Positive Self-Talk: Why it’s Important and How to Achieve it

Yellow graphic that says "You know what? I love me so much" in black bold script.

By: Shannon White

The way that you think and feel about yourself is extremely important especially when it comes to public relations work and business in general. In this day and age many young adults have a very self-deprecating sense of humor. This behavior is highlighted a lot on social media and seen as comedic among young people. This message of negativity is extremely destructive and can create a habit of these thoughts remaining in your day-to-day mindset creating an unhealthy environment for yourself.

These thoughts can also become a reality. What many people fail to realize is the power of our thoughts and words. Thoughts can easily turn into words, words to actions and actions into reality. As a public relations professional it is important to not only have your clients be seen in a positive light, but you as an individual should be seen in a positive manner too. Your own PR is just as important. Potential employers and colleagues should know that you are a competent individual with a unique set of skills to bring to any team you are on.  

As someone who also struggles with positive self-talk, I can tell you now that it is easier said than done when changing your mindset. However, there are several ways that you can try and correct this negative mindset.

One way is changing what you consume online. Examining your external environment is extremely important. Ask yourself if there are any external factors contributing to your negative self-talk. Are you following people that make you feel worse about yourself? Are you following accounts that have negative language in their content? Cleansing your feed is a great way to brighten up your mindset and start your journey toward building it.

Another tip to a more positive mindset is to assess your values. When you are thinking about the way that you talk to others and how you treat them, ask yourself, “would I say these mean things to a friend?” Think of yourself as one of your closest friends. You are the person you know best and are with at all time. Why not tell yourself the positive things you would say to a friend or coworker?

Finally, prioritize yourself. Are you creating habits that will help you create a positive self-narrative? Are you reminding yourself that it’s not the end of the world when things go wrong and you’re not a failure? Remember, your narrative sets the attitude you have and the words that you say to yourself. Prioritize your happiness and do things that will help reinforce confidence. When your confidence is low, others can sense that and in turn they could believe the negative things you say about yourself.

Overall, your self-talk should be uplifting and positive. These changes don’t happen overnight, but taking small steps to get there will be a crucial step in finding success in your career.


xTed talks every PR practitioner should watch

A TED talk sign by Julie Freeman

By: Grace Gonzalez

Do you ever sit and reflect on where you want to be in your life in comparison to where you are at the moment? It’s easy to get stuck. You feel like you’ve started to move forward and you’re finally feeling some change and next thing you know, you’re stuck again.

Well, I believe that when those stagnant feelings start to arise, it’s time to get reinspired. A plateau in your life really just means it’s time to reevaluate what you’ve been doing, why it’s not working and what you need to do to move past it.

I advise that it’s best to get started with the personal. Maybe you’re losing motivation and feeling discouraged because you don’t absolutely love the job you’re working at or the environments you’re surrounding yourself in aren’t as satisfying.

Here are some Ted Talks I like to watch to reinspire myself:

Try something new for 30 days

By: Matt Cutts

Cutts discusses how 30 days is enough time to add or cut a habit. I really enjoyed this short Ted talk because it’s very encouraging in the sense that although you probably won’t start or stick to your new habit, the act of trying something new that you’ve always wanted to try will give you a confidence boost. I personally have a hard time sticking to new habits, but trying to stick to a new habit helps shift your perspective on your goals.

The hidden power of smiling

By: Ron Gutman

It’s really important to stay positive when times get tough and Ron Gutman presents a lot of facts and research about how smiling in itself can change a lot in your life. Something that makes me feel inspired again is when I start to evaluate all the things I’m blessed with, whether it’s family, friends, opportunities and more. It’s really easy to look at our situations with a negative view but when we change our thoughts and our reactions to be more positive, we can start to feel better and therefore get more connected in our creativity.

5 ways to listen better

By: Julian Treasure

In my opinion part of the process of reinspiring yourself is important to listen and pay attention to the world around you. It’s easy to focus on the negative and feel like things aren’t working out our way and that can block the focus from anything else. Whether you’re connected to something physically, spiritually, etc., it’s important to listen better. In a world of loud and busy noises, we can get lost in our electronic devices or close ourselves off to the world around us but really it just shows it’s time to focus our attention to the signs that are directing us to our paths.

