Advertising

Chivalry Might Be Dead, But the College Scene Proves that Online Dating is a Great, Controlled Opportunity

Advertising
Chivalry Might Be Dead, But the College Scene Proves that Online Dating is a Great, Controlled Opportunity

College is exciting! It’s a new experience, filled with opportunities to meet new people and experience new things. I grew up in a small, Midwestern town. My friends were the kids on my block that I grew up with. My world was small, and I was excited about experiencing everything involved in the college promise.

Creating new friends was an exciting thought, but what would my love life be like? I had only dated two girls in high school, but I felt confident that I had worked through the awkwardness of navigating a relationship for the first couple times. College was my opportunity to experiment and discover; I wasn’t about to let that opportunity slip by.

The Hook Up Culture – Dating Has Become a Glorious Numbers Game

I was shocked to find that the party scene at school was totally different from the movies. Yeah, there was drinking, but people weren’t really “hooking up” with people they first came into contact with at the party. Everyone, for the most part, had already met virtually beforehand. I had always looked down on apps like Tinder and OKCupid as places for desperate people to find their “soulmate” or a no-string fling.

I’m not a techy person, but it became clear that I’d need to embrace the world of online dating and hooking up if I wanted to operate at the same level as my new friends. One of my first college friends / wingmen, we’ll call him Brad, had profiles on three different dating sites. He would go to a party and have two or three potential hookups lined up in advance. That meant he had done his homework before heading out; he knew the online profiles of these students like the back of his hand, and he had hedged his bets.

Advertising

Dating apps allowed me to “meet” and virtually screen hundreds of potential dates. Locking eyes and falling in love from across the room wasn’t necessary; true love, or an attempt at it, was just one more swipe away.

Recalibrating the Idea of Romance in an App-Based Environment

Forgive me, but I’m a hopeless romantic. I wanted to have that moment where I meet eyes with a striking woman across the room. Sparks would fly and I would walk over, using my best line to see if a conversation could be started in the moment. No online cheat-sheets or plans for hooking up. Totally fluid, totally natural and exciting; that, to me was my naive essence of an amazing relationship’s first moments.

In college today, it’s exceedingly rare to just meet someone in-person. We live in a virtual reality that seems to shape our physical reality, rather than the other way around. To have the best chance of leading an extraordinary real-life, you have to hone your virtual life skills.

Stepping Up My Game

At my first couple of parties, a line from Young MC’s Bust A Move kept playing on loop in my head. I walked in, saw some attractive woman and thought to myself: “…come on fatso, bust a move!” For the record, I’m pretty fit, but I was frozen with the thought that those women had already lined up a “match” before heading to the party. I didn’t want to start a conversation with someone that was there to meet someone else.

Advertising

So, before attending my third Saturday night frat party, I decided to get serious about virtual pre-dating. I needed a killer profile and a strategy for matching and flirting online with women I would meet the following weekend. Beyond chatting with Brad to get some initial pointers, I did what every good millennial does when they have a question; I googled it!

One of the best articles I read on the subject pointed out that if you’re going to be successful in finding a real match online, you have to understand the “purpose” of your profile, along with the “purpose” of your potential match’s profile.

Swiping right and getting a “MATCH!” notification is exciting. But, I didn’t want to waste my time on a casual hook-up. Remember? I’m the hopeless romantic. I wanted something real, serious and full of potential. I became an expert at analyzing the online profiles of my matches.

Here are the three things I looked for:

Advertising

  1. Is their profile serious, with real information about what makes them unique and interesting?
  2. Are their photos genuine looking? Are there any photos that aren’t at a weird angle, or in a group setting?
  3. Could they hold a real conversation when we chatted, while still keeping it fun and casual at first?

Your criteria will probably be different, but I was looking for a woman that was in-shape, able to hold a conversation and had a good sense of humor. Angeline Jolie would have worked out too! But, in all seriousness, you have to understand what it is you’re looking for.

And, if you’re worried about having something to say, you’ll want to learn how to play an instrument. As the founder of Trusty Guitar, is fond of saying, “Learning to play the guitar might only take a few months, but the romantic perks last a lifetime.” I learned very quickly that if you can teach a girl an instrument, you’ll capture her attention in a meaningful way. But, you’ll want to lay the groundwork first.

Chivalry has a new, 21st century definition. The world where people meet in real-life for the first time and develop an organic, meaningful relationship is becoming more and more rare. I’m sure there will be courses like “Dating Before the Internet 101” available for elective credits before too long. But, there’s no better place to witness the transformation in real-time than on a college campus.

More than a quarter of the US population under the age of 25 claims that online dating is an integral part of their dating life. That’s a massive jump from previous years, and if you’re not meeting people online, you’re going to have a hard time “gelling” at parties and other social events, because you’ve already missed half of the conversation before you’ve even stepped foot in the door.

Advertising

Of course it’s still possible to meet a great match in real life and if this happens to you, good for you. You’re one of the lucky ones! But if you find meeting people in real life hard, then your should embrace the opportunity that online dating provides. Expand your horizons and embrace new ideas and technology. I would not have met my wife if it weren’t for online dating. Are you letting opportunities pass you by?

Featured photo credit: Nathan Walker via hd.unsplash.com

More by this author

Ahmed Raza

CEO of Samurais.co

5 Things Our Parents Expect From Us During Old Age 4 Powerful Strategies to Increase Conversions of Your Ecommerce Business 5 Ways Technology Can Help You Balance School and Life 4 Ways Businesses Can Stand out on Pinterest 3 Ways You Can Make Your Dad Feel Special This Christmas

Trending in Communication

1 How to Live a Happy Life: 10 Keys to Happiness 2 10 Signs You Are in a Codependent Relationship (And What To Do About It) 3 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 4 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 5 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People

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