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An Open Letter To Infatuation

An Open Letter To Infatuation

Hello, infatuation, my old friend.

I felt too comfortable with you. Like a ridiculously soft hoodie and warm mocha on another bland, tedious winter’s day. I knew each and every nook and cranny of yours.

Beneath your sparkling eyes and smothering smirk, I was fully aware of every single game you’d lead me to play. And, fully aware of the preceding side effects, I gave you permission to demolish my walls, one by one. You crumbled them right in front of my eyes. It’s a predictable ritual; a non-programmable state of mind.

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After countless attempts to rid myself of you, none worked. “Time heals everything,” or so I was told. Your undeniable charm hiding your true intentions caught me starry-eyed and vulnerable. You’d gently caress me in my weakest moments and darkest nights. When the slightest peek of sunshine emerged, I was then greeted with a strike on the face followed by a knowing grin.

Consumed by the passion inside your penetrating gaze, I was reminded of the times you’d whisper words of affirmation into my ear. Your words dripped off of your lips like melted butter; your kisses as sweet as honey.

Oh, my melodramatic self saw all of those crimson red flags in the plain. The escape was easy; all I had to do was to bid you a firm farewell. Choosing otherwise, I threw consciousness and logic out the window without a single glance back.

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You were more powerful than any addiction encountered in the past. There was no over-the-counter medicine to combat the butterflies and electric tension. We were like moth to flame: always close, yet never close enough. Had I gone too close, the story would be no more. From my first thought of each waking moment to the final thought before dozing off into a slumber, you were there.

Sometimes, I wondered if you had ever thought of me. I would then recall how you never remembered my birthday without the aid of social media. I would remember how you’d disappear for weeks without notice. I was so accustomed to living on the edge; hanging by a thread.

The days felt like weeks, weeks felt like months, but I would always be awaiting your response. And the next one. And the next one. It was a routine that thrived on spontaneity, ironic in its existence, illogical in its consistency.

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Darling, thank you for blinding me. Thank you for opening imaginary doors that directed to new doors of opportunity. But most of all, thank you for helping me realize my self-worth. Without being pushed down to what could only be described as a prison of lingering uncertainty and fear, I would never be aware of how strong I really was. I said goodbye, and the results were ethereal.

I found time again. Energy, again. Even dignity, again.

Suddenly, I could walk through that little path in the forest without your scent looming. I could listen to that musical piece without envisioning what we could be. I could write without your name etched in the back of my mind.

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Infatuation. You’ve been quite the handful, being that grey area between the fiery sparks of romance and peaceful waters of friendship. Throughout this journey, I finally realized that you only have enough control over me as I’d allow you to. All that insomnia and over-contemplation has led me to who I am today. And of course, I don’t regret all the bad poetry I wrote.

It’s been a while since we’ve last had a chat. Perhaps I can take you out to coffee sometime to talk about someone else I’ve met.

With gratitude,

Your longtime friend

Featured photo credit: VividScreen via splendidwallpaper.com

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Lily Yuan

Full-Time Student

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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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