Mercedes-Benz Classic Cars Past and Present Making the News

The much celebrated German luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has always offered high quality motoring along with expertly engineered technical automotive design. Mercedes-Benz has always been competitive and had an active racing presence over the years, which has helped with the company’s car development and design.

This can still be seen today, with Mercedes having a major role in many areas of motorsport around the world, including the high-profile Formula 1 World Championship and the DTM (or Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters – German Touring Car Masters) race championships, as well as world-renowned races like Le Mans.

Ultimately, Mercedes-Benz is always in pursuit of driving and motoring excellence and that’s what can be found across their range of cars. Some of these classic Mercedes-Benz cars past and present are never far from the news and it is easy to see why this occurs.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing

Recently, an über rare 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing sold at an auction in Arizona for an amazing £2.95 million (or $4,620,000). This was a particularly rare Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, as it was only one of 29 built with aluminium bodies.

This special, alloy bodied 300 SL Gullwing represented cutting edge technical design at the time of its launch in the early 1950′s, as this was a car you could buy in a showroom but was powerful and lightweight compared to its counterparts that were seen on the race track at that time. This was the car that won the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1952.

If you fancy purchasing a 300 SL Gullwing, you could always buy one of the less rare steel bodied models, as there were 1400 made during the time of its production from 1954 – 1957. In recent years, however, these famous Gullwing Mercedes cars have seen auction prices rising substantially and even a steel bodied 300 SL Gullwing will set you back well into a six figure sum.

SL-class Roadster 2012

Mercedes have just unveiled the all-new SL-class Roadster at the prestigious 2012 Detroit Motor Show. The new SL Roadster is a completely new design which features a chassis and body that is almost completely made from aluminium. This means the new SL-class model is up to 140kg lighter than its forerunner, with an added 20% increase of torsional strength. This is sure to improve the car’s handling, plus making it quicker off the mark and ultimately faster to the electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

The S-Class

Once again, the S-Class Mercedes-Benz has won the prestigious ‘Best Luxury Car’ for an astounding seventh consecutive year at the recent 2012 What Car? awards in London. The S-Class managed to beat all of its rivals to the top award, as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class was chosen again for building a quality luxury car whilst retaining good value.

Effective Business Communications, Presentation Skills Can Be Stifled by Powerpoint

“PowerPoint presentations are a new form of anesthesia and torture. They were even used at the Abu Ghraib Prison.” ~anonymous U.S. military officer.

Every month I attend a breakfast meeting of independent professional consultants. It’s a well-run nonprofit, and the ritzy country club where we gather serves bacon done just the way I like it — chewy, not brittle. Every month, we have a speaker. Nearly every month, the speaker drags us through a PowerPoint (except for one banker, who shunned slides for an unadorned speech, telling us that, in the “interests of efficiency,” he wasn’t going to explain the financial jargon he was using!).

Every month, my distaste for PowerPoint grows. The speaker interrupts eye contact repeatedly, most of us more than one table back from the screen can’t make out much of the lettering, and the give-and-take that should enliven any such presentation takes another nosedive — offering nothing but the illusion of coherence. It’s technology as a crutch, standing in poorly for the good old-fashioned display of public speaking skills that we have within us.

What I’m getting at is that we can all interact with an audience directly and express ourselves in well-prepared fashion. Well-prepared means a 15-minute presentation that you’ve laid out in logical form, as if writing an email to an intelligent friend or associate. Once you’ve got that down, rehearse it in front of a mirror or a family member or a co-worker. It’s that simple. Don’t let PowerPoint obstruct the face-to-face effective communication that serves us so well.

PowerPoint’s emphasis on process over product hit home when I worked last year with some Navy SEALs in Virginia Beach, Va. Back in the states between combat and security deployments, they were on the staff of the Naval Special Weapons Development Group, and they asked me to help cultivate a concise, to-the-point writing style to communicate efficiently with their Pentagon superiors. It quickly became apparent that they were also frustrated by briefings they gave for senior officials, including ambassadors and politicians.

