insights on communication skills

Insights on Communication Skills and Relationship Building

Professional Skills: Can't Take the Heat?

Posted by Bridget Beirne on June 21, 2012

Dealing with your environment is an essential part of your professional skills.

Well, it’s officially hot. On these first days of summer, many areas along the east coast are feeling the heat- some with an index of up to 105°. Heat like that can be draining, frustrating, and extremely uncomfortable as you drudge through a day of appointments, meetings, and presentations. (If only the National Weather Service could issue a “poolside ice cream advisory" for the country!)  A few quick refreshers can help you breeze through your day and beat the heat, whether mental or environmental:

1.)    Hydrate!:  We advise hydrating before any big presentation or work event, but it is doubly important as the temperature rises. Obviously, we’ve been told that the human body is made mostly of water since we were in 5th grade science class, but when we’re stressed, busy, and overheated we sometimes forget to replenish. Dehydration is a huge energy zapper, even if you’re just a bit short on the fluids. Keep your mind cool and quick with plenty of H2O.

professional skills 32.)    Listen to your body: Just as we are reluctant to say “I don’t know”, we often don’t like to say “I can’t”. But sometimes between stress, weather, and nerves, our body needs a break.  Make sure you listen to the signals of your own anatomy, especially in the thick of summer. If you’re body is furiously telling you to stop, find some AC, and rest, take a moment and do so. Can’t say “I can’t” to someone or something? Remember, you won’t be able to get anything done if you’ve passed out!

3.)    Slow Down!:  When it’s hot, take yourself out of fifth gear.  Try to consciously bring your pace down just a click- even if you have to silently tell yourself to “slow down” in your head.  Just as when you are speaking, you can go a bit slower and still accomplish everything you need to. Obviously, we don’t have the luxury of stopping all together,  but simple things like leaving extra time to get to your next appointment at a reasonable pace will keep you from arriving overheated and unable to work.

Bonus Fact*: With summer comes lots of outdoor theatre productions. Actors like those in the well-known Shakespeare in the Park perform regardless of less-than-favorable conditions- the show must go on! Luckily, since it’s cooler in the evening, an outdoor theatre can be a great can be a great way to spend one of those summer nights.


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Topics: Public Speaking Training, General