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17 Things Only Slow People Would Understand

17 Things Only Slow People Would Understand
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Have you been called a “slowpoke”, a “sloth”, or just plain “slow?”  Have you ever been told to “speed up”, “hurry up”, “think fast”, or “spit it out”?  If you have, this article is for you!  You’re slow, you’re good at being slow, and you’re probably better off for it! This may be a fast-paced world, but you know that the quick way isn’t always the best way.  Here are 15 great reasons why you may be “slow.”

You Make Sure Everything is Correct

I learned within 10 minutes at my first job at Burger King that I would never make a good drive-thru “pusher.”  I was just too slow!  I knew how upset people got when their order was incorrect, and I think I spent 3 precious minutes bobbing my head up and down between the food in the carry-out bag and the overhead order screen.  Management quickly sent me back to front cashier.  Slow people can be very methodical.

You Want Everything to Be Perfect

Slow people can also be perfectionists.  This means it may take a long time to get the results, but they will be fantastic when you finally get them!  The last person to finish tests is often the person who is carefully checking answers.  I was one of those students who spent hours on my homework each night but also got straight A’s throughout my school career.

You’re Waiting for the Right Timing

If you’re slow, methodical, AND a perfectionist, you are also likely to be a procrastinator.  You know you’re not a slacker — you have very good intentions — you’re just afraid that your project may take a very long time.  In fact, this very article is past the due date!  The best thing for you slow, perfectionistic, procrastinators like me is to make sure you break those projects into manageable chunks and then schedule them in throughout the week, reworking your timing as needed.  If you can manage your time, you can put that perfectionism to great use!

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You Are in “the Zone”

Do people complain that you are slow at correspondence?  This may be because you find responding to e-mails, phonecalls, and texts very disruptive!  I often find that I get into a flow throughout the day, and responding to a “very important” phonecall or e-mail can throw a wrench in my productivity machine.  I feel much more at ease when I can sit down and respond to all my e-mails at once.

You Give Your Full Attention

I also much prefer completing one project at a time, which I’ve discovered is actually better for you!  Studies show that in order to multitask you actually need to split your brain activity, which means less focus and less efficiency! Remember that on your next job interview!  Finally, I’m uncomfortable answering the phone if I know my mind won’t be fully present.  This may make us the wrong choice as an emergency contact, but it makes us the right person for a heart-to-heart conversation.  When we talk with others, they know that we have time for them, and we’re not checking our e-mail while we’re doing it.

You Choose Your Words Carefully

Unfortunately, those who can spit out rapid-fire responses get noticed, while those with well-developed answers get the shaft!  Introverts in particular take quite a long time to process information.  They run their thoughts through a complex system of tests and tweaks before they are satisfied enough to share their response.  So, often others think they have nothing to say!  If you are one of those big analyzers, be sure to say, “Let me think on that a minute,” so that others know that you are still forming your response.  Also, remember to find a healthy balance.  Rapid-firers may regret speaking before thinking, but deep thinkers can fall into the trap of over-thinking.

You Think More Deeply

Not only do you spend quite a bit of time analyzing, you may go pretty deep with your thinking, too.  You prefer profound thoughts to small talk, and there is so much knowledge and learning to consider!  Deep thinkers may not be the life of the party, but if you ask the right questions — you might open Pandora’s box!

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You’re a Good Listener

Or maybe you’re not deep in thought. Maybe you’re actually listening!  Many people aren’t good listeners because they’re not giving their full attention to the person who is speaking; they’re too busy formulating what they will say next. Good listeners still their minds and do not form a response until the other person is finished.  These are the people that you really want to talk with because you know they’ll hear everything you have to say.

You Consider All of Your Options

Some may call you indecisive . . .  but how about open-minded?  I’m sometimes the last person to place my order because I won’t settle for “the usual.”  I’m brave enough to try something new but conscientious enough to thoroughly read the menu and try to make my best choice.

You’re An Artist

When it was time to go out, and I was running behind I used to joke to my partner that I was having a “girl moment.”  Truthfully, I was getting my inner artist on!  I would experiment with make-up, adding a little of this and taking away a little of that, looking at my face from every angle in the mirror.  And I would sometimes change my whole outfit 5 or 6 times because I just couldn’t find the top to match the bottom. And then it was accessories, accessories, accessories!  That’s also why we spend so much time trying on clothes?  We know what looks good, and we’re not stopping ’til we find it!

You Enjoy Your Food

Are you considered a “slow-eater”?  Good for you!  This is much better for your health.  As a classroom teacher, by the time I made it to lunch after wrapping up for the morning, I usually had 10-15 minutes to shovel down food.  During a visit to my chiropractor I asked about my issues with bloating, and I was amazed by the simplicity of his response: “Chew your food more slowly.”  Sure enough, my condition improved immediately after I changed my eating style!  Besides allowing your stomach to more properly digest your food, you slow-eaters are more likely to enjoy your food.  You’ll have more time to taste it, to smell it.  Slow-eating is encouraged to help prevent over-eating, as well.  If I’m craving a cookie, and I’ve crammed it down my throat, my body has missed the satisfying taste and smell, and I’m more likely to grab another one.  Slowing down your eating also gives your stomach a chance to catch up with your eyes!  Those who eat more slowly are more likely to recognize when their stomach is full and to stop eating when they are satisfied.

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You Want to Fully Get Something

How much do you remember of those tests you crammed for?  How much did you really get from that article you skimmed?  I enjoy a book much more when I take my time reading it.  I get a lot more out of a movie when I rewind parts that I missed.  The more you slow down, the more you understand.

You Care

Which gifts do you appreciate the most and remember the longest — the ones that took two seconds to buy or the ones that took careful thought and much effort? Some people will go on a hunt until they find that perfect gift.  Others make them, infusing their precious time and love into their gifts.  This past Christmas my dad’s gift to me was a beautiful miniature stained glass window of lighthouses (my favorite image) that he had created himself.  You can be sure that will stay in my window for the rest of my life.

You’re in the Moment

Do people complain that you walk too slowly, run too slowly, ride too slowly, or drive too slowly?  Besides being a safer person, you are also more likely to be relaxed and in the moment!  Think about those “Sunday drivers” that drive you crazy — or maybe you’ve been one of them!  Why do they drive so slowly?  They are relaxed.  They are not rushing to work or to an appointment.  They are spending the day with family and friends, in a state of peace, doing the things they love.  Isn’t that a great place to be?

You Enjoy the View

When you take a brisk walk through the park, do you remember the flowers that you passed?  Do you catch the birds that fly overhead?  I’ve found that I can’t remember much of what I did on the days that I rushed from place to place, and I don’t see any of the trail when I’m biking for speed.  My mom is notorious for lagging behind on nature walks because she stops every few feet to take pictures!  She says that taking pictures has opened up a whole new world for her.  She sees things that she never would have noticed before.

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You Want to Be Safe

There’s nothing wrong with slowing down and leaving yourself enough time to get where you want to go.  I’d prefer to be safe and read a book for a bit if I arrive somewhere early.  If people are honking behind you or passing you left and right — so what?  I’ll bet you have a great driving record and are less likely to be found in a ditch on those bad weather days!

You’re Worth the Wait

So what that you’re the last one ready, the last one to speak, or the last one done?  You’re worth it!  You take your time, you do it right, and it turns out well.  You’re a happier, more relaxed person, a genuine listener, a dependable employee, and you look amazing!

So, the next time someone tells that you are slow, take it as a compliment!  Know that by slowing things down you are enjoying the view and keeping your life from speeding on by.

Featured photo credit: Just Colorful Bubble by Victor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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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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