7 Keys To A Powerful Elevator Speech

oKnow Its Purpose: An elevator speech is not a sales tool. Nor is it intended to give an overview of what you do. Rather, it is designed to pique the interest of the other person by concisely giving him/her a clear understanding of the type of people with whom you work and how you can help them.

oIt’s not all about you! When crafting your elevator speech, remember that people don’t really care about you, your job title or even your company name. And, they don’t want to hear a direct sales pitch (even if they make one themselves!).

oProblem-Solution. The first half of you elevator speech should identify a problem common to a unique group of people – your niche market. The second half of the speech positions you as a resource for solving that problem. And, remember: Stick to one problem and one solution. Saying too much causes your listener to “zone out” and not hear you.

oWrite it out, then file it! Until you become totally at ease with developing and using the elevator speech, write it out. However, don’t attempt to memorize it. Instead, memorize the formula and get comfortable with filling in the blanks. Put your written version in a file folder for later review and updating.

oPractice! Practice! Practice! The only way to become comfortable with this tool is to use it as often as possible. Before you use it at networking events, take some time to practice with your coach or with peers. However, don’t strive for perfection. Once you feel reasonably confident, take it out into the real world.

oBe Flexible. One elevator speech will not fit all situations. So, create a repertoire of them. Select the one that best matches the networking event in which you are participating. You may even want to create a new one for each event.

oBe yourself. Learn to develop impromptu elevator speeches (again, just plug in to the formula) in order to avoid sounding “canned”. It’s far better to bumble the speech a bit than it is to be too perfect. Others will empathize and listen.

© 2005-2006. All rights reserved. Impact Coaching International(TM).

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Selling Old License Plates on eBay – Know What Collectors Want

Not everyone who buys old license plates on eBay is a collector, but if you have a license plate that is of interest to collectors, your profits will increase measurably. So knowing what is attractive to a collector is important to your bottom line as an eBay seller. If space allowed, we could discuss a hundred different types of license plate collections, and that would still be just the tip of the iceberg. Thankfully, there is no need to go into such detail. Being aware of the ten most common core collections will put you on the fast track to eBay success.

Ten Most Common Types of License Plate Collections

  1. All 50 States – The most popular of all collections is the goal to obtain a license plate from all fifty states. Of course, one could simply purchase a complete set online, but a lot of people still prefer to do it the hard way over time.
  2. Birth Year Run – Taking it one step further, many collectors are not satisfied with simply owning one plate from every state. To make it more challenging, they seek a plate from each state issued during the year in which they were born. Often, once they've accomplished this goal, these individuals will move on to collect a plate from each state for their children's birth years as well.
  3. Complete State Collection – This is a tough but very popular type of collection. The goal here is to own a tag from every year your state issued license plates. Obviously, with states issuing plates as early as 1904, this can be a daunting task.
  4. County Collections – Some states, Georgia and Mississippi are two popular ones, issue their vehicle registrations by county. The plates have either the county name on the face or a number code indicating the issuing county. Owning a plate from every county in the state is a great challenge and can take years to accomplish.
  5. Unique Numbers – Here's why the numbers and letters on a license plate are important. There are collectors who seek out particular number sequences. Triple digit plates, such as 777, 666, or 111, are very popular. Then there are people who collect their lucky number, like 13, for example. Others go after plates with their initials on them. The variations here are endless.
  6. Vanity Plates – This is a fun category. We've all seen humorous vanity plates in our travels. Vanity collectors seek to own this type of tag. The more humorous or racy, the better.
  7. Special Graphics – Today, almost every state in the union has a multitude of license plates representing different special causes or organizations. Generally speaking, these are colorful plates featuring a wide range of graphics. Some of the more collectible types are wildlife plates (birds in particular), college and university plates, lighthouse plates and plates promoting professional sports teams.
  8. Oddball Collections – Some collectors, myself included, seek out the unusual types that are often referred to as "oddballs". Included in this group would be plates issued to non-passenger car vehicles like bus, taxi, trailers, tow trucks, farm vehicles, antique vehicles, government vehicles, mobile homes, car dealers and so forth. Again, this is another category with unlimited variations.
  9. Sample Plates – Did you know that many states sell or even give out free sample license plates? Often these plates will have sequences on them like "SAMPLE" or "123 ABC". This practice has been going on for years, and the older sample plates can fetch you big bucks from an eager collector.
  10. Foreign Plate Collections – Owning an auto tag from a faraway land is the goal of a growing number of collectors. With the availability of the internet, this type of collection has taken off in recent years. The smaller the country, the better, as far as collectors are concerned.

These are just the most common types of license plate collections. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of variations. But at least if you are aware of these basic types, it will help you spot and understand why certain license plates are valuable. With that information in hand, you will be able to make easy profits selling license plates on eBay.

Modern Contemporary Steel Convector Wood Burning and Multifuel Stoves

Many of today's contemporary style stoves are mostly wood burning stoves yet several manufacturers have designed them also to burn smokeless fuel. This is due to the thickness and grade of steel along with high temperature internal linings. The designs are mostly taller than the traditional multifuel stove mostly seen in the UK. An advantage of the taller wood burning stove is that it has a much larger burning chamber than the traditional cast-iron stove. The larger burning chamber leads to a better fuel combustion, cleaner burning with less emissions and a high efficiency.

The wood burning stoves are cleverly designed with inner and outer steel sides. Air rises from inside the base of the stove heats up in the cavity and is expelled from the top. This is known as convection and as well as heating a room quickly it helps keep the side walls of the woodburning stove cooler as the convection is continuously dissipating the heat. Radiant heat is mainly from the front of the stove. The best of these woodburning stoves not only will have a primary burning system which is necessary for solid fuel burning but a preheated air system for a cleaner glass. The result of the larger burner chamber and preheated airwash is a log burning fire that is stunning to look at with a great heat output. Primary, secondary and tertiary air are discussed in more depth in another article. Many modern wood burning stoves are used as stand alone features and add to the ambience of a room like a well designed piece of furniture. The stoves look equally good when placed in a fireplace opening as long as a minimum of 300 to 400 mm is left clear above the wood burner so as not to impede the air convection.

Many of these contemporary wood burning stoves are supplied with an upper chamber in the outer design of the stove which can be used for keeping plates, coffee or food warm. glass mounted temperature gauge. I have used this type in our showroom to successfully cook bread, small chickens and pizzas all to the delight of our customers.

A large number of our customers who started their stove experience with a traditional style wood or multifuel stove have since moved on to the more contemporary, modern wood burning or multifuel stove.

I recommend that you always look for a Din or Din + kite mark with your contemporary wood burning stove which shows it has been produced to high German standards for quality and emissions.

Slow Cookers – Tips for Success

I think that slow cookers are one of the greatest kitchen appliances out there. I like microwaves for the convenience, but crock pots lead the way in terms of creating delicious food. Even better, with a slow cooker, you can have a hot savory meal at the end of a busy day with minimal effort on the part of the cook.

While they are easy to use, there are some helpful tips which should improve any one's crock pot cooking.

1) Be sure that your crock pot is at least half full for best cooking results.

This is because the heating elements in most models run along the bottom and up the sides of the cooking crock. If your crock pot is not at least half full, you may be trying to use a slow cooker that is too large for that recipe. Food can stick and over cook, if the pot is too large.

2) Inexpensive cuts of meat work well.

The long, slow, steaming method of slow cookers results in tender, moist meat. This means that you can often get by with less expensive cuts of meats and still serve a delicious, successful meal. Some good beef cuts for a slow cooker are anything that says "chuck," "rump," or "shank". Briskets and short ribs are also good choices.

3) Because the moisture is retained in a slow cooker, be careful not to add too much liquid, unless you are making soup.

4) In a slow cooker, one hour on high equals 2 hours on low. Use this for a guide if you need to adjust your cooking time.

For example:

You will be putting meal in the slow cooker at 11:00, and you need to have supper at 6:00. This allows for 7 hours of cooking time.

However, the recipe calls for 8 hours on low. So, what to do?

Using the adjustment of one hour on high equals two hours on low, the cooking time can be reduced the necessary hour by cooking it for one hour on high, then 6 hours on low.

5) It is possible to over cook food in a crock pot.

While some recipes claim that the dish needs to be cooked all day, this is rarely the reality. Make the time to experiment with your recipes and your slow cooker to see how long they really need.

6) Avoid lifting the lid.

Doing so releases the steam and also drops the temperature and can result in adding up to 30 minutes to the cooking time. Having said that, you may need to watch closely toward the end of a recipe in order to avoid over cooking, especially if the crock pot is new and you are not used to its idiosyncrasies. If you are going to check, just try to lift the lid quickly.

7) Crock pot liners can make clean up easier.

Crock pot liners are disposable plastic bags that hold the ingredients while they cook. At the end of the cooking time, transfer the meal into serving dishes and toss the liner.

There are several different brands out there. If you are comparing prices, be sure to check out how many liners you actually get per package.

All in all, crock pots are easy to use and you can ensure success by following the above tips. Happy slow cooking!

How To Enjoy Everything You Do And Remove Stress From Your Life

We all deal with the same road blocks on a regular basis. These might be stress, overwhelmed, confusion, procrastination. These are all parts of human behavior but luckily there are a few simple activities you can do right now, today, in the next two minutes, to not only remove stress from your life but also enjoy every single thing you do. That way you do not have to resent force yourself, or just get over it, in order to make money, be productive, you enjoy it and now you're body and mind are in harmony. What you can do is exercise, focus on results and remove clutter.

Exercise is the number one way to de-stress. It does not matter what you're worried about, yourself, your family, money, business or any other problem that's on the horizon. Going outside and taking a walk or a run, or playing a sport, or swimming will clear your mind. You'll get yourself closer and closer to that point where all you're thinking about is moving in that forward direction. You can in fact channel your energy, anger and stress into moving your body and tiring yourself out, and waking yourself up.

If you're too stressed about things it probably means that you're not getting enough exercise, and if you're really, really stressed then that means that you need to get exercise and resolve whatever is happening in your life. I can tell you that many times I have been confused or lost about what to do and a simple walk, or a simple swim, solves those problems.

To enjoy doing what you do you need to get some kind of results from your activities. When you're at a day job or a salaried position, or an hourly position, you only get paid for your time. Which means that someone who works at Taco Bell who does a bad job gets paid the same amount of money as someone who does a good job, and it's not very stimulating. Luckily for you, when you run your own business your time is your own and if you use that time on unproductive or non money making tasks then you will not get any results.

When you're in business for yourself it might be slow going at first, you might be making less money over time at first but your time is your own and you can have a lot more income potential than you would working an hourly waged job. Think about what results you get and what goals you want to hit for the month. At first these might be income goals, you might have a goal of $ 1,000 a month or you might think of something that's more attainable such as 100 subscribers this month, 100 articles written this month, 100 listings in Google this month, contacting 100 people this month. There are many goals and numbers you can easily set and exceed that have nothing to do with income.

Finally, to help keep your head clear and to keep having fun, and remove stress, an easy task you can do is remove clutter from your life and from your workspace as well. This relates back to stress. If you have many tasks and many projects that are incomplete, these are taking up space in your conscious mind. Close them out, put them away, that way you do not have to think about it for a very long time. If your desk is filled with stacks of papers and notes, and reminders, books, it's time to clear those out. It's time to have your work desk be as clear as possible, that way when you're trying to get things done you do not have a million things distracting you. It's just what is right in front of you.

Preparing Children With Lesson Plans

When a disaster strikes children are frequently the most effected of all people. During disasters if they are natural or manmade it is our responsibility to properly prepare our children to cope with what may befall them. They must learn how to survive on their own in the event we are not available to assist them.

We are living in a turbulent world today where man can caused some of the most dreadful and severe effects on our environment that we have every experienced. In the same sense our natural phenomenon from Mother Nature has been becoming progressively worse over the years. We now encounter super hurricanes, an abundance of flooding and earthquakes where there previously were none. As survivalists we must teach our children to be flexible to these dramatic changes.

