Is Your Church Furniture Due for an Upgrade?

Tradition is one theme that has often been associated with church culture.  Many contemporary places of worship get their inspiration from older religious institutions and adopt similar hymns, liturgies, interior designs, and in many cases, it’s not uncommon to see church building shaped like a cross.

Full Pedestal Wood Lectern

Eventually, there comes a time when most church interiors need to be refreshed. Although this step isn’t one to be taken lightly, there is evidence that to suggest it’s not something to be overlooked:

If your church building is over 15 years old, it is probably a growth-restricting obstacle…While nice facilities won’t cause your church to grow, poor facilities can prevent it from growing (CT).

Whether your church is considering a full remodel or just sprucing things up a bit, the time may be right for you to upgrade your church furniture.

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How to Purchase Lecterns and Podiums

Whether presenting an elementary talent show or annual sales figures to executives, keep these tips in mind when purchasing a lectern or podium:

STYLE : If you simply need an elevated surface to keep notes while speaking before a small audience, perhaps a tabletop lectern is the answer. They can sit on existing furniture and are lightweight, portable and inexpensive.

A better way for a speaker to draw the audience’s attention is to have a full-length lectern. These full-length lecterns come in a variety of designs and materials. In a small space, such as a classroom, a speaker stand with a simple base will be effective without using up too much floor space. A clear acrylic lectern is also a great solution for a small space or area that should have an unobstructed view.

For larger audiences, full-bodied lecterns will give more presence to a presenter and may act as a comforting barrier that can lessen stage fright. These lecterns come in a variety of wood finishes that will make any presentation look polished and professional.

Will the lectern be moved frequently? Look for lecterns or podiums that come with casters for ease of mobility. Adjustable height lecterns are also available for spaces that have speakers of all ages and sizes.
Lecterns and Podiums

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Tips on Giving a Great Presentation

Giving a presentation soon?  While you may have to do extensive reseach for your presentation details, look no further for the right lectern to stand behind.  Worthington Direct has a wide variety of lecterns, podiums and multi-media carts that will ensure your presentation looks polished and well thought out.  This is the last week for free shipping on the Orator lecterns by Oklahoma Sound, so don’t delay!

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 Know the needs of your audience and match your contents to their needs. Know your material thoroughly. Put what you have to say in a logical sequence. Ensure your speech will be captivating to your audience as well as worth their time and attention. Practice and rehearse your speech at home or where you can be at ease and comfortable, in front of a mirror, your family, friends or colleagues. Use a tape-recorder and listen to yourself. Videotape your presentation and analyze it. Know what your strong and weak points are. Emphasize your strong points during your presentation.

When you are presenting in front of an audience, you are performing as an actor is on stage. How you are being perceived is very important. Dress appropriately for the occasion. Be solemn if your topic is serious. Present the desired image to your audience. Look pleasant, enthusiastic, confident, proud, but not arrogant. Remain calm. Appear relaxed, even if you feel nervous.

Speak slowly, enunciate clearly, and show appropriate emotion and feeling relating to your topic. Establish rapport with your audience. Speak to the person farthest away from you to ensure your voice is loud enough to project to the back of the room. Vary the tone of your voice and dramatize if necessary. If a microphone is available, adjust and adapt your voice accordingly.

Body language is important. Standing, walking or moving about with appropriate hand gesture or facial expression is preferred to sitting down or standing still with head down and reading from a prepared speech. Use audio-visual aids or props for enhancement if appropriate and necessary. Master the use of presentation software such as PowerPoint well before your presentation. Do not over-dazzle your audience with excessive use of animation, sound clips, or gaudy colors which are inappropriate for your topic. Do not torture your audience by putting a lengthy document in tiny print on an overhead and reading it out to them.

Speak with conviction as if you really believe in what you are saying. Persuade your audience effectively. The material you present orally should have the same ingredients as that which are required for a written research paper, i.e. a logical progression from INTRODUCTION (Thesis statement) to BODY (strong supporting arguments, accurate and up-to-date information) to CONCLUSION (re-state thesis, summary, and logical conclusion). Do not read from notes for any extended length of time although it is quite acceptable to glance at your notes infrequently.

Speak loudly and clearly. Sound confident. Do not mumble. If you made an error, correct it, and continue. No need to make excuses or apologize profusely. Maintain sincere eye contact with your audience. Use the 3-second method, e.g. look straight into the eyes of a person in the audience for 3 seconds at a time. Have direct eye contact with a number of people in the audience, and every now and then glance at the whole audience while speaking. Use your eye contact to make everyone in your audience feel involved. Speak to your audience, listen to their questions, respond to their reactions, adjust and adapt. If what you have prepared is obviously not getting across to your audience, change your strategy mid-stream if you are well prepared to do so. Remember that communication is the key to a successful presentation. If you are short of time, know what can be safely left out. If you have extra time, know what could be effectively added. Always be prepared for the unexpected. continue reading

Communication Skills in Big Demand

Worthington Direct can supply your school with a variety of furniture designed to enhance communication and collaborative learning in the classroom.  Lecterns are great tools for students to practice public speaking in front of small or large groups.  Choose from a basic Table Top Lectern to a full size Floor Lectern with Sound.  Worthington Direct also has many different student desks that can be used to form collaborative work spaces that develop team building skills.  Visit today, www.worthingtondirect.com.

Between tasks in Algebra 2,Valari Jacobsen checks her grades in the class. Accessing her personal page on the school’s computer system, she sees she has a 71 percent in course content.

She knows she needs to step that up. But she’s doing really well in collaborating with her peers: Her score is 100 percent. And in oral communication, she has a 135 percent.

Unusual as it may seem, Jacobsen, an 18-year-old senior, is being evaluated on oral communication and on how well she works with other students in her mathematics class at Sacremento New Technology High School. Those interpersonal skills are among 10 “learning outcomes” students here must master as they progress through all their academic subjects. The outcomes are embedded in complex projects designed to build those skills as well as course-content knowledge.

The approach to learning is one response to national concern among policy and business leaders that teenagers are emerging from high school without the set of skills they need to thrive in college and the workplace. Some experts refer to those competencies as “soft” or “applied” skills. Some call them 21st-century skills.

In an increasingly global, technological economy, they say, it isn’t enough to be academically strong. Young people must also be able to work comfortably with people from other cultures, solve problems creatively, write and speak well, think in a multidisciplinary way, and evaluate information critically. And they need to be punctual, dependable, and industrious.

“This skills set is the ticket to economic upward mobility in the new economy,” says Ken Kay, the president of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a Tucson, Ariz.-based coalition of business and education groups that advocates infusing such skills into education. Work Ethic Jacobsen’s grade depends not only on her mastery of algebraic concepts and applications, but also on her skill with technology, critical thinking, written and oral presentation, and whether she’s demonstrated a good work ethic on project teams with other students.

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