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Guest Blogs

Knowitall.ch often invites local experts in their field to contribute to their own blogs on our site. This means not only you will benefit from the useful recommendations that we make on our News pages, but you can also profit from some of the great advice and tips that these experts have to make on their favorite subjects. Whilst each of these bloggers has been recommended to us at some point during the evolution of Know-it-all passport and  knowitall.ch, obviously we are not able to test out all the suggestions they make on their blogs, nor do we necessarily agree with all their opinions.  So if you do find one of their tips useful (or not!), do let us know!

To make these blogs more accessible to you, we have now decided to group them altogether in one section, entitled Guest Blogs, accessible from our main menu bar.  We will also post the most recent blogs on the home page of our site in the right hand column.

We are still building up this area of the site, and are looking for bloggers in a number of sections, including Your Home, Travel, and Leisure, so if you feel you have a useful contribution to make in either of these areas, and have the time to submit blog entries approximately every month, then please get in touch!

BananaTob

Click here for video link to recipe with Follow Lisa

I’m still on a quest to use the giant 4.5kg Toblerone that I received as a Christmas present from my son, so I have taken the Banana Bread recipe from The Settlement Cook Book (Simon and Schuster), and adapted the cooking time to make cupcakes with a chunk of the beast incorporated within.

Settlement

Claire good Stell and Luxembourg Minister and IFRC SG copy

By Claire Doole, Doole Communications

What is the biggest challenge when organising a virtual event? Technical glitches are high up on the list when I ask this question in my workshop on organising engaging virtual events.

A year on since the pandemic first hit, we are still challenged and aggravated by poor video and sound quality, speakers that fail to connect and lack of time management. At one event I moderated, so many outside lines went down I ended up talking at length to the one guest I fortunately had in the studio. If he hadn’t been with me, we would have just had to go on a break and come back once we reconnected with our speakers.

So, how do you organise a technically glitch free event?

Pre-recordings

I recently moderated the Global Vaccine Immunization and Research Forum (GVIRF) – an event spanning three days over two continents – where all the speakers were pre-recorded. They or proxies were brought back live to answer audience and moderator questions.

If you do pre-record, speakers must keep to time. If you are pre-recording a panel discussion or interview, it must be done “as live” so that it is kept to time. If you go over, you will have to cut something else later in the programme.

Broadcasters give themselves flexibility, editing short and longer versions.

chess 2

Dr Mecky McNeill, HealthFirst

How to up your game by taking a leaf out of the book of the chess Grand Masters – the greatest mind athletes of them all!

For me, with universities and schools in the UK currently working online, one of the blessings of the COVID-19 pandemic has been that my older children are back at home. Spending time with them is not only a pleasure, it is an opportunity to learn!

My son recently shared an article with me that he thought I would be interested in from the pages of one of his passions: sport. On reading it, I learnt that a chess player can burn up to 6000 calories in a single match. How can someone who sits in a chair for 8 hours or more and lifts only their arm to move a chess piece spend so much energy? The simple answer is stress.

Stress is a physical, emotional, and cognitive reaction so many of us know well. It drives up our heart rate, our blood pressure, causes tension in our muscles and impacts our breathing. In fact, our whole body and mind goes into a state of calorie consumption overdrive when we are stressed.

After a tournament, Grand Masters visibly lose weight. Because of this, these elite mind athletes now train like their physical athlete counterparts to prepare for their matches, all to ensure top performance. Daily routines include hours of physical exercise, stretching, and weightlifting to ensure muscle strengthening, alongside a rigorous nutritional regime - especially in the lead up to a game. On top of that, sleep is fundamental.

So, what can we learn from these mental and cognitive geniuses? Sadly, 8 hours at my desk has not yet proved a successful weight loss strategy – in fact, quite the opposite! And we all know that feeling of being drained and exhausted after a long day of demanding challenges in front of our screens, perhaps now more than ever.

We have all (I hope!) heard of the benefits of exercise, regular breaks, a healthy balanced diet, 7-9 hours of sleep every night, down-time, spending time with family and friends, mindfulness, and meditation. And I am sure we would gladly like to attend to them all, every day. But then there would simply be no time left to work!

tob show copy

Video link to recipe here: https://youtu.be/-nO1YvOGiFQ

I received a HUGE Toblerone bar (4.5kg = 10lbs) for Christmas from my son. I can't imagine we will be able to eat the whole thing so I thought I might use it in some recipes. The first one is a simple, easy, 2-ingredient "mousse", with no eggs. I have made a large quantity to fill the empty containers that my neighbors and friends used to bring me meals while I was ill with coronavirus as a "Thank You.”

toblerone weighing

Screenshot 2021 01 24 at 09.34.49

By Claire Doole, Doole Communications

This week the powerful icons of business, finance and a spattering of civil society will not meet in the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the annual World Economic Forum’s flagship meeting. Instead, they will meet virtually for a meeting billed as the Davos Agenda which will focus on rebuilding trust and shape the principles, policies and partnerships needed for 2021.

I am hoping the virtual meeting will also showcase and shape best practice in terms of organising virtual events. Many companies and organisations have made the shift from physical to digital events – recognising that producing a successful event is like producing a TV programme. As I wrote in my September blog, they must be shorter, more varied, more creative, better moderated and rigorously rehearsed.

But since then, it has become even more obvious that organisers are going to have to up their game if they are to counter the increasing challenges of high attrition rates.

Let me share some anecdotal evidence. Organisers are not getting the numbers as “zoom fatigue” sets in and attendees zoom out. In some instances, there are just too many virtual events. One communications director from an international organisation told me they organised 67 webinars last year – sometimes up to three a week– and had to make sure staff took part to ensure strong numbers.

This year, faced with budget cuts, international organisations and NGOs are scrambling for relevance with donors, which means the pandemic of virtual events shows no sign of slowing. However, they systematically risk forgetting the well-known saying in communications that less is more.