Give a Holiday Season Present To Someone During Non-Holiday Months!

It is summer time. You had always wanted to present your family friends with a free holiday in a resort nestled among snow clad mountains on their wedding anniversary. The problem is that the anniversary date falls in the summer months. You are fussy that the present has to be given on that day only. So, will you never be able to do this?

Gift Certificates – an ideal present
Happily gift certificate also know as gift cards can solve your dilemma. You can give the present in the summer months in the form of gift certificate which can be redeemed in the near future. This way you give the present on the date of their wedding anniversary in summer and fulfill your desire to gift a holiday in colder months.

Gift cards also come handy when you cannot decide which type of present would be ideal on a give occasion. The gift certificate could be used by the person to buy something useful. You do not have to worry that your gift may not be appreciated.

To many the joy of giving a large gift wrapped present will be missing in a gift certificate; after all a certificate in an envelope, even if gift wrapped will pale before a large beautifully decorated present. However, there are times when you may be too busy to do all this; gift card will definitely be a welcome alternative then.

There are other obvious advantages of a gift certificate. You can buy them in advance, although you can also buy it as a last minute present. Buy it online and ask for it to be delivered on a predetermined date if you are too busy. You can even request it to be sent with a small personalized message.

If you would not like to take a chance of losing the gift certificate in postal transit, then you have an option of gifting it online through e-mail deliveries. The recipient has to receive the mail and print the gift certificate; you will automatically get a message that your present has been accepted.

To buy a gift card, browse on the internet for websites that offer such presents. Many website are promoters of the product marketed by a bigger company. In such cases you will also need to study the offers and conditions imposed by the actual seller of the gift cards. The promoters’ websites may not necessarily elicit all the details; at the same time you do not want to put your dear one, to whom you are going to give the present, into trouble.

Some may wonder about giving cash tucked in a gift envelop. The latest trend of giving a present of gift certificates online will make it more special. Also, you may come across sites that donate a part of the cost paid by you for the certificate to charity. Surely, everyone, the giver as well as the receiver, will love this kind of gift.

Preparing for a Strong Insurance Appraisal Presentation

When a dispute arises between the insurer and the insured regarding the settlement amount, an appraisal may be requested by either party. Often, during claim negotiations, the insurance company may under value the claim, overlook damages, and ignore valid arguments that the insured and/or their public adjuster makes.

Usually, this results in an “impasse”. When an insured invokes the appraisal clause to dispute the carrier’s offer, it is very important that they appoint an experienced and well-educated appraiser who understands not only the subject matter of the dispute, but the components of the appraisal process.

Keep in mind that the appraisal process is essentially the policy holder’s last chance to prove the value of their claim. It is possible that the appraisal can rule in the favor of the Insurer, leaving the insured with an insufficient amount to recuperate from their loss. This is known to happen when the Insured elects to appoint a contractor or other labor-related trades person who is in essence under-equipped to defend the Insurer’s hired professional appraiser.

The moment the claim enters the appraisal process, it is imperative that the appraiser prepares well for the presentation of the case. Here are a few simple guidelines to remember when preparing for the appraisal:

1. Be organized. Appraisal is like chess, developing a strategy to be a step ahead of your opponent is key. Determine the key issues and disputes with the Insurer’s analysis of the claim. Pinpoint ways to address those key issues and figure out the best way to present those issues, together with your recommendations on how to address them, in the most persuasive way.

2. Prove the damages and the appropriate solutions. The burden of proof is often on your side, so gather data that would best support your claim. Provide extensive data and information on each item that you would like to focus on and explain why it values more than the amount the Insurer has priced it. Present photos detailing actual damages to items in order to prove that they should be replaced instead of restored. Anticipate how the Insurer’s appraiser will counter your arguments, and be prepared to address those concerns.

3. Stay objective. Never use personal opinion to argue the value of items, unless your opinions are based on presented fact. This is particularly helpful for items such as collections, antiques and artworks. Secure appraisals of experts in these fields to determine the value of these pieces.

4. Acknowledge weaknesses in the claim. Avoid the temptation to prove every item on your claim to be correct. There may be instances when you would find that the Insurer’s analysis of certain items are agreeable. Acknowledging those would strengthen your credibility because it shows that you are not out there to blindly maximize the settlement, but rather, to secure what is accurate and commensurate to the loss.

5. Review all presentation prior to discussing it with the opposing party. Be very thorough and examine each aspect of the presentation well in advance to give you time to polish and gather additional data if necessary.

6. Final presentation. The final presentation is complete, organized, and presented in a professional manner. When meeting with the other party, make sure that you know every aspect of your claim and can confidently answer any further concerns they may have about your presentation.

7. Bonus Tip: Remember that the number one most important aspect of the entire appraisal process is to secure the right umpire!

PowerPoint – Harness Its Power To Create Superior Presentations

PowerPoint presentations are pervasive in our business culture. Yet far too often, they are used, to paraphrase advertising legend David Ogilvy, like a drunk uses a lamppost…more for support than for illumination.

Let’s take a look at how to use PowerPoint for maximum impact.

