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10 Quick Public Speaking Tips For Busy Entrepreneurs

As entrepreneurs, we need to give presentations regularly. We give sales presentations to potential clients. We deliver pitches to prospects. 

Imagine you have to deliver a presentation tomorrow. There's no time for research. You know the topic well and you have an outline. 

Don't worry. You can still deliver an effective presentation with confidence. Here are 10 public speaking tips you can apply immediately:

1. Open with a story

Stories help you engage the audience's emotions such as hope, love, fear, anger, and joy. When you engage the audience with emotions, they will resonate with what you say. 

2. Support each point with a story or case study

Here are two types of stories that deliver your message effectively: 

Your Personal Experiences. What experience has changed your life? It could be "the biggest mistake I've had in my business" or "my first sales experience." Anything relates to mistakes you've made and your first-time work. These stories make you human. Client Case Studies. Think about the results you've helped clients get. To prove my ability to help business leaders succeed, I can share how I helped a nervous business leader deliver the message effectively and confidently and have the impact he want on the audience. 3. Summarize your key points

People remember your closing the best. To recall their memory, do a quick recap. 

If my presentation is about inspiring action, I would summarize my points with, "How can we inspire people to take action? Number one, summarize your key points. Number two, have a clear call to action."

4. Have a clear call to action

No matter how great your presentation is, having no audience member take action is a waste of your time. 

Your audience may not know what to do after your presentation. Give them a clear action step. The action step can be as simple as, "Go to and download my free report."

5. Practice your presentation with video

The worst time to evaluate your presentation is when you're giving it. Practice your presentation and record it in video. You can use a smartphone or webcam. 

6. Watch the rehearsal video 

Write down what you like and don't like about the presentation, especially body language and use of voice. 

Watch the first three to five minutes of your video to get the big picture quickly. Also make sure you end strong.

7. Improve your presentation

Keep what you like and get rid of what you don't like. Like your high energy? Keep it. Hate your poor eye contact? Focus on improving your eye contact. Just speak to the audience like you're talking to friends.

8. Arrive early at the venue

Arrive 15 to 20 minutes early to where you'll deliver the presentation. Get comfortable with the stage, especially if you're never been there before. 

Test your equipment. Make sure the computer and projector is working. If you are playing video, check the sound. For big audiences, use a microphone. 

Practice your opening so you will gain more confidence and comfort.

9. Talk to your audience

Instead of presenting in front of a group of strangers, why not build relationships with your audience before speaking? You'll turn them from strangers into friends and feel more relaxed. 

10. Be in the moment 

Focusing on the audience is a proven method to improve confidence. Before stepping on stage, I focus on helping business leaders become successful and make a difference. 

Remember, it's not about you; it's about the audience.

Apply these ten public speaking tips and you'll deliver the presentation effectively and confidently.

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Mark Cuban: I'll Challenge Trump as a Republican, If I Run for President in 2020

Mark Cuban: I'll Challenge Trump as a Republican, If I Run for President in 2020 | jpdavis |
Mark Cuban will challenge Donald Trump in primaries as a Republican ... if he runs for President in 2020.
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Carrie Fisher Will Not Be Recreated Digitally for New 'Star Wars' Films

Carrie Fisher Will Not Be Recreated Digitally for New 'Star Wars' Films | jpdavis |
'Star Wars' fans can rest easy, Lucasfilm says they have no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher's performance.
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Uber Is Gradually Replacing Public Services

If you live in Washington, D.C., next time you dial 911 for a medical emergency, instead of riding to the hospital in the back of an ambulance, there's a chance you could find yourself in the back seat of a black Prius with free bottled water and chewing gum.

NBC Washington reports that Washington D.C. Fire and EMS Department is considering working with the ridesharing mega-startup Uber, or with conventional taxis, to help handle the department's excessive load of emergency calls.

"We are working with the health department to find other ways to transport people, such as using a contract taxi cab or Uber," Gregory Dean, who heads the department, told an NBC affiliate. "We are trying to find creative ways to try to reduce the strain on the system."

Uber says it has not been in discussions with Washington D.C. EMS about this type of partnership. 

But, given that the company already has partnerships with public agencies in other regions, hearing that D.C. emergency services leaders are considering this doesn't come as too big a surprise. 

Evesham Township, New Jersey for a period covered the cost of Uber rides between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. to prevent drunk driving. Uber has also worked with local governments to provide transportation to seniors. Programs like that can make it feel like Uber is replacing public services. 

More recently, Uber offered an unlimited ride pass for riders in Manhattan, seemingly to try to compete with the unlimited subway pass and with New York City taxis, which apparently continue to dominate the market for ride-hailing trips in the city.

The unlimited Uber pass comes with a surprising list of limitations: It's only for UberPool, only for rides below 125th Street in Manhattan, only for weekdays, and only for trips between the hours of 7-10 a.m. and 5-8 p.m.

