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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the April 2005 Newsletter

Connecting with your audience

In one of our recent seminars, we had a lively discussion about that morningís presidential press conference. As you may imagine, various pros and cons were mentioned. It was an amiable discussion though not everyone was in agreement. One man said ďI didnít notice any of those,Ē meaning any of the suggestions for improvement. To which someone responded, ďI guess you voted for him, didnít you?Ē And, indeed, he had.

And that, my friends, underscores the power—and necessity—of connecting with your audience.

In our seminars, the point is always made that it isnít about the data—the underlying truth of which is that if you havenít connected, theyíll doubt your data regardless of how complete or accurate it is.

Because we speak on a much less global scale than the President, we may have a better chance of recovering from an initial lack of connection, but itís a long haul however you look at it. Much better to be sure youíve found common ground with your audience and made the effort to make sure they know you care about them and your subject before you launch into your data than to risk losing them and therefore the response you were hoping for.

Connecting isnít frivolous. Itís vital.

Dear Teach

Stephen Lysik, Sales Division Controller, Sika Corporation:

Thanks to you and your course, everything went very well in the presentation I delivered right after the class. To give you an idea what I was dealing with, there were a hundred people there, one of whom was the new president of our company, and I also had a mobile microphone! Believe it our not, I wasnít that nervous because I was in the right frame of mind and confident about the message I was about to deliver. Thanks again for all of your help and I'm sure Iíll discover new aspects everyday of what we covered.

Controlling emotion

Question: ďHow do you control emotion when giving a presentation? Sometimes I can feel the tears starting to form and then Iím lost.Ē

Answer: First, itís helpful to know that tears welling up doesnít mean all is lost. Usually it wonít ruin your purpose as long as you donít lose control. It can even lend a kind of credibility as to your commitment. However, if you think, ďall is lost,Ē youíre more likely to do something that will make it harder for you all to get back on track.

Examine what it is that triggers the tears. You should then be able to find a way to say the same thing leaving out the visual and emotional connection that diverts your focus from your message.

Without that trigger, itís much easier to stay focused on why youíre sharing this information and how it affects the audience, rather than on your own state of mind and the effect the experience had on your life.

As always, itís focus and discipline. But do make it easier on yourself by avoiding your own emotional triggers.

Quotes can make it lively

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect. —Mark Twain

Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow. —Johann von Goethe

I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday. —Abraham Lincoln

Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit. —Napoleon Hill

Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown. —H. Ross Perot

He conquers who endures. —Persius

You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions. —Naguib, Mahfouz

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. —Socrates

For more great quotes, check out these websites:


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**How to Overcome the Stress of Public Speaking
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(626) 792-8075

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