Lastly, here are some options for Ted Talks that can help you grow in your PR career:

404, the story of a page not found

By: Renny Gleeson

This is a great Ted Talk because it does a really good job at comparing a 404 error page to real life errors. Gleeson explains that an error is a chance to build a better relationship. He explains how 404 pages mean you’ve hit a broken link but how certain companies decided to take this as an opportunity to make something humorous or creative about it. Therefore, he explains “404 pages remind you that a simple mistake can tell me what you’re not, or it can remind me of why I should love you.”

The clues to a great story

By: Andrew Stanton

Andrew Stanton worked on some Pixar classics like Toy Story and in this Ted Talk, he discusses storytelling and all the components to create a great story. In particular, he discusses working from end to beginning which is something that we do a lot as PR practitioners. We constantly set goals and slowly develop the means to get there. Like Stanton, we too create “stories,” persuasive ones at that, that illustrate how our work will greatly influence and impact the companies we work for.

How “The Orville” Twitter account understands its fans

How “The Orville” Twitter account understands its fans

By: Martin Chang

One show I’ve become a big fan of is “The Orville.” It is Seth Macfarlane’s loving tribute to the Sci-fi that he loves. The show captures through it’s storytelling and visual details the magic of the genre.

“The Orville” is set 400 years in the future.   It follows the adventure of the Orville, which travels space in the name of discover. It has a staff of hundreds but it focuses on the adventures of the main crew. They have roles familiar to Sci-fi fans. These characters have titles, such as captain,  science officer and engineering.

Other than the story and getting the look right, the real strength of the show are the characters in the main crew and others.  They are sometimes funny with Macfarlane’s knack for comedy. But these characters also have the drama gravitas needed when they are facing situations where entire races face annihilation.  So, as a fan, I enjoy how these Twitter posts remind me and show off the personalities of the members of the crew.

The show recently featured a dramatic two episode story, so this post shows off the reasoning and understanding of the argument style that Cmr. Kelly Grayson, the woman in blue, and Dr. Claire Finn,  the woman in green, have when dealing with other species of beings, in this clip a race of unfeeling robots called the Kaylon.

The Orville on Twitter

LET US KEEP ISAAC! #TheOrville https://t.co/MFMB6C3XeK

The more fun, light hearted side of the show is also showed on Twitter. This post show off the sassy attitude of the security officer Lt. Talla Keyali.

The Orville on Twitter

Count on Talla for always giving in to a good time. #TheOrville https://t.co/L1HP4pioos

A character whose named is Dann is a character occasionally used for comedic relief.  His charming awkwardness gives me some good laughs.

https://twitter.com/TheOrville/status/1098825966938456064

This is a great use of a social media channel.  It reminds fans of what they enjoy about the show.  Social media is used while people are doing other things such as between classes.  These posts have provided me with a quick break. It is fun for me to remember what I like about the Orville.  It’s nice to have a quick visit with the characters I enjoy.

These posts are not hard to make. They are just video clips and GIFs from the show.  So the enjoyment I get out of these posts show how little a public relations team has to do to make a difference to someone.  

Of course,  being such a big fan, the communication is easy to get across and be appreciated.  Most PR communication is more challenging. So I think my experience is best to try and duplicate when you know you are talking to someone who already likes the product emotionally in the same way I already have a positive  feeling towards “The Orville.”

10 Tips to Become a Better Photographer

10 Tips to Become a Better Photographer

By: Kendra Clark

Tip 1: Fill the Frame

Fill the Frame

 Don’t be afraid to fill the entire frame with your image. Filling the frame to its’ entirety can create a sense of closeness for the viewer and a better understanding of the focal point for your image.

Tip 2: Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds

 Divide your image into three equal parts, this creates a harmony and equality between the subject and background of your image.

Tip 3: Lighting

Lighting

 Try to think of the best times for photos and whether you will need to use a flash or change the settings to get better natural light. Sometimes the weather can determine this for you. 

Tip 4: Exposure Triangle

Exposure Triangle

 Shutter Speed – How fast the sensor for the lens opens and closes, works with the aperture, the shutter speed determines how long the lens will be exposed to the light.

ISO – Sensitivity to the light. This determines how the sensor responds to the light. High ISO is more sensitive than a low ISO.

Aperture – The measure of how open or closed the lens’ iris is. A wider aperture means more light, smaller means less. 

Tip 5: Create a Sense of Depth

Create a Sense of Depth

 Create a foreground and background, separate the subject and create a focal point. This trains the eye to follow where it will look first.