Far too often we overlook the value of sitting down with our young children and explaining the ins and outs of disaster survival, sometimes from an unconscious desire to preserve and protect their innocents or because we simply feel they are too young. Perhaps we do not wish to bury their young minds with scenarios that may never take place or maybe we fear that a frank discussion of possible future events will haunt our young loved ones with nightmares but you would be surprised at how these children can cope and understand what you are trying to tell them.

When we finally have those survival talks with our children we must naturally approach the issue with a measure of delicacy. We are not out to clutter their minds with unfounded fears or to whip their behaviors into line with our own brand of thinking. Our goal is to inform and teach them what can happen if the wrong strings are dropped and all logic fails to prevail. By providing our children with a deer understanding of the potential dangers the process will better prepare them to deal appropriately with any catastrophic event which may occur.

In both the military and in my university courses on Emergency Manage I have been conditioned to accept that communications is complimented with listening. As you refer to the future crisis situations which may possibly happen, listen carefully to your Childs feedback. Answer all their questions directly and honestly. If you do not know or are unsure of a response let them know that you will investigate their concerns and get back with them. To a child every question they have is vital and important for their understanding of what is about to effect their life. Who knows you may even develop different perspectives on the issue as a result of listening to the child.

It's vital that your children know exactly what they should do as well as when it should be accomplished and why. I have taken the liberty to place a sample lesson plan on my website for downloading. I use these lesson plans as part of my grandchild's home school survival training. They are very effective in helping to teach young minds the value of being prepared.

By Joseph Parish
Copyright @ 2010 Joseph Parish

How to Refurbish Your Stairs on a Budget

We all want to be proud of our home and make a good first impression on visitors. The staircase is often the first thing people see when they step through the door, so if yours looks worn or outdated it will reflect badly on the whole property. In fact, stairs are such a central feature that a shabby staircase could even lower your home's resale value.

Here are five simple ways to revamp your stairs that will not cost a fortune:

1. Replace the balustrade

Swapping dated balusters, or spindles, for more contemporary ones can make a big difference to the look of your stairs. There are many styles to choose from, ranging from sleek stop-chamfered wooden spindles to modern metal balusters in a variety of designs. You can complete the transformation with fresh newel caps and a new handrail. If you want to make a statement, consider using glass panels instead of spindles for a touch of contemporary glamor.

2. Chuck out the carpet

The current interior design trend for using natural wood has encouraged many people to take up their stair carpet to expose the timber treads beneath. Wood is a warm, timeless material that looks good with contemporary and traditional décor similar, and will not easily fall out of fashion.

3. Stain the stairs

You can give your staircase a new lease of life by using wood stain to bring out the full beauty of the timber. This will nourish and protect the stairs as well as improving their appearance. Many different colors are available. It's a good idea to finish with at least one top coat of polyurethane varnish, to seal in the wood stain and protect the surface.

4. Paint the stairs

Painting your staircase is a great way to add individuality and really make your home stand out. You may decide to paint only the steps, or just the balustrade – or take the plunge and decorate the whole lot for a complete transformation.

You will need to sand down the stairs beforehand, apply a stain-blocking primer then finish off with at least two coats of gloss or semi-gloss paint to achieve a professional-looking result.

5. Lay new stair carpet

Fresh carpet can brighten up a tired staircase – in fact, if your stairs are made of concrete, plywood or MDF it is usually the only option.

If you are sufficient enough to own a timber staircase in good condition there is no need to carpet the steps completely, unless you prefer the look. Instead, you could install a runner – a narrow strip of carpet – down the middle of the stairs and paint or varnish the exposed sections of tread on each side.

Select a durable carpet designed for stairs, preferably with a ratio of 80% wool to 20% nylon. Choose thick underlay and fit the carpet so that the direction of the pile runs down the stairs.

To help your budget stretch that bit further, you could try piecing together several carpet remnants. These will be much cheaper than a full roll, and you might be able to afford a better specification – particularly useful for such a high-traffic part of the house.

How To Install Deck Railing – In 5 Easy Steps

Does local building code require you to install deck railing? …. Well do not worry, anyone can install railroads with a few simple steps. On several occasions I have had to install railroads to meet the local building code, and if you read on I will show you 5 easy steps for how to install deck railing.

Step 1:
This first step is easy. Get a square, consult the plans for your deck, and mark with the square along the header and outer joists the locations for each of the railing posts. Make sure the posts are no more than 1.8 meters or 72 inches apart.

Handy tip: Make sure you mark both edges of the railing posts at each location, It will make life that much easier.

Step 2:
This next step requires the use of your drill. Here you need to pre-drill two holes at the base of the railing posts. These two holes are for the bolts in order to attach the posts to the deck. Be careful and make sure you keep the drill straight.

Step 3:
Now for the easiest step of them all. Install the rail posts by bolting them to the deck with either "through" or "lag" bolts.

Step 4:
In order to attach the balusters we need to install a railing between each post. Screw the railing between the top of the posts, and ensure they are level, or fall evenly as required.

Step 5:
The final step is to install the balusters. Calculate how many balusters you need between each post and mark accordingly. Make sure the gap between each baluster is equal. Now screw in each baluster at the top and bottom, with a minimum of two screws.

So we now have a nice and appealing railing that will more than satisfy most local building codes. Knowing how to install deck railing is not too difficult is it?

A Further Option To Consider:
Above I cave instructions on how to install deck railing that was attached to the outside joists. Yet, another option exists. If you plan on installing a railing from the outside of building your deck, your deck support posts can be installed to double as your deck railing posts.

So there we have it. Not only do you now know how to install deck railing, once you follow the above mentioned steps, you will also see how simple it is to install deck railing.

Wrought Iron Fencing is Practical and Looks Fantastic

Gates and, in particular, wrought iron fencing used to be thought of as simply a means of safety and security and to put up a physical barrier between the property and that of the neighbors property.

In recent years however, these utilitarian purposes have not been the only reasons that wrought iron gates and fence-work is being used in homes. These days, aside from providing the necessary safety and security from an incrementally hostile modern world, the design qualities and workmanship of this type of fencing and gates advances the aesthetics of any garden and driveway and many homeowners now have their gates and wings made to order .

