Employee Motivation – 10 Tips to Boost Job Performance

Increase Employee Performance by Harnessing the Power of Motivation

Employee motivation and productivity can be enhanced and improved by creating a work environment that maximizes the factors that affect performance. These factors are simple to understand, easy to measure, and can add tremendous value to any organization that is willing to implement them. Use these 10 tips to make sure that your employees are energized and inspired to produce the best results possible.

1. Interesting Work

Intrinsic motivation comes from the shear joy and pleasure of doing a task. When you read a great book, no one has to pay for each page you read. It is a pleasure to learn how the story unfolds and watch the plot develop. It is the same way with employee motivation. To maximize employee performance, find out what employees like about their jobs and then try to add more tasks that align with their own natural interests and talents.

2. Appreciation & Recognition

William James said, “The deepest desire in human nature is to be appreciated.” It does not matter how much you pay someone, everyone want to know that their efforts are being seen and appreciated, especially by their manager. Don’t just send them a thank you e-mail – that just means you care enough to hit the “Enter” key. If you really want to thank someone buy them a real “Thank You” card and describe how their behavior and performance has added value to the team and organization. Make it a point to catch people doing things right and they will inevitably do things right more often.

3. Feeling Involved In the Work Process

Research shows that when people get to participate in creating a system or process, they are much more likely to follow it than one simply imposed upon them by an outside expert. Recognize that the people doing the job have the knowledge of how things can be done better, faster, and cheaper. If you want them to tell you, then make it easy for them to offer suggestions and reward employees who contribute ideas that add value to the bottom line.

4. Achievement

Napoleon once remarked, “It is amazing how willing men are to risk their lives for a little bit of tin and ribbon to wear upon their chest.” Awards and prizes can serve as a great motivator to harness the power of healthy competition. It is always better to use rewards that are meaningful and inspiring. When an employee exceeds your expectations, then make sure you recognize their achievement. On the day someone retires, they will pack up these awards and prizes to serve as fond reminders of a wonderful career.

5. Job Security

If everybody had what it takes to be an entrepreneur, then there would be no General Electric or Toyota and we would all be buying products from artisans and craftworkers. Thankfully, many people prefer to be part of a large organization and can be more productive when they get to focus on doing their job instead of worrying about developing a business plan or marketing strategy. Telling people that they are lucky to have a job creates an atmosphere of fear and worry that decreases job performance. Instead, tell your employees that the company is lucky to have such a skilled and committed workforce and people will take pride in their work and their company.

6. Increased Responsibility

We all know that some employees lack ambition and have no desire to advance on the job, but the vast majority of workers want a chance to take on more responsibility and add more value to the organization. Always be aware of opportunities for training that will equip your employees with the skills and tools they will need to advance in their career. Always try to fill open positions with internal applicants before looking for an outside candidate. This will create a culture of career development and preserve institutional memory and organizational knowledge so that it can be transferred to rising employees as they advance in their own career.

7. Good Wages

Robert Bosch, founder of the world’s largest automobile parts supplier, said, “I do not pay good wages because I have a lot of money; I have a lot of money because I pay good wages.” If you want motivated, high productive employees you have to pay such people according to their ability and performance. Good employees are motivated by more than just good wages, but never allow low wages to be the wedge a competitor can use to steal away your best people.

8. Good Working Conditions

If you want to get the most out of people you need to create an environment that facilitates success. At the minimum, you must offer a safe, clean, and sanitary work site. To get the most out of employees, help them take pride in their workspace, even if it is only a cubicle or workstation. Allow people to personalize their own work sites with photos or small trinkets so they will feel like they have a place that belongs solely to them.

9. Being Part of a Team

Being part of a dysfunctional team is an emotionally draining experience that results in low morale, low productivity, and high turnover. The great coach, Vince Lombardi, once remarked, “Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” We are all social beings and we all want to be part of a healthy team where we can give and receive support, help, and encouragement. Organizations can harness this natural human desire by aligning employee efforts to achieve goals that are mutually beneficial to both the organization and its employees.

