How to Give Dynamic Stress Management Presentations – Part 1

Depending on your line of work, you may be called upon to give a stress management presentation or organize a workshop. Usually, the person who gives a stress management workshop is a public speaker, physician, counselor, or Yoga teacher.

Who should be the speaker in a stress management seminar or workshop? You are looking for someone who is outgoing, knowledgeable, full of positive energy, works well with the public, and can communicate clearly. This same person should be able to give solutions to stress reduction “off the top of his or her head.”

Depending upon your familiarity with stress management, time for preparation, and how comfortable you are with giving a presentation, you may be the best qualified person for the task. Public speaking challenges are many, but all are manageable. Each component of a presentation can be prepared and refined, until you have a “masterpiece.” When you have given a few stress management presentations, you can refine any components that are “weak.” You will know what parts of a presentation are weak by the reactions of your audience.

Research and identify with the line of work. As an example: Health care workers, customer service, and manufacturers, each experience stress, but their jobs create unique stress situations. With this in mind, make yourself familiar with the every day stress situations that go with the particular jobs in your audience.

Preparation and research are part of every presentation, but after your first presentation on stress management, you will have a template to build on, improve, and constantly revise. You should speak in terms that will be familiar to your specific audience. For example: As collective groups, health care workers, teachers, and customer service representatives, have their own interests and jargon.

You will want to provoke interest, understanding, and participation. At the same time, you want your specific audience to respond favorably. You must also anticipate reaction to your presentation. Therefore, make sure that your points are reasonable and have credible resources; you will receive a favorable reaction from your target audience.

Your speaking voice can be worked for projection, clarity, and pitch. Many people are unhappy to hear the sound of their speaking voice played back through a recording device, but most of us can work our unique voice to get the most out of it. By using a mirror, audio recorder, digital recorder, or video recorder, you can get the most out of your voice.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Negotiation Skills Training Proves Useful in Many Careers

Choosing a career are very difficult. It is not easy trying to figure out what a person wants to do for the rest of their life that is profitable and they would be good at. Negotiation skills training is something that is useful for many different kinds of careers.

There are a lot of things that get negotiated in everyday life. Someone are buying a house or a car and want to get the best deal. It is very important to negotiate the price of these items.

There are many situations where people are able to negotiate what they are buying – i.e. the price of a good, their salary is, and more. Everybody is a different reason for wanting a better deal. There are many things that people can get a better deal on just by knowing how to negotiate.

Training on this is very important in many different kinds of jobs. Sales jobs are just one example that requires someone good at negotiation. This is because salespeople have to know how to keep people from getting something for too low of a price, but they don’t want to lose sales either.

In negotiation skills training, people learn how to deal with many situations. There are several different types of skills that participants can learn and it’s particularly effective because they are practice what them.

Preparation is very important for negotiation. People need to make sure that to ask and answer questions and to make counter offers. They should know what the lowest price that they could accept on something would be – their walk away.

Many of these training sessions outside of the workplace. They are purposely done in places where people are able to concentrate on the training. The staff that is doing the training will have a lot of experience in dealing with many situations.

It is a fun training session for some people. They will get to see what happens when things go right. They will also get to see what happens when things go wrong. But most importantly they practice in a safe environment.

It is very important that people are able to hold their own when they are in this situation. They will learn how to argue both sides. It is important to stay calm through this but to also stay firm with the offer in many situations.

There are times when one are flexible with the price. Other people cannot afford too flexible. Every situation will very important to know what is negotiable.

Everybody will negotiate at some point in their life. They can choose to take that opportunity or just give in to the other person. One of the best methods is to use a planning tool to get themselves ready for these situations.

Each training session will give the attendees the opportunity to use life situations to figure out their own skills. Knowing how much a person knows about this will help them be more open to learning from the session. There are many habits, skills, or tools that they will learn and make them better and more confident.

Negotiation skills training offers people the skills that they need to succeed in more than just business. This is very important for a successful negotiation of anything.

