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Mindconnection eNL, 2004-11-05

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Please forward this eNL to a friend!  Free bonus:$125 shopping spree. (Some folks might really like it).In this issue:

  1. Product Highlights
  2. Brainpower tip
  3. Time tip
  4. Finance tip
  1. Security tips
  2. Health tip/Fitness tip
  3. Save the economy
  4. Thought for the day


1. Product Highlights

How to Give a Winning Presentation
Surveys and studies repeatedly show that, for most people, public speaking is their biggest social fear. Speaking to a stranger is number two. Public speaking also ranks very high on the stress scale.

And, why is that? Primarily, because people lack confidence. 

How to Give a Winning Presentation
And why do they lack the confidence? Because they don't have the skills. That's where we come in. This course provides you with the skills to give a winning presentation.

Most people do a pretty miserable job of public speaking. Have you ever been subjected to Death By PowerPoint? Have you ever subjected others to that? Why do speakers nearly always adopt this pattern of failure? Because that is what they see from others who similarly lack good public speaking skills. So, they simply follow the herd off the cliff.

You can, however, stand out as a public speaker. You can engage your audience, and know that they are enjoying your presentation. You can learn how to get your message across, and be appreciated for doing so. You can have people saying about you, "I wish I could do that!"

Whether your presentation is formal or informal, this course will help you. Consider some scenarios:

  • Giving a sales presentation
  • Asking for a raise
  • Getting your ideas accepted by the committee
  • Convincing your city council to abandon yet another bad idea
  • Giving an invocation
  • Speaking at the funeral of a dear friend
  • Teaching children how to respond to strangers
  • Networking at business gatherings
  • Convincing the interviewer to hire you
  • Defending your department at a company blame-fixing meeting
  • Explaining why your spouse is special at your anniversary party


2. Brainpower tip

Know your limits. Time limits, that is. We all have various attention span limits for various subjects.

For example, you may be able to work with math problems for an hour before losing focus. But you may find it hard to read a novel for more than 20 minutes before your mind wanders. Or you may be able to watch a football game without being distracted once, but find it impossible to balance your checkbook without lapsing into a daydream.

So, how do you keep your mind from wandering so you can focus on the task at hand? The short answer is you don't. It's hard to change the way you are wired, though you can do so if given enough time.

From a practical standpoint, you increase your effective brainpower by simply taking a break the moment your attention begins to lapse. Let's say you are halfway through reconciling your monthly bank statement. And your mind starts to wander--perhaps your eyes even glaze over. No problem. Just stop, switch to a different task, and then resume the reconciling. You'll find a renewed sense of focus after the break. 

3. Time Tip

Be looking for my quotes in an upcoming issue of Better Homes and Gardens. Rather than repeat that material here, I'll share with you something I talked about in one of  my several time management presentations at a urology convention last week.

Examine a task you do, and look for ways to eliminate steps and to organize for speed. A company that cleans houses sells a book for $4.95, and it explains their method. Using their method, you clean your house in less than half the time you used to. And you clean it so well that you can cut your cleaning frequency to once a month. All they did was look at the wasted steps (e.g., running for supplies rather than having all of them with you when you start the job) and eliminate them. You are capable of doing this, so put on your thinking cap!

Toyota uses this task analysis method relentlessly. Consequently, they have the highest productivity of any car manufacturer in the world, and they dominate the J.D. Powers quality survey year after year.


4. Finance tip

Avoid scams. Here's one that can wipe out your savings.

Identity thieves comb your garbage, looking for anything that may be helpful. These include bank statements, those checks that credit card companies send you to stick you with sky-high interest rates, mortgage statements, bills, nuisance letters from the IRS, canceled checks, and anything else that provides confidential information. Shred it all, before disposing of it.

These thieves then pose as "investigators" of banks or credit card companies. They call the "mark" and claim suspicious charges are on your card or suspicious transactions have occurred on your bank account. But, like the government, they are here to help you!

Now that they have you scared, they offer reassurance and say they just need to verify some information. It's sensitive personal information, which they will use to clean you out.

Here's an example. They call up and ask you if you really purchased two refrigerators from Best Buy. "That is a very unusual purchase, and that's how your case came to my desk." Of course, you tell them you didn't make such a purchase. "I didn't think so," the "investigator" says in somber tones.

Then, the prompting and pumping begins. The "investigator" try to get your address, mother's maiden name, social security number, bank account number, and/or credit card number for "the purposes of verification." And this person will be very slick about it.

