Present Yourself

After our last article you should have a list of businesses doing business in the area you’re looking for. This is a great start, please keep organized and save this information as you continue moving forward. The next step is to market and present yourself to these businesses.

The first step in marketing yourself is to forget you. This isn’t a step in your Zen meditation; it means that you focus on the employer and not yourself. The businesses you now have in front of you are looking to make money. This is the main focus of any business and the reason they have been created. You need to forget yourself and your goals and realize that to get hired or to contract with a business you must bring something to the table.

A simple example of this would be a salesman. Instead of presenting yourself and hoping that you could be a good fit for them. Do some research on their products and services and then based on your experience tell them what you can do for them. Be confident in your proposal. If you understand their business and understand yourself you should easily connect the dots for them. Once the dots have been connected, and they understand what you can do for them you’re ready for the next step.

Next you need to work on your resume, make sure that you create your image as a worker who is interested in helping this business grow and not just your pocket book. The more you focus on your abilities and experience and how that can help them grow the better your application. In writing your resume, be very specific on what you can offer and how it will help them. Avoid being general in your abilities and experience. Be creative and professional in your resume and application. Online resumes, YouTube postings and other new market ideas are out there. Research the best options for your personality and market. You need to stand apart from the other applicants.

After creating your resume and presenting it to the businesses you’re interested in the number one rule is follow-up. Never assume that they will get back to you, never assume that they aren’t interested in you. You have a lot to offer them, how could they not want you. Make sure they know how interested you are in their business and never stop following up with them.

After presenting yourself to them, make sure you set the next step. An example of this would be sending your resume and then letting them know that you will be following up with them Tuesday at 3:30pm. Be specific with the time and date so they know how serious and organized you are in the process. This will also force them to be prepared for your call and get your application processed. After this step you’ll be prepared for the phone interview and setting a face to face interview. We’ll discuss this in the next article.

New Mexico Air and Water Presents 11 Tips on How to Winterize Your Home

Why Is Pipe Freezing a Problem?

Water expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including plastic and metal pipes. No matter the “strength” of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently, are those exposed to severe cold like: outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements, and crawl spaces, attics, garages or kitchen cabinets. Also, pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are subject to freezing.

To avoid frozen pipes and repair costs, please follow these precautions:

Outside Your Home:

1. Shut off and drain your irrigation system. This may seem obvious, but sometimes people assume that their landscaping company or lawn maintenance company has done it for them. This task only takes a few minutes and can save you hundreds of dollars in repair costs and water bills.

2. Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses. Disconnecting hoses from their spigots allows water to drain from the pipe. Otherwise, the ice formed from a single, hard overnight freeze can burst either the pipe or the faucet. We have seen numerous instances where spigots lines froze over the winter and until a customer notices a high bill in the summer (from hose use) is the broken pipe found.

3. If you have a swimming pool, drain water from pool and supply lines following the manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.

4 Close foundation or exterior vents around the house during the cold months. This will help keep cold air out of crawl spaces.

5. There should be an insulating blanket inside the water meter box on top of the meter. If the blanket is missing, call your local and have the blanket replaced otherwise, the water meter may freeze in extreme cold weather. Please do not replace this specially designed blanket with any other insulation, as this may cause a health hazard. Another type of insulation may not be able to withstand water and other conditions present within the meter box.

Inside Your Home:

6. Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas. If you have water pipes in an unheated garage or crawl space under the house, wrap them before temperatures plummet. Hardware or building supply stores offer appropriate pipe wrapping materials.

7. Seal off access doors, air vents and cracks. Repair broken basement windows. Cold winter winds whistling through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes. Avoid plugging air vents that your furnace or water heater needs for safe operation. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

8. Know the location of your master water shutoff valve. In many homes it’s where the water line comes into your house from the street. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house — kitchen, bath, basement or crawl space — this valve turns off all water and will save your home from damage. So, find it now and paint it a bright color or hang a tag on it. Be sure everyone in the family knows where it is and what it does.

9. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of reach of children.

10. Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use during lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if the pipes burst.

11. If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.

Delivering Memorable Presentations With Visual Aids

Just like in public speaking, many people find giving a presentation, especially to a large group, to be a tremendous challenge. It is very likely that at some time in your career as a business person, you will be asked to make a presentation to workshops, partners, or colleagues. Being a little nervous is a sign that you want to do well, but just as in public speaking being overly nervous or scared might pose a problem. With a little practice you can learn to overcome your anxieties or fears and make informative and memorable presentations.

The use of visual aids, coupled with good public speaking skills, work hand-in-hand to create effective presentations. Your speaking style and stage presence are personal talents that you can refine with much practice and experience. However, much emphasis is given to visual aids which are essential to all successful presentations. Here are a couple of essentials that will help to give an effective presentation with the use of visual aids.

KNOW THE AUDIENCE

It is essential that you know who will make up your audience in order to produce an effective presentation. For example, if you are presenting a presentation to a group of entrepreneur or small business owners, what you will present will differ from delivering a presentation to a roomful of corporate executives. Your business owners are going to be interested in basic ideas or explanations of helpful tips that will aid their businesses. Whereas executives are usually entertained by reports, statistics, graphs, and charts. Now if your audience is a mixture of both, then you will need to know that.

Once you have prepared your presentation accordingly, allow some time at the very start for a brief introductory engagement if possible. You can start by telling your audience a little about yourself. Then, depending on the size of your group, what you can do is to invite them to introduce themselves individually. Going back to your small business owners for an example, get each to briefly stand, give their names and the type of business they are in. You are not going to remember all of their names, but try your best to remember a few, to start off with. This will serve four purposes.

(1) You and your group are getting acquainted on a personal level.
(2) You will become more relax since you may be already gaining information as to what they may need specifically to assist them.
(3) Your audience will see that you are genuinely interested in them as individuals, and for this they will warm up to you rather quickly.
(4) This will encourage good audience interaction which is something you may like to include as part of your presentation.

If you know ahead of time that you are presenting a presentation to somewhat a larger group, then if you have time, greet people as they arrive to engage in light conversation. This will help you to be more relaxed knowing that you are not talking to a group of strangers.

CHOOSING THE APPROPRIATE TOOLS

Visual aid help your presentation make things happen. They help you reach your objectives by providing emphasis to whatever is being said. Clear pictures multiply the audience’s level of understanding of the material presented, and they should be used to reinforce your message, clarify points, and create excitement.

Visual aids and audio-visuals include a wide variety of communication products, including flip charts, overhead transparencies, slides, audio-slide shows, Power Point presentations, and video tapes. Demonstrating a process or simply passing around a sample of some equipment or model are also effective way to clarify messages visually. If visual aids are poorly selected or inadequately done, they will distract from what you are saying.