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A Letter To My 20-something Daughter

A Letter To My 20-something Daughter

Recently I was reading an article written by Whitney Fleming. It was a letter to her daughter before she heads into her teens. This got me thinking about what will happen when I have a daughter that is going through her 20s just like I am now. What will I want her to know?

To my daughter,

I write this letter to you as I am working through my 20-something years. There are some lessons I’ve learned and I hope that I can pass on my knowledge to you.

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1. Choose a career that matters to you

Sometimes it isn’t until you hit your 20-somethings that you really start to understand what matters to you. Take your passion and make it into a career. When you choose something you’re passionate about, you’ll never really feel like you’re working.

2. Don’t be afraid to open your heart

You will with no doubt have been burned by a love, if not more than one, by this point in your life. And while it won’t be easy to open up completely again to another person, just try. Don’t ever sell your love short because you’re afraid of getting hurt. You will get hurt over and over until you find the right one. And when you find the right one, it’ll all be worth it.

3. It’s ok to let go of friends

Friends, unfortunately, come and go. Sometimes they fade away, sometimes a fight will damage the best of friendships. But remember, you don’t need to hold on to everyone. Some people are meant to stay in your life, some are meant to teach you things, and some are meant to leave you with amazing memories. Take each situation as its own, so that you can learn and grow.

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4. Smile at your memories

Wether it’s losing friends or boyfriends, you’ve once had amazing times with these people. Don’t ever let anger or sadness of a situation ruin your memories. Let yourself smile when you remember these times because at one point, they were exactly what you wanted out of your life. And the good times can’t ever be erased.

5. Be indepepdent

Learn how to be on your own. Learn how to navigate directions, hang pictures, find studs in the wall, and cook. Become your own independent woman. No matter if you’re still living with me or a roommate or a boyfriend. Learn how to stand on your own two feet and know that when the cake burns, the picture rips out of the wall, or your get lost, you’ll be proud because you will be able to manage it all by yourself.

6. Don’t worry about money

There’s a secret to money. You’ll always need more and you will never have enough. So let what you have be enough. As long as you can pay your bills, eat, and keep yourself safe, you have enough. Don’t worry if others are going on vacation or have better cars than you. Your day will come for those things, too. Appreciate what you can afford.

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7. There’s no time limit for finding “the one”

I found the man I married at only 19 years old. But that doesn’t mean that if you’ve hit mid-way through your 20’s and you haven’t met him all hope is lost. Mr. Right will come for you when the time is right. Don’t rush it and don’t worry yourself looking high and low for him. You WILL find each other.

8. Embarrass yourself

I was always someone who was too timid to make a mistake. So afraid of making a fool of myself. You WILL make mistakes. You might over sleep and miss your class, or drink too much and dance on the bar. I’m not saying go wild, but I’m saying let yourself go. Embarrassing yourself is unfortunately life. And your 20s are usually the time when you’re exploring so much that you will make these embarrassing mistakes. So laugh it off and remember that it’s turning your face red now, but will make for some pretty funny stories one day.

9. Enjoy the present

Today is today. Tomorrow is tomorrow. I tell you this incase you forget to live for today not for tomorrow. You don’t know what life will hold for you in the future. It’s always smart to plan, but don’t stress over what will be. What will be will be, so embrace your present and live it to its fullest.

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10. I have been there, done that, and will help you through it

I was a 20-something myself years ago. I made mistakes, worried about the future, embarrassed myself, lost friends, had heartbreaks, and many other obstacles which you will no doubt go through as well. Talk to me. Even though you think I’m old and out of touch with life, I’ve been where you are. Never forget I’m your mother. I will love you unconditionally no matter what mistakes you make. I will give you advice when you seek it and I will listen when you want to cry. I will help you through.

I wanted to share something I’ve learned while I worked through my 20s but there are many more lessons about life that you will learn on your own. But remember your 20s have to be embraced. Explore life and enjoy every second. Just know there will always be a light on for you to come back home.

Love you always,
Mom

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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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