• We all know how important public speaking skills are. It’s common for people to freeze up in mid-sentence. But, you can learn how to speak clearly...
    How to speak clearly
    Category: Networking Tips | February 27, 2018

    Speaking in front of people is terrifying. No matter how many people listen to you. It could be that you must speak in front of your co-workers, at a wedding, or in school. But, no matter where you speak publicly, nerves always seem to creep into what you say. But one you learn how to speak clearly, it will make all the difference and take you far in life.

    Honestly, not only is it traumatic for you, it’s unpleasant for people listening if you forget your lines, stutter, speak quickly, or mumble.

    How to speak clearly

    But it doesn’t mean that just because you’re not a good speaker doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road for you. Work on your public speaking skills and improve the way you speak in front of people. Sure, you’ll encounter bumps in the road, but, with practice, you become a more fluent and confident speaker.

    So, this is why you’re here, let’s get you going on the path to speaking clearly. It’ll take some practice, but you can do it!

    #1 Why are you having problems speaking? Is it nerves? Is it that you don’t know what you’re talking about? Figure out why you have problems speaking clearly. It could just be you’re having issues pronouncing specific letters which is easy to fix once you know that that’s the problem. So, when speaking, be aware of the problems you have. 

    #2 Calm your nerves. Speaking is a nerve-wracking experience. Take a sip of warm water, hold a small object in your hand while speaking. Calm your anxiety before speaking. It helps you to speak slowly and more clearly. When you’re nervous, it increases your speed, you stutter and then your anxiety is amped up even more.

    #3 Take time to think before you speak. When we rush through our thoughts, we don’t take the time to process what we’re going to say and prepare ourselves. By thinking about what you want to say, you’re able to plan your words out, preventing the chances of you slipping up. You can rehearse them in your head which even helps with your pronunciation.

    #4 Practice regularly. You need to practice. Doing this once isn’t going work. To improve your speech, this is going to be a long-term process. You’re not going to be speaking like a celebrity overnight, this is going to take months and months of practice. But that’s the point, you’re going to need to practice daily, at least for five minutes with tongue twisters.

    #5 Warm up the voice. When you go from not speaking to suddenly reciting a speech, it affects the way you speak. You need to warm up your voice. When your voice isn’t warm, your vocal cords can easily become irritated and inflamed which cause issues when you’re speaking. Hum for a couple minutes before speaking and drink warm water. This relaxes your vocal cords. 

    #6 Stand in front of the mirror. This is the best way to see how you speak. You need to look at yourself in the mirror. It could be that you don’t open your mouth wide enough on certain vowels which causes you to mumble, but you don’t know until you see yourself speak.

    #7 Record yourself. When speaking, you’re not actually hearing yourself how people hear you. So, I recommend you record yourself speaking. Record yourself with tongue twisters or the speech you’re going to give. Then, listen to it out loud, you’ll be able to see where you go wrong. Then, re-record yourself and hear the improvement.

    #8 Know where to breathe. You may not have thought about it but your breathing is extremely important when it comes to speaking. Breathing is the engine of the voice, it’s what fuels your sound. So, breathe through your stomach rather than your chest. This takes some practice as many of us are used to breathing through shallowly through the chest.

    #9 Don’t take a slip up as a failure. You’re going to make mistakes even when you think you’ve perfected your speech, this is normal. But, what you shouldn’t do is see it as a failure. When it comes to learning how to speak clearly, don’t let small slip-ups prevent you from progressing with your ability to speak clearly.

    #10 Work on self-confidence. Your ability to speak clearly is highly tied to your confidence. You need to believe that you speak clearly and fluently. If you don’t believe in yourself or what you want to say, that’s going to come across when you speak. Look within and trust yourself with what you’re going to say.

    #11 Practice in front of friends or family. If you need a second opinion, practice your speech in front of friends or family that you trust. They’ll be able to tell you when you speed up or when you mumble. If you’re not able to record, this is a great way to see what the issues are when you speak. 

    #12 Avoid slang and jargon. When speaking in public or if you want to be understood better, the best thing you can do to speak clearly is to avoid jargon and slang. Keep your speech clear and clean. It helps you avoid any slip-ups if you use proper English. In addition, you won’t confuse your audience when you speak in a way that everyone understands.

    Now that you know the best ways for how to speak clearly, it’s time you started practicing. It’ll be hard in the beginning, but you’ll notice the improvement when you speak.

  • When it comes to being introverted, we can all benefit from knowing how to make more friends. If this is you, here’s how to go about it...
    How to make more friends
    Category: Networking Tips | January 06, 2018

    You can meet people at school or work or while out with other friends but when you hardly ever leave the house, your social life is probably a little sad. And if you work from home AND you’re an introvert, it’s basically nonexistent. But that’s a lonely way to live, which is why you probably want to know how to make more friends.