Custom made, or bespoke, iron gates and fines are made from high quality materials by craftsmen using traditional methods. They look better than other products because they are made by hand and will last longer than other fence materials. Many people like the style and look of these fences and they tend to be highly valued due to the workmanship and art that goes into their creation.

Not only do they look good on their own but these iron gates and wings really do add to the visual impact of the garden or property they surround. The fence can also provide an additional barrier if a hedge circles the garden. Surprisingly, this fencing can also improve the appearance of existing hedging. Not only will a fence contain the growth of a hedge by placing the fencing in front of it, but a very satisfying visual effect is also created.

Wrought iron is basically made from solid steel, so for that reason, if it has been prepared correctly, it does not last long. If the wrought iron has not been through the correct treatment processes it will deteriorate much more quickly when open to the elements. So for this reason it is important to discover the different options for treatments and to ask the company to tell you the best option to make sure that your new iron balustrade or fencing will last for the longest time possible.

How To Make Your Home Suitable For Your Grandparents

When your Grandparents get to a certain age, it is time for them to come and live with you or go to puttered accommodation. It will be for their health and safety because they might not be able to look after them anymore.

Now, homes for their elderly are not known for looking after people and making sure people are happy. Most care homes are known for treating their residents poorly and sometimes leaving them without the proper care.

This is not to say that all care homes are like that. There are probably thousands of care homes out there that take care of their residents and their residents live out their lives there extremely happy.

However, those care homes do not make the news and people only hear about the bad homes. Therefore, care homes have a bad reputation and most people will opt to have their Grandparents living with them.

If you are in the process of making the decision to send your Grandparents to a care home, or let them live with you, then it is not a decision that should be taken lightly. You need to think about how if will affect their lives and yours and you need to be honest.

If you do not think that you can take care of them properly, and you will not be able to give them a good life, then it is better if you find them a good care home.

If you think that you can take care of them and they will be happy with you, read on for some tips on how you will have to change your house.


1. Stairs – One of the biggest things that you will have to change will be the stairs. They may have problems getting up and down the stairs, so you will have to install some safety features. In the beginning you might just have to install another banister and that will be enough to help them, but as they get older, you will have to get a stair lift installed.

2. Bathroom – If you only have a bath in your bathroom, you will have to think about getting a walk-in shower, which has a chair in, or getting a lift so that they can get in and out without falling.

3. Ramp – If they have trouble walking and they have a mobility scooter, then you will need a ramp installed so that they can get in and out of the house. This might mean a drastic change to the way that the house looks, but it will be worth it to make your Grandparents happy. Even though they will be leaving with you, they will not want to rely on you for everything, they will want to keep some of their independence and having a ramp will allow them to do that.

4. Door Handle – If your Grandparents have mobility issues, it might be better if you put an extra handle on the wall near your front door so they will be able to pull themselves in and ease themselves out the door. This option is definitely required if you have more than a few steps in and out of your house.

5. Non-Slip Flooring – If you have flooring that becomes slippery when wet, then you will have to make sure that those areas are covered with non-slip flooring. This is to make sure that they do not slip and fall. Elderly people can get hurt extremely easily and it takes them a lot longer to heal. Therefore, you have to make sure that they do not slip and fall.

Online Video Ads – Statistics 2008

Many years ago, business owners could only spread the word about their services about as far as a horse could travel. The invention of the telephone changed that, allowing us to reach other towns, cities, and states. Now, the internet has set an absolutely new standard in international correspondence and e-commerce.

A recent poll on CNN.com determined that consumers feel that for businesses in the US, "internet has become a necessity," yet many businesses still have not embroidered this strange new world. With the introduction of online video ads, internet marketing has become the only way to remain competitive in many industries.

From mom and pop brick and mortars, to small start-ups, to large multi-million dollar corporations, businesses of all sizes have discovered one basic truth: online video ads lead to sales. The Online Publishers Association recently published a report entitled "Frames of Reference: Online Video Advertising, Content and Consumer Behavior". The report finds that out of 80% of viewers who watched an online video ad, over half took some type of action. Close to a third had visited a related web site, 22% looked for more information, 15% percent had gone to a store, and 12% made a purchase.

Now you may be saying, "well only 12% made a purchase, that's not very good," Well consider this … if you have $ 100,000 in sales, 12% of that is $ 12,000. Online video ads are very affordable, and can cost $ 300 to $ 3000, but not using a video ad can cost you $ 12,000. The marketers already using online video ads have obviously already done this math, and arrived at this conclusion on their own.

But here's what's really interesting; this study also found that "if a consumer has a positive attitude towards an advertised brand, and likes the video content that the ad appeared within, brand consideration jumps 61%. consideration still rises 21% if they like the adjudent video content. "

In addition to being strongly effective at informing your prospects and converting them to customers, online video ads also get incredible search engine placement. Search engines give online video content priority over all other forms of content online.

An online video ad uploaded to many different video sharing websites will be indexed faster, and placed higher on the search engines because 1) there are multiple websites linking to and hosting your content, and 2) your content is video. Some video ad production services, such as CommercialMaker.com, will create your video ad, and upload it to over 60 content sharing websites for you, many times giving you first page search engine placement in less than 24 hours.

So when you use online spokesmodels, a repurposed TV commercial, or an online video ad created specifically for the internet, online video ads should be an important part of your marketing campaign.

Teaching English for Communicative Performance and Business Communication

It is a challenge to us English teachers to manage with our own broadly different linguistic competency the large classes of mixed ability students. Non-availability or high cost of books and instructional material are the challenges just as tests and exams seem to have become the only goal in themselves. In addition, lack of students '(and even teachers') motivation, administrative apathy, inaccessibility to electronic media, journals and books, balance between the use of mother tongue and English to ensure acquisition of communication skills, or sometimes, a better teaching- learning situation in the mother tongue and other languages, and dissemination of best English Language Teaching (ELT) practices internationally, with an e-culture interface are the new problems teachers have to cope with.

As teachers we need to work on our own affirmative action programs, respectively constraints of our situation. In order to do something new, we may have to give up the old. As John Swales says, "We may need to recycle not only our projects and our programs but also ourselves." In fact a practical teacher should be able to operate within, what may be called, "here and now" state of affairs. It is with some sort of inbuilt flexibility and utilitarian purpose that one can practice ELT in the days ahead.


With sensitivity for the language (to me, language use is more a matter of pleasure and beauty than rules and structure), I would like to assert that the yardsticks of the British or American native speakers, or their standards as reflected in GRE, TOEFL or IELTS etc, or their kind of tongue twisting, are simply damaging to the interests of non-native speakers. We have to develop our own standards, instead of teaching to sound like Londoners or North Americans. Pronunciation must be intelligent and not detract from the understanding of a message. But for this nobody needs to speak the so called standardized English (that makes inter- and intra-national communication difficult). David Crystal too appreciates this reality and favors 'local taste' of English in India and elsewhere. The problems of teaching, say spoken English, relate to lack of intercultural communicative competency.

Many of the misunderstandings that occur in multicultural or multilateral workplace are traceable to inter-group differences in how language is used in interpersonal communication rather than to lack of fluency in English. In fact native speakers need as much help as non-natives when using English to interact internationally and inter-culturally. It is understanding the how of negotiation, mediation, or interaction. We need to teach with positive attitude to intercultural communication, negotiating linguistic and cultural differences. The focus has to be on developing cultural and intercultural competence, tolerance (the spread and development of various Englishes is an instance of grammatic and lexical tolerance), and mutual understanding. Rules of language use are culturally determined. I doubt all those who talk about spoken English, or communication skills, care to teach or develop intercultural communicative abilities. This presupposes a good grasp of one's own culture or way of communication, or the language etiquette, gestures and postures, space, silence, cultural influences, verbal style etc.

Understanding and awareness of non-verbal behavior, cues and information is an integral part of interpersonal communication in many real-life situations, including business and commerce. Although research is needed to understand the role of visual support in our situations, it does seem relevant in making students aware of the context, discourse, paralinguistic features and culture. This can be advantageous in teaching soft skills which are basically life skills, or abilities for adaptive and positive behavior, so necessary for successful living.

If one has to work abroad and use English with others there, one has to be sensitive to the culturally governed ways of speaking or talking to each other. The speech community's (the language culture of the group of people) ways of communication can not be taken for granted, when one seeks to learn or teach spoken English. People fail or suffer discomfort or embarrassment in negotiations in business or political affairs, or achievement of personal goals due to incompetence in persuasion, negotiation, mediation, or interaction. It is their performance, their intercultural interactionional competency which matters; it lies in managing social interaction, and not just communication, in the narrow sense of the word, or use of right grammatic form, syntax, vocabulary, or even certain polite phrases. The goal is to enable one to express what one wishes to convey and make the impression that one wishes to make, using language with a sense of interaction and mutuality.


In the context of Business Communication, it is not without a sense of social business for creating value and better business income. One needs to demonstrate social insights, too, in the use of, say, (social) networking sites, smart phones, mobile, tablet PCs, voice mail, electronic mail, and other e-business instruments such as computer network, teleconferencing and video conferencing that are being integrated to enterprise design. This means one needs to be able to share information, discover expertise, capitalize on relationship, and be collaborative in creatively solving business challenges. One needs to demonstrate leadership and management practices, innovation, and decision-making; one needs to be able to identify oneself with the shared values ​​and beliefs of the organization one is associated with; and more importantly, one needs to demonstrate intercultural and interactive abilities with sensitivity for change and adaptation, if one is working in a foreign country or in a multinational company.

In short, one's personal communication, both oral or written, needs to be in tune with the communication philosophies – goals and values, aspirations and commitments, beliefs and policies– of the organization one is working for, just as one should be able to blend with the host culture.

When I mention intercultural interaction, I point to the need for adapting to differences in life style, language, business philosophy as well as problems with finances, government, cultural shock, housing, food, gender, family etc. Although many of the people sent on foreign assignment know their (foreign) market, they are often unable to accept another culture on that culture's terms even for short periods. Sensitivity for intercultural business environment, or being aware of each culture's symbols, how they are the same, and how they are different, is important.


The staff development program of this kind provides us with an opportunity to revisit the issues related to 'communicative' teaching, in general, and business communication, in particular. If communication is the aim of English (or any other language) teaching and 'communicative' syllabuses fail to develop what Dell Hymes called 'communicative competency' and Noam Chomsky mentioned as communicative performance, we need to reflect on our classroom practices, research and materials production from time to time. Chomsky's focus was on the sentence-level grammatical competence of an ideal speaker-listener of a language, and Hymes, as a sociolinguist, was concerned with real speaker-listeners who interpret, express, and negotiate meaning in many different social settings; he brought into focus the view of language as a social phenomenon and reflected on its use as units of discourse. Socializing competency and performance, Dell Hymes also mentioned 'appropriateness', that is, "when to speak, when not, and as to what to talk about and with what, where, where, in what manner." This concept of "appropriate use" as 'communicative competency' was accepted by Chomsky and called "pragmatic competence" (ie rules of use). Thus, Dell Hymes 'communicative' is Chomsky's 'pragmatic' and includes knowledge of sociolinguistic rules, or the appropriateness of an utterance, in addition to knowledge of grammar rules. The term has come to negotiate meaning, to successfully combine knowledge of linguistic and sociolinguistic rules in communicative interaction, both oral and written.

Michael Canale and Merril Swain in various papers on communicative competence have referred to "appropriacy" in terms of 'sociolinguistic competency'. In fact, they offer another term "strategic competency" that is, the ability to use communication strategies like approximation (or paraphrase strategy, using, for example, 'pipe' for waterpipe or 'flower' for leaf to come close to the intended meaningings), word-coinage, circumlocution (ie describing objects or ideas using "It looks like …", "It's made of …" etc when one temporarily forgings an exact word), borrowing including literal translation and language mix, appeal for assistance, ie. asking for information appropriately using "Excuse me," "Could you …?" "What's the word for …?" "I did not know how to say it," etc). mime and all that. Their strategic competency (Canale and Swain) reflects to the ability to enhance or repair conversations and means the same as Chomsky's 'pragmatic competency' or Fluency. Brumfit and others too have used the term 'pragmatic' in the sense of fluency.

