Speak Well and Advance Your Career

The most versatile and commonly played instrument around us is the human voice! It is probably the only one that can articulate deep human passions and feelings like confessing your love to someone or it can even start a war. As a species dependant on clear cut communications we often find ourselves talking but without being heard.

But why is it so difficult to make change in the world with the spoken word, being that we are the only ones on Earth having the power of a high-functioning language? Let us learn from the best speakers of human history.

Several people on a frigid January morning in San Francisco back in 2007, waited in long lines and even camped for the entire night outside the entrance of the Moscone Center. Soon putting their anticipation to peace the lines opened and after thorough security checks upon seating in an auditorium entered a soft-spoken man wearing his patent turtleneck t-shirt and a pair of denims. What happened next is written in the pages of history, as Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. unveiled their landmark device, the iPhone.

Most people who have attended product launches and speeches made by this extraordinary man have said that he was able to transform a typically dry, apparently boring, technical and plodding slideshow of gadgetry into a theatrical event. His speeches and presentations included the perfect storyline of a hero, a villain, supporting casts and amazing backdrops. Most people who have witnessed him speak in public have described the experience as an extraordinary experience.

Most speakers usually only focus on crafting a speech that is populated with big words, positive clichés of idioms placed out of context and sometimes forced wit. But the secret to being a captivating speaker lies not in the content of your speech only but also in your ability to connect with the audience.

Here is how you can be a captivating speaker and win a whole room full of audience:

Avoid defaming your contemporaries:

Speaking about other people behind their backs is a common habit seen in people, but doing it on stage can have serious implications towards your brand or business idea. Most people have difficulty in trusting such individuals as it is evident that the person speaking about someone else behind their backs will also do the same about us. Thus, often most people turn a blind eye (or rather ear) to whatever such people have to say, even if what they have to say is truly important. So, avoid slandering others in your speeches and presentations at all costs to connect better to your audience. Bad mouthing others will disengage your audience and will have a negative impact in your speech.

Do not start with a PowerPoint, but with paper:

It is best to always have a story to tell when speaking to a crowd. Start by outlining this story on paper, then make efforts to gradually weave in meaning to that story with supporting data, examples and other supporting points (perhaps latest research findings) and include seamlessly into your story-telling outline.

The most captivating communicators always carefully plan and painstakingly design a storyboard, then script and rehearse their presentations almost like an Oscar-aspiring movie Director would prepare his film for the big premiere. Never try to wing it with cobbled up slides that your team used at some point of time further peppering it with a few stock photos.

Follow the 3 acts approach to tell your story:

Usually the most successful presentations follow some sort of modification of the following, 3 Acts format:

  • Introduce yourself (who am I)
  • What do I do or what my organization does
  • What sets apart my product/idea/company/services from the others
  • Why should you support my idea/ buy my product/ invest in me now

This is a narrative commonly used in modern storytelling more than the usual boardroom banter. The act has three major parts – setup, confrontation and resolution, and includes characters, villains and heroes to be rendered complete.

The main objective of the three acts approach from the audience’s point of view can be outlined as follows:

  • Why should I care about your idea
  • How will your product/idea help me or make my life better
  • What are the actions I need to take

Finally, when making a speech think of the idea in this way for a better sense of direction – if only data were sufficient to change the world, then people would have given up smoking, there would be no wars, and the environmental problems would disappear. But since, none of these have been actualized, it is clear that the human mind works on more than just simple logic alone. So, make use of emotions in your speeches and let your presentations go further beyond the basic facts to create a stronger and everlasting impact.

Top 10 Paved Bike Trails in Florida

A trek along an ancient stone path weaving through towering mountains to reach a once-lost city – the Inca Trail is the stuff travel legends are made of.

While Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most spectacular sights and an icon on every adventurer’s bucket list, the classic hike that leads you there is just as travel goal-worthy.

The Inca Trail is a 43km (26 mile) trek through the Peruvian Andes where you’ll hike for five to seven hours each day at high altitude over challenging terrain.

The trail winds its way through a sacred valley, past a raging river, massive mountains, lush jungle and fascinating ruins before Machu Picchu finally reveals itself through the fabled Sun Gate.

Trekking the Inca Trail is one of the most life-changing experiences you’ll ever have. While it’s no walk in the park, the trek is certainly doable even for inexperienced hikers. Here are some tips on how to conquer it.

1. Book early

Many travelers turn up to Peru each year thinking they can hike the trail whenever they want. Nope, they can’t. The Peruvian government has put strict limits on the number of people permitted on the Inca Trail (only 500 permits are issued per day), and the trek is booked out months in advance. It’s recommended to book your tour at least six months in advance during high season (May to October) and three months during low season (November to April). The classic 4-day trail costs from 600USD upwards.

2. Get a bird’s eye view of Machu Picchu

There are two treks you can take within the Machu Picchu sanctuary to get superb views from above – Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain. Both are tough, steep treks of around three hours and need to be booked before you go. Huayna Picchu, which allows 400 trekkers per day, is hugely popular and is usually sold out months in advance.

3. Pack for four seasons

During the trail you might experience everything from freezing temperatures to steamy days to relentless rain, so pack for all seasons. Layers will be your best friend – take singlets or t-shirts, a fleece jumper and a jacket. A pair or two of hiking pants which zip off to shorts is also a good idea. Bring wet weather gear including a rain coat, a poncho to cover your entire body and bag, a beanie, gloves, extra pairs of socks, a hat and flip flops for getting around camp at night.

Don’t forget plastic bags to put dirty clothes in, a basic first aid kit, insect repellent, wet wipes (this is how you will ‘shower’ every night), toilet paper, a towel, earplugs, lip balm, sunblock and a headlamp. You must bring your passport with you – it will be inspected at checkpoints along the Inca Trail and at the entrance to Machu Picchu.

Your tour will provide you with a bag where you can place up to 7kg of personal items (including your sleeping bag) for a porter to carry. Don’t over pack – anything over that limit you will need to carry yourself.

4. Carry only essentials in your daypack

Your porter won’t be hiking near you with your gear, so it’s important to have everything you need in your daypack. Fill it with essentials such as your passport, camera, water bottle, jacket, rain gear, hat, lip balm, sunblock, sunglasses and toilet paper. Resist the temptation to pack the kitchen sink. If your bag is heavy, you will seriously regret it.

5. Bring the right shoes

Whether you prefer hiking boots with ankle support or a pair of running shoes, both are fine for the trek, just make sure your footwear is comfortable and broken in. The last thing you want to deal with is sore feet and blisters. Also ensure your shoes have good grip and are preferably waterproof.

6. Stock up on snacks

Don’t worry, you will be fed extraordinarily well (think pancakes for breakfast, rice and meat for lunch and snacks like hot chocolate and cookies). But it’s a good idea to bring some extra sustenance like chocolate and energy bars. Also, if your guide or a porter offers you some cocoa leaves to chew on, give it a try. Although not the most pleasant tasting thing, they’ll give you an energy boost as well as alleviate any altitude sickness you may be feeling.

12 Reasons Why Butter Is Better

Nut-based butters are nutritious, regardless of the type you eat. In an almond butter peanut butter comparison, it turns out that the latter has a slight advantage, in terms of protein content and vitamin B. However, almond butter has more vitamin E for your skin. A tablespoon of either almond butter or peanut butter contains 95 calories, 3 grams of carbohydrate, 1.5 grams of fibre, and 8 grams of fat. Even better, the fats in both are mostly unsaturated, so they do not raise your cholesterol level. Monounsaturated contents are equally good in them as well.

The amount of Vitamin E in almond butter is more than twice as much as found in its peanut counterpart. Therefore, when used for skin treatment and applied directly to skin, almond butter offers better and more benefits. It is also better in the magnesium and calcium department.

As mentioned earlier, peanut butter has more protein. In a single serving, it has about 0.4 grams more vegetable protein then almond does. For comparison, a large egg contains about 6 grams of protein. More vitamin B is found in peanut butter.

It is just a simplified almond butter peanut butter comparison, and therefore difficult to determine which one is actually healthier than another. In general, both are good sources of nutrients. It all depends on individual needs, and you will have to read the label in each product carefully to avoid unnecessary additives.

Regardless of which one you like or consume the most, they come in light versions, which usually contain less fat but more of other hyped ingredients. Furthermore, please avoid additives such as artificial sweetener and preservatives. Even when the product is organic, chances are you find that the list of ingredients contains more than just nuts.

Almond butter has another advantage: it is easier to purchase all-natural almond butter. Most places sell the product without additional yet useless additives. When it comes to peanuts, however, you have to be more selective. In the United States, at least, they are one of the most overgrown and over-processed nuts. They are difficult to grow, and farmers often use pesticides on them. If the product is not organic, you may want to stay away from them.

Betsy’s Best butters are all natural, NON-GMO, and GLUTEN-FREE. It is a safe and easy place where you can shop for nut-based butters for your every need and recipe. Check out our website to find delicious recipes made with almond butter and peanut butter.