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14 Undeniable Lessons About Friendship From Saturday Night Live

14 Undeniable Lessons About Friendship From Saturday Night Live
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A truly iconic tv show, Saturday Night Live has been on the air for an incredible 40 seasons. Starting in 1975, this sketch show has always strived to bring the spirit of New York comedy to the world. Not only becoming one of the longest running shows on television, Saturday Night Live has also launched some incredible careers. Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Tina Fey, Julia Louise-Dreyfus and Amy Poehler all found their start on this innovative show, but the magic of SNL reaches even farther than that. Over several decades, SNL has made us laugh and even taught us a few things about life. Since Saturday Night Live players are famous for collaborating together throughout their careers, SNL has particularly strong things to say about the enduring bond of friendship.

1. Fight Through Breaks

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    Everyone experiences times when they struggle to connect with their friends, or have to work through disagreements. In comedy, “breaking” means laughing in the middle of a sketch. Appropriately enough, a performance has to move on, so cast members must fight through the break. Just like real life, our friendships are more important than little bumps in the road, and it’s important to keep going.

    2. It’s Ok To Be Up Front

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      The truest friends will accept you exactly as you are – though that might not mean a speedo to the office.

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      3. Share The Stage

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        Big names and new talents tend to collide on Saturday Night Live, yet the show consistently retains it’s ensemble feel. Much like relationships, if one person is always the centre of attention, the group will be less effective. A strong reminder for all of us to make our friends feel included.

        4. It’s Ok To Be Weird

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          Weirdness is a constant occurrence on Saturday Night Live. Similarly, some of our best friends come from people we first judged to be a little bizarre. A solid reminder that eccentricities shouldn’t stand in your way when getting to know a new friend.

          5. Laugh At Yourself

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            After Saturday Night Live cast members leave the show, many find success in Hollywood. So many cast members making the switch to the West coast led to the rise of The Californians segment. A biting satire of self obsession in the golden state, this recurring segment reminds us that friendships function best when you stay down to earth.

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            6. Stand By Each Other

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              For a show that’s employed so many comedians, impressively few have been rumored to hate each other. With so many strong personalities, this show truly speaks to appreciating everyone for who they are.

              7. Unexpected Situations Bring The Best Rewards

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                Originally brought on to SNL as a writer, Tina Fey didn’t like being on camera, and stuck to background roles in sketches. One year, when the show couldn’t find a cohost they liked for the Weekend Update segment, the show’s producer asked Tina to audition. From there, she became a mainstay on the show. Audiences will remember her spot on imitation of Sarah Palin, but that too is another situation Tina Fey originally shied away from. Days before the first Sarah Palin sketch, Tina’s child mistook the real Sarah Palin on TV for Tina Fey, convincing Tina she could accurately portray the politician. Two career changing decisions that were completely unexpected, show us that our chance meetings can indeed become important friends.

                8. Embrace Creativity

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                  SNL is consistently original, quirky and creative. A winning recipe for success, friendships too are an important place where we should be creative. Gift giving, weekend plans and random outings are all most enjoyable for everyone when you’re not afraid to get a little wacky.

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                  9. Be Welcoming

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                    Saturday Night Live brings in new cast members nearly every season, yet newcomers often rise quickly to the top. Just like SNL, being welcoming with your friends and acquaintances will lead you to better, more developed relationships.

                    10. Love Your Found Family

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                      Bringing in so many different talents from around the country undoubtedly presents challenges for SNL’s production staff. Despite this, cast members regularly give a strong impression of working as one. Being open to new people and fully embracing your friendships is crucial to feeling supported in life. Loving your friends, and treating everyone as family, is another powerful lesson from Saturday Night Live.

                      11. Never Rule Out The Little Guy

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                        Many SNL sketches’ biggest laughs come from cast members who may not be stars of their season. Just like overlooked cast members bringing unforgettable performances to the table, our less outgoing friends deserve just as much attention and care as everyone else in our lives.

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                        12. New Friends Are Important

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                          Over and over again, the funniest cast members are untested talents. New members of this show have a lot to offer, as do new acquaintances and friends. You never know who will be your closest friends in the future.

                          13. Encourage Each Other

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                            Beloved comedy duos frequently rise to the top of audience’s hearts on Saturday Night Live. From Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to Will Ferrel and Kathryn Hahn, our favourite moments often come from two cast members working together. Don’t forget to encourage your friends and work together – sometimes two heads really are better than one.

                            14. Don’t Be Afraid To Look Stupid

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                              Just like embracing odd characters, we shouldn’t be afraid of being our truest, most stupid selves with our friends. Comedy often requires an actor or actress willing to look silly, but can produce a spectacular moment. Be brave enough to be kooky with your friends, even if you sometimes look a little dumb.

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                              Alicia Prince

                              A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on 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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