How safe are you?

How SafeAreYou-

Everyone likes to think nothing bad is going to happen to them. And most of the time, you’re right. However, you can also do things that chick cliquewill guarantee you’re more likely get home safe each night. Protecting yourself needs to be your top priority.

Over the years, I’ve worked with women who have been raped, robbed and assaulted. I don’t want you to be one.

Know the campus situation. Research safety statistics on campus and in the town that are moving. Make sure you know what the campus offers in the way of transportation, alert systems, etc.  Make sure you know what the campus security policy allows. Can you have a taser? Is it an open carry campus? Are there self-defense classes offered? If so, take one.

Always practice the buddy system. If you go somewhere, take someone with you. If that’s not possible, make sure you text and let someone know you are on your way and that you arrived safely. Do this when you leave and head home as well. With the buddy system, if you go with someone, you always leave with them. No one is left behind for any reason.

When you hit the bar – yes when (I’ve dealt with young women long enough to know that not being 21 will not keep you out of the bars) – be smart. Always go with people you know and never leave with anyone you just met. If you leave with someone, make sure your friends know who you are leaving with and what you are doing. Have a plan if something goes wrong – an SOS, text so they can come pick you up. Pay attention to your drink. Don’t leave a cup unattended. It’s easier to slip drugs into a cup than it is a bottle. Never take drinks from someone you don’t know. If a really cute guy wants to buy you a drink, walk up to the bar and watch the bartender make it.

Be safe online. You may think you are anonymous, but you aren’t. Be careful meeting people online. In a world of swipe left or right, be smart. Never meet in isolated places. Take someone with you. This doesn’t just apply to dating. So many marketplaces are online now as well. If you decide to buy something, many police stations now offer an area where you can safely transact online business exchanges.

You may think only your friends follow your social media. That’s simply not true. You’re safer to think anything you post can be seen by anyone. Your future employers will be looking. People who say they are your friends will take screen shots and try to use them to tear your down. Be smart. Use social media to your advantage. And PLEASE – think twice before posting that you are alone at a location.

Can you hear me now?

can you hear me now-

Cell companies aren’t the only ones asking that question. Are people hearing what you say when it really matters? What about in difficult situations? Are you able to communicate even in an uncomfortable situation?

Think about this scenario. In a meeting, you speak up and share an idea or a report. Your co-worker speaks in an insulting tone and rolls his eyes. There are several other people present in the meeting. No one speaks up. Do you say something to everyone? Do you say something right then? Do you say it later?

It’s uncomfortable, right? Do you rage silently inside? Do you do tell your three co-worker confidants? Do you speak up?

It’s not just about what you say. It’s about being heard. Everyone has both passive and aggressive tendencies in them when it comes to communicating. Each of us naturally lean one way of the other. It’s okay if you make the comfortable a little uncomfortable on occasion. Being assertive doesn’t mean bitchy. It just means standing up for yourself.

One of the best ways to deal with these situations is by using a technique called acknowledge and transition. You can acknowledge what happened, or a different viewpoint. (I understand you don’t agree with me….) This is important because everyone needs to feel value. Then you transition to how it made you feel or a behavior that needs to be modified. (What we need to do going forward is…..). This technique can be used in negotiations as well.

Another technique is called when, then, so. When this happens, then this is the result, so going forward this is what needs to happen. This one is perfect for the situation above. Comments made in a group setting tend to shut down all conversation because everyone feels they could be the next target.

Another way to deal with it is by turning the table on the rude instigator. When you feel attacked, don’t attack back. Instead, turn it into a question. Ask them “what is it about my idea you find ridiculous?”

Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” It’s totally within your right to stand up for yourself. The techniques mentioned above work not only in office settings, but in any situation where you find yourself having a difficult conversations.

Go Live! Video feeds are the future.

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Learning to create compelling video is a must. Some speculate that by 2020, 80 percent of internet content will be video. Right now, 50% of shared content is video. With over 2 billion people on Facebook, is your content drawing people in or sending them to your competitor? With so many potential customers right there on Facebook, let’s look at one of the easiest ways to create a video – Facebook Live.

Great videos capture attention right away. You have about 3 seconds to get a viewer’s attention. Always try to start your video with action, not a talking head.  The best videos use humor, educate or provide something useful.

So you’ve got your idea, now what?

Before you start recording, make sure you have the right equipment. You need a tripod or some way to stabilize your phone or iPad. A video that bounces around isn’t fun to watch.

Do you need a microphone? Do a test in the environment you will be recording in. Is there a lot of background noise? Make sure you adjust so that your viewers can have the best experience possible.

Practice makes perfect. Make sure you think through what you are going to say. Think about the background, is it distracting. Have a solid plan in place before going “live.” Don’t forget once you hit record, there is a 3 second delay before the video actually starts. Use the first part of your video should be a warm-up. Make sure you introduce yourself. Call out the people who join you live. Make them feel like they are a part of the conversation. Ask them for feedback in the comments – like where are they from, what do they hope to learn today. Hopefully, you’ll have someone working with you who can watch the comment feed. Be prepared for questions that pop up along the way. If you are doing the video alone, make sure you let people know that you’ll go through the comments after the video ends and answer any questions they might have.

When you get ready to post a video, you’ll have a couple of decisions you’ll need to make. Do you want the creation of the video private or public? Public means everyone can see it as you are recording. Private videos can only be seen by the person recording them until they are posted.

You need to create a catchy title for the video. Keep it short. Only 5-6 words will show on the screen.

Facebook Live has been so successful, they are looking at increasing the length of time you can stay online. When it originally came out, the longest recording you could create was 90 minutes. Now you can record for up to 4 hours. Just think of all the opportunities you have to make your message visual.

You can save these videos and promote them on multiple channels. While you can’t boost them while they are happening, you can after it is posted. You can also link through the share option.

Video is the strongest, most engaging media for storytelling. Make sure you are utilizing it to get your message in front of the most people possible.