Tip 6: Framing

Framing

 Be aware of your background and surroundings. Use the subject as a starting point and take your time to get the shot you want.

Tip 7: Using a Tripod

Using a Tripod

The best way to avoid camera shake is by using a tripod. Especially for long exposure or when you are taking multiple shots. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Tip 8: Keep it Simple

Keep it Simple

 Using simple backgrounds creates less distraction. Don’t overthink a simple idea. The background is just as important as the subject.

Tip 9: Perspective

Perspective

 What message are you trying to send with your image? Practice taking shots from different perspectives whether it’s up close and personal or a shot taken from a distance. Perspective tells a story.

Tip 10: Use Good Technique – Then Break the Rules

Use Good Technique - Then Break the Rules

Follow the rules and get a good understanding on the basics then break the rules. Find your style and don’t be afraid to be different.

Benefits of Doing a Social Media Detox

A smart phone showing social media icons.

By: Ashley Kainz

Social media has become a convent way we connect and interact as humans. Even though social media has become the new “norm”, many people are taking break from social media and living their lives. You may have heard people doing a “social media detox” or “social media cleanse”, that’s the new fab. There’s advantages to social media, but there’s disadvantages that can be detrimental to your mental health. As students and working professionals, we are already stressed enough, social media just adds unneeded stress. It’s time to put down your cellphones, delete your accounts and actually live your life through you, not your phone screen.

A smart phone showing social network icons.

Using Thank You Instead of Sorry

Photo of people in a group meeting giving high fives..

By: Itzel Cruz

As college students and young adults heading into the workforce, it can be an adjustment learning how to maneuver throughout the professional world.  It is easy to make mistakes like showing up a bit late to a meeting or misunderstanding an assignment you have never done before. It can be common to be dishing out lots of “sorries” throughout your professional work experience, but making mistakes does not always have to have such a negative connotation around it.

Replacing a “sorry for being late” with a “thank you for your patience” can put a positive twist on a negative situation.

Showing those involved your gratitude for their time can help them have a positive image of you in their mind as well as feel appreciated for their contribution in whatever project you may be working on. People’s time and contribution is very valuable and letting them know that you respect their time and effort can be very important in maintaining that relationship and keeping that business relationship positive.

There are many situations in which you could replace sorry with thank you. Instead of “sorry for taking up all your time” you could say “thank you for spending time with me” or instead of “sorry for rambling” you can say “thank you for listening”.

In a business like public relations where you deal with many different groups of people on a daily basis your image, your client’s image and your employer’s image are so important. You want to stand out but also be professional in anything you do. Being accommodating and considerate of your coworkers and clients is essential to a healthy work environment. Maintaining a positive professional reputation is vital to your success and getting people to come back to you and your work.

5 Tips to Become a Better Leader

Eight person huddling

By: Lauren Battisti

As college students, we are constantly working in groups. Even though it may feel like a punishment sometimes, being able to work in teams is a foundation we must acquire ahead of graduation. Teamwork will be in our careers and knowing how to be a better leader can enhance the team’s performance, attitude and overall success.

The fundamentals of leadership discussed here will help your team’s motivation and execute their roles efficiently. Trust, accountability, standards and expectations and improving relationships are all crucial factors that will shape the end goal.

Success in teamwork doesn’t come from the leader, it comes from the entirety of the team as a whole.

During my experiences with group work, the good and the bad, I’ve found these five steps helped me become a better leader.

1. Find Your Leadership Style

Finding your leadership style is the first step to become a better leader. What are your strengths and weaknesses? How do you handle situations?

During my orientation at TGC, I was asked to select my best-fit leadership style. I was able to identify my types of management and learned that there are pros and cons to each style. You must read the situation carefully and then decide the most effective direction to take.

Take this quiz to assess your dominant leadership style.

2. Encompass Positivity

As a leader, maintaining a positive attitude can make a huge impact on your team’s attitude and performance. Remembering to be positive, even during times of crisis and stress, can drastically affect the outcome of the tasks ahead. Even if you are feeling down, your energy is reflective on the team. Teams will inevitably face challenges, so a discouraging and concerned attitude will overwhelm your teammates. It’s essential to embody an optimistic and confident demeanor because it serves as motivation and inspiration.
3. Encourage Creativity

Be open and agreeable to new ideas. Each member of your team deserves the chance to voice their opinions, even bad ones, because it welcomes conversation to the table.

