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How to Write Your Way to a Smile

How to Write Your Way to a Smile


    Sometimes it’s just one of those days — one those days where you’re just not “feelin’ it”.

    You’re usually pretty happy on a daily basis and there’s nothing really terrible wrong in your life but you’re just in a rut and your mood is reflecting it.

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    That’s how my day was going today. Mopey. Unproductive. Annoyed. I had to make a change.

    So I decided since I wasn’t getting anything else done, I would start writing down why I felt like crap. Boy, did that turn out to be some good therapy.

    When you already enjoy writing and then start noting your feelings, you can’t possibly feel more at home.

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    Here’s how I turned my day around and then got a blog post out of it. Hopefully this will make you smile the next time you’re feelin’ low.

    1. With pen and paper, start writing a list titled ‘Why I Feel Unhappy Right Now’.
    2. List anything you can think of, as long as it’s actually relevant to your mood. Does it actually make you feel crappy to think about it? Then it goes on the list.
    3. When you’re finished (hopefully with no more than 10 things, if that), re-read your list. But the key is to try to change your personality to a good friend. The type of friend that you would want around to complain to who would give you the responses you really want to hear. We need a real sweetheart here.
    4. As you’re re-reading as a positive, complimentary friend, cross out the complaints with a different colored pen (signaling another voice on the page) and write what your response would be as the supportive friend. Write what you would want someone to say to you.
    5. No re-read the responses as “yourself”.
    6. Smile. You just overcame your negative thought process with a much more beautiful one.
    7. Move on.

      I was actually laughing by the time I finished reading my positive responses. Mostly out of shock that it was actually making me feel better, but also because I solved one of my problems with it. (The runner-up name for this post was ‘How I Came Up With This Blog Post”.)

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      I find myself often thinking ‘people don’t understand me’, ‘why should I share my feelings with people who probably don’t care’, or ‘I really don’t know anyone that could make me feel better’.

      The reality of it is, as anti-social as it sounds, no one knows you better than yourself.

      So if you can be your own friend in moments like these that are more of a petty need than something more life-altering, you ultimately make everyone happier.

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      Especially yourself.

      (Photo credit: Man Holding a Paper Smile via Shutterstock)

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      Last Updated on December 2, 2018

      7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

      7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

      When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

      You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

      1. Connecting them with each other

      Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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      It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

      2. Connect with their emotions

      Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

      For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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      3. Keep going back to the beginning

      Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

      On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

      4. Link to your audience’s motivation

      After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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      Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

      5. Entertain them

      While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

      Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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      6. Appeal to loyalty

      Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

      In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

      7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

      Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

      Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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