However, any investigator would already have this information. So, don't give it out. Sometimes, they'll have all but one piece, and they'll read off what they do have to convince you they are legitimate. Don't buy this.

We are all human, and we make mistakes. If you do provide any information before giving this person the raspberries and hanging up, call your credit card company (number is on the back of the card) or bank--as the case may be--immediately .

Now, here's a related scam. For decades, IRS employees have been helping themselves to the funds of private citizens. They have made this practice so lucrative and gotten away with it for so long that now scammers are posing as IRS employees and doing the same thing. 

Here's how it works.

The first person phones you and claims to be with IRS Collections. You'll hear some false claims about how you owe some outrageous amount--this part of the scam is just like the normal IRS scam. They tell you to write down a case number, and they give you a phone number to call if you disagree. Otherwise, they are proceeding with collection within 24 hours or something.

So, you call that number. It's the first person's partner. They may answer the phone with something like, "Taxpayer Advocate's Office, this is agent 17439. What is your case number?" And then they pump you for information.

Real IRS scams differ in that they don't offer to help you, and they usually start the scam via snail mail with official IRS letterhead. For a real IRS scam, your file has already been doctored and you are essentially screwed. Please back Speaker Hastert in eliminating the IRS. You can find his contact information at That's the only way to stop this scam. Often, it's very hard to differentiate between a scammer and a bona-fide IRS inquiry. Your best bet for handling this situation is to contact a tax attorney specializing in IRS matters. It's a small investment that is normally tax-deductible. It's better than losing your entire financial nest egg.

5. Security tip

At one time, the only terrorist threat most Americans feared was the IRS. Since September 11, we have had to face the fact that there are other terrorists out there, too. Michael Moore denies this, but he's an idiot.

While our government has failed to address the primary terrorist threat--the one that does the most damage (the IRS), they are at least addressing the possibility of plane hijackings and bombings. Airport security is, consequently, a whole new adventure for travelers.

A resource that will help you is at This site addresses everything from what type of shoes to wear to how to pack. They also provide information on waiting times at various airports. Check it out now, rather than just before a trip.


6. Health tip/Fitness tips

With winter approaching in the northern hemisphere, ice is on our minds. People slip and fall, sometimes with disastrous consequences.

While some falls are unavoidable, most are not. Most of the time, poor biomechanics resulted in a fall where otherwise one would not have occurred. Here are some ways to stay on your feet:

  • Practice good posture. Remember that drill where your mom made you walk with a book on your head? Time to do it again.
  • If your shoulders are rotated forward, so is your center of gravity--and that means a fall. Pull those shoulders back, eyes straight, chin in, stomach in. Erect posture solves all kinds of problems, and fall potential is one of them.
  • Keep your feet under your hips. Most people don't walk--they fall forward onto their feet. This is hard on the structure of the foot, and it transmits shock to the knees, hip, and back. Martial arts, dancing, and climbing are all activities that develop the ability to keep your hips and feet in alignment. Other activities also develop this. Make a point of improving in this area, and you reduce your chance of hip fracture dramatically.

 7. Save the Economy

Here we are, in our first week off of Daylight Wasting Time (in most of the USA). We have gained back that hour of daylight we lost every morning of summer. Now we get to enjoy the next three weeks of readjusting our body clocks and trying not to become one of the statistics.

You might want to write to your CONgressman and ask what the purpose is behind deliberately causing a spike in industrial accidents and car accidents for three weeks twice a year. Population control? Mass sleep deprivation study? Work creation for emergency room staff? Do we really need these kinds of outcomes?

Leaving the clocks alone would save our economy billions of dollars per year and reduce human suffering significantly. Perhaps Congress might figure out those are the desirable outcomes if enough people tell them.


8. Thought for the Day

Are you just making it through life, coping with what comes your way? Or are you deciding how you want your life to be and making the goals and plans for that to happen?


Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola


The views expressed in this e-newsletter are generally not shared by criminals, zombies, or brainwashed individuals.

Except where noted, this e-newsletter is entirely the work of Mark Lamendola. Anything presented as fact can be independently verified. Often, sources are given; but where not given, they are readily available to anyone who makes the effort.

Mark provides information from either research or his own areas of established expertise. Sometimes, what appears to be a personal opinion is the only possibility when applying sound logic--reason it out before judging! (That said, some personal opinions do appear on occasion).

The purpose of this publication is to inform and empower its readers (and save you money!).

Personal note from Mark: I value each and every one of you, and I hope that shows in the diligent effort I put into writing this e-newsletter. Thank you for being a faithful reader.

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