If you are in a good long distance relationship, there is an understanding between partners in which distance is just a number. It doesn’t know the language of hopelessness, distrust, and anxiousness. It knows only one language. The language of LOVE. The connection is deeper than the depth of an ocean and wider than the limitless sky. The partners are far from each other. But, their hearts always beat for each other.
Here are ten things to remember for a successful long distance relationship.
1. Clear out things
We all have a tendency to jump at the conclusions without thinking about the consequences. “I heard that”, “Maybe you are right”, “What will happen, if this comes out to be true”, “I was also thinking about this”.
Delete all these words from your doubting dictionary. It’s better to seek out things by discussion. There is no need to assume anything. Discuss all the things openly to understand the whole matter in a broad manner.
2. Remove all ego clashes
In a relationship, no one is superior or inferior. While talking, analyze your behavior. Do not spoil the moment by showing your authority. Don’t waste your time on useless thoughts like “Who will take the initiative?” You will not become small by taking a step forward. Say everything to your loved ones by keeping aside your ego. Don’t suppress your true emotions.
3. Don’t make lame excuses
Do not hurt your partner by saying things like “Baby, I couldn’t call you because I was too busy with my work”. Understand one simple thing: If you have the time to pick up the phone, you can make the call. It makes sense, doesn’t it?
So, don’t make lame excuses. We all have 24 hours in a day. No one is given any extra time. Instead of cursing your stiff routine, take out time for your loved ones.
4. Respect each other’s social life
Jealousy is not bad. It is a sweet expression of showing your love. But, excess of everything is bad. Are you getting irritated by seeing your partner’s photo with someone else on social networking sites on a regular basis? If yes, what is your next step?
Do you call your partner and tell him or her to stay away from that person? If yes, it is high-time to understand the difference between jealousy and an over-protecting attitude. Respect each other’s circle. Don’t disturb the social life of your partner. Do not cross the line and spoil your trust.
5. End your conversations on a positive note
How does it feel when end a call without clarifying the doubts? There is an incomplete feeling which can’t be explained in plain words. Your mind asks several questions.The whole day becomes very dull.
As a result, you create a dump of negative thoughts. It’s better to end the conversation when you’re both on the same page. So, end your topic on a positive note which leaves behind a smile on each other’s face.
6. Talk naughty things
When it comes to long-distance relationships, the couples are not able to fulfill their sexual desires. But, you can enjoy the process by exchanging naughty messages. While chatting online, share your dirty secrets and wild fantasies. If you are not comfortable in taking off your clothes, play a visual game. Close your eyes and visualize any steamy scene by exchanging all the seductive words.
7. Involve yourself in productive things
Do you miss your loved ones? This feeling activates more when you watch love videos or couples on the streets. It is a natural outcome. There is nothing bad about it. But, it must not make you feel terrible and insecure. Whenever you’re missing your love, write down your present emotional status about them.
You will definitely feel better. Create something for them. And, give this thing in your next physical visit. This gift has more value than any expensive gifts because it is coated with your true emotions.
8. Share everything
Don’t hide anything. As love is a union of two souls, you must share each and everything. How does it feel when you come to know about your partner’s problem by your friends and relatives? It breaks you apart because you feel worthless. So, share your personal life problems with your loved ones. Don’t feel odd for burdening the partner with your problems. In this way, you will make them feel more special. Sharing is a wonderful thing
9. Make Surprise Visits
In the age of music players which are pre-loaded with favorite songs, FM channels are still in the business. Do you know the reason? We love to hear random music. There is always an anticipation for the next song. And, when your favorite music comes on, you enjoy it more. If a single song can make you feel happy, you can imagine the expression of your loved one on a surprise visit.
10. Use the power of the Internet
Take online classes together. Play online games together. Read your favorite books and read it aloud to each other. Do online shopping together and chose an item for your partner by asking their preferences. Show your love by sending sweet letters. Enjoy a movie together. Share your lovely moments of the day. Use Skype to stay in touch anytime. Order food online for you and your partner and enjoy the meal together.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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: