Live Your Road Trip Dream by Phil and Carol White, Book Review

Planning the Dream, Making it Happen, and Enjoying the Ride

In this second edition of their award winning book “Live Your Road Trip Dream”, Phil and Carol White have found the perfect balance in crystallizing the dream, planning the “plot,” and journalling the journey.

In this edition of their how to planning guide, the Whites have included new sections with ideas for taking sabbaticals, conducting business while on the road, and ideas for using the trip for instructing your children.

I have heard it said that half the fun is in the planning. This is where the book begins. The White’s have divided their book into two parts. “Part One” begins with the dream stage and suggested plans to help the reader determine and put into action the steps for making their own personal dream trip come to fruition.

The White’s include detailed suggestions for financing the trip, how to make provision for your home, cars, and family responsibilities. They include pointers on selecting a travel home; planning the route, mapping out the details, and keeping in touch with the family. Carol offers remarkable insight into some decisions that may come up along the way as well as anticipating possible emergencies.

In “Part Two” Carol shares journals of their journey. She points out places of interest they visited the trip, the character and quality of some of the hotels along the way, and items of historical interest. Their trip included a visit to all of the 48 contiguous states, as well as 43 National Parks, and many monuments and museums of historical significance.

Phil shared some “Phil-osophies” regarding the sport halls of fame they visited, stories of enjoying golf along the way, and some sports events they watched. This added a dimension to the book as it gave a man’s view of many of their stops along the way.

Resource lists, check off lists, worksheets, and sample itineraries are all included in the appendix. I enjoyed the many, many, photographs included throughout the book.

As a writing team Carol and Phil have written an engaging and positive story. Their book resonates with a contagious spirit which instills in the reader the impetus to move from a dream, to a plan, to making turning the ignition to make that dream become a reality.

RLI Press, 978-097529839

As Reviewed for Midwest Book Review

Advantages of Video Editing Software

Several advantages are there by using video editing software, but the most important thing you have to take care is that you have to choose the best one. The software should help to convert the incoming video in to digital form so that the computer can understand. This will help you to edit the video with a great flexibility and speed than that of the conventional video or film editing. In traditional film editing, you have to cut and past the film bit together or you have to copy a selected video from one tape and paste on another tape in a straightforward process. But using software for editing, you can move the video clips from one place to another by dragging the icons diagonally through the screen.One of the best video editing software is AVS Video Editor which will help you to export and import the video files directly in to your computer.

The major advantage of this kind of software is that they do not need any kind of plug-in or downloads to use. By using the software, you can do the video recording with mobile phones and small cameras also. Adding some transitions and extra effects is also possible with good software of video editing. You can also save a lot of money by using software as editing videos using traditional methods require more time and has to be done with a professional. You can enhance the quality of the videos by using this software.

With the help of the software, you can create and edit video in the comfort of your home. Video editing includes a lot of techniques to learn but with the help of the software you can edit the video easily and quickly. You can customize your videos according to your tastes using the software. You can choose the designs and layout for the video with the help of software. You can also put all your photos together that are stored in the computer and make a slideshow with the help of the software. You can enjoy the video by setting background music also.

If you have imagination, then you can make great videos. To make a good rated video, you need to choose a good software which can help you to edit, apply video effects, provide animated text and save files in almost famous video format. It is easy to find this kind of software.

How to Choose a Presentation Training Course

There are hundreds of different presentation training courses available, all of which promise to banish your nervousness and make you an accomplished public speaker. How do you choose the right course for you?

Googling “Presentation Training” will at first sight generate a very long list of different vendors who offer the same “Presentation Training”. But as you look closer you will find some trainers approach the topic from a theatrical perspective,  some from a business background, and a few from an educational viewpoint. While most courses cover the core elements of public speaking, they are all biased towards their own area of specialty:

  • Theatrical Presentations – Breathing, Vocal Exercises, Posturing
  • Educational Presentations – How to be a trainer, learning styles, slide design
  • Business Presentations – Influencing people, motivational, instigating change

Firstly, consider the type of presentation you are likely to be giving. Is it for a best man’s speech, is it for business or is it about the technology of presentations.  If it is for business or sales you need to choose a business presentation training course. There are many aspects of giving a business presentation that may not be covered by a one-size-fits-all public speaking course. 

Does the course give you the opportunity to give at least two presentations? You need to practice and get feedback on your presentations, if it is all talk from the lecturer you won’t learn nearly as much. However, beware of courses that are almost all practical. You need to have some tutorial time to ensure that you are practicing the right skills.

How many people are allowed on the course, I recommend a maximum of 6. Any more and you will spend too long listening to other people giving presentations. The larger the class the less opportunity there is for the lecturer to take on board individual concerns you might have or to focus on the particular type of presentation you are most likely to be giving.

How long is the course? Most courses are either one or two days. If time and cost are not an issue then a 2 day course usually provides more time for practicing but can you afford to take 2 days away from your desk?  A competent trainer should be able to cover all the main points about how to structure and give a presentation, plus allow enough time for practicals on a one day course.

Do they use video feedback? It is really useful to see and hear yourself giving a presentation. It is only with video feedback that you can appreciate what you really look and sound like. Don’t shy away from courses that use video, they are usually well worth it.

How are the practical presentations reviewed? Is it just the lecturer’s comments or are the other participants encouraged to comment on your presentation. Everyone is different and different people will pick up on different things so a wider review panel is usually better.

In a business presentation, you are invariably trying to influence your audience in some way. Either trying to get them to buy a product or a service or to think about something in a particular way. This adds an extra dimension to the public speaking skills you need to learn. A good business presentation skills course will address the subject of how to influence people and how to get them to think the way you want them to do.

The price of presentation skills training courses vary tremendously but in my experience price is not always representative of value. Just because a course is comparatively cheap it does not mean it may be of lower quality then a far more expensive course. But do consider the average number of participants and the length of the course. Often cheaper courses have higher delegate numbers.

Training companies themselves vary in size and structure. Some are huge organizations, with lots of employees that train in a wide variety of different subjects. The lecturers in these companies tend to be career trainers. Then there are the other apparently large training concerns which actually subcontract all the work out to smaller companies. Then there are the specialists and one man bands. Almost every training company offers some form of public speaking training, on the basis that their trainers are always standing up talking to people, so they should be able to teach other people how to do it. I would suggest that in the case of giving a business presentation this is not always true.

No matter how good the agenda would appear to be, the success of any training course depends on the lecturer. Who will be running the course you are attending? If the training company can’t or won’t commit to who will be running a particular course, be very wary. Does the company provide feedback and client testimonials for individual lecturers? Don’t rely on general company wide testimonials, they may not relate to the individual who will be running your course. Ask for specific testimonials for your specific lecturer. Ask if you could talk to someone, in a similar position as yourself,  who has been on the same course with that lecturer in the past. Good training companies should be able to arrange this without any problem.

Look for trainers who have been there and done it, not just the ones who talk about it. If you are looking for a business presentation training course look for one run by a business person, who has given lots of business presentations not an out of work actor, who knows about appearing on stage but little or nothing about business.

Finally, check what you will get in terms of course materials. If is just a copy of the lecturer’s sides than this is fairly useless as a source of additional learning. Look for courses which provide a source of ongoing reference material, check lists and the support to ensure your succeed in the future.

I wish you every success in your choice ot presentation trainer and your future presentations.