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7 Public Speaking Tips (If You Don’t Want People to Actually Listen)

7 Public Speaking Tips (If You Don’t Want People to Actually Listen)

At some point in your life, you will be called upon to do public speaking. Whether you are speaking to an audience of three or three-thousand, here are a few key things you can do to equip yourself for success when that time comes. Using these public speaking tools will also decrease your pre-speech nerves significantly!

1. Do Not Stay Hidden Before You Speak

Unless you are Bono, Oprah, or the President, you have no reason to hide before you speak and every reason to mingle, letting people know that you are interesting and personable BEORE you take the stage. Aim to connect with individuals and build a following before you address your audience as a whole.

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2. Do Not Write a Boring Intro and Have a Boring Person Read It

Your audience already has some idea of who you are, so skip the boring LinkedIn bio facts. When deciding what to include, ask yourself why your bio matters to this group of people. Keep it short and sweet, including only the most pertinent information of why they should care about who you are and what you have to say. Be sure the person introducing you has had a coffee, or three.

3. Do Not Slowly Stroll Onto the Stage

Unless you are really, REALLY famous, no one is getting a thrill out of viewing your entry. So, just get there. Fast. As humble as you may actually be, even appearing to take your time to get on stage can come off as self-important. And, if the applause after you’ve been introduced has dwindled or completely stopped before you get to center stage, you (and your entire audience) can practically taste the awkward in the room.

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4. Do Not Start with “Thank you very much. It’s such a pleasure to be here.”

This was an entirely acceptable way to begin public speaking the first ten million times it was done. We are now past that mark and opening with this line is akin to saying: “Thank you for hearing me say something that you are now not listening to at all.” Starting with this line is the best way to make your audience members check their Twitter or Instagram accounts within the first 10 seconds of your speech.

5. Do Not Say, “Good morning!” …Wait for a Response, and Then Say, “Oh, Come On, You Can Do Better Than That!”

You are not your audience’s mom. You are not at summer camp. (And if you are, your audience better be under the age of 12 for this line to work.) This phrase was effective exactly one time and that was in 1964 when Art Linkletter said it. Ever since then, it’s been annoying as heck.

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6. Do Not Show a Text-Heavy PowerPoint Image Right Off the Bat

No one wants to both see AND hear your words. If you are wearing a mic and are on a stage, this is your cue to aim for more words heard than seen. Don’t try to cram a bunch of text onto each slide; instead, choose simple, powerful visuals that complement your verbal message.

7. Do Not Read Your Entire Speech From Your Notes, Verbatim

Public speaking is an art. You need to practice. Take video of yourself practicing, watch it, make note of your mistakes, and then practice some more. Imbed your message into your head and your speaking style into your body so that when you are on stage, you will be freed up to speak more from your heart than your head. Anyone can read a speech out loud—don’t be “anyone;” be someone worthy of the public speaking opportunity you have.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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