It’s important to recognize the past’s ineffective ideas and move toward addressing new ones that may come as a risk, but offer solutions never tried before. By allowing your team to express creativity, it invites inspiration and rewards those who created new solutions.

4. Listen and Communicate Effectively

Keep the lines of communication completely open. Making sure your team knows they can come to you for anything is a great foundation of trust. For some, group meetings can act as limitation to contribution. This is where encouragement of one-on-one communication can make the difference, especially for members to feel heard and recognized.

Being a good leader means you need to express empathy and understand emotional intelligence. Remember that we are all human. Ask your team how they are doing and be aware of the verbal and nonverbal cues.

Addressing concerns is a great way to gain full understanding of member’s feelings.  At the end of meetings, be sure to ask, “Are there any thoughts, questions, or concerns to share?”

5. Mirror a role model you would follow

Think back to your role models. They possess characteristics you attune your behaviors and actions to. Exemplify these behaviors and characteristics that will also encourage your team in hopes they emulate these desired behaviors.

Being a better leader means modeling the characteristics you wish to see in others.
For more tips and tricks, here is a leadership blog I’ve found very helpful!

The Power of Planning for Productivity

Photo of a woman using office supplies for work Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

By: Kailey Gaffikin

For college students, a new year brings a semester full of updated schedules, approaching deadlines and never-ending assignments. All of this information overload at once can be overwhelming for some and exciting for others. However, a common question presents itself during any new transition in life.

As a college student venturing into a new semester full of deadlines with classes, internships and jobs, you may ask yourself, “Where do I start?”

The simple answer: plan ahead.

The first matter of business is to make a priorities list, which outlines the most urgent deadlines that require your attendance and participation. Some of these deadlines may be recurring whereas others may only occur once. It is crucial to make a list to map everything out onto paper since it is easy to accidentally forget a schedule full of new deadlines.

Once you have your list written, your next step is to outline the main goals for what you want to achieve out of this new schedule. Find time to prioritize any extracurriculars and self-care activities to implement within your schedule. Setting goals is a great way to remind yourself of the reason behind why your deadlines are important to you and what you want to achieve out of your new schedule.

Finally, use a planner to write out your deadlines ahead of time on a monthly basis. This is a great tool to use to your advantage. It provides a road map for you to look at when you feel scatterbrained or to serve as a reminder for certain deadlines that may of slipped your mind.

Once your planning guide is complete, you are on your way to increasing your productivity. Planning is an outlet to use at school, in the workplace and in life. When planning ahead of time, you’ll know what to expect, when to expect it and how to prepare for what you need to meet your goals and succeed to your fullest potential.  

Tips on how to kill your next presentation

A photo of five hands fist bumping each other over a table of binders, notebooks, smartphones, and laptops.

I know presenting isn’t easy for everyone. Actually, I still get that weird nervous feeling at the bottom every time. Walking up to the front to the front of as class, with all eyes on you seems like the worst. However, there are several ways to overcome that. Here are some tips that could help you knock that presentation out of the park.

 

  1. Connect without audience

 

I know it hard to be yourself when your nervous but be honest with your audience and illustrate what is important to you. If your enthusiastic and honest, your audience will respond to that in a positive way.

 

 

  1. Keep it Simple

 

When preparing for your presentation, always be mindful of what the key message is­ ­— and focus on just that. Try not to get sidetracked with other information that may not contribute to your overall message.

 

 

  1. Make eye contact with your audience and don’t forget to smile

 

For me this is the most difficult part. But if you make eye contact it seems as if your talking to an individual versus a group of people. It simplifies the presentation a bit. Think of it as having a conversation with multiple people, instead of preaching to a mass. Plus, smiling makes everything better, it will also make your audience feel more comfortable with you.

 

 

  1. Start off strong

 

First impressions are everything. If you start off dull, your audience is likely to not pay attention or engage for the rest of your presentation. Try starting with something funny, or even a question—anything to get your audience to verbally or physically engage. It will pay off during your presentation.

 

 

  1. Use your voice

 

Don’t be afraid to raise your voice. Make sure those in the back can hear you. Also, control your talking speed. If your talk to fast, it is harder for your audience to soak up what you’re saying. You need to talk at a good pace that isn’t too fast.

 

 

  1. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE

 

Practice makes perfect, don’t undermine that. Get in front of a mirror and practice what you’re going to say. Do this a few times leading up to your presentation, I promise you will be pleased with the results.