PCs, if a user doesn’t have Microsoft Office installed, then it can be a costly affair.

The Prezi software is free, as long as you are happy for your presentations to be made public.

Further options are available when it comes to who can view your presentation, but there may be a premium involved. That said, if you did wish to invest in such software, then you will find you have a lot more to offer with your presentation using Prezi rather than PowerPoint.

Prezi allows a presentation to be more fluid and aesthetically-pleasing. Many find PowerPoint presentations to be a little boring and dated. This can be put down to the visuals available, paired with people only understanding how to use certain features within PowerPoint. Because it was created to suit a number of different needs, it makes the overall product a little harder to use.

Prezi can be seen as the preferred option thanks to its easy-to-use software, and that it can be accessed via a number of different devices due to it being web-based.

Users can also edit their presentations with other team members in real-time, which ensures that those all-important edits are made without any delay. The non-linear navigation and map metaphor is also preferable when compared to what PowerPoint offers.

Those who have used PowerPoint in the past for their presentations may be a little weary of changing providers at this stage. But it is worth looking into Prezi for a simpler alternative, which offers a more professional looking presentation. Granted, Prezi can become a little overwhelming when using it for the first time, but its short learning curve means that most users will be able to use the software within a short period of time.

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Staying Present In Traumatic Times

The last couple weeks were somewhat traumatic. First, my 15 year old dog had a seizure and possible stroke, and the next week a family member who has COPD (possibly emphysema) and MCI (mild cognitive problems) went into the hospital with pneumonia. It took be back to a time I’ve written about a lot, 2011-2013, with our other dog who had cancer and then neurological problems, and my mother who had Alzheimer’s and lung cancer.

This recent period felt like a “pop quiz” reminder of what I learned then. Or perhaps continuing education, as there’s always new awareness to be gleaned.

2010-2013 was a long, arduous process of ultimately midwifing my mother (my dog, and later my father) back to Spirit. Each of them had their own exiting process, each had different circumstances and choices to be made.

It’s a shock when it first happens, and it’s easy to feel that things are out of control. When my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (right as we had finished paying off the dog’s cancer surgery), it was a breakdown in my own reality as well.

However, for the most part, I remembered to keep a higher awareness, while external circumstances seemed to crumble. It would have been easy to have collapsed in a heap, but reframing reality helped. This was *not* a crisis but an event.

I reminded myself that I was powerless over events and other people’s reactions to them, but not necessarily my own. I had choice over my actions (and response as best I could). I worked hard at being mindful, researching and asking for advice before making important decisions.

I also learned to not resist what is. I thought I could combat the Alzheimer’s, get her into a memory program, give her the right nutrition, do my energetic healing, etc. But it was like trying to stop a river with outstretched fingers. When she was diagnosed with cancer, and the initial treatment didn’t work, it shifted my focus to quality of life (rather than longevity).

It would have been a waste of energy to resist the little things, becoming my mother’s parent, her eventually confusing me with her older sister who died in 1997.

It was important to stay focused on the important things (creating moments of joy for my mother). And to stay in present time, as I was back in my old home town that I left in 1981 and interacting with some people who hadn’t talked to me in ten years.

I had to stay the grown up, the one responsible for life and death decisions, and do the next indicated thing that was best for all concerned.

This is all coming back to me as I observe my other dog age, and as this family member is navigating this part of their life path. It’s different now, I’m only peripherally in this family member’s life, and this current dog isn’t doing so bad for 105 in people years.

We all have (at least) two parts to ourselves. The physical personality that reacts to situations and runs off of memories tinged with emotions. And the greater aspect of ourselves, Consciousness, that encompasses the bigger picture.

When you see things from that bigger picture viewpoint, and can let yourself as Consciousness be the one that makes decisions and takes action, it’s so much easier to get through painful and traumatic times.

You’re not in denial about what’s happening, you can still be grieving the loss of what it was like before, but you’re able to hold a bigger space, respond with greater inner authority.

We’re in traumatic times even if our daily lives are going well. The world seems to be falling apart, when it’s really Consciousness reorganizing reality.

Shift your perspective to Consciousness and you will inwardly know that all is very, very well.

©2017 Joan M. Newcomb, CPC

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