7 Ways to Impress People

“First impressions count” is the slogan of today. That slogan is so true and there is nothing superficial about it. First impressions do count. In the corporate realm, the first impression that you give can either make or break you. It can attract people to you or repel them from you. If you want to build lasting friendships and become successful in your chosen career, you must always show people your good qualities. There are seven ways you can impress people without showing off.

Display A Positive Attitude

People want to be happy, inspired and motivated, so if you display a positive attitude, you will attract people to you.

Be Kind And Generous

Kindness combined with positivity goes a long way in this world. Even the smallest act of kindness can change a person’s life. When you walk down the street, make eye contact with people and smile at them as you walk past. If you like a person’s outfit or they way she styled her hair, give her a compliment even if she is a complete stranger.

Give of yourself. When you see or know of someone who is in need, offer to help that person. If you have a decent amount of money then donate a portion of it to a charity of your choice. These acts of kindness are impressive, but they are also touching. If you are a kind and generous person, you will be rewarded.

Always be Honest

People have great admiration and respect for those who are honest. Therefore, it is good to be upfront with another person even if you are the bearer of bad news. If your boss requires you to do a task that is beyond the level of difficulty that you can handle, or one that is unethical, tell him or her that you cannot perform that task. Don’t just say you are unable to do the task, explain your reasons. If you are honest and upfront, you will succeed in life.

Have Boundaries

You can be gracious to people, but that does not mean you should let them take advantage of your kindness. Know when to say no to people who try to use you to get what they want. Having boundaries does not mean you lose your temper every time someone treats you unkindly. You can confront a person’s negative behavior without being confrontational. When you have boundaries, you let people know that you are a person worthy of love and respect. You also let them know that you will not allow them to mistreat you.

Display Confidence

Confidence in this world is everything. You need the right amount of it to succeed in your career. It is about having faith in yourself and in your abilities. When people see that you are confident in yourself, they will take a chance on you.

Be Open Minded

If you want to impress people and succeed in your career, you must have an open mind. Be willing to embrace new ideas and opportunities. You may not obtain the career you want the most. Opportunity may come to you, but in a way where you least expected it to. In either case, you must be willing to embrace change. At the same time, you must have a backup plan.

Dress Appropriately

Wearing appropriate attire does not mean you have to be clothed entirely from head to toe. Appropriate clothing in this context refers to clothes that enhance your appearance. You don’t have to wear overly revealing clothes in order to look attractive. When you wear clothes that gracefully outline your body, you will feel much better about yourself. People will also look upon you as a person with class and dignity, an individual worthy of respect.

If you strive to live by all seven virtues, you will give off a good impression to everyone you meet. You will also make lasting friendships with others and you will succeed in everything you do.


6 Ways To Make A Stellar YouTube Speech

Years ago, if you needed to deliver a speech, you had to stand behind a lectern before a group of people. Today, the internet has made it possible for everyone to engage an audience from the comfort of their own homes. You can film yourself speaking and then upload that video onto YouTube. Since you may potentially reach a larger audience on YouTube, it is critical that you make a good first impression and that you make your speech engaging.

1. Dress to impress. When giving your speech, you must look your best even if you’re sitting at home. You should wear an outfit that makes you look attractive and professional. Avoid wearing bright colored or patterned clothing as these types of clothes are distracting. Long earrings that dangle is one accessory you shouldn’t wear when giving a speech because they will make you look gaudy. Since you will be talking to your camcorder, you should wear makeup, enough to give your face some color.

2. Introduce yourself and your speech. Introduce yourself to your virtual audience then explain the objectives of your speech. Provide your audience with a brief explanation of why you’re the one to give this speech and how this information will benefit them.

3. Hook your audience. You need to hook your audience right at the start of your speech when you’re introducing yourself. You can do this through body gestures and through use of vocal variety. Eye contact, hand gestures and vocal variety are important because they keep the audience focused on you. Words are equally important because, if used properly, they will hold your audience’s attention.

Use descriptive words to convey meaning. Make your speech conversational, speak to your audience like you would to a friend. Avoid crutch words like ‘so’, ‘um’,’ uh’ and run-on sentences. These improper words will bog down your speech and make you look like an amateur.

4. Speak to your audience. People want to hear a speech that speaks to their needs. They also like to hear stories that they can relate to. People want to be inspired, informed and educated. As a speaker, it is paramount that you give your audience what they need to hear. It is not all about you, it is about them. You will do more to attract a large audience when you speak to people’s emotions or to their needs.

5. Memorize your speech. You can more easily rely on notes when you’re speaking directly to a group of people than when you’re speaking to a camcorder. The camcorder will pick up the shuffle of paper and that cannot be edited out. It also demonstrates your lack of care and preparation. Memorize your speech before you film it. Your ability to speak without notes will exhibit your confidence and intelligence.

