Memories of Old Corporate Presentations

What really got me most of all about all the works functions I attended, was the incredible cost involved in staging one. The company I worked for at the time employed nearly two hundred and fifty people. All were invited twice a year to a corporate award presentation and dinner.

Each event would start at about 18.00 about two miles away from the company place of work. A hotel that was well used for corporate functions and weddings. It was huge and must have cost a fortune to hire. Our company would take up the entire function wing of the hotel. Rooms would be booked for sales reps and managers that lived too far away to drive back home after the event was finished, usually about 01.00. Each room was £100 a night.

We would eat dinner, a three course affair, at about 19.30. I was told that it cost £18.00 per head on average, and the food was always of a good quality and plentiful. Another observation was that your wine glass never stayed empty for very long. The bar was free, so if you wanted something different to drink, then you were always able to ask for something else. The bar bill alone, over the evening, must have been staggering.

After a hearty meal, with plenty of wine, the awards ceremony would begin. A vast array of glistening crystal awards, presented to the top sales person, best customer service, best team performance etc. I won best sales person twice, and can tell you no expense was spared on the cut crystal decanter. Receiving the award in from of over two hundred work colleagues applauding was an amazing rush. All the awards cost a fortune, but were incredibly impressive. A hired photographer would make sure all recipients were recorded in picture. These pictures would hang on the wall, till the next awards presentation, at random places throughout the company building.

The entertainment would begging at about 21.30. A disco that would play every cheesy track you could imagine. By now many of my work colleagues would be the worse for wear, many senior members of staff also. Things were always in good spirits, and the dancing was something to behold. Various courtships would begin, perhaps they had been brewing throughout the working year, and this kind of environment allowed the “energy” to be released. The bar was always serving, and the drinks would become more adventurous as the night went on. Shots, odd cocktails.

At about 01.00, the DJ would stop, the lights would come on, and everyone would begin to file out the function hall. Some would be going home, in taxis that had been arranged and paid for by the company. Others would make their way to their hotel room, sometimes with company that was not with them on arrival. I would always ask myself, was it all worth the massive expense? I think it was. People had something to talk about and laugh about during the times between functions. Moral for the prize winners was certainly high, and made you want to stay at the top of your game. Another important factor was people being able to let their hair down and enjoy themselves. A good working atmosphere can itself offer higher working results.

Being Present And Living Fully

Where ever you go….there you are! Where ever YOU go….THERE you are!

Think about that for a few seconds. You may not realize it, but for some of us, that means “going” up to 25 or even 45 or 50 places a day. Each and every one of those is a separate transaction…and another opportunity to be YOU all over again. So, who will you bring to the party, the office, the grocery store, the kid’s school conference? Who will be laying next to your husband or wife tonight? YOU get to choose. That is what life is about; choosing WHO you are going to BE each and every day.

This is called being in the moment….or BE HERE NOW! It’s a technique that you can learn to utilize and one which you can call upon at any moment. It’s the quality of being able to move beyond past experiences and future predictions to seeing NOW for what it really is…a moment in time. Because, after all, we are human Beings…not human goings or doings. Right?

Imagine having the ability to interact with that difficult employee without conflict. Or, how it would feel to be able to listen to a friend’s sad story ONE MORE TIME, but hearing and responding to it from a completely different place than before.

What’s the value of such a technique, you might ask. Well, provides the ability to start over again and again with a clean slate. When you start to notice yourself falling into the same internal dialogue, zoning out during a business meeting, or mindlessly picking at your mashed potatoes over dinner as contemplate tomorrow’s wardrobe…simply state these words to yourself:

“Be here now”, and gently bring your attention back to where you want it.

FOR EXAMPLE: You’re attending a lecture and your attention strays from the speaker to all the chores you have, to a date, to the fact that you’re hungry. As you say to yourself “Be here now”, you focus back on the lecture and maintain your attention there as long as possible.

When it wanders again, repeat “Be here now”, and gently bring your attention back.

You may notice that your mind often wanders (as often as several times a minute). Each time just say,”Be here now”, and refocus.

Try not to judge the experience or to keep particular thoughts out of your mind because as the old saying goes, “That which you resist, persists”. For example, try this short exercise: Close your eyes for three minutes and try to think about anything except cookies. Remember, don’t think about cookies. When you try not to think about something, it keeps popping back into your mind. “I’m not going to think about cookies. I’m not going to think about cookies.”

So, when you find your thoughts wandering, gently acknowledge and let go of that thought and, with your “Be here now,” return to the present.

Initially, you might do this hundreds of times a week. But, over days (or even weeks) you’ll find that the period of time between your straying thoughts becomes longer and longer. So be patient and keep at it. You can do it!

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