You don't owe anyone personal information, especially not to satisfy their curiosity.

  • To someone asking how much money you earn: " Trust me, not even close to what I'm worth."
  • To someone who asks about your love life: "I'd rather not talk about this. When I have news to share, I'll let you know."
  • To a colleague who wants to know what you plan on your day off: "That's why call it a personal day!"

Repeat your stock answer if the person persists.

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When someone has crossed a line, you should open up the conversation alerting the other person to your feelings, concerns, or objections.

Some conversation starters:

  • "I thought you should know..."
  • "I wanted to bring something to your attention. I felt uncomfortable when.."
  • "I want you to be aware of my feelings about what happened..."
  • If you want to share something with a friend or colleague who likes to offer their opinion, say: "I want to share what's going on and would appreciate it if you can listen without offering advice or criticism."
  • Another way to stop auto-advice: "At the moment, I'm not looking for feedback. I would love it if you could just listen with compassion."
  • In relationships: "I love that you are always willing to help me. But right now, I appreciate it if you list and have faith that I'll come to a solution by myself."
When someone asks you something you're unsure about

Here are a few ways to buy yourself more time to assess the situation.

  • "I need a minute to regroup. Can we talk about this in an hour?"
  • "Can we chat about this later today, after I've had some time to consider it?"
  • To a friend who wants you to go to a dinner that sounds boring: "I'm going to say no to dinner, but I'd love to catch up another time."
  • To the colleague who wants you to help with an extra project: "I can't, unfortunately. But once I finish up my current deadline, I can see if there's a way I can support you."

When a friend, family member or colleague makes a rude comment and then says," I'm just honest," you may feel inclined to accept their words. Don't. If you know them to be genuine, you will know when to be open to their feedback.

Comments about how you wore the wrong dress or how bad your hair looks, say something like:

  • "I don't recall asking you."
  • "What you call 'honesty,' I call 'giving me unsolicited criticism.' Please don't."
Effective LinkedIn Messages

While sending a LinkedIn message (or InMail), take note of these three factors to increase the likelihood of the message being read and responded to.

  1. Send short messages, in the range of 200-400 characters, as people are busy and it is better to be concise.
  2. The response rate is slightly better at the start of the weekday, so avoid sending on weekends.
  3. Make the message personalized, as people like to feel special. Add a name or some details unique to the individual, avoiding generic messages.

Being comfortable will affect how you speak and how you remember your presentation.

  • When you practice, stand up, then speak, even if you plan to present sitting at a desk in front of a webcam.
  • Try recording yourself and then playing it back, listening to your own voice while standing and walking.

The key to not forget what you want to say is to create a comprehensive outline that consists of the major points.

Three types of outlines are helpful:**

  • The traditional outline: You create and indented, hierarchical listing of your points and jot down key phrases.
  • The question-based outline: List questions that spark specific answers in the order you intend to cover your content.
  • The Illustrated based outline: You graphically map out your ideas using icons, pictures, and words.
Fear of public speaking

Public speaking is one of the main fears, including forgetting what to say during a presentation.

But, memorising your presentation can make you more likely to forget it. This is partly because you limit yourself to one 'right way to communicate your message. If you deviate from your point, your brain identifies it as an error and panic sets in. This cause a heightened awareness of how you sound and causes you to be less connected and engaging.

Close your eyes and envision your presentation unfolding in a familiar space such as your home or hiking path.

As you walk through your presentation, imagine putting different key ideas in certain locations in your imaginary route—for example, a catchy introduction at your front door and surprising results in your study. Practising your presentation in this way can help you more easily recall your points.

We feel compelled to memorise because public speaking makes us nervous, making us worse at remembering a memorised script.

Research shows that being excited can improve performance and confidence.

  • Try to flip your inner anxiety dialogue to excitement, such as getting to share something of value with your audience.
  • Visualise yourself being excited about giving your presentation. A day or two before speaking, close your eyes and imagine your most engaged, excited self and how you confidently deliver your presentation.
Every person can be a good public speaker

Keep these things in mind:

  • People remember stories, not facts. Try to make your points through a story, rather than rattling off the facts.
  • Don't try to speak like everyone else. Your unique style is really an advantage. Speak the same way you would to a friend. Carry yourself the way you usually would, and don't try to censor yourself, like not allowing yourself to smile or laugh.
  • Being nervous can actually help you. It gives you adrenaline, focus, and the ability to perform at your highest level.
  • It is easier to learn to read and understand a new language than it is to speak it.
  • According to a recent study, the adult brain compartmentalizes speech in the left hemisphere, showing minimal plasticity.
  • As people become proficient in a language, their brains use both hemispheres to read and understand, but speech production remains cornered in the left hemisphere.

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