Presenting – Gene Domagala – A Human Convenience Store of Charity and Community Involvement in Toron

One of the lessons travel has taught me is to not only get to know the beauty of the foreign places, but to appreciate the uniqueness of home. The more I travel, the more I have fallen in love with my chosen home town, Toronto, a city that offers a myriad of possibilities for travelers and residents alike.

In this spirit I have embarked on a path towards a series of articles and photo exhibitions to explore and celebrate my chosen home town. A batch of recent visitors from Europe has confirmed to me that Toronto is a great city, as each one of my visitors have ended up falling in love with this city, intending to come back and to get to know the Big Smoke better.

One of my visitors’ and my own personal favourites is Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood, or, as most local residents call it “The Beach”. It is a beautiful neighbourhood, located – you guessed it – right on the shores of Lake Ontario, and it has the feel of an ocean-front resort community combined with the ambience of a small town from yesteryear, with its dozens of individually owned stores, galleries and restaurants.

But what makes any neighbourhood special is not just its physical characteristics, its buildings and its architecture – it’s the people that make the difference. Every community has its key personalities, its human pillars, and my mission has been to search out the individuals that stand out through their commitment to the community. Often these are the unsung heroes who dedicate so much of their personal time to help others while shunning the limelight.

My quest for community heroes began with a meeting with local representatives and experts on the Beaches, which included Deborah Etsten from the Beach Business Improvement Association, and Michael Prue, the Provincial Member of Parliament representing the Beaches/East York neighbourhoods. Both of these experts pointed to Gene Domagala as one of the key people in the Beach community.

On one of the first really wintery days in Toronto, just a few days before New Years, I met Gene at a real local landmark: the Toronto Beaches Library. We met near the checkout counter where Gene introduced me to Barbara Weissman, the head librarian, who would later help me with some of my research by compiling relevant materials about the Beach.

Gene’s charitable spirit immediately became obvious as we stepped out of the library when he promised to get a cup of coffee for a local homeless man in a wheelchair who had set himself up just outside the library. Gene regularly helps out in local drop-in centres who open their doors to the homeless on different days of the week.

After dropping off the coffee Gene introduced me to one of Toronto’s most beloved outdoor spaces: Kew Gardens, originally created by one of the first settlers in this area. Joseph Williams and his wife Jane bought a four acre property in 1853 to turn it into farmland. Joseph, originally from London, England, always had fond memories of Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanical Gardens in London, and in this spirit he named his property “Kew Farms”. In 1879 he opened a twenty acre pleasure ground, suitable for camping and picknicking which he named “The Canadian Kew Gardens”. Gene explained that as a teetotaler, Joseph Williams would serve meals and refreshments, but definitely no alcoholic beverages.

A well-used bandstand anchors the park and Gene pointed out a dedication to a lifelong resident of East Toronto, Alex Christie (1917 – 1992) whose actions improving the community received permanent appreciation in the plaque adorning the bandstand.

A few steps eastwards is the Dr. William D. Young Memorial, a Renaissance style drinking fountain which was erected in 1920 to commemorate a local doctor who had dedicated himself to public service, and in particular, to the wellbeing of children in the area. Gene pointed out that when Dr. Young passed away in 1919, he was almost penniless.

We strolled south on Lee Avenue, the main north-south artery in the Beach, and Gene pointed out a former hotel with 13 rooms, today a private residence. For well over a hundred years, the Beach has been a popular recreation area, and from the late 1800s onwards, people used to come from downtown Toronto in steamers to enjoy the serenity and outdoor opportunities offered by the Beach.

By the late 1800s the Williams family had subdivided their plot and built an entire subdivision of homes in parts of today’s Kew Gardens. Joseph and Jane Williams’ son, Kew Williams, had built a house adjoining Lee Avenue for his own family. According to Gene, the grey stone was brought in by barge from Kingston, Ontario. To the Williams family’s dismay, the City of Toronto expropriated their property in 1907 to create a large park.