Uber is not alone in its apparent efforts to take the place of public transit in commuting. Vanpool service Chariot offers commuter lines. Lyft, meanwhile, bills itself as the ridesharing service that makes public transportation more convenient.

Thinking bigger than all of them is Alphabet, which The Guardian reported last month has a secretive program aimed at overhauling municipal transportation infrastructures with systems that rely on ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber and public investments in Google technology.

The scenario of an Uber ambulance might sound like a nightmare to riders who have encountered inconveniences with Uber, such as a driver struggling to find his way to a location, or even taking a rider "off-route" to an unwanted location, a scenario that has resulted in accusations of kidnapping. Uber drivers at this time receive no formal in-person training.

Then again, as one firefighter tells NBC, even if you've only stubbed your toe, if you call 911 emergency service vehicles will come to you. Not all calls are for real emergencies.

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DreamFoam Ultimate Dreams Latex Mattress Review

Read the latest review of the DreamFoam Ultimate Dreams Latex Mattress .
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Forget Free Hugs. Now You Can Make $80 to $100 an Hour as a Professional Cuddler

Talk about embracing the gig economy. This is an article about professional cuddling, and the people who are making between $80 and $100 an hour practicing it. 

Writing in The New York Times, Alex Williams is the latest to catch up on the rise of professional cuddling, focusing mainly on the experiences of a single pro cuddler, Brianna Quijada, 30, originally from Arizona and now living in Astoria, Queens.

Quijada is a singer (career highlight: American Idol audition), but like a lot of people, it was tougher to achieve her dreams in the big city than she'd hoped. These days she works in a restaurant and moonlights by hugging and cuddling strangers for $80 an hour.

Here's what you need to know about professional cuddling:

This whole idea grew out of cuddle parties.

These are a little bit older than the cuddle-for-hire scene, and they're pretty much what they sound like--picture a G-rated orgy. Over time, a professional scene developed.

As Williams writes, "pro cuddlers promise a physical and psychic salve through spooning, arm tickling and deep embraces. Think of it as a blend of talk therapy, yoga and improvisational bodywork, the free jazz equivalent of massage."

It's not just a New York thing.

If you live in Alabama, or Kansas, or Nova Scotia (or a lot of other places), you can find a pro cuddler at Snuggle Buddies, which nets its non-cuddling founder (he simply matches the cuddlers and clients) about $50,000 a year and offers a free download of a 130-page how-to guide called The Cuddle Sutra.

You might also try Cuddlist, which bills itself as "a therapeutic, non-sexual, cuddle session with a certified professional cuddler." They even have a video demonstrating a session:

I know what you're thinking, but there is no sex involved.

At least, there isn't supposed to be. I haven't found anything suggesting that cuddling-for-hire is really prostitution in disguise. Of course, as you can ickily imagine, there are some customers who expect they're going to be able to take things further than the no-sex-rule suggests.

"I basically say my boundaries, that I'm not comfortable being touched in any areas that would be covered by a two-piece bathing suit, basically. Someone once asked me to wear shorts, and I wasn't comfortable with that. That's like the worst of it," Quijada said.

But when biological reactions happen, they deal with it.

"Sexual arousal happens," Quijada explains, "and it is a natural human reaction. The idea is not to encourage it or manipulate it by simply changing positions. Taking a break, and talking about how we are feeling in the moment can help redirect our energy back to agenda-free cuddling."

Another professional cuddler, Liza Stahl, who was interviewed on had pretty much the same attitude--and said she'd only had to end one session because a client couldn't shall we say, temper his enthusiasm.

"Boners happen. It's not something that you can necessarily control, and its not the end of the world either," Stahl said, but added, "If they push the envelope, you ...  you give them a warning. ... If it happens again, peace out Girl Scout."

It's important to practice safe non-sex.

Actually, this seems like the most dangerous part, but there are quite a few interviews with professional cuddlers online, and in most cases they seem to be more than willing to meet with strangers pretty much wherever.

For example, Quijada said most of her clients rent hotel rooms, or she meets them at Breather, which offers conference rooms by the hour in New York City. 

"There's always that little bit of fear," about going to a stranger's hotel room alone, she said. "But I screen people really well. There's a safety protocol. I talk to people on the phone or Skype, or meet them at coffee shops. But I don't go into it thinking people are going to be creepy -- anymore."

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New Rules To Ban Payday Lending 'Debt Traps'

A payday lender "ACE Cash Express" is seen on San Mateo Boulevard in Albuquerque, N.M. High-interest lending practices are being targeted by new federal regulations. Vik Jolly/AP hide caption

toggle caption Vik Jolly/AP

A payday lender "ACE Cash Express" is seen on San Mateo Boulevard in Albuquerque, N.M. High-interest lending practices are being targeted by new federal regulations.

Vik Jolly/AP

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today is proposing new regulations to protect consumers from predatory lending practices that the CFPB's top regulator calls "debt traps."

Americans are being "set up to fail" by payday and auto-title lenders, Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, tells NPR.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, center, listens to comments during a field hearing on payday lending in Richmond, Va., in May. Steve Helber/AP hide caption

toggle caption Steve Helber/AP

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, center, listens to comments during a field hearing on payday lending in Richmond, Va., in May.

Steve Helber/AP

"The way these products are structured, it's very difficult to repay the loan and therefore people end up borrowing again and again and paying far more in fees and interest than they borrowed in the first place," Cordray says.

Under the proposed rule, so-called "payday," "auto-title," and other short-term lenders would be required to determine that people they loan money to can afford the payments and fees when they come due, and still meet basic living expenses and major financial obligations.

With interest rates of 300 percent and higher, these lenders have fallen under greater scrutiny at both the state and federal level. In March of last year, President Obama said he supported tougher regulations for payday lenders who profit by charging borrowers super-high interest rates. "If you're making that profit by trapping hard-working Americans in a vicious cycle of debt, you've got to find a new business model," the president said.

Payday Loans: A Helping Hand Or Predatory Quicksand?

Let's say a low-wage worker's car breaks down. She has to get to work and take her kids to school. But she has bad credit, no credit cards, and no way to pay for the car repair. A payday lender might in effect say, "no problem I'll give you the money you need right now to get your car fixed, and you give me your bank account number and when you get paid in 2 weeks I'll withdraw the money you owe me from your checking account."

The industry says these loans are needed to help working Americans through a cash squeeze and that the new regulations are unwarranted. "The CFPB's proposed rule presents a staggering blow to consumers as it will cut off access to credit for millions of Americans who use small-dollar loans to manage a budget shortfall or unexpected expense," says Dennis Shaul, CEO of a payday lending industry group the Community Financial Services Association.

But regulators say the problem is that the terms are so onerous that many borrowers can't afford to pay the loans back and still have enough for their rent and other essentials. And so they end up taking out another loan, and then another loan after that, again and again for months or sometimes years sinking deeper into a quagmire.

Cordray says with these loans consumers think they are getting into a one-time loan but they get "trapped" by this cycle. He says it is like, "getting in a taxi just to drive across town and you find yourself in cross country journey that can be ruinously expensive."

The CFPB studied the payday lending industry before crafting the proposed rule and found that 4 out of 5 of these single-payment loans are reborrowed within a month. In the case of auto-title loans where borrowers put their cars up as collateral, 1 in 5 borrowers end up having their car or truck seized by the lender for failure to repay.

Consumer Groups Applaud The Rule But Wary of Loopholes

Watchdog groups for decades have been critical of payday lenders. "The lesson from the last 20 years since this industry started is that it's been remarkably effective at evading attempts at regulation and using a very high-powered lobbying machine to push for loopholes," says Mike Calhoun, the president of the Center for Responsible Lending.

Calhoun says he supports the proposed rule from the CFPB, but he's still concerned the industry will find a way to work around it.

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Cognition and sex differences in circadian rhythms

Shifted sleep-wake cycles might differently influence brain function in men and women, according to a study.

Circadian rhythms affect brain function via the sleep-wake cycle, but whether the effects differ between men and women is unknown. Derk-Jan Dijk and colleagues compared the effects of circadian phase and sleep-wake cycles on the performance of men and women in several cognitive tasks.

During a 10-day sleep protocol, the sleep-wake cycles of 16 men and 18 women were rescheduled to a 28-hour day. With no external daylight or time cues, the brain's 24-hour clock desynchronized from the sleep-wake schedule, similar to the effect observed during shiftwork. Every 3 hours when participants were awake, the authors administered subjective assessments, such as reported sleepiness, and objective cognitive performance tests, including attention and motor control.

In both men and women, the effects of circadian phase and awake time were generally stronger for subjective assessments than for performance in objective tests. The circadian effect on cognition, however, was larger in women than in men, such that women were more impaired during the early morning hours for certain tasks.

While many factors affect sleep and cognition, the findings provide insight into factors that may contribute to cognitive differences, and future studies should use tests designed to account for any existing baseline differences in task performance between the sexes, according to the authors.

ARTICLE #15-21637: "Sex differences in the circadian regulation of sleep and waking cognition in humans," by Nayantara Santhi et al. To be published in PNAS the week of April 18.

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O.J. Simpson Juror -- Evidence, Schmevidence ... We Thought Marcia Clark and Chris Darden Were Banging! (VIDEO)

Marcia Clark and Chris Darden blew the O.J. Simpson murder trial because jurors were more focused on whether they were doing the deed ... according to one infamous panel member. Michael Knox was juror #620 -- the guy featured on 'The…

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Miesha Tate -- Ronda Wants to Get Knocked Up ... I'll Knock Her Out (VIDEO)

Miesha Tate is questioning Ronda Rousey's focus -- saying Ronda's more worried about having babies than fighting ... and it's going to hurt her when they step in the octagon.  Tate joined the guys on "TMZ Sports" (airs tonight on FS1) -- when…

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Zika virus linked to babies born with microcephaly

CNN's Shasta Darlington travels to the northeastern city of Recife, Brazil, considered ground zero of the Zika pandemic.

