Challenge Coin: It’s Origin

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Challenge coins are medallions that carry an organization’s emblem, but more than a piece of metal, these symbolize everything that an organization stands for – bravery, camaraderie, integrity and valor. Challenge coins have been an integral part of the military service, with each coin representing a battle that was fought for the country, signifying triumph and bravery, and indicating the membership of an individual. While it has been minted for quite some time now, its origin has yet to be confirmed.

Some say it started way back World War I when a lieutenant gave his coin unit  bronze medallions as a symbol of their membership. Among the unit was a pilot who kept his coin inside a leather pouch. During an expedition, his plane was badly damaged by ground fire. He landed on German territory and was immediately captured. To ensure he couldn’t escape, the German took all his identification except the coin.

Luckily, he was able to escape and flee from the land by pretending to be a civilian. However, his victory was short-lived as he was not recognized by the French allies and they were ready to execute him. The pilot, however, was able to prove his allegiance by using the bronze medal given by the Army Lieutenant.

Challenge CoinHis executors immediately recognized the insignia on the medal, so they released him and even offered him some wine. Though there is no evidence to prove this story, many believe it is where the use of challenge coins as a sign of unit’s membership started.

Others, however, believe that the challenge coin more likely originated in the 1960’s. A serviceman of the Special Forces group stamped the emblem of their society on an old coin and gave it to the other members of the group.

There is even a story saying the tradition of making challenge coins started back during the Roman Empire where they give coins as awards to the soldiers for their achievements. At the end of the day, soldiers would receive their pay, and extra coins if they performed well during the battle. Some say the coins are specially minted, which is the reason why soldiers would rather keep them rather than spend them.

Another story, nonetheless, associates the advent of challenge coins to the Second World War wherein the officers of the 107th Infantry used a coin to verify their identity during meetings. Their coin is just ordinary but it had a specific feature like the date or type which was checked during the gathering. Through this, they prevented the infiltration of a spy because one must know first the time, date, location of the meeting and the type of coin to be presented in order to get in.

Among other legends is one that says it started with a soldier assigned with the Philippine Guerillas during the World War II. He was carrying a solid silver coin from the Philippines, which he used to prove to the guerillas that he wasn’t a spy but an ally for their mission against the Japanese.

While it may not be the first, one of the earliest challenge coin was minted by a 17th Infantry Regiment named Colonel “Buffalo Bill” Quinn. The coin had the emblem of the Regiment on one side and a buffalo, in honor of the creator, on the other. It was even designed with a hole drilled up top so that members could wear it around their necks, instead of being placed inside leather pouches.

While there is no way to prove how it started, the challenge coin is still being minted with over thousands of coins used to recognize membership in the military and other organizations.

The Qualities of a Good Keynote Speaker

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Conferences are usually big events. Whether it is presenting a new corporate strategy, unveiling a new product, or even just enhancing company values, conferences are a good way to present those ideas to a wide audience. Nevertheless, conferences take a lot of planning to implement. Since many things can go wrong, all the logistics should be prepared in advance. This usually includes the venue, food, décor, and seating, among others. Furthermore, if people are willing to invest in all of these, they should also choose keynote speakers carefully.

What makes a good is a keynote speaker? Generally, a keynote speakers is are someone people who sets the overall mood for the conference any event. Everything they say should serve as guides, helping the audience understand the main ideas of the event and providing some background information for subsequent talks. In a short amount of time, they must be able to present the essential points of the discussion. Additionally, they should be able to grab the interest of the audience and arouse their curiosity. They must be able to make people hungry for more ideas. Finally, they must inspire and motivate people to think deeply about the ideas to be discussed and apply them.

Research is vital for a successful keynote address. Keynote speakers must be given enough information in order to make compelling and effective speeches. They need to know about the main purpose and theme of the conference. They also need to know the values of the company, as well as its vision and mission statements. Letting them know about other keynote speakers during the event, as well as what talks they will provide, will also help keynote speakers a lot. All of these pieces of information will help keynote speakers produce speeches that are coherent with the rest of the event.

Additionally, a good keynote speakers needs to know about the nature of the audience. Specifically, they need to know about the expected number of participants, the diversity level of the audience, and the level of knowledge that the listeners have. These will help keynote speakers tailor their talks to the audience. Such customization will surely go a long way in making the conference more memorable.

Keynote speakerAny additional information that seems useful should also be provided. Keynote speakers will use any information to make proper choices regarding various aspects of the keynote address, including use of main points, choice of words, organization of ideas, insertion of humor, and application of rich media.

In this age of modern technology, it would be common for a keynote speaker to use rich media to help convey thoughts. The use of PowerPoint slides, background music, and videos, to name a few, is an excellent way to ensure that the audience is continuously being engaged. It helps break the monotony and adds impact to your event. Of course, use of such media requires some logistics. Prior to the event, organizers should know the preferences of the speaker they hired. They should work together to facilitate proper delivery of rich media to the audience and avoid any mishaps, such as technical failures.

Finally, a good keynote speaker must be able to deliver a speech with confidence and professionalism. Such a speaker must be able to speak fluently and communicate in a clear but concise fashion. Use of non-distracting gestures, as well as good fashion sense, is also desirable.

All in all, a keynote speaker must project a strong and confident persona, but not so much as to come off as conceited. Investing in a vibrant speaker who can deliver a clear message to an audience and motivate people to embrace ideas will surely enhance your event.

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