Thus, communicative competency consists of LINGUISTIC competency (ACCURACY), PRAGMATIC competency (FLUENCY), and SOCIOLINGUISTIC

competence (APPROPRIACY).

The Linguistic competency or Accuracy in communication is much clearer than mere grammatic efficiency; it includes the linguistic domains of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation as well as the linguistic skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing, spelling, discourse (particularly interconnections and interdependence of the sentences and paragraphs), and the ability to contrast with the mother tongue.

The pragmatic competency or Fluency in communication relating to ease and speed of expression, ie how to keep talking, how not to remain silent because one does not know the word (the skill of paraphrasing), and other strategies of learning, including how to listen to oneself and so be able to self-correct and self-edit at once; that is, the ability to monitor immediately.

The sociolinguistic competency or appropriacy includes varieties of text types (stories, dialogues, non-fiction passages etc) and functions of the language, different levels / degrees of formality or informality, or jurisdiction and use of language in authentic situations.

I doubt if we follow such a communicative curriculum with understanding of communicative competence in terms of linguistic ability, pragmatic ability and sociolinguistic ability. But its adoption should help students become independent learners; it should equip them with linguistic forms, means, and strategies that would help them overcome communication difficulties both inside and outside the classroom. From this perspective, communicative competence should be thought of as communicative performance just as a communicative syllabus should be essentially performance-based, that is, increasing the learner's proficiency.

To quote Brendan Carroll: "The use of a language is the objective, and the mastery of the formal patterns, or usage, of the language is a means to achieve this objective." The absolute criterion of language mastery is there the learner's effect in communication for the settings he finds himself in. "


Work-related skills such as team work, cultural awareness, leadership, communication and IT skills are as vital as academic achievement for Business / Management students. It would be poor communicative performance if, for example, someone makes a multimedia presentation without knowing how to use the equipment and experiences technical difficulties, or "tries to liven up a dull topic merely by adding flashy graphics rather than improving the content of the presentation. People who attend meetings unprepared waste others. time. People with poor listening skills frustrate those who have to repeat information for them. Those who make exemplary grammatic or vocal choices embarrass them and those around them. This has especially been the case with hastily sent emails composed in a moment of anger. "


Academic or professional communication skills, both written and oral, have to be imparted in such a way that students in their contexts are able to identify their own language learning needs and to set their own language learning goals. At college and university level, teachers may act as facilitators, just as they would need to teach with positive attitude for inter- and intra-cultural communication, the skills of negotiating linguistic and cultural differences.

It is with this sensitivity for English language and its teaching in various contexts that I speak to you. Yet, as I say all this, I keep in mind the ground reality: that is, poor literacy skills, fluency, and even comprehension; poor communicative ability, with limited experiences in writing, speaking and listening without, of course, teaching of English as a Second, or additional language improvements from school level and need for a supportive classroom climate and positive student attitudes towards learning at post secondary level is recognized. Also, both teachers and students need to be aware of what to do, how to do it, and when and why to do it, as part of practicing self-regulation strategies.

The English Language Teaching community as also the other stake holders in the country should, therefore, revise and reformulate specific strategies and policies, with tolerance and multilingualism at the core, to remain relevant in the coming decades. The objective of looking back is to move forward with a reasonable perspective for taking measures to develop communication abilities and higher discourse competence, with a broadened inter- and cross-diplomatic bases, for learning to understand (rather than memorize) and apply in one's own contexts.


The digression apart, let me now come back to teaching communication in business. In terms of ESP, we should be aware of the 'specific purposes' of what we do in the classroom, just as we should do it in terms of students' specific needs. For example, if we teach written communication, we teach it in the specific context of business, perhaps, where applicable, in terms of 'rhetorical functions', with a sense of logical organization of knowledge or information, as noted in actual use. Students need to be exposed to a range of authentic report material from business, commerce, finance, administration, marketing, production, personnel, etc. They need to understand the logical steps in writing a report, from 'collecting the information' through to 'summarizing' and 'appendix'. In short, they need to be presented with task-oriented activities that are both challenging and authentic in the field of business: they need to be forced to read and think about the content of the report; they need to be made to think about the structure and organization of the report; they need to think about the language used to express the content; and they have to be made to apply this knowledge to the skill of writing a report. The variety of writing exercises may include paragraph writing, expansion of notes, completion of paragraphs, sequencing of sentences into paragraph, and using the right punctuation marks, connectives, sub-headings, presentation of non-verbal information or transfer of information from text to diagram (graph, chart, table, outline etc); linking findings, concluding and recommendations, extracting main points for making descriptive and evaluative summaries etc. We teach all this in terms of what the students already know and what they need to know. They unlearn, learn, and re-learn, both formal and informal expressions, within the conventions of the discipline they belong to.

As I already said, their career success depends on good writing and speaking skills, along with proper etiquette and listening skills and understanding skills. Skills that need particular attention are informative and analytical report writing, proposal writing, memo writing, letter writing, oral presentation, and a sense of grammar, punctuation, word, sentence and paragraph.

The methodology should encourage students to learn from each other through activities both of a productive kind and of a receptive nature. We may exploit developments in the case study approach, use role plays and simulations that place the students in realistic and stimulating situations to create spontaneous personal interaction and creative use of the language in a business context.

A mix of the task based approach, group work, and simulations should help the future business people develop the skills for meeting and negotiating as well as the necessary mastery of English for functioning autonomously in the field. The challenge is not to teach a descriptive course on discourse, but to provide for a pragmatic and customized-tailor input, ready for processing by the learners in an authentic learning environment.

In other words, in stead of mere 'business communication', the emphasis has to be on, what I already mentioned, 'interaction in business context'. It is not mere the language of business, but also the cultural conventions of meetings and negotiations in an intercultural setting that one has to be aware of, and learn. As far as teaching is concerned, it is rather helping students with learning how to learn, how to create the learning opportunities for themselves, and understanding the ways in which language and business strategies interact. If we follow a learner-centred approach, a three-step procedure could be: first, to illustrate (= a good model), then, to induce (= induction for effective learning by the learner), and finally, to interact (= the outcome).

