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Monday, January 31, 2011

7 Need-to-Know Tips for Better Public Speaking

The words public speaking strikes fear and anxiety in the minds of otherwise competent and confident people. Does the thought of speaking in front of a group evoke fear, make you sweat, starts your heart pounding? It's likely you have glossophobia - the fear of public speaking.

Amplivox Sound Systems specializes in portable sound systems and sound lecterns and podiums, that are used in a wide variety of applications. Public speaking is a big part of our business so we did some research on tips that may help you get over your fear.

  • Reduce Stress: The most fearful moment of any presentation is the minute before your stage entrance. Practice relaxation methods such as positive visualization and deep breathing exercises.
  • Start Small: If you're new to the world of speaking, start small. Find a few friends and family to practice on. Begin by speaking to smaller groups and build up from there.
  • The Opening: Start out strong. You want to be able to grab your audiences attention and keep them interested throughout the presentation. Three examples of a good opening are:
1. Enrolling Questions
2. Staggering Statistical Statements

3. Statements of Declaration

  • Prepare: A good presentation does not come from memorizing your entire speech. An audience can tell when a speaker knows the material or has memorized a written presentation. Rehearse several times, remember key points and prompts on sub topics and examples to cover. Don't forget to time yourself and prepare back up information.
  • Engage the Audience: Getting your audiences attention is hard enough but keeping it throughout your entire presentation is the real challenge. Incorporate questions and participation to reduce boredom and speak with ease. Having the audience involved also gives you time to reorganize your thoughts if things start to get off track.
  • Find a Friend: Prior to your public speaking on stage introduce yourself to a few members of the audience in the front row. During your presentation look these people in the eye to ease your nerves and connect with your audience.
  • Avoid Bullets: The majority of business presentations and speeches are boring monologues filled with endless PowerPoint slides and bullet points. Trash the PowerPoint presentation and make your material the focal point of the talk. If you do use PowerPoint, take the approach of using visuals that quickly convey your message.
Make public speaking part of your marketing function and boost your business success. Your fear will evaporate over time and you will wonder why you didn't start sooner.

Products to Enhance your Public Speaking:

Friday, January 28, 2011

Amplivox's New Line of Audio and Visual Laptop Multimedia Carts || Computer to Projector Workstations

Amplivox Sound Systems is proud to announce that we are expanding our product line of portable sound systems and lecterns to include several different types of audio visual carts.

Our new carts include features that allow easy use for presenters who need to connect their computer to a projector, organize audio visual equipment, find a podium/laptop desk combination, or organize other multimedia items like laptops, PCs, portable audio systems, and more.

Click on the following link to see our new AV Carts Page!

With over 13 options of projector stands, flat-screen TV consoles, computer workstations, pc and computer stands, and multimedia carts, you will be able to find what you need in quality that you cannot live without.

All of these AV carts meet stringent UL Standards and come with a lifetime warranty.

Alabama School uses 21st Century Technology with Amplifed Classrooms

There has been a lot of controversy when it comes to using portable sound systems in classrooms but the better children can hear, the more they are able to learn. Most teachers assume that all the students in their class are able to hear them speak.

Studies have shown that many students, especially those toward the back of the room, may not hear what the teacher says due to background noise and other distractions. This is the reason why schools across the nation are turning to personal amplification systems to improve the education environment.

Here is an example of schools trying to incorporate the latest technology in their classrooms:
According to The Electric Observer there has been debate over the contract for Wetumpka’s 21st Century Classrooms project. "Financially, the project is a partnership between the City of Wetumpka and a local company to equip the community’s three schools with the most advanced technology available. But the board of education was required to approve the endeavor, and some members were concerned that the school system would be responsible if the city failed to provide the promised funding.

Positive Effects:
  • Improvement in speech recognition
  • Improvement in attending and learning behaviors
  • Improvement in academic achievement
  • Increased seating options for students with hearing loss
  • Increased self esteem

Related Links:
Teacher Feedback on Amplified Classrooms
Benefits of Amplified Classroom Video
Great Products For Education
Amplivox: No Child Left Behind

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Faulty Sound System Incites Chaos In Congress

Chants and slogan-shouting broke out in Gujarat Congress, India after their sound system broke down recently. Some members rose up against Union Minister and party in charge of the state, Mukul Wasnik, on distribution of party tickets. Wasnik has also been accused of selling tickets meant for deserving candidates who wanted to contest the recently held assembly polls.

