Presenting Baby Gift Baskets

Thinking what baby shower gift to present to a baby shower is a bit challenging, especially if you are a newbie or not yet a parent. There are several things you have to consider, which often causes some kind of a dilemma for many givers. You have to think of the important things that the parents will probably need to care their little one. Also, you want to present something that is attractive. Both may not go hand and hand always, thus you have to take some time and effort to plan for it in advance. Luckily, there is always a gift basket you may consider both for the parents-to-be and baby. Baby gift baskets often come in attractive and generously offer numerous essential things to care the baby.

Baby gift baskets are available in various styles, designs and themes. It is certainly fine if you don’t want to focus on practical baby items. You could also go beyond traditional items and get creative. A baby gift basket may be presented at a baby shower or directly given at some other time, before or after the child is born.

There are many things that can be included in a baby gift basket. Items like diapers, baby bathing products, toys, baby dishes, nursery furnitures, baby outfits, baby travel gear, formula, blankets are among the most common that are often included in baby gift baskets. Feel free to add extra surprises like including an extra present for new mom and dad.

If you want to make your own baby gift basket with a theme, the first thing you need to consider is the type of container you want to use as a basket. Actually, there are several good containers that can hold a number of baby items, like a traditional wicker basket; baby bath tub; laundry basket; or even a bucket. You can then decorate your chosen basket according to the baby’s sex. Otherwise, you have to think of making a gift basket that is gender-neutral if the gender hasn’t yet known.

Themed gift baskets are great if you want to focus on a specific gifting idea. There are themed gift baskets that are limited to baby bathing products, baby dishes and recipes, layettes and clothing, nursery furniture, or educational baby toys. Whichever you want to present, that is sure to impress the mom-to-be.

There are lots of online stores that specializes on various baby gifts, including baby gift baskets. You can also find personalized baby gift baskets which will allow you to add a personal touch onto your chosen one. A personalized gift basket will let you present something that was personalized with the child’s name or monogram, if there is already. Personalized items that may be included are embroidered blankets and outfits, engraved silver cups, engraved picture frames, personalized toys and the likes. Aside from names and monograms, you may also include a date or even a short line of poem. There are personalized ribbons, as well as cellophanes that can be customized to make a perfect package. You can apply a personalized packaging if you want to.

How to Stop Presentation Nerves

Up until the age of fifteen I was a very shy person. On a day to day basis, no problem, but any time I had to speak to more than a handful of people I literally went to pieces. I used to go several shades of red, which in turn made me much hotter. So that made me more conscious of being nervous, and that made my mouth dry, my brain scramble, and that would make me more red… And so on! You may recognise some of those symptoms in others, or yourself when speaking. Certainly I see many speakers who though charming and knowledgeable people normally, absolutely become quivering wrecks as they begin to talk to a small crowd.

The reality is it needn’t be like that, and there are things you can do to help. Some are specific steps to be taken, whilst others are merely thoughts you need to keep in your head. A combination of these will help you to control your nerves and get things under control. I hope it helps you to know that I no longer get nervous when I speak, and in fact haven’t got nervous speaking in years now. Here are some of the steps I took, and attitudes I have adopted to help me.

The first is something that people interested in Neuro-Linguistic Programming will recognise as a “re-frame”. You see, if we take our understanding of the “fear” a speaking event generates and look at it in a slightly different way, it becomes evident that nerves are physiologically identical to excitement.. That is to say in both cases the “symptoms” are the same; quickened breathing, faster metabolism, temperature fluctuation and so on. You might wonder how that helps, but I can tell you that you feel a whole lot better thinking how excited you are about speaking, rather than nervous. What’s more, the self talk we all do is more helpful too, because when we recognise being excited it feels easier to calm down, whereas as being nervous feels difficult to change.

I mentioned at the start of this article that I haven’t been nervous as a speaker in years… I will admit to being terribly excited on many occasions!

The second knack is to focus on what is overlooked by many people, and that is the generally low standard of many speakers. You see, whilst it’s better to aim to be amazing, you don’t actually need to be that outstanding… Being a little better than average is probably going to do the trick. I reiterate I am not advocating a mediocre speech. I am merely pointing out that because the general standard is so low, you need only focus on being good enough. As you do this, and keep doing this your confidence increases anyway and that naturally helps with presentation nerves.