I would like to quote Christopher Brumfit from his opening speech to SPEAQ Convention in Quebec City (in June 1982): "… being communicative is as much or more a matter of methodology as of syllabus or materials, and methodology is something that teachers are definitely qualified to contribute to. We should there before be willing to use our expertise, to innovate, to improve, to inform each other, and to criticize. " What we are doing here, friends, is just to make a beginning, the beginning of a process of communicating, of understanding, that we can start but can not finish.


I am aware that there is no universal teaching method or ideal teaching material suited to many contexts of language teaching. Whatever didactic techniques one knows without excluding the behavioral drills, and practice and use of mother tongue, where appropriate, are all valid at different points in the teaching process. I stand for an eclectic approach as different methods for different students have always worked and there has not been one best method any time. With our freedom to choose and adopt any notification that serves our teaching ends, with a reasonable degree of historical sense, flexibility and adaptability that allows us to select among a variety of approaches, methods and techniques, we can meet the challenges of today and tomorrow . I see teaching communicatively essayically consisting of an eclectic methodology which incorporates what is valuable in any system or method of teaching and refuses to recognize bad teaching or defective learning. In any educational setting, sensitive and sensible application and continuing evaluation of the chosen practices should be inbuilt.

English has been engaged in a social, economic, political, educational and philosophical "hot-house", to use Peter Strevens' expression, and the hot-house in India differs in quality from state to state. It is necessary to create an enabling environment – managerial, administrative, institutional, academic, and curricular-to promote not only quality education and effective learning with exposure to lots of natural, meaningful and understandable language, but also genuine communication. This means learners should read and listen to live language; they should speak and write it in ways that can be understood by educated speakers everywhere. Moreover, they should always be able to produce and comprehend culturally appropriate natural discourse.


To sum up, we as teachers need to recognize the changes that have shook all human conditions with new technology, new social structures, new values, new human relations, new functions. As Young Yun Kim notes: "The complexity, diversity, and rapid pace of change makes us 'strangers' in our own society." The challenge is, to understand the "sameness in differences" for international / intercultural exchanges, or learning business negotiations and written communication. Language teaching alone may not develop communicative abilities in business English without we realize that learning the language implies learning the culture also-one's own culture and other's culture. It is language and culture teaching together and sharing the "us" and "them" differences to reflect on one's own culture from the perspective of an outsider, and thus, become less ethnocentric and more tolerant of the values ​​of the foreign people and their ways .

The ESP of business communication looks highly culturally biased and value based, even as Western ethno-centricism, including the North American, may not be the answer to our communicative difficulties. But we have to be OPEN to all local priorities to communication and interaction. If we view English as the lingua franca for business negotiations, we should also not forget that it is NOT the mother tongue of any or most of the negotiators. To that extent, the English used is commonly a variety in which the mother tongue interferes not only phonetically and phonologically, but also in the cultural norms and attitudes expressed by the speakers. To quote Susanne Neimeir, "Their non-verbal behavior, for example, does not automatically switch to an 'Englishized' non-verbal behavior but normally stays rooted in their home culture. verbal and non-verbal) signs that they are using, misunderstandings still occur because signs may be different encoded-and decoded-on the other's cultures or may not be noticed to be signs at all. "

Therefore, we need to sensitize students to cultural richness and cultural diversity for developing mutual understanding and using individual and group knowledge constructively, and not stereotypically, in learning skills of business communication, both oral and written. It also seems imperative to integrate discourse analysis, decision-making and generic patterns of meetings and effective conversation and the role of cultural influences for success in actual business situations. In fact, it is significant to provide professional students with opportunities to experience what it means to communicate and to do business with different people who obviously are similar in several basic ways.

In today's globalized business context, while teachers of business English have to be aware of various analytical and practical approaches to business communication, especially as intercultural understanding and strategies of flexibility, adaptability and tolerance are some of the keys to making the best of economic opportunities, students of Business communication have to learn to find their own strategies, or use of structural and stylistic devices for successful business interaction. Their verbal communication in the 'ESL' context, to my mind, would be considerably 'EIL' to be able to work together, using English as the common language.

I hope at the end of the program, having shared with each other what some of you have done and how, we will emerge more enlightened and aware about what more we need to do to succeed in the days ahead. Mutual interaction should help us envision a possible policy framework required to support teaching for economically valuable language skills at tertiary and / or professional level.

(Text of the author's Special lecture delivered at the AICTE SPONSORED STAFF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ON 'EMERGING TRENDS IN BUSINESS ENGLISH AND THE METHODS OF TEACHING' at National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), Berhampur, Odisha on 23 March 2012.)



Dept of Humanities & Social Sciences

Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad 826004 India

What is the Relationship Between Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Glutamate, and ADHD?

It does not seem that long ago that most ADHD research was primarily at the roles of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in focus, concentration, self-control, and ADHD. But since one-third of the neurotransmitters in the brain are glutamate, and brain research is now looking at the intlicate relationships between glutamate, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the functioning of the pre-frontal cortex.

Research is revealing that the glutamate network neurotransmissions from the pre-frontal cortex to other areas of the brain are more important than previously thought, and that they are enhanced by dopamine and norepinephrine. Too little dopamine or norepinephrine is a problem, and too much is a problem. The importance of glutamate in PFC functioning is beginning to come to the forefront in research.

Neuro-science is beginning to move away from seeing ADHD as just a problem with dopamine and / or norepinephrine, and is moving towards a better understanding of the brain as a network with networks of relationships such as the relationship between dopamine, norepinephrine, the glutamate excitatory neurotransmitters which are about 30-35% of all neurotransmitters in the brain, and their relationship to ADHD.

In this new framework of understanding the PFC and ADHD, the new medication Intuniv from Shire has caused a bit of a buzz. It sees that Intuniv gains the glutamate in the PFC. This is a new approach to ADHD treatment.

Amy Arnsten, Ph.D., is the Director of the Arnston Lab, Dept or Neurobiology at Yale University. According to its website, the Arnsted Lab "studies molecular effects on the higher cognitive functions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), with the overeaching goal of developing rational treatments for cognitive disorders and mental illness … Research has focused on how the catecholamines norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA), powerfully and dynamically modulate PFC cognitive function and physiology through intracellular signaling mechanisms. " The lab helped Shire Pharmaceuticals in the development of Intuniv for ADHD treatment.