10. Help with Personal Problems

How many times have you heard about a bad boss who told their employees to leave their problems at the door so they could focus on their job? Unfortunately, they probably left their motivation and productivity at the door as well. Smart managers know that it is not their job to be a counselor or therapist, but it is there job to recognize when one of their employees is having personal problems that are affecting their job performance. They need to have open lines of honest communication so that employees can feel encouraged to ask for help and then be directed to their Human Resources Department or their Employee Assistance Programs.

Source by Thomas Haizlip

Winning Betting Tips – 3 Secrets the Bookmakers Don’t Want You to Use For Betting and Winning Money

Winning betting systems, methods and tips can be found everywhere on the internet, but unsurprisingly, very few of these systems are ever likely to deliver on their promises of untold winnings from betting online. There are however, some methods and approaches that the bookmakers would rather you didn’t use. This article looks at some of these and how you should be taking advantage to increase your winnings. 

Winning Tip 1

Lets start with an old favourite, the “each way steal”. This is a bet that the bookies hate taking, but are obliged to do so. Basically, due to the way in which the place part of an “each-way” bet is calculated, in certain races the odds that a bookmaker has to pay out on a horse placing are much higher than the true statistical probability. To take advantage of this, it is possible to place the each-way bet and lay part of the win bet off on the betting exchanges, giving you a statistical return greater than the true odds. In essence you will have a long-term profitable edge. 

Winning Tip 2

The next tip to remember is that the bookies are looking to make as much money as possible, and advertise their bets accordingly. You should always try to avoid the bets that are heavily promoted by the bookmakers. These are usually multiple bets of some description, advertising a huge payout for winning bets, but with very little statistical chance of success. You are much better off, and will be much more profitable, sticking to straightforward single bets, especially in markets such as tennis or football. 

Winning Tip 3

One exception to this “bookie advertising” rule however, is with regard to the bonuses bookmakers advertise in order to encourage people to join up and start placing bets. They are obviously looking to offset the cost of the joining bonus with the winnings they expect to make from your losing bets over the long-term. But if you are disciplined, it is possible to place the required bet with your bonus money, and place the opposite back or lay on the exchanges to “cash-in” the free bet. Many people make a decent monthly income moving from bookmaker to bookmaker doing this, before returning to take advantage of further “re-load” or one-off bonuses. 

This, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are prepared to make the effort, remain disciplined, and follow a strategic approach to your betting, it is perfectly possible to make consistent long-term profits from betting using many different approaches. The bookies make their profits using the application of statistics and probability, now it’s your turn to use these weapons against them.

Source by Paul M Ellis

Writing Contests – 10 Tips and Advantages For Participating in a Writing Contest

Are you a beginning writer or an experienced author and want to establish yourself as an authority expert in your field of knowledge?

When you enter a writing contest, you gain experience, and hopefully, you get feedback on your writing.

If you choose to enter a writing contest, there are many advantages that a writing competition can offer you. Let’s look at 10 tips and advantages that will help your writing career soar, while bringing attention to your name, and helping you earn extra cash, perks, or bonuses in the process.

1. Entering a writing contest gets your creative juices flowing.

Good creative writing contests have a defined topic or theme that helps a writer focus on what needs to be written. Some writers need a creative boost to encourage them to sit down and write.

2. When you enter a writing contest, you improve your ability to set a deadline and deliver the content on schedule.

One of the biggest challenges a new writer faces is dedicating the time to their own writing projects. When a writer pays money to enter a writing contest, that writer is more apt to create the document and submit it to a contest.

3. Getting recognized for your writing establishes you as an authority figure, and gives you exposure.

When you win, place, or receive an Honorable Mention in a writing contest, that “win” gives you recognition in the industry, and a definite forward push in the resume department where you can brag about your well-earned accomplishments.

4. Writing contests challenge you to believe in yourself and the writing skills that you possess.

When you listen to that inner voice that urges you to move forward with your writing career, that challenge is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

5. Many writing contests will post a list of the top 10 or 20 honorable mentions, which gets your name out there for possible new revenue streams.

Regardless if a writing contest charges a fee or not, the advantage is writing the piece, submitting it, and winning…even if it’s just a credit to your name that you entered the contest and did better than the majority of writers. You’ve achieved a name for yourself, and you can make money when people know you for your writing or the topics you write about.

6. When you follow the contest guidelines, rules, and regulations, you have a 90 percent better chance to win than most of the entrants.

This aspect alone is one of the top 10 reasons why writers’ submissions are rejected in a writing contest. What is so difficult about following the rules, or creating a checklist for the items you must do before submitting your entry?

7. When placing in the top 3 positions in any writing competition, you have a valuable edge and credential that you can add to your writing resume.

Do you remember when you were in grade school and you did something so remarkable that your teacher praised you in front of the entire class? Entering a writing contest and winning it is like being in grade school…except that you can earn money from winning a contest, and you’ve earned another selling point to add to your resume.

8. Entering a writing contest opens the doors for more cash and writing assignments.

Let’s face it; when you enter a writing competition, you can win cash, valuable prizes, and even paid writing assignments, based on your contest entry. Does it get any easier than that?

9. Entering a writing contest boosts your self-confidence, which encourages you to write more pages.

It’s not a question of whether you won or didn’t win a writing contest. The point is that you entered the contest, you paid your fee, and you wrote your entry. Why is that important? Entering a writing contest and actually completing everything on the checklist helps to boost your morale. If nothing else, you now know that you have the skills and motivation to write more articles, enter more contests, or write your book.

10. When you enter a writing contest and win one of the top 3 prizes, you can easily earn cash or publishing prizes that could launch your writing career.

The cold hard truth is that if you don’t get recommended by someone, or put your writing out there for the world to read, or attempt to enter any contests, no one will find you. However, by just entering one great writing contest you could earn cash, valuable services, prizes, and writing assignments that you never dreamed possible.

Source by Candace Sinclair

7 Hot Deer Hunting Tips For Taking Big Whitetail Bucks

Looking to harvest that elusive big buck? Are you sold out to getting one or do you just dream about it? There is no education better than being out in the wilds seeing, experiencing, reading signs, adjusting to seasons, weather and other factors. You must understand that your ability to harvest a big buck will completely rely on your willingness to adjust your thinking, your tactics and your determination to find and ultimately harvest that animal you have your mind set on. Let start:

1. Taking Big Bucks Requires Exceptional Tactics. You will not bag a trophy buck by using standard techniques like everyone else. In fact, it probably does not matter if there are big bucks in the area you hunt. The truth is that if you’re using all the normal tactics you will not get the monster. The really BIG bucks are old bucks. They do not grow old by falling prey to the normal tactics the majority of hunters use. Make sense?

2. You must hunt where big bucks live! It is so obvious, yet how many days or seasons have you spent hunting in areas where you never saw a really big buck? You must realize that not all areas hold even one really big buck, let alone a few. But it is a fact that some parts of different counties in the country hold many large bucks within a given area due to quite a few factors. Things like cover, food sources and other nutrition, hunting pressure, and genetics play a huge role in finding areas that hold big bucks. We sometimes deceive ourselves. We HOPE they are there. If your overriding goal is to find that monster – you need to find out where they are and hunt there. You cannot shoot what does not exist.

3. Be selective in what you shoot – do not shoot small bucks. Think about this – in most cases after you harvest your buck you are done for the season – so if your goal is to shoot a monster why do you harvest a smaller one? Let the smaller ones go, let them mature into bigger bucks, and wait for your monster to appear. Most veteran hunters that shoot big bucks will tell you that the larger bucks follow the smaller ones out – the big ones are much more weary. That is how they get to be monsters. If you are satisfied with shooting a smaller buck than you set your goal to shoot, then you are compromising and your interest and desire are lacking. If you are committed to taking the big one, do not take the first buck you see unless it meets your goal!

4. You will find that big bucks will frequently have wet feet. Huh? Yep – find areas where there is a creek bottom or lowland wet areas such as a swamp and other wetlands. Talk to the experienced hunters who have shot big bucks…. most of them will tell you that big bucks like to frequent the heavy cover and are loners in these areas. They like the thick cover the wetlands produce because it gives them security. Also, deer are excellent swimmers. It is nothing for them to swim major rivers, let alone creeks and lakes. When pressure increases the big bucks head for cover.

5. Let the experienced and successful hunters be your role models. It is no different than any sport or avocation. If you want to be great, if you want the big prize, if you really want that big buck you need to learn and do what other successful whitetail hunters have done to harvest their big bucks. While no situation is identical, remember that the 1% or 2% of the top deer hunters are very disciplined and have developed methods and skills that work consistently. They know and talk to others about deer locations, sightings, behavior, etc. Luck has helped some over time but by and large the hunters who take the big ones year after year know things you do not. Or perhaps they are more persistent.

6. Big, Old Bucks are unique and you must adjust your hunting accordingly. Some say you have to treat them like a different animal or a different species if you’re going to take one. Besides being older, they are wiser, heavier, more mellow, slower, and much more deliberate in their actions. The fact that they got to 4, 5, or 6 years old is an indication that they found a safe way to exist and avoid the hunters. These big boys will not typically run at the slightest pressure – they may hold tight. I have heard story after story about how smart the old bucks can be – they will swim, crawl, hold tight in cover, and use their natural color and stealth methods to avoid even the most experienced hunters. You must use different tactics for these big boys.

7. Hunt long and often. There is no exception to this rule. Big bucks are seldom taken by hunters who don’t spend lots of time in the field. If you only hunt a couple hours in the morning and a couple more in the evening you’re missing some of the best hours to bag a big buck! Lots of B+C bucks are taken in the late morning and noon hours. Surprised? Also, during the rut lots of big bucks have been seen checking their scrapes during the noon hour.

Get out in the field, scout those areas, then plan your approach and tactics. There’s so much more to deer hunting tactics and methods but these 7 Hot tips are a start.

Source by Chas Hicks

How to Start a Used Book Exchange

Used book exchanges are a great way to share information within the local community. Planning the details of the book exchange in writing is important. Simply winging it may create unnecessary problems and expenses. Giving the book exchange some structure will help define the book club goals. Here are some tips on how to start a used book exchange.

Written Plan

Write a statement or purpose that discloses the goals and purpose of the book exchange. Decide who the book exchange is for. Is the book exchange public or private? Established organizations can create a book club that will allow members and their families to participate. Examples or established organizations are schools, clubs, religious organizations, and being a member of a specific home owners association.

If the exchange is open to everyone? Think about which members of the community will be most likely to respond to this invitation. Start with flyers in book stores, coffee shops, college dorms, libraries, and in local businesses. Will the exchange be completely in person, online, or both?


The creator of the exchange is in charge. It is up to the creator to decide if all books are accepted, or if it caters to a specific type. This may be sci-fi, romance, historical romance, mystery, thriller, nonfiction, self help, religious, hobby, or how to books.


Know exactly what the costs are to run the used book exchange. There may be numerous local businesses that will agree to store the books and host meetings for free. Some locations may be able to accommodate a specific number of guests and provide refreshments for a flat rate per event. Established organizations may already have access to one or more areas to host members of the exchange. There are many buffet restaurants that have private rooms available to groups. The management may give a group discount if the event is held on a certain day of the week when business is usually slow.

Low Budget

If there is limited funds and no venues are willing to host for free try other options. Consider reserving a room in a local community center, neighborhood coffee house, or public library. Go to the Chamber of Commerce and ask for a list of venues that have very inexpensive rental rates.

Visit more than one location to find the best location to hold the exchange. The book exchange may be at a different public place each month. It could be held at a different member’s home each month. Become creative if there is no funding for the hosting of book exchange events.


How will excess books be stored? The book exchange is based on the idea that one or more books can traded for another book. This idea will not stop people from bringing multiple books. Established businesses may donate hundreds of books unexpectedly to the book exchange.

Book Storage

Decide in advance exactly how extra books will be cared for. Ensure that the storage conditions are conducive to not destroying the books. Leaving the books in an opened bag or unsealed bin may cause damage if anything is spilled accidentally or there is too much moisture in the air.

Annual Sale

When there are too many books for any one member to comfortably store, will there be a book sale? This open to the public sale can help attract new members and provide profits. These profits can be used for a special event or to add multiple copies of a certain book for a book club or further discussion. The money raised can help offset costs for book exchange events. Decide in advance if the book exchange is for profit or non profit. Profits made over a certain amount may need to be deposited into an account in the Book Exchange name. Contact an accountant or lawyer for help setting up a legal structure.

Online Presence

Create an online presence by setting up a blog and social networking account. The blog lets the public know when the exchange is held, and how donations are accepted. Use twitter to update public of new events, blog posts, and book requests. Log onto the social networking websites and put out a few different friend requests each day with people that have similar interest. These are the interests that are in alignment with the written purpose of the exchange. Create an email address to receive all incoming inquires. Purchase a domain name so the blog and email address appears professional. There is software available to allow registered users to exchange books over the internet.

Start a club on Face Book or other social networking platforms. When local people look for a book exchange they can easily find out information. Don’t be afraid to reach out to group members online. Ask critical thinking questions related to a specific book or author. The comments and replies will bring more attention to the group. Be professional and treat all members and comments respectfully. Use these tips to help start a thriving used exchange.

Source by Mike Hunter

7 Easy Suggestions for Celebrating National Book Blitz Month in January

How many times have you started reading a book with all good intentions of completing it within a timely manner, yet only to find that you have bookmarked a page and forgotten to pick the book back up in weeks or sometimes months? It’s time to rededicate yourself to completing a book or two as we celebrate National Book Blitz Month in January.

Here are 7 simple tips for getting into the swing of the celebration:

1. Set a book-reading goal on how many books you want to read this month. If you are only trying to read one, take the number of pages in the book, divide it by the number of days in the month, then commit to reading at least that number of pages per day. If you can read more than the designated number of pages, the quicker you will get through the book.

2. Begin a personal library. Start by collecting books that you love to read. Gradually add reference books and other genres to give your reading routine versatility. Library book sales and garage sales are some good places to find inexpensive books to add to your collection.

3. Confer with writing groups, book clubs or publishers’ lists of recommended reads to find books that you would be interested in reading and adding to your collection.

4. Get a reading accountability buddy who will help you to stay on track of your set reading goals. You will reciprocate by doing the same thing for them. Having a partner will help you stay committed and hold you accountable for your reading goals.

5. Book swapping is another great idea to help save money on purchasing so many. If you have friends or family who enjoy reading, you can swap out a book or two with them.

6. Attend area book and poetry readings during the month. Mingle with other attendees as well as with the author at these events.

7. Tap into the best format that you enjoy reading books. Whether it’s an e-book, on your Kindle, iPad, an audio book or in the traditional hardback and paperback versions, indulge in the format that you prefer.

The newness of the new year is such a refreshing time to embrace the essence of books and to learn more about their authors. National Book Blitz Month is a perfect time to get started and commit to the beauty of reading.

Source by Kym Gordon Moore

Writing a Child Story: 8 Elements to Consider

While writing an entertaining child story is obviously more art than science, most successful child stories pay attention to the following 8 elements.

#1: Theme

A good child story has an underlying theme. The underlying theme of “Peter and the Wolf,” for example, is “don’t tell lies” or “be honest.” The underlying theme of “The Sneetches” by Dr. Seuss is “don’t be racist” or “all (Sneetches) are created equal.” A theme can be the moral of the story, or an insight or viewpoint that the story conveys. Common themes are courage, love, perseverance, friendship, etc.

As an underlying theme, the theme usually emerges subtly as the story unfolds. A direct statement of the theme usually comes across as preachy and uninteresting. Remember what your high school English teacher used to say: “show, don’t tell!”

Also, keep your theme positive and constructive. Your story may be sad, but make sure it’s not negative, cynical or depressing!

#2: Plot and Pace

Plot is what happens in a story. Pace is the speed at which the story develops.

Generally, a simple chronological unfolding of events works best for storybooks (no flashbacks or complicated jumping around in time).

The plot usually revolves around a dominant problem or conflict which the main character must resolve. The problem or conflict may be with another character, with circumstances or even internal to the main character (e.g. overcoming their own fears).

The plot usually proceeds through phases: beginning of the conflict, initial success or difficulties, further difficulties or reversals, final resolution or victory, and outcome. As the story progresses through these phases the conflict becomes more intense and increases the dramatic tension, until it the story climaxes and the conflict is resolved.

For the most part, the main character succeeds or fails through his or her own efforts. In fact, it is through this process that the character learns or grows, and this lesson or growth typically conveys the theme.

TIP: Create a thumbnail layout/mockup of your text. This way you’ll be able to better judge how your story unfolds and its optimal pacing.

Proper pacing of your story is essential. Too slow and the reader/listener will lose interest, too fast and they won’t have time to get excited or they will miss important details.

The pace in storybooks should be fairly brisk without “rushing.” Avoid lengthy introductions or descriptions of the setting. Start the action immediately from the beginning and bring the story promptly to a close at the end.

Even more so than adults, children appreciate action. So, keep the pace of your story fairly quick by using action and unfolding events. Don’t get bogged down in lengthy descriptions or reflections. Again, “show, don’t tell!”

#3: Narrative Voice and Point of View

Narrative voice is the viewpoint from which the story is told. Most stories are told either in the “first person” (from the perspective of “I”, “I did this”) or “third person” (from the perspective of “They”, “They did that”). If you choose to write from the first person perspective, you’ll need to decide which character is the narrator. Whichever point of view you choose, make sure that you stick with it. Jumping from one point of view to another can be very confusing.

TIP: Study storybooks similar to yours or the books of a publisher you’re targeting to see what narrative voice they use.

#4: Characters

Creating interesting characters is as important as developing a solid plot. The more readers can relate to your characters, the more they will like your storybook.

So, how do you make your characters come alive? As with real people, characters come alive when they have real characteristics: personality traits, quirks, physical traits, mannerisms, a certain way of talking, fears, joys, motivations, etc. If you had to describe yourself or your best friend in a few words, what would the salient characteristics be? Try to identify one major character trait and a few minor ones for each character. Write out brief profiles if that helps.

TIP: Apart from describing them, you can also reveal the characteristics of your characters by showing how they respond to situations, or through the way they talk.

An important point is to be consistent. A character should be “true to character” in order to be believable and gain the reader’s acceptance.

#5: Setting

Set your story in a place and time that will be interesting and/or familiar.

#6: Style and Tone

Remember your primary audience: children. Write accordingly, using (mostly) short words, short sentences and short paragraphs. Write simply and directly so you don’t lose your reader (also, don’t forget that a lot of children will only listen to your story as it’s read to them; it needs to be easy to listen to and understand like stories have been throughout time).

TIP: Before the written word, stories were transmitted orally. A good story still should “sound” good. So, try reading your story aloud. Does it flow naturally and capture the listener’s attention? Are there opportunities to use your voice (tone, loudness, etc.) to make the listener feel like they’re there with the characters?

Use direct quotes (e.g. “‘Jump!’ she said.”) instead of indirect quotes (e.g. “She told him to jump.”

What is the tone of your story? Is it an epic story? A funny, wacky story? An adventure story? A scary story?

Make your writing suit the atmosphere or tone that you wish to create.

#7: Dialogue

Read your dialogue out loud to make sure that it doesn’t sound stilted or unnatural. Does your character talk the way people would expect him to?

#8: Openings and Closings

You need to hook your reader from the beginning, so start your story with a “bang!”. You want people to finish reading your child story feeling satisfied so make sure that the main conflict or problem is resolved, even if the story doesn’t have a “happy” ending.

© 2005 Paul Arinaga. All Rights Reserved.

Source by Paul Arinaga

Conversation Tips – How to Start a Conversation With Your Grandmother and Her Elderly Friends

Grandma sits in her chair, silent, but happy to have you there. How do you start a conversation with an elderly person who is hard to talk to?

You ask her, “How was your day?”

She’s says, “Okay.”

“What did you have for lunch?”

[pause] “I can’t remember.”

She gives teensy answers to your questions, but that doesn’t mean she’s not willing to talk. What’s going on?

Diagnosis CRS. What is CRS?

It could be dementia. It could be CRS, which means Can’t Remember Stuff. 

