“All that I am, and ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother”
We sometimes take advantage of our mothers’ presence in our lives and forget to thank them for the little things they do and have done to help us grow into who we are today. They encourage us, help us, cry with us, laugh with us and sometimes, we just forget that a simple thank you can go a long way. So here it is—here’s to all you mothers out there! Thank you for being you!
1. Thank you for doing my laundry before I knew how.
Thank you Mom, for making sure I had clean clothes to wear each day free from grass, food and blood stains. Thanks for waking up at 6 a.m. to make sure all of the laundry got done in time for breakfast.
2. Thank you for making my meals, all of them.
Thank you for waking up each day to make breakfast and also my lunch before school. Thank you for having a snack ready for after school and then preparing dinner.Advertising
3. Thank you for teaching me to see the best in people.
Thank you for being there to show me that there is good in everyone and to see the silver lining in every situation.
4. Thank you for being selfless.
Thank you for giving up everything you want so that I could have the world. You sacrifices are appreciated. That time you wanted to just relax after work, but I needed help on a school project will not be forgotten.
5. Thank you for making sure I checked in when I went out with friends.
Thank you for teaching me to eventually be responsible and check in with you so that you know I am still alive.
6. Thank you for dealing with my case of the Mondays even though Monday was five days ago.
This is basically for the mood swings that you had to endure as I went through my teenage years. The mood swings, the yelling, the sobbing, the “I HATE YOU”s are not easy things to put up with and I am thankful you did.
7. Thank you for doing your job as a mom all year round, in addition to your actual job.
Thank you for waking up in the middle of the night to find my cold medicine and clean up barf and checking for ghosts underneath my bed. I know sleep is precious to you, but you got up anyways.Advertising
8. Thank you for teaching me how to handle money.
Thank you for the allowance and not giving me a penny more. It taught me the value of money and to get the thought that “everything is free” out of my head.
9. Thank you for forgiving me even though I hurt your feelings.
Thank you for having thick skin when I said hurtful things and still doing your motherly duties. I know you could have just let me starve or find a way to school after a stupid fight but you packed my lunch and drove me anyways.
10. Thank you for teaching me how to handle conflict.
Thank you for showing me to keep quiet on not act out on my emotions and say things I don’t mean. Thank you also for teaching me how to speak up and stand up for what I believe in.
11. Thank you for making sure I used my manners.
Thank you for making me say “please” and “thank you” to everyone and use my manners. Now I understand how awful it looks when people don’t use their manners and I am glad you made sure I did.
12. Thank you for helping me with my homework.
Thank you for helping me (forcing me to) do my homework. It helped in school (even if I don’t want to admit it).Advertising
13. Thank you for teaching me the importance of hygiene.
Thank you for teaching me how to be a clean person because, well, everyone likes a clean person.
14. Thank you for the gift of persistence.
Thank you for teaching me to keep at something if I want to get better at it and keep doing it. I understand now that great things take time and effort.
15. Thank you for the thick skin and teaching the meaning of the word “fair.”
Thank you for teaching me that not everything is just going to magically turn out in my favor or go my way. It taught me to work for what I want and not be self entitled.
16. Thank you for tucking me in at night.
Thank you for helping me sleep better by tucking me in at night. Now I realize that not everyone is that lucky to have someone to do that for them and I did.
17. Thank you for teaching me patience.
Thank you for teaching me how to wait and be patient because in life, that is all you can do at times.Advertising
18. Thank you for all the answers and for teaching me to keep asking questions.
Thank you for answering all my why’s, how’s, who’s and what’s. Thank you also for teaching me to continue to keep asking questions because knowledge is an amazing tool to have in your tool box and you can’t know unless you ask.
19. Thank you for your friendship.
Thank you for being my assigned friend. You are there when I feel up, down, confused and just plain angry. Thank you for being my best friend, even though it took me several years to see you as that.
20. Thank you for the laughter.
Thank you for all the laughter you have provided me from my childhood up until this day and making sure I had the opportunity to laugh.
21. Thank you for letting me worry about irrelevant things.
Thank you for letting me sob about prom, an old boyfriend (of two weeks), not being able to go out past ten and not seeing rated R movies. Thank you for letting me be a teenager and not forcing me to grow up too fast.
22. Thank you for teaching me to always be myself.
Thank you for letting me know it is okay to be myself. You taught me that it is okay to be happy with who I am and to only better myself if I wanted. Thank you also for the drive and the want to better myself.Advertising
23. Thank you for teaching me family is important.
Thank you for always having open arms no matter what was going on and teaching me the meaning of unconditional love. You are the reason I am who I am today and have taught me that family will always be there for you.
Featured photo credit: Maternity- Sara K Byrne via flickr.com
Last Updated on July 20, 2021
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:
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:
- How to Give a Presentation Like a Pro
- 10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations
- Tricks to Deliver an Impressive Presentation Every Time
|||^||High Spark: 4 Ways to Establish Trust In Your Presentation or Sales Pitch|
|||^||High Spark: Presentation Design Hacks: 5 Ways to Look Like a Pro Fast|