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May 18, 2017

6 Mistakes to Avoid While Making a Presentation


Have you ever given a presentation where you felt that the audience were not attentive to you and your content? You pulled an all nighter to create some awesome slides but the audience seem happy to browse their phones or even look at the ceiling during your presentation. Well, there might be some mistakes that you are doing that you need to avoid.

Here are the list of six simple things that you might be doing wrong.   

Not-knowing the audience

Custom-design your presentation to fit the needs of your audience. Find out the size and demographics of your audience beforehand. What are the ranks and positions of the people who will be attending? Who are the decision-makers? How much knowledge do they have of the subject you will be presenting? What is their native language? What other cultural expectations or protocol should you be aware of? By considering such factors beforehand, you increase the effectiveness of your presentation dramatically.

Avoiding eye contact

Have you ever attended a presentation where the presenter spent all of his time looking at the notes, the screen, the floor, or the ceiling? Did you like the presentation?

Meeting a person's gaze establishes a personal connection, and even a quick glance can keep people engaged. If your audience is small enough, try to make eye contact with each individual at least once.

If the audience is too large for this, try looking at people's foreheads. The individual may not interpret it as eye contact, but those sitting around them will.

Forgetting to smile

Your face is most important aspect in making a good first impression.  Unless you are delivering some bad news, it is suitable for you to smile, even in a business meeting.

Instead –Begin your presentation with a smile, in result your audience will receive your message more willingly.  Try to keep smiling during your presentation, particularly when you want to make people laugh.  People will respond to a smile by smiling back.  Interaction is key for a remarkable presentation.

Not Familiarizing Yourself With the Venue and Equipment

Imagine that your presentation starts in an hour. You arrive at the venue and, to your horror, the projector won't work with your laptop. The slides you spent hours preparing are useless. This is a disaster!

You can avoid a situation like this by taking time to familiarize yourself with the venue and available equipment at least once before your presentation.

Using a monotonous voice

Your voice is the primary means of communicating with your audience. No matter how interesting your material, if you speak in a monotone voice, you will lose your audience. An effective voice should be vital, audible, and clear. Of course, voice will be affected by age, gender, physiology, health, motivation, and past experience. Nevertheless, people of all kinds can learn how to make their voices more effective by learning about voice production, breathing techniques, vocal exercises and voice care. If necessary, work with a voice coach to learn how to improve your voice.

Lack of preparation

Too often a good presentation is ruined because the speaker has not taken the time to prepare. Preparation involves attention to both the personal and professional aspects of the presentation. Personal elements include body language, voice, and appearance. Professional aspects include researching the subject, organizing the content, and preparing the visuals. So, whether your presentation lasts for five minutes, five hours, or five days, you owe it to yourself and your audience to prepare thoroughly.

I hope this article was of help and avoiding these six mistakes will make you a better presenter.

Expert advice: The slides you prepare are just you help you and the main focal point of any presentation should be you, the presenter.


May 16, 2017

What makes a presentation engaging?


Delivering a good presentation is an art. Whilst doing so, there are several factors one must consider so as to leave an imprint on the audience.

First off, time is a primary concern while giving a presentation. So a presentation must be short and understandable to the audience as far as possible not taking much of their time which can be annoying and boring.

An interest should be created in the audience in the beginning of the presentation to grab their attention throughout the presentation. It should start with an ice breaker whether by asking a question or with a powerful statement relating with the topic.

Understand the audience is also vital as everyone will not be an expert in the conceptual language so keeping it simple will be another primary concern for the presentation.

Humour can be a plus point but there is a limitation to it as it can turn into an unpleasant one. A healthy humour can entertain or delight the audience to capture their attention.

Stories are always fascinating and interesting. People love listening to stories as we are by nature more concerned about what is happening in other people’s life. So telling stories is a necessary part of a presentation to grasp the viewer’s attention. Ranting is something that should possibly not to be done or the presentation can seem to be prayer chanting.

However, the three top most important aspects are practice, practice and practice. Without practice no one will be able to deliver his/her point and again the audience will get distracted. So, it is a must for everyone to practice at least 5 times before going to the stage.

Body language should be maintained while presenting. Moving around and using your hands can help you to engage the audience. Your body language should not be inactive. People who notice you if you move around and can easily be attracted.

Ending on a serious note, one can, following these tips, make the whole presentation interactive and engaging.







 


May 9, 2017

Why Does Body Language Really Matter?


