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Tips To Improve Public Speaking

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Not everybody is born with the public speaking skills of Winston Churchill or Martin Luther King Jr.  It's bad enough to read a story in public, but when you have to perform while giving a speech to a live audience; no wonder some people get tongue-tied. Captivating an audience takes time and practice. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, here are some tips you need to consider.

Practice

One of the best ways to improve public speaking skills is to practice. Spend lots of time writing your speech and then re-writing, editing and refining it so that it is as perfect as it can get. Next, practice saying it out loud. Constant practice is one of the best ways you can perfect your delivery. Don't limit yourself to practicing in front of the mirror. Enlist the help of family or friends and ask for their feedback or input so that you can improve as a speaker.

Accentuate the Positive

Always be yourself when speaking in public. Don’t focus on the negative and accentuate the positive. If you’re funny, let it show. If you’re a good storyteller, break down complex ideas and weave stories into it to make your speech more compelling.

Invest In Your Audience

The best way to keep your audience listening is to give them what they want. Do they want you to solve a problem? Are they looking for inspiration? Giving them what they want to hear gives them a reason to listen.

Get Comfortable With Your Environment

Check out the location of your speaking event. Arrive a day early so that you can familiarize yourself with the setup. Another good strategy is to plant family or friends among the audience so that they can give encouraging faces and nods when you need it.

Your Appearance

Make sure you look good for your day on stage. This will help boost your self-confidence which reflects in your body language. Wear your favorite suit or dress and a crisp shirt. Remember when you look good, you feel good. Audiences also make judgments based on your appearance. Make an effort to look good so that you can convey the message you want to.

Start With A Smile

According to studies, a smile can help other people feel at ease. Start your speech with a smile so that audience will warm up to you. Put a big smile on your face to feel relaxed so that your audience will relax too.

Down Time

Public speaking can drain your energy especially if you’re an introvert. Schedule downtime before and after the big event to enjoy and relax so that you can recharge.

Share an Emotional Story

Improve your presentation by telling a self-deprecating story and let your emotions show. Sharing genuine feelings will make the audience connect to you more easily because they can identify with you better. Don’t use your story to highlight how far you've come. Genuine feelings create lasting connections and feelings always trump speaking skills all the time.

Lifestyle

Meal Prep Ideas for Your Busy Work Week

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Here are some meal prep ideas for your busy work week. If you're busy, then you may not feel like coming home and investing energy in cooking complicated meal prep ideas. However, with proper planning and doing the meal prep on weekends, this task can become easy and fast. If you prepare a menu for the week, you can buy all the ingredients at once and preserve them. Here are few steps to ensure that you get nutritious homemade food even during a busy work week.

Planning in Advance

Plan in advance for the meal prep ideas that you are going to prepare for the coming week – just pen it down. You should create a menu either for the week (preferable) or the month, and make sure that you have a list of the ingredients that you need for every meal. Make sure that you have a list for every meal that you will be preparing at home, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Make sure to have snacks available.

Preparation

Another way to save time is putting meals together, especially those that you'll be baking or slow cooking. You can do this for as many meal prep ideas as you want, and store them in your freezer to pull out whenever you are going to cook them. Make sure you have all ingredients. Put all ingredients into the slow cooker and leave it to cook.  Set the timer correctly to avoid the food getting burnt.

Easy meal prep ideas

Prepare easy meal prep ideas such as salads, soups, sandwiches, and pasta. There are also other items that you can find in stores that are “ready to make” packs. Have them on the menu and leave the most complicated recipes for the weekend. Simpler meals will often suffice as long as you put some love into it. Just ensure that whatever you eat is healthy and nutritious.Shop intelligently. You can have your menu ready and do the shopping all at once on a weekly or monthly basis. This saves time and money as well. Also, you can make it easier for yourself if you just plan in advance and ensure that nothing is left for the last minute. Here's also some healthy ideas you could try with super foods.
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Lifestyle

The Divorce of Fantasy and Science Fiction

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fantasy and science fiction

The divorce of fantasy and science fiction

When you walk into any Barnes and Nobles, you'll notice that the layout of the store is separated by shelves.  Each row of shelves is marked by genre.  There's an isle for Romance, one for History, one for Children's Books, and New Releases.  If you continue walking, you'll notice an isle titled fantasy and science fiction.For most of the history of literature, you'll see these two paired together. Fantasy and science fiction are both genres of fiction and they present worlds where impossible things happen.  What's the difference?  In fantasy, the story is driven by mystical and magical forces often in a time and place that isn't real.  In Science Fiction, the story is driven by technologies not yet known or mastered, often with settings in the far off future.

