Birthday Presents for Mums: Top Picks

It was my mum’s birthday not long ago. She’s the type of mum who loves gifts that mean something; she definitely isn’t the materialistic type. So, instead of giving her the requisite flowers and perfume, I opted for something different. Something personalised, in fact.

Customising presents for people is becoming something of a phenomenon. In fact, there are hundreds of businesses selling personalised birthday gifts for mums, dads, grandmothers, and just about every person on your list.

Seeking birthday presents for mums is a tad tricky, wouldn’t you agree? My own mum has just about everything under the sun, from kitchen accessories to jewellery, and if she gets another plant or cook book, she’ll actually scream. So what on earth do you buy these hard-to-buy-for beings that we call mums?

In my opinion, the best birthday present ideas for mums are those that come straight from the heart, namely gifts that can be personalised. Basically, chaps and chappesses, you can add your dear ole’ mum’s name together with a thoughtful message to everything from luxury bottles of champagne to personalised calendars and mugs.

Based on my own experience of choosing a birthday present for mum, I can safely say things like bath stuff and Jamie Oliver cook books lack originality and thought. My advice? Just don’t go there. Go for something unique, something a bit off the beaten track, something special… you get the picture. So, this year, I settled on a silver pendant engraved with my mum’s initials. She was chuffed to bits! And yup, she wears it all the time.

Engraved jewellery makes perhaps one of the most inimitable, thoughtful birthday presents mums, young or old, could ask for.

Here are just a few of the très magnifique personalised birthday present ideas for mums…

  • Personalised pamper hampers – a wicker basket containing everything needed to relax, refresh and rejuvenate, including sparkling rosé wine and an assortment of deluxe bath accessories
  • ‘Best Mum’ personalised newspaper – an article written by a professional writer all about how your mum scooped the ‘Top Mum Award’
  • Engraved silver frames – a beautiful photo frame engraved with her name, a date or special message
  • Spoof ‘Food’ magazine – no one can cook like Mum, so tell her with a personalised spoof
  • Personalised notebooks – perfect for the ‘fashionista’ mum. Personalise the cover with her name and the inside cover with a special message.
  • ‘Best Mum’ personalised calendar – see Mum’s name cleverly embedded in 12 gorgeous photos for every month – a gift guaranteed to make her smile all year round
  • Original newspapers – let Mum take a trip down memory lane by giving her a genuine paper from a special date of your choice
  • Personalised sparkling roséwine – what Mum wouldn’t appreciate a bottle of sparkling rosé wine? Especially one featuring her name on the bottle label!
  • Personalised chocolate bars – a truly sweet treat for your doting mum
  • Engraved wine and spirit gift sets -let Mum enjoy her favourite tipple in a personalised engraved glass. Ooh la la!

Impressed? Feeling a bit more inspired? Those, ladies and gents, are just a handful of the amazing mum birthday present ideas you can get your mitts on. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself online and trawl the net now for a great gift she’ll never forget.

Recommended Reading to Boost Your Presentation IQ

Recently, a client expressed anxiety about presenting. She said she always over-prepared, obsessing for weeks in advance, losing sleep and repeatedly rehashing what she wanted to say and do.

I asked her, “When do you know your presentation is good enough?”

She responded, “Good enough to do what?”

Her question led me to read TJ Walker’s two excellent books, How to Give a Pretty Good Presentation and TJ Walker’s Secret to Foolproof Presentations.

Walker writes in a quick, easy-to-read, conversational manner with no pretense — his knowledge and experience can help catapult any presentation from boring to bravo. I shared these books with my client and recommend them to you.

How to Give a Pretty Good Presentation

In today’s extreme business environment, you have to balance time and performance. So the challenge becomes, how can you be “good enough” to impact business results?

According to Walker, as long as you find a way to have an impact, you don’t need to be a rock star. Walker’s step-by-step advice can help almost anyone write, rehearse and deliver presentations that he calls “pretty good” – which means good enough to make a difference.