    I get it. It’s hard meeting new friends the older you get. You just don’t go out as much and when you do, it’s usually not to go make friends with other people. There are very few ways to open a door to friendship with random people.

    Why you might not be making friends even if you’re trying hard

    A lot of us don’t exactly put out a very friendly vibe. As introverts, we get pretty tired socializing and this can often make us cranky and unapproachable. You may not be making friends very easily if you only go out for a short time and then leave angry.

    You could also be putting out some weird, creepy vibes, too. Since most people go out with friends in groups, a stranger trying to squeeze their way in isn’t exactly welcome. There’s an art of subtlety that has to take place in this situation and we’ll teach you how.

    How to make more friends when you tend to avoid people

    I’ll be honest with you. It’s hard. You’ll have to go out of your comfort zone and actually put forth an effort to form solid relationships. Someone else isn’t going to find you and proclaim you as their friend, as simple as that would be. Here’s how you can actually learn how to make more friends even as a severe introvert.

    #1 Think about why you want friends. Do you have friends already and just want more or do you have none at all? This does make a huge difference. If you already have friends and are trying to find new people to hang out with, ask yourself why.

    Are bored with them or do you just not like them? Maybe they’re not hanging out with you enough and you want more. Whatever the reason, it’s good to think it over a bit before trying for new friends.

    #2 Go out. Yes, you really do have to go out if you want to know how to make more friends. It all happens when you socialize. That is, if you want friends you can actually hang out with. Internet friends are an entirely different thing.

    But you have to make an effort to go out and meet people. How can you make more friends when you are never in a place to do that? Head to a bar every weekend and do some socializing!

    #3 Do stuff you enjoy, alone. I know this might sound odd but it works pretty well. When you go and do stuff you like alone, you might find someone else there in your same boat. The great thing about this is that you already have something in common so you know it has to be a decent match already.

    #4 Hang out with current friends and get to know your mutuals better. All the people your friends with have friends that you’re not very close to. Maybe you should change that. You never know who could end up being a really great friend to you if you just take the time to get to know them a little better. So get together and try a little harder to connect.

    #5 Try a new hobby you might like. Go to a beginner’s class for something you’re not quite sure if you’ll like or not. You could end up loving it and it’s perfect for getting to know others who are there because you’re both just as clueless. You can make connections and even go to class together sometimes.

    #6 Make small talk with many people. You don’t have to try to make connections with every single person you meet but chatting up many people with small talk can really help. Just saying hello or commenting on someone’s jacket or shoes could go a long way in making more friends.

    #7 Try to keep the conversation going with people you click with. If you’re talking to someone and you’re getting along really well, don’t just walk away and end the conversation. Keep it going!

    Put forth the effort to talk to them more and see if you can find more commonalities. If the chat is going well and they’re engaged in the conversation, it’s a great sign. Keep it up and you could have a new friend. Just make sure not to keep them talking when they’re trying to leave.

    #8 Get some phone numbers if you have to head out. It’s not weird to ask for phone numbers anymore. However, if you still feel weird about asking, just add someone on Facebook first. You can start a conversation on there and carry it over if things go well.

    The key here is when to ask. You can’t just say hello, have a great 2-minute conversation and assume it’s okay to get some digits. Wait until you’ve been chatting for a while but one of you has to leave.

    #9 Suggest activities to people. It’s not just about talking about your interests. Suggesting different activities to people is a great way to stay connected even if you’re not in any other way.

    Tell someone about a great little coffee shop with live music if they’ve expressed interest in that sort of thing. That way, they can find you on Facebook or tell you how great it was. That’s the fast-track to friendship.

    #10 Invite them to go with you to the next bar. If you’re at the bar talking and want to continue, but in another place, ask them to go with. Tell them about this little place you really like with great drinks and have them tag along. This keeps the conversations going and lets you see if they even like you.

    #11 Invite them to go with you somewhere fun sometime. This doesn’t have to be weird. If you’re hitting it off and have been chatting online or texting for a bit and would consider yourself friends, just invite them out. Ask if they want to go to a concert of someone you both like. You’ll be good friends in no time.

    #12 Keep in touch. Don’t just stop talking to someone after that night. If you add them on Facebook or any other form of social media, be active and engage with them on it. Losing touch with people you got along with will only set you further back on your quest for finding more friends.

    The key to learning how to make more friends is just putting forth the effort. It might seem odd at first but all it really is, is connecting with like-minded people and staying in touch.