Which conveniently brings me to the next point. Fact is, many things you do only occasionally will leave you a little nervous… If they are new you are never sure about what to do. Speaking is the same, and the more of it you do the easier you realise it is. You can literally “fake it till you make it” with confidence. By speaking often, and telling yourself you are excited and looking forward to speaking… Guess what? Your brain begins to believe you… In turn helping you to be more confident, and so giving a better performance and so on. I know that sounds almost too good to be true-I also know it works because it was one of the techniques I used to grow in confidence as a speaker. And believe me, I literally used to shake, visibly, my whole body…

Which brings me to how do you cope with getting the shakes. Once it starts it’s difficult to get rid of. Well, you have to acknowledge it may happen, and if it does, that’s ok. Many people get nerves, and many people get a little shaky on stage. Unfortunately many of those same people make it worse by drawing attention to how nervous they are. The best strategy is to focus on what I have mentioned here, and on no account mention your nerves.

And when it comes to not mentioning your nerves, never ever mention being nervous at the start of your speech. You have almost certainly heard people say how nervous they are as they start to speak, or asking the audience to “bear with them” and so on. People do these things for a number of reasons, but unfortunately it boils down to a bad idea-highlighting the one thing you don’t want people to know. And it gets worse, because once people know you are nervous they start noticing every little thing. And when they notice, guess what? Yes… You get more nervous…! Don’t mention being nervous.

You are going to need to have a glass of water nearby, or a bottle if that suits the event better. Don’t rely on it being provided for you, and don’t worry if no one else had water. You want to overcome presentation nerves, so trust me here and take some water with you. You may never even take a single sip, but if you don’t have the water you get that strange dry mouth thing, that ends up with loud clicking noises when you try to speak. And if your speech is amplified with a microphone, then everyone gets to hear it too. Take water and when you need it, it’s there. Water also gives you the perfect excuse to just pause now and again and calm yourself (excited, remember?)

Prepare your beginning really well. This is one part of the speech that many people neglect, which is a shame because it’s at the start that people are really likely to retain key ideas and impressions of your speech. Make sure you know what you are saying and why. If humour works for you, great, make use of it. If you like order and calm, explain something. If you need to explain why you are there, that’s good too. Just make sure your opening minute is really strong. A strong opening allows you to stroll out with a certain confidence that someone shuffling papers, wishing they had water and apologising for being so nervous will never have.

Many people believe they can help their nerves by speaking in front of a mirror. This is alright, but not great, because a mirror is not what your audience sees or hears. If you want to do this (and this is quite a hardcore technique, but it works) you need to film yourself. Set your camera up to film what the audience sees. This means don’t speak to the camera directly, rather set it back so it captures you talking to a room. Film yourself. Now watch it back. I suggest you watch it back alone, unless you love hiding behind your fingers in shame! Now when you watch this, get over your accent, your taste in clothes, your body shape, that haircut, your inelegant posturing and so on. Honestly, everyone is the same when they see themselves. Instead focus on what you like about what you are doing. You will see moments that work, and you will hear snippets that sound great. Keep these and work on the rest. The more you do this process, the more you will begin to separate yourself from your performance, and at this point getting rid of your presentation nerves will seem easier and easier.

The final tip I have for you is to affect a certain swagger. Your favourite sportsperson has it. And rock start. Movie stars too. So even if you are feeling “excited”, and your heart is racing, and you make a few mistakes… So what? Seriously. Live presentations mean an element of performance. A level of energy is great and so much more engaging that someone stood there boring everyone silly by monotonously reading from their slides. And even if you are nervous, and even if some people in the audience don’t like it you have to keep in your mind that you are the one speaking, giving the presentation. At least you had the nerves to go for it and deliver your speech. And that REALLY helps with confidence I can tell you!

Spicing Up Your Presentation

You made your checklists, did your research, organized your information, and wrote out your speech. You have all the makings of an informative presentation. The only problem is, nobody will be informed, persuaded, or otherwise moved by your presentation if it fails to capture and maintain attention.

The very first step is to pick a medium. If possible, a PowerPoint presentation is typically ideal. Not only is the digital medium unmatched in versatility, but it also allows for printed supplemental materials that serve to support your presentation as opposed to weighing it down. A well-made PowerPoint consists of clear and concise slides that are organized for maximum impact. A great PowerPoint, however, takes things a step further. Employ carefully selected images and stock video footage, sparingly-applied music and sound effects, and even an occasional nudge of humor, and you will be looking at a truly effective presentation.

Be warned! Spicing up a droll presentation is just like spicing up a bland dish: too much spice, and it becomes impossible to consume. Stock video footage can add tremendously to the value of a presentation, but throw moderation to the wind and you will find yourself with a product that spends far too much time on the peripheries and fails to effectively deliver the pertinent message. If music and sound effects are inserted judiciously, the presentation will come off as unprofessional and even obnoxious. Moderation is especially key in the use of humor; if there is a place for it, err heavily on the side of subtlety and caution.

A good rule of thumb when deciding whether or not to add something to your presentation is to ask yourself, “What am I trying to do by adding this?” For example, if the addition is meant to lighten the mood, ensure that the mood needs lightening, and that your addition is appropriately structured and placed to do so.