Monday, September 8, 2014

Confessions of an amateur speaker: 10 lessons learned


I'm an introvert, but I do love my speaking engagements. The idea of being a speaker is cool to me and I always jump at every opportunity. 

I immediately said yes when invited to speak at the Malaysia's 100 Social Media Hub Talk. That was less than two months ago. 

Twenty minutes before the talk -- as I was having lunch with my mum and brother at Kenny Roger's KLCC Convention Centre -- I told them how scared how I was.

"This is a bad idea. Maybe I should not do this," I told them before. 

Mere minutes later, I found my affirmation:  "Wait. Don't quit just yet. This is a talk on social media. This is your strength. Even if your points don't make quite sense, just wing it! Just do what you gotta do for that 30 minutes, even if you're gonna make a fool out of yourself. 

And so I did. I went on the stage. It wasn't a huge crowd but of course, there were curious onlookers. Here are 10 lessons I learned as I took the stage:
  1. When it's your passion, there's no time to feel scared as this is what you've always wanted. 
  2. When the 'spotlight' is on you - just take the baton from the emcee.
  3. My other fear: Will people sit and listen to my talk? I'm grateful I have an audience other than my mother and brother. Hahaha!
  4. Never get discouraged if some gets up and leave.
  5. Look at those who nod their head as you go through your points. At least they're listening!
  6. Let the talk flow naturally -- sometimes you just got to wing it! 
  7. Make good eye contact with your audience.
  8. It's OK to stumble a bit. Get back on track ASAP. 
  9. Regardless of the size of the audience -- big or small -- just enjoy the moment.
  10. Remember your purpose: You're here to share. What people do with that knowledge, it's up to them.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Why we all need a well-balanced life [GUEST POST]

By Noreen Amore

Photo credit: Flickr/Hans Splinter

I cannot breath anymore and destroy my soul. 

I’m totally lost with what I am doing to myself. “Noreen oh Noreen” my Dr said with his voice a little bit upset. I try to be at my best but I didn’t do it the best way until it effected my health, personal life, family and friendship. I’ve almost lost everyone that I care and love. Before it’s too late I must stop and start to say NO!!!!

Heard of ‘Workaholic’? But for my scenario, it is not workaholic but I call it ‘Tortureholic’. The episode began with my first assignment: I volunteered to help, I enjoyed it and I continue my service as if it was my full time job even though I didn’t get any single cents. I did it because I’m happy to volunteer, to help and to learn something new and meet new friends. I feel honoured the work was noticed by the community. It motivated me to work even harder and I keep doing positive things to impress everybody.

Beside volunteer service, I have also been busy helping my partner. My daily routine becomes more interesting. Life is transforming for the better, I would say. Practically 24/7 I’m occupied with something and I’m always happy till I'll forget, do I have any problems? Am I making money? I didn’t earn anything and I just take it easy running my errands and the bills will arrive by end of the month. I just keep moving and continue my new adventure without hoping for any returns. It’s from the  bottom of my heart.

A new challenge is coming and guess what? I accepted another new assignment... again!!!! This time it involved a big scale project, and gave my full swing without any mercy. I told myself that I will challenge myself. At this point, things got worse and tried to kill my soul slowly. I started to feel some pain in my body. For the past 7 months I didn’t rest and constantly moving non-stop, being active 24/7, a few hours of sleep a day, no exercise and forgotten to have a balance diet. OMG OMG…

It’s a wakeup call NOREEN! 

I went to see my Dr, and the result was shocking. My sickness is coming back and if I don’t follow my Dr's advice, I can kill myself slowly. Driving back home I started to pray and the first person I call was my mom. Guess what? I didn’t say hello and talk to her for many months. Usually I use to call her at least twice a week. She said I was very busy so she understand and constantly prays nothing bad will happen to me. An hour later, I just realize that I've lost my life's balance. I switched off my phone, with no communication with the world. I felt so empty. WHY?

I've lost my balance. 

I've created distance with my best friends, I tried to ruin my 9 years love relationship with my love partner, I tried to be far away with my own family and the worst part I tried to destroy my career and company that I've build with my own effort. Who am I actually and what have I done to myself? What am I trying to achieve and who is it for? I've already destroyed my own normal healthy life.

Well, now comes the serious and hardest part: I must stop and do something. With my decision I believe that it will hurt many people around and they will get shocked. I feel sorry and I didn’t mean it. I stop my activities and announce my resignations to everybody within 24 hours. Yes I did it…. With my unhealthy condition, I need to slow down and temporarily take a break. Everybody was shocked, angry, upset and question the sudden decision. It’s not their fault and there's nothing wrong with the internal organisation and company. It’s my personal health that is the big issue.

I feel so bad and regret but again I told myself, for my own health sake, I have to face it and make a decision. I left everything and have to settle one by one, piece by piece and I can breathe finally………………………I feel released and my soul is back. My actual friendly self is back with me. Writing is the best therapy to calm and be my real self. So sharing good stories and life experience on my blog, helps me connect back with my soul.

