Why Your Past Affects Your Present And How To Change That

The past is a powerful place. It is where we spend up to 90% of our time. We have between 40, 000 and 60,000 thoughts per day and around 90% of them are spent thinking about the past. We can fret over tiny little slights, real or imagined; we can go over and over a conversation that we had, trying to pick out the ‘real’ meaning behind the words that the other person used; we can wish that outcomes had been different. We can do all of these things, but the one thing that we absolutely cannot do is change the past.

There are people perhaps known to us personally and several public figures who have overcome some horrendous situations and gone on to become remarkable individuals who have changed the course of the world. Nelson Mandela springs to mind. He had two choices, to hate the regime that had imprisoned him for 27 years of his life and so become bitter and twisted himself, or to forgive them, because in doing so he gave himself inner peace. He chose the latter and went on to become one of the most admired men in the world.

There are also people who have had bad things happen to them (or sometimes, things that other people don’t really consider to be that bad). These people have allowed themselves to be defined by that thing and have become unhappy and depressed. These people have lost their way and allowed their past to create their present, which in turn creates their future.

Which are you? Obviously, we are not all going to become a Nelson Mandela-like icons, but we can all choose to live the lives we want to live. It is a simple thing to stop your past from impacting upon your present and your future. Simple, but not easy.

Leaders, religious, political, educational and spiritual alike have said for centuries that they way you think affects the person that you are. Three examples, from three totally different sources:

Buddha said “The mind is everything. What you think, you become”
Einstein said “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions”
Stephen Covey said “Live out of your imagination, not your history”
The theory is simple. The execution much more difficult. You simply have to think the life you want to have. You need to imagine it – totally and completely. Not a longing, with no actual effort being made to move towards it.

Top athletes use visualisation to improve their performance. Interestingly, experiments have been done that show that when a runner imagines running a race, really focuses and imagines everything; the starting blocks, the gun, the other runners, the smell of the racetrack, the sound of their breathing – everything – a strange thing happens. The muscles in their bodies respond as if they were really running the race! The mind and body don’t know the difference between real and imagined, if that imagined is detailed enough.

What could this mean for you? What can you imagine now that you are aware that imagining it in enough detail can make it happen?

Presentation Skills

Most of us hate any form of public speaking. We’d much rather sit in the background and not having any attention focused on us.

Unfortunately, at some stage in our working careers each one of us will be required to either sell an idea; make a recommendation; market our work or ourselves or market a product. In such an instance you would have no other choice but to bite the bullet and stand before an audience to present your case.

Do not stress it is not that difficult. It only requires a few skills which are easy to master. When you are required to do a presentation, do it well and use it as an opportunity to get noticed – it could well be the key to a successful career!

Start at the very beginning and plan well ahead for the big moment. The starting point is your expected audience. What will my audience know about the topic; what are their needs and what do they want to hear. Your approach would be different when you have to do a presentation on a new medical invention to a conference of medical practitioners compared to addressing a group of housewives on the same topic. Always try to put yourself in your audience’s shoes before starting to prepare your address.

With any presentation, there must be an envisaged outcome. Why are you doing the presentation? Is it to inform, persuade, motivate or teach? When you clarify your purpose, you will more easily hit your target.

Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start with the preparation:

Prepare the opening: Make a statement or ask a question that grabs the audience’s attention. State the purpose of your presentation and remember the opening should make up 5 to 10% of your entire presentation.

Prepare the structure: The presentation should have a logical flow:

  • Opening
  • Background information
  • Body of the presentation
  • Action steps – what next or what is required
  • Close

Choosing Key points: Your audience can only remember 4 to 6 key points, so choose them carefully. Back your message up with interesting evidence – statistics, testimonials, analogies and demonstrations. The key points should make up 80 to 85% of the entire presentation.

Prepare the Duration: Don’t make the presentation to long. Rehearse the duration of your presentation to make sure it falls within your time limits. Always allow time for questions – it is appropriate.

Prepare your closing: Prepare a close that supports your purpose and creates a lasting impression. Only briefly summarize or restate your key points and throw a challenge to your audience. Leave your audience with something to think about. The closing should make up 5 to 10 % of the entire presentation.

Prepare effective visual support:

  • When using slides, it must be visually appealing
  • Use colors and fonts that make an impact
  • Select graphics carefully – they must support the subject matter
  • Use effective but not irritating animation
  • When using a whiteboard or flip-chart, write quickly and neatly.

Speaker notes: Never read your slides – this is very boring. Only have the bare outline on the slides and fill the rest of the detail verbally. You can make use of speaker notes on the slides to ensure that you know what you want to say and not forgetting anything.

Rehearse: First practice your presentation on your own in front of a mirror then follow it up in front of a friend or colleague. They must give you feedback on the content and style of your presentation.

Lastly, after everything is said and done, it is time to put your money where your mouth is:

  • Be well prepared
  • Know your subject
  • Be exited
  • Act confidently
  • Dress smartly
  • Speak clearly
  • Make eye contact
  • Focus on the main points
  • Be yourself

Remember, when you are marketing your product, system, idea, or whatever, you are marketing yourself in the process!

The Five Minute Business Presentation Ideas

Most of us feel that making a five minute Powerpoint presentation is like putting an elephant into a small refrigerator. It is just a metaphoric example to express how difficult to cut-sized your product launching report as your product has several important features. It is extremely a challenge to make your audiences listen to your product promotion within given short period of time.

Why it has to be done within five minutes?

No other reasons. If your product is good, it can only take few minutes to mention. It is like TV and radio advertisements – the delivery of the main messages counts, not the total amount of the presentation slides.

How to make a slide that can promote your product fast and simple?

For instance, let’s say we want to promote various of associated computer mouse products.

In the beginning, you need to have high resolution pictures of the computer mouse products. Avoid using low resolution pictures as your audiences will not able to see your products clearly even though it is within viewing distance.

Creatively align these pictures on your slides. You do not have to enlarge these pictures on one slide. It is possible for you to include several pictures on your slides. For better view, include three to four pictures on your slide. After adding pictures into your slide, start using simple effects on these pictures. In this case, choose “Grow/Shrink” for “Emphasis” custom animation. This particular animation will enlarge each of the picture within customizable sizes. In this example, once you click on the slide, the picture will enlarge by 400%. Once the picture is enlarged, you can take this opportunity to elaborate your product during the actual presentation.

Since you have added all pictures with custom animations, you need to make it disappear after you need to proceed with the other picture. Basically you need to create “Now-You-See-It-Now-You-Don’t” picture appearance for your audiences. Take note that no text-contents are included in this slide. Within the custom animation task panel, earlier you will see the “Grow/Shrink” effect that you have added earlier. Add “Exit” effects on the selected pictures and choose “Box” exiting effect.

Finally, manually arrange the sequences of selected effects earlier (“Grow/Shrink” and “Box”) in order to create an “Now-You-See-It-Now-You-Don’t” picture appearance. Now, you are ready to fascinate your audiences with your new product launching.