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15 Things Only Talkative People Would Understand

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15 Things Only Talkative People Would Understand

You’ve probably seen those Peanuts cartoons involving Charlie Brown having a phone conversation with his grandmother, or a sales lady, in which the person on the other end of the line sounds like a trombone with a sock stuck inside it: “Whaa-whaa-whaa-whaa-whaa.”

And if you’ve ever been accused of talking too much, you’ve probably been mocked with that same voice.

Talkative people have a hard life. On the one hand, everyone’s always telling you to shut up. And on the other, you’re just expected to show up at every social event with a pocket full of acerbically witty conversation starters that would make Oscar Wilde swoon in admiration.

It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. Here are 15 things only those talkative people would understand.

1. You end a lot of your conversations with an apology

Your friends love you. You know they do, or they’d probably have all pooled their money together to have your tongue surgically removed, but that doesn’t stop you from going home from a coffee date with your best friend, cudgeling your brains to make sure you remembered to ask her if she got that job she’d interviewed for, or how her husband is.

Case-in-point: Last week, I texted a friend to ask if we could meet for ice cream; I was juggling three writing projects with the skill of an amateur plate-spinner, while trying to talk my parents through multiple health issues from 500 miles away, and my brain felt like over-cooked spaghetti.

After unceremoniously unloading on my friend, I looked up from my sadly empty ice cream cup and said, “I’m sorry. I just yammered at you for an hour.” The fact that I regularly render the same listening service to my friends, or the fact that I obviously needed an ear, didn’t stop me fearing that she’d probably wished I had laryngitis that day.

2. You can’t keep a secret

Well, actually, you can, but you make it a rule that anyone must inform you of your roll as secret keeper before entrusting you with classified information so that you remember to switch on the brain-to-mouth filter. Remember that episode of “The Big Bang Theory” when Penny made Sheldon swear he wouldn’t tell Leonard that she’d lied about finishing community college? If anyone forgets to activate the secret-keeping clause with you, it’s not going to end well.

I learned this lesson the hard way in high school when I entrusted one soul on the planet with the name of the boy I secretly wanted to go to the Senior Prom with and made her swear not to tell him. She didn’t, but one night while at the local coffee shop, she boldly asked me in front of the rest of our girlfriends whether or not I’d worked up the courage to ask him to the prom.

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“That’s classified information!” I hissed.

“What? I didn’t tell him. I swear I didn’t,” she protested.

“No,” I said, “but you just told everyone at this table, not to mention everyone else in earshot.”

Given the fact that half the student body usually congregated at this particular coffee shop on weekends, the information eventually reaching the boy in question was an inevitability.

3. You’re famous for maxing out your Twitter API limit on a five-minute firect message conversation

140 characters? Who are you kidding? And TweetLonger is your friend.

Recently I became rather enthusiastic in a debate with a friend about the merits of Benedict Cumberbatch versus Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes. and no sooner had my Twitter client run out of DMs than I received an email from the friend I’d been chatting with, containing the subject line “You need to stop breaking Twitter. Seriously.”

4. You sometimes catch yourself having structured conversations with your smartphone

I’m not actually sure why I do this. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m lonely and single, and talking to Siri simulates human contact. Or maybe the movie “Her” just had a more profound impact on me than I realized.

Whatever the reason, sometimes, instead of simply barking out, “Text Kate,” I ask, “Siri, can you text Kate?” I like to think she appreciates the courteous gesture.

5. You interrupt yourself

You know exactly what I’m talking about. The perfect example: So, I was running errands yesterday, and when I was in the checkout line at the grocery store, I got stuck behind a woman wearing a hat with so many feathers it looked like she had a giant bird perched on her head, and – wait, did I ever tell you about the time I ran over a bird with my car? That was awful, because I’m terrified of birds. I never told you why I’m terrified of birds, did I?

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Your friends must love cliffhangers, because they never complain, and they’re still dying to know what happened in that car-hits-bird scenario. You can’t help it. You’re the Energizer Bunny of storytelling.

6. You’re everyone’s favorite road trip buddy

And you always get shotgun because when the iPod has exhausted its selection and you’re stuck behind a Winnebago crawling at 20 MPH, whoever’s driving will thank you later for keeping them awake and single-handedly saving all of your lives.

My best friend used to bribe me with Starbucks: “If you keep me awake, I’ll buy you a caramel latte.”

Honestly, I don’t know why he bothered to bribe me with lattes and espresso brownies. I almost never need an excuse to open my mouth, though caffeine and chocolate are usually pretty good motivators.

