How to Get Just the Right Wedding Present

Having recently got married, there came a time during preparations when we were asked for a list of required wedding gifts. Now, I know this is the done thing these days but to be honest, I wasn’t totally comfortable with the process. It didn’t feel right to be window shopping and putting together a list of items that we wanted other people to buy for us. There was also the dilemmas of cost. Should we ask for cheap stuff to not look greedy or should we ask for the pricier stuff to get something really nice or could we find middle of the road items?

As uncomfortable as the thought was, creating a list for wedding gifts turned out to be a relatively easy and quite pleasurable experience. Instead of trawling all around different shops, we decided to do a list online and found many of our favourite places provided a wedding gift list service. This allows you to window shop your way through the website adding items as you go at the click of a button. You are then given a list reference number which you can pass to your intended guests and they can pick and choose what they want to buy.

When each shopper has purchased something from the list, the list is then automatically adjusted to show you who has bought what item – a great facility when it comes to writing thank you cards! Many online shops will also deliver the presents, wrapped, to the married couples address at a later, pre-arranged date. Now this isn’t just good for the couple getting married in that they get the wedding gifts they like as opposed to four toasters and a nylon eiderdown, it also makes like a great deal easier for the guests.

Nobody wants to turn up to a wedding empty handed and gifts are the norm. However, in this day and age when couples are getting married later in life, often co-habiting first, and a bottom drawer is unheard of, most people will have all the things they need to begin married life.

So, coming up with a good idea for a wedding present is difficult. You don’t want to look like a cheap skate and you don’t want to break the bank. You want to give something thoughtful and useful that won’t sit and gather dust for years on end in the loft. The dilemmas of the right wedding present are settled by the use of a wedding list.

For the couple making the list, we found it relatively easy to find a range of gifts that we liked that covered a whole range of price groups. This meant that groups of people were able to club together to purchase a larger or more expensive gift and single people were also able to find something appropriate within the right price range.

The whole business of making a list for wedding gifts turned out to be a good one. We got some wonderful gifts that were just what we wanted and the guests were able to purchase just the right thing in the right price range. This saved all the trawling round the shops and guessing at what we might like!

One of my favourite aspects of the experience (apart from opening all the presents!), was that we were able to complete the whole process on line from the comfort of our sofa. On line wedding gift lists are a great service. They simplify the whole process and make it easy for the couple as well as the guests.

Make the Right Connection – Cables For Your Presentation, Part 1

There is no such thing as an unimportant detail when you are preparing to give an important presentation. Every piece of the puzzle, every single component, needs to be working correctly. This means everything from the PowerPoint or other presentation file and the computer it will be running on to the projector, screen and microphone.

Even more importantly, all the pieces need to work together. That means that the “nerve system” of your setup is the group of cables that tie all the components together. Simply put, power cables bring the electricity to the devices that need it, as the other cables route audio, video and control signals from their sources to the appropriate destinations.

Video connections

Before setting up your presentation, sketch out the setup to get a map for all the connections and device placements. For now let’s assume you are using a simple, straightforward configuration for presenting a PowerPoint slide show with both audio and video.

Modern laptop computers offer several ways to make video signals, normally sent to the screen, available to all kinds of other, external devices. Your laptop may have an S-video output, so an S-video cable would be required to send the video portion of the presentation. Naturally, that cable would plug into the S-video input on the projector you are using.

If you prefer to use the more common “monitor out” port, you would connect a VGA cable to the projector’s VGA input (sometimes called an “RGB” port). All modern projectors have multiple ports, and some have two of certain kinds, too.

The sound side

You can amplify the soundtrack of your presentation in a variety of ways, but the initial step is always the same. You need to have a 1/8″ stereo mini-plug to access the standard “audio out” port on modern laptops, and the other end of that plug might be another 1/8″ plug, a ΒΌ” one or something else.

Today there are even devices that route sound via USB and FireWire ports and cables, so you can consider that route if you have a way of getting the projector to receive the input. If the projector does not have USB (some do, but few have FireWire), you may need an adapter of some kind.

Ins and outs

The A/V panel on the projector is an area you should study closely. Everything the viewers will see and hear in your presentation has to connect there somehow. It can be quite helpful when determining cabling needs to start at the end, the projector A/V inputs, and work back to the source, your laptop. This will also help you become familiar with the kinds of connections on your particular projector.

The fact is, not all of them have 1/8″ audio inputs (also called “line in”) so you will may need a special cable that has that jack on one end, and a pair of RCA plugs (for Left and Right stereo channels) on the other. These are the type of plugs and cables used in most consumer stereo gear.

When you want the highest possible sound quality, of course, you go digital. Some laptops have a S/PDIF (Sony Philips Digital InterFace) out port, so a S/PDIF cable will connect you to any projector with a S/PDIF input. These cables can be optical or coaxial, by the way.

For the rest of the setup guidance, see “Make the Right Connections – Cables for Your Presentation, Part 2″ 

Business Negotiating Techniques

Business negotiating can play an important role in our professional pursuits, the techniques involved can even be of help in our personal lives (outside of the office.) The truth is, we can even be negotiating without realizing it – it is an action that we do naturally from day to day. Perhaps you went to the mall over the weekend and asked for a reduction in the selling price of a faulty item, maybe you had some ideas of how to change something in your office.

Negotiating doesn’t have to be difficult, but how effortless it can or can’t be, depends on a few factors. One of the main factors will be how much is at stake and another factor that can make it a challenge is your mood – if you are upset or angry then negotiating can seem like the highest of hurdles. If you have low self esteem and the person or group you are negotiating with is full of confidence – this might be greatly intimidating for you.

The purpose of this article is to reveal some of the secrets to good business negotiation skills so that you can use them as you need – when in confrontation with colleagues or customers – or even with the big boss! You might also find that the advice here will be of use in more personal situations too.

Introduction To Negotiating

Simply put, negotiating is when two or more persons/groups will discuss their different needs and aim to come to a solution that satisfies either party. Negotiating is not a process that sticks to a set of guidelines and each case could be very variable when compared to the one before or to the next. How the situation develops will depend on the people involved and what skills/ideas/attitudes they have. What negotiating isn’t, is a conflict. Too many make negotiating faults by believing they are under pressure to get the results swayed towards their ideas – using intimidation, force and even anger. Ideally, all involved should accept that the outcome will be favorable to both sides.

Negotiating Techniques

Let us have a look in more detail, the potentially successful business techniques of negotiation. First, you should use appropriate questioning to find out what the other parties needs are and what they dislike about your need and want for change. Take time to make sure that you fully understand their needs and if you must, use what we call ‘listening responses’ to clarify the situation. An example might be “If I am correct, you want to ensure that…”

Following this, it will be time to share your concerns and ideas. Don’t make the fault of only declaring what you want, but always back it up with reasons as to why you want it a certain way. You have to give the other party a chance to understand your reasoning. You could discover through this, that both parties are aiming for the same goal or outcome, but their approach to reaching that goal is different.

Have your plan B’s and C’s at hand should you require them. Negotiating is all about discussing possible means of coming to an agreement, so you do need to be little flexible and have your options worked out beforehand. Take this one step further by detecting what the response of the other party might be and the solution to their responses.

Never allow anger or intimidation to get out of hand in business negotiating – you don’t want to upset others. You are looking at possible solutions to make everyone involved reach satisfaction with the outcome. By no means should you try to intimidate others into thinking that their needs are questionable or wrong in the first place.