Valentine’s Present Ideas

Some find it so easy to pick out the perfect Valentines present while other really struggle. Should you spend a lot of money? Should you stick with flowers and candy? It all depends on your relationship and how tight your budget is. There are many great gift ideas out there, some classics and some new things that you should consider.

Classic gifts include flowers, candy, cards, and jewelry. Flowers have been a gift from men on February 14th since as early as the 1700s. These gifts you can use if you want to slide by. Women love and expect them, and they are a safe bet.

A newer version of these classics is singing cards, edible arrangements, and personalized jewelry. No longer do you have to pay $5 for a card that will be read and tossed. For $5 to $10 you can find a card that sings songs such as “Wild Thing”, “I’m Too Sexy”, and many more of your favorite lovey dovey and funny songs.

Skip the roses and send her an arrangement of chocolate dipped strawberries. The cost is the same, but she can eat the fruit instead of throwing away the flowers after a few days. If she’s not a fan of fruit get her cookie or candy bouquet.

Ten years ago you would get your wife or girlfriend a locket, bracelet, or necklace and expect her to be impressed. Now days girls want your gifts to come from the heart, your heart in particular. It’s easy to find rings, bracelets, and necklaces that can be inscribed with a personal message. If you can’t afford jewelry, why not get her a personalized charm or keychain. A simple silver circle inscribed with “I Love You” can be found at the mall for around $12.

A t-shirt with a photo of the two of you is also a great idea. Have one made at your local photo center or online for less than twenty dollars. Order early, as it can take three days to two weeks for your shirt to come in.

Now you should have plenty of great Valentines present ideas. While you don’t have to spend a lot of money, or buy the expected roses, your gift should come from your heart and be personalized.

“The Point of Power Is Always in the Present Moment” – Louise Hay

Just recently I lost momentum for the life I usually proclaim to love. I stopped going to the gym as regularly as usual and was eating more sugar than was good for me. At first I thought I was just feeling a bit worn out; I’d been pushing myself pretty hard and it made sense. Then I started to find it a bit of an effort to get out of bed in the morning. That frightened me.

Having been a success coach for years, I know how to manage my state. I don’t always want to but it’s like going to the gym regularly, you develop the “muscle memory” that allows you to respond automatically, even when you don’t feel like it.
There was obviously something in my blind spot that was evading my attention, so I decided to phone a dear friend of mine, who is a phenomenal coach, and ask her to help me work through the problem.

It was uncomfortable, as growth often is. There was much wriggling on my part; my friend, thankfully, refused to let me off the hook and eventually, the truth came out.
“What was the point of making so much effort when the results I wanted weren’t showing up?” I had mumbled petulantly. As soon as the words were out of my mouth I realised exactly what was going on.

As much as I had faithfully promised to resign as general manager of the universe (Janet Attwood – The Passion Test) I had clearly assumed the role, again. Obviously, I knew better than anybody else when my plans should come to fruition, and by my calculations, they were behind schedule. As the ugly truth of my attitude became clear to me I realised that I had been living in direct conflict with one of my highest values: gratitude.

I was saying that what I had in my life, right now, wasn’t good enough. I wanted something bigger, better with more bells on before I would be satisfied. No wonder I was starting to feel so unhappy. And it wasn’t really a big surprise that the results I wanted weren’t showing up. If your partner brought you a present and you turned your nose up at it, he might not feel inclined to have his gesture dismissed again. I was shocked and ashamed but, thankfully, now that I had my attention on the blind spot I was already half way to seeing clearly.

Impatience had been a problem for me all my life, definitely an Achilles heel. I spent the next couple of hours reflecting on what that behaviour had cost me: when I had put strain the relationship with my boyfriend because of my unreasonable expectations or just missed the moment because of mentally rushing off into the future. There was a lot of apologising to be done but, thankfully, I am greatly loved and my friends and family were gracious.

During that period of time I felt a definite shift in my energy. I felt happier and lighter – more present in the moment than I had felt for ages. Finally, I understood the phrase, “enjoy the journey.” I had heard it countless times but it had never resonated at that level with me, before. It was important to me to really anchor my awareness I this new mindset, so I started to look for quotes that would help.

