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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the August 2007 Newsletter

One Thing at a Time

Once we’ve decided we’d really like to do something about our speaking, it’s tempting to try to work on everything at once. (If you’ve taken my class, you should be clear on which things are truly important and which aren’t.)

But somehow you’ve survived up to this point with your current methods, and trying to improve everything RIGHT NOW will severely interfere with your focus, rob you of your poise, and reduce your sense of dominion. Which means you probably won’t be as effective as you were before you started trying to improve.

So. To be effective in your efforts to improve, choose just one aspect of your speaking you think needs improvement. Focus on that one aspect for a week or a day, and then choose another one and do the same. As it used to say on the shