Three of the Top Ten Toys for Christmas 2010 Presented Here

Looking for toys for Christmas I came upon a website that displayed the top 10 toys for Christmas and thought to check them out in detail. I was frankly quite impressed with the listing and write about the 3 toys I liked the most from the selection.

Among boys toys, the John Deere brand is a big hit and the Peg Perego John Deere Loader is the indisputable winner.

Recommended for kids between 2 and 6 years of age, it is a front loader that scoops, lifts and dumps (maybe grass or leaves) with your child in the driver’s seat! Its large adjustable bucket seat accommodates the child as he grows. And its heavy-duty bicycle chain is enclosed for safe, fast and smooth pedal action. A built-in dashboard with gauges add to excitement. As do the extra-large, heavy-duty tractor wheels!

A John Deere licensed product the Peg Perego comes with a 2nd year extension of its one year warranty should you so desire. The only issue I see is that it cannot be shipped outside the US mainland yet.

Likewise, Alex Toys bring the most amazing girl’s toys, with the Friends 4 Ever Bracelet Making Kit.

It’s a DIY that includes 22 colors of floss, beads, beading needle and more, good for making 22 friendship bracelets. 4 looms help you make 2 styles and 8 patterns. And it comes with a colorful, convenient suitcase for keeping it all together. Ideal for girls between 8 and 12 years of age, the kit helps create personalized bracelets for all their friends. A rainbow of hues – plus gold and silver in square or round styles and eight different patterns presents imaginative possibilities.

Coming over to games for the family, the one that really caught my fancy from among the top 10 toys for Christmas was the Bananagram. Maybe it was the sheer novel looks or perhaps the high educational plus fun value.

This is a word game that features 144 letter tiles that are face down in the middle, from which players choose their tiles. With these they create words that hang onto each other. Two or more people can play without a pencil, paper or board. In fact the tray table on the plane is the best place for this game!

So there, you have my top selection of three from the top ten toys for Christmas! I wish you pick some and enjoy a merry Christmas this year!

The Secret Behind Winning Presentations

Have you noticed how some people manage to make presentations which leave you feeling extremely impressed? You may not know if it’s been the content or the style; but if they were selling, you’d certainly be buying! So what’s their secret?

These presenters know people buy as much on feelings as on facts, so they deliberately design and deliver their presentation to generate particular emotional states in their audience. They:

a) Know what state their audience will be in at the start

b) Decide what state they want them to be in at the end

c) Work out the stepping stone states they need to take them through

d) Lead them through these states in their presentation

By knowing in advance the sequence of these states they’re able to apply the right actions that keep their audience emotionally and mentally engaged with them. Let’s take an example of how you can do this.

Imagine you’re presenting your company’s new service to a group of business people.

a) Define their current state – e.g. Indifferent.

b) Define the desired state – e.g.  Engaged

c) Define the intermediate states – e.g. Skeptical: Curious: Interested

d) Link these states in sequence – e.g. Indifferent – Skeptical – Curious – Interested – Engaged

e) Decide what evidence you need to indicate they are in the state you intend them to be in. e.g. What do you want to hear them say or do?

f) Select an action to move them from one state to the next – e.g. Indifferent – Skeptical:

Talk about a company that has used your new service. (Likely reaction – “Just because it’s worked for them doesn’t mean it’ll work for us.”

Skeptical – Curious:

Pick a specific business issue they are grappling with and show how your service can benefit them. (Likely reaction – “We can see the merits, but can it really work for us?”

Curious – Interested:

Take another of their issues and go into detail about value/cost, modus operandi etc. (Likely reaction – “Yes, we can see the potential and exactly how it could work.”)

Interested – Engaged:

Move into your call for action, whatever that may be.

The actions to lead them through the sequence of states are key. For example, you may conclude that one-to-one meetings might work better at the start, and having a well prepared case-study is essential.

Interestingly as you plan it out you may even realize that a presentation isn’t going to be the best way to get the result you want. And avoiding wasting other people’s time in presentations is a particular value of knowing this secret!

In Negotiations With A Bully, Watch Your Hidden Thoughts – Negotiation Tip of the Week

In negotiations with a bully, you have to watch your hidden thoughts, or those thoughts will have you thinking wrong.

“You have to beat them like they’ve done something really bad. Whip them until their insides are mashed. Can you do that? Will you do that?”

After reading the above, what are your initial thoughts? What images came to mind? Were they the images of a tough guy giving an edict to his underlings, that they dare not disobey? Or, did you consider that something other than the questions posed was occurring?

The thoughts you had about the opening statements, and the images that came to your mind, were determined by what you’ve experienced in life and the outcomes of those experiences. That means, to a degree, your thoughts began to formulate as soon as you read the first few words of the statement. Then, your mind jumped ahead of what you were reading to assume where the unread words would take you. That’s good, and it’s dangerous. The good part stems from the way you assimilate information. The bad part stems from not monitoring your expectations before jumping to judgment.

The words at the opening of this article were spoken by a chef to one of the cooks in an establishment that both were employed. The chef was referring to the correct way to make an omelet. Thus, he was talking about beating and whipping eggs to obtain a certain degree of consistency to make omelets more palatable.

When negotiating with a bully, you must be more cognizant of the way you think. Your thought process will be altered, in the prefrontal cortex area of your brain, the brain region in which complex behavior – decision making – and the moderation of social behavior occurs. This part of your brain will become more active due to the bully’s demeanor. You may experience a higher degree of emotions stemming from the perception of a threat, be it implicit or explicit. Such an emotional state may cause you to disengage from your normal thought process, which could lead you into that dead-end mentioned at the top of this article.

To combat your hidden thoughts, take into consideration what the bully is saying versus what he’s doing. If there’s a disconnect between his words and his actions, pay more attention to his actions (e.g. he says he’s going to run you into the ground in this negotiation while backing away from you and/or smiling nervously). Having this insight and using it to calculate your next action will allow you to think more clearly. That will also allow you to uncover any hidden thoughts that might create a sense of being overly fearful of a negative occurrence being projected on to you.

Negotiating with a bully is always a challenging proposition, but that proposition can be lessened by thinking about the way you think. Heighten your sense of awareness when negotiating with a bully, by being aware of where your thought processes are leading your thoughts… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

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