Advertising

5 Ways Millennials Can Start Building Their Future Today

Advertising
5 Ways Millennials Can Start Building Their Future Today

There has been a lot written about the way millennials are approaching the world of work in a very different manor to previous generations. We tend to place a strong emphasis on making sure that we work simply to enjoy life to the fullest, rather than only working to live, and you will often hear many people talking about wanting to live only in the now.

These are positive ideals that I very much subscribe to, but aside from being millennials, we’re also known as Generation-Rent thanks to the way our carefree attitude to life and finances in general mean that many of us will never get to own our own home. This is as much to do with our generation being priced out of the market as it is a question of choice, but this one example doesn’t bode all that well for our long-term futures.

I have zero interest in being the killjoy who tells everybody to get serious and get to work, but I do think there are a number of little things that we could be doing now in order to better prepare ourselves for a slightly more prosperous future.

Advertising

1. Get a Roommate

If you’ve already got one, cool, but for many people the moment you move into your own flat is a seminal one that proves you’re now a fully-fledged adult with your own established place in the world. This is awesome, well done, but is it really all that important for you to be living alone right now? I am very guilty of having gone down this same route. I have paid a high price for it, and looking back I realise that I would have saved a lot of money if only I had continued to live with friends.

Even if you aren’t ready to ditch your independence completely, there has never been a better time than now for you to rent out a spare room via Airbnb in order to save some extra cash. This is never more true than when you go on holiday and your home is just left sitting there completely empty. Not only are you blowing all your cash on a good time in Ibiza, but you’re paying the rent too. Rent it out and pass that cost onto somebody else. Doing so should at least cover your drinks’ bill.

2. Turn Your Blog Into a Business

Our generation is able to benefit from technology in ways never previously accessible to our parents and grandparents. The internet may waste almost as much of our time as it does provide us with amazing opportunities, but this is something we really have to turn to our advantage. This is especially true for those people who run their own blogs.

Advertising

You might think of your blog as not much more than a hobby where you post your writing, art, photography, or any of the other things that resonate with you personally, but this passion could be something that you could turn into a little cash. Advertisers may be interested in buying space on your page if you’re attracting a lot of daily traffic.

And if you’ve got unique content on there that could be turned into merchandise, there might just be a market willing to buy from you. This could get a little complicated and involve a bit of training and some ecommerce CRM software to make this transition a reality, but the long-term rewards will be well worth the hassle.

3.  Be Money Smart

One of the big problems for many people is not that they don’t have any money. It is more often the case that they just don’t manage it well. When you live hand to mouth it is hard to think about saving, but it’s even harder to do this if you just bury your head in the sand and don’t think about it all.

Advertising

Aside from trying to work out little ways in which you could budget and save money each month, you should also review all of your financial arrangements. Banking is a business just like any other. You might be perfectly happy with your bank and credit card, but are they really giving you the best market deal? Chances are you probably have no idea.

You might not be able to pay off your credit card over night, but in a few clicks you could very well move all your debt over to a card where for the next year or more you will have 0% interest on the balance you moved.

4. Learn a Second Language

Budgeting and money saving where you can are great ways to build up a little nest egg but so too is education. If you can promote yourself as being bilingual on your CV, there is a good chance that this will make your odds of getting a new job significantly better. Langue learning via a school or an academy can be quite time consuming and expensive, but there are a number of cheaper ways to go about this.

Advertising

In many big cities there are often “intercambio” opportunities where you can find people who want to meet up over coffee and spend half the time speaking in their language and the other half in yours. This is great for those people who already have a base knowledge and want to push on. And for absolute beginners there are lots of free resources online which you can use to get started.

5. Buy a Bike

For city dwellers and those that commute from the outskirts each day, travel costs can take up a high percentage of your monthly outgoings. By investing in a decent second-hand bike, or even a cheap brand new one, you’ll not only save money in the long run, but you’ll be improving your health and saving the environment as you do it.

Many major cities understand how beneficial having a bustling bike culture is with extensive bike lanes and low-cost bike share services being a fixture of places like Barcelona, Paris, New York and London. Even if your own city doesn’t have these kinds of luxuries, there’s no reason why you can’t saddle up anyway in order to start saving some money.

Advertising

Featured photo credit: http://getrefe.tumblr.com/ via 67.media.tumblr.com

More by this author

5 Simple Ways To Survive Your Tax Returns attractive 5 Misconceptions About What Is Attractive To Women The Top 5 Happiest Countries In The World Top 5: The World’s Best Cities To Move To canada Canada: 5 Reasons Why You Should Pay A Visit

Trending in 20-Something

1 How To Go Through College And Stay Sane 2 The Battle Of The Voices In My Head 3 How to Have the Best Spring With Your Pets 4 5 Effective Ways to Increase your Instagram Followers 5 5 Ways to Enjoy Festivals With Pets

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 20, 2021

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

Advertising
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:

Advertising

  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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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:

Advertising

  • 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

Read Next