Public Speaking: You Can Be Good At It

Public Speaking: You Can Be Good At It

Here's how you can confidently get your point across.

Do you know what most people are afraid of?

Public Speaking.

That's right, they're more scared of speaking in front of a crowd than of sharks and dying.

I've had so many people tell me in the past, "I'd rather die than stand up in front of everyone and give a speech."

While I know most of them were probably exaggerating when they said that, I knew what they meant. They dreaded making speeches because for them, standing in front of a crowd, whether big or small, is incredibly intimidating.

The worst part for them is: Public speaking is largely unavoidable.

They're likely to imagine every possible thing that can go wrong, every reason why everyone probably thinks your speech is not worth listening to, and every word or sentence that you might stutter over.

If this is you, take heart. The truth of the matter is, everyone who makes a speech encounters those same type of fears.

However, public speaking doesn't have to be a scary thing.

All you need is some preparation and practice.

Here are five key points that will help you to prepare for any speech and be confident:

1. First, what is your argument? Do not start any speech without thinking about this first, or else your speech will end up trying to make different arguments, and your audience will be lost and confused. So, what is it that you are trying to convince your audience of?

2. Once you know your argument, think about your audience and how you can appeal to them. Remember, your speech is for your audience. You may love your topic, but your audience may not understand your topic or may not be interested in it. So, think of ways you can make the topic relatable to your audience. You want to be able to captivate their attention so that they will be interested in listening to your speech.

3. Captivating first line. Your audience will be most attentive in the beginning, so the first sentence of your speech should be interesting and engaging (except try not to be too cheesy!) Make sure that you look passionate about what you are talking about, and project your voice so that your audience knows you are confident in the argument you are about to present to them.

4. The 3 Magic Major Points: You want your audience to be able to take away 3 major points that validate your argument. Having three good points will really to support your argument.

State your 1st major point, then make sure you back it up with good evidence and/or personal experience. Then, do the same for the next 2 points you have.

5. The Finale: Once you're done stating your three major points, you should conclude your speech by repeating your three points again (except try to repeat it in a different way)so that your audience will remember your argument. Your audience will always remember what you say in the beginning and the very end of your speech, so it's important to end it strong! I like to end my speeches with a great story, a great line, or a great question that gets my audience to really think about my speech.

And you've finished! That feeling of sitting down after making a well thought-out speech is incredibly rewarding, and you may even grow to love public speaking!

What really helps before making a speech is not allowing yourself to stress out and not thinking too much about whether or not your audience will like you or your speech.

Just be passionate about what you are sharing, remain calm and say your main points, remind yourself that the worst case scenario will probably NOT happen when you're in front of everyone, and maintain eye contact with your audience.

If you can, walk around a bit as you make your speech to help yourself relax. And don't forget to smile (when it's appropriate only!) Looking and acting confident will engage your audience in more ways than you can imagine.

Finally, be yourself! You have your own unique way of communicating to an audience, so don't be afraid to be you, and don't force yourself to speak like someone else.

LAST bit of advice: Keep your speech simple. don't overcomplicate it with big words or big ideas. People just want to connect with what you have to say, and everyone loves simplicity. To see great examples of this, watch TED talks on YouTube. TED Talk speakers will really help demonstrate how a good speaker can get his or her point across effectively in an interesting and simple way, in a short amount of time!

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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