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A Letter To My Friend Who Always Speaks The Truth

A Letter To My Friend Who Always Speaks The Truth

Hey my friend who always speaks the truth,

I’m writing this because we would never talk like this. Fancy words don’t exist between us. We’re always frank to each other, and sometimes, just quite mean to each other actually. It’s a bit awkward if I sincerely say thank you to you face-to-face. No…just too strange for us…

No one is like you, who always dares to speak the truths, not worrying those would hurt me or not. Yes there were times that I felt hurt and angry, but overall, I’m still grateful to have you in my life. Because you’ve uncovered so many blind spots that are blocking my way, which other people won’t be aware of or just dare not to tell me the truths.

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I still remember when you told me he really didn’t suit me, I was crying helplessly. I still remember the time you said that I was not following my heart but just feeling too insecure. The time you told me not to act anymore, when I was indeed not feeling happy at all…The time you reminded me I was not treating myself well enough and loving myself enough…

And you’re fearless to criticize my outfit. You said my hair cut was a really bad one. The dress was way too expensive than it should be, etc. It’s uneasy to accept criticism all the time, but constructive ones do help and make us advance.

With you, I’d know who I am, that I don’t need to act. I can be the real me. Nevertheless, your wise comments would never stop popping out. These push me to step out my comfort zone and always go for something better.

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When I was extremely passionate about my new plans, you pointed out the brutal truths. When I lose hope for the world, you reminded me how large and beautiful the world can be. You’re like the balance in my life, pulling me from getting to the extremes.

Hearing so many such frank comments, I’ve become a person who speaks her mind more bravely. Not only to you, but also to myself, as well as to others (of course I’d set boundaries for different kinds of people and loved ones).

There were times that I thought you were wrong. I thought you were too subjective and not seeing the whole picture as I did. Really you are wrong sometimes, because you’re human too. While more often, I’d find what you said was full of wisdom.

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We don’t get together all the time. We have our own lives. True friends are like this. They don’t see each other often, but you’re always in their hearts. From time to time they’d call you or send you a message about something you’d be interested in. You don’t need to be very polite to each other too, because you know the other person wouldn’t mind.

Once again, let me thank you, for all the truths you told me, though they’re usually not expressed in beautiful words. Those are not polished, like you, but beautiful in itself.

Love,

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Your friend

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Chloe Chong

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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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