The system initially went off when congress chief Shaktisinh Gohil was speaking in support of a political resolution. As Wasnik went to inform electricians of the faulty sound system, slogan-shouting began. There were also chants in his favor. "The sound system broke down again after some time, prompting Delhi chief minister Shiela Dikshit and other party leaders rushing to the control room to ensure that the system was rectified," according to the New Delhi Daily News and Analysis.

Amplivox Sound Systems offers a wide range of reliable, Professional Grade PA Systems that would easily be heard by all 790 members in India's parliament building. Amplivox also sells a variety of lecturns/podiums that are perfect for government use.

Interesting Facts:
  • India has the largest democratic party in the world
  • The Indian Parliament building uses solar panels for power (click here to see Amplivox's efforts to Go Green)
  • India has never invaded a country in the last 100,000 years
  • Chess was invented in India
  • Indian Railways employs over 1 million people
  • India has the largest number of post offices in the world
Related Links:
How to Choose the Right Sound System for Your Audience
Top Ten Ways to Fry Your PA System
Obama and Palin Use Amplivox Products

Government Prepares for Catastrophic Earthquake

All levels of government have already begun preparing for a catastrophic earthquake. The National Level Exercise (NLE) will simulate a response to a catastrophic earthquake along the southwestern segment of the New Madrid Seismic Zone in May, 2011. "And getting ready for the drill isn’t a small task — it’s being hailed as one of the largest emergency exercises in the nation’s history and the first to turn the spotlight on a natural disaster." - According to Emergency Management.

Amplivox Sound Systems serves various aspects of the community, including but not limited to Law Enforcement & Fire as well as other Government branches. Amplivox products can be used in a variety of emergency situations, from search and rescue to crowd control.

6 Ways to Prepare for an Earthquake
  • Locate the safest places at home and work
  • Know all emergency exits
  • Locate shut off valves for water, gas, and electricity
  • Note the location of your nearest Police Department
  • Plan where to meet family and friends
  • Have an earthquake emergency kit

Coming soon to Amplivox: Emergency Preparation Video

UPDATE: Here is the link to our emergency preparation video:
-How to Manage and Plan for an Emergency with Portable Sound Systems

Receive Updates and Tips on Disaster and Emergency Preparation by Joining Facebook Community!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Great Teammates: Amplivox and International Jensen Incorporated

Do you enjoy flipping through old magazines or comic books to see vintage ads and the price of decoder rings?

Recently I ran across an old Chicago Cubs team magazine from the 1980's and was surprised to find myself reminded of Amplivox.

In case you didn't know, Amplivox Sound Systems is located in Northbrook, IL, which is about a half an hour out of Chicago. Because of our proximity to Chicago, Amplivox employees are Chicago sports fans (remember our Chicago Blackhawks Congratulatory Blog Post?).

There was an ad (pictured to the left) of Jensen speakers advertising a speaker system product they had specifically for trucks. Jensen has been a leader in the speaker industry for decades as this ad shows.

The reason I was reminded of Amplivox is because we has partnered with International Jensen Incorporated to include Jensen's world leading speakers into our portable sound systems and sound lecterns.

Here's a quote from our site about our relationship with Jensen:

"IJI is a world leader in the audio industry and supplies loudspeakers to manufacturers of home, automobile, public address and other audio systems."

The Amplivox Sound Cruiser Car PA System is a similar product to what Jensen was advertising, a battery powered speaker system that mounts on a car or truck.

Amplivox has 24 products that feature Jensen speakers including:
-The Wireless Voice Projector Stereo System
-The Executive Sound Column Lectern
-Presidential Plus Lectern
-Adjustable Executive Lectern

Interesting Links You May Enjoy:
-Amplivox Sound Systems' Recommended Products for Sports and Recreation Market
-A Glimpse inside the Amplivox Time Capsule
-An Amplivox History Lesson

It can be interesting and nostalgic to see older advertisements and I included my favorite old Pepsi ad from the magazine.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Flash Mobs on You Tube, Dangers of Flash Mobs, and Portable Sound Systems

The newest You Tube internet sensation is the "Flash Mob."

According to Wikipedia, a Flash Mob is "a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and pointless act for a brief time, then disperse."

Youtube videos showing Flash mobs performing songs in train stations, stores, and mall food courts (as shown in the video below) have been all the rage.

The social media revolution and the instant communication it offers (connect with Amplivox), organizing a big gathering is only a tweet away for those with several thousand localized followers on Twitter. In the midst of all of the surprise and fun, flash mobs can pose a very dangerous threat in the modern world. With the threat of terrorism and dangers of large crowds (stampeding, mob-mentality, rioting, pick pocketing), the flash mob can be a scary thing if the wrong people become involved.

Large-area portable sound systems such as megaphones are an essential tool to perform effective crowd control and are a staple in the hands of police and firefighters in case a flash mob would escalate into something dangerous.

Interestingly enough, portable sound systems could be used on either side of this phenomenon, either to help organize a crowd or play music to dance to, or to help control a crowd if they became out of hand. This following flash-mob video (that has over 27 MILLION views as of early 2011) uses a portable PA system to play the background music.

Below are several products that would work well for those who want to buy a flash mob pa sound system:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NFL Commissioner Uses Amplivox Contemporary Acrylic Lectern for Press Conference

Professionalism is a must in any industry to gain respect and show people you are all about business. If you showed up to a business meeting in sneakers and jean shorts, you wouldn’t be taken seriously, would you?

Professionalism is exactly why the NFL chose to use an Amplivox Contemporary Acrylic Lectern for a press conference they did before Super Bowl XLI where the Indianapolis Colts took on the Chicago Bears.

The NFL wanted a message before their most important game to be as professional and high quality as possible, so they turned to a proven winner.

Shown in the pictures is NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell standing behind the Contemporary Acrylic Lectern.

Amplivox is located in Northbrook, IL and wishes the Chicago Bears luck in the 2011 NFL Playoffs!

Related Links:
Amplivox's Media Mentions Blog Posts

Amplivox Salutes the Champion Chicago Blackhawks
Amplivox Lecterns and Podiums Product Page
Church Pulpits: Amplivox Podiums and Lecterns Great for Churches
Test your Word Skills with the Amplivox Etymology Test!

Amplivox Portable Sound Systems engineers, manufactures and markets portable Public Address Systems and reliable elegant lecterns and rostrums with integrated wireless sound systems for a myriad of purposes from presentations to communication applications whether indoors or outdoors or both, for meetings, training seminars and conferences. We manufacture our products in the USA, meet stringent UL standards, come with a six year warranty and comprise an array of styles and sound coverage for every speaking need from a small meeting room of 30 people to a 20,000 square foot auditorium of up to 5,000 people. Our extensive range of superior quality, easy to use and reliable audio electronics will provide maximum customer satisfaction and ensure that the message is heard. The heart of our sound systems are our 50 and 250 watt amplifiers with multiple inputs and outputs for enhanced versatility. Extend your voice with AmpliVox Portable Sound Systems!

15 Destressing tips for the Over-stressed and Anxious || Stress Management

From time to time Amplivox likes to write blog posts about things that are relevant for everyone’s life and health, not just the portable audio systems and lecterns that we make. Here is another blog on handling stress:

Stress is a killer. Sometimes literally, sometimes causing major health problems that can eventually lead to death
including high blood pressure, stroke, allergies, and diabetes to name a few.

Stress is not always as avoidable as we would like,
especially in high pressure work environments or dealing with problematic relationships, but we can learn to prevent and react to stress in a healthy way. Money and work are the top stress causers and affect about 75% of Americans.

Here are some ways we can change our habits and lives so that we have less stress:

1. Exercise. Cannot
stress this enough. Exercising releases endorphins and makes you happy and less rigid. If you do not enjoy e
xercise, find a way to make it enjoyable or at least bearable.
2. Listen to music that puts a smile on your face. Here is a sampling of one song that does
that for me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM88kxxMlhQ
3. Laugh + Smile. Even if you are stressed out, laughing can ease the tension. I recommend
checking in at this site: The Daily Bunny or subscribing to something funny on Twitter or Facebook.
4. Play games. Whether it be video games, board games, or joking around wi
th coworkers, this can ease the tension and give the brain a light-hearted vacation from some of life’s pressing matters.
5. Keep close relationships. Whether it be a coworker, spouse, tennis-buddy, family member, or old college buddy, keep relationships in tact.

6. Get some fresh air and sunlight. Kill two birds with one stone by going on a outdoor jog or bike ride. Getting fresh air and sunlight is especially important in the winter months due to Seasonal Affective Disorder.

7. Give yourself time to enjoy what you enjoy. It can be easy to let work and time pressures consume us so that we forget something basic and important...enjoying our life!

