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An Open Letter To My Old Friend: You May Have Forgotten Me, But I Have Not

An Open Letter To My Old Friend: You May Have Forgotten Me, But I Have Not

“I hope you know that no matter what, you have impacted my life in ways you can’t imagine.”

To My Old Friend,

I know that you must be wondering what happened to me after all of these years. Or, maybe I became one of your more far-distant memories, the kind of memory you can’t recall on your own because you don’t want to. The kind of memory that sneaks up on you in the middle of the day when you are at the mall or when you’re trying to decide if you should dump the guy your with and have no one to call. I hope you have new friends that are better able to take my place. I made mistakes with you that I will regret forever.

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While I can’t unwind time and correct those choices, I can send you this letter as a way of completing the circle, a circle that represents a friendship that, to this day, serves as a template for every single one of my friendships I’ve had since you.

No one since you can compare. No one since you have been as committed as you were to me and to my plans for the future. Instead of embracing your help and your advice, I battled you and feared you. I couldn’t accept your advice because I didn’t really believe in myself. You believed in me when I couldn’t. I abandoned you that one summer. I turned my back on you because I couldn’t face the hard work I would need to do in order to get my life back together. Up until then, you encouraged me to fight the good fight and offered to be my partner on my journey toward self-awareness. I wasn’t ready. I felt I had to go that path alone and it has been a lonely one.

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Today, I have fought tooth and nail to make progress in what I now know is my purpose. I couldn’t have done that without the seed you planted with me very early on. I will forever be grateful for the compass you let me borrow so long ago. Without you really knowing, I have taken you along with me every step of the way. I miss you. I miss your laughter and the nights where it was just you, me, and the trees. I will never forget the time you came to me for advice. The night when you had nowhere to go. I didn’t either. I remember feeling like I didn’t want to burden you and those gorgeous wings of yours. I set you free from me.

Please know that I would give anything to correct my damage with you and that I am genuinely in a better place to appreciate all that you have to offer a girl like me. I can do that because I believe in myself now and I finally believe that I am worthy of a friendship like the one we had once upon a time. My door is always open to you, for you, in whatever way you might ever need me.

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Love, Cherry Tigris

To Everyone Else I Might Have Fallen Out of Touch With Over the Years

I hope this letter touches you in much the same way I hope it will touch my dearest friend. No matter what, we all impact each other’s lives in a vast myriad of ways. We all own our own part of responsibility in the holding on and letting go necessary in our complicated lives. Sometimes, there is no identifiable reason for why we let go. I have spent a lifetime learning to not take these things too personally.

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When Writing a Love Letter to Your Long-Lost Friend:

Don’t take their lack of communication over the years with you personally, and be willing to make amends should you have something you feel you need to apologize for.

The quality of our character is dependent on our ability to come back to the table when an apology needs to be made. Or, maybe we just miss someone, and that special someone isn’t feeling so special about themselves anymore. When we summon the courage to reach out and make amends, only positive things can be gained out of the exchange. It is my sincere hope that a few of you will touch someone else’s lives today by writing your own unique love letter to a long-lost friend.

Featured photo credit: Paranamir via flickr.com

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An Open Letter To My Old Friend: You May Have Forgotten Me, But I Have Not

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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