In the business presentation techniques class that I teach, I encourage my students to improve their effectiveness in verbal communications:
- Be direct. (flowers)
- Be actionable. (give me flowers)
- Don’t assume the audience knows what you are trying to say. (I like receiving flowers)
- Connect the dots for the audience. (therefore, you should buy me flowers)
- As the presenter, you have the opportunity to have the last word; people are busy; they are only half paying attention. Don’t just end your presentation with a “thank you” – tell them what you want them to do. (buy me flowers for Valentine’s Day – that’s it – really.)
- Thank you.
(and make these cookies because they are irresistible).
- 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 c granulated sugar
- 1 t pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 c flour
- 1/4 t salt
- 3/4 c raspberry preserves
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a separate, medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough 1/4-inch thick and cut 2 3/4-inch rounds with a plain or fluted cutter. With 1/2 of the rounds, cut a hole from the middle of each round with a heart or spade shaped cutter. Place all the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature. Spread raspberry preserves on the flat side of each solid cookie. Dust the top of the cut-out cookies with confectioners' sugar and press the flat sides together, with the raspberry preserves in the middle and the confectioners' sugar on the top.