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10 Awesome and Creative Gifts Any Nerd Would Die For

10 Awesome and Creative Gifts Any Nerd Would Die For

Picking a creative gift for your geeky friend can be a bit troublesome, especially if you are not into the whole sci-fi and epic fantasy worlds scene. With the current influx in movie blockbusters and what seems to be a dominant geek culture, it’s really hard to imagine someone who has not heard of popular comic books, superheroes, etc.

And in cases where you might trying to find something creative for a gift to someone in your life that appeals to their nerdy side, you might find yourself a bit overwhelmed by the amount of options out there. If that sounds anything like you, then this might be the list for you! Here are 10 really awesome and creative gift ideas that anyone who is a gamer, comic book fan, or sci-fi or epic fantasy fan would really enjoy.

Piranha Plant from Mario

    The Mario Brothers are the most famous plumbers on the planet. And anyone who played the video game back in the 90’s, or even later on, knows these plants. This creative gift can be created as a DIY origami project or out of various cushions. An entire tutorial on how to do this can be found here, and you have to admit they look pretty awesome. It is an incredible gesture – especially since it is a DIY project – and your friend will definitely love it.

    R2-D2 Lunch Bag

      As a franchise intended for all generations, it appears that Star Wars was always consistent in terms of popularity. Anybody who loves the franchise will certainly research its previous story. Episode VII was released last year, this year we had Rogue One, and now we all expect and are waiting in anticipation to see Episode VIII.

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      So, anyone who is a Star Wars fan will be amazed with the R2-D2 lunch bag, since it is most likely an item they do not already have. Fans usually collect light sabers and action figures, so buy them something they would love, but will set them apart from the rest in their fanboy/fangirl love of the franchise.

      Famous Geeky Helmet

        In sci-fi movies and video games, characters always have the coolest equipment and uniforms, and each uniform usually comes with a specific helmet. There are storm troopers, there is the Predator, Iron Man, and others – all are different, but all of them serve specific purposes while adding to the overall look of a character.

        Find all sorts of geeky and cool helmets online, and pick one for your friend. If they ride a motorcycle or if they simply want something for an upcoming cosplay event or Halloween, these helmets will definitely come in handy.

        TARDIS Cookie Jar from Doctor Who

          Dr. Who is one of the longest running and one of the most famous TV shows within the geek community. So, Tardis, the infamous phone booth, can be a perfect gift to your friend. It is a cookie jar that makes authentic Tardis sound effects, and any Dr. Who fan will be thrilled to have this. Of course, the real Tardis does not exist, so one that allows your friend to eat cookies instead of travelling to different universes, should be decent replacement.

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          Periodic Table Shower Curtain

            You might be thinking this is a gift for people who are really into chemistry, and you are right. It is a shower curtain that is a periodic table of elements at the same time. And even though it is great for chemists and chemistry majors, it is also a great gift for anyone who loves the show The Big Bang Theory. This is the same shower curtain Dr. Sheldon Cooper, one of the main characters, has in the show. If you or your friend have seen the TV series, it’s immediately recognizable. Your friend will love it!

            Portal Gun Miniature Replica

              If your friend is a gamer, then he or she has definitely played the video game Portal. It is one of the most interesting and fun games out there, and it is a real mental exercise because you are trying to solve puzzles using portal guns.

              Anyone who has ever played it has dreamed of having the portal gun. This gift will simply be jaw-dropping for the person you give it to, because it is the exact replica of the renowned gadget that the player holds while playing the actual game. In other words, for gamers, you cannot possibly go wrong with this gift.

              The Keyboard Waffle Iron

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                Now for something general that anyone, not only geeks, would appreciate. This waffle iron is a dream come true not only because it’s useful, but also because it helps you create waffles that look like a keyboard. And it has the added bonus of making the waffles you create gigantic!

                We all love regular waffles, but when you can make them this big, they taste even better. So, if you are in need for a creative gift for just about anyone, go with keyboard waffle iron, they will love you for it.

                Geeky Vincent van Gogh Paintings

                  Why not go with something a bit classier?

                  Did you know you can find paintings of famous sci-fi movies and video games, painted in a style that resembles the classic artwork and style of Vincent van Gogh? These will look awesome on their room walls and they will gladly use them as decoration. Make sure you pick a nice frame to go along with your selection(s) and watch their face as they unwrap this incredibly creative gift.

                  The One Ring

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                    Lord of the Rings is a masterpiece and it is a part of popular culture in general, thus, similarly to the waffle keyboard mentioned above, it is an awesome gift for just about anyone. The ring in question is the infamous ring portrayed in the film franchise and is inscribed with the quote, “One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them. One ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.”

                    Simply wearing it is empowering. And besides that, you know that it is one piece of jewelry that can only be destroyed if it’s tossed inside a very specific volcano – so The One Ring is a really durable gift.

                    Pokémon Planters

                      Finally, due to the recent outbreak in popularity of Pokémon Go, there is a big chance your friend is really into Pokémon now! So, you can buy some of these planters from Etsy that are amazing decorations and an amazing places to keep plants.

                      These can be held in room, outside, on the window sill, or wherever your friend chooses to put them. So, if he or she has a bit of a green thumb, their plants will definitely end up in these planters once they get them.

                      Hopefully, this article will help you, or at least inspire you, to get something cool and unique for your friend. Whatever you choose, your friend will definitely like it. The quirkier and more creative, the better.

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                      Djordje Todorovic

                      Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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                      Last Updated on April 11, 2019

                      How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                      How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                      Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

                      I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

                      I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

                      Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                      How Communication Skills Help Your Success

                      Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

                      Create a Positive Experience

                      Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

                      When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

                      What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

                      Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

                      As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

                      Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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                      Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

                      Help Leadership Skills

                      It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

                      Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

                      As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

                      Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

                      If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

                      Build Better Teams

                      Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

                      In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

                      If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

                      When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

                      Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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                      How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                      There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

                      Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

                      1. Listen

                      Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

                      Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

                      People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

                      Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

                      Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

                      2. Know Your Audience

                      Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

                      Here is a good way to think about it:

                      Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

                      You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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                      3. Minimize

                      I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

                      He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

                      Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

                      State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

                      The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

                      4. Over Communicate

                      So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

                      What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

                      Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

                      Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

                      Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

                      There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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                      5. Body Language

                      The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

                      When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

                      In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

                      When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

                      Conclusion

                      Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

                      Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

                      There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                      Now go communicate your way to success.

                      More Resources About Effective Communication

                      Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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