A short advice on cutting

I am going to share with you one of the most important advices for a content creator of 21st century.

Image result for the official ted guide to public speaking

Inspired by TED Talks – The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking book (definitely recommend, you can purchase a hard copy, e-book or audiobook/audible here), I decided to write a post on – probably – the key factor of any successful author. I had known this advice for years, but implemented it only recently and the results are astonishing.

Whether you are a public speaker, teacher, journalist, student, blogger, office administrator – this short advice will change your life.

We are all living high-paced life, bombarded with newsfeeds and suffering from short attention span. People will read or listen to you only when their valuable time is respected. In few minutes convey your a message in a way nobody did before in order to gain the attention and gratitude of an audience. Be efficient. You will be surprised how much you can teach others in only 10mins of their time.

After you finish writing, read your work multiple times and every time cut on words, make connections and minimalise baffling. Try to get clear conclusions after every paragraph. Make it simple, amusing and informative, show your personality but never assume that anyone will enjoy it for too long. Intrigue, not intrude.

While preparing a presentation, say it out loud to you friend or record yourself and re-watch it. Become aware of your “uums” “likes” and “I thinks”. Rehearse not only the speech but also your stage movements. And if you think you got it right – rehearse again with loud noises in the background.

Spend more time on creating valuable content, rather than typing or telling countless stories of your life. Try to show an interesting situation in a surprising and engaging way instead of only following a chain of events. In the end, it’s not the story that counts but your audience’s reaction.

This also applies to students. Lecturers and examiners are busy, they have tons of papers to read. They have families and hobbies too, so appreciate their lifestyles. Show them the essence of your thoughts, not the whole thinking process. Structured, concise and detailed work will stand out and get you higher marks. Quality over quantity, always.

How many times did you start reading something and quit half-way through because the writer bored you to death? Do you tend to skip videos in which peoples’ “yyym” “you know” is off-putting?

I came across a lot of bloggers, who fill their Instastories with tragically structured multiple videos, which content could be told in three sentences. I instantly skip those accounts. Most of us do. Remember, it’s your piece of work – articulate your thoughts clearly, especially if you want to earn money on that.

Where did I apply the cutting advice?

  • Dissertation. I went way over the words limit at first, but quickly realized that half of the results section may be shown in a form of a table. Slashed my word count by a third and saved room for a discussion.
  • University presentation. Recently we had a seminar when everyone had a randomly chosen paper to present in 8-10mins. I decided to design my publication as a series of 4 questions and answers asked by the researchers, leading to the final result. Conveyed an understandable and detailed highly scientific information with good timing and humour.
  • Literature review (work in progress). One of the most problematic type of courseworks, because it requires a lot of preparation. For this essay I needed to be an expert on glioma (brain tumour) knowing all the recent research advances to date. My first draft will be about 1000 words over a limit. Next, I am going to cut, cut and cut on everything what does not bring the essential value to my work. Then cut again.

 The short advice on cutting simply means:

Don’t present to others what you wouldn’t enjoy yourself.

The News: Declutter your brain.

Hi everyone! Today we are going to talk about… The News!

 

For many, maaany years the first thing I would do after waking up would be to check the news. My idea of a well-informed and wise person was of the one, who always follows the current situation of the world. My perception has changed dramatically when I entered my second year of university studies.

 

 

Let’s start with the fact that most of the news is not new. In the past, the newspapers were the only sources of new information. People would buy them daily to get a snapshot of what’s happening not only in the world, but also around their neighbourhood. Because the pages and columns were so ‘precious’ at the time, the editors could not allow themselves to sell unattractive, badly written articles. Nowadays, the news have a completely different function to what used to be an informative mean of communication – it is to manipulate. In 2018, we are bombarded with information with no mercy. Radio news every hour, multiple newspapers, news apps in our phones and TV channels with news presented non-stop.

 

 

Have you ever noticed the order of the news presented to us? We are being shown the saddest events, such as murder of a child or a drastic car accident first, followed by some political news. Why? Firstly, to make us think, that the everyday life is miserable and fragile. Then (when our minds are still mourning the deaths of the people who we have never met), we are being given a daily catch up on world’s politics. The party leaders arguing with each other become less of a problem, when our perception of our existence is under consideration.

 

 

Children get killed or die because of health problems in all countries, under different circumstances practically all the time. Being reminded about it will not help either us or the affected people. What media should actually do is show us statistics (a real piece of evidence, without drastic details impacting our imagination) and educate us on what to do to avoid these things happening. We shall be educated on what to do when we are witnessing child’s abuse (in a shop or in our neighbourhood) and where go to report it. This is an example of a good journalism, not trying to make salad out of old lettuce.

 

 

Accidents, crashes, catastrophes. All of these are our favourites. People love catastrophes. They happened in the past, they are happening now and will definitely happen in future. We read about the details of them only to get more scared of flying or driving. What’s more useful, we would rather know how to behave in the moments of danger. Or even more likely, how to avoid danger in first place. The emotional hole which is left inside us after finding out about another tragic car crash is not filled with mindfulness and eagerness to drive safer. It leaves us confused and not able to understand the rest of the news correctly, because we will always compare the next piece news with the most emotional one.

 

Have you ever had this painful feeling of pure sadness after watching evening/morning news? This is not a good start (or end) of the day. Especially, when the people tragically affected are not related to us.

 

 

The people responsible for publishing the news, know very well the psychology of our minds. They are aware of the fact that they manipulate us in order to get more clicks or views and what follows – money. Our brains will follow the next plane crash like flies attracted to a bulb. It requires a lot of self-control to stop reading the top tragic stories.

 

 

The main problem of the news is that they dump on us tonnes of information every day. Without filtration and (which concerns me the most) without any sort of digestion of the topic. We face the information without the explanation of what is the impact of the event or what is the outcome – unable to learn anything from it.

 

 

If journalists could connect the current news with the philosophical aspects of human behaviour, historical background, technical facts and grasps of logic, we would be having completely different first pages of the newspapers.

 

 

And no, we do not need to become a more clever society to read better news. Our base level is high enough to digest the information with a guidance of a journalist. What is more difficult, is the creation of our own point of view, which comes after the article is presented. This is a skill to be learnt.

 

The correct way of presenting and understanding the news:

facts, evidences -> discussion -> conclusions -> our own judgement

 

Currently, we are given the news in reverse order. First comes a prepared already judgement (the journalist’s viewpoint), then the information itself. At the end, often omitted, comes the ‘digestion’ or a discussion part of the story. This is what makes us a passive reader.

 

 

Is isolating myself from the news a good idea? Not necessarily. Obviously, the news is needed. We want to know the weather forecast, the traffic information, the new laws established by the government etc., so we cannot easily escape the whole emotional wrapping surrounding these pieces of information. What we can do is try to control our greed for tragedy by skipping the manipulative news. Try not to follow every story which hits us. Respect ourselves as the audience and filter the incoming waves of the information.

 

Being informed does not mean knowing everything. Having much of workload at uni already, I realised that additional information was cluttering my mind. I was carrying the thoughts of a stabbed teenager with me to the lecture theatre losing the focus on what I meant to learn on my course. At that point I started separating myself from the daily news habit and to my surprise I became more focused and happier.

 

 

R e c o m e n d a t i o n

 

If you would like to find out more about what news do to our brains, one of the best books describing my today’s topic is “The News: A User’s Manual” by Alain De Botton. The author, together with his team used to create very thoughtful reports on basis of philosophical and educational context of the current news. The website still exists http://thephilosophersmail.com/ , nevertheless some time ago it was replaced by their new project – The School of Life.

Welcome to my blog!

Today, my imagination has left the tightly closed frames of self-control and led me straight in here, into a world of published thoughts. Many times in the past, I have been telling myself that it’s still too early, that my ideas are not clear enough or I should get more life experience before I start. Regardless of all those thoughts, my needs for externalising my views and motivating others have taken over, so here I am – typing my first blog post. I would like to invite you to sit down with me, take a sip of your favourite tea and let me to take you into a new world. A world in which you are going to discover, discuss, get inspired and most importantly, get to know yourself from a completely new perspective. Let’s begin!

 

My name is Ewelina and I’m on my final year of human genetics course. My passions for science, sports, travelling as well as years spent in a different country have shaped me into a person who can never stop to look for new challenges. This blog is a one of them. Since I was a child I loved dressing my thoughts into words. I always found something therapeutical about it. Later on, I discovered that sharing my texts with others is even more satisfying because it gives the opportunity for reflection and discussion. As we know, discussion is the mother of the most amazing ideas, which constantly revolutionise our world.

 

Through this blog, I would like to get you out of your comfort zone and push you up in order to make you fly higher than you ever expected. This is a website for people who want something more from their lives. People who wake up every day thinking ‘how can I improve the world today?’. People with passion and life mission, motivated and brave (or these who would like to become those kind people!). People who do not find fulfilment in just watching tv or scrolling social media. People who not only observe but also like to take an action.

 

The picture of millennials is painted with the critical brush, characterising a lack of ambitions, laziness or psychological weakness. Nevertheless, only we know that this is not true and only we are aware of the power we have got in our minds and our hands. We just need to use it well! Within us, there are people who know what they want, or who actively look for it. We study with purpose, work efficiently and plan ahead. We are people with many passions, hard working and well organised. Many of us look after themselves and work on self-improvement in a way that no-one did before. The aim of this blog is to unite those people and show the world that we are the amazing, powerful generation. Moreover, we will motivate others and show that together we are able to achieve great things. Let’s do this!

 

Here, you will find doses of motivation and inspiration with a high scientific background because in order to understand the world and change it, we need to understand ourselves too. I would like to invite you to a journey, during which you won’t need a map to get to your destination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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