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20 Things You Should Say To Make You More Likeable

20 Things You Should Say To Make You More Likeable
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We communicate in verbal and non-verbal ways, and how we go about this can improve our sociability quotient and make us more likeable. Non-verbal ways include making eye contact, smiling and appearing approachable. When it comes to verbal communication, the following words or statements can have a big impact on how well you come across to others. Try to include these in your conversations and you’ll be making everybody’s party list.

1. You look well/pretty/amazing/relaxed…

Compliments are a great way to spread goodwill in the world. Do it when you mean it though, not just for the sake of it. You’ll brighten up someone else’s day and set yourself firmly within another person’s ‘likeability’ radar.

2. How can I help?

When you make others feel important you are instantly more likeable than someone who offers no value. Offering help shows that you have noticed a need and care enough to say something about it.

3. Thank you

Everyone likes to feel appreciated and these two little words can make a person feel that their effort was worthwhile.

4. Why not?

Be open minded and encourage creative, outside-the-box thinking. When we are non-judgemental, others feel more accepted and relaxed in our company. When we inspire others we instantly become more likeable. Sometimes we all need a nudge in the right direction.

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5. You can do it

Inspiring words can make the difference between success and failure. Encouragement is always welcome and raises how likeable you are. People who inspire others tend to be likeable, as they consider others and aren’t wrapped up in themselves.

6. I believe in you

We all have lapses in self-belief and knowing that someone else sees our potential and is rooting for us can motivate us to move forward. We find others more likeable when they make us feel good.

7. Here’s what’s happening

Feeling included is a basic human need. When someone keeps us informed we feel included, important and involved.

8. You’re welcome

When others perform an act of service and seem happy to do this, it can feel very validating to the person on the receiving end. Feeling welcome makes us feel included.

9. I’ll find out

Being helpful to others will always promote how likeable you are. Having a ‘can do’ attitude will get you far in life.

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10. How are you?

We all like it when someone shows a genuine interest in us and most people will respond favourably when asked how they are doing.

11. You did really well

A job well done feels even better when others notice and comment on our results. When others feel good about themselves in your company, you will be more likeable.

12. I enjoy your company

Said with sincerity, this sentence can have a big impact on another person and influence how likeable we are. We all like validation, and feeling accepted allows us to feel happy and shows that we are doing well on the social skills front.

13. What do you think about …?

We all like to be asked our opinion on various issues. It shows us that others care about our opinions and about what we want too.

14. Congratulations

Success in life isn’t quite the same if you have no one to share it with. When others congratulate you, you almost get to relive the great experience again and it feels good to know that others share in your happiness. Acknowledging other people’s victories increases how likeable you will be.

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15. I appreciate you

We all love appreciation. Positive acknowledgement from others feels good and lets us know that our efforts have not gone unnoticed.

16. Sorry

This little word can be tough to say sometimes but its impact can make all the difference. Realising when we are at fault and saying so shows that we can admit to our faults and nurtures respect in others. When you seem reasonable you are more likeable.

17. I miss you

Depending on the circumstances, “I miss you,” can be hard to say when we don’t want to seem vulnerable, but it can change the whole dynamic between two people in a positive way.

18. I understand

When you genuinely ‘get’ what another person is saying to you, it can be satisfying to know that you are both on the same wavelength. When someone connects with you on a deeper level they will find you more likeable.

19. I’m here for you no matter what

Knowing that someone else is there for us and isn’t just a ‘fair-weather’ friend can be one of the most important things in life. Feeling supported and unconditionally accepted is a real gift in a world that is full of fickle people.

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20. This too shall pass

We all need reassurance at times, and when life gets tough we need a reminder that one thing that is certain in life is change. Emotions can overwhelm us and these four words from another can help us to be less afraid and keep perspective.

 

Positive words don’t cost us anything but they can have a huge impact on others in a very positive way and make us more likeable and fun to be around. It seems a ‘no-brainer’ to use our words wisely to help us navigate successfully through life, forge happy satisfying relationships, feel empowered and connected with the world around us.

Featured photo credit: Phillip Stearns via farm6.staticflickr.com

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Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a Psychologist/CBT therapist who believes getting through life is easier with a robust sense of humour.

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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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