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The Power Of The Habit: A Loop to Succeed

Have you ever stopped to think about what you could do differently, from now on, to achieve success? Simple changes in behavior can make all the difference, especially when it becomes a habit. You know what all successful people (really, I’m talking about all of them) have in common? Well, it’s something that dominates us all the time, but is also the key to achieving success. Here are the questions you should ask yourself:

  1. Why do you do what you are doing today?
  2. Why do some people and companies have a lot of difficulties to make a change, while others seems to?

The author of “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business”, after gathering numerous scientific research,shows that you need to enjoy the actual moment, which is the “Golden Age” of neuroscience, to understand how your brain is organized on a daily basis. It is striking to realize that all the people who have managed to succeed have a common pattern among them: the success from habits.

If we look at the athlete’s trajectories of the 2016 Olympics, we can see that the champions did all the time extraordinary things. To reach this level of evolution, they’ve made a series of frequent, repetitive things, which need to be non-rationalized. They know the power of habits and use it rationally to achieve something extraordinary. They know the brain is organized to save efforts and take full advantage of it. When confronted with the need to learn a new skill, such as a new language or a musical instrument, the brain consumes a lot of energy.

  • The single biggest reason why startups succeed | Bill Gross
    YouTube Video
    The single biggest reason why startups succeed | Bill Gross
But,after some time, the responsible regions for attention and control effort begins to decrease their activities and start to work on “autopilot”. It happens when we adopt the routine. Thus, you will have time and energy to focus on new things that require thought and learning. Well, to get to this point, know the three stages of habit loop. Remember: you must respect the stage 3!

Trigger: A Desire for a Change

Imagine, for example, that a company advertises its internationalization within 1 year and there you identify a great professional opportunity. You then conclude that you need to improve some of your skills, or just one. Let’s say that this skill is to communicate better in Spanish language. Of course, the mere fact that you identify a trigger by itself may not be enough to develop a habit – but if this motivation is strong, then you will pass to the 2nd. loop step, which is:

Routine: Attendance

To develop it, you will study the new language daily. It’s important to know that the habit will only be consolidated after 66 days of routine. Until then, you take risks and this is where many people give up, right on the halfway. A good tip here is to draw, step by step, what you need to do to get there – this tool may help you. However, the cycle has not yet been closed. He only gets established with the third and last step:

Reward: The pleasure

As soon as you get the first results with your new language skills, you will realize greater recognition of people and of course, new opportunities will open up. This is the reward achieved by completing the habit loop cycle. In this case, the power of habit was effective because you identified a strong reason to start, which is the trigger, developed and consolidated an uninterrupted routine practicing studies and after a period of time, began to receive the reward that will motivate you to continue.

This goes for any habit you want to adopt. But be very aware and follow the 3 steps of the loop.
Remember, you are the sole owner of your own mind.To understand how habits work can turn you in a more productive person, healthier and even happier – But it will always depend on you.

About the Author:

Camila Honda is a Brazilian, Digital Marketer and loves Project Management. She is currently working at Heflo and Ideias.me

Overcome the Fear of Speaking in Public – 5 Reasons

Here at Better Speaking Skills, we are looking for actionable tips on improving our speaking skills. However, we don’t pay much attention to overcoming the fear of speaking in public even though it might be twice efficient.

In fact, 74% of people suffer from glossophobia, aka a fear of speaking in public. Believe it or not, having this fear negatively affects your well-being, and you lose a big variety of opportunities around you. If you think that it’s hard to overcome the fear of speaking in public, you’re right. On the other hand, once you do your best to beat it, you get much more.

Fearless public speech is not just a dream; it’s you who can change your life for better.

Here are 5 reasons to overcome the fear of speaking in public:

Heightened Self-confidence

No one wants to feel humiliated after public speaking, but it’s nearly impossible to prevent this feeling if you made mistakes while delivering a speech. Unfortunately, speech anxiety affects our performance, and it’s more likely you fail if you’re worrying. Therefore, your failures decrease self-confidence.