What I’m trying to share is that you cannot stop people from wanting to say something because human neuron brain can only accept positive but not negative. They like to hear the answer, what they want to hear but they do not want to think about the other side. People love gossip but that's only temporary and they will forget as other hot news become the headline.

No matter how high and confident we are, we need to go back to life's basics. The rules of happiness is when you find your own balance in life. When you find your balance, everything you do will in  harmony. As long as we view suffering as an unnatural state, an abnormal condition that we fear, avoid and reject, we will never uproot the causes of suffering and begin to live a happier life. An end result or product of patience and tolerance is forgiveness. When you are truly patient and tolerant, then forgiveness comes naturally. Life must be a balance and that is the purpose for happiness.

Sincerely, Noreen Amore.

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Best Advice... by Tini Zainudin / @tiniz


Tini Zainudin
Child activist / Do Gooder
Follow Twitter | Facebook 

My best advice on... starting a new project
Dream big, start small! Map out your big plan and the steps on how to get there but the plan is only a framework. Make room for unexpected surprises, ask and listen to friends and others whom you want to seek advice from. be open to endless possibilities and I promise you, if it's for good for others and is a project from the heart, it will happen. Be patient and know that nothing ever goes as planned, so enjoy while working hard. Good luck!

My best advice on... being unique
Be true to yourself. Each and every one of us is unique so celebrate the best of who you are and what you want to do in life.

My best advice on... life's challenges
This too shall pass! I'm still learning that even the setbacks and difficulties when facing challenges are life lessons and teaches you new skills you never thought you'd need to learn. So learn it well!

My best advice on... relationship/friendship
Friendship? Is about love and respect and honour!

My best advice on... making a difference
Doesn't matter what others think! What's most important is what do you think? Are you making a difference in your life? Or you enriched by this difference? Then do it!

Monday, May 5, 2014

My best advice... by Jason Cruz / @jsncruz



Jason Cruz
Director of Social Products
Follow Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Blog

My best advice on... starting a new project
Take a LOT of notes. You can never have "too few" as far as notes go. They help you put to paper and thus remember fleeting but potentially-great ideas. It doesn't matter how you do it (I'm old school, so I use pen-and-paper) as long as note-taking becomes a pre-project habit, you're in the right direction.

My best advice on... being unique
I would say listen to others, but do things your own way anyway. In my industry, there's a lot of "traditional ways of doing things". That is good if you want to be a stable member of the crowd, but that will not get you remembered. Bend, break, or make up the rules of your industry.



My best advice on... life's challenges
This sounds cliche, but look forward to tomorrow. Nothing lasts forever, especially bad times. One of my darkest moments was a three-month period of terrible leadership (my own, as I was learning) and I thought there was no way I could fix things. A year later, we're laughing about it now! Time is your best friend.

My best advice on... relationship/friendship
Go for quality, and never quantity. It's nice to be the most-liked person in the office or at home, but at the end of the day, you want to focus your energy on a handful of people you would genuinely do anything for. If your list is a loved one, your parents, and two to three very good friends, you will have more time to spend with each of them rather than divide your week for dozens of people.


My best advice on... making a difference
If you feel strongly about doing something, put all your heart, emotions, and assets behind it. There is really no room for doubt or self-questioning, as far as making a difference goes. I think that the difference between okay and great is how much we're willing to bet on the table.

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Best Advice... by Norina Affiza / @NoreenAmore



Norina Affiza
Perfumer and President Cushing Syndrome Foundation
Follow Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

My best advice on... starting a new project
My first project failed, second project also failed but the third project was smooth. I keep doing my research and never let others to downgrade me because it is very important to get positive vibes when you start a new project. Spend and keep getting testimonial. Research because research is your main key to success. Age is not a barrier to start new things and that motivation and drive for success is a must.



My best advice on... being unique
Innovative and creative. I am always alert on what's happening around me. From there I try to develop something that I can share in a fun way, interesting, giving knowledge and something that benefits everybody. Of course never have any regrets in what you have done. Because regrets will make you fall down.

My best advice on... life's challenges
I always stay around with people who have positive thinking and good energy. I take all the bad comments with possible action because 'Action is Always Louder Than Words'. Never say 'No' but I always say 'I will try or I've tried'. Dreaming big is not wrong because you will eventually make your dreams come true.



My best advice on... relationship/friendship
If you've failed 100 times in a relationship, it doesn't mean you will fail with everybody else because that will make you be more tolerant and understand how important relationship is in your life. You gain experience. Treat others like you want to be treated.

My best advice on... making a difference
From my experience having a Cushing Syndrome, it's something that's priceless and a touching experience because only one in every one million people take on this journey. Even though I've been discriminated by the community, I lost some precious moments including my happiness. While others are living a normal life but I'm suffering deep inside, not knowing how to share to the world. Friday 13th, January 2012 is the date I will remember forever in my life because I am still alive and can see the world. All the prayers, tears and moral support really touched because I'm still a human being. Because of all the love, I'm giving back through Amore Rosso and Cushing Syndrome Foundation. I hope I can help those in need.

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