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The Secret To Being an Articulate Speaker

When I was a senior in high school, my final college decision came down to two schools: the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Neither was my “dream school” (I never had one), but I was pretty certain that I would end up going to UCLA.

Honestly, I applied to USC sort of on a whim and I never thought I would end up going there. Mainly because I knew it was such an expensive school (it’s one of the most expensive universities in the nation) and I knew my parents wouldn’t be able to afford it.

Well, that was before I ended up getting a half-tuition scholarship from USC and no scholarship from UCLA…

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How to Build Your Vocabulary (Ep. 136)

The College Info Geek PodcastOn this week’s episode, some ancient philosophers have apparently discovered the secrets of time travel.

Being wise philosophers from several different historical epochs, they realized that the best possible thing to do with time travel powers would be to send questions to two random podcasters from Iowa. Those questions include:

  • What kind of useful, specific skills can I build to help myself be more flexible in the job market if I can’t get quite the job I want or the job market takes a turn for the worse?
  • What’s the best way to expand my vocabulary? I feel I’m a good writer but I can’t write without a thesaurus next to me.
  • How do you deal with a frustrating homework problem that you just can’t solve?

Honestly, I’m not sure that the likes of Confucius and Friedrich Nietzsche need advice on building a better vocabulary; however, even if our answers disappoint them, you might find them helpful. Enjoy! Read More…

Inbox Zero (Ep. 135)

Reader Q&AOn this episode, we’re experimenting with the show’s format a bit!

So here’s the deal. When Martin and I go in and look at the download numbers on each of the podcast episodes we do, something always stands out to us: The 5 Questions episodes do really, really well. You guys seem to like them a lot.

Furthermore, I like doing them a lot as well. It’s fun to go in with multiple questions and topics to riff on.

Given those two facts, I came to the conclusion that we should do more Q&A episodes. Here’s what we’re going to try out.

On the episodes Martin and I record together, we’re going to answer three(ish) questions from the community instead of only covering one topic. Read More…

How to Build a YouTube Channel (Ep. 134)

The College Info Geek PodcastWhen people used to ask me what I did for a living, I always had a hard time coming up with a good, succinct answer.

What label do you pick when your work includes speaking, writing, recording podcasts, filming videos, web development, bookkeeping, “business-ing” (yes that’s a word I made up, and yes I’m going to continue using it), and a dozen other things?

Entrepreneur? Too broad, too nondescript. Blogger? I used to say I was a blogger, but it no longer fit. Blogger/podcaster/speaker/author/entrepreneur? Takes too long to say, and the guy who asked me just fell asleep face-first in his tomato soup.

These days, things are a bit easier. Today, when someone asks me what I do, I simply tell them,

“I’m a YouTuber.”

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How to Start Your Own Podcast (Ep. 133)

The College Info Geek PodcastPodcasting, it seems, has been undergoing a bit of a Renaissance in the past couple of years.

Now that there are default podcast apps on both Android and iOS, more people than ever are listening and subscribing to podcasts. And, with easier access to quality equipment and editing software, it seems like everyone is starting their own. Even your grandma probably has a podcast.

So why shouldn’t you?

In this week’s episode, Martin and I will be going over the entire process of starting a podcast, step by step. Read More…

How to Study Math and Science Effectively (Ep. 132)

Karen ChristianWhen I was in my final year of high school, the subject I struggled with the most was – by far – calculus.

I’d been a year ahead in math since 8th grade, so I went into my senior year feeling pretty proud of my math skills. Aaaaaand that lasted about a week, tops.

In the end, I scraped by with a B in the class, – but I earned that mainly by latching onto extra credit opportunities like a rabid honey badger. My core calculus skills never really crystalized; I never felt quite confident when I was working through the class’ equations.

As I left high school and prepared for college, I sort of adopted this belief that I wasn’t “cut out” for math. I was quite good at other subjects like English and business, so I decided that those were what I should focus on.

There’s a stigma attached to subjects that exist within the realm of math and science – they’re more difficult, require more work, and they’re reserved for a certain “type” of person. And, to be honest, I had basically bought into that.

However, that stigma just isn’t true. Near the end of my college career, my interest in math and science was rekindled – which was actually part of the reason I started focusing more heavily on academic topics like test preparation and efficient learning. Read More…

How to Be More Confident: 5 Strategies that Worked for Me

Today, we’re going to go through five effective strategies you can use to build your confidence.

These strategies come from my personal experience, and they’ve all been pivotal in the development of my own self-confidence.

Rather than keep you in suspense, I’m going to tell you what they are right up front:

  1. Gain experience. Do that which you wish to become confident in doing.
  2. Understand the perspective of other people. Most importantly, realize that they don’t think about you nearly as much as you might believe.
  3. Realize that people love confidence. The average, everyday human experience is normal, mundane, and unmemorable – yet people crave novelty and excitement.
  4. Record your accomplishments. Write them down and use the resulting archive to remind yourself of your ability to overcome future challenges.
  5. Focus on other people. Speak less, smile more, and develop active listening skills; building up other people in your interactions will make people like you and help you build internal self-confidence.

If this quick overview is enough to help you take action and start building confidence, then get out there and start building it.

Otherwise, sit tight and keep your finger poised over that scroll wheel on your mouse; next, I’ll be digging into each of these strategies, sharing how I personally implemented them, and demonstrating how you can use them in your own life. Read More…

7 Ways to Calm Your Nerves When You’re Meeting New People

You just parked your car. You look at the clock and see that you have five minutes to spare.

You figure you might as well use this extra time to do a little mental preparation. So you close your eyes and you begin to say yourself:

“I got this… I got this… I. GOT. THIS.”

But then, a teeny tiny thought creeps into your mind…

“… What if I don’t got this?”

And just like that, the tide begins to turn. Read More…

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