A Student's Borderline Professional Guide To Public Speaking

A Student's Borderline Professional Guide To Public Speaking

Learn to talk like a champ.

Public speaking is a skill everyone has to engage in at some point in their lives. It might be in high school, when you’re professing your love to a fellow student in an elaborate prom proposal or trying to convince your classmates to vote for you for class president. It might be in college, when you’re presenting a thesis or trying to come up with the right thing to say to convince your roommate to stop leaving papayas on the counter until they rot. It might be even later, when you have to give a toast at a wedding or, God forbid, propose to someone yourself. Whichever way you come face-to-face with the prospect of public speaking, it’ll happen, and when it does, you need to be prepared.

You will experience crippling fear. There’s no way around that. But the proper way to face your fear is to try to scare it even more than it scares you. Instead of viewing your audience as average people who are just trying to go about their lives, imagine them as a tribe of drooling, spitting cannibals who want nothing more than to eat you. Think of them as serial killers leering at you from behind bars. Pretend they’re the scariest thing you can imagine. Faced with the prospect of certain death from the thing that scares you most, what’s a little public speaking? Speak with confidence and enunciate clearly as your audience leers and drools.

If you’re smart, you will have memorized your speech. But in the face of the aforementioned fear, you may well forget it. That’s OK! The key to any great public speaking affair is improvisation. When your mind goes blank, begin to say or do whatever pops into your head. Speak in tongues. Tap dance. Climb onto your podium – if you have such a thing – and accuse the audience of faking the moon landing or being the second shooter in the Kennedy assassination. Standing and talking for the length of your speech is boring. Improvise and liven things up, and give a speech your audience will never forget.

Inevitably you will fumble a word. When this happens, you’ll want to crawl into the ground and die there, but this will only draw the audience’s attention to your mistake! To throw them off the scent, begin adding your fumbled word into your speech wherever it will fit. Vary your inflection. Use the word as a question, a full sentence, a swear word. Repeat it three times in a row with increasing volume and conviction. With luck, your audience will decide that your fumble is, in fact, a word, and begin using it themselves in conversation.

Closing a speech is one of the greatest difficulties in public speaking. Whatever you do, don’t end your speaking engagement with “That concludes my remarks” or “Thank you for your time” or “Sorry.” “So, um, yeah” is a good neutral option, but you didn’t come here to be neutral. You came here to make an impression. So, at the conclusion of your speech, bellow “THIS IS SPARTA” at the top of your lungs and violently kick your podium off the stage and into the crowd. Your audience will treasure the memory – and the bruise they got from the microphone – for the rest of their lives.

Cover Image Credit: Brian Tracy

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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10 TV Shows You Need To Watch On Hulu

Hulu is slept on


I have recently moved to watch shows and movies on Hulu and Netflix. Hulu has a lot of great shows and movies to offer that aren't on Netflix. While Netflix is still great, Hulu is definitely starting to grow on me. Here are some shows that I have watched or have started watching on Hulu that I think are pretty great!

1. 11.22.63


If you love James Franco and Stephen King, you'll love this show. The first episode is a bit long, but all the other episodes are only 45 minutes. The plot line is pretty interesting. I also like that it doesn't tell you everything, it shows it to you and you piece things together.

2. The Act

The fact that this show is based on a true story is just insane. The acting is really great, especially if you watch actual videos of Gypsy, Joey King does a great job.

3. Castle Rock

Another Stephen King masterpiece. This show is riveting and really makes you think about what the truth is in the context of the story, and brings in some ethical questions.

4. Future Man

I've only recently started this but it's pretty interesting and funny.

5. The O.C.

The O.C. (TV Series 2003–2007) - IMDb


This show was great. Sometimes it was a bit annoying, but it is a classic show from the early 2000s. You really become invested in all the characters and your opinion may change on some characters because they grow and develop throughout the show.

6. The Handmaid's Tale

If you've read the book, you should definitely watch the show.

7. Obsession: Dark Desires


I just love true crime stories and this really dives deep into crime stories and the darkest parts of humanity.

8. Intervention

This show can be really sad or frustrating, but I think it's good for people to see the reality of addiction.

9. Smallville

Smallville (2001-2011)


I also started this one very recently and I've always wanted to watch it. It can be cheesy but it's pretty entertaining.

10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine


This is a great show if you want to laugh. I love all of the characters and everything they bring to the table.

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