“Life is not quantifiable in terms of age, but I suppose in my fifties I am more grounded and more at ease in my own skin than when I was younger. I have a confidence that I didn’t have before from the experiences I’ve had.” – Annie Lennox
We live in a society that is incredibly ageist, especially for women. We believe that success at a young age is to have it all – be young, beautiful, and have the world at our feet. Yet the reality is that we don’t have the same life experience when we are young that we do at middle age. We may not even know yet what it is we want, and no amount of pressure when we are young is going to get us there faster. Here are some examples that are proof that dreams can be realised at any age!Advertising
Find Your Heart and Soul in Food and Self Love
Julia Child was over 50 years old when she wrote her first cookbook. In the 1950s she began to teach the art of French cuisine to housewives, which branched into a passionate career spanning television programmes, winning awards, and writing cookbooks about her chosen speciality and great love: food.
Hear The World Speak To You in Color
World famous fashion designer Vera Wang was over 40 years old when she began a career in fashion and design. Previously she had been a figure skater and journalist, which just goes to show that you can try many things before really landing on the thing that you shine at.Advertising
Write The Book That Has Forever Lived In You
If you have ever felt like you wanted to do something – now is the time. On The Origin of Species was published when Charles Darwin was 50 years old and the book went on to change the natural course of science forever more. Imagine if he had never bothered to pick up the pen? It’s important to make the move toward your passion and worry about how it will be received later – or not at all. Do it simply because you must.
Let The Passion Guide You
Anna Mary Robertson Moses, otherwise known as ‘Grandma Moses’, was a twentieth-century artist who began her painting career at the age of 78. Until Moses turned to painting she had worked as a seamstress for her whole life. A piece of her work sold posthumously in 2006 for $1.2 million, and her work has been displayed in galleries around the world. Moses was also mother to ten children and her work was lovingly distributed on the well-known Hallmark cards.Advertising
Be A Winner As The Underdog – Literally
Carol Gardner was freshly divorced, feeling depressed, with little prospects and a lot of debt at the age of 52. Her lawyer told her to ‘get a therapist, or get a dog’. She chose the dog – an English bulldog she called Zelda. She entered Zelda into a Christmas card competition – and won. After sending the image of her and her pooch to family on Christmas cards, Gardner decided to start her own unique company designing greeting cards, clothing, jewellery, books and gifts. Her original spin is the hilarious wit she adds, with one-liners such as “Go braless…it pulls the wrinkles down”. She encourages one to laugh with life – and Hallmark seemed to like it! Her company, Zelda Wisdom, is now valued at approximately $50 million.
There is no such thing as ‘too late’ to reach a goal or to achieve a dream. If you believe in yourself and you work hard, if you define your own personal idea of success, there is no reason you shouldn’t have the things you want for your life.Advertising
Featured photo credit: Zelda Wisdom via zeldawisdom.com
Last Updated on December 2, 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
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