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Most people live their life as reaction to events that happen around them, and very few create events and define how they will live their Lives...

ideas group blog

Friday, December 31, 2010
Now that 2010 is over, let us remember some of the major events that have happened in the course of the year. Hoping to learn from our successes and mistakes and make of 2011 an amazing year.
We have compiled the below event in 6 different categories: Natural disasters, air crashes, economy, achievements, miscellaneous and left us in 2010.
Natural Disasters:
·      January 12: A 7.0 magnitude earthquake occurs in Haiti destroying most of the capital Port au Prince, with a confirmed death toll of 230,000.

·      February 27: An 8.8 magnitude earthquake hits Chile killing 497 and causing a tsunami over the pacific.

·      April 13: A 6.9 magnitude earthquake occurs in Qinghai China, killing 2,000 people and injuring more than 10,000.

·      April 14: Several volcanic eruptions in Iceland’s Eyiafjallajokull, causes volcanic ash to disrupt air traffic across northern and western Europe.

·      July 29: Heavy monsoon rains begin to cause widespread flooding in Pakistan, over 1,600 are killed, and more than one million are displaced by the floods.

·      October 25: An earthquake and consequent tsunami off the coast of Sumatra -Indonesia kills over 400 people and leave hundreds missing.
·      October 26: Ongoing repeated eruptions of Mount Merapu in Indonesia have killed 240 people and forced hundreds of residents to evacuate.
Major Air crashes:
·      January 25: Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 crashes over the Mediterranean sea, shortly after taking off from Beirut - Lebanon. The investigation report points that the crash occurred due to human error and an inexperienced pilot.

·      April 10: The president of Poland Lech Kaczynski was killed with 95 other passengers when then airplane crashed in western Russia.

·      May 12: Afriqiyah Airways flight 771 crashes at runway in Tripoli Libya killing 103 of the 104 people on board; the only survivor is a 10 year old dutch boy.

·      May 22: Air India Express flight 812 overshoots the runway at Mangalore Airport in India killing 158 and leaving 8 survivors.
·      November 4: Aero Caribbean Flight 883 crashes in central Cuba, killing all 68 people on board.
·      April 27: Standard & Poor’s downgrades Greece sovereign credit rating to junk four days after the activation of a EU-IMF bailout, triggering the decline of stock markets worldwide and of the Euro’s value, highlighting a European sovereign debt crisis.

·       May 2: The Eurozone and the IMF agree on a € 110 billion bailout package for Greece.

·       November 21: Eurozone countries agree to a rescue package for the Republic of Ireland in response to the country's financial crisis.
·      November 29: The EU agrees to an €85 billion rescue deal for Ireland from the European Financial Stability Facility, the International Monetary Fund and bilateral loans from the UK, Denmark and Sweden.
·      January 4: Burj Khalifa was inaugurated in Dubai UAE, as the tallest man made structure to date.

·      July 8: The first 24-hour flight by a solar powered plane is completed by Solar Impulse of Switzerland.

·      July 11: Spain wins the FIFA 2010 world cup in South Africa.
·      July 25- Wikileaks an online publisher of anonymous covert and classified material, leaks to the public over 90,000 internal reports about the United States-led involvement in the War in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010.

·      October 13: 39 miners trapped 700 meters underground in a mining incident in San Jose mine in Chile, are brought back to the surface after surviving for a record 69 days.
·      November 28: Wikileaks releases a collection of more than 250,000 American diplomatic cables, including 100,000 marked “secret” or “confidential”.

Left us in 2010:
·      February 11: Alexander McQueen's the british fashion designer was found hanged in his wardrobe. His death was recorded as a suicide on April 28.

·      May 29: American actor Dennis Hopper passed away after a battle with prostate cancer.

·      July 4: Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallalh, a Lebanese spiritual Shia leader passed away. Lebanese CNN Anchor Octavia Naser was forced to resign after posting the following tweet “ "Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah... One of Hezbollah's giants I respected a lot." 

Camil El Khoury

Posted By Ideas Group at
03:50 - PM
Friday, December 10, 2010

Part 1

Does your heart pounds, your hands shake, your forehead sweats, your mouth goes dry and your stomach feels like a blender on high speed every time you are about to speak or present to a group?

Well the good news is that you are in the majority, and that almost everybody shows the same symptoms when they are asked to speak or present to a large group. Even the most experienced speakers still feel stage fright at times.