All of the residences built in the park were demolished with the exception of the Kew Williams House, which today is also referred to as the Gardener’s cottage, the only residential building west of Lee Avenue still standing in Kew Gardens. Gene mentioned that one of Kew Williams’ daughters never set foot inside of the house until about 12 years ago, in memory of the traumatic experience that her family had gone through.

From the foot of Lee Avenue we went southwards where Gene pointed out that years ago, the waterfront at the beach was composed of a sandy barrier island with a stretch of water flowing just inland. This inland river was later filled in. More than 100 years ago, the waterfront would have been full of cottages and houses. Today this area is a large public park with a wide sandy beach. Gene’s extensive history knowledge (he has written more than 300 articles for the local Beach Metro Community News) touched on the Kew Beach Club which existed here from 1903 and was demolished around 1930. The activities at the club included bowling, tennis and water sports. Numerous photos of the era show hundreds of canoes in the water and thousands of people partaking of various water sports. Three major amusement parks also adorned the Beaches at different times, all of which were demolished long ago. Landowners more than 120 years ago recognized the potential of this waterfront area for entertainment.

Throughout its history, the Beach has also been a centre of physical recreation. Even today there are facilities for lawn bowling, tennis, a big public swimming pool, a boathouse for canoes, hundreds of permanently anchored wooden posts for beach volleyball, the boardwalk and the Martin Goodman all-purpose recreational trail which are widely used by joggers, cyclists and rollerbladers. For about a century now, the Balmy Beach Club has been a recreational institution at the east end of the neighbourhood. Kite-flying on blustery spring and fall days is also a popular practice along the long sandy beach. Dog lovers flock to this area as well due to its extensive off-leash areas where they can let their furry friends run free.

On this cold and windy winter day, Gene took his big bundle of keys and opened the seniors’ room next to the club house of the Beaches Lawn Bowling Club so we would be able to continue our conversation sheltered from the icy breeze. Once inside, Gene showed me a variety of oversize photo boards that illustrate the history of the Beach. He explained that the original Bell Telephone Exchange for the Beach neighbourhood is located at the north east corner of Queen and Lee, and years ago was converted into a residential apartment building. After showing me various historic views of the area he also mentioned the Victoria Park Forest School that was dedicated to sickly children to help them regain their health. The Forest School was closed in 1932 due to the construction of the R.C. Harris Water Filtration Plant.

As we were talking all of a sudden the doors of the building opened, and we had an unexpected visitor. Angela Miller, a foreperson for the Toronto Parks and Recreation Department had entered to see what was going on, and this was a perfect opportunity to find out more about the City’s role in the upkeep of the Beach. Angela explained that her unit is responsible for maintenance, garbage pickup and special events in the area which spans about 80 acres. In the summer she runs a crew of 14 full-time workers while in the winter Angela and her colleague Laurie are the only ones permanently entrusted with the maintenance of the public parks in this area. Laurie went on to say that the area requires a lot of upkeep due to the frequent special events that are being held here. Virtually every weekend there is a permit for a special event, and big events like the Beaches Jazz Festival require a lot of setup in advance and extensive cleanups on a daily basis.

The logistics of public events are sometimes underestimated, and especially in a popular and busy area like the Beach, seemingly simple questions of maintenance and garbage removal are of critical importance to residents and visitors alike. Gene and I headed back out into the cold and we briefly stopped off at the skating rink that was busy with a group of hockey fanatics. In the summer this facility is used for roller hockey and lacrosse.

We then walked up Waverley Road, and Gene pointed out one of the many historic homes in the Beaches: a residential property called Inglenook, which was originally the Charles Frederick Wagner House, built around 1900 and saved from demolition by a local petition. Just a few steps away is the John Wright House, constructed just 3 years later in the popular Queen Anne Revival style as one of the first mixed-use residential-commercial properties on Queen Street East. Today the building features a storefront that hides the original north façade.

Gene pointed out that houses were originally set back from Queen Street and the front lawns were later filled in with commercial storefronts. We continued our walk westwards on Queen Street and entered the Beaches Mall, a large building that used to be called the Allen Theatre, one of several historic theatres in the Beach, all of which are still standing and most of which have been refunctioned. Only the Fox Theatre, Toronto’s longest continuously running movie theatre, is still used for its original purpose.

A few steps further west at the intersection of Kippendavie Avenue and Queen Street is a beautiful historic building that today holds one of my favourite restaurants in the Beach: Nevada’s. This is the former Home Bank of Toronto building, a financial institution created by famous Toronto entrepreneur Henry Pellatt, builder of Casa Loma. The name of the bank can still faintly be seen under the painted sign on the façade.

A few steps south on Kenilworth is the former Kenilworth Avenue Baptist Church that was converted into a synagogue in 1920 and named the Beach Hebrew Institute. Often this building is referred to as the Beaches Shul. Sure enough, Gene had the key and we entered this historic building. The original church façade was considerably altered to more closely resemble the architecture of synagogues in small Eastern European communities. In the early years, during a time when local residents were not particularly hospitable to Jewish citizens, the term “synagogue” was intentionally omitted in the name of this place of worship. Today the Beach Hebrew Institute is a small welcoming institution without a rabbi whose members lead the prayers and are very active in the community.

Just up the street, across from Nevada’s Ristorante, the former Whitelock’s Grocery Store has morphed into today’s Whitlock Restaurant (which, by the way, features a delicious brunch), and is one of the few wooden corner buildings left in Toronto. With a growling stomach and all these wonderful restaurants around I persuaded Gene to go for lunch, and we headed into another institution in the Beach: Lick’s, a restaurant that features a variety of burgers, salads and one of my favourites: poutine (a popular sloppy yet yummy French-Canadian concoction of French fries, gravy and cheese curds).

Gene and I headed upstairs and sat down for a chat when he showed me his home-knitted sweater featuring “Centre 55″, a local community centre that serves the Beach / East York neighbourhood. Gene regularly helps with their Christmas activities which feature the “Christmas Hamper” where more than 900 needy families in the Beach receive a hamper full of goods including ham or turkey, milk, bread, pasta and toys for the children. Gene has volunteered for this organization for the last 25 years.

He is also very active with the Toronto Star Santa Claus Fund, a Christmas initiative that involves volunteers delivering boxes full of Christmas gifts to needy families. He has been delivering Star Boxes for about 47 years now in the Parkdale area. Gene Domagala traces his commitment to charity back to his mother who used to cook for poor people in this west-end Toronto neighbourhood. Gene’s parents were Polish immigrants who settled in the Bathurst and Queen area, and even as a child Gene got exposed to children of all different backgrounds and nationalities. All the children played together in this poor neighbourhood. Gene continues this spirit of inclusion today with his anti-racism work.

His interest in history was stoked early when he played with a bunch of boys in Toronto’s historic Fort York. Gene attended a technical high school and by his own admission, Gene realized early that his future would not lie in the trades. His favourite person in high school was his social studies teacher who got him a subscription to TIME Magazine. He also was inspired by the history teacher and the librarian. Gene’s early interest in history has resulted in hundreds of articles on local history. In addition, Gene regularly provides historical walks in the Beach that have become so popular that they are often attended by dozens of people.

After high school Gene worked in a variety of odd jobs, including a job at the CNE. Several years later he started working at the Boy’s Club, a non-profit organization operated by the Knights of Columbus in Little Italy, where he became the program director. His knack for organization and community work became evident early in life.

Gene explains that he was supposed to attend a program for social work at George Brown College but ended up taking a program in architecture instead and then worked for many years for a Toronto engineering firm until he was downsized in the early 1990s. Gene’s life hasn’t been easy, his two twin adult daughters suffer from Asperger’s syndrome, a neuro-biological developmental disorder, and over the years Gene has had to become an expert on mental health. He is also a board member of an organization called “Friends of the Shopping Bag Lady”, a drop-in centre for women at 416 Dundas Street. During the early part of the 1990s Gene spent some time in court to fight for custody of his grandchild and now looks after his granddaughter Siobhon. Since that time Gene has dedicated himself on a full-time basis to his family and to his extensive charitable and community work. Gene is not a wealthy man, which makes his commitment to others even more admirable.