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How These 4 Companies Used Content to Generate Leads

Many businesses have realized that content is a great way to turn web traffic into leads, but some of them took longer to get there than others. I spoke to a handful of companies, and they shared their successes and their challenges.

(Note: If you want to share how your own company uses content to generate leads, create brand awareness or thought leadership, reply in the comments below and maybe we can feature your company in a future column.)

1. The Dealstruck marketing department adheres to a "fail quickly" methodology when working on any type of marketing campaign. "Of the many successes (and even more failures) we've seen, content marketing continues to perform very well in a variety of ways," says Candace Klein, chief strategy officer.

Klein believes that content marketing now meets at an intersection of multiple mediums--SEO, public relations, and social marketing. All true. In fact, the old ways of PR are currently experiencing a renaissance as inbound marketing becomes a more prevalent way for businesses to attract customers.

Klein outlined a few of their successful and unsuccessful content marketing efforts:

Ongoing offerings: "We published an ongoing series of eBooks on the business lending process, which have resulted in organic and direct traffic, as well as opportunities in the press," she says. White papers can serve a similar function-show off your thought leadership and use it as a lead-gen tool.

Tent-pole content: "We create of ongoing infographics (some successful, some not) that detail the business lending landscape, and also highlight holidays and other important public events to increase engagement."

Inbound links: "We capture inbound links from 3rd party sites to support our long term SEO goals, all originating from highly authoritative articles from thought leaders at Dealstruck," she says.


2. For, blogging has been a key part of the growth of the company. "About half of our organic traffic to the website is due to our blog," says co-founder Christian Sculthorp.

His team turns readers into subscribers by capturing their email address on the blog posts. "We also add links to our category and product pages within the articles."

What they learned: "We try to write helpful articles that are based around the products that we sell so every post is relevant and that results in a pretty high conversion rate."

The mistake they made: "Not giving blog readers a CTA earlier on. When we started out we were just writing posts without really thinking about how they would turn in to customers. If I were to do it over, we'd have clear CTAs from the get-go."


3. One topic that Formstack wanted to tackle and share expert opinion on was the "7 Skills New Marketers Need to Succeed." While a bylined article or blog can stand on its own, there was no doubt that a visually-compelling infographic, shared with the press and promoted through social channels, including some savvy LinkedIn tactics, would provide more bang for the buck.

"Over a three-month period, the '7 Skills New Marketers Need to Succeed' infographic campaign earned us 32 pieces of media coverage," says Chris Lucas, VP of marketing. "This volume of media coverage greatly increased our share of voice online and increased our organic traffic throughout the duration of the campaign."

Lesson learned: Take your blog post material and find ways to transform it into an infographic.


4. As a financial advisor, Devin Carroll struggled for years to get noticed. He describes himself as one of many in an ocean of sameness. "I knew I had expertise in Social Security, but just saying so wasn't enough," he says.

Carroll didn't start to earn any recognition for his expertise until he started giving information away.

He began dispensing actionable and solid advice on his blog, Social Security Intelligence. "As a result of this 'free' information, I started to get noticed," he says. "Podcast and radio interviews started happening, CPA speaking engagements and other previously unreachable opportunities started coming my way."

Advice? "Give your best stuff away. Don't hold back good content."

Thinking through the math: "I think that of 1% (.5%) of the people who read my blog may eventually need my products or services and will become customers. So, if I have 1,000 readers on my blog in any one month I should have 5 good prospective customers. That's awful! I could probably do better by cold calling out of the phone book or with a simple yellow page ad. Somehow, I have to reach more people."

The key?

"More free content!" says Carroll. "The same numbers at 10,000 readers = 50 prospective clients. At 50,000 monthly readers I should have 250. The incredible thing about prospecting in this manner is that the same amount of work that gets me in front of 5 prospective customers has the potential to get me in front of 250!"

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Luke Walton Doesn't Say No To Lamar Odom Joining Lakers' Coaching Staff (VIDEO)

Luke Walton Doesn't Say No To Lamar Odom Joining Lakers' Coaching Staff (VIDEO) | jpdavis |
Luke Walton gives one sign to the question of Lamar Odom becoming a Lakers coach, and it ain't a no.
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Mariah Carey, James Packer -- Deep in 'Settlement Negotiations' ... She Blames Ex-Scientology Honcho for Breakup

Mariah Carey, James Packer -- Deep in 'Settlement Negotiations' ... She Blames Ex-Scientology Honcho for Breakup | jpdavis |
Mariah Carey is demanding that James Packer buy her an L.A. mansion as PART of a settlement in what has become a nasty breakup.
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Lady Gaga -- The Growing Pains of A New Driver (PHOTO GALLERY)

Lady Gaga has only had her driver's license for a few weeks but she's already gotten a crash course in getting pulled over. Gaga was cruisin' The PCH in Malibu Friday when she got pulled over. It's unclear exactly what Gaga did to warrant the stop…

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NHTSA Will Look At Tesla's Autopilot Mode, After Deadly Car Crash

A Tesla Model S like the one seen here at an auto show earlier this year was in autopilot mode when it crashed into a tractor trailer. Mark Schiefelbein/AP hide caption

toggle caption Mark Schiefelbein/AP

A Tesla Model S like the one seen here at an auto show earlier this year was in autopilot mode when it crashed into a tractor trailer.

