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Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Sunday Post: To cancel or not to cancel?

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I was reading this article a few weeks back, where Pandora and Dolly from The High Low write in Red Magazine for and against canceling or 'flaking' around the Christmas season. I'm definitely team Polly on this issue. Whereby, it's okay to cancel, or flake, and I am okay being the person that is canceled on. In fact, I had one of those scenarios yesterday.

After a long, stressful week of the 9-5 (well 5am - 6pm if last week is anything to go by!) I was completely shattered and made the honest cancellation call to a few people very close to me. Needless to say, they were completely understanding, something I hope I extend to cancelers in my own life!

However, there can be a time, something I have encountered very recently too, where cancelers cancel with a bit of a fib. This is the scenario where I'd have to say it's not okay (especially if you get caught out!) i.e. canceling on Peter to go out with Paul. With invites a plenty in the run up to Christmas clashing plans is inevitable. You might commit to a date when something else comes in and you're wondering whether to cancel one and attend another...

Let me back track a minute - I mean, I get that this happens. Some people are super prepared with plans, other crop up last minute posing a problem of commitment vs. preference, other times, you just don't fancy doing anything, don't have an excuse and aren't sure how to break it. You've already committed to one and need to back out or really want to go to the other - it's tricky.

Let's take this scenario (this is a generic example FYI): a hot date comes in and instead of going against all 'girl code' rules an canceling on your friend for a guy, you fake a headache that frees you up to go on the date. Okay - fair enough. But remember, don't post your drinks boomerang on social media, don't go to the bar frequented by your canceled bff. In short, I'd say 'fess up as soon as you can or commit to your original plan. Chances are if you don't 'fess up, you'll forget you canceled and end up telling your bff about the hot date you had on Tuesday...which could end awkwardly. If the receiver of the cancellation is close enough to you and you respect them enough, they will understand and you can reschedule. They will value your honesty, which is important in any relationship and speaking from my own experience this week,  I'd rather the honesty policy - it's not nice for anyone to find out third hand they were runner up.

Which side of the fence are you on when it comes to canceling?!
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Sunday, November 5, 2017

WORK IT OUT: Acing a presentation


For even the most extrovert of person, presenting can be a little daunting - don't forget these tips to ensure you ace your next presentation!

1. Do your research
Research the topic you are presenting on, the audience and other speakers presentations (if you are one in a line up). Ensuring you know your topic inside out will help you deliver your presentation if you are a little nervous and answer any questions at the end too. If you know the audience you are presenting to upfront, you can tailor your presentation, delivery and any anecdotes you will reference to your audience to make it super engaging. Finally, if you are presenting alongside other speakers, knowing their content so you don't duplicate or labour points and can reference their key messages will make you look polished.

2. Look the part
Dressing the part can give you confidence in many scenarios, this couldn't be more true for a presentation. You need to feel comfortable in your attire to feel confident in your delivery. If you are a guest speaker and aren't sure of the dress-code whether it be business-smart, smart-casual, or just plain casual check with the organiser in advance - you don't want to stand out or feel uncomfortable for all the wrong reasons.

3. Rehearse
Fail to prepare; prepare to fail - always my rule of thumb. If you rehearse your presentation, you'll naturally feel confident. If you learn your script you can talk naturally rather than reading which will increase your eye contact with the audience and really show you know your stuff.

4. Arrive early and test your tech
Arrive between 25-30 minutes early for your presentation. Tech can be unpredictable and sometimes there is a last minute emergency with the audio or presentation files! Have a USB with your presentation on hand and as a triple back up and email your presentation to yourself too. Be early, compose yourself and get used to your surroundings before the audience starts to arrive.

5. Keep calm
"Easier said than done", I hear you say! Well, sometimes yes, but keeping calm with a few deep breaths and confidence in your preparation and rehearsals will help you with a clear delivery.

What are your top tips for acing the interview!?

For more careers articles and worklife tips have a little read here.

If you've got an interview coming up for your dream job, we've got some tips here for you too.
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Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Sunday Post: Gaining an hour and a little perspective


I'm up early after the clocks went back and am feeling rather alert at 9am on a Sunday, having already scheduled all my social media activity for the week and a little spot of DIY (you'll find evidence of this on the Instagram!). The extra hour in bed and an early start for a Sunday has got me thinking and feeling a little reflective about how quickly time is passing. Something I spotted on Instagram this morning was a little poignant too, it read:


Kids say the funniest things, hey!?

Sometimes, they just hit the nail on the head, because it's just so simple.

We - well I - over-complicate what's important and loose sight of the greatest things. Needless to say, somehow I've woken up with a new sense of purpose, I've always been time-precious with who I spend my time with and how I spend it, but sometimes perspective wains a little. The words above are true - only when a sense of loss is imminent do we really appreciate and hold on to what we have, but we don't know what's coming around the corner. Sometimes, time doesn't give you a heads up.

So...

I'm back into my blog writing (because I enjoy it so why not!), I'm actually sticking to my gym routine and *drumroll* I'm going to stop flirting with the idea of starting my consultancy and actually going to go for it.

I'm going to do more of what makes me happy - are you?

Happy Sunday!

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