All in all, you need to beat the fear of speaking in public to stay confident and achieve success in any niche you want to.

Increase Your Potential

Every person has a fear, and in most cases, it’s just a question of emotions. Unfortunately, having a fear decreases your energy and put limits on your growth. Once you overcome a fear, you increase your potential as there are no frames for your development.

Are you reaching your potential? It might be high time to start living a better life: without any fears.

Take a Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Living within your comfort zone is a normal thing for most people as we are afraid of getting out of this area: everything scares. Scientifically, a comfort zone is a type of behavior that keeps you on the lowest level of anxiety. However, if you break out of this zone, you’re able to develop some new skills which may lead to your growth.

Establish More Contacts

Have you ever dreamed of being a successful person? I bet that you have. In fact, successful people have a big number of contacts that help them a lot. If you don’t have a fear of speaking in public, you can establish contacts that would be beneficial for you.

  • Fear Of Public Speaking - The One Key To Overcoming It Forever
    YouTube Video
    Fear Of Public Speaking - The One Key To Overcoming It Forever
Obviously, you need to understand people who are listening to your speech, and audience analysis is a number-one thing as it helps to suit the needs. Once you know how to fit people’s expectations and needs, you can establish good and long-term contact.

Find Support and Understanding

There is one thing for you to remember: your audience is not waiting for your failure. People come to find actionable tips on solving their problems, and they rely on you as you’re an expert in the niche. Thus, you can find support and understanding while delivering a speech, and it’s easier if you don’t have a fear of speaking in public. Once you share your thought with the audience, use eye-contact to find those who completely support you. It can be important not only for the moment of speech.

Wrap-up

Having fears gives you nothing but anxiety. To stand out from the crowd and achieve success, you need to do your best in order to overcome your fear. The faster you do it, the better. There are more reasons to overcome the fear of speaking in public, and you’re welcome to list yours to motivate each other beat it once and for all.

So, are you ready to overcome this fear?

Lale Byquist is a media communications student who has overcome the fear of speaking in public. Lale runs PresentationSkills.me website where she shares her tips and pieces of advice. Follow her on Twitter or drop a line at lale.byquist@gmail.com

Lale Byquist

Communicate Like a Pro with the Help of these 7 Tips!

We all want to be confident. Confidence is usually associated with competence and with competence comes more opportunities. Unfortunately, not everyone has the qualms to stand in front of a crowd or even in front of a few to speak out. For aspiring public speakers, confidence is a vital thing. And if you’re looking for some ways on how to improve your skills in this area, the following tips could be of great help.

First things first – LISTEN

All excellent communicators weren’t recognized as such without being a good listener beforehand. It’s a basic factor. You can’t successfully bring out a message without listening to the other side of the story. The more you listen, the more you understand the matter at hand. This, in turn, allows you to construct a more relevant message for your audience.

Decide on a Message

Whether you’re asked to deliver an inspirational talk or a response to another speech, having a central message is important. This can refer to your stand about a particular matter. By having a core message, it becomes easier to expand your speech from there.

Use Eye Contact

Staying relevant to your listeners is one of the most vital factors that can decide whether or not you are being an effective speaker. One of the basic factors to do this is by using eye contact. Look at your listeners in the eye while you speak. By doing so, you are building a connection – an important thing in getting your message across.

Maximize Gestures

Aside from eye contact, making use of helpful gestures such as waving of a hand, opening your arms wide and more also helps. With the right timing, these hand movements could add more impact to your message. We should include here the importance of your facial expression. Even a mild frown, a nod, or a smile already means a lot. If you are not confident on how to utilize these actions, it might be best to practice in front of a mirror to get a better view of your own delivery.

