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Be Lovely In The Audrey Hepburn Way

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Be Lovely In The Audrey Hepburn Way

Most people know Audrey Hepburn for her works in classic films like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, “Sabrina”, and “My Fair Lady”. Born in Belgium, Audrey spent most of her childhood in Belgium, England, and the Netherlands studying ballet. Audrey shot to stardom after landing a role in the Broadway play “Gigi”, which led to her first substantial film role in “Roman Holiday”. Audrey Hepburn received many awards throughout her career, and  is still one of the few stars to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award. While her work in Hollywood is infamous, after age 40, Audrey appeared in fewer films and began working heavily with UNICEF. For the rest of her life, she worked in poor, developing areas of Africa, South America, and Asia. Audrey Hepburn proved that gorgeous women can be powerful and intellectual, which was particularly unique during the 1950’s to 1970’s. In addition to her career and humanitarian accomplishments, Audrey Hepburn spoke English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and German. Such a diverse and skilled woman truly lived her life in a way all of us can learn from. The following 15 quotes from Audrey Hepburn are sure to rouse you to be the best you can be.

1. Live Your Life

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.”

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    In a world full of greed and power-hungry public figures, it’s refreshing to be reminded that life is simply meant to be lived.

    2. Don’t Forget About Others

    “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

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      This poignant way of looking at ourselves reminds us that somewhere out there someone else has it worse off than you. However, this quote also speaks to how important it is to take care of yourself in order to be in a position to help others.

      3. Solitude Can Be Healthy

      “I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.”

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        It’s rare to hear famous figures express the benefit of stepping away from attention. Though all of us want to achieve our goals in life and at work, everyone functions better when we’re properly rested and approaching life in a balanced way.

        4. Actions Define Us

        “You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.”

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          This succinct summary of how to approach other people is an elegant reminder that actions speak louder than words.

          5. The Journey Is What Matters

          “Success is like reaching an important birthday and finding you’re exactly the same.”

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            Much like focusing on enjoying our life, this brilliant quote about success highlights the importance of enjoying the journey rather than obsessing over your destination.

            6. Too Much Attention Can Be Bad

            “There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl’s complexion.”

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              Audrey was one of the few stars to approach their public life with a balanced perspective. This lovely quote reminds all of us that attention is temporary. Moreover, no one should sell out their character in order to seek approval.

              7. Be Selfless

              “It’s that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so ‘don’t fuss, dear; get on with it.’”

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                Increasingly, today’s world of social media drives us to be concerned with ourselves more than ever. This energizing quote reminds us that sometimes it is sincerely more important to consider the greater good.

                8. Happiness Is Simple

                “I heard a definition once: Happiness is health and a short memory! I wish I’d invented it, because it is very true.”

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                  Similarly, this wonderful definition of happiness reminds us to appreciate the great things in our lives while we have them.

                  9. We’re All The Same Inside

                  “I’m half-Irish, half-Dutch, and I was born in Belgium. If I was a dog, I’d be in a hell of a mess!”

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                    In the era Audrey Hepburn lived, racism was largely acceptable, mainly institutionalized, and even falsely propped up by erroneous “science”. From someone perceived to be from one race, such a bold statement that each of us is simply a mix of humanity is truly a stirring approach to what can be an ugly, judgemental subject.

                    10. Appreciate The Moment

                    “Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering – because you can’t take it in all at once.”

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                      This beautiful metaphor is another impressive way to think about our life’s journey. Especially in a world where we take pictures first and experience second, this electrifying reminder to live in the moment is one we should all remember more often.

                      11. Value Your Voice

                      “Why change? Everyone has his own style. When you have found it, you should stick to it.”

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                        This motivating quote illustrates why you should celebrate your unique qualities. Each person has their own voice, and Audrey Hepburn understood that sticking to this inner compass is what really makes life work for you.

                        12. Seize Each Opportunity

                        “I’ve been lucky. Opportunities don’t often come along. So, when they do, you have to grab them.”

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                          Another impassioned approach to life, each of us should be unafraid to go after the things we want.

                          13. Never Give Up On Someone

                          “People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.”

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                            A powerful view of forgiveness, this encouraging reminder to treat people kindly and with understanding is more applicable today than ever.

                            14. Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself

                            “I don’t take my life seriously, but I do take what I do – in my life – seriously.”

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                              Another impressive reminder to enjoy life without becoming overly stressed out, this quote illustrates the difference between taking your goals seriously and becoming too critical of ourselves.

                              15. Aim High

                              “I tried always to do better: saw always a little further. I tried to stretch myself.”

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                                Ultimately, the path to success requires each of us to work harder and push further each and every day. If Audrey Hepburn’s life is any indication, there really is no limit to what you can achieve.

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                                Alicia Prince

                                A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                                Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                                How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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                                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:

                                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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