The Thanksgiving-to-Christmas season really brings out the best in people, but it can also lead you astray.
By all means, give this holiday season. Volunteer, drop toys in the Toys for Tots bins, throw change or a few bills in the Salvation Army Santa’s kettle. But keep these points in mind, too:
1. People need your help year-round
The toy drives your local organizations carry out are pretty successful. In December. When May comes around, though, shelters have little on hand to give out.
Sick kids in hospitals, children in battered women’s shelters who have fled their homes in the middle of the night, and others might like a toy or two, but nobody’s donating in the middle of the year – and most non-profits can’t afford to store their December bounty year-round.
The same goes for other forms of volunteering – there are homeless, disabled, ill, poor, and otherwise hurting people who need help year-round.
2. The recipients of charity are people with feelings, value, and dignity
Poor people don’t need the dregs of your life, whether in the form of your material cast-offs, or your time, emotion, and advice. Being poor means lacking resources, not lacking humanity – if you can’t connect with the people you aim to serve, as people, then nobody is the better for your alleged charity.
3. Consider the gift of autonomy
One of the resources most lacking for impoverished people is autonomy. The greatest hardship of poverty is the way it limits you – often in ways that create greater poverty, like the way stores in poor neighborhoods often charge higher prices than stores in better-off neighborhood, because the poor often lack the transportation options to make meaningful choices about where they shop.
Think about the way you volunteer or give charity – is there a way you could increase people’s abilities to make their own choices, to follow their own paths, to develop their own abilities?
4. Only connect
Too often, people in a position to help hold themselves apart from the people they hope to assist. And no wonder – for the once-a-year volunteer, there is little time to get to know anyone, let alone really understand what their lives are like. If you can, make a long-term commitment and open yourself up to the lives of the people your charity is aimed at. Get to know people face-to-face, as friends and colleagues and equals.
5. Forget you
Last but most important, remember, it’s not about you. Yes, it feels good to give, and there’s no point in feeling guilty about that, but don’t do it because it makes you feel good, or because you earn points towards a merit badge or college credit, or because it’s part of your organization’s charter, or for whatever other way that charity benefits you. Do it because you must, because being a giving person is right.
And this year, instead of giving during the season of giving and then returning to your “normal life” when you pack away the tree and lights, let the holidays be a starting point to a life of year-round giving.
If the idea of getting up in front of a large crowd makes you feel ill, then
you may need to use public speaking tips as a way to calm your nerves and
learn how to overcome stress. These simple, but effective, suggestions will
help make giving speeches an easier thing. While we certainly cannot claim
that they will cure your nervousness (this is not magic, after all), we can
guarantee that using these public speaking tips will make the burden less of
one. While you may still hate having to give a speech, you will better know
how to handle yourself during one. And that can make all the difference.
Some helpful public speaking tips:
One: know your material. The worst thing you can do is show up unprepared.
Of all public speaking tips, this is the one you have to remember. Even if
you are not naturally gifted with speech-making and even if you cannot
manage more than a mono toned voice, you can still convey a message if you
know your material. It does not matter how charming you are or how witty you
can be; you need to know the information. Come prepared.
Two: know your audience. What sort of occasion is this? A wedding
reception? A business presentation? Understand who you are speaking with so
you can form something appropriate. You can turn any fact into something
suitable, if you just take the time to think about what the audience will
best respond to.
Three: practice. This should be among the most obvious of public
speaking tips. Just showing up to improvise is not a smart choice. Some
people can manage to do this; they thrive on spontaneity and pressure. Most,
however, do not. You should practice, reciting your speech and knowing
everything about it. It should be a second nature to you, not something you
wing at the last second.
Four: remember to move. Standing behind a lectern, clutching at its sides,
does not inspire confidence. Feel free to move about the area, use hand
gestures and connect with your audience through body language. It can
instantly send a message of conviction and confidence, even if you are a
complete mess inwardly. This will also keep you from unconsciously shuffling
papers or tapping your feet, nervous habits that will distract the audience.
Five: fake it. For the last of our public speaking tips, we encourage you
to fake ease. Even if you hate speeches, even if you are nothing more than
stress and panic, fake confidence. Smile, nod, make eye contact: do
everything you have to for a positive message. While this is not always
easy, it is necessary. You do not have to charm your audience, but you do
have to make them listen. Confidence will do that. Of course, it helps if
you believe in what you are saying but, even then, you may need to pretend.
Do everything you can to look casual. If this means you have to study body
language and mimic it, do so. If you have to practice for hours at a time to
learn every word so you won’t have to worry about forgetting your place, do
so. When it doubt, smile and fake how nervous you are.
With these public speaking tips, you can make the transition from an awkward
speaker to, at least, a more capable one.
As many people muddle through the days trying to figure out who we are, where we need to go, what we want to do it is humbling to see how celebrities can be so encouraging and inspiring to the average person. Watch and listen to this video where Will Smith talks with Tavis Smiley about decisions. Then go and watch the movie Pursuit of Happyness. Enjoy
Looking forward to connecting with champions at the Midwest Super Conference
I picked up the mail today and was excited to find the Maximum Impact Club CD of the month. I knew right away that I couldn’t wait to listen and learn. Here is an exerpt from the CD:
1. Save the whales. Collect the whole set.
2. A day without sunshine is like,night.
3. On the other hand,you have different fingers.
4. I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.
5. I feel like I’m diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
6. Honk if you love peace and quiet. 7. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
8. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
9. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
10. I drive way to fast to worry about cholesterol.
11. Support bacteria. They’re the only culture some people have.
12. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
13. Get a new car for your spouse. It’ll be a great trade!
14. Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.
15. Always try to be modest, and be proud of it!
16. OK, sou what’s the speed of dark?
17. How to you tell when you’re out of invisible ink?
18. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
19. Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just do not have film.
20. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
21. Eagles may soar, but weasels do not get sucked into jet engines.
22. What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
23. I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out.
24. I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
25. Why do Psychics have to ask for your name?
26. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened.