Hobbies and Skills

Formula 1 2014 calendarThe 2014 season will bring with it some of the biggest changes to Formula One racing’s technical regulations. Some will applaud the new technical regulations issued by the sport's governing body the FIA others such as Red Bull Racing not so much. Red Bull have put a glossy media spin on it giving it the old "relish the challenge" and "nature of our technical sport" sound bites, but quietly behind closed doors they must be a bit sick after their domination with Vettel over the past few years. Don't get me wrong they have deserved their success in recent years and they have adapted to each seasons small technical changes but between now and January it has blown the field open with drastic changes for the upcoming season.


rallycar2After an entertaining rally in the Scottish Borders in August 2012 at Duns for the Jim Clark Memorial Rally, my brother and I decided to head back up to Dumfries in the Borders for the RSAC Scottish National Rally on the 30th June in search of more rally lunacy. We were not disappointed.


jaguar-f-type-2

Jaguar has done it again with two new stunning cars and yes, as an avid Jag fan, I love them both.  I shall never be able to afford one but it is so nice to dream.

After watching the conclusion to the Hungaroring, Hungarian Grand Prix 2012 I thought back to the last time I attended the same Grand Prix event seven years ago. 

hungaroringI can also remember watching it back in the 1990’s on TV and thinking, I wonder how long has it been a host to Formula One?  After all, it is one of those venues that seems never to steal the headlines, but is a fantastic event, with a knowledgeable crowd. It may not have the history of Silverstone, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps or the romance and glamour of Circuit de Monaco, all of which have been used as Grand Prix venues since 1950.

Presentation Skills 

Article by Adrian Rush MISTC, Managing Partner, AMR Enterprises 


 What are Presentation Skills?  Simply put, they can be divided into three areas.  First, how do you present yourself? Second, how do you present your business or company? Third, how do you speak when giving a presentation or a speech? 


 How to present yourself: 

This concept is the most personal and difficult for people to grasp and accept.  Let me put a scenario into place for you: You are going to an interview for a new job as an architect.  If you turn up in jeans and a polo shirt, what are trainers or the HR and Section Leaders going to think?  A sloppy dresser will be perceived as a sloppy worker.  Dressing inappropriately will allow clients to view you in a negative manner. First impressions are vitally important. People will judge you and your abilities on your appearance.  This holds true for networking events as well.  Wondering what you should wear to these three different types of meeting? A simple a pair of trousers, a shirt, tie and jacket fit the bill nicely.  If you are attending a conference, a high profile event or if you are a speaker at said event, it is essential for you wear a suit and a tie.  

How you present Your Business: 

How do you present your business?  If you are “Sole Trader” or “Micro Business” you are the face of it and MUST always be aware of that fact.  What can you do to give a favourable impression if going to meetings or other business related events? Again, always look respectable and always have business cards with you.  Be clear and concise when speaking about your business.  Do not “run down” your competitors (they will hear about it).  Always be positive about your competition, you never know when one day they might recommend you to a client as they cannot handle the work.  Potential client’s and customers want to know what you do in the first thirty seconds of your presentation.  Practice your pitch until it is second nature to you. 

How to speak when giving a presentation: 

Prepare yourself and practice what you are going to say.  Prepare any slides, making them clear and easy to read.  DO NOT put too much information on your audience or client. Good practice dictates a slide should have no more than six lines preferably four lines.  Use the slide to get the main points across to the audience. Have notes to work from as memory joggers and above all know what you are talking about.  If possible, try to include examples or “stories” in your presentation. This will help the audience to identify with you and your topic. . Always allow time for questions and think before you answer them.  DO NOT say “um” before you speak.  Speak clearly and slowly.  Engage with your audience to make sure you are informative without lecturing.  It is essential that you vary the tone and pitch of your voice.  If you do not your audience will start to “zone out” and only listen to bits of what you are saying. 

Be interesting, even for the most boring of subjects.  This means thinking about what you are going to say when you prepare your talk.  Involve the audience. Ask them questions and wait until you have heard and understood the answer.  If you have to demonstrate something, use a member of the audience.  It is essential that you are confident in what you are saying and make what you are saying believable. If your audience thinks you do not understand what you are saying they will not listen to you. 

In many cases you are the expert [or the audience is lead to believe you are].Your goal is to get this across to the audience.  Try to gauge the capabilities of your audience in the first few seconds. If you can, alter what you say to suit their ability to understand what you are saying.  Make every effort not to “talk down” to an audience because they will shut off and think of you in a bad light.  You may want you can ask the audience for their experiences on the subject. This will allow them to become involved, even in a small way. This makes your speech or presentation unique and helps people to remember you and what you have said. 

An audience will judge you on your appearance, your ability to get your message across and the way it was your “product” was presented to them. How often have you gone to a talk or presentation and by the time you get home have forgotten everything that was said? If you follow these three simple principles, you are less likely to be the forgotten   

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