Prepare With Your Audience In Mind

Without your audience, there is no need for your presentation. Yet, we typically use our prep time to develop content and slides and put little focus on thinking about the needs of our audience. To start, ask yourself “how can using PowerPoint benefit my audience?”

You’ll have the answer if you understand your communications objective and what you want your audience to do as a result of your presentation. Are you simply providing information, perhaps an update on a particular project? Are you calling the audience to action? Do you want them to change their opinion based on what you say? Are you teaching them something new? Do you want to inspire them?

The main purpose of PowerPoint is to augment visually the words you are speaking, allowing the audience to refer to certain key words, pictures or charts on the screen to provide context. But frequently, we use PowerPoint as a teleprompter…filling the slides with the text of our presentation and then reading the slides to the audience.

It’s no surprise, then, that research has shown the number one annoyance factor for audiences is a presenter reading his slides. Audiences are perfectly capable of reading for themselves! Your audience is also a key source of feedback for you. Focusing on them, rather than on your slides, allows you to see their important non-verbal clues (such as approval or confusion) so you can address concerns or enlist support on the spot.

Organize Your Presentation For Maximum Audience Impact

The way you organize and display the information on your slides can either obscure or assist your message. Slides should show only key phrases in bullet point form. Yet how many times have you seen slides overflowing with complete sentences? When composing your slides, be lean…leave yourself something to say beyond what appears on the screen.

Create a consistent look across all your slides to make it easier for the audience to follow. Start each bullet point with the same part of speech – all nouns or all verbs – and put verbs in the same tense. Action verbs are preferable; “developed a plan to …” is stronger than “wrote a plan to…” Capitalize…or not…at the start of each bullet, but be consistent.

Bullet points that “fly” into position on the screen or build, one letter at a time, are distracting. Although these are cool features in PowerPoint, the audience has to wait for all the letters to “land” before they can read the point. Instead, use the “Appear” command so the text appears all at once.

Work Out Operational Details

When preparing, review how to operate the software and what to do if something unexpected happens during your presentation.

A common problem, which distracts the audience’s attention from what you are saying, is the appearance of the arrow or pointer on the screen. This is caused by moving the mouse. To prevent this, after the Slide Show view has started, press the Ctrl-H key combination. Now any mouse movement won’t show on the screen. To cancel, press Ctrl-A. If the arrow appears while you are presenting, you might be tempted to press the Escape button in a moment of panic. Don’t! This will stop the slide show and drop you back into the program.

To temporarily halt your presentation and show a blank screen, press “w” for a white screen or “b” for a black screen. To resume the presentation, press the key again to pick up where you left off.

If you advance past the last slide in your presentation, you will drop back into the program which looks unprofessional. To avoid this, duplicate your last slide 2 or 3 times. Then if you do inadvertently advance past the end, it won’t matter as the audience will continue to see your last slide.

Ensure Your Slides Are Easy To Read

Another pet peeve for audiences is text so small it can’t be read. I recently attended a presentation where I had to squint and struggle to read the tiny numbers and letters on the presenter’s screen. Not only did it prevent me from listening to what the presenter was saying, it also frustrated me, which didn’t leave me in a very conducive state of mind for the message!

A simple, clean design with a font size of at least 28-32 for text and 36-44 for headings will ensure your audience can read your slides. Headlines on all slides should be in a consistent font and no more than 2 fonts should be used on any slide (one for head and one for body). Your font choices are typically either a Serif or a Sans Serif font. Serif fonts, which take the eye longer to read, have little lines on the letters. Times Roman, Bookman and Garamond are common Serif fonts. Sans Serif fonts, like Tahoma, Arial and Verdana, are perfectly clean and easier to read.

Bolded type can be used to draw attention, as can italic, but overdoing it can get tiresome and negate the emphasis you were trying to achieve. Upper and lower case is easier to read than all caps. When creating the actual bullets, the heavier and more filled in they are, the easier for your audience to see. For example, blacked-in circles are clearer than a fine-lined arrow.

Choose contrasting colors for text and background. If you use a dark background, such as dark blue or green, use a light text color such as white or yellow. Conversely, a light background color, such as light blue or beige needs a dark text color like navy, black or burgundy.

Simple graphs or charts can forcefully illustrate relationships, mounds of data or startling statistics. Determine what point you want numbers or data to convey and create a graphic way to communicate it.

Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse

No matter how dazzling your PowerPoint slides or how important your message, if you haven’t spent adequate time rehearsing your words, polishing your delivery and practicing with your slide show, your presentation won’t be as effective as it could be…and it might not even achieve your communication objective.

I can’t put enough emphasis on the importance of rehearsal. And yet it is human nature to shortchange this critical presentation component. No other professional…recording artist, astronaut, NFL quarterback, lawyer, jockey, actor…would dream of going “on stage” without hours of rehearsal. And yet we continually arrive on the “business stage” having just finished the last PowerPoint slide!

Adequate rehearsal with your finished presentation ensures a number of things will happen: you’ll be calmer and more able to focus on your audience; you’ll be less likely to succumb to nerves and stage fright because you know your material; and you will have caught any last minute errors in your material.

Prepare, Organize, Work Out The Details, Ensure Readability and Rehearse – incorporate these 5 critical activities into your next PowerPoint presentation and I guarantee your message will be more POWERful!