Avoiding Bad Debt Negotiations

Debt negotiations are becoming more popular among consumers today looking for a way out of their debt. While negotiations can be valuable tool for finding financial relief, there are many risks involved that can lead to more problems. Unfortunately, the bulk of problems involved with debt negotiations is dealing with scams or non-reputable companies.

The Federal Trade Commission has provided information for consumers to learn about debt negotiations and other relief solutions. This information is very important when seeking help with debts and can keep consumers out of the hands of scammers.

The Worst

The risks associated with third party debt relief companies is knowing whether or not you are getting a fair deal. There have been instances in which consumers paid money for debt negotiations that never even took place. As the consumer went on about their business thinking their debts had been resolved, their accounts were accumulating penalties and holding a delinquent account status. If even a deal had been negotiated, failing to get a copy of the deal in writing can lead to difficulty proving fraud down the road.

Most people never think twice or question the company they have hired to perform debt negotiations, which can be a big problem. It is always acceptable, and should be commonplace, to ask questions to the debt negotiator. Maintain an active role in the debt process and let the negotiator know you are paying attention.

The Best

The most important thing to remember in debt negotiations is that you have the right to negotiate directly with your lender. There is generally no need for a third party negotiator unless you need additional assistance. A debt negotiation lawyer can be highly beneficial in these situations as they are well versed in negotiations and are bound by an ethical code of conduct. However, if you choose to hire a third party company be sure they possess certain characteristics.

A reputable company will not attempt to sell one particular service or push for a commitment. While these companies are offering you a service, you should never feel pressured or rushed in your decision. The company will also staff licensed or credentialed employees such as financial advisers or accountants. Any company whose employees do not hold a degree or only boast “in house” training should be avoided, you want someone who knows what they are doing. A legitimate agency will not require upfront fees for services or will offer a money back guarantee if services are not rendered adequately.

How to Prepare and Practice Your Presentation

Advance preparation and practice are crucial when it comes to delivering a speech, presentation or even your 30 second elevator pitch.

Successful speakers always plan and rehearse their presentations as far ahead of the event as possible. They never leave anything to chance.

Before I discovered the value of preparation and practice I was guilty of

· Thinking I knew the subject so well, I didn’t need much preparation or practice

· Convincing myself that being unprepared meant I would sound more ‘natural’ and spontaneous

· Not getting the results I wanted

After a few presentations I was not happy with, I grudgingly admitted to myself that perhaps my problem was lack of preparation. I thought it was time to give it a go.

Then I fell into another comfort zone – spending so much time preparing, I had no time left for practice. This time I was guilty of

· Preparing and rehearsing the material so much in my head that I had little time left to get it down on paper

· Spending so much time editing the words and sentence structure I had no time to rehearse

· Trying to memorise the words to make up for the lack of rehearsal

Eventually, I had to admit it – the time had come to learn how to prepare and practise properly. I did it by using the old adage, ‘Learn one, teach one.’ I learned from the experts, then I taught other speakers and now I teach my clients how to do it. It’s called The 3 P’s – Prepare, Practise and Present and here it is:


1. Research and gather material relevant to your subject.

2. Organise your speech using the method that suits you- spider diagram, mind maps, bullet points. Make sure you cover all the points you want to make.

3. Write your talk out in full on paper or screen with a beginning, middle and end.

4. Edit out superfluous words and phrases, repetition and clumsy phrasing.

5. If you can, record your talk and transcribe it. Then, remove all the spoken fillers such as um, ah, actually, obviously, in point of fact, to be honest – the list is endless.

6. Once you are satisfied that your speech or presentation is as well structured, succinct and as clear as you can make it, you are ready to rehearse.


1. Read your presentation silently to yourself several times. The purpose of rehearsal is to help you internalise your ideas and message rather than learn the words off by heart.

2. Then read your script out loud a few times to hear how it sounds. Make any necessary adjustments to make it flow more smoothly.

3. Next, say it without notes as if you were speaking to a friend. If you can’t explain your subject without notes, go back to reading it aloud until you do know it well enough.

4. Finish each rehearsal completely. If you stumble over your delivery at any stage, keep going until you finish. Mark the spot on your script and when you finish the session, go back and find out why you are stumbling. You may need to change a word or the construction of a sentence. Correct it and begin again.

5. Get feedback from an objective third party or record yourself and watch or listen to the recording. Do you sound natural and relaxed? Is the structure clear? Is it interesting and engaging? Is there anything you can do to make it better?

Having a well prepared speech or presentation not only gives you confidence but it helps steady your nerves and allows you to focus on getting your message across to your audience. It’s not about us, as speakers, giving a wonderful performance. It’s about getting our message across, for the benefit of the audience. Remember the 3 P’s – Prepare, Practise and Present.

All about seafood allergies

The most common symptoms of a seafood allergy are hives, swelling of the lips or tongue, and trouble breathing. In some cases, people can have anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening reaction. This is why any seafood export company will mention the details of their seafood on their packaging, especially if there are any mixed items.

There is no cure for seafood allergies, but there are ways to manage them. You may need to avoid all types of seafood altogether. Or if you are able to eat certain kinds of seafood only, you will need to make sure it is cooked properly so that any traces of allergens are eliminated. If you are travelling and aren’t sure if a dish contains seafood, ask the waiter before ordering, and it is best to always carry an epinephrine auto-injector with you in case of an emergency.

The best way to prevent a seafood allergy is, sadly, to avoid seafood altogether. If you have a seafood allergy, be sure to carry an epinephrine auto-injector with you in case of a severe reaction. You should also wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace that says you have a seafood allergy.

If you think you might have a seafood allergy, see your doctor for testing. They can do a skin prick test or a blood test to determine if you are allergic to seafood. If you are allergic to seafood, your doctor will work with you to create an emergency action plan in case of a severe reaction. With careful avoidance and proper treatment, people with seafood allergies can lead happy and healthy lives.