To a man, they hated PowerPoint. As elite warriors, SEALs are subject to constant training — updates on weaponry, civil affairs, language, explosives, you name it. Too often, they complained, that meant absorbing one slide after another, then being pronounced “trained,” as if that’s all it took. They’d appreciate these words from Richard Danzig, Navy secretary in the Clinton Administration: “The idea behind most of these briefings is for us to sit through 100 slides with our eyes glazed over, and then to do what all military organizations hope for… to surrender to an overwhelming mass.”

Against that background, here’s what we came up with for the SEALs’ briefings: Instead of a PowerPoint projector, make sure there’s a flip chart, blackboard or whiteboard within a few steps of your podium or lectern. Leave the lights on and lay out your presentation, pausing every few minutes to walk over and write out some key points. I told them their audience would track their moves and pay close attention to what they had to “say” with the magic marker. In other words, a few salient words or phrases on the board would link them to their listeners in an almost physical sense, with nothing technological standing in the way. (As a side benefit, strolling from podium to board and back is a good way to deal with nerves.)

“But what about all the information you want your audience to take away?” you may ask. “What about all that stuff that shows up on the slides I use now?” No problem. At the beginning, just tell them not to fret about scribbling down any details you throw at them. Tell them you’ll hand out fact sheets at the end.

After all, the overriding goal is engagement and involvement in what you have to say. A good speech or presentation — again, keep it to 15 minutes, 20 at the outside — succeeds if it leads to a vigorous Q&A session. When you speak directly to your listeners, instead of looking away and repeating endless bullet points on a slide, you’ve set the stage for trading ideas verbally instead of passively absorbing one image after the other.

I can’t say it any better than renowned Italian marketing and advertising consultant Giancarlo Livraghi: “The PowerPoint syndrome isn’t just the misuse of specific technology. It’s a cultural disease.”a

Role of Presentations in Education

The impact of technology, especially presentation technology, in education is not bypassed. Presentations have a very special role in education and their positive impact in the process of teaching and learning is not questionable. Today it is common to use PowerPoint presentations in education. Students depend on quality education to survive in today’s competitive global community. You as a teacher are responsible for preparing your pupils for this competitive environment.

Regardless of the objective significance of a particular activity or topic, if your students do not find it sufficiently engaging and interesting, chances are bleak that they will be motivated to expend their efforts. However, if you make the coursework engaging for them by connecting it to their goals and interests, they will be more likely to invest time and effort. You, as a teacher with engaging educational presentations, can make a big difference by influencing your pupils. Educational presentations, by providing you with the scope of including engaging illustrations, go a long way in achieving this objective of student engagement.

Don’t Lecture Your Pupils-Engage!

Do not just lecture your pupils, it is old-fashioned. Include the personal aspect of your knowledge to engage your students. Educational PowerPoint presentations have the scope to accommodate interesting activities to make the coursework interesting. It is of paramount importance to make your students personally and intellectually involve with education. It is only possible if you succeed in bequeathing your own experiences to your students. Educational PowerPoint presentations can successfully give your students a virtual tour of the area they are studying. And, if you succeed in conveying emotional involvement via educational presentations, you will increase the chances of motivating your students to get seriously involved and study.

PowerPoint Presentations are the daily rituals of modern teaching and learning. As educational PPT presentations adopt the approach of two way communication, your students feel involved and important. They promote the significance of self-study and questions. Questioning helps break the ice and build positive student-teacher relations.

Educational PowerPoint presentations are a good way give education a personal touch by virtue of effective communication. PowerPoint presentations provide you with an opportunity to talk to your students and get them involved. They encourage your pupils to participate by making the coursework interesting.

The benefit PowerPoint presentations in academic settings is that they help you engage your students not just through words, but also through powerful visuals. Remember, some students learn better by hearing, but most of them learn better by seeing. Presentations possess the power of engaging students through the visual means. Use PowerPoint with effective PowerPoint backgrounds and relevant visuals and see the difference!