Safe Baby – The Advantages of Green Products in the Nursery

If you take a look on the market, you will be able to find any types of cribs that are available today. Different cribs may have their own features and benefits for all users. It is a great idea for you to select eco-friendly baby cribs from the market now. These sustainable green products are not only good for your environment, but also your lovely baby. These green products are made from eco-friendly and non-toxic materials, so you are able to rely on the safety and quality of these products. Here are some useful tips on how you can choose the best eco-friendly baby cribs for your infant easily.

1. Look for the Energy Star certification

It is one of the easiest ways for you to select eco-friendly products, including your favorite green baby cribs. These green products should be certified with Energy Star certification on their surface. When any products are certified as Energy Star products, they are usually made from green materials that are safe for all users. Therefore, you have to check this certification before you decide to purchase the best baby cribs for yourself. You should take a look at this specification very carefully, especially when you are trying to buy high quality cribs for your baby now.

2. Check the material of any cribs

When you compare some available baby cribs, you should take a look at their materials. Make sure that you choose the best products that are made from safe materials. You have to avoid choosing any low quality products, such as press-wood products that can be harmful for most infants these days. There are some high quality and eco-friendly materials that are good for your baby cribs, for example hardwood, pinewood, birchwood, and some other green materials. Most of these products are made from safe and eco-friendly materials these days.

3. Look at the finish very carefully

Different cribs are usually covered by their own finishing or coating materials. Some materials can be dangerous for the environment and your child. Therefore, you have to compare some available surface materials, in order to compare their features and also benefits. You should choose the best coating or finish that contains low amount of VOC stains and coating materials. It is recommended for you to use water-based stains or sealants that are safe for your infant, for example beeswax and tung oil. Those products can be used to coat your baby crib safely.

4. Find the best mattress for your crib

It is recommended for you to select the best mattress for your baby crib. There are several types of mattresses that are available today. You have to take a look at some available products, especially when you want to compare some available items easily. Make sure that you buy organic mattress that is good for your baby. Most organic mattresses are usually made from organic cotton that is safe for the environment and your infant. You should be able to find any types of green mattresses that are available on the market these days.

5. Avoid using any fragrances or scents on your crib

This is another recommended tip for you who want to use eco-friendly products for your baby. Some baby cribs are equipped with additional scents or fragrances, in order to provide good experience for all users. However, some scents are made from harmful materials that can be dangerous for your baby. If you want to create green environment around your baby, you may want to avoid using any fragrances or scents on your baby crib. There are several types of baby cribs that are free from any unwanted and harmful materials.

Choosing the best crib for your baby should not be a complicated and difficult task for you. You can simply compare some available products, in order to compare their features and benefits. Green products are safe for the environment and your lovely baby because they don’t bring any negative side effects for all users. You should be able to rely on the quality or performance of any eco-friendly baby cribs that are available on the market. It can be the best time for you to select the best baby crib that is safe for your lovely baby now.

How to Give an Awesome Business Presentation!

Few of us have been fortunate; most of us have been victims of “death by PowerPoint”. Long, technically heavy, dry & business serious presentations has taken off ever since 1997 when it really took off with significant changes in Microsoft PowerPoint 97 and became widely available. Lots of people have presumed that business related presentation has to be content heavy and dry to display knowledge and seriousness. This often leaves the audience in a semi-catatonic state of mind, not listening or following, often resulting in the audience eager to make a run for the exit! This post is going to discuss some key ideas to keep in mind when you are presenting a new product, business proposal, research finding or sales pitch. It’s going to engage your audience, communicate your message and make you look good! We’re also going to have a look at some examples to see what mistakes not to make!

We’re going to break this down into key points:

Your presentation objectives.
Information; research, collecting & organising.
Aesthetics; theme, font & color.
Layout; slides, content & multimedia.
Supplementary materials; hand outs, pamphlets & notes.


What are the objectives & parameters of your presentation?

Whether it be team meetings, annual meetings, sales, consulting or new product overview your presentation objectives need to be clearly defined. Presentations should be tailored to your target audience. For what purpose are they here and what information are they seeking? This is the very first step in building an enjoyable, engaging and most importantly informative presentation.

You must be aware of the parameters for the presentations such as how broad or specific the topic needs to be and other factors such as time, size of audience and characteristics of your audience i.e. mums and dads, shareholders, executives, team colleagues, department colleagues or customers.


The type of information research, gathering and organising will largely depend on your presentation objectives and audience needs.

This is the stage where all the information required to make your presentation informative to the audience and in line with your objectives are collected and analysed. Organising the information is not vital yet, that will be required in the Layout stage of presentation building.

Research and collect any data that is relevant to your topic the visual layout of the data itself will be handled later. To emphasize it is extremely important to collect all relevant information, ensure their accuracy and be thorough.


Here is where we begin looking at the aesthetics of the slides; themes, color, font type & font size. I highly recommend not using fancy font, repetitive bold, italics, underlining or strike through. This complicates and reduces the readability and impact of the content itself. Don’t change font types in each slide and keep font size consistent i.e. headings, key points and sub points. Font color should also remain consistent throughout the slides, color can be used but sparingly and for emphasis. Other visual cues including fade away and sound effects should never ever ever be used! The only visual cue that can work effectively is content pop-up. This is where the slide appears with the heading only and as you list key points in your talk you can use the remote to make those dot points appear on the slide, no sound effects, fade-in or “fly” in, just appear.

Aesthetics are an important factor to consider in presentations, however content and its understandability always take priority. In saying that, good aesthetics should not be noticed since it is supplementing the material at hand.


How are you going to present your data, findings, product, performance or sales pitch?

These dynamics will determine the way you layout the information. It’s important to keep in mind that even the slides are supplementary to your talk. Slides should not have significant meaning or useability without you. So what does this actually mean? It means that the content on the slides are kept to the essentials. Presenters in the past have a plethora amount of information and data causing information overload in each slide. This creates a difficulty for the audience in processing, reading, understanding and building questions for you in Q & A time. Presenters who overload slides with information need to trim the “fat”. “Fat” here is the less significant but relevant data for the topic at hand i.e. there is an internal meeting on stock A performance and volatility. Instead of showing daily prices over the past 12 months which 1) shows price trend 2) shows price volatility, why not compress the data points to weekly or monthly price points with candlesticks (more on that here)

Some sub topics in presentations are technical heavy. And whether you your audience is there for the technical content should have been decided in the objectives section. If it was no then cut out whatever “fat” possible from the slides. If it was a yes then spread the technical information over a number of slides by breaking the information into more consumable pieces or do some creative thinking in presentation method e.g. cluster histograms, line or distribution charts.

Layouts for chart organisations and processes should be kept as concise as possible. As a rule of thumb keep one process to one slide to maximum of two highly related or integrated processes. This will keep keep the readability and focus high for the audience and will simplify your discussion points for the slide. If it is a highly complex and long process or chart, again, break it down. Start with a simplified bird’s eye view and then zero in on certain sections in subsequent slides.

Keep word counts to a minimum, use short and direct sentences. You can use your verbal material to expand and clarify any points you need. Where possible and appropriate use imagery that is in line with your discussion point, i.e. main qualitative KPI (Key Performance Indicator) maybe be team work, then use a sporting team image or it may be strengthening business relations with customers/vendors then an image of a handshake could be utilised. The utilisation of images is to provide visual stimulation and evoke curiosity amongst your audience. Your verbal material will be supplemented by the visuals.

If you are still having issues with the layout try story boarding, it will effectively help you plan the “story”and how you’re going to tell it to the audience. I will post about story boarding specifics in a separate post at a later date, alternatively you can email me at terence.tam1 @ gmail. com and request it early!

Supplementary materials

Since the slides are kept to essentials and some slides may not even have content but images only, it is and should be pointless to provide slide handouts. Instead provide supplementary materials to your audience that are relevant to the slides. These materials can range from complete company financial statements, product brochures, advertisement concepts, departmental KPI criteria report, sales performance or single page mission statements.

An audience take-away document can be made and handed-out after the presentation for those who want to review or pass on the keynotes. These types of material can be thorough since the audience do not have a time constraint to review the material.

If possible it is always useful in making auditory recordings of your presentation prior or during the actual presentation itself. This will allow the take-away supplementary material to compliment to the recordings and vice versa. I recommend making auditory pre-recordings of your presentation because it is more technically manageable with a time buffer to make edits and are readily available to distribute to the audience at the end via email or CD.

Remember, the slides are there to supplement your talk. So keep the slides to the essentials and use imagery where possible & appropriate to keep the audience visually engaged. Announce that supplementary materials will be provided and extensive materials handed out at the end. This will stop the audience from frantically taking notes down and falling behind with your presentation.

Encountering the Money Curve on the Interview Road – Negotiating a Job Offer

Let’s assume for a moment that your job search has finally resulted in the hoped-for outcome. You’ve made it through an extensive, lengthy, and grueling series of interviews. You’ve given your best effort to dazzle and impress your future employer and it has paid off. They’ve decided to make you a job offer. Congratulations! It’s all smooth sailing from here on out. Or, is it?

