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3 Challenges for 2017

3 Challenges for 2017

For me, 2016 was full of unexpected challenges; however, now when I think about it, it definitely was for the best. I would like to encourage everyone to spice up their life without waiting until faced with encounters. I consider myself an open-minded person, yet it turned out that there are tons of aspects in life that I was missing out on. They say there is no limit to perfection; well at the end of this year I would like to state that there is no limit to open-mindedness. Below are three challenges I had to face that made me a better, more patient and curious person, that you should try in 2017.

1. Travel to a country where you could see the world unknown to you

When I was 10 years old, I used to tell my mother that I would go to India when I grew up and would volunteer to help out the less fortunate. My mother, being Russian and having a rather close-minded mentality, about had a heart attack every time she heard my speech.

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Time passed, and this year (now I’m 28-years-old and make my own decisions on where to travel), I happened to travel to Pakistan. Even though it was not India, I thought there quite a few similarities between those countries. After my trip, I read a book in which the main city described was Bombay, and it was described in so much detail that I built an image in my head, which I then compared to the city Lahore in Pakistan. This trip opened my mind to a completely new world, people and culture. Though I did not got there as a volunteer this time, now I am even more sure that I will keep making a positive influence on people, regardless of the country.

2. Don’t wear makeup for a week

Girls like to be pretty; I guess this is just a consequence from an evolutionary process. Makeup, extensions, perfect nails – we all know that the list can go on and on. However, I have one example in my life that goes against all that, and despite all my love for perfection, I would like to propose a challenge.

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My mother, who is now 58 years old, has used makeup approximately 10 times in her entire life. When I was a kid, I was upset that I had nothing to snatch so I could secretly use it; on the other side now, I just truly admire her and her confidence. She has been using face care products all her life, and that was the furthest she ever went.

Let me get to my point, though. Unfortunately, I do not have my mother’s confidence, or the skin perfection either, so I am addicted to all the beauty products out there. Recently, I had to do a health related test, and five days prior to the test I could not use any kind of face care products or makeup. I cannot describe how strange life felt without those extra layers on my face. I felt more naked than I would have felt if I was actually naked. But I realized something: Instead of investing big amounts of money on makeup, we should invest in face care products, to help perfect our skin (I do understand there are some days when we need to cover some things up). I want to encourage all the girls out there have a makeup free week; be strong and get through that week – I have a strong feeling that it will make a positive influence on the way you feel about yourself.

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3. Be a better person

One might think this is so easy, or that it does not even have to be mentioned. Well for me, this is a desperate scream out to the world! Yes, for some people it is a challenge to be a truly good person, as sad as it might sound. It makes me extremely upset that I see people being rude to waiters (for no apparent reason), throwing trash out on the street, being impatient with elders and children, being extremely self-centered, wasting natural resources without thinking about consequences, etc. (This list will get very long if I continue).

There is a quote from the novel Don Juan by Tirso de Molina: “For us, nothing is as cheap, and for others, nothing is as expensive as politeness.” This is extremely accurate, yet nowadays very few people use this logic. We are so evolved that we believe the world revolves around us and no one else deserves a good word, compliment, or any other kind gesture for that matter. With everything that is happening in the world these days, there is no better time to act, and to act nicely.

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Featured photo credit: Farida Karimova via facebook.com

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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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