6. Make your speech short and to the point. The ideal YouTube video is between 30 seconds and 1 minute. However, there is no way you can deliver your speech in that allotted length of time. At the same time, your speech should not exceed 2 minutes. For this reason, you will need to get right to the point in order to get your message across. If, however, you have prepared for a 10 minute speech that you want filmed and uploaded onto YouTube, you can break it down into a series of short speeches. In that case, you will need to end each speech episode on a cliff hanger. For example, you could say, “stay tuned for part two.”

It takes as much effort to deliver a speech on YouTube as it does in a conference room. However, if you follow all of these steps, you will shine.


Being Happy For Others’ Success When Your Luck Is Down

I wrote this article at a time when I was struggling to make it as a novelist, having no backup plan in mind. For that reason, I found it incredibly hard to rise above the ‘victim’ mentality. I needed something to keep me from falling into the dark hole of despair. That’s why I wrote this article.

This article was written from a Christian perspective, but it’s not intended only for an audience of Christians. Everyone, I’m sure, can relate to this and I hope this articles speaks to everyone, Christian or not.

As Christians we know that life on earth is only temporary. It is miniscule compared to the eternal life we will have with Christ in heaven. Yet, since we have one life to live we must make it count and we must make our lives in this world good. In a world that touts material wealth and outer appearance, it is easy to forget ourselves and get lost in our pursuit of wealth, happiness and satisfaction.

There is nothing wrong with having lots of money and there is certainly nothing wrong with success. God expects us to use our talents for His glory and for the greater good others. This rings as true to the society we live in as it did all throughout history.

What happens, though, when your efforts do not bring you the desired results? How do you react when a friend or colleague gets promoted or lands a lucrative book contract while you are still unemployed, unable to find the right person who will take a chance on you? Is it possible to glorify in the other person’s success when your luck is down?

It is easy to get so lost in our own frustration and anxiety when things do not go well in our lives that we cannot make the effort to care about others’ ups and downs. It can be especially hard to rejoice over another person’s success when you are struggling to make a decent living in this world. When things go wrong, when we don’t get what we have worked so hard for, we tend to internalize that failure. We blame ourselves for our failures. When we blame ourselves, we emanate those negative emotions onto other people. Pretty soon, we begin to lash out at other people. It is a snowball effect. One thing leads to another. Our depression will turn into jealousy, from jealousy into hatred if we don’t moderate our feelings and work to overcome the obstacle we are facing in our own lives.

None of us are able work on our own strength. Our strength comes from God. Without his guidance, we will get lost. When you’re struggling, turn to God because He will be your source of courage. You also have to believe in yourself as a person, that you are capable of achieving great things. With God, all things are possible. You need to place all of your trust in Him.

God has a plan for each and every one of us. What He has planned for you is usually completely different from the plan he has for your friend or neighbor. From the moment we receive His vision, it can take several years until that vision becomes a reality. Sometimes God does not reveal His plan to us when we want it the most. We must seek it.  So, when you are struggling and you hear of another person’s success, remember God has a plan for you. He will never forsake you. He only wants what is best for you. Just hang in there. Your hard work and perseverance will be rewarded. When you think about it this way, you can celebrate another person’s success. You can also rejoice in knowing that you are not alone. Help is on the way.

Happy New Year. May God bless each and everyone in the year 2013.

Dear Beauty

Dear Beauty,

There seems to be a trend here: you sit outside my door and meow loudly early in the morning, before six-thirty. I should let you off the hook since, after all, I am an early riser. But you started your meowing even earlier than six-thirty this morning. I don’t know exactly how early, but it was still black outside when I woke to your cries.

Beauty, you know very well that we’re here. You are not all alone in this large house of ours. When I wake up, I tend to your needs. I give you food, or I let you outside. Whatever you want to do first.

I just want to let you know that we are not going to abandon you. Ever. We love you so much. You’re the most gorgeous, adorable, loving cat anyone could have. So, you don’t need to meow every single morning.

Work + Grief + Mental Burnout = No Fun

Back in the summer time, Open Salon posted this theme titled, ‘Blocks Where No One Has Fun’. If you have never written on Open Salon, every few weeks they would post a theme for bloggers. They don’t do this anymore for whatever reason.

I wrote a piece based on this theme and published it on Open Salon, but have decided to update it and post it here.


The year 2008 was a bad year for me. No, bad isn’t a strong enough word to describe it: horrible is more like it. That year should have been the best year of my life: I graduated with my BA in History from the University of Northern British Columbia, and in the semester leading up to graduation, I had the honor of working one on one with my creative writing professor on the progress of my first novel, Day of Revenge.

I should have been the happiest woman alive, and I should have been celebrating. But I wasn’t. Less than a year before my graduation ceremony, my Oma (Grandmother) who I was very close to, passed away from Pancreatic Cancer. While I was happy to know that her suffering had ended and she had gone to a far better place, the fact that she was gone pained me beyond words. Yet, I was so determined to complete the few courses I had left to complete, that I didn’t give myself enough time to work through my grief.

Then, in March of 2008, I found out that my father was taken to the emergency to have stints put into his heart after he had a heart attack. Thankfully, I haven’t lost him as well. Today, he’s in much better health. At that point, I was already struggling with depression, so nothing else could have possibly made me feel worse. My parents were glad to see me; I was equally happy to see them, and relieved to be far away from Prince George, the town where UNBC is located.

When I moved back home with my parents one month later, I thought that I would get over my depression and that life would get better. Wrong. I knew I wanted to become a published author, but I didn’t know what I was going to do career-wise in the meantime. I didn’t even have the skills necessary to land a decent paying job. Worse, I was still struggling with depression. Yet, I didn’t want to stay at home and feel sorry for myself day after day. I needed to find a way to make money somehow. So I got a part-time job at Shoppers Drug Mart. Not the kind of job I wanted to be doing. But a job is a job, and because I was living at home, I decided that it would be enough to get me to point B in my life: money to pay for more schooling.

Well, things didn’t go as planned. In fact, they only got worse. The assistant manager spent very little time training me. Those box store chains don’t train their employees at all. I always considered myself a fast learner, so when I couldn’t pick up new skills fast enough, that was when I realized I was fried; mentally, intellectually and emotionally. And I had pushed myself into doing something at a time when I wasn’t ready to enter the working world.

It all came to a head one afternoon, the moment a middle-aged man walked into the store to purchase a lotto ticket. He was tall, had short, blond hair and a scruffy face that held a fierce expression. He came right up to my till and had me ring in his lotto ticket. I can’t remember exactly how it happened, but he insisted that he didn’t give me the money to pay for the lotto ticket when he in fact did. In other words, he tried to steal the lotto ticket right under my very nose. I knew instinctively what this man was trying to do and I wasn’t going to let him get away with it.

We got into a heated argument: his voice rose, and mine rose higher until I practically screamed and cursed at him. Okay, I admit, I dropped the f-bomb, and in front of several other customers.

Two days later, after a more peaceful shift, I was fired. Yes, it was because I had lost my temper and cursed in public, all because I was trying to protect Shoppers Drug Mart from petty theft. But I didn’t care because I hated the job and I needed some time off to heal. Desperately.

That time in my life had been my no-fun block.

Four years later…

After more heart-ache and hardship, life has gotten a whole lot better. But that was because I made a concerted effort to change. I recently signed a contract with PULSE for my contemporary YA novel, To be Maria (now available in electronic format; the paperback is scheduled to be released at the end of November); I’ve been a member of the Driftwood Players Story Theatre troupe as an actress for two years; I have been blessed with a loving, supportive family, and wonderful friends. I should also mention that I’m learning how to fight with swords (wooden swords); I volunteer at the Gibsons Public Library every second Friday. The only thing I really need to achieve now is financial independence.


Table Topics Competition Fun

I’ve been involved with Toastmasters since early January 2010 and I haven’t yet entered in a Table Topics competition until last night. Well, it was a load of fun. The group that I belong to–Sunshine Toastmasters–is a small group, so there were only three contestants. As a result, there was room for only two winners.

Barbara Lightfoot chaired the competition last night, and the question she posed to all of us, was “What was the most embarassing moment in your entire life?” It wasn’t a hard question for me to answer because there’s one very embarassing moment I endured seven years ago. (I Won’t elaborate here. Perhaps I’ll post my most embarassing moment on YouTube in the near future.)

The most wonderful thing about Table Topics is that it’s impromptu speaking. In other words, when you get called up front to speak for 2 minutes, you have to answer the question in verbal story form in two minutes from the top of your head. Sounds difficult? It is, but that’s what makes Table Topics so much fun. Besides, if you know the answer to the question, it’s not hard to formulate an answer.

Right to left: Paula Howley (first place winner in the Humorous competition), Ann Dickie (second place winner in the Humorous competition), Margaret Fenwick (first place winner in the Table Topics competition) and Me (second place winner in the Table Topics competition.)

Yes, that’s right. I placed 2nd. Sadly, I won’t be moving on to compete in the area competition on October 6th because I’ve decided to take a one-year sybatical from Toastmasters. On a brighter note, I’ve completed three manuals which enables me to recieve my Advanced Communications Bronze. So looking forward to that!

Ode to Angie Nemeth

Dear Angie Nemeth,

Two and a half years ago, I met you at Toastmasters, and just a few days ago I was wondering how you were doing and when you were planning on coming back to Toastmasters.

Although I mostly only saw you at our weekly Monday night meeting, I thought you were a wonderful person. You have gone through some tough things in life, but you have pulled through. But just as things began to look up, your life was taken away.

I want to take this moment to tell you how wonderful of a person you were: you were always so positive, passionate, and you were strong. You didn’t let any form of negativity pull you down, and you pursued your goals. My kind of woman!

I wish I could have gotten to know you more, Angie, but I’m glad to know that you are in a much better place.

You will be missed greatly, and we will be sure to keep your family and your boyfriend in our everyday prayers.

God Bless, Angie Nemeth.

Love from