How to be a Better Speaker – Do These Things

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly and powerfully is easier than you think.

Guest Post by Stephanie Fairyington
The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person’s assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity. President Donald Trump, for example, is frequently noted for his every-man communication style, and the way he “tells it like it is.” In contrast, former President Barack Obama is often hailed as one of our nation’s greatest orators for his poise and eloquence. Robert Dallek, a presidential historian and author of An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963, ranks Obama in the same class as historically renowned speakers, such as former Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and John Kennedy, telling the Los Angeles Times that Obama “stands in that tradition in using poetry, literature and phrasing that is artistic.” Geoffrey Tumlin, the CEO of Mouthpeace Consulting and author of Stop Talking, Start Communicating, puts Oprah Winfrey and Madeleine Albright in the same category. “Oprah,” he says, “is a great example of connection plus preparation and someone who lets you really see who she is.” She expertly employs Tumlin’s musts for powerful and persuasive communication:

Stand Still and Stop Fidgeting

Learning to harness spazzy energy and erratic movements while talking, whether in a meeting at work or on stage in an auditorium, will give the impression that you are calm and in command. “There’s a lot of good research that suggests that we project influence and status on people who aren’t fidgeting around a lot when they are talking to people,” Tumlin says. He suggests watching Obama, whom he calls a master of stillness, at the White House Correspondents Dinner to see what elegant comportment looks like. “His poise,” he says, “projects gravitas.” In our frenetic world, there’s something deeply soothing about someone who can manifest a sense of equanimity and placidity. “Power is so characteristically calm,” English novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton once wrote, “that calmness in itself has the aspect of strength.”

Steady Your Emotions and Be Prepared

It doesn’t matter if you’re preparing for a one-on-one meeting or presenting a Ted Talk, it helps to do your homework before opening your mouth. When there’s an intense underlying emotion beneath the desire to communicate something, we tend to hyper-express a messy tangle of words that fail to capture what we’re really trying to say. That’s all wrong. Find your center, perhaps with a breathing exercise or five minutes of meditation to calm the inner storm, and prepare. “Almost no one goes to a public speaking engagement unprepared,” Tumlin points out, but we frequently do just that for crucial conversations with close friends and family — or for one-on-one situations at work because it’s not nearly as daunting as talking in front of dozens or hundreds of people. “In the absence of that fear, they don’t prepare,” he notes, but those intimate tête-à-têtes are “where some of the most important conversations of our life happen.” Tumlin, who’s been a communication scholar, educator and expert for 20 years, stresses: “If the conversation matters, prepare for it. Period.”

how to be a better speakerBe Yourself

“The whole goal in interpersonal communication and being influential,” Tumlin says, “is to be yourself minus distractions,” like fidgeting or bringing high octane emotionality and unpreparedness to a situation. He cites Obama, Trump and Winfrey as examples of political and cultural leaders who evince authenticity: “You never get the impression that they’re acting.” That’s crucial because “everybody knows when you’re trying to be someone that you’re not.” And the payoff for being yourself may bring you unexpectedly high returns: “I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become,” Winfrey jokes, “If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.”

Record Yourself

Tape your next presentation or meeting to see where you’re missing the mark. “Get some footage and get somebody to give you feedback,” Tumlin suggests. Even if you fumble the first several (hundred) times, Tumlin encourages the insecure or faint-hearted to keep at it, noting that both Presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush were considered blazingly bad public speakers at first, but dramatically and steadily improved with continued practice.

Originally shared on Thrive Global.
Stephanie Fairyington, Thrive Global Staff WriterStephanie Fairyington, staff writer at Thrive Global.
A New York-based journalist, her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic (online), The New Republic (online), The Boston Globe, and several other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her spouse Sabrina and daughter Marty.
Confidence is something we all have to work on but speaking better comes with more confidence. At Behere, we know the value living in new cities has on you and your confidence. Learn more about the difference living in a new city has on you, and your productivity, here.

What You Should Never Compromise While Building Your Career

Here’s how, and why, you should never compromise while building your career.

Guest Post by Kathy Caprino via Thrive

As a career coach and adviser to mid- and senior-level professionals, and in my former work as a therapist, I’ve come into contact with thousands of questions, concerns, mistakes and crossroads that emerge in people’s lives. And observing the long arc of many careers, I’ve noticed that the worst missteps – the ones that make us feel deep pain, regret, and remorse – are mistakes reflecting what people have chosen to compromise on or to give up in order to be “successful.” These compromises don’t feel like “choices” at the time, but they are, and they lead to common crises and challenges that are disastrous for the individual.

Below are the top five things you should never compromise while building your career (or you’ll regret it deeply):


1. Your standards of integrity

I view “standards of integrity” as core principles and values that guide our behavior. Integrity is a choice, and while it is influenced by a myriad of factors (your culture, upbringing, peer influences, etc.), it can’t be forced. If it is, you have played a part in that. One who has strong and well-defined standards of integrity behaves with wholeness, integration, honesty, and does right by himself/herself and by others. Standards of integrity involve values and virtues such as honesty, kindness, trust, wisdom, loyalty, transparency, objectivity, acceptance, openness, empathy, and graciousness.

I’ve seen so many people in midlife awaken as if from a long stupor to realize that they’ve compromised their most core values in order to get ahead in their work or keep jobs they hate. It hurts them to find that they’ve walked away from who they are, and what they value and cherish most.People mistakenly believe that in these economic times they have to give up on their values and integrity to stay employed, but that’s simply not true. Those who are guided by a strong sense of integrity fare much better in professional life, and will be successful where others fail.

2. Your self-respect

I’ve personally lived through the heartache of compromising my self-respect to stay in a job. Years ago when I was in one high-level corporate marketing role, I knew that how I was behaving (because I felt pressured to), was beneath me. I wasn’t the leader or manager I longed to be, because I couldn’t manage and navigate through the toxicity, stress and fear I felt in my job and in the organization. I tried to speak up about what I saw around me that wasn’t right, but I got crushed down. In the end, I completely lost my self-respect, and felt that I was “prostituting” myself in order to keep my job and maintain my high salary. I knew literally in the first week that the job and company were wrong for me. What should I have done? Find a new job fast.

3. Your soul for money

never compromise while building your career

Money – and our relationship with it – is a topic that’s spawned millions of books, articles and seminars. Many of us struggle each day with maintaining a healthy balance and appropriate power dynamic with our money, and most of us fail. I’ve seen countless professionals give up their souls for money – not because they are struggling to pay the bills, but because they’ve become enslaved by their lifestyle and their need to impress and stroke their fragile egos. 

These folks have forgotten that they’ve come here at this time on this planet to do more than pay the bills, acquire things, and keep up with the Joneses. I’m not saying that fulfilling your financial obligations isn’t important – it is. I am saying that you are much more than your paycheck or bank account.

You know if you’ve sacrificed your soul for money – it’s a painful, debilitating state that you can’t pretend your way out of.

I know I’ll hear from lots of readers of this article who will say, “Kathy, you’re nuts. I have to stay in this job I hate because I’m financially responsible for my family and it’s the only job I can get.” Not knowing your situation, I can’t say for sure, but my guess is that you absolutely do not have to work in ways you despise – ways that hurt and sicken you – in order to do what’s necessary for yourself and your family.

4. Your health and well-being

In my corporate training and seminars, I see hundreds of high-level professional women who are brilliant, achievement-oriented and accomplished, but at the same time exhausted, depleted, and depressed. In the pursuit of a great career, they’ve compromised their health and well-being. Much of this has to do with the ever- complicated issue of work-life balance and how to stay competitive and ahead of the curve. But to me, it’s much more. 

 Sacrificing your health and well-being demonstrates your lack of prioritizing yourself as important, failing to understand that you must care for yourself – and yes, put yourself first — before you can be of true service to anyone else, your organization, your family or your employer. 

If you’re a “perfectionistic overfunctioner” – doing more than is necessary, healthy or appropriate  and trying to get an A+ in all of it – you’ll suffer both mentally and physically. And if your body is shutting down, diseased or broken down from the way you work, rapid change is needed.

5. Your legacy

Finally, the saddest professionals I know who experience the deepest regrets  have sacrificed their legacy in the process of building their careers. 

What is your legacy? It’s what you will be able to say about yourself when you’re 90 looking back – what you’ve stood for, given, taught, imparted, and left behind. Not what you dreamed of being, but what you have become. It’s the impact you’ve made on the world, your family, and your community. 

This is not a dress rehearsal, but the real thing here, and so many professionals forget that they have this one chance to build a life that’s meaningful and purposeful for them. Instead, they compromise their legacy in a vain effort to grasp “success,” accolades, security, or power.

If you think you have to compromise on any of the above in order to be employed or build a successful career, think again. I’ve lived the pain of giving yourself up in the processing of creating a professional life, and despite all your best efforts, it will never bring you the success, fulfillment and reward you long for.

Originally posted on Thrive Global.

Written by Kathy Caprino – A career and personal growth coach, writer, speaker, and leadership trainer helping women and men live and work bravely.

Want to take your career to the next level by growing your global network, while living abroad? Learn more about how you can do this and stay productive, with Behere.

Nervous Flyer? These Tips Will Ease Your Stress

If turbulence makes your stomach drop, here’s help for the nervous flyer in many of us.

Guest Post by Rebecca Muller, Editorial Fellow at Thrive Global

If the idea of boarding a plane makes your palms sweaty and a turbulent bump makes your stomach flip, you may be a nervous flyer. Flying can be an overwhelming experience, and with the stresses that come with summer travel, we want to help you do what you can to ease your flying anxiety for your own well-being. Even if you’re travelling with others, self-care is important — you should always secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others, after all. Here are five ways to calm your nerves before takeoff:

1. Imagine Yourself Somewhere Else

If you feel overwhelmed by the fact that you’re 30,000 feet in the air somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, try closing your eyes for a few minutes and simply imagine you’re somewhere else. This therapeutic tool is called “visualization,” and experts say the technique can work to distract yourself in stressful situations. According to research conducted by clinical psychologist, Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D, individuals who spent five minutes visualizing themselves somewhere else when they were in a stressful environment found significant relief from their anxious feelings.

2. Write With Your Non-Dominant Hand

It might sound crazy, but after you board your flight, take out a pen and paper, and practice writing your name with your non-dominant hand. Captain Ron Nielson, a pilot of over 40 years, said on the Today Show that this distracting exercise can really help ease the nerves before the plane even leaves the ground. The activity forces your brain to focus on an attention-consuming task, concurrently steering your focus away from your anxious thoughts.

3. Try A Mental Rehearsal

According to licensed psychologist Nancy Mramor Ph.D., relaxing before a flight takes a little bit of advanced prep — or, “mental rehearsal,” as she calls it. “A person needs some preparation in order to reduce the anxiety,” Dr. Mramor told us. “If they know how to relax in general, through mindfulness perhaps, then they will be in a good place to use the same methods before and during the flight.” Dr. Mramor also says that individuals should work actively to get rid of any negative associations with flying. “If they have had a traumatic flight experience,” she says, “they may need help to break the negative association and reset their expectations,” which can be done with therapeutic methods, such as counting backwards and imagining oneself going down stairs. By distracting your mind with specific motions, you can snap out of your current mindset and focus on something else entirely.

Westend61/ Getty Images

4. Reject The “What If” Thoughts

Often times, we build on our anxious thoughts internally once we keep thinking “what if” without stopping ourselves. Instead of falling down the overwhelming rabbit hole, try writing down 2-3 fears of yours on paper to get them out of your head. You can even give yourself a pep talk, according to Debbie Joffe Ellis, Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Columbia University. “Focus on good in your life and think about what you’re grateful for,” she told us. “Refuse to think about ‘what ifs’” by focusing on positivity instead, and physically getting the thoughts out of your head.

5. Don’t Breathe Too Deeply

Finally, breathing. The typical advice we hear when we’re anxious is to take a deep breath — but according to New York City-based physiotherapist Patricia Ladis, ECC, taking overly-exaggerated breaths may actually make you more anxious when you’re already in a panicked state. The alternative? Work on taking quiet, soft breaths, suggests Ladis. “Bring your tongue to the roof of your mouth — this is the ideal position for relaxing the neck and the upper chest,” she explains. “Then, with your mouth closed, gently breathe in and out through your nose, from 2 to 5 minutes.” It may not feel natural at first, but the slow rhythm of your small breaths will help relax your body and bring you to a more mindful state.
Originally posted on Thrive Global.
Written by Rebecca Muller, Editorial Fellow at Thrive Global.

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