Influence the Future by Improving the Odds in the Present

The new year is well under way and I will try and avoid the usual discussions, posts, and tweets about resolutions. This article relates to a belief I have that there is more to life than just randomness as many of the quantum theorists will tell us. It is not that I don’t believe in Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle or Chaos Theory but I have lived and breathed long enough on this planet to have witnessed and experienced events that suggest to me that there must be some ability to affect the quanta of the present to influence the future. Of course, most of us want to believe that not everything in life is just random as experiments in quantum physics have shown us. Most of us want to believe that if we put effort into the system we can tip the odds in our favour. I firmly believe that not only is this possible but it is what makes some people seem more “lucky” than us.

Let’s take the example of health for a moment. When you look at a disease like cancer it appears to be quite random. Everyone knows of that person who lived a very healthy life by not drinking and not smoking and exercising everyday but still developed cancer at a young age. Even more horrifying is when young children develop cancer – it just appears so random and it most cases, it is. There is however significant reams of research which demonstrates that through our efforts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, we can turn the odds in our favour. It certainly does not mean that you have ultimate control over your fate, it just means that you can improve your odds.

If we accept that our intentions can improve our odds in health, it begs the question of whether our efforts can affect other measurable indicators such as prosperity. Once again it is clear that at its base, randomness is at play. Whether you were born into affluence or not was (depending upon your belief) a random fluke. As with health, there are numerous examples of people who were born into abject poverty but through sheer will and determination influenced the odds of the future and dramatically improved their state of affluence. When you take a look at anything life, any goals you might have or anything you might desire, at its base starts randomness. I believe we must accept the randomness but get better at playing the odds. While I don’t play poker, I know enough about the game to know that by learning the rules, a few tricks, and a bit about probability, you can become a better poker player. Randomness is inherent in the game of poker as it is in life but learning how to work with the odds can affect the future.

When things in your life seem to be not going well, know that your time will come – much like the wave which is in the trough, it will rise again. Also know that you can influence when that wave will rise. Believe in your ability to affect the odds of anything in your life. Learn the rules of the game and understand the odds and what you can do to improve them. If it works in games of chance, it can work for anything. The variables for your goal might be different and more complex than a game of cards but with intention and effort, the rules can be learned and you can gain confidence in your ability to influence the future by playing the odds of the present.

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!

Top Three Xmas Present Ideas for Girls

The question is what does she really want? You know what I mean… That gift that will make hers eyes light up with joy, when she removes the wrapping paper and sets her eyes on the toy that she’s wanted for some time…

Well don’t worry I’m here to help with the top three Xmas present ideas for girls this year, which hopefully will help you to get a good idea of the hottest three toys on the market at the moment for girls and also give you a good idea of what girls are into.

1) The Furreal Go Go walking Pup along with a string of other Fur real pets are tipped to be massive this Christmas. If you’re wondering what exactly fur real pets are and why they are in such high demand then listen up chums… Fur real pets as the name suggests are a number of lovable toy animals that have been made to look cute and emulate behaviours of real pets. Kids and especially girls absolutely love them and the Go Go walking Pup is the most wanted going by sales and popularity.

2) Dolls are always a hit with girls and this year it’s no different. Zapf Creation have made their most realistic doll to date with the Baby born magic feeding doll which cries, drinks, eats and even wets himself… For little girls who love dolls this will be on the top of their wish list and an Xmas present they’ll love for a very long time.

3) The Zhuzhu grooming salon comes third on our list of the top three Xmas present ideas for girls. Zhu Zhu hamsters is extremely popular amongst children and both girls and boys have really taken a liking to the many different hamsters and play sets available. Girls will love the idea of grooming a pet hamster and giving it a special style to make their pet original.