Advertising

When The “Like”Button Isn’t Enough: 6 Reasons Why Everyone Should Volunteer For A Cause

When The “Like”Button Isn’t Enough: 6 Reasons Why Everyone Should Volunteer For A Cause
Advertising

Huge advancements in medicine, technology, and etc. over the past decades have ensured that most of us in developed countries live in big cities where we don’t have to worry about keeping our bellies full, sheltering ourselves from the elements, getting medical attention, receiving education and having access to all kinds of luxuries and entertainment. However this is not the case with a large number of people across the globe, people who live in poverty and don’t have access to even the basic life necessities, let alone luxuries. The sad truth is that there are a number of problems in the world that require our full attention and devotion.

There are plenty of causes, but very few people willing to actually help out

Some of the biggest problems in undeveloped countries are the following: lack of effective education and medical facilities, lack of food and water, poaching and the destruction of habitats of many endangered species, rampant prejudice towards people of different ethnicity or sexuality, homelessness, and people struggling with addiction or emotional and psychological problems. There are an estimated 150 million homeless children roaming the streets of the world left to their own devices.

Simply clicking a like button or sharing an article does nothing to help deal with these issues – we can all be aware of these problems, but unless someone actually does something about them, these problems will continue to plague humanity. Every little bit helps, and there are several good reasons why more people should get involved.

1. Your effort will make an actual difference

Advertising

GVN make a difference

    How many of us are just toiling away at our jobs, waiting for the workday to fly past, so we can go home? How many students are just sitting around clicking away on the internet feeling bored out of their mind? There is no real purpose to it and you can’t see any serious changes being made. Even when raising awareness or collecting money for a cause by distributing simple promotional items, you can see the change on people’s faces as they ask about more information on how they can help.

    You can see just how much funds you have collected, and you know that they will go towards creating homes, distributing food and medical materials or building an animal sanctuary. When you can clearly see how your actions are making a direct impact, then you are motivated to keep pushing forward – e.g. when you go out and help nurture a baby tiger so that it can be released back into the wild or when you spend a few hours teaching poverty-stricken children English.

    2. You develop strong connections and learn to work in a team

    GV teamwork

      There is a very warm feeling that comes over you when you see another person wearing a blood donor shirt, wearing a silicone bracelet from a fundraising event or a “bracelet of hope” where the funds collected from sales go towards fighting aids in Africa. The feeling of camaraderie you get when working with people on the project and the bonds you create with the local people – especially the children – are something that will stick with you for life.

      Advertising

      You can keep in touch with your fellow volunteers, make some friends, and even meet the person you decide to share your life with. Another bonus is that you learn to work as part or even lead a team, work under stressful conditions and use outside-the-box thinking to find quick solutions to problems. When you engage in physically demanding activities like building, planting gardens and child care, you learn about good work ethics and can even improve your fitness.

      3. You will develop a new understanding and appreciation of nature and different cultures

      WLV develop appreciation

        We tend to become very short-sighted and even narrow-minded if we never leave our little city or our home country. Most people have never seen any animals – except dogs, cats and rats – in their natural environment or have never spent a day in the wild. There is just so much to learn about different cultures and about nature in general. Being so close to these creatures and so far from the luxuries of the modern world helps you gain a new perspective on life and opens your eyes to some of the real problems that are facing our planet.Some 85% of land in Europe has been modified, destroying natural habitats, and rainforest ecosystems have lost well over 90% of their former area due to human deforestation efforts.

        Interacting with people from all across the globe and from very different socioeconomic backgrounds also helps develop compassion and tolerance, which are essential steps towards building a true global society. You can collect a wealth of knowledge and experience nature first-hand by volunteering in an animal sanctuary and working with people in national parks to help preserve wildlife.

        Advertising

        4. The experience won’t just make you “feel good”, it will make you grow

        Globalteer growth

          While some people will tell you about how great it feels to help others and how much it can do for your own mental and emotional well-being, the truth is that the experience of volunteering for a good cause changes you deep down inside. It’s not about feeling good about yourself and earning bragging rights – it’s about learning about the harsh realities of the world, but at the same time seeing the kindness inherent in humans that manages to thrive in even the worst imaginable circumstances and suffering.

          You will mature emotionally and become wiser as the rose-tinted glasses fall from your eyes. Working with impoverished street children who are often forgotten by the government, and helping them grow into healthy and productive members of society will also help you grow into a better person.

          5. You will learn a lot of new and interesting things

          Advertising

          PA internship

            Aside from getting some valuable teamwork skills, you will be able to learn a whole host of new skills you didn’t even think of. It’s not unusual for volunteers to learn how to prepare ethnic meals, learn how to dance or become quite handy with household DIY projects. Of course, some of the best ways to combine something that is good with something that is useful is to hone your skills by doing your internship in a third world country. Around 22,000 children die every day because they lack basic living necessities, and there are an estimated 2.2 million annual deaths due to lack of immunization. People with a medical and healthcare background are always needed and welcome in various communities and it’s a good way to get tons of hands-on experience and learn to work in adverse conditions with limited resources.

            6. It will look great on your CV and improve your people skills

            ItoI porject skills

              After all is said and done, there is also a very practical reason why you should volunteer for a cause – it is an excellent thing to have on your CV. To company execs this says that you are a good and trustworthy person who has a strong work ethics and can work in tough conditions. The experience will also teach you important people skills, teamwork and creative problem solving which can all translate well into any other area of your professional and personal life. In other words, spending some time building homes for the poor will help you develop several very practical skills that will come in handy even in a modern business environment.

              As you can see, volunteering is not only an effort that benefits a noble cause – it also benefits the person doing the volunteering in a lot of ways. Once you have roamed with the wild predators, built homes with your own two hands, helped underprivileged children learn something and connected with other kind and generous people from around the globe, very few things will be able to extinguish your faith in humanity.

              Advertising

              Featured photo credit: isafmedia via flickr.com

              More by this author

              Ivan Dimitrijevic

              Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

              10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable 7 Steps to Reinventing Yourself and Reach Your Goals 50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them 40 Amazing Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day 8 Fun and Unique Birthday Party Ideas for People in Their 20s

              Trending in Communication

              1 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 2 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 3 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 4 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People 5 13 Simple Habits of Happiness To Change Your Outlook on Life

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising

              Last Updated on July 20, 2021

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

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

              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:

              Advertising

              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.

              Advertising

              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.

              Advertising

              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.

              Advertising

              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:

              Advertising

              • 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

              Read Next