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7 Important Things You Shouldn’t Ignore When Accepting The Ice Bucket Challenge

7 Important Things You Shouldn’t Ignore When Accepting The Ice Bucket Challenge
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Ice bucket challenge fever is sweeping the country. People are dumping buckets of ice water over their heads in record numbers. There are those taking simple videos on their cell phone cameras or, like some celebrities, going all out for the challenge. It’s a fun thing to do but don’t forget what the ice bucket challenge is really about! Here are some important things to remember when accepting the ice bucket challenge.

1. It isn’t about you, it’s about ALS

The whole point of the ice bucket challenge is to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. You may know it as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerves, the brain, and the spine. People who have ALS slowly lose motor function over time. It usually starts in their legs and hands and gradually works its way inward. There is no cure for ALS and it is eventually fatal. The sole intention of the ice bucket challenge is to raise awareness of ALS and to get people to donate to ALS research so they can find a cure. It’s not a fad that you’re doing for fun. It’s a cause that you’re being a part of. When Charlie Sheen is a shining example of what to do and Hugh Jackman isn’t, you know something isn’t right.

2. When you take the ice bucket challenge, you’re supposed to donate to charity

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    Perhaps the worst part of the ALS ice bucket challenge are people who do it and don’t donate. What’s the point of dumping a bucket of water on your head and nominating other people to do it if you’re not giving to the cause? It’s kind of like going to a fundraiser, eating all the food, and then leaving without raising any funds. It’s a cop out. A fundraising endeavor that goes viral like this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a serious disease to get some serious funding. Don’t wimp out on donating because you’re a cheapskate. You’ll make back that $25 on your next paycheck. If you’re doing the ice bucket challenge and you’re not donating, you’re doing it wrong. To donate, click here.

    3. You are spreading the word of a cause

    If you did your ice bucket challenge without mentioning ALS’ official donate site, ALS in general, or anything regarding those two things, you have failed the challenge. The whole point of the ice bucket challenge is to raise awareness and donate money to a good cause. If you fail to raise awareness and you don’t tell people where to donate, have you actually done anything helpful? No, you haven’t. That’s why if you don’t have this link and a short explanation right alongside your ice bucket challenge, you have failed the challenge. In this video Yahoo Sports’ Puck Daddy blog editor in chief Greg Wyshynski has a near flawless ice bucket challenge video. He donates, he brings awareness, he has some fun doing it, and at the end, he posts the website where people can go to donate.

    4. Don’t judge the challenge by the people who are doing it wrong

    Even if people don’t ignore ALS and don’t forget to donate money, there is still the problem of people forgetting that this is a charity event. It’s not a fad, like the cinnamon challenge. It’s not a viral trend like #throwbackthursday or #caturday. This is supposed to be helping people. Like all large events that a lot of people are allowed to participate in, there are some bad eggs that are trying to ruin the whole bunch. The whole thing has had a surprising number of people spouting negative things about the ice bucket challenge because they are only exposed to people doing it the wrong way. That’s unfair to ALS and to the ice bucket challenge. If you don’t like it, you should seek out people who are doing it right and see that this is meant to be nothing more than a charity event to raise money for a terrible disease.

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    In short, people not mentioning ALS, donations, or any of that jazz does not signify a failure of the ice bucket challenge. It signifies a failure of those people to not understand or communicate the point.

    5. The math says that it works

    At the last count, there have been over $80 million in donations to ALS research. That’s up from just under $2 million last year. That is a significant growth of over 4000% and that figure grows every day. Yes, there are some people who just don’t get the ice bucket challenge and yes there are idiot celebrities who don’t mention anything about ALS or donating money. However, the overall numbers don’t lie. The ice bucket challenge is a force for good.

    6. Remember that there are also other charities

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      Rich and famous people shouldn’t have to pour water over their heads to get people to donate to charity. ALS is a problem that’s not going away any time soon so any time you can donate a few bucks is good. There are other charities for other diseases, humanitarian efforts, educational efforts, and practically any other cause you can think of. Those charities need money too and they don’t have the benefit of a viral charity event like the ice bucket challenge. If you go donate money to ALS, take some time and find another charity and donate to that charity, too. We have the capacity to be better people. Or if you’d rather stick to ALS, sign in every now and then and donate a few more bucks. More than $80 million is impressive but it likely won’t be enough. They’ll need more to kill off this disease eventually.

      7. It’s all in good fun

      Last and certainly not least is that this is supposed to be informative and fun. I know the last several paragraphs seem like it’s this huge, serious deal. The truth is that ALS is a serious deal. People who are diagnosed with that disease know exactly how they’re going to die and they have a rough estimate on when. That’s how serious it is. That said, you should have fun with the ice bucket challenge. Something like this requires enthusiasm and you really are helping out a good cause (assuming you’re following the advice posted above). That’s something that should make you feel good when you hit that donate button and post your ice bucket challenge video.

      The big thing people hate about the ice bucket challenge is that many people don’t see the ice bucket challenge as being helpful or important. Like I stated earlier, this weird, viral charity event has raised over six times the amount of the funding ALS received last year and that’s what is most important here. If you get nominated, remember the important information listed above, have fun, and don’t forget to donate! If you want to donate, that link again is http://www.alsa.org/donate/

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      Featured photo credit: Hot Gossip Italia via flickr.com

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      Joseph Hindy

      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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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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