7. Your own phone interrupts you at the most pivotal point in your latest tale when the person on the other end calls you back

You know exactly what I mean. The person you’re talking to hasn’t said a word in 20 minutes and you didn’t realize the call dropped. The most embarrassing part of the conversation is usually the point at which you attempt to resume the story.

“So, where did I leave off?” You ask. “Did I lose you before I got to the part where he proposed?”

“Wait, you’re engaged?” The other person cries incredulously.

“You missed that? But that was like ten minutes ago.”

“Yeah, that’s how much you talk.”

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8. You’re the first person everyone expects to fill a lull in the conversation, and you’re always willing to rise to the challenge

When the well of words has run dry, you’ll dust off an amusing anecdote about the time you had too many margaritas and managed to lock yourself out of a bathroom that didn’t actually lock. It might also be the perfect moment to resume that car-meets-bird story where you left off last year.

All too often, your own life debacles form the subject of these stories, but you’ve learned to accept it with good grace. No sacrifice is too great to keep the conversation flowing.

9. Your friends and family regularly tell you to consider a career in public speaking

You talk so much anyway, you might as well get paid for it, and you’re always the first one everyone volunteers for a speech, or a toast, or (unfortunately for you) a eulogy. Your family probably even has a running joke that when you die, there’ll be no one to speak at your service, because you’re the designated family eulogist.

10. You have a serious case of voicemail anxiety

What do you mean, you only have up to three minutes? So you either end the call, or wind up doing your best impression of Six from the 90s sitcom “Blossom” that no one can understand. You should have just texted.

Still, your friends are always amazed when you leave them messages and manage to squeeze in the news about your new job, a story about your trip to the park with your golden retriever, and the latest update on your grandmother’s recovery from open-heart surgery, all without seeming to take a breath.

11. Your text-messages get cut off

Sometimes when you text people, they regularly respond with messages along the lines of “I only got the first half of that.”

This is why you’re famous for texting friends to ask if you can call them, because it’s easier than giving them text anxiety while they stare at that maddeningly cryptic “buddy is typing” bubble, waiting for you to finish your latest novel.

Recently I texted a friend with the intention of giving her my flight information for my return home from a family trip, but the message evolved into a saga about everything that had occurred over the course of the past three weeks.

Finally, when I’d finished, my friend texted back to ask, “I think I might have missed part of your message. When does your flight get in?” Oops.

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12. You talk too much, even for your smartphone’s attention span

For someone who’s supposedly always at my service, Siri can be irritatingly inattentive sometimes. While I generally don’t rely on voice dictation for written communication, because I find Siri’s ability to insert proper punctuation spotty at best, sometimes when I’m feeling particularly chatty, I’ll ask her to send a text for me, thinking it’ll just be quicker and spare my carpal tunnel syndrome.

The number of time’s she’s timed out on me and said, “Sorry, I didn’t catch that” has made me question whether or not I really do talk too much.

13. You’re the king or queen of conversational icebreakers

Your natural loquaciousness brings people together. I once based an eight-month relationship with a guy on his answer to my question, “If you could be stuck in an elevator with anyone, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?”

Any man who replies, “Yoda, because he could just teach me to use The Force to get us out” is a man after my own heart.

And nothing chips away at the ice of an awkward introduction better than an arbitrary question like “Penguins – for or against?”

Whether people see this as an invitation to debate where penguins rank on the scale of animal cuteness or the merits of “Penguins of Madagascar” as a film, everyone’s been spared the anxiety of discussing the weather or the most recent book they’ve read. You’re welcome.

14. You’re actually an excellent listener

It sounds counter intuitive, but in my experience, talkative people actually absorb most of what’s going on around them, because they’re always the ones who have to tell everyone else what the teacher, or flight attendant, or tour guide just said.

Among my family and friends, this responsibility generally falls on my shoulders. I don’t know why, but everyone assumes that I’ve been able to recall the fancy French-sounding specials the restaurant server has just rattled off over my grumbling stomach while nobody was paying attention an that i’m more than happy to repeat dishes I can barely pronounce.

The theory is that I’ll be talking anyway, so I might as well make myself useful or keep my breath to cool my porridge.

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15. You always know the right thing to say

99 times out of 100, your friends are telling you to shut up (albeit affectionately), but when they need advice about their latest relationship problems, need someone to talk them through anxiety attacks, or just want to hear a friendly voice on a bad day, you’re always ready with words of wisdom or witty banter, and this is probably why everyone puts up with your prattle in the first place.

Featured photo credit: Victorian Ladies Talking by OpenClips via pixabay.com

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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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