The other good news is that with simple techniques you can use stage fright to your advantage.

Below are 5 tips extracted from our stage fright section of our “Public Speaking and Presentation Skills” workshop:

1. Realize how your audience really feels
Although presenting or speaking seems like a test in front of a jury, however almost every audience wants you to succeed for the simple reason that you might have the knowledge/information they want. Try to remember the last time you were a member of the audience and the speaker does a small mistake; we all empathise with the speaker.

Another known fact is that the audience does not know you are afraid. All you have to do is treat the audience members like individuals or maybe like your best friends.

2. Visualize success
Just imagine yourself performing a task successfully. Apply visualizing techniques to your speech. Imagine yourself giving your talk. Your voice fills the room with wisdom. People in the audience hang on every word you say. They give you a standing ovation and rush to the stage to ask you private questions.

3. Change your physical state so that you affect your mental state
The below exercises will release most of the tension you might have before giving your speech.

  • Breathe: Take a deep breath. Hold it. Hold it. Now let it out slowly. Do it again
  • Stretch: Head rolls - turn head from side to side, arm lifts - stretch your right arm up into the air as far as it will go. Hold it a few seconds. Bring it back to your side. Now stretch your left arm. Keep repeating the exercise.
  • Jaw breakers: Open your mouth as wide as possible, and then close your mouth. This exercise helps relieve tension in the jaw.
  • Move around: Climb some stairs have a small walk, however be careful not to do it abruptly as you don't want any members of the audience to notice you.

4. PPP- Practice Practice and Practice
Steve Jobs might seem like a natural speaker, however the fact is, that he spends a lot of time practicing his speech prior to any event; and that is why he seems natural.
Stage fright appears at the very beginning and at the very end of your act, so write out your introduction and conclusion and practice it until you have it down cold, because if you do so you’ll reduce your anxiety. Anticipate problems and prepare solutions – for example, whenever you stumble over a tongue-twisting name or phrase, you can have an all-purpose recovery line ready, “let me try that again – in English.”

5. Arrive early
The fear of the unknown probably produces more anxiety than any other cause. Until you get to the site where you’re speaking you face a lot of unknowns/questions. Is the room set up correctly? Did they remember to give you an overhead projector? You can get the answers simply by going to the room, so do it early. Arriving early will also give you the chance to practice your speech on location for a last time and thus familiarising your self with the speaking environment and thus aiding your visualisation process.

Camil El Khoury
For more information about our in-house and open “Public Speaking” programs drop us a line on

Posted By Ideas Group at
08:11 - AM
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I have received a call last week from one of my clients, who for internal reasons had to cancel one of the biggest contracts we have signed this year. To tell you that I wasn’t deceived would be lying; The news could have ruined my whole day, week or even month because of the magnitude of such contract. However as I am committed to have a high EIQ (emotional intelligence quotient), I had to analyze the choices I had, so I quickly drew the below mindmap (click to enlarge).

As you can see, by just changing my paradigm from deception to choices, a multitude of options started flowing and I was suddenly enveloped with a warm feeling of happiness. It is strange and weird but in the nicest possible way.

So I continued my analysis and tried to come up with computer and IT analogies; when we delete files in our computers we are just making space for another file, the same goes in our lives; when we lose something we are just making space for something bigger.

A lost opportunity = more focus on a bigger one
A lost job = a chance for doing what you love
A lost family member = more love for other family members, or more focus on continuing what the lost one has started
A lost friendship = opportunities for a better one

And the list goes on...

A women in Lebanon has lost her son in a water sports accident, and after grieving him for a while she felt that her life had stopped; You just can imagine how hard it is to loose a child. But one day she woke up and asked herself the following question: What is the reason that my son was taken away from me at a young age? What is the message behind it? How can I use this incident to serve others?

A week later she has started a foundation with a purpose of making parents aware of the dangers of inattention when it comes to their children. So going back to her choices, she had two choices; either grieve her child for the rest of her life, or help thousands of other households save their children. With the latter choice she now feels that her son’s decease was a rebirth for a thousand more child.

“When you lose something, you are just making space for something bigger”

So if you just think about a loss as a free space, you will not get stuck in the past and will start generating opportunities for the future. It is all about using your energy- any kind of energy; negative or positive - and turning it into choices that will get you closer to your goals.

Posted By Ideas Group at
01:18 - AM
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