8. Declutter your workspace.
A clear workspace can give you a clear mind. This is important especially for those who have the luxury of working from home.
9. Be positive. Any time you can be overly negative, go back to number 3 and say something good about the situation. It can be really hard, too hard...but it does actually help (see I did it there!).

10. Clear your mind. Either go for a walk, turn off all electronics for a while to give your mind some chill time.

Some stress “relievers” that just cause more problems and stress in the long run:

  • Substance abuse
  • Smoking
  • Overeating
  • Drinking alcohol to excess
  • Gambling
How to deal with current stressors:
1. Make a list of things that stress you and make you anxious.

2. Brainstorm
ways to limit the stress those things cause.
3. Write 5 things that you are than
kful about in that situation. Example: paying for college tuition for your kid. Be thankful for your child, their desire for education, their ability to learn)
4. Keep a journal to track your progress and give you a place to vent. You do not want to burnout.
5. Schedule time to incorporate 1-10 above to manage stress and remind yourself to do them

What are some things that help you de-stress?? Leave a comment!

Resources Used:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Amplivox Sound Cruiser Helps Camp in Flooding Situation: Review/Testimonial

Here is an excerpt from a testimonial about our Sound Cruiser Car Battery Powered PA System:

...When it became imperative to alert our campers of the flood warnings and the developing hazards the only way we had was to use the Sound Cruiser public a
ddress system. Lives and property may have been spared because of the alert. Some of the campers sheltering in their RV's had no idea of the rising waters.

To finish reading this testimonial, please click here.

The bottom left picture in the image to the left shows the amount of water that was on ground.

Related Links:
Amplivox Testimonials Page
Blog Posts Labeled 'Testimonials'
Local Campaign Uses Sound Cruiser to Further Message
How to Use Portable Sound Systems in Emergency Planning

Receive Updates and Tips on Disaster and Emergency Preparation by Joining Facebook Community!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Test your Word Skills with this Etymology Test from Amplivox on the Meaning of Podium and Lectern

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word "Etymology" means "facts of the origin and development of a word." Here is a quick quiz to see what the words behind Amplivox products really mean.

See how you do! The answers are at the bottom.

1. The root word for podium is the Greek word "podos" which means:
a. to stand
b. podium/lectern
c. foot
d. table
e. iPod/MP3 player*

2. The root word for lectern is the Latin "legere" which means:
a. table
b. foot
c. to stand
d. to read

3. What does "Ampli" (French root) mean?
a. having two modes of existence
b. amplifier
c. to enlarge or expand
d. SW805a**

4. What does "Vox" (Latin) mean?
a. to speak
b. the German pronunciation of "box"
c. loud
d. voice

5. What is the difference between a lectern and a
a. A lectern is a stand where the speaker lays notes, podium is elevated platform
b. A podium is a stand where the speaker lays notes, lectern is elevated platform
c. Neither A or B
d. They are synonyms and mean the same thing.

6. Pulpit comes from "pulpitum" meaning...
a. Platform
b. Synonym for the office of clergy, church leader
c. Synonym for podium/lectern
d. Raised structure on which preachers stand
e. A character in the game Runescape

7. The word "rostrum" (from our Roving Rostrum product) has meant different things at different times. Past meanings include:
a. name of the platform stand for public speakers
b. end of a ship's prow
c. to gnaw
d. All of the above

Amplivox Sound Systems
manufactures many different types of lecterns/podiums. Match up the following words with their meaning:

8.Acrylic a. Many + Plural of medium
9. Truss b. substance derived from garlic
and onion, sharp smell
10. Multimedia c. to twist, collection of things
bound together
11. Adjustable d. arrange, settle, compose + ability
12. Tabletop Lectern e. lectern that is able to be placed on
a table

ANSWERS: 1. c 2. d 3. c 4. d 5. a 6. d 7. d 8. b 9. c 10. a 11. d 12. e
*Amplivox makes MP3 ready PA systems!
** Model number for Amplivox's signature amplifier that is in all of our portable sound systems

How did you do? Let us know with a comment!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Don't Let Your Message Get Lost in the Noise...Like these Guys

Americans are proud to be able to voice their opinions openly and freely. The First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech has allowed Americans to extend their voice so that it can be heard. Sometimes Americans can use this right too much and cause a ruckus in certain settings.

It can be difficult to control citizens voicing their opinion if the proper measures are not taken before hand like security, establishing ground rules for the observers, and having the proper audio equipment to speak over them and control the situation.

Back in October of this year, at a Minnesota Political debate, things got out of hand when U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar and challenger Chip Cravaack were overwhelmed by the opposition they faced in the crowd.