Mark Schiefelbein/AP

The fatal crash of a Tesla Model S car that was in autopilot mode when it collided with a truck on a Florida highway last month is prompting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open a preliminary evaluation of the automatic driving feature.

"This is the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot was activated," Tesla says in a blog post announcing the NHTSA plan. "Among all vehicles in the US, there is a fatality every 94 million miles."

The car in question was a a 2015 model of the Tesla Model S. Here's how the company describes the crash:

"What we know is that the vehicle was on a divided highway with Autopilot engaged when a tractor trailer drove across the highway perpendicular to the Model S. Neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied. The high ride height of the trailer combined with its positioning across the road and the extremely rare circumstances of the impact caused the Model S to pass under the trailer, with the bottom of the trailer impacting the windshield of the Model S."

Discussing the man who died in the crash, the company's blog post says, "He was a friend to Tesla and the broader EV community, a person who spent his life focused on innovation and the promise of technology and who believed strongly in Tesla's mission."

In the post, the company also extended its sympathies to the man's family.

Neither Tesla nor NHTSA identified the man - but several media outlets, including Forbes, are reporting his identity as Joshua Brown, 40, an Ohio technology executive and former Navy SEAL who was in Florida when the fatal accident occurred.

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Bill Cunningham, Iconic 'New York Times' Photographer, Dies At 87

Bill Cunningham, at the 2016 NYSPCC Spring Luncheon on April 12. The iconic New York Times photographer died on Saturday at age 87. Rob Kim/Getty Images hide caption

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Bill Cunningham, at the 2016 NYSPCC Spring Luncheon on April 12. The iconic New York Times photographer died on Saturday at age 87.

Rob Kim/Getty Images

Legendary New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, beloved for his street-style images, has died at the age of 87. Cunningham's death was reported by The Times and confirmed by Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the newspaper.

His death comes two days after he was reportedly hospitalized following a stroke. He had photographed for the Times for nearly four decades, beginning in 1978 after a chance photograph of Greta Garbo got the attention of the paper.

"To see a Bill Cunningham street spread was to see all of New York," New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet said in a tweet posted to the newspaper's Twitter account Saturday afternoon.

A Boston native, he attended Harvard on scholarship but dropped out in 1948 to move to New York City. Cunningham then worked a number of jobs including advertising, writing a freelance column for Women's Wear Daily and served a stint in the U.S. Army before he got his first camera, the instrument that transformed his life.

Says the Times:

"Around 1967, he got his first camera and used it to take pictures of the 'Summer of Love,' when he realized the action was out on the street. He started taking assignments for The Daily News and The Chicago Tribune, and he became a regular contributor to The Times in the late 1970s, though over the next two decades, he declined repeated efforts by his editors to take a staff position."

Cunningham was noted for his individual flair for fashion - including his trademark blue jacket - and personal expression. This fashion sense was evident in his eye for candid photos of everyone, ranging from the everyday person to celebrities and socialites.

He also photographed clothes at Easter parades, jitterbugging fetes on Governor's Island and summer street fairs.

"He was everywhere," Jacki Lyden reports for NPR's NewsCast. "At Met Galas, the Chelsea Piers, New York Fashion Weeks - all on his beloved bicycles. He wore a French blue working man's jacket, had a crown of white hair and he ignored hubbub for what he saw in his lens."

His life and work were the subject of 2010 documentary, Bill Cunningham New York. Four years later, many of his early photographs - long before his images graced the pages of the Times - were featured in a series by the New-York Historical Society.

"Taken between 1968 and 1976, he worked on a whimsical photo essay of models in period costumes posing against historic sites of the same vintage," The Associated Press says of the series.

Cunningham received many accolades for his work, among them the Officier de l'ordre des arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 2008 and the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence in 2012.

"His company was sought after by the fashion world's rich and powerful, yet he remained one of the kindest, most gentle and humble people I have ever met," Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., the Times' publisher and chairman said.

"We have lost a legend, and I am personally heartbroken to have lost a friend."

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Keetsa Tea Leaf Supreme Memory Foam Mattress Review

Check out the latest review of the Keetsa Tea Leaf Supreme Memory Foam Mattress review.
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Episode 703: How To Hide A Million Dollars In Plain Sight

There are apartments in cities around the world, where the lights do not go on at night. The apartment is empty. And it's hard to tell who owns it or where the money to buy the apartment came from.

And that's because, some of that money is from questionable origins. If you have a lot of money to hide, you can park that cash in real estate. You hide the money in plain sight. You turn a fancy apartment into a giant piggy bank or secret vault.

On today's show, the international quest to try answer a simple question: Who owns Apartment 5B?

Music: "Fingernail Grit" and "Wolfman Rompin". Find us: Twitter / Facebook.

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The 6 Biggest Mistakes You'll Probably Make Raising Money

Jeremy Liddle believes entrepreneurs are changing the world and personally understands the challenges they experience.

The number one problem cited by young entrepreneurs is raising funds with Forbes reporting that an astonishing 90% of start-ups fail. 

A key element in raising funds is the power of your inner circle. Your network dictates your level of success in capital raising. Liddle says: "The better your networks the more likely you are to raise funds".

Failing an extensive network, an increasing number of start-ups are turning to the crowd funding market to capital raise. By 2025, the World Bank predicts that the crowd funding market will be worth $96 billion.

Equity crowd funding platforms such as Circle Up, Crowdcube, and Crowdfunder are making it easier for entrepreneurs to connect with investors. 

The Six Biggest Mistakes

Liddle is President for the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance and co-founder of Capital Pitch  - the world's first capital raising accelerator funding platform. His company uses experts and technology to accelerate the start-up investing process.

Like many entrepreneurs today, Liddle made these six exact mistakes when he failed to raise the series A round for his health food company, RioLife. 

The first three years were tough and at one point he was fighting off liquidators wondering how he would pay his bills. He did and went on to turn a profit of $150K in his fourth year before jumping to $2.4 million in his seventh year of operation. 

1. A High Valuation

Entrepreneurs invest a lot of money in fancy financial models that produce a net present value based on future cash flows that are often unrealistic and too high.

A valuation is based on future forecasting, comparables, and conditions within the economy. Basically, your business idea is only worth what investors are willing to pay.

In January 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that start-up valuations fell to the lowest level since 2012 as investors become more wary.

This proves problematic as in the early stages, it is difficult to evaluate the true value of start-up's based on growth potential. Ideally, investors want to see growth within eighteen months of inception.

2. No Communication Strategy 

Entrepreneurs do not have a robust communication strategy validated by experts.

Liddle invested five thousand dollars for a sixty page information memorandum which was sent to potential investors. The issue was that there was no existing relationship so investors simply wouldn't read the documentation.

This led to Constantine Georgiou, the Chief Coach at Capital Pitch creating an investor centered design based on global research. Every piece of communication is from the investor's perspective whether it is a pitch deck, email, or executive summary.

3. Unsubstantiated Commercial Data 

Liddle is astounded at the number of start-ups that have less experience and sophistication than those entering the public market yet forego validation and testing of their commercial data from an expert.

Liddle claims that in the United States, 12% of successful unlisted private equity and early stage start-ups engage broker-dealers versus 100% of start-ups entering the public markets.

To simplify the process, Capital Pitch helps you create financial data that covers historical actuals, future projections with sound assumptions, pragmatic capital raising amounts and integrates the rational valuation with the sales and marketing plan.

4. Unorganized Data

Entrepreneurs time and time again make the mistake of mismanaging their data, which could lead to loss of a deal.

Once investors have your binding or non-binding term sheet, they may want additional documentation such as: intellectual property protection, employee data, or non-disclosure agreements.

To solve this issue, Capital Pitch provides impressive templates and guides along with a solid list of legal agreements and protection.

5. Inability To Source A Lead Investor

Entering into a market with zero momentum on your capital raise and without a lead investor, significantly increases the likelihood of failure. 

Figures from Seedrs an equity crowd funding platform from the UK proves why.

0% of target raised - fail 75% of the time 20% of target raised - succeed over 80% of the time 35% of target raised - succeed 100% of the time

Having access to an extensive network of investors is crucial as is one's ability to source a lead investor who trusts you, knows your terms and industry.

6. Limited Social Capital 

Think about how likely it is that an investor who has never met you before, listens to your pitch then feels immediate confidence and trust in you before writing you a check for anywhere between $25k to $100k. It often doesn't happen that way.

To quote from Liddle: "As an entrepreneur, if you do not have a network of investors, it is a 'death' sentence".  

There are multiple ways to establish relationships with investors, start by attending networking events, connecting via Linked In, ask business associates for introductions or find a suitable mentor.

The Idea Is To De-Risk

Investing in start-ups is a risky business for investors. Capital Pitch has created a unique six-step system with the aim of accomplishing three outcomes: 

1. Due diligence

2. Build investor confidence 

3. De-risk the investment

To accelerate your success to capital raise, start-ups can methodically work through this process which means you won't be in the 90% of start-ups that fail.

