Guys, it is a tough dating world out there. There are loads of girls you have to go through before finding Ms. Right. Good thing you don’t particularly mind dating lots of different women. It will give you something to reflect back on when you’re old and not as devilishly handsome as you are right now. Let’s cover the different types of women you may meet on your road to eventual coupledom.
1. Daddy’s Girl
This girl may be 25, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love to spend quality time with Daddy. In fact, not only does he financially subsidize her, but he’s also the first person she calls when her car breaks down, her boss yells at her, or she has an extra ticket to a concert. Hey wait a second; isn’t that supposed to be your role? Then there’s the time you find Daddy polishing his machete collection and staring at you. When you break up with the Daddy’s girl, she doesn’t seem to notice; she’s off to Tahoe to ski with Dad that weekend.
2. The Party Girl
This girl always knows where the party is. Not only that, but she has friends wherever you go, and they all have funny stories about that time she got wasted and made out with other people’s boyfriends. Then, what do you know, you find her in a closet doing the same thing when she was supposed to be in a relationship with you. You try to dump her but she’s too busy making out with that random guy to listen.
3. The Straight A Student
This girl is super smart and it would be great to talk to her…if she ever had time to talk. Not only is she a straight A student but she’s involved in every activity on campus, whether she’s an undergrad or a grad student. She takes on extra work like it’s going out of style, and she’s more emotionally committed to her study group partners than to you. When you break up with her, she turns it into an excellent piece of nonfiction for her writing seminar and gets, of course, an A.
4. Miss Jealousy
“What did you really mean when you said ‘Nice shirt’ to your coworker at that party? What was nice about the shirt? Are you secretly in love with her? This reminds me of what you said last weekend to my sister, remember? ‘I like your car’. You meant you wanted to ride off with her somewhere private and put down the back seat, didn’t you? DIDN’T YOU?” You dump her by telling her you have a terminal illness because you’re scared of the repercussions.
5. Gossip Girl
This girl talks your ear off about her friend, her friend’s friend, her friend’s boyfriend’s friend, and that guy’s cousin. All of her stories seem to be about someone in a bad situation that your girlfriend can pretend to empathize with while she secretly acts better than them. You break up with her after you start fantasizing about Miss Jealousy, who was at least focused on you.
6. Your Mom’s Hopeful Daughter-in-law
This girl and your mom get along like gangbusters. Your mom drops hints about how it’s time to settle down, and your girlfriend talks about how awesome a listener your mom is. But, to be honest, your mom has more chemistry with this girl than you do. You start hanging out in the library hoping to run into The Straight A Student and let your mom break the news to your girlfriend gently.
6. The Anxiety Case
This girl is nervous and worried about everything. When you go on a snowboarding trip, she worries about you breaking your leg. When you eat quickly, she worries about you choking. When she is too nervous about flying to take a vacation with you, you find her a good therapist and say “hasta la vista”.
7. The Drama Queen
This girl is exciting, and it’s never boring to be around her. But soon you realize that it’s exhausting to ride her emotional roller coaster every day. After a few breakup/makeup cycles, you find yourself yearning for the anxiety case. At least she was consistent. When you break up with her, the scene is heart-wrenching. But it is strange how she starts dating that guy from her building the very next day.
8. The Trendsetter
You are not sure if what she is wearing is a shirt or a dress, or what exactly is up with her make-up, but you know whatever it is, it’s right on trend. This girl knows what’s in style months before everyone else. It’s great to think you landed someone so stylish and cutting edge, until she starts to throw out some of your favorite clothes in an attempt to make you edgier. You like your high school T-shirt collection, so you have to say goodbye.
9. The Beauty Queen
This girl is so hot that you can’t believe you snagged her. Your friends are envious and guys’ heads turn when she walks into the room. It’s pretty cool, until you realize you don’t really have much to talk about, since you have nothing in common. You try to make it work anyway, until you realize that she isn’t being ironic with her taste in music. While you’re in the middle of breaking up with her, a guy drives up in a BMW and asks her on a date.
10. The One
This girl is smart, beautiful, sweet, and is so great that you mom forgets about the other girl she liked so much. She laughs at your jokes, and you laugh at hers. Your taste in music, movies, and books is weirdly similar, and her friends get along with your friends. You wonder what you did to deserve someone so wonderful. Oh right, it was dating all those other girls.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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: