Speaking in Public – Your first Steps

public speakingDo you enjoy speaking in front of an audience?

Does the thought of being on stage fill you with excitement or fear?

Maybe you have chosen to go through life avoiding public speaking. This is not the solution. There are many occasions when speaking to a group is going to benefit your career as well as your friends and family.

Public speaking is an essential life skill especially for being a leader. In your professional life you may be asked to give a presentation at a conference. You may be asked to be the best man at a wedding which requires giving a speech. Maybe you need to give a speech at a 21st birthday party.

There are many speaking opportunities for men and women, both young and old. So how can you overcome your fears and develop these skills?

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The How and Why of taking notes

Notebook of Mark TwainThe dullest pencil is better than the sharpest memory. Mark Twain is meant to have said this, but most quotations on the Internet get attributed to Twain.

I have been taking notes for most of my adult life. Usually these notes are recorded with pen and paper in a hardcover notebook, and more recently I use computers and my iPhone. My inspiration for keeping notes are the notebooks of history’s most well-known scientist, inventor and artist – Leonarda da Vinci. Leonardo Notebook
I like to take notes so I have a record of my life, thoughts and activities. Long term memories can fade and things we think we will remember, like notes from meetings, ideas and people’s names soon get forgotten. My notes are a permanent record of information, ideas and thoughts which can be searched and re-read. I take notes at work and at home and I always have with me a way of capturing notes – a notebook, my computer or my phone. In this article I introduce you to my note-taking systems.

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How I use ToodleDo for capturing and doing tasks

ToodleDoToodleDo is a powerful task list management system. It can be used in a desktop web browser, smart phone web browser or using the  iOS or Android app.

I have been using ToodleDo on my iPhone, home computer and office computer for the last three years. ToodleDo is my trusted system for capturing tasks, planning my projects and getting things done.

In this article I will show how I capture an item to do,  review the action list for today (the Hot-list) and marking a task as completed.

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How I thought about photography nearly 20 years ago

Here is an essay I wrote in May 1996 about my interest in photography. Photographs back then were taken on film and developed and printed in photo laboratories or in my darkroom. 

I trace my interest in being creative to the time I started photography. At school when I was 16 years old, I borrowed some darkroom equipment (enlarger, developing tank and trays) so I could process my own black and white films. At school I was very much a Maths and Science person, and detested studying English.   However, Photography is an activity I have enjoyed since I was ten years old.

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Interstellar – the search for new worlds

InterstellarIn late December 2014 I saw the movie Interstellar on the big screen in the Event Cinema, George Street, Sydney.   I sat in the third row so I could get the maximum effect of the big picture and sound.

I enjoyed the film very much and there were so many aspects that gave me deep satisfaction –  sending my imagination into outer space, exploring the universe, thinking about  human survival and what it means to be human.

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Happy New Year!

sheepHappy New Year!    This is my first blog post for 2015. I am planning to write more frequently with a goal of one post each week.

The Japanese have a tradition of sending nengajo  – New Year cards (年賀状) to family and friends. These cards include a brief update of what has been happening in the previous 12 months and may include a family picture.

My wife and I spent New Year in Japan at the end of 1999 and I enjoyed the many traditions of that time of the year : the special meal on New Years Day and visiting a shrine at Dazaifu.

The Japanese used to follow the lunar year, similar to Chinese with the 12 year zodiac cycle.

2015 is the Year of the Sheep, sometimes known as the Year of the Ram or Year of the Goat.

Year of the Sheep