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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the April 2008 Newsletter

More Than Words

It's easy to get tangled up in trying to remember your words and forget that if you don't look and sound friendly and knowledgeable your audience won't listen to the words. (Remember that study by Albert Mehrabian showing that only 7% of your credibility and effectiveness comes from your words?)

Your audience wants to know if they can trust and believe what you're saying. Wants to believe you know what you're talking about. Wants not to work too hard to get the information they want or that you think they should have.

You can choose to be intimidated or enlightened by knowing that what people see and how your voice sounds determine how they respond to your words.

Think of it. If you're the decision maker what enters into your decision? We'd all like to think we're not influenced by anything but the facts. But if we believe that, we're kidding ourselves.

When your children whine at you, you don't even listen to their words.

When a member of your committee looks uncertain (facial expression, posture), you dismiss the words or ask a multitude of questions because you don't trust the information.

And should we talk about a poor buying decision you've made because the person influencing you seemed so genuine and knowledgeable that you didn't look into the facts closely enough?

The words count. But if your thinking is fuzzy, your voice and body will get in the way of your words.

Be comfortable in your own skin and in your own space. Know the short version of the points you want to make (always prepared to expand on them if needed), and the decision makers you speak to won't be distracted by mixed messages. They'll focus on your point and be more likely to buy it.

First Person

David Balber Support Office Manager Customer Programs Portfolio Management, Southern California Edison responding to last month's myth about advancing to a black slide while you talk about the concepts on that previous slide:

“In my certificate course for Project Management at Cal Tech, our instructor does this very thing. Different to be sure, but he has nailed this principle and really seems to teach principles when he is the ONLY focus of the class. Good stuff and thanks!”

And from a product marketing manager for an international firm:

“Thank you for your excellent coaching in the course I took from you recently. I came in jittery and unsure of myself but went home with all the tools I needed.

“I delivered a keynote speech last week which was considered to be 'best of the show!'

“While I may not have remembered to use everything you taught me I know that the ones I did remember contributed to the success.

“In the true Indian tradition of thanking one's teacher, please accept my gratitude.”

Why Not Laser Pointers?

Dear Barb: “Why don't you like laser pointers?”

Using laser pointers matter of choice. For me, it's just one more thing to deal with and to distract you from focusing on your point.

Any pointer has that potential: playing with it, waving it around, emphasizing your words. "Should I hold on to it or put it down?" Or do you even know what you're doing with it?

That's all true with laser pointers plus you also can aim the light into someone's eyes or have your slightly shaking arm magnify the jiggle nervously on the screen.

For me, it's simpler to use my full extended arm and verbal cues to direct their attention to something on the screen. Or to add a circle or check mark to the slide during the design phase.

So, because it's easier and I'm less concerned about being distracted or distracting, I'd rather not use any pointer.

But it's totally a matter of choice. If you like them and you can use them effectively, go right ahead.

Quotes to Make You a Better Speaker

“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake somebody up.” —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“You can't plant a seed and pick the fruit the next morning.” —Jesse Jackson

“Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens, we have to keep going back and begin again.” —Andre Gide

“Do your work with your whole heart and you will succeed -- there's so little competition. ” —Elbert Hubbard

“From a little distance one can perceive an order in what at the time seemed confusion.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald

For more great quotes, check out these websites:


Think gifts. Someone you know is going to be giving more presentations soon. Give them a practical gift that will make those presentations easier and more effective. Learn more or Order Online.

"Getting Over Yourself: A Guide to Painless Public Speaking...and More" by Barbara Rocha 208 pages, illustrated, cartoons $19.95

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The "Getting Over Yourself" book on audiotape read by the author ($17.95) or CD ROM ($19.95).

Booklets by Barbara Rocha:
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"Pocket Guide for Presenters"
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Speeches on Tape:
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"Getting Over Yourself: A Guide to Painless Public Speaking" featuring Barbara Rocha in excerpts from her book, seminar classes and interactive coaching. VHS $99.95

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**How to Overcome the Stress of Public Speaking
Pasadena: 3-day workshop October 25, 26, 27, 2010.

We have two public seminars each year: May and October/November. If you have several people who could use this training, contact us regarding an in-house seminar.

As a refresher, workshop graduates (from any of our 3-day workshops) may attend for half price at any time. People tell us they get as much or more out of the workshop the second time around.

Visit our seminars section for details or call (888) 800-2001

For more information, contact:

Barbara Rocha and Associates

PO Box 60521, Pasadena, California 91116

(626) 792-8075

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