Short-term memory being what it is in some older folks — that is, gone, lost, and sketchy — you’ll have a better chance of having a good conversation with the elderly if you go further back than breakfast, and even further than last weekend, which is already a blur in Grandma’s mind. Go back. Go way back. No, not to Genesis, that’s too far. 

Sarah Reed, a trustee with Britain’s Contact the Elderly charity, has gone back. As a result, she’s gotten old folks coming out of their shells and talking again. They’re not giving the usual one-word answers, or even short phrases. They’re really talking about what life was like when they were kids. The seniors even remembered their blue bicycles.

How Did Sarah Do It? 

Sarah had a brainstorm at her kitchen table. If flash cards work for kids, why couldn’t these work for seniors? She made sets of large cards with pictures of familiar scenes and objects from the 1940s. Popular with professional caregivers and families, these cards have sold thousands in Great Britain because they tickle old memories. 

You don’t have to buy a set from England because your local bookstore will have volumes of memorabilia by the decade. Time-Life Books used to have great picture books. See what you can find in old magazines such as Life and The Saturday Evening Post.  

And while you’re shopping, get some music you and grandma and her pals can sing along with.  

For More Conversation Resources, Stare at the Walls 

Are Grandma’s walls covered with family photos? Is there a scrapbook? Ask Grandma and Grandpa to share stories about the people and places in the pictures. The knickknacks around the room can start a good conversation, too. Is there any history about the family Bible, the silverware, a favorite hat? If you can’t find her wedding pictures, show her some generic wedding photos and ask about her big day and honeymoon.  

Bonus Tip: Conversation Topics Are All Around You  

When you’re visiting anyone at their home, start a conversation about the pictures, art, and accessories in the room. You’ll be surprised at the answers you get.

Source by Tracey E. Bennett

Keep Your Head Back and Behind the Ball Through Impact! Six Top Golf Pros Agree

Bobby Jones published golf tips in several newspaper columns back in the 1920’s. Fifty of these columns were compiled and printed in a book entitled The Best of Bobby Jones on Golf, published in 1996. Jones was quoted: “Stay behind the ball is a splendid maxim. Should your head ever get ahead of the ball, at any point in the swing, a poor shot will no doubt result.”

In Harvey Penick’s, The Little Red Book, published in 1992, page 75 is entitled “Stay Behind the Ball” “All great golfers move their head slightly backward before and during impact, but never forward. A golfer must stay behind the ball. I mean set up with your head behind the ball and keep your head behind the ball. If you move your head forward during your downswing or through impact, you will hit a wee, ugly shot, probably a pulled slice.”

Tommy Armour, in How to Play Your Best Golf All the Time, (1953) emphasizes: The cardinal principle of all golf shot making is that if you move your head, you ruin body action. In his 12 key points summary to his book, Armour lists key points 5, 10 and 12 identically as “keep your head steady.” Interestingly however, in all pictures of golfers’ swings throughout the book, the head is seen as behind the ball through the impact area.

David Leadbetter in 100% Golf, 2004, states: “the head and upper body stay behind the ball as you unswing and accelerate into impact.” Try to maintain your spine angle from the set up all the way to the moment of impact and don’t worry if your head has a little lateral movement. Your head and spine are behind the ball at impact.

Jack Nicklaus is the most steadfast about head movement. In his book Golf My Way (2005), Nicklaus offers this warning: “If you are hoping to improve your game through these pages, but can’t or won’t learn to keep your head steady throughout the swing, read no further. There is nothing I, or anyone else, can do for your golf game. Any shifting of the head, at any point from address to impact, will alter the arc and plane of the swing, which, if not a totally destructive factor, is certainly a complicating one.” All swing pictures of Jack show his head to be held steady, but also well behind the ball until after impact.

Like many golfers, I have tried dozens of tips and instructional techniques, all to little or no avail. It was not until I focused on this aspect of the swing, did I finally break 80, and that was at age 65. Since then, I have broken 80 several times and I am finally able to enjoy the game. Learning to keep the head back was not easy. It required considerable practice, much of which was done without hitting balls. New muscle memory had to be learned and such was not easy, particularly at my age. But with tactile feedback to the head, the bad habit of “looking up” could be overcome.

