A Definitive Guide to Buying Gift Cards As Presents

There are numerous options to choose from when it comes to buying a gift for a birthday celebration. Some options though are definitely more popular than others and you need to really take a lot of time and think about who you are buying the present for. I always like to say that depending on the interest of the birthday celebrator and the gender of the person who will be celebrating really makes a difference on what sort of present you’d like to buy. Nevertheless, if you are in a hurry or rush you can also pick out a gift that can be used by both genders. In my experience in the gift card industry, I’ve learned a lot about what are the most popular options that can be used for any occasion, person, or holiday. Some options are definitely better than others but here are your best choices.

Resstaurants – You can find a lot of food chain gift card ideas on the Internet. Some fast food chains offer gift cards to their customers like McDonalds and Burger King. These gift cards are reloadable and are very easy to use. They come in a variety of denominations from $5 to $100. The other most popular chains include the Darden Restaurant Group or the OSI Restaurant Group. With the Darden group the cards can be used at all of their locations in the world including the Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, and Seasons 52. The OSI Restaurant group includes Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Carraba’s, Fleming’s Steakhouse, and Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion.

Airlines – Anyone celebrating his or her birthday would definitely want to get a travel gift card in order to get away from the stress and relax on this special day. You can try visiting the American Airlines website or US Airways because these are common airline companies that offer travel cards to their customers. Another very popular option is Southwest Airlines who has quickly risen to become one of the most popular airlines in the United States. The recipient can choose to fly to different countries that are served by these airline companies and surely, the birthday celebrant wouldn’t resist this opportunity. These cards have no expiration date so they can choose to travel whenever they want to. As an added bonus these cards can be used at any time and do not have restrictions like blackout dates or anything like that.

Entertainment – It is known as a gift of entertainment that you can give to someone who is fond of watching movies. You can try looking for some sites that can offer movie gift cards for birthdays so you can have it personalized. With this item, you can upload the photo of the birthday celebrant and attach a message to it. The personalization option really adds a great level of authenticity to the item and will allow them to treasure it even after the balance is expended.

The final great idea would be a hotel gift card. You can give one of these that can offer variety of relaxation to the recipient. You can visit Marriott Hotels or their website or even try the Aloft Hotel Brand because these hotels offer excellent service and they can be redeemed to almost over 4,000 participating branches worldwide. If the person who you’re buying the present for loves to travel, then this may be the best option for you.

How To Create Sensational Videos Out Of Your PowerPoint Presentations

Quite often I find myself spending a good amount of time on YouTube watching the latest video submissions. When I log on to CNN or NPR I always like to watch the iReports or news videos. Sometimes I would rather watch the video than read the report. Television commercials have been the gold standard of product marketing for decades. Now instead of spending millions to market our products, we can make a video and submit it to YouTube for next to nothing. All we need is a decent camera, a computer, and we are ready to go. My problem is that I am not comfortable in front of a camera. I know that video marketing reaches millions of people. As a Network Marketing business owner, I must take advantage of this medium.

A solution for someone like me is to make a PowerPoint video presentation. I can take advantage of video marketing without ever having to step in front of a camera. The process of making these videos is not as complicated as you might think. There are a couple pieces of software you will need to download, but the cost is minimal.

As part of our Internet Marketing strategy, we should be posting information on our blogs, submitting articles to the most popular directories, and yes, submitting videos to sites such as YouTube. All three of these activities require you to come up with interesting and original content. A good plan of action is to start by writing a blog post. I like my posts to be between 600-1000 words. Long enough to relate the information on my subject, but short enough that my readers will not lose interest. Next, take that same original content and write 2-3 articles that you can submit to the article directories. And finely, use one or two of the article and make PowerPoint presentations. If you are a MAC fanatic, KeyNote will be the program to use.

