“My father is a man like no other. He gave me life, nurtured me, taught me, hugged me, dressed me, kissed me, shouted at me, but most importantly he loved me unconditionally.” – Anonymous
Over the years I’ve come to realize just how much my dad has done for me and I’m extremely grateful for him. My dad is my hero.
I truly believe that my father is an awesome man. Dad’s possess certain qualities that just make them outstanding. A good father makes all the difference in a child’s life!
Do you think your dad is a truly awesome man? If so, here are some signs that you should be incredibly grateful to still have your father around!
1. He is a handy man.
He’s the person you go to when your bike tire needs to be patched or if your shower head has broken off. Your dad most likely has his own tool bag and can fix almost anything that you break!
2. He is open minded.
A good dad understands that the world is continuing to change and so are the people. He doesn’t try to keep the 1970’s in style, but instead he conforms to the new way of living and allows his children to be citizens in their day and age – use social media, use current lingo, etc.
3. He has a good sense of humor.
My dad is usually the one cracking the jokes and smiling all the time. You know when your dad is enjoying himself at a dinner party because you can hear his hearty laugh from across the kitchen!
Awesome dads tend to have a great sense of humor and they don’t always take everything in life so seriously.
4. He believes in you.
Has your dad ever invested himself into something you wanted to do? Has he ever told you he’s confident in your ability to attain that certain goal?
This is just a clear sign that your father believes in what you stand for, what you want to accomplish in life and ultimately, in you.
5. He is one of your best friends.
He’s one of the first people to know about something new happening in your life and you regularly chat and hang out with him. You can talk to him about whatever is on your mind and he always shares some of his stories and fatherly wisdom with you.
6. He treats your mom like a queen.
A great father respects, values and thinks highly of his children’s mother. You even know what true love looks like because your dad expresses it everyday to his wife.
He’s always singing sweet songs to her, he goes out of his way to please her and he always treats her with tenderness and care.
7. He is a good disciplinarian.
Awesome dads love their children but they won’t let them get away with first degree murder.
He uses tough love through the power of his words and actions to prove his point, but he’d never try to scar you internally or externally to teach you a lesson.
8. He accepts your flaws and mistakes.
I remember the only time I’ve ever been arrested, I expected my dad to beat the hell out of me. To my surprise I didn’t get a whooping, but instead he felt sympathetic to my position and accepted the circumstances of the situation.
9. He is dependable.
He’s one of the only people that can be counted on to be there for you and your family through thick and thin.
10. You and your dad spend quality time together.
He was always there on the bench watching and supporting you at your sporting events. Other times you’d need help with your homework and he’d always make the time to help you, every night if necessary.
11. He is a role model.
He has great character. He doesn’t just tell you how you should go about living your life, he shows you. He’s kind to your mom, patient with you, works hard at his job…
He presents himself appropriately at all times and never does things he wouldn’t want you to do. He lives by the values he’d like his children to embody for themselves.
12. He has an unselfish spirit.
He’s always doing things in the best interest and needs of his spouse and children. If your dad is always giving to others this is just a clear sign that he is an unselfish person.
Awesome dads tend to put the best interests of those close to him first, over their own.
13. He gives great advice.
If you have some sort of issue, you can go to your dad for his advice.
He takes the time to listen to your problems with opens ears and an open heart, and then he always comes up with a possible solution for you to take away.
14. He is loved by everyone.
Everyone wants your dad to attend that special occasion and if he’s not there yet, they’re always wondering where he could be.
Even your friends don’t mind having your dad hang around with them playing Call of Duty! He’s an enjoyable person to be around.
15. He protects his family at all costs.
Your dad is the man of the house. He’s a steady provider and works to see that his family has all the necessities of life. He will do whatever it takes to make sure his family is living comfortably.
This means he might get two jobs just to pay off all of the bills, but he gets them because he wants you to sleep in an air conditioned room.
Your dad has built a strong foundation from which to help raise you into the best person you can become.
16. You can’t imagine how you would’ve turned out without your dad.
I definitely know I can’t.
My dad has been such a powerful and impactful force within my life that I have no clue how I would’ve turned out without him.
I just wanted to say thank you dad for all that you’ve done, you are truly awesome.
I love you.
Go tell your dad today how much you appreciate him!
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: