My wife is a self-proclaimed nerd. We have comic books in our bedroom, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster in our living room, and she can quickly answer any question about Star Wars. And I love it. I’ve found a beautiful, smart, ambitious woman who is the love of my life. She is the right person for me.
We’re also best friends and continue to enhance our lives together. Most of all, we are deeply in love. Take it from me- when you’ve found the right woman, your life will change. Too often we’ve analyzed who that perfect partner will be, despite ignoring the reality that we too are imperfect.
But, that’s the beauty of it. After all, we are all just people. When you find Miss Right, they get to know you better than you even know yourself. It really is true. When a man has found the right woman, these 10 amazing things will happen. They happened to me.
1. You will share unique experiences.
My wife and I share experiences that are totally unique to us. Our life experiences are special and we go through challenges together, as a team. The right woman is the only one able to share those unique experiences so personally. She will help you and you will help her. One is not more powerful than the other.
2. You will learn from one another.
I’ve learned so much from my wife. She has taught me things about myself that I did not know or see. We’ve learned how to better cope with life’s toughest challenges. With the right woman, you will be open to receiving her message and attentive in what she has to say. After all, you are going to spend the rest of your life learning from one another.
3. You will build a solid foundation of trust.
I’m not only talking about basic trust, but a deeper level of trust. When you’ve found the right woman, you will have a mutual understanding of one another. You will both be honest with each other because it’s the right thing to do. The right woman will respect you so much that she will be honest and forthcoming. She will expect the same from you.
4. Your thought patterns will align.
I’m still amazed by this. My wife and I really do finish our sentences. We also begin to think about the world and approach problems in similar ways. Individual experiences often become our unique experiences. We may not always agree with one another, but the right woman will see the value in your point of view. She will value the person you are.
5. Your goals will merge.
The right woman is open to discussing what is and what is not important in your life. She will seek to get to know you better to make sure that both your needs are being met. She believes that you both have individual goals but are on the same page when it comes to improving your lives. You will both share a beautiful vision of your future together.
6. Your love will continue to grow.
I used to think I couldn’t love my wife more than I already did. The more you get to know the right woman, the more you will love her for who she is. You accept her imperfections and she accepts yours. As you continue to experience more of life together, your love will continue to thrive right along with it. Love has no limits or boundaries and the right woman will prove that.
7. You will laugh, a lot.
If your relationship or marriage does not have laughter in it, you have found the wrong woman. Laughter really is the window to someone’s soul. My wife and I laugh until our cheeks hurt. We cry sometimes too, but the laughter reminds us of what’s really important. Some of our best memories are funny stories that only we can relate to. The right woman will love to laugh with you.
8. You will learn to compromise.
When you’ve found the right woman, the little stuff just won’t matter as much. No longer will you care where the toothbrush is or how the trash is taken out. It may still bug you a little but doesn’t really matter. There are too many other things to worry about when you’ve found the right woman. You will also learn how to negotiate with one another to find out what’s really important to both of you.
9. Your priorities will change.
As you make your journey together, your individual as well as the relationship’s priorities will change. With the right woman, she will be open to those changes as you both navigate through the tough times. You both will accept these changes over time. As you get older, you realize you truly are in this together- in sickness AND in health.
10. You will highly respect one another.
I’m not talking about some sort of hierarchy of respect. Quite the opposite. This goes along with love- you value each other so much that you wouldn’t dare to truly hurt one another. The right woman respects you as a man. You respect her as a woman. The right relationship requires just that- a mutual respect for another person as your equal.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of everything that will happen to you (my wife would kill me if our marriage was boiled down to a top 10 list). Mostly, we love one another unconditionally and view ourselves as equal partners. We’re in this together.
You know that you’ve found the right woman when you wake up every morning smiling, knowing the love of your life is laying there right next to you. There’s going to be a lot more of those special mornings. And I can’t wait.
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: