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7 Ways to be a Good Speaker

                Many would say that becoming a great speaker is an art. Any art can be achievable and made better through learning and practice. Here are only some of the many tips that you can get to be a better speaker.  

1. Make eye contact

                The simplest yet one of the hardest things to do on stage is to actually make eye contact with the audience. Move your eyes around and don’t focus only on one part of the room. If you’re still having difficulty, just look at the audience’ foreheads instead. They usually won’t notice and think your making direct eye contact. 

2. Practice slowing down

                When you’re on stage, usually you hardly grasp the amount of time you speak. This is partly because you are nervous and anxious. Some people would say “Speak as fast as you think you need to.” This way notice when you’re probably talking too fast and need to slow down.

3. Observe your own body language

                Body language compliments verbal communication. Your posture and actions can make or break your appearance on stage. When you’re nervous, this unconsciously shows through your body. Fidgeting with your fingers, swaying too much, or keeping your hands in your pockets the whole time are only some of the signs.

4. Take a video of yourself

                See yourself first to realize how your audience views you. By doing this, you will be able to recognize things you did not even notice before. You may observe that you’re doing unnecessary gestures, or maybe you’re talking too fast. With that, you are able to fix anything that needs to be fixed.

5. Focus on your topic

                While doing your speech, focus on the topic and not how you perform it. This is to highlight that the content of your speech is something to be listened to and not just taken for granted. If you focus too much on how to perform it, chances are the contents of your work will not leave an impact.

6. Don’t try to be perfect

                Nobody delivers a perfect speech. The difference with a really good one and a bad could be because the speaker is trying too hard. Simply sounding natural can be a good way to put it. You could easily differentiate someone who speaks naturally and someone who sounds like a robot trying to sound perfect.

7. Practice, Practice, Practice

                Just like in everything we do, improving in speaking comes with a lot of time and practice. A good piece of advice would be that your goal is not to practice until you get your speech right, it should be to get your piece wrong. That way you can recognize your mistakes before taking the stage.

5 Tips to be a Good Leader

Not many people say they are cut out to be leaders. But leadership is something that is developed over time through constant learning. Here are 5 tips to be a good leader.   

  1. Be a role model

Being a leader does not mean to command or impose on people how to act or do their job. A good leader embodies the characteristics and behaviors they want from their peers. An example of this could be punctuality. If you want your peers to be on time for work, you should be there on time as well so as to promote this attitude. Doing this will affect how others respond to you. Because you are a leader who talks the talk and walks the walk, they will replicate your actions therefore doing better later on.

  • Be humble

Give credit where credit is due. Being a good leader means to give up the spotlight to others who deserve it. A grave misconception of humility comes because it is associated with being weak and “giving up the glory”. But it’s not that at all because you as a leader did not let go of the glory, but instead shared it with the people who truly deserved it. As the old saying goes, the insincere leader gives you the feeling of their greatness, while the genuine leader always leaves you with the feeling of your greatness.

  • Do not be too concerned with unnecessary things

A leader should not dwell too much in times when they would be labelled as good or bad. If you do so, you will do your job to benefit your own appeal. In the words of the first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, “If you’re concerned with whether your rating will go up or down, then you are not a leader. You are just catching the wind.”

  • Know your limits

There can be times when a leader is too happy-go-lucky that his/her peers learn to show little respect to them anymore. Knowing and establishing clear boundaries can save us from more frustration and confusion. As a leader, you should also set boundaries in terms of work distribution among your peers to avoid overworking and exhausting them. Generally, this means to recognize limits between each other for a healthier relationship.

  • Mistakes are normal, but can be avoided

Everybody makes mistakes and even the best leaders are not an exception. It all comes down to recognizing the “symptoms” that can lead to these mistakes. Knowing these will help you determine and take the necessary actions to avoid making the mistake again. Another thing to remember is to avoid thinking negatively. Usually, if you keep thinking that you will make a mistake, chances are it comes true because it’s always on your mind.

5 Healthy Hawker Foods in Singapore that You Must Try

Food is what brings people together, and different cultures mixing in the forms of different dishes is what makes hawker centers a uniquely Singaporean experience. However, there have been notions that hawker food isn’t healthy, and other healthier options such as salad and grain bowls can often bring your wallet to tears.

Fortunately, weight- and cholesterol- watchers in Singapore no longer need to fear the hawker centers to stay in good health and shape. As long as you’re conscious about your choices, you’re good to go. Here a few healthy foods that you must try:

1. Thunder Tea Rice

This dish has a wide variety of vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, leek, and even radish, which is served alongside a green soup made with basil, green tea, mint, and coriander. All these ingredients make thunder tea rice the perfect dish for working adults too busy to make their own meals – and that’s not even including the health benefits.

2. Fish Soup

Fish soup ranks high on the list of every weight watcher because of how little fat is added during the cooking process (provided that you steer from fried fish and instead choose boiled). With tofu, tomatoes, seaweed, lettuce, and bitter gourd balancing out the fish, what more could you ask for?

3. Teochew Porridge

A bowl of watery congee with a few sides to go along is the easiest way to achieve a balanced meal. Your best bet would be steamed dishes or food that has been lightly stir-fried. Just stay away from the side dishes with batter or those with a thick layer of oil on the surface.  

If you’re really looking to steer away from the excess calories, avoid fried dishes, as they can easily triple the amount of sodium and fat in your meal.

4. Chapatti

This Indian dish is made using fiber-rich whole meal flour, which is not only low in fat, but also comes with sliced fish, tofu, tomatoes, and even seaweed and lettuce. You can even ask for more vegetables and less rice if you’re conscious about your weight.  

5. Yong Tau Foo

Though most Yong Tau Foo comes with soup, the best thing about this dish is that you can handpick your own ingredients. Different kinds of vegetables, such as lettuce and bitter gourd, and tofu items that are boiled and dried can be brought together in a bowl and eaten on their own or with rice and noodles.

To make this option really healthy, you can even ditch the sodium-high soup and the ground meat stuffing, and add more vegetables such as kangkong and watercress.

5 Effective Ways to Cope With Jet Lag for the Frequent Flyer

Jet lag is the term used to describe the physiological response that happens when a person travels across time zones without being able to adjust their natural circadian rhythm.

This may last for several days before being able to fully adjust to the new time zone, and can be an issue for people who cross time zones on a regular basis, such as airline pilots, crew, and even frequent flyers. There

Fortunately, there are ways to cope or even overcome jet lag and adjust to your rapidly-changing time zones, such as the following:

1. Set your watch to the time zone of your destination.

Preparing yourself for the new time zone is a good way to cope with jet lag. As soon as you set foot in the plane, set your watch to the local time zone of your new destination and follow that specific time zone.

The challenge here is being able to stay awake and fall asleep when it’s daylight or nighttime, depending on where your plane is currently flying.

2. Don’t fill yourself up.

Airplane food can affect the intensity of your jet lag, and carbohydrate-rich foods can make it difficult for you to stay awake. However, you take advantage of this to make you fall asleep if you need to quickly match the time zone of your destination.  

Don’t drink any alcohol or coffee, either – alcohol and caffeine can have quite toxic effects when you’re in the upper atmosphere. Go for water and fruit juice instead if you need to replenish on fluids.

3. Don’t make it too hard on yourself for the first few days.

Once you get to your destination, give yourself at least one day to slowly adjust to the time zone. Because it takes a lot of effort and no specific time period (as different people can take longer or shorter periods of time to adjust), it may take longer than just one day to do this.

Feeling tired and listless is normal during this time, as your body is trying to adjust to your new environment and time zone. Start by going out for short walks if you feel the need to do any physical activity.

You should also be especially wary of using sleeping pills. Even though they can help a lot, there is a good chance that it may actually worsen the jet lag.

4. Control the lights.

The most in-depth process when it comes to combatting jet lag also happens to be one of the most effective. Seeking out and avoiding exposure to light at certain times of the day can help you adjust your body clock faster, and there are even apps that can help you out with this.

How Taking 60 Minutes from Your Sleep Can Break Your Day Before It Even Starts

Whether you’re working or still at school, having a hectic schedule in Singapore means that it’s really important that you get the right amount of sleep once you get home from school or work.

It also goes without saying that not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling drained, and that even taking an hour away from your valuable sleeping time leaves a profound effect.

But how exactly does this happen?

How Less Sleep Affects You
Healthy adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep, and teenagers and children roughly eight.

Your body takes this time to rest and repair itself on a cellular level, but when you short yourself out on your sleep, you will see both short-term and long-term effects on your body, from a general lack of alertness and an impaired memory to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Sleep deprivation can also affect your appearance and lead to premature wrinkling and dark circles under your eyes, since the long-term presence of cortisol in the body breaks down collagen in skin.

But with all these effects, why do we still sleep less today?

Why We Sleep Less
Hectic schedules aside, there are a lot of reasons why we sleep fewer hours now, such as maximizing our work or free time. However, there is also a third reason, and that is the lights we keep switched on, from the light bulbs to the LED screens of our TVs and devices.

This constant exposure to bright light inhibits the sleep hormone melatonin, and this lack of the chemical keeps us awake for longer.

However, you don’t need to be asleep and then wake up to feel the effects of a lack of sleep on your body.
The effects of sleep deprivation will show whether or not you are awake, and the result is a reduced state of alertness and memory loss that many studies have shown to be similar in brain function as legal drunkenness.

Taking Back Your Sleep Hours
The easiest way to make sure you get the optimal amount of sleep possible is by measuring how much sleep you really need.

All you need is to try to sleep at varying times around when you usually sleep. For instance, you can sleep fifteen minutes earlier and wake up fifteen minutes later. Do this for a few times until you find a day that you wake up feeling the most refreshed.

Gauging your optimal amount of sleep will take a few days of trial and error, but when you find out the best amount of time you need, you will be able to stick to it and get consistent sleep as a result.

4 Simple Steps You Can Take to Be More Assertive in Your Life – and at Work

If you have an anxious disposition, chances are that you find it difficult to say what’s on your mind and just let other people have their way even if you don’t like it. However, there will come a time when you need to assert yourself and stand by what you believe, and being assertive as a person will definitely help.

Being assertive is different from being aggressive. It allows you to communicate your thoughts honestly and stand your ground, and even give you more confidence and less stress.

Here are the steps that you need to be more assertive in the future:

1. Know what you want. Most of the time, people who find it difficult to stand up for themselves don’t know what they want, and the antidote to that is by having a clear vision of it in your head.

Once you know what exactly you want, even if it’s still just in your head, it becomes more tangible and you can take the needed steps to go after it.

2. Change your mindset. One good way to start being anxious quickly is by being too self-conscious. Instead of focusing on yourself, give your full attention to the situation or on what the other person is saying.

This is because when you focus more on the other person, you take in more of what they’re saying, which lets you respond much better.

3. Find ways to be more assertive without sounding aggressive or rude. Standing your ground doesn’t mean that you have to be disrespectful or rude, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you need to have a short fuse to be assertive.

When you frame your words the right way, your honest thoughts and opinions may even be more valuable to people.
It also helps that you don’t fumble your words by speaking too quickly. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re a little anxious, take a deep breath, and speak more slowly.

4. Learn to say “no”. Saying the word is the best way for you to start getting comfortable with it. Even with extremely persistent people, just repeating “no” will eventually get your message across.

You can start by saying no to situations where you would otherwise be compelled to say yes, such as a night out with friends or co-workers when you really want to stay in.

If there are times that a lack of assertiveness has held you back, even doing something simple as writing down the pros and cons of asserting yourself can give you enough reason to do so. But most importantly, being assertive can save you – and everyone involved – time.