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4 Ways To Spend Quality Time With Your Friends

4 Ways To Spend Quality Time With Your Friends

As we grow up, our world changes. We become too busy to allocate time for our friends as our responsibilities begin to pile up. Our best friends become our distant friends and our distant friends become a faint memory. Life moves on while our memories of our friends begin to fade away.

Reminiscing becomes painful. However, there’s a way to avoid the pain in this scenario. Quality time with your mates will keep your friendships as solid as the Sex and The City foursome. A once-in-a blue-moon gathering could put a wide smile on everyone’s faces.

Make time for a day where responsibilities are less relevant than friendship. Have some group fun and maintain your friendships throughout the years. Here are a few ways to spend some quality time with your friends group.

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1. Catch up on your favourite TV series together

This is one of the activities my friends and I use to stick together through our busy lives. Initially, this practice started with Sex and the City episodes. We used to gather with hot chocolate (these days we prefer wine), and watch the latest episode together. We would indulge in our weekly gossip and chat together about everything that happened since we were last together.

These days, as we’ve all started travelling and moving to different countries, we keep our dates on Skype. Game of Thrones is our new Sex and the City. We pick a time and avoid spoilers so that we can watch that one-hour episode together. It brings us back to our childhood and has kept our friendships going strong until this very day.

2. Plan vacations together

No matter if your best friends were people you met in college, at work, or during your school days, keeping each other updated keeps the friendship growing. This is what keeps your bonds strong over time. However, it can be tough to maintain these updates when you get caught up in daily life.

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The next time you’re looking forward to a break, planning a trip with your old friends will give you the chance to bond and give you a well-deserved break. The best way is to plan a trip in nature or to a country that you’ve never visited. You will have an adventure together and an amazing story to remember.

3. Remember birthdays  

Have you been in the situation where you forget the most important days, most of them usually being birthdays? Some of us would be lost without our Facebook reminders. For many, birthdays are full of expectations. Simple wishes and calls can brings tears to one’s eyes.

Therefore, take up the habit of writing or programming birthdays in your calendar. Note the dates of the birthdays as well as keep track of them through your mobile phone or Google calendars. This will help you make surprise calls or even small surprise gestures during friends’ birthdays. This will prove to them that they are very important in your life.

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4. Play sports together

A healthy body equals a healthy mind. Therefore, as we age, we must focus on our health. Workouts become an important part of our lives and keeping fit becomes a routine instead of an obligation. Why not include your friends? Playing sports with your friends could prove to be a great way to communicate and bond with them. In many ways, it can also boost your competitive spirit, motivating you to work harder and better.

Friendly competition is always the best way to keep your friends together. These activities could be either a game of golf or a 2-hour workout session in the gym. For some, it could be a nice relaxing day of yoga or dancing. It eventually becomes a weekly moment you look forward to and a chance to catch up and unwind while doing something productive.

If this list triggers you to pick up your phone or write an email to a long-lost friend, then don’t hesitate. You never know — yours might be the voice they need to hear today. It could be the start of something new and amazing.

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Featured photo credit: Ian Schneider via unsplash.com

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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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