The divide between fantasy and science fiction

Until recently, it made sense to group Science Fiction together with Fantasy.  Stories of these genres often shared similar tropes and literary aesthetics and both being worlds of impossibility.  However this is quickly becoming less and less true.  There is a chasm growing between these genres.  This gap grows parallel to the current explosive growth of internet and technology.  Famous science fiction novels like The Time Machine and 1000  Leagues Under the Sea would seem far outside the realm of possibility, especially to people during the Victorian era (the era that produced the steam punk aesthetic).  But when you compare the fictional plot lines of these same works to what we're achieving technologically today, you won't see too much of a difference.  Famous classic pieces like Issac Asimov's, iRobot don't look very different that the automated world we live in today.  In an age of drones, artificial intelligence, and self-driving cars, how far from the future are we?

What does the future hold for these genre?

We're reaching a point in time where these two genres need their own separate bookshelves and it seems that as humanity changes, so does our literature.  As imaginative and timeless as the genre of fantasy can be, the magic that shapes it will sadly never truly exist.  As we continue to innovate more and more, science fiction will have to find itself a new name.  In what category will we call the stories of the future?  What new genres will we create?
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Lifestyle

Beating The Post Holiday Blues

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The Holidays are always a rush of gift giving and food. We usually ride the season with a lot of adrenalin to help us get through the parties, vacations, and coming home to mom and dad's. But, after you've opened all your presents and uploaded your holiday pics to social media sites, the adrenalin wears off and you start to feel down in the dumps. It is no surprise that holiday blues usually take place after the trimmings are taken down and the festivities have ended. During the crash, fatigue sets in, we don’t want to go to the gym and postpone opening and reading emails. All we feel is laziness usually due to over indulgence of food. But it does not have to be this way. Here are ways to kick the post holiday blues.

Stay Connected

Just because you've said goodbye to friends and family does not mean that you can't communicate with them until the next holiday season. Drive away the doldrums by keeping in constant contact. Continue to update them on social media or send them emails from time to time. Call mom and dad on the phone even just to say hi. When you stay connected with the important people in your life, you feel less lonely and won’t miss them as much.

Exercise

Did you know that exercise is a good way to get rid of depression? Working out can actually make you feel better. Exercise releases dopamine into the bloodstream so you feel happier and content. As a bonus, you get to melt off pounds that you probably put on indulging in turkey and dessert during the holidays.

Plan Your Next Holiday

Nothing can get you more fired up than thinking about your next trip. Why wait for Christmas when you can plan another getaway during Valentine's Day or any holiday? It can be something simple as a budgeted long weekend or even an overseas trip. Whatever your plan is, it will make returning to work easier and help you avoid thinking about the holidays. Cultivating something positive and forward thinking is also a good way to reset your brain.

Schedule Fun Activities

Drinking alcohol will only make you more depressed, so switch to scheduling fun activities instead. Research tells us that having things to look forward to makes us happy. You can host a President's Day party with friends or a small tea party to catch up with friends you weren't able to visit during Christmas. If you want to keep it simple, you can engage in movie night with your siblings, dinner with the family, or a relaxing massage.

Spend Time Outdoors

This might not be possible for some people but spend time outdoors every day. According to a meta-analysis of 10 studies, spending as little as 5 minutes outside everyday can help improve mood and self-esteem. Spending time outside is also recommended for people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or winter depression.Keeping these strategies in mind can help you beat post-holiday depression. The holidays have to end, but it does not mean to say that the fun has to stop. Think of these suggestions every time you’re battling post-holiday misery.
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