This article from the Duluth News Tribune describes the situation and said that,
"Moderators asked for civility and respect, but the cat calls and jeering from a nearly-full auditorium continued through most of the 90-minute forum, often drowning-out candidates' answers over a faulty sound system that lacked volume."
Because they did not have a reliable sound system, this event with the purpose of gaining support for their campaign became a disaster that was reported on by the media.

This is just one example of how a failure to anticipate sound system needs ruined an entire event. Event organizers need to make sure they have the right professional audio equipment for their event, and they also need to ensure the layout of seating in relation to the speakers is optimized.

To help with this, Amplivox Sound Systems has compiled a "Pocket Training Guide" to guide event organizers in the physical aspects (shape and design of room, lighting, acoustics, furniture, visual aids, and seating) of a presentation.

Related links on politics and sound systems:
-Blogs Labeled "Presentation Tips"
-Blogs Labeled "Emergency Planning"
-Amplivox recommended Products for the Government

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Video: How to Set up Digital Audio Travel Partner PA System Platinum Bundle

To make purchasing more convenient and easier for our customers, Amplivox Portable Sound Systems has assembled several sound system bundle options for one of our most popular and powerful PA Systems, the Digital Audio Travel Partner. This portable audio speaker system is easy to set up and haul around because of the rolling casters and handle. It also has the best sound output to weight ratio in the entire industry.

In this video we describe how to set up the bundle and how to hook up the cables to the wireless transmitter, how to hook up an iPod or other audio device, and how to configure the microphones. To demonstrate the ease of set up for the bundle, we created the following video:

Related Links:
Digital Audio Travel Partner Youtube Video
Amplivox's Youtube Channel
Digital Audio Travel Partner Makes ASAUM's Top 10 Products
Amplivox Blog

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Cruise Ship Fire Leaves Thousands Stranded

Carnival Cruise Lines recently had a crisis aboard their state-of-the-art, two year old, $650 million dollar cruise line. You may have heard rumors from various media sources due to miscommunication and the lack of facts available early on.

The truth is that the media's eagerness to paint a picture of “starving passengers” awaiting rescue did not accurately portray the events that were unfolding aboard the Splendor.

At approximately 6:05 am on November 8, the captain calls for the fire team to respond to smoke which was filling the engine room. When the response team first arrived, the smoke was so thick that they could not see any flames. Even with breathing apparatuses on it was difficult for them to breathe. After 2 ½ hours and flooding the engine room with CO2, the fire crisis had been “managed.”

Due to the CO2 disabling the propulsion-systems control processors, the ship was dead in the water with no power and only a satellite phone to communicate with the outside world. As a result, the crews could only communicate through portable audio equipment and using their emergency systems for announcements. The passengers would be stranded with no hot food or communication with their loved ones until the ship could be towed into San Diego four days later.

When a $650 million dollar cruise ships’ power goes out so do the normal lines of communication. How would you communicate without the ability to use the internet, phones, or satellite? Without portable sound systems, the crew aboard the Splendor would not have been able to respond to the crisis effectively. Portable sound systems allowed them to communicate in high noise environments, organize passengers, and keep an already bad situation from escalating.

Related Links:
Reaction Alert - A more in depth blog about the carnival splendor crisis.
Communicate Your Safety Message With Portable PA Systems
All Blogs Labeled Emergency Planning

Monday, January 03, 2011

Our Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts from 2010

The year 2010 marked a big change in Amplivox Sound Systems with the revamping of our blog. We have increased our efforts to provide top-notch interesting and helpful blog posts to help our customers.

Here are the 10 blogs from this year with the highest traffic:

10. Top 10 Reasons Amplivox Beats the Competition

9. Interesting Facts About Amplivox's hometown, Northbrook, IL.

8. Amplivox Supports Fresh Start of Illinois Fundraiser, Career Transition Service

7. Amplivox on Youtube

6. Sound Cruiser helps Local Campaign

5. How Amplified Classrooms Benefit Everybody: Technology in Education

4. Amplivox Podium used by US Army in Iraq

3. Grainger Total MRO Solutions 2010 Trade Show

2. Lectern vs. Podium: Definitions of Both

And the #1 most highly trafficked blog post from 2010 is....

1. Forbes Covers Amplivox Announcement

Hope 2011 is an awesome year for you!

Thanks for reading and please let us know which blog you liked best from 2010 by leaving a comment!