First impression is the last impression. We have heard this saying countless times in our life. And, we all know that actions speak more than words and impressions speak more than actions. Knowing that impressions are made from interactions, a good interaction leads to a good impression. We must all have met a guy who is extremely intellectual and stands like he broke his backbone, haven’t we? Like he doesn’t belong to that place? Who knows it could be you yourself. What do you think of them when you see them? What impression do they have on you?

Yeah, you probably think he’s too lazy or he was tricked and is doing something he didn’t sign up for!

You Are What Your Body Portrays

No matter how good of a speaker you are, or how good of a content you have, if you don’t have a good body language then the speech, presentation, workshop, whatever you are doing won’t be as effective or as impactful. Even in scenarios where you’re talking to individuals or a small group of people, body language is a matter to be considered. It’s not just about the first impressions. Just think about it, would you rather prefer to mingle with a proactive person or a lethargic person? See, there’s your answer right there. A body language is important in all sorts of conversions, formal or informal.

Body language is non -verbal communication and this etiquette differs from culture to culture. If you are going to be interacting with people from all over the world, you must remember that they may not have the same customs and behaviors that you are used to. From facial expressions to proxemics and gestures to paralinguistics, body language covers it all. Even a minor thing like an eye gaze plays a huge role in maintaining a good body language.

Body Language cues can play five roles:

  • Repetition: they can repeat the message the person is making verbally.

  • Contradiction: they can contradict a message the individual is trying to convey.

  • Substitution: they can substitute for a verbal message. For example, a person's eyes can often convey a far more vivid message than words do.

  • Complementing: they may add to or complement a verbal message. A boss who pats a person on the back in addition to giving praise can increase the impact of the message.

  • Accenting: they may accent or underline a verbal message. Pounding the table, for example, can underline a message.

(Source: The Importance of Effective Communication, Edward G. Wertheim, Ph.D.)


Types of Nonverbal Communication

  • Facial expressions

The human face is extremely expressive, able to express countless emotions without saying a word. And unlike some forms of nonverbal communication, facial expressions are universal.

  • Body movements and posture

Consider how your perceptions of people are affected by the way they sit, walk, stand up, or hold their head.This type of nonverbal communication includes your posture, bearing, stance, and subtle movements.

  • Gestures

Gestures are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. We wave, point, beckon, and use our hands when we’re arguing or speaking expressing ourselves with gestures often without thinking. However, the meaning of gestures can be very different across cultures and regions, so it’s important to be careful to avoid misinterpretation.

  • Eye contact

Since the visual sense is dominant for most people, eye contact is an important type of nonverbal communication. The way you look at someone can communicate many things, including interest, affection, hostility, or attraction.

  • Space

Have you ever felt uncomfortable during a conversation because the other person was standing too close and invading your space? We all have a need for physical space, although that need differs depending on the culture, the situation, and the closeness of the relationship.

  • Voice

It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Things they pay attention to include your timing and pace, how loud you speak, your tone and inflection, and sounds that convey understanding.Think about how someone's tone of voice, for example, can indicate sarcasm, anger, affection, or confidence.

So, these are the small things that matter in making a conversation more effective and impactful yet it is often overlooked. Consider these instances in your next conversation. You’ll figure out how effective it is!


April 13, 2017

Letter from Santosh - 2074


Dear All,

Greetings,

First and foremost, on behalf of Edushala, I would like to wish you a warm Nepali New year.

We had an exciting year here at Edushala. Edushala has been a pioneer in creating an innovative learning and teaching platform in Nepal. I am happy to announce that this year we are pushing our self a bit further.

Education is the key to creating opportunities and changing your lives, and my father would be the first one to tell so. He inspired and reinforced the message for me. Education gives you choices, opens doors, enables you to earn a good living and shapes your entire life. He truly believed that lives could be transformed through education regardless of where you were from and how much money you made. He made me a believer, too.

Edushala is my vision to create lifelong learners. Edushala has made it possible that people can learn anything, anytime, and anywhere. We have conducted hobby courses like Salsa to rigorous certification course like MS-Excel through our online platform. Through Edushala, we have been able to create a non-formal learning ecosystem in Nepal and we are not stopping here. 

Edushala team has been working day and night to launch our very own learning management system – Eduware. We are finally making this public today. Our courseware helps teachers (plan and create immersive and interactive courses) and students (self-paced learning and access to course contents). You can visit the website here -> www.edushala.com (Do send us your feedback). I believe the courseware can be used by individuals and organizations alike.