  • Communication Skills - The 6 Keys Of Powerful Communication
    YouTube Video
    Communication Skills - The 6 Keys Of Powerful Communication

Be Mindful of Your Tone and Pacing

A professional communicator is widely applauded not only for their excellent message but also for their delivery. Tone and pacing affect this. As the speaker, you should neither speak too slow or too fast. The most efficient method is to go with the emotion your message hopes to convey. If you speak too fast, listeners will most likely miss some important details while speaking so slow might bore some of them. Practice the art of punctuating your speech. This will show the emotion of what you’re trying to convey.

Add Emphasis on Important Message – PAUSE

Adding emphasis on certain parts of a message can be a challenge. One of the most effective means to do this is to pause. This will give your audience some time to internalize or think about what you just said. Just make sure that you don’t pause for so long. Few seconds would do.

Use the Language of Your Viewers

Lastly, talk in the same language with your listeners. Talking to a group of business executives would surely sound different when facing a group of literature students. Speaking in the tone of your audience does not only make your credible but also relevant. This might come as a huge challenge especially if you’re not used to speaking to a specific group of people. But with enough preparation and even coaching, you’ll do just fine.

There’s no easy way out to becoming a professional public speaker. Even the most seasoned ones get nervous on their talks. The key is to not give up on practicing and to grab any opportunities that would help you enhance your skills. Being open-minded to the inputs of other speakers will also play a major role. Make sure to keep them in mind!

Author Bio

Raphael Rico Zamora is a Filipino blogger working in a translation services Philippines, a professional translation and interpretation company located in the business district of Makati City, Philippines.

Cutting to the Chase in Public Speaking

Cut to the chase basically means to get to the point excluding needless prelude. This phrase is thought to have originated from silent movies of the yesteryear. Silent movies, as the name implies, did not have any sound or verbal conversation. The acting was made with facial expressions and gestures. Frequently, these movies told of romantic stories that would ultimately culminate into a chasing scene. Therefore, movie makers sometimes had to cut the film short and quickly get to the “chase” in order not to lose the viewers’ interest.

Let’s now cut to the chase and talk about the importance of cutting to the chase in public speaking. What an ironical statement 🙂

The Importance of Getting To the Point

Under ideal conditions, an individual will give attention to your speech for as many minutes as their age. For example, a two-year-old child will pay attention for two minutes, a five year old will pay attention for five minutes, a fifteen-year-old child will listen for 15 minutes and so on up to the age of 20. After that, it tapers off. Therefore, it is crucial to omit the preambles, get to point as swift as possible and keep reinforcing your point frequently.

Winston Churchill, the former British Prime Minister said “If you have an important point to make, do not try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.” He truly understood the importance of cutting through the chase and reinforcing one’s point regularly.

Get Straight To the Point, Keep It Short and Concise

When you are writing your speech, it is significant to always remember what message you want to deliver in your speech at all times. This will ensure that the process of crafting of your presentation will be aligned to the direction of your message. To better comprehend the direction your speech, you need to understand the purpose of your speech. It falls under 2 broad categories:

    General purpose
    Specific purpose

Once you determine the categorization, you can then dwell deeper into the real purpose and intentions of the speech. Your general purpose could be to either inspire, persuade, entertain or explain. Usually, all speeches will fall into one of these four categories.

General Purpose
Inspirational speech
Persuasive speech
Entertaining speech
Explanatory speech

The specific purpose of a speech is the idea or elucidation that gives your presentation direction beyond the general purpose. The specific purpose will answer one of the following questions, conditional on your general purpose:

  • Why are you inspiring the gathering of people?
  • What are you trying to persuade the audience to do?
  • How are you entertaining your listeners?
  • What are you explaining to your listeners?
  • Specific Purpose
    Specifically worded and crafted from the audience’s viewpoint

    By the time you finish your speech, the audience should ideally be able to speak in one clear sentence on what your purpose of the speech is. The audience should generally have a comprehensible consensus on your purpose and goal as well, but slight variations and interpretations among the audience is acceptable. If you have been to a boring workshop with your fellow audience murmuring to you “what was that about?” or “what was her point?” or “he was all over the place”, you had most probably tasted a speech that had no general and / or specific purpose. Test your speech on your family or friends first, and ask them for their opinions, if the message is clear or does it need more focus.

    Conclusion

    It is speech contest time among Toastmasters throughout the world now. Many aspiring contestants would be researching Youtube for winning speeches to emulate during their respective contests. While I’m not discouraging you from doing market research on Youtube (I personally don’t do it myself), I would suggest that you first look at your specific purpose carefully. If you get this aspect right, it would be easier for everything else to fall in place naturally.

    I wish you well.

    This article was written by a 3 time Toastmasters District Champion 🙂

    Organizing a Speech for Effective Delivery Part 3 of 3

    This article is a continuation of http://www.betterpublicspeaking.com/organizing-a-speech-for-effective-delivery-part-2-of-3

    Last week we wrote about how to organise a speech using various speech outlines or speech structures such as Chronological, Spatial, Causal, Comparative, Topical & Problem-Solution. This week, we’ll move on to attention grabbing techniques in the opening of a speech & the importance of having smooth transitions in a presentation.

    Attention Grabbing Techniques

    Some techniques to use to craft a strong introduction would be:

      Starting with a bold or challenging statement
      A quotation which relates to speech
      A bold body movement
      An object or picture
      Vocal plays

    Avoid these general openings:

      Weak questions
      Long winded story
      Apologetic statement
      Story or joke not related to speech

    With the crafting of the introduction complete, we now move on to the body of the speech. This will contain the meat of the speech, the entire message which is the objective of the speech itself.

    The Power of Three

    The body should ideally convey 3 main points, in a technique called the “The Power of 3s” where 3 is ideally the number of points the audience is most receptive and able to remember. Writers call this The Language of Three. It essentially means the same. Anything beyond 3 main points will make the speech seem too heavy and loaded. Anything less will seem under-prepared and inadequate. With the 3 main points, you can have supporting materials to reinforce the 3 main points.

    The supporting materials can be as below:

      Personal stories
      Testimonials
      Visual aids
      Anecdotes
      Examples
      Statistics
      Facts
    The next part to craft will be the conclusion. This is just as important as the introduction. This is your final chance at reinforcing your message. This is also crucial that you add in that bit that urges a “call to action” to the audience. If however, when you have reached the conclusion and you suddenly realized you have missed out some points earlier on, resist the urge to go back. Remember, a speech development is one-way traffic, you only move forward, not backwards (unless you are using the flashback method in storytelling).
    If there’s something you have missed out, do not go back and say the point, this will confuse the audience and will give the impression that you did not fully prepare and rehearse the speech in advance.

    With practice and the tools provided in this article, you should not be at that stage where you missed certain points. The conclusion should ideally end with a “bang”; end with a powerful statement or reinforcement, or a “call to action” technique.

    A typical skeleton speech outline would be as follows:

    1. Introduction
    2. Body
      ~ Main point 1
      ~~ Supporting materials
      ~ Main point 2
      ~~ Supporting materials
      ~ Main point 3
      ~~ Supporting materials
    3. Conclusion

    Smooth Transitions

    Another important thing to note is the transitions from one part to the next. The audience should be able to follow your speech development if you have crafted the speech and organized it in a coherent and flowing manner. You will also need to use carefully placed transitions to signal that you are moving on to the next part. This directs the audience to the flow you intended in your crafting of your speech. In an article like this, headings, bullets, and punctuation provide cues to the reader that help them understand the flow.

    In a verbal presentation, pauses and transitional words or phrases help to achieve this effect so that the listeners know when one point ends, and the next begins. Transitional words and phrases are required to link the speech together in a cohesive unit.

    Examples of transitional words:

    Also, but, consequently, considering, finally, instead, later, meanwhile, moreover, next, then.

    Examples of transitional phrases:

    According to, as a result, for example, in addition, let’s begin with, more importantly, this means.

    All the best to you for your next presentation. May your oratorical skills be uplifted by using the communications tips & tricks learnt in this article.