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Overcoming public speaking

public speaker sweating

Almost everyone gets nervous before they have to speak in public. It’s natural and common, but can actually be a positive thing. Public speaking is an important part of many careers and professions, and being an effective public speaking is a huge asset to have. Whether you are speaking in front of an audience of 300 or speaking in front of a board or committee of 10 people, effective public communication skills are essential to getting ahead professionally. First and foremost, you must understand that nerves are okay; it’s your body telling you that something is at stake.

Beating Procrastination

pieces of paper saying NOW, tomorrow, later, next week etc.

“I’ll do it later” seems to be one of the most common phrases we say and it seems to be the most common phrase when it shouldn't be. Procrastination is one of those habits that the majority of us just can’t seem to beat. It hits everyone at some point, but can be much more difficult to shake for some people. Except, even our most productive students or colleagues face the same feelings of procrastination; however, they know how to beat it. Recent research regarding procrastination has shown that it is much more complex than a simple “I don't feel like it” attitude.

Staying focused in summer

man studying at desk in vacation clothes

Gone are those days when summer only consisted of swimming, friends and sleep. Suddenly it's summer, and we are all working or studying. It seems that much harder to stay focused when the sun is out and the temperature is hot. It may be much more difficult to get your work done when it seems like this is the time for late summer nights, travelling and adventure. So today, I offer you a few tips on keeping yourself focused when it seems hardest too.

Making time for journal writing

pen on a black notebook

Journal writing is one of those things that everyone seems to start, but can never maintain. Life gets in the way and we are often too busy to sit down at the end of the day and dedicate time to self-reflection.  

Delivering your speech: the power of nonverbal communication

microphone in front of audience

When I say “public speaking” what comes to mind? Dread? Nervousness? Excitement? “Public speaking” often brings uneasy feelings to first year students, as standing in front of a classroom ranging from first year to fourth years may seem a lot more intimidating than one full of your long-time high school classmates. You have a well-written and researched speech and you have already sought out a peer review from the Writing and Communication Centre, but the easy part is over.

Some newfound freedom: the shift from high school to university writing

birds flying free from cage

All throughout high school, you have learned countless techniques, rules and tricks for academic writing. In high school, there is predictability, reliability, and structure, which often carries over into the writing process. One of the biggest worries for students entering their first year of university is the transition from high school to university writing. Whether it’s assignments, papers, presentations, reports and the like, writing seems to change in university – or at least the expectations do.

Spoken word poetry

A sepia picture of an old style mic on a dark background with 3 spotlights

English is an evolving field. The mediums in which it manifests itself have grown numerously and have shown different trends of popularity. In the times of Shakespeare, older prose and plays were very modern, whereas today novels and spoken word poetry seem more prevalent. That might mostly stem from the fact that we live in the Information Age and that expression is the new frontier. Everyone has the ability to create and put their ideas out there into the world. One very modern way of doing so, which has found its way into popular media, is spoken word.

Learning lessons from children's stories

Rose inside of a glass case

“’Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.’” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Tips on how to choose an assignment topic

6 crumpled pieces of paper with one lit up like a lightbulb

When a professor announces a new assignment and tells the class that you will all have to pick a topic to write about, you might feel lost and wish they had simply given you a list to choose from. In academic settings, we’re used to structured assignments where we are told what to do, so when it’s left up to us to decide, we will often have questions like:

The extinction of textbooks

Chalkboard drawing of a textbook with a dollar sign over it

If you’ve ever been a student in your life, then you know the horrors of having to shell out several hundred dollars for one textbook that you’ll probably use once or twice and then never need again. While textbooks are usually handed out for free in high school, given that it expected of you to treat them well and return them at the end of the semester, this is somehow not a practice commonly used at university.

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