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O.J. Simpson Juror -- Evidence, Schmevidence ... We Thought Marcia Clark and Chris Darden Were Banging! (VIDEO)

Marcia Clark and Chris Darden blew the O.J. Simpson murder trial because jurors were more focused on whether they were doing the deed ... according to one infamous panel member. Michael Knox was juror #620 -- the guy featured on 'The…

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4 Takeaways From The Super Tuesday Exit Polls

It's the biggest voting night yet this year: voters went to the polls and caucus sites in 13 states tonight, with 1,460 delegates at stake. And while results are still coming in, it's already clear: it's a great night for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

And even across the wide array of 13 states — diverse and not, high-income and low-income, ideological and moderate — there are a few big trends that explain just what happened tonight.

1. Trump's support was broad

Which groups supported Trump? All sorts of them. He turned in solid performances in many Super Tuesday states among men, women, old, young, rich, poor.

Even in the areas where he was weaker, he tended to still be strong. Trump performed more poorly among college grads than he did among high-school grads, for example. In seven of eight states, he led by 18 points or more among high school grads. Among college grads, things were much closer. But when he lost, he never lost by much — among the first states to report their polls, the most he lost college grads by was 11 (in Virginia). And he led the next-closest contender by 17 points among college grads in Massachusetts.

One of his few, glaring weaknesses: He tended to do poorly among voters who want a candidate who "shares my values." However, he tends to dominate among voters who want someone who "tells it like it is," and he's also strong among those who want a candidate who can "bring change."

One other key point about Trump support: it's solid. He had heavy support among voters who decided whom to vote for more than a few days ago. Cruz and Rubio (and in a couple of cases, Kasich) tended to split the vote among the last-minute deciders.

2. The usual Democratic patterns held

There weren't a lot of polling surprises on the Democratic side: as in prior contests, Clinton's big strengths were nonwhite and older voters, as well as women. Sanders was strong among young, white, and men voters.

But Clinton was so strong in many states that even she won or nearly tied with Sanders even among his strong constituencies. (The one huge exception: Sanders' home state of Vermont, where he ran the demographic board.)

3. Republican voters were angry

In the first nine states' exit polls, between 84 and 95 percent of Republicans said they were "dissatisfied" or "angry" with the federal government. Though Trump didn't win this group in all of those states, he was always strong with them.

And it appears that this separates them from the Democrats. Only around 50 to 65 percent of Democratic voters said they were dissatisfied or angry (however, CNN only reports Democratic results on this question in six states).

4. Republicans and Democrats want very different things

This data (courtesy of ABC News) really sums up the night: in early exit polls, 84 percent of Democratic voters said they wanted a candidate with experience, and 14 percent said they wanted an outsider. Meanwhile, 40 percent of Republican voters wanted experience, compared to 50 percent who wanted an outsider.

And though Bernie Sanders is by no means inexperienced in politics, Clinton is the clear choice of Democratic voters who prioritize experience. Trump, meanwhile, is the quintessential outsider.

Given this stat, it's not at all a surprise that Clinton and Sanders had such strong nights.

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'In A Different Key' Traces History And Politics Of Autism

In the 1940s, a psychoanalytic approach to autism — "the refrigerator mother theory" — suggested that the condition was caused by bad parenting. Morgan McCloy/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Morgan McCloy/NPR

In the 1940s, a psychoanalytic approach to autism — "the refrigerator mother theory" — suggested that the condition was caused by bad parenting.

Morgan McCloy/NPR

In their book published this month, In a Different Key: The Story Of Autism, journalists John Donvan and Caren Zucker delve into the history of the good and bad intentions, sometimes wrong-headed science, and shifting definitions that can cloud our understanding of what has come to be called the autism spectrum.

In their Tuesday conversation with NPR's Robert Siegel, host of All Things Considered, Donvan and Zucker tell of a particularly dark period in the 1940s when psychiatrists blamed autistic behavior on "refrigerator mothers" — emotionally distant women who, supposedly, didn't love their children enough. "This was a very, very poisonous idea," says Donvan. And it wasn't the last flawed notion about autism's roots.

Highlights of the interview follow, edited for space and clarity.

Siegel: How would you define autism?

Zucker: Well it depends who you are actually because autism is now seen as a spectrum and the spectrum is so broad right now that there are people on one end of it that are severely, severely disabled and you can't help but call it a disability because people are literally injuring themselves — they can't communicate, they can't do things by themselves. On the other extreme end of the spectrum are people who can speak for themselves, they can manage their lives; they do not see autism as a disability but just as a different fabric in humanity.

In researching their book, Caren Zucker and John Donvan tracked down Donald Gray Triplett (center) the first person officially diagnosed with autism. Now in his 80s, Triplett has had a long, happy life, Donvan says, maybe partly because his hometown embraced him from the beginning as " 'odd, but really, really smart.' " Courtesy of Penguin Random House hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Penguin Random House

In researching their book, Caren Zucker and John Donvan tracked down Donald Gray Triplett (center) the first person officially diagnosed with autism. Now in his 80s, Triplett has had a long, happy life, Donvan says, maybe partly because his hometown embraced him from the beginning as " 'odd, but really, really smart.' "

Courtesy of Penguin Random House

Donvan: Because this condition is not one that has a biological marker, you cannot identify autism by a cheek swab or a blood test, but you identify it by looking at people's behaviors. That has allowed, over decades, for so many various interpretations of those key traits that the definition itself has moved again and again.

