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Be Yourself — Because No One Else Really Cares That Much

Be Yourself — Because No One Else Really Cares That Much

Too often, we give too much credit to other people’s opinions.

As social animals, we humans have a natural tendency to give other people’s opinions far too much weight. We can become overly concerned by what others believe, think, or say about us and our life choices.

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It’s so easy to forget that most people place themselves at the center of their mental universes and are much more likely to be paying attention to their own lives than whatever you are doing. This is a liberating thought because it frees us up from caring so much about what others think. We can start to put our focus back on living an authentic life that reflects our true self.

Once you truly appreciate the value of being yourself, you will find that life becomes much simpler and less stressful. You will no longer be trying to please everyone around you and burning up precious energy on those whose opinions really do not count for much anyway.

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The power of being yourself

Those of us who relish being our true selves know the power of letting go and valuing who we really are. Everyone has their own set of unique gifts and talents to bring to the world, and to pretend to be something we are not is to deny our own status as a valuable, irreplaceable human being. When you compromise yourself in the name of pleasing other people, you are setting yourself up to fail. We can never fully know what other people want or expect from us, and even if we did, dedicating your life to meeting their expectations and avoiding their criticism is a recipe for exhaustion and depression. People can change and withdraw their affection or approval on a whim, so if you have built your self-esteem on the opinions of others, then you are in a precarious position.

Standing up for what you believe in and showing your true face to the world can also act as an inspiration to others. Too many people have been taught to devalue who they are, to take any and all criticism personally, and to feel extremely disturbed by any negative comments they receive. When you show through your behavior and attitude that self-love and self-acceptance is a viable alternative, this may encourage them to handle criticism differently. You can be a great inspiration to someone simply by being yourself and not caring what others think.

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Even if you are met with criticism, you don’t have to care

When you truly let go of what other people think, an odd thing happens. Ironically, people are drawn towards those who are unafraid to be themselves, which means that when you stop caring about other people’s opinions, you may end up becoming more popular than ever before! At the same time, being yourself can also attract plenty of criticism.

The simplest and most effective way of dealing with criticism is recognize it as the opinion of one person, to remind yourself that you do not have to accept their views as fact, to shrug, move past it, and get on with your day. After all, other people are under no obligation to like or approve of you, just as you are under no obligation to take their comments on board.

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The only person you have to worry about pleasing is yourself. Stay true to who you are, stand up for what you believe in, and in time even the most mean-spirited comments will lose their sting. Remember that there are few people more beautiful and content than those who feel free to be themselves.

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Jay Hill

Freelance Writer

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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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