I was amazed by what I found. There were so many quotes by people who were at the top of their field, from all different backgrounds, that encouraged being in the moment: Sally Field, Marianne Williamson, Oliver Goldsmith, Voltaire, Einstein, Wordsworth and Henry David Thoreau. The most surprising one I came across was from Donald Trump, who said:

“I try to learn from the past but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present. That’s where the fun is.”

“Well,” I thought, “If it’s the key to a multi-billionaire’s success, it’s good enough for me.”

And it has been. It’s incredible just how much happier and more productive I have been by focusing on the journey, instead of rushing towards the future. After all, the present is all that we really have. There are no guarantees how life will unfold but there is magic in every moment, if we just take the time to recognise it.

Add a PowerPoint Voiceover for Effective Online Presentations

The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Businessweek announced OnLive Inc.’s release of an app that allows the full Windows versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint to run on an iPad. These are real programs that work the way they do on a Windows PC. The app lets you create, edit, view and run Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. They are fully functional and available for free. This is however a cloud-based app, which means that Office is not installed on the iPad, but rather, runs through a remote server which you are connected to via the Internet. Nonetheless, it’s still great news for iPads users, who constantly work with the key Office productivity apps.

Adding Voiceover to PowerPoint

Businesses, schools and the general community use these key apps for several reasons. Whether it’s for professional, personal, social or academic purposes, they play a significant role in today’s world. PowerPoint has become a powerful tool in companies and schools because it can be easily integrated into online courses, conventions, webinars, remote business meetings and teleconferences. What’s great about PowerPoint is that you can also add audio to the presentation.

Microsoft Office lists the following cases where a PowerPoint voiceover or a narration can be added to a presentation:

• Web-based presentation
• Archiving a meeting so that presenters can review it and add comments later on
• Self-running slide show presentation

If you want to hold your audience’s attention, you should aim to entice all or as many senses as possible. It’s just like watching TV or videos; no matter how great the visuals and animations are, they still won’t be that effective without music, narration or sounds. The material on screen, whether it’s an advertisement, trailer or movie, will only be effective if the visual presentation is complemented with the appropriate audio.

For PowerPoint presentations, which are usually informative or instructional, the voiceover should be short, concise and clear. You should ensure that you perfectly time your PowerPoint voiceover to match the correct slide. When you record the audio, use PowerPoint’s slide timing features, which you can set up if you want to run the presentation automatically.

Getting Started with PowerPoint Voiceover

Before starting your PowerPoint voiceover, be sure to check that your computer has a sound card, microphone and speakers to be able to record and hear your narration and music. You can either record your voiceover before creating a presentation or during the presentation; in which case you should have a clear understanding of the presentation, a list of slides etc. Please note that PowerPoint is setup so that voice narration takes precedence over other sounds. So if for example, you’ve inserted background music, it will be overridden by the voiceover.

Recording a Voiceover PowerPoint

Once your equipment is ready, you can begin creating your PowerPoint presentation with voiceover or music on each presentation slide.

When adding a voiceover in the presentation, here are simple steps you can follow:

1. Check if your microphone is ready: turned on, not muted, sound mixer set at a balanced level.
2. Create a new folder and label it accordingly.
3. Save a copy of the PowerPoint file you’ll be working on.
4. Set up Narration Recording in PowerPoint and follow the instructions below:
a. Select the slideshow option in the menu bar.
b. Click “record narration”.
c. Choose “change quality”.
d. Select “44.100kHz, 16 bit, Mono”.
e. Click “set microphone level” and test your microphone.
f. Tick the “link narration” box.
g. Choose “browse” then open the new folder you’ve created from the previous step and select the folder.
h. Click the “OK” button and begin recording voiceovers on your slides.
i. Choose “yes” every time you’re asked to “save timings on the slides”.
j. Save the completed PowerPoint presentation again.
5. Review the audio quality of your presentation.
6. Run the entire PowerPoint presentation to check if voiceover and slides are well synchronised.

When you are working on a professional or business presentation, especially if it’s to be used for sales and marketing, it’s recommended that you consider hiring a professional voiceover talent to ensure that the final product is perfect. With a professional voiceover talent, you get to choose a voice that’s attractive, confident and experienced in capturing the targeted audience’s attention.

Contact us today and we’ll show you the gallery of our voiceover talents.