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10 Things You Can Do Today To Be A Gentleman

10 Things You Can Do Today To Be A Gentleman
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Some guys never grow-up. Don’t be one of them! If you want to become a confident man who is capable of catching a female’s attention, check out these ten ways to be a gentleman.

1. Take a trip.

You can’t expect to have much of a perspective about the world if you confine yourself to the limits of your hometown. Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive; you could hop in your car and start driving without a destination in mind, explore a nearby town you’ve never heard of, split the cost of a beach trip with a group of friends, or take your partner on a discounted tropical cruise during an off-season.

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2. Adopt a pet.

If you ever feel lonely, please don’t fret, because I’m about to share the best cure for loneliness ever: pets! As a single guy who lives by himself, I am thankful for my dog (a beagle named Dixie), who serves as a cute little shadow that follows me around and makes me feel needed. Being a pet owner will teach you to be more caring and compassionate. That said, don’t even think about adopting an animal unless you’re 100 percent willing to take care of it. As an added bonus, dogs are scientifically proven to be lady magnets. Don’t believe me? Take Fido to the park during peak hours to test that theory.

3. Read a book.

While there isn’t anything “wrong’ with playing video games, you definitely don’t want to spend all of your time in front of a television screen. No woman (or man) will be impressed by how quickly you made it to the final boss battle, so you might want to read an interesting book or thought-provoking article that arms you with knowledge that could prove useful if you ever find yourself having an engaging conversation with a person you are attracted to and would like to invite to dinner.

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4. Find a hobby.

Life can get pretty boring in a hurry if your days consist of waking up, going to work, watching TV, sleeping, and eating some food in between. Do your friends often compliment your sense of humor? Combine your funniest jokes that seem to elicit the best reactions in a stand-up routine and perform it at an open mic night. Do you have a knack for giving speeches or presentations? Audition for a community theater play, take an acting class, or join a local toastmaster’s club. You could even learn something new like a foreign language, instrument, or technical skill like carpentry.

5. Throw a party.

I’m not suggesting you should hang flyers everywhere, especially if you’re a college student who could end up with a bunch of strangers showing up and making a mess. Instead, choose five or 10 of your closest friends, ask them to all bring a single dish or bottle of wine (coordinate this together so you don’t all end up bringing the same thing), and have a fun time together. If it’s a hit, you could make this a recurring occasion where a different person hosts the event every week or month.

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6. Learn to cook.

If you’re a grown adult, there is no excuse to be completely clueless in the kitchen. Having to rely on prepackaged foods and restaurants isn’t only bad for your health and expensive for your wallet, but also something a child would do. Get started with something basic like chicken tacos or a ham and cheese omelet. Keep practicing with a single dish, adjusting your recipe every time until you’re finally pleased with the result (when you think it might impress a female). Repeat this process consistently, moving up to more difficult recipes as time goes on, and you’ll be a master chef before you know it.

7. Keep a journal.

There is nothing “weak” or “sissy” about confronting your feelings. Letting the things that trouble you build up inside will only make them harder to deal with later, so it’s best to find an emotional outlet that allows you to express yourself without a filter. Reflecting about your struggles in a journal (or blog if you’re feeling brave) will help you better understand your personality, get over your struggles, and figure out what you hope to accomplish in the future.

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8. Meet new friends.

The best way to feel happy and positive? Simple. Surround yourself with happy and positive people. The impact of our social setting on our quality of life cannot be overstated. If you spend all of your time hanging out with people who judge you and complain about everything, don’t you think it might hard to stay positive yourself? This concept might sound too simple to be true, but the hard part is having enough courage to walk away from a friendship that isn’t worth having.

9. Pursue your passion.

It’s wonderful to have someone to love and share your life with, but it’s also insane to expect any person to be your single source of happiness. People who put all of their emotional stock into a relationship often end up with a broken heart that takes a long time to heal, because they foolishly invested all of their time and energy into that person (and as you know, not many relationships last forever). Besides, there aren’t many people that would appreciate having so much pressure placed on them — they would probably feel a lot better if you had an interest outside of your relationship — so it’s in your best interest to find something else to care about.

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10. Stand for something.

I encourage you to live according to a set of ethics or principles that guide you in business and relationships. Those principles shouldn’t be governed by gender roles, societal standards, what your parents expect of you, or anything like that. Instead, they should be based on the lessons you have learned during this adventure called life. Don’t get too attached to whatever you decide, because you will evolve as you learn and grow and change your mind, but you should nonetheless follow a personal code that helps you act confidently and decisively when faced with difficult decisions.

If you’d like to help the men in your life be a gentleman, pass this article along by clicking the share button.

Featured photo credit: Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother/QuoteKo via quoteko.com

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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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:

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  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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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  • 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

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