Gene’s eyes light up when he tells me about his proudest moment: when he was invited to become a member of the Toronto Historical Board. He even had a chance to meet the Queen Mother during one of the organization’s functions. Gene has been actively involved in a variety of historical preservation projects, including salvaging the Leuty Lifeguard Station, probably the most well-known landmark in the Beach. The structure had been ravaged by time and by the early 1990s it was deemed to be structurally unsound. Gene was one of the concerned citizens who started talking with the city and initiated numerous fundraising events to start the restoration of the Leuty Lifesaving Station.Various special events, music nights, a volleyball tournament, and sales of t-shirts, buttons and mugs ended up raising tens of thousands of dollars. Of the total cost of about $95,000, about 40% came from the community while the City of Toronto contributed about 60%. Gene is always one of the people at the forefront of community developments and initiatives.

Gene’s other local involvements include the Spring Sprint, a fundraiser started 20 years ago by the Beaches Recreation Centre. He also is one of the volunteers at Slobberfest, a special event for dog lovers held once a year on a Saturday afternoon in June, that includes such humorous activities as pet/owner look-a-like contests, best pet/owner singing duo, best pet howls, best pet trick, and many other entertaining activities. I even bumped into Gene myself on New Years Eve when I went skating at the outdoor rink at Kew Gardens when Gene came by to announce free hot chocolate and marsh mallows for the New Years Eve Party at the skating rink. Gene undoubtedly is an omni-present and well-treasured pillar of this community.

Our lunch at Lick’s had been the perfect time to get to know Gene a little better before we headed off and continued our walk west on Queen Street. Back on the street we ran into a colourful local personality: Harold Weisfeld, a.k.a. “Zoltzz”, owner of “Ends Designerwear Boutique”, a famous designer label discount store near Queen Street and Elmer Avenue, a place where I personally have found many a bargain over the years. We headed further west and Gene pointed out the former Bank of Toronto Building, which today houses the “Lion on the Beach”, a popular local pub. Just a few steps further west we briefly went into “Morguet”, a jewellery shop that offers hand-crafted jewellery, custom gold and silver smithing, where we said hello to the owner Sergio who had come to Toronto years ago from Latin America.

Just across the street, Gene pointed out a convenience store that used to be the childhood home of world renowned director Norman Jewison, one of the prominent (former) residents of the Beach. We then admired the Kew Beach Firehall No. 17, a historic masonry building in the Queen Anne architectural style dating back to 1905 / 1906.

We continued on and turned south at the corner of Woodbine and Queen where Gene showed me what he refers to as the “Psychedelic House”, a brightly painted Victorian house with interesting ornaments. On our way back towards the Beaches Library Gene explained that several churches and the local synagogue offer drop-in services for the homeless. This program is offered at a different location every weekday and gives street people a chance to come in from the cold.

Our official tour had concluded and Gene dropped me off at the Beaches Library, where I thanked him for his time and all the interesting stories he had shared with me. He left me with Barbara Weissman, the librarian who helped me put together books and articles about the Beach.

It was only after reading these articles that I realized that Gene has been the recipient of the first “Citizen of the Year” award, given out by Community Centre 55. Not surprisingly, Gene in his modesty had not even mentioned this important fact. In 2001, a stone was unveiled in the “Walk of Fame” located in the Millenium Gardens at Coxwell and Eastern Avenues, commemorating Gene and the various other Citizens of the Year that have followed into his footsteps since then. A major article in the Toronto Star featured Gene’s accomplishments and his dedication to others and referred to Gene Domagala as a “human convenience store for people with problems” in the words of Glenn Cochrane, another prominent resident of the Beach.

It was a real privilege meeting Gene Domagala and spending some time with him getting to know his neighbourhood and his way of thinking. The dozens of people whose faces lit up when they greeted him during our walk attest to the fact that Gene is one of the true heroes of the Beach.