You will want to design a PowerPoint slide that has your business or company logo at the top. You can save that as a template to be used as your master slide. The logo will give the presentation a professional look. Next, take the content from your articles and simply copy and paste it onto the slides. Try to split the content evenly so that it looks good in the final presentation. It is that easy. In less than twenty minutes, you will have a presentation ready to turn into video. Now for the software programs that I mentioned. One will create the video and the other will help you submit the finished product.

1. CamStudio: CamStudio is free software that will record whatever is on your computer desktop as video and your voice as audio. Unfortunately, they do not offer a version that is compatible with Mac OS. This software has excellent video tutorials to help you get started.

• Camtasia: For the Mac user, Camtasia is the software that you will have to use. It can be purchased for about $100.00 and there is a 30-day trial period before you have to buy. 

2. TubeMogul: TubeMogul is a free service that will help you submit your finished video to the sites of your choice. You will have to establish accounts with the individual video submission sites, and log your user name and pass word with TubeMogul. 

• Traffic Geyser: As an alternative to TubeMogul, Traffic Geyser has a few more features and is more user-friendly, but charges a monthly fee. 

The last piece of hardware you will want to get is a good noise-canceling microphone. The sound quality will be much better than the microphones built into your computer. Open up the CamStudio or Camtasia software and start the record feature. Then just read your presentation into the microphone. Of course you will want to practice a few times to get a good recording. Try to put some personality into the presentation so your listeners will be more likely to watch the entire video. After you are satisfied with your creation, submit it using TubeMogul or Traffic Geyser. This is a fun and inexpensive way to get your content in front of millions of viewers.

Do You Have the 3 Traits to Be a Successful Global Negotiator?

At some point in your career, if not already, you may be called upon to exercise leadership qualities in the global negotiation process. At the very least it may be to host potential global partners when they visit your organization. How prepared are you?

Dealing with global partners is just like dealing with any business situation. Right? Wrong! Successful negotiations with overseas companies begins when you show genuine sincerity, warmth, patience and appreciation for their ways; whether it’s over there or when you’re hosting them in your town.

To be successful in global negotiating you must apply 3 characteristic traits:

1. Flexibility

If you are a creature of habit and like “safe harbors,” you might do well to avoid international business. If you tend to be open-minded, are a student of the human condition (no matter the origins), enjoy new experiences, meeting people of different cultural backgrounds, learning and applying new things, that’s a start. It takes a “geocentric” attitude to be consistently successful in negotiating with overseas companies.

2. Broad-mindedness

To be successful internationally you must be receptive to different patterns of business norms. Tolerance and appreciation for differences is vital in negotiating in global markets. Being good in your own backyard doesn’t mean you’ll be good with foreign nationals. Those American businessmen who see impatience and over aggressiveness as virtues (and we are numerous) have the least chance of being successful with foreign companies, even English speaking ones.

Mr. David Nomchong of New South Wales, Australia, at a meeting some years ago here in the U.S., told me that the major reason that American businessmen fail in doing business in his country is not lack of negotiating ability or lack of business knowledge, but excessive familiarity, over aggressiveness, impatience and lack of respect for his “mates” down under.

3. Patience

As Americans, we are among the least patient people in the world. I have a business associate who shines in local negotiations yet does poorly when dealing with off-shore people. He lacks patience and exemplifies the “milk maid syndrome” (a maid spends all day milking a cow and then, in a fit of impatience, knocks the bucket over). As an example, when dealing in Asia it’s good to keep in mind that it might actually take several years to bring a business venture to fruition. Reason: Asians tend to be patient people and want to know who they are dealing with; an admirable trait. It takes them a long time to become comfortable with us (…yet, only a short time to make the actual deal).

The best coaching I can conclude with is: Avoid starting off by playing “King of the Hill” to let the other party know you’re in charge and can’t be pushed around. Save your tough negotiating skills for later when the tensions are reduced. Let the ball get rolling with “small talk” and looking for mutual personal interests that help to develop mutual respect that puts everyone at ease. It may take some time, but it will be well worth it.