After reading this book, my client pointed to one helpful tip in particular. Walker says it’s important to select a single idea to convey to your audience and to focus your presentation on that message. That helped my client after she was promoted to vice president and, with 30 minutes’ notice, had to address a group in her new role.

She followed Walker’s advice, spoke with confidence and earned a high level of credibility with her peers.

TJ Walker’s Secret to Foolproof Presentations

Using a snappy Q&A format, Walker answers just about every question you’ve ever had – but were afraid to ask – about giving a presentation. Each answer is given in a clear, direct way; each suggestion is easy to understand and easy to implement.

One of Walker’s best pieces of advice is to keep it real and be yourself. As he points out, polished and professional may mean that you are suddenly just like every other presenter. Walker says, “Doing what everyone else is doing is playing it safe…. You must do something, anything, in order to get people to leave your presentation with a positive impression of you and your ideas.”

Walker also offers excellent advice about using PowerPoint. He suggests that you create two separate PowerPoint decks:

  • a streamlined, highly visual version to project on-screen, and
  • a more detailed version with all of your text, data and charts that can be used as a handout or email follow-up.

Both these titles are worthy additions to your bookshelf. Take a look, and you’ll find they are must-have resources that will help you be confident, heard and inspiring whenever you step up to speak.

How to Prepare a Technical Presentation

Technical presentations are the most difficult presentations to prepare. The reason is you have a subject that is inherently dry and detailed and an audience that has varying degrees of understanding on the topic. The tips below will assist you to overcome the major difficulties faced by presenters who need to deliver a presentation laced with technical detail.

Use a Proven Process

The key to developing a presentation that will achieve all what is required entails following a standard process. This process will ensure that you answer all the key questions, and understand what is needed so you can be successful. Some presenters can get lucky and successfully deliver a presentation once. To consistently deliver great technical presentations you need to find and follow a repeatable process.

Understand your audience

When preparing a technical presentation the challenge is to understand what the audience knows about the subject you will be presenting. This is a challenge in all presentations, but the nature of technical presentations raises the importance of this to a higher level. You need to understand your audience so you can customize the detail and language of your presentation to meet their needs. Without this understanding you can easily present information which is too detailed, or equally frustrating for your audience information which they already know and understand.

Compare your concept to something your audience knows/understands

A true expert is someone who can take a difficult subject and translate it so that those who are not experts can understand it. A metaphor is one of the best tools to utilize in a technical presentation to help position you as an expert in a topic whilst making the subject digestible to your audience.

Look around and see if you can identify any everyday items or activities that your subject can be compared to. Invariably most technical concepts are an engineering or programmatic way of reflecting a real world concept. If you can find something that parallels your technical topic that is understandable you will make your presentation understandable by everyone in your audience.

There is work involved in identifying an appropriate metaphor, but the reward will come at the conclusion of your presentation with an appreciative audience who will consider you the “guru” on your particular topic.

Keep your slides clear

One of my favourite examples of what not to do in a technical presentation is the application developer who includes lines of code in their PowerPoint slides! What benefit is there in displaying lines of code on the screen? Unless you are showing something VERY specific that needs that level of detail there is nothing to be gained by displaying such detail. Your audience will not have the ability (or interest) to decipher the detail they are being bombarded with.

With everything you display on the screen ask yourself “What would I lose by not having the audience see this?” If the answer is “My audience won’t understand what I’m talking about” then keep the slide. However if it is any other answer – dump the slide – you will only confuse or bore your audience!

Make diagrams/schematics relevant

Often diagrams will be displayed to assist audience understanding, and as the saying goes a picture can replace a thousand words. However the issue with most diagrams is that the presenter wants to reference a small section of the diagram. The result is an audience which heads on a journey of discovery as they try and decipher and understand the rest of the diagram, leaving you as the presenter talking about one aspect, while the audience is thinking about another aspect.

The key to changing this is to display only the part of the diagram or schematic that is relevant for the presentation you are delivering.

Technical presentations are the most challenging and difficult presentations to prepare and deliver. But, with the assistance of the tips covered in this article you can master the presentation, and become an expert in the eyes of your audience.