The Arnsten Lab has been able to show how the relationship between dopamine and norepinephrine and the ratios of dopamine to norepinephrine, can affect and improve cognitive functions such as focus, memory, and attention. Too much or too little of either neurotransmitter decrease cognitive functions, both in terms of the performance of brain cells, and in real world behaviors and performance. But when the ratios and relationships are just right, performance is improved.

Their work, along with the work of many others, is often focused on the a2-receptor sites in the pre-frontal cortex. These researchers have reported on the benefits of norepinephrine at these PFC receptor sites, and have also shown the benefits of stimulating these receptor sites with the medication guanfacine (intuniv). It appears that guanfacine improved cognitive function in the pre-frontal cortex.

In addition, the research of Craig Berridge and his team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has focused on the effects of stimulants on the brain. He has shown that the main effects of stimulants are on the frontal lobes of the brain, and that small doses of methylphenidate actually affect the effects of norepinephrine in the pre-frontal cortex more than they affect the effects of dopamine in the PFC, though both are enhanced. This research has also shown that when the a2 receptors in the pre-fronatal cortex are blocked that the symptoms of ADHD can be created in a subject, including lack of self-control, impulsivity, and hyperactivity (Berridg et al., 2006).

All of this new understanding of the effects of neurotransmitters in the pre-frontal cortex, and the impact of medications on the PFC, will help future research on new treatment treatments to help children and adults who suffer from ADHD.

RV Campgrounds in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

New Hampshire is an enchanting state in the United States of America. It is located in the New England region which is in the northeastern part of America. This state shares its borders with Vermont in the west, with Massachusetts in the south, with Canadian province of Quebec in the north and with Maine in the east. This place has beautiful landscapes and natural splendor which makes it perfect for camping and other leisure activities.

So, now let me tell you about some of the RV campgrounds located in the White Mountain region of New Hampshire.

1. Pine Haven RV Campground
Pine Haven Campground is a mesmerizing place located in the Baker River Valley, which is positioned just at the base of White Mountain. This beautiful RV Park is located on the South branch of the river and

has 3000 feet of river frontage area. Some of the facilities that you can indulge in here are, you can enjoy a relaxing swim in the cool river water, night swimming in the lighted pool, plenty of fresh water fishing facilities and excellent biking and hiking trails in the forests area.

2. Danforth Bay Family Camping and RV Park

Danforth Bay is a very good family RV park where you can enjoy pleasant vacations with family and friends. The camping ground covers a large area of ​​185 acres with more than 300 spacious sites. The RV sites are large enough to incorporate even the largest Recreational vehicle. Many leisure activities are also provided to the guests like volleyball matches, many fun filled games and vibrant festivals.

3. Moose Hillock Campground

This is a very pleasant place for RV camping, located in the White Mountains region of New Hampshire. Here you will find every thing needed for a special vacation. Some of the outstanding facilities of this place include a Blue Lagoon Tropical Swimming Pool, well maintained RV sites, cool cabins, peaceful tent sites, and special playgrounds for children, nature trails for hiking and trekking and large acres of woodland where you can indulge in picnics and nature study.

4. Twin Mountain RV Park

Twin Mountain RV Park has something for everyone. Here you can indulge in leisure activities like white water paddling, hiking, trekking and camping. Some of the nearby places that you can visit from here include Cherry Mountain Brook, Crawford Notch State Park and Black Brook Trail. The staff members are very cordial and friendly and this is the best place that you should choose for fun filled camping holidays with family and friends.

These are some of the best RV campgrounds located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

A Fresh Look With a Brick Fireplace Makeover

Like everything else in your home, a brick fireplace needs to be maintained. Since it is generally the focal point of your room, when it gets grimi or dirty it is likely to be very noticeable. So it is important to keep your fireplace looking crisp and clean so your room will always look its best. You can clean your fireplace, and if you have an old brick bike on your fireplace, you may want to update its look as well.

Assess the Firebox
If your fireplace has been properly maintained, and the bricks are just a little grimi, then you can give it a good cleaning before you decide what else you may want to do with it. To clean your fireplace, begin by giving it a good sweeping. Remove all of the ashes, and you then give the firebox a good scrubbing. Even after all of your elbow grease you may not be able to get all of the black soot marks off of the firebox walls. If this is the case, you may wish to simply paint the firebox a uniform black with heat resistant black paint that is designed just for this purpose. By making the entire area the same color, even though it is black, it looks planned, not grimi.

Assess the Face
After cleaning the inside of the fireplace, you can turn your attention to the outside of the fireplace. Get your vacuum clean out and start by giving the whole area a good vacuuming. Use a soft sweeper brush to clean out all of the little nooks and crannies in the brick façade, and then take a critical look at it. If it still looks a little grimi then you will want to give all of the brick and grout a good scrubbing with a solution made of one cup of plain apple cider vinegar and a one half gallon of warm water. Use a stiff scrub brush to scrub the area. You want to work in a single, small area at a time. Give the solution a few minutes to work on the area after scrubbing, and then use a towel to sop up any remaining moisture. If your brick looks clean, then move on to the next area, however if it is still a little grimi, then you will want to retreat the area with your vinegar mixture. If the surface is specifically grimi, you may have to repeat the process several times. As your vinegar water becomes discolored, make a fresh batch and continue cleaning. After scrubbing the entire surface of your fireplace, you can go over it with clean water for a final rinsing.

Sometimes Paint Helps
If you have scrubbed and scrubbed, and still your bricks are looking a little dingy, you may want to consider painting your brick to give the whole area a fresh look. If you are thinking of painting a good time to do it right after you have cleaned the area and after it has had a chance to completely dry. Mask of any area that you do not want to paint, and begin with a thin layer of high quality masonry primer. Use a plush roller to make sure that you get full coverage, and after you primer layer is completely dry, you can paint on you latex color. Since bricks are a rough and porous surface, you may need to apply several coats of paint to get good, even coverage.