I have always viewed the world as a “level playing field”. We have created online courses for Udemy facilitated by Nepali instructors. You can enjoy these courses ->

Finally, we have published our blog. We want to build a community of learners and educators. We will be sharing our stories here. You can subscribe here to get our latest stories.

And again, I wish you all a Happy New Year. This new year learn something new. Happy learning!

Regards,
Santosh Shrestha
CEO, Official Tea Boy, #1 Dad and Bitcoiner


April 7, 2017

Taking the right decision in life: A Checklist


I used to find the word practicality very funny. Yes, those inverted commas are necessary. “Come on, be practical” were one of the many phrases used by my friends and teachers just for the heck of it.  I am pretty sure they never stood up on their own words.

The other word that I used to find funny, rather irritating was “solitude”. And again yes, those inverted commas are necessary. Why is alone-time so important? Why is personal space reckoned so uplifting? 

As an adult when I think about these terms “practical” and “solitude”, I think I can comprehend their significance. So, I want to start with these two things that I believe are important in taking right decisions. To make a checklist, here are the 5 things I would consider before making a decision as an adult:

  • Being Practical: Practicality means being aware of pros and cons of your decision in terms of finance, ease, time, etc. E.g. You are interested in going for a workshop but you are not able to decide whether to go or not go. Ask yourself if you have the money to pay or the workshop, how it would help me in my work, how long the workshop will be. If the workshop doesn’t threaten your affordability, helps you in achieving your professional and personal goals, and demands time that you can devote then WHY NOT?
  • Giving Yourself Some Space: Taking the same example, give yourself some space, some alone time to think about it. We can easily get influenced by people, which sometime backfires.  Take your time before jumping into conclusions.
  • Making a List of Advantages and Disadvantages: One cannot stress enough how considering the number and weight of advantages and disadvantages can make you an efficient decision maker. Write it down and see how much it helps you.
  • Going with the Experience: Experience can help us a lot in taking right decisions. In past if you have encountered difficulties in dealing with similar situations than it is better not to walk the same lane again.
  • Taking Advice: Taking advice from the right person can make a lot of difference. Not everything that shines is gold. Knowing who the right person is another story.

March 21, 2017

How to Stay Motivated When Everything goes Wrong


We all have been confronted by a setback when everything that was planned out goes haywire. You try to do something else, work on it and even that ends up going wrong. Nothing seems right and we end up staring at a wall wondering WHY? Why is all this painful thing happening to me? YES, it happens to all of us or has happened to most of us at the very least. Whether it may be a simple day or a planned event, we need some sort of motivation to keep us going. And, times do come where everything is going against your will. In these situations, motivation levels drop down making us feel low and sad. Most of the time when things don’t go along, we end up leaving things be, or keep doing things with severely low levels of enthusiasm. It may get the work done, YES, but with a bit more motivation, things could have been way better.

So, how to keep yourself motivated when everything goes Wrong? To answer that, we have to understand the meaning of “Motivation”. In the book, “The War of Art”, by Steven Pressfield, he states, “At some point, the pain of NOT doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it.” I think that this is what drives us to change and do things. It is the essence of motivation. When we are motivated, it is like the capacity of someone to bear the inconvenience of an action is increased. In other words, we become optimistic. Anyway, back to the subject, HOW do we stay motivated?

The key is looking at the right sides of results. It is a vague statement but let me exemplify; suppose, I want to eat Pizza so, I search the area but don't find any. I end up choosing an alternative but sadly even that isn’t available. It may be demotivating and annoying to an extent but looking at the bright side, I won’t get fat.  I won’t get a bad stomach by eating too much fast-food. As silly as it may sound in the example, it is pretty much what it is. Just change the context and find the positive sides and there you have your motivation right there.

Here are a few things that can be considered helpful in optimism.

Everything is temporary.

Emotion is not like a river, it is more like weather. It changes from time to time. So, the unfortunate turn of events going on will stop and the silver lining will show up eventually. So, if things aren’t that good currently, don’t worry, it eventually will be – I can promise you that. And, if things are going great, GOOD, enjoy! Nothing lasts forever so enjoy it while you can.

Complaining changes nothing.

It’s about perception and what you look at. Even the best of things has flaws. Complaining about things won’t do any good to the work. Yes, it may give us the chance to see the flaws so that we can improve it. But just focusing on it and not looking at the bright sides is a major demotivator.

