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10 Ways to Make Your Writing Quick and Easy

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10 Ways to Make Your Writing Quick and Easy


    You have a deadline coming up. It might be for a blog post, an article, or even a book. Unfortunately you have that dreaded disease of what they call writer’s block. You have a topic, but you have no idea about how to present it.

    No worries. Writing doesn’t have to be hard. Writing is really just about applying a template and filling in the blanks. Here are 10 great ways that you can apply to just about any topic and get your writing done quickly and easily.

    1. How-To Tutorial

    This is the classic “how-to” tutorial. It is organized in a systematic, step-by-step approach to accomplishing a task. The steps are most commonly organized in chronological order (i.e. Step One is…, Step Two is…, etc.). These are generally known as “systems”, “formulas”, “checklists” or “blueprints”.

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    2. Frequently Asked Questions.

    Another style is what I call “frequently asked questions”. In this model, you would take 10-20 of the most asked questions about a particular topic and answer them in your content. This is one of the easiest writings to create because outlining is simple due to the Q&A style:

    1. List the question.
    2. Answer it.

    3. Interview

    Moving from questions that you answer to questions that someone else answers is another way to write. An “interview” is, not surprisingly, a series of questions that you pose to one or more qualified experts to create your content. (Reasons why experts would do this for you include:  free publicity for their web site or business, rights to the completed report or paid compensation.)

    4. List

    Another writing template is what I’ve labeled the “list”. It is simply a listing of ways, strategies, tips, secrets, tactics, techniques, habits, exercises, principles, etc. with a detailed description of each entry to the list.

    5. Case Study

    Next is the “case study” model. This would consist of you profiling different successful examples of accomplishing a common task. In other words, you’d show how several different people (including or not including yourself) have achieved the desired result. The great thing about this style of writing is the variety of different methods people use in attaining similar results. Your readers will likely “connect” with one or more of the examples and get a sense of motivation and empowerment to reach their goal as well. Bottom line:  you’ve got a satisfied reader.

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    6. Resource Directory

    Next is the “resource directory”. With this you include a group of related entries of resources (usually indexed categorically and then alphabetically), along with their contact information such as web site, phone number and or mailing/physical address. You might think of a campground directory or a listing of hotels that a certain niche might enjoy.

    7. Idea Generators

    Up next we have the “idea generators.” This particular style of template is a best described as “a series of prompts to help the reader brainstorm ideas”.

    Here are a few different examples:

    • Idea Prompts for Fiction Writers
    • 75 Starter Questions for Small Group Discussion
    • 97 Winning Ad Headlines For Your Sales Letter Swipe File
    • 101 Best Prayer Starters For New Christians
    • 101 Fill-In-The-Blank Internet Auction Templates
    • The Ultimate Book of Ideas for Home-Schoolers

    8. The First Year

    Up next is what I’ve labeled “the first year”. In this kind of template, you’d walk a newcomer through the first 12 months of a particular endeavor. What beginner standing on the threshold of something completely new to them wouldn’t want the wisdom of what to expect and how to successfully navigate through the foundation period?

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    You could chronicle the first year with a calendar of milestones and guideposts, pitfalls to avoid, shortcuts to take and so forth. Some examples are:

    • The First Year of Parenting
    • The First Year of Home-schooling
    • The First Year of College
    • The First Year of Internet Business
    • The First Year of Life After Loss of Loved One
    • The First Year of Teaching
    • The First Year of Youth Ministry
    • The First Year of Living With M.S.

    9. Niche Business

    One of the biggest mistakes that most “Internet marketers” make is trying to create information products to sell to other Internet marketers. It’s a cycle that just loops over and over again. Fortunately for you, while everyone else is competing with each other, you have an opportunity to teach “niches” how to market.  Instead of selling marketing information to other marketers, teach niche business owners how to market.  All business owners, regardless of what their business is, need more customers.

    Note: What’s interesting about this “kind” of small report is the fact that you can make a few changes and “niche it” for numerous different topics (i.e. “Bookstore Owner’s Guide to Marketing”, “Real Estate Agent’s Guide to Marketing”, “Hair Salon Owner’s Guide to Marketing”, etc.).

    Some examples are:

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    • The Christian Bookstore Owner’s Guide To Marketing
    • The Pet Store Owner’s Guide To Marketing
    • The Personal Trainer’s Guide To Getting More Clients
    • How To Quickly And Easily Get More Real Estate Referrals
    • A Crash Course In Free Publicity For Independent Singers
    • A 10-Day Plan For Promoting Your Craft Show

    10.  The Bridge

    I’ve labeled this kind of writing “the bridge”. The idea is to combine two unrelated topics into one small report.  Think of it this way: there are universal wants and needs (i.e. To lose weight and get in shape) that are applicable to virtually all markets. Most people want to make more money, be successful, live happily, have great relationships, etc. These are universal pursuits. The idea here is to bring those universal pursuits into the arena of your specific field of interest or expertise.

    Some examples are:

    • Time Management For Single Parents
    • The Internet Marketer’s Diet
    • The Educator’s Guide to Becoming A High-Paid Public Speaker
    • Success Secrets For Small Business Owners
    • The Home-Schoolers Guide To Working At Home

    Remember writing is like anything else. You don’t have to get it perfect, just get it started. Use these ideas and you are off to a good start!

    (Photo credit: Man Using Laptop with Lightbulb via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on July 20, 2021

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

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    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:

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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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