Siegel: The book describes how autism was first diagnosed, how it was named and explained. I want you to describe this: For years, there was a psycho-analytic approach that dominated the understanding of autism and the cause was really held to be bad parenting.

Donvan: It was called the refrigerator mother theory, and the idea was that children were somehow insulted – psychologically insulted — by their mothers who, for some reason, signaled that they didn't love their children enough. And, as a defense mechanism, the children were said to have withdrawn into their own world. So this was a very, very poisonous idea.

Siegel: Much of the story of autism is frankly about parents and about what parents have done to bring attention to the condition of their children — very often for the good. [But] sometimes — in the case of advocating a vaccine theory as the cause of autism — not for the good.

Zucker: Well, in our book, we really see the parent as unsung heroes. They literally change the world for children with autism. I mean, parents were told to put their children into institutions, and that was what the norm was 50 years ago. And they opened up the schools for them. [Before parents insisted on a change in policy] the schools were allowed to not have children with autism in them. So without parents, we wouldn't be anywhere near where we are today.

Siegel: On the other hand, parents did lend their voices to, well, to the vaccine theory. And the fact that there are many voices saying something doesn't make it scientifically true.

Donvan: Absolutely not. The story of autism has very often been the story of bad science, many, many times. In the case of the vaccine issue, yes, 15 years ago, when the question had not been investigated, it made sense to ask it; it was not a ridiculous question. But it was asked; it was answered, and the science settled it. Vaccines don't cause autism.

Siegel: By the year 2000, the rise in the number of autism diagnoses became the subject of congressional concern. In hearings that year, Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana said, "The rates of autism have escalated dramatically in the last few years. What used to be considered a rare disorder has become a near-epidemic." Has there been an autism epidemic?

Donvan: The truth is that we don't really know whether there has been an epidemic. And I know that sounds strange to people, because they hear so much more about autism now than they ever have before, but what we think is that there has been an explosion in autism diagnoses which is different from there being more autism. We started looking for autism, so found it. Also at the same time, what we call autism became a much, much broader spectrum, and the definition kept changing over time.

Siegel: Toward the very end of your book, you acknowledge the "neurodiversity movement." These would be people who are on the spectrum and who say, "Look, this isn't an illness. We don't want to be cured. This is a different way of being wired, a different way of your brain working." And there's an exchange between an activist of that sort with a mother whose son has autism. Describe what goes on between them.

Donvan: It's a conversation between Ari Ne'eman, who is a very, very prominent and successful activist for the concept of Neurodiversity. And Ari Ne'eman, whom we have a lot of respect for, has been very, very successful in promulgating the idea that people with autism should be accepted as they are. And he had a conversation with a mother named Liz Bell. Liz Bell is the mother of a young man named Tyler. In his mom's opinion, Tyler's experience of autism is very, very limiting in his life and his ability to dress himself, to shave himself, to feed himself, to go out the front door by himself and not run into traffic. And these are two very, very different views of what autism represents that come down to the fact that the spectrum is so broad that there is room for an Ari Ne'eman on it and there is room for a Tyler Bell on it. And the basic disagreement between them is whether autism is something that should be cured; whether the traits that limit Tyler's ability to be independent in life should be treated to make those traits go away. On one side, Ari is saying that it's suppressing who he actually is and his identity; on the other side is Tyler's mother saying that to treat him, and even cure him, of his autism would be to liberate who he is.

Siegel: But it does pose a question: Since there is no biological test — as you say, "no cheek swab that defines someone's condition as being autism" — are we really clear that Ari and Tyler have the same condition, and that we should group them together on this spectrum? Or does the spectrum inevitably include everybody in the world?

Donvan: Boy, that is the question of the moment in the autism conversation. How big is the umbrella under which we want to include people who have autistic traits? We don't look at the spectrum concept as necessarily the last word. We may end up splitting the spectrum again into different parts. And this tension between lumping together or splitting apart has been repeated again and again through the history of autism. We happen to be in what's called in the field a "Lumper Moment" in that the spectrum idea is dominant, popular — it makes a lot of sense to a lot of people.

Siegel: Caren Zucker, is it any easier to be the parent of someone with autism today than it was, say, 15 or 20 years ago?

Zucker: Absolutely. I have a 21-year-old son [with autism], and when I was trying to get services for my son, I was making it up, or I was on a list for 300 people to try to get into a program that could actually help him. And if you look back at how far we've come in 15 years, it's remarkable in terms of awareness, in terms of education. We have figured out what to do, to a very large extent, with the kids. But we have not gotten to the adults. And part of that is because adults weren't around, you know, 50 years ago — they were mostly in institutions. So that's really the heart of where we're also trying to go with our book — for people to see, "Look how far we've come. Look at what these parents and advocates have done. But look how far we still have to go."

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