Every struggle is a step.

Struggle is necessary for everyone. If you’re going to do something, do it all the way with all your time and strength, maybe even more. It could mean losing some comfort or losing some mindfulness. But it is a test for your determination and how much you want it. If you just stay at your current level and not push it, you’ll never learn.

Don’t care about others’ negativity.

People have a tendency to despise others whether they’re doing good or bad. So, ignoring the negativity is the best thing to do. Don’t let someone change who you are. Worry about what you are rather than what others think about you.

There are many more things you can do to stay positive, but at end of the day it’s about your mindset. You just have to train your mind to not lose track because of something that went up and keep the motivation levels healthy.

Focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t. Give yourself pep talks about what has been done and focus on the right things rather than the wrong. Motivation plays a great deal when it comes to success. So, keeps your heads high, do what you’re doing and success with surely follow.


March 20, 2017

How to Inspire Not Only You but Everyone Around You?


The one who falls and gets up is so much stronger than the one who never fell.

It’s hard to stay inspired all the time. There are days when you really don’t want to talk to anyone and just sit alone. But there is no doubt that you can’t be inspired by you yourself. There are many tips to get inspired in these times. Some of the tips are explained, which will help you to stay inspired and motivated.

Be True to Yourself

No matter what you should always be true to yourself. Being true to yourself will help you to know who you actually are and what you actually want to be. It won’t be an easy task because when it comes to living a compassionate and non-judgemental human being, the challenge will be to walk on your own comfortable shoe neither than to walk in others shoe.

Listen to Music

You can always listen to up-beat music, which distracts you from your stress and makes you feel better. Music helps you to console yourself, which will ultimately help you to inspire yourself.

Stick with What You Love

Take part in what you believe. This could be anything, anything that you want. You can play videogames, play any sort of sport, dance, or maybe even sing. Just be sure that you are doing what you love. This will refresh your mind and will make you feel better.

Focus on the Positive

Be happy with who you are, and let your positivity inspire your rest of the journey. Everything that happens in life always happens for a reason and is neither good nor bad. It totally depends upon your perspective. No matter how it turns out, it always ends up the way it should be. Even you succeed or learn something. So, it is better to stay positive, appreciate the things in life and keep on learning.

Care about People

People don’t have the tendency to care, until and unless they are cared by others. It is better to care about people so that you’ll be concerned when you need.

Share Your Feelings with Closed Ones

It is considered best if you share your feelings with your closed ones, as they will listen to you and will even give you suggestions. Sharing feelings will lighten your heart up, which will change your state of mind from being unaccompanied to communicating.

Sooner or later, everything you need to inspire everyone around you is within you. So get out there and start inspiring people with who you are and how you live your life.


March 19, 2017

Our Story: Out of School to the Real World


Most of us grew up in an environment where our success was measured by our grades and our ability to rank high in our classes. Now out of schools and having studied in various different settings, we have realized that all of us are different. We all have different interests and skills and we need to focus on what we are good at and what we’d like to do. Edushala was born out of a need to value real world skills. Our founding members all resonate the same voice when it comes to their passion for education. We all strongly believe Edushala gives people the platform to explore, broaden and deepen their educational passions and skills.

Our Story

Since we founded in 2013, education innovation has been our core. We have created an educational marketplace to connect passionate professionals with knowledge-hungry students who are looking to learn “practical” skills. Our mission is to provide our students with skills that are useful, fun, and transferable in the real world by linking them with incredible teachers who focus on doing, not memorizing. Edushala classes emphasize projects and peer-learning rather than tests and textbooks. Our goal is to make sure you can confidently decorate a room, write a poem, or negotiate a contract, not recall facts.

Our educators are our partners and we work with them to bring the best out of them. We give them the blank canvas they need to teach what they love and empower them with tools to make their jobs easier. Then, we get out of their way.

Our goal is to foster opportunities for creativity in the classroom and best enable educators to share their skills, interests, and passions. We empower educators with the technology, and service to align, educate, inspire and share their knowledge. Most of all, we help our students develop a lifelong love of learning and sharing.

This is the special time in our company’s journey. We are transitioning our classroom courses to digital online content to reach a larger global audience. We are excited to bring series of online courses for our learners. This will help our educators to share their passion to the global market.  We create community of where people can teach and learn things that truly inspires them. Let’s teach what you love and love what you learn.