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5 Positive Bands For Upbeat People

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5 Positive Bands For Upbeat People

It is said that music calms the most savage of beasts. For a lot of people, certain chord progressions or lyrical stylings do indeed make a large impact on the listener’s psyche. For that reason, the team here has put together a list of bands and musicians for those who want to introduce a little bit of symphonic karma into their lives.

Check out our list of 6 positive bands, as apportioned below.

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1. The Mowgli’s

The Mowgli’s are a septet mostly from Southern California with a large psychedelic sound and three lead vocalists. With two-to-three guitarists, an organist, drummer, bassist, and one female vocalist, The Mowgli’s create a rush of adrenaline and happiness that will leave you wondering, as they ask in a recent single, “How can anyone be living in a bad dream?” Younger than some of the other bands on the list, both of their studio albums, “Kids in Love,” and “Waiting for the Dawn,” are packed with tracks that will leave you feeling good about yourself. Check out their new single, “I’m Good,” in which the band decides to “see another love revolution.” Also check out “San Francisco,” which has to be the cutest music video I’ve ever seen.

2. Frank Turner (And The Sleeping Souls)

Frank Turner is a punk rock guitarist from London. He was previously in the band, “A Million Dead.” When they disbanded, Turner decided that playing music for a living was much more preferable to anything else. So Turner started churning out music and touring endlessly. Nowadays he sells out Wembley Stadium in England and gets a modest amount of attention in the US. The one defining factor about Turner is the people who like him freaking LOVE him. Oftentimes, when at Frank Turner concerts, it’s difficult from him to hear himself sing because everyone in the audience are screaming the lyrics back louder than his voice is coming out of his sound system. Songs you should listen to include “If Ever I Stray,” “Recovery,” and “Get Better,” which is the newest song off of his recently released album, “Positive Songs for Negative People.”

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3. The Polyphonic Spree

The Polyphonic Spree is a rock troupe from Dallas with upwards of a dozen members (mostly vocalists) who play a bevvy of songs mostly concerning light and the sun. Their music has been featured in the television show Scrubs and the movie The Lorax. Furthermore, their most well-known single, “Light and Day” was prominently included in the Jim Carrey movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” If you’re looking for whimsical choral music with a wide variety of instruments and a light vocal range, check them out. Either way, their cover of Nirvana’s “Lithium” is totally out of this world. It might even be better than the original.

4. Dispatch

Dispatch is composed of three gentlemen from New England who have gained a wild amount of success despite never signing to a record label of any sort. With incredibly illustrative and precise lyrics, complex drumbeats, and reggae style, Dispatch gained much of their success due to the pull of such songs as “The General,” and “Open Up.” While they owe some of their success to file sharing services such as Napster and Limewire, Dispatch’s real talent lies in their amazing stage presence, in which members switch instruments often and sometimes sing in foreign languages. Dispatch is a real treat. I recommend buying “Ain’t No Trip to Cleveland,” a double disc collection of their most recent live show. While there shows are often free, it’s still tough to get in. Their original going-away concert in Boston drew upwards of four hundred thousand people, with plenty concertgoers hanging on stoplights and climbing trees for a view. They are certainly a sight to see. Watch the recording of that last live Boston show for a taste. Yes, the guitarist is wearing a dress. And yes, those are hundreds of water bottles flying through the air.

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5. John Butler Trio

John Butler Trio is an Australian reggae-esque band composed mostly of John Butler and his dobro, which as a close to an approximation of a banjo as Australia can produce. Butler is known for his metaphysical and spiritualist views, his uniquely blended American-Australian heritage, and his tendency to solo with his dobro for minutes on end. While he is likely most famous for songs such as “Better Than,” and “Used to Get High,” his most sublime and inspiring work likely came during a live show at Red Rocks, the natural amphitheater in Colorado. In it, Butler riffs and solos endlessly on his banjo-esque instrument, running up and down scales, and creating for listeners the closest approximation to musical freedom there could be. The result is called, “Ocean,” and it is sublime.

Featured photo credit: stefanog.com/Anna Calvi via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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