As a rule, YES, it is a time to celebrate. However, this may also be the point on the road to being employed where you will encounter a signal to “proceed with caution”.

Sometimes the job offer is just right and the new company and position are ideal. You accept immediately, establish a start date, and prepare to resign from your current employer with fortitude and grace, excited to start a great new career path. That most often is what happens. However, what if you have to negotiate the dreaded money issue?

If so, the straight road you’ve traveled on through the process may hit a curve. If it does, a thoughtful approach and knowledge are essential. If you handle salary negotiations without this knowledge, you run the risk of alienating your future boss or the company and having the offer disappear into thin air.

Be assured that if a company wants to discuss money, it is a good sign. They are seriously interested in you. We all know, too, that money is important in any career decision you make and is a definite factor when you evaluate an opportunity.

This is a subject that is multi-faceted and complex, but let me give me some key points that may assist you in the event you need to negotiate.

First, let’s go back to the beginning. It is a standard rule of interviewing that the candidate should not be the party to bring up compensation during the job interview process. There will be plenty of time for that to take place and it’s the employer’s responsibility to discuss it when THEY are ready. Like in any type of negotiation, he who speaks first most often loses. If for some reason the money issue goes completely unaddressed and the ball is left in your court, the time to bring it up is late in the process and only after they have indicated that an offer is forthcoming. Keep in mind that the minute you name a price and fix it, any chance of negotiating is over. At that point, the employer will have that number in his mind, set in stone, and if you try to change the rules and ask for more, you look very disingenuous.

Before you start the interviewing process, it’s also wise to evaluate your current compensation in relationship to the average in your industry and the specific position for which you’re interviewing. Some companies have higher pay scales than others. You may not be affordable to a company if you are in a firm that pays on the high end of the scale. Yet, you may be very interested in them for a myriad of reasons (culture, growth opportunity, location, technology, etc) and making a lateral move or taking a small step back to make a big step forward in your career may be wise and a fine decision. If you have emphasized your current compensation and stress the desire to increase it early or during the interview process, it may frighten the prospective employer. Rather than risk making you an offer that is less, he may pass. So, take care not to price yourself out of the market. It limits opportunity. If you are realistic, compensation is only one piece of the puzzle anyway. You should and probably will consider many factors when you make a career change which are unrelated to the money issue.

A question I am asked often is, “Can I negotiate an offer?” The answer is, “Maybe.” Some companies will negotiate and frankly, some will not. No two companies are alike. There are sometimes ways to know beforehand. If you are working with a recruiter, he will probably have an idea about offer flexibility or should. Actually, it’s the recruiter’s job to insure that by the time the offer rolls around, everyone is on the same page and if so, there won’t be any issue over whether the offer will be accepted. Other sources of information might be a previous employee of the company or perhaps contacts you have in the industry. Often, though, if you have no third party input, you are simply flying blind. However, if you listen during the interview process to the potential employer, you may pick up clues as to whether his company is flexible when it comes to compensation. If you’re unsure, it’s a judgment call on your part when the offer comes in and you were expecting or hoping for more. If you do decide to negotiate, be open and reasonable. Have solid reasons regarding why you are asking for more compensation.

Also bear in mind that the best time to look for a position is when you’re employed and don’t necessarily need to make a change, but would for a better opportunity. That is when your marketability is at its highest. If you are unemploye, it’s a whole new landscape. Negotiating, while not impossible, becomes more difficult, especially if market conditions dictate an abundance of available candidates. It’s entirely possible that if you don’t accept what they have to offer, they’ll move on to someone who will. You can certainly query about flexibility on the salary, but keep it just that, an inquiry. Don’t expect a better offer just because you asked for it and don’t assume that there is more to be had or that they’re offering less than they can. Most employers will come in at the point that they feel is reasonable for them while ensuring that you’re pleased and excited to be in their employ.

The last word of caution in terms of salary negotiations is this: never try to evaluate two or multiple offers, pitting one against the other. It’s unfair to each employer and a disservice. It’s like comparing apples to oranges most of the time which can be very confusing for you. Each company and offer needs to be evaluated on its own merit based on the criteria that matter to you. Compare each opportunity with your objectives, not to each other. Every opportunity has pros and cons and money is only one factor. Only you know whether your instincts say, “This is my job.” Making a decision on that basis is far better than to invite a bidding war. To do so can result in no bid at all in the end.

In traveling the interview road, everyone will come to the money curve eventually. Proceed with caution, and if you choose to negotiate, do it with solid reasoning, respect, tact, and a reasonable expectation of a positive outcome for both you and the employer. Consider each offer on its own merits and present your value in terms of your own. From that point forward, it truly is smooth sailing.