Warm summer days make long hours in the over air-conditioned office difficult to maintain. This month we are focusing on how to bring some summertime fun back into the office by building relationships with coworkers and easing public speaking concerns. Follow our simple tips on these obstacles to start your summer with a splash!

Happiness is Having a Co-Worker Who Becomes a Friend

Part of making the workplace more enjoyable relies on having good relationships with your coworkers. Positive interactions can change your mood, and transform the office from boring to exciting, or at least manageable. Sometimes work relationships can feel forced and uncomfortable so if you’re struggling to build a professional connection with your colleagues, follow these five tips that are bound to help!

A Good Relationship Starts With Good Communication

Start out with just a casual conversation. Ask the typical ice breakers, “how’s the weather outside?”, “did you catch the game last night?”, or even something as simple as “how is your day going?”. Making the effort to initiate a conversation can go a long way. At some point it will start to become normal and conversation topics will begin to expand.

“What! You too? I Thought I Was the Only One”

Finding common interests with coworkers makes it that much easier to hold a conversation. Odds are, if you’re working at the same firm with similar job titles you have to have at least one thing in common. Similar interests can also lead to bonding by having outside of work outings as well as a connection.

There’s Always Something Fun To Do

If the relationship is progressing well, try planning an out of work activity for your coworkers. This can include a group dinner, happy hour, bowling or even other fun activities. After work activities are an easy way to show that your coworkers aren’t ‘strictly business’ and that they’re people with social lives as well as yourself.

No One Can Help Everyone but Everyone Can Help Someone

If you offer to help your coworkers with tasks more often than not, you will start to engrain yourself in their minds. This will make you their go-to when they need help with anything. Just make sure you do not end up doing their job for them. This increases the amount of time you will spend with each other, giving you experiences and tasks to bond over.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

Avoid in-office gossip! No one likes someone that constantly runs their mouth and talks badly about others, especially in a professional environment. It’s your job to avoid it if it ever comes up and to avoid bringing it up.

The Best Way to Conquer Stage Fright is to Know What You’re Talking About

Stage fright and getting nervous when talking in front of a decent amount of people is one of the most common phobias known to mankind. Some grow out of it with age, whereas others deal with it for their whole life. You may not be able to cure stage fright completely, but here are some tips to at least ease the process.

Clutter is Simply Delayed Decisions

First things first, plan out everything you want to say. Once you figure that out, organize it in a manner that is easy to follow and will effectively convey your message. With a definite order of when you want to say what, it can ease your nerves in the sense that you don’t have to worry about what to say next.

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

Nerves can cause awkward ticks and movements that you may not be aware of. As well as planning out what you’re going to say and when, plan out your movements. Plan when you want to use hand gestures or even when you want to move from Point A to Point B. It’ll ease your nerves knowing where to go and what to do on top of what to say.

Look Less Like a Comma and More Like an Exclamation Point

Posture is huge. Stand up straight with your shoulders aligned with your feet. Good and tall posture makes it easier to breathe and even speak. Tall posture also makes it easier to project your voice, this is especially important in larger conference rooms.

Loud is a Way of Life

We just said how good posture makes it easier to project your voice. This leads us to our next point of saying that you need to stay loud and enthusiastic when speaking publicly. If you’re speaking quietly and monotoned, you’re going to lose the audience relatively quick. Therefore it’s crucial to keep a positive tone, be energetic and loud. This keeps the listeners engaged. Plus, if you’re talking loud it’s harder for them to fall asleep in the middle of your presentation.

The Most Precious Things in Speech are the Pauses

Although it’s important to be energetic when speaking, try to avoid the speed aspect that often goes along with it. An important tip when public speaking is to speak slower than you would in a normal conversation. Why? So your listeners have more time to absorb the information you’re giving them and are able to react to it.

It’s Not the Answer that Enlightens, but the Question

Ask your audience questions to keep them engaged, even if you don’t know the answer to it. It’ll add a bit of humor to the presentation if you ask an open ended question with an unknown answer. This should help ease nerves because it takes the attention off of you, even if it is only for a short period of time.

The More You Practice The Luckier You’ll Get

Everyone’s heard the term practice makes perfect. In order to perfect your presentation or speech, practice it with all of the hand gestures and movements you initially planned to put in it. Recording yourself performing the presentation also helps because you can take note of all the little kinks you may not be aware of. When you’re more conscious of these kinks, it will be easier to fix them.