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Want to Work at Home? Weed Out the Scams: 10 Legitimate Opportunties

Want to Work at Home? Weed Out the Scams: 10 Legitimate Opportunties

When it comes to finding an opportunity to work at home, the fear of getting scammed can be overwhelming–but you shouldn’t let it deter you. A simple rule of thumb is to never sign up with a company that asks you to pay for ANYTHING related to the business. If you start your online career by shelling out, whether it’s for materials or more information, the only group making any money is going to be the scammers–from out of your pocket.

By contrast, if a business provides any of the following in their ad, they’re probably a legitimate company:

  • The name of the company (which you should research to learn more about its credentials)
  • An email address that is linked to the company’s website (not a blind address)
  • Mention of benefits or other policies associated with traditional commuter jobs
  • Details on the application and interview process
  • Mention of a human resources staff member to whom questions can be directed

Of course, providing the above information is not always enough proof that is a business is legitimate. The following 10 home-based online business offers are usually scam-free and have the potential to net you reliable money without your ever changing out of your pajamas.

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Call Center Representative

In the past, calling a company’s customer service line usually connected you to employee of a huge call center that might even have been outside the country. But businesses are increasingly routing calls to representatives who work from home. If you’re hired as an employee rather than a contractor, you may be eligible for benefits. Convergys, Alpine Access, and West Corporation are all reliable sources of work.

Web Search Evaluator

Search engine results don’t rely on algorithms alone. The major search sites all hire real live humans to analyze search results and make recommendations. You’ll need to pass a test before getting web search evaluator work, but Appen Butler Hill, Lionbridge, and Leapforce all hire reliably once you’ve passed.

Medical Transcriptionist

Though you’ll need a certification or associate’s degree, working from home as a medical transcriptionist can net you up to $50,000 per year with the possibility of benefits. If you’ve got the necessary skills, check out Amphion Medical Solutions, M*Modal, and Precyse for job listings.

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Web Developer

If you’ve got web design skills or knowledge of code and computer programming, you may be qualified to freelance as a web designer and consultant. If starting your own business isn’t an option, you can choose from the thousands of short-term jobs available on sites like ODesk.com or RatRaceRebellion.com.

Translator

Fluent in another language? Make your linguistic skills work for you. Translation is one of the fastest-growing fields of at-home work, so if you’re capable of translating audio files or documents than you could quickly set up a robust online business. SDL, Argos Translations, and We Localize are three top companies that hire freelance translators.

Virtual Assistant

More and more businesses are hiring virtual assistants rather than in-house staff members. This is great news for you, if you’ve got experience in scheduling, event planning, bookkeeping, preparing memos, or other office-type work. The International Virtual Assistants Association provides a job board through which you can find these at-home positions.

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Tech Support Representative

Companies are now increasingly routing tech support calls to at-home representatives instead of large call centers, so if you’ve got relevant experience and the necessary certification, a stay-home tech support business could be perfect for you. Large companies tend to hire directly, but you can also find work through independent agencies like PlumChoice.

Survey Taker

There’s a robust market out there for those willing to spend their time giving opinions online. Though survey taker jobs don’t pay as much as some of the opportunities on the list, they can be one of the most fun and engaging opportunities for those who work from home. Check out RatRaceRebellion.com for reliable survey taker resources.

Tutor

Depending on your level of education and expertise, you could make a very comfortable wage sharing your knowledge in online classrooms and live chats with students. Tutor.com and GetEducated.com are good resources for finding work.

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Freelance Writer/Editor

Though it can be hard to break into, freelance writing and blogging can be a very rewarding way to make money from home. Proofreaders and editors can also make significant cash by plying their trades online. ODesk.com is an excellent resource for all types of online freelance opportunities, while companies like Cactus Communications and FirstEditing are geared more toward proofreaders.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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