How to Present a Family History to a Relative As a Keepsake Gift

But HOW do you go about sharing all you have discovered. There are many options. Write it all in a book, create a website, create a photo album with lots of journaling, create a self-published book and more. I wish I had time to sit down with you and talk about the option that you are interested in, but let’s face it. That isn’t an option here. So instead I will provide a brief outline of several ways you can share your history with family and friends.

Scrap-booking –If you have collected a lot of photos of family members from the past, creating a scrapbook might be the option you are looking for, especially if you already have scrap-booking experience. If you have a lot of supplies at home, and a scanner, computer and printer, this could be very low cost, but if not, you could run into a large cash outlay. Additionally, this is not really an easily to duplicate option. So if you are only interested in giving mom and dad a keepsake for the holidays it can be a wonderful option, and don’t forget to include a box of tissues. The important thing to remember with a scrap-book is to include text information. Birthdays and anniversaries are important dates to include, but you may also want tojournal about some special event that occurred in your family. The other thing to remember is not to use your original photos. Those you want to keep safely stored in acid free containers. Use photo copies. In 2000 I presented my mother with a small scrapbook of her life and accomplishments. She jealously guarded it when sharing it with everyone and I was soon bombarded with requests by other family members. So, unless you are willing to create more than one version, or if your family is small in number, creating a scrapbook may be your solution.
Self-Published books are now quite easy to accomplish. You can find many websites that will let you create a book and publish it on demand. This means that as someone requests a copy, you can go back to the site and order a hard copy. This is an option that often creates a very professional book to share with your family and friends. The choice of what to include in such a book is limitless, but the basics are photos and a short paragraph to identify each or a short story to place along side. Prices for these self-published books can range from a few dollars, to hundreds, depending on the options you choose, but if you are planning on selling your book the cost does not fall to you, other than what you pay for your own copy. Yes, be sure to get yourself a hard copy of this type of book. Trust me, you will be happy you did and it offers you the opportunity to show your family and friends your first book and entice them to get their own. Whether or not you choose to make a little profit on the book is up to you, but easy as you would order the book for the set price but include an up-charge or a few dollars to cover your time and the convenience of having you supply the finished product.
Along side of Self-published books would be eBooks. eBooks, however usually contain more text and fewer images. However this is an option that you can create almost for free. Using a word processor, you would create your eBook. when you are ready, you can use a freeware or paid for program to convert the document to the pdf format that can be used across all platforms. You would then distribute this document on the internet, in emails, or even on a mini-cd. This will also allow you to include copies of documentation in your eBook which may be an interesting addition. I included copies of marriage and birth certificates from my grandparents and one of their children in my first eBook and the results were, well let’s just say explosive. You see, no one ever knew that grandmother had the first baby tend days before she married grandfather. If an eBook is the option you choose you can distribute it for pennies, you can sell if or give it away. It can be printed out by your readers without you having to absorb the expense making it a pretty good option, especially if you have good skills with your word processor and can include photos and other visual interest.
Publish a ‘real’ book. This would be the most expensive and tricky option. there are some companies that only publish genealogy books. Bust most will charge a substantial fee and a fee per copy that you would need to pay up front. When you get your delivery of books, you can sell them to family members to try to recover some of your costs. If you choose this, do the math first. Decide on how much you think your family would be willing to spend on a family genealogy and if you can’t stay within that range, you may want to consider one of the other options, unless of course you have money to burn and just want to see your work in hard copy on a bookshelf.
Finally, but by no means the last option, is creation of a website. If you have good computer skills you can find many places on the internet that will allow you to build a free family website. Alternately, you can enter your information into one of the many genealogical databases across the net and then tell your relations where to find it. If you use social networking you can easily share the information with your circle of friends and relatives. This is the best option if you have a very large tree and lots of information to share as it would be the least expensive. However, this option will not produce a hard copy that you can give away as a keepsake. You may consider also, that it is not the best option for older relatives who may not use a computer on a regular basis or who feel that technology is too complicated for them. It took us 5 years to convince our parents to get a cell phone. Today they still have no interest in computers and would not even know how to turn one on.
There are many, many options for keepsakes aside from a book style. Some of these might include:
A Photo Cube with a calendar on one side
A mug, cup, or other ceramic with a photo imprint
A tee-shirt, sweat shirt or other apparel
A simple framed print of a completed family tree chart
A composite family photo with as many family members included as possible
A beautiful card signed by family members who include their birthday and anniversary information. You can include a group photo suitable for framing
and the list can grow and grow. Do a search online for personalized gift items and you will find more options that you can imagine. Surely one of them will be just right for you and sure to bring tears of joy to your loved ones as they embrace the love that went into making just the right choice.

I am Barbara Cagle and for over 20 years I have been working and playing online.

I began my genealogy research in 1986 and have discovered relations as far back as 950AD. Over the years I have been able to utilize my computer skills to do a lot of my research. There are many sites available to help you. When you decide you are ready to share your findings and all those old photos, consider a website of your own.

The Importance of Living in the Present

Many of us don’t realise how much we are either living in the past or the future. Our language though gives us away. We reflect the past when we talk about how we feel compelled do something a certain way because we have always done it that way, or that something is bound to cause a certain result because it always does. We reflect the future when we talk about waiting for certain events to occur in order for us to be able to do what we want. This attitude can limit our potential to think freely because we are so tied into the patterns of thinking and responding.

People talk about the importance of living in the present, of living in the here and now. It is often referred to as being mindful. People who live truly in the present focus on everything as it happens, they totally focus on each drop of rain or see each leaf on a tree. They enjoy the look, taste, smell, texture of every mouthful of food that they eat and savour it fully. They are able to ignore distractions and stay with what is important at each point in time.

But the past and the future do have a bearing on us and our lives. Learning from the past and planning for the future are two important elements to bear in mind.

The past has taught us everything we know. All our lessons, experiences, contacts, setbacks and success are from the past. They all contributed to us being the person we are today. A sensible person learns from the past. Any mistakes are invaluable lessons and factors in growing and improving. They influence future considerations and decisions that we may have to make. We create mental templates for decisions based on what has gone before. What has worked and what has not worked all have important parts to play as we accumulate knowledge and expertise.

The future is important to plan for. That’s why people take out insurance policies and pension plans, they save to move abroad, or undertake long training in order to become a skilled professional. They are planning and preparing for goals and eventualities. Planning for the future means taking on board the things that have happened to us and determining to ensure that we take both the good and the bad and endeavor to make it better and more positive an experience that before.

Living in the present means being fully aware of now, being present, but with an appreciation of the past and a commitment to the future. With this in mind we can manage our life better. We can plan a strategy, an action plan to establish a positive way to get what we want. With a physical challenge we can organise nutrition, an exercise or fitness schedule that builds up over time. With a business project we can decide which skills need to be implemented, any training requirements. We can appreciate the moment and everything it brings, but also appreciate its relevance to the past and the future.

All these decisions add motivation and content to our life, they provide focus and commitment. And they bring satisfaction and purpose to our everyday life as we enjoy fully what we are doing right now, and also appreciate its relevance in our overall plan of action.

How to End Your Presentation So the Audience Knows You Are Done

When you give a presentation, how does the audience know you’re done? If you’re half-heartedly saying, “any questions?” as a means to signal that you’re done speaking, then you’re missing the opportunity to finish strong.

Here are techniques for ending your presentation strongly so the audience knows you’re done:

USE CLEAR ORGANIZATION
Like your writing, your presentation should have an introduction, body (with your supporting points), and then the conclusion. The easiest way to organize your material is to have a certain number of points, like three tips or four steps, so the audience can follow along and know how many more points you have to present.

SET THE AUDIENCE’S EXPECTATIONS
Be clear and deliberate about what you’re doing and tell the audience. For example, in your introduction, you could say, “For the next 30 minutes, I’ll share with you the five reasons we should replace our current paper-based process with the new electronic process. Please hold your questions and I’ll be happy to answer them near the end of the presentation and then I’ll finish with one action step you can take to get comfortable with the new process.”

AVOID ABRUPT ENDINGS
Don’t just suddenly stop speaking; instead give the audience cues that the end is near, such as “in conclusion” or “my final point this morning is…” (And avoid giving “false” cues, like saying “in conclusion,” and then going on for another ten minutes.)

USE WORDS & BODY LANGUAGE TO SHOW THAT YOU’RE DONE
Pause before your final sentence and make it strong and declarative. End with a powerful conclusion such as a call to action or a strong reiteration of your message and its importance to the audience. Even if you end with a rhetorical question, ask it deliberately. Use a strong voice that’s loud enough to be heard, make eye contact, stand confidently and smile. When you finish speaking, hold the eye contact and your posture for a few seconds.

EXAMPLES OF CONCLUSION SENTENCES
• “As I’ve demonstrated today, the three year projection for the business is bright and we expect to continue our excellent performance.”
• “As we’ve discussed today, there are 5 steps to the process of preparing and delivering an effective presentation. Following these steps will help you be a more powerful and effective presenter.”

BE PREPARED FOR WHAT COMES NEXT
Speak to the meeting organizer well before your presentation to understand what comes next and who you should transition to after you finish speaking.

DON’T END WITH “ANY QUESTIONS?”
If at all possible, avoid taking questions at the very end of your presentation – doing so shifts the energy away from you and can also result in a negative conclusion, especially if you get an off-base or hostile question which you have to reply to defensively. You also have lost the benefit of a strong close if the questions just trail off into silence and you have to say, “…ok, no more questions?”

TAKE QUESTIONS BEFORE YOUR FINAL CONCLUSION
Decide with the meeting organizer before your presentation whether you will have time for questions. If so, take questions near the end of your presentation instead of at the end. In order to do this, you’ll need a mini-conclusion before you take questions so you can summarize your points and transition to the questions. Then after you’re finished answering questions, transition back to your presentation for a final conclusion, which allows you to have the final say and leave the audience with a strong restatement of your message.

So your presentation outline would look something like:
• Introduction
• Body – Point 1, Point 2, Point 3
o Mini-conclusion
• Questions and answers
• Transition back to presentation
• Conclusion
(Thanks to professional speaker and consulting guru Alan Weiss who first introduced me to the idea of not ending a presentation with the question-and-answer format.)

SAY “THANK YOU” IF YOU WANT AND IF IT’S APPROPRIATE
Some people and organizations are very strict about whether presenters should end by thanking the audience. I think either way is fine, as long as it makes sense for that audience and your choice is deliberate. A feeble, half-whispered “thank you…” that trails off uncertainly at the end is not effective.

The next time you’re preparing a presentation, also prepare and practice how you will conclude. Ending your presentation strongly will improve the effectiveness of your presentation and clearly signal to the audience that you’re done.