Tiger Woods published his book, How I Play Golf, in 2007 and already it has become a bestseller. He writes: “Impact should look like address. My spine angle is the same and my head is in virtually the same spot.” The accompanying picture shows his head to be well behind the ball. He concludes: “It proves how uncomplicated the golf swing can be.”

What makes the golf swing complicated is the often contradictory instruction that can be found in print and by word of mouth. Some pros will teach that the head should remain steady throughout the swing. Some will preach that it is OK to have some backward or lateral movement on the backswing and just before impact. Others will say to keep your eye on the ball. But NONE will suggest that the head come up, or move forward of the ball until after impact. As written above, most if not all pros will agree that the head MUST stay back and behind the shot through the impact zone.

Source by Bob Doyle

How To Write a Book Foreword: Step by Step

The Foreword is an Important Selling Tool

The foreword of a book can, and should be, a very important selling tool for the book. If it is written properly, and by the appropriate person for the job, you and the book’s author will gain a lot of credibility in the reader’s eyes. I have assembled some information about the foreword that will give you a basic idea about what should typically be included. It is important to remember that the author of the book usually should not write the foreword. Instead, the author of the book can use the preface as well as the introduction to say what needs to be said about the book.

The Foreword Establishes Credibility

Forewords introduce the reader to the author, as well as the book itself, and attempt to establish credibility for both. A foreword does not generally provide the reader any extra specific information about the book’s subject but instead serves as a reminder of why the reader should read the book. Writing a foreword can be a lot of work, but it can prove beneficial for the author of the foreword as well as the author of the book. With the foreword, you are trying to make an emotional connection with the reader. You want the reader to like you and your story. This will help get the reader to believe and trust what you have to say about the book’s author and the book itself.

The Typical Foreword is Short and to the Point

Typically a foreword is one to two pages in length – 750 to 1,500 words. As the author of the foreword, you can go longer if you have an interesting story to tell about the book’s author or about the book itself. There should be four sections of a foreword: the introduction; the middle, or main body; the conclusion; and then the name of the foreword’s author.

1. Foreword Introduction: Introduce yourself and your connection to the book’s author

The first section should introduce yourself in a few short sentences and then describe the connection you have with the author and the book. If you don’t know the author personally, explain how important the message of the book is for the reader. This provides credibility to the author of the book. Making a foreword personal also lets the reader make an emotional connection. Remind readers who you are. Tell them what you are famous for. Tell them why you are the right person to be writing the foreword for this book.

2. Foreword Middle: Discuss the book and why this author is the best one to write this book

The middle section should explain the contents and benefits of the book to the reader. The reader should know why the book is relevant to him. Therefore, you should give the reader an intriguing reason why this particular book is unique or important. Connect the book to experiences that a reader might face in everyday life. Mention the good points about the book and what the readers will get out of reading it. Be sure to give a very brief synopsis of the book. Try to use short anecdotes about the book and the author. This could be anything from a chance meeting with the author to a realization that the book was able to help you solve a problem. Try to include a real-world example that illustrates the theme of the book. This is a way to show the reader that the author of the book is credible on the subject matter.

3. Foreword Conclusion: Remind readers why you are writing the foreword and why it matters

In the conclusion, remind the readers why you are writing the foreword, and why it matters. This is important for both the author’s career as well as your own career. For the author, it will boost the credibility of the book and help sell more copies. For you, it will remind the public of your career and improve your credibility for your next book or article. This will keep readers motivated to continue on to the book because you, the expert, is telling them that the book is a worth reading. Bring the foreword full circle. If at all possible, you should reference something from your first paragraph in your final paragraph. This will add cohesiveness to your foreword.

4. Sign Your Name

Type your name at the bottom of the foreword. After your name, add your title. If you have several titles, add the most relevant one. You can also add the title of your most recent, or most famous, book that you have written. Then add the city where you live, and the year.


It is essential that you remember that the foreword of a book is a very important selling tool for the book. It must establish credibility for the author and the book. It must be short and concise. You can help make the reader want to read the book by making an emotional connection with the reader. Talk to the reader as if you were talking to a friend. Keep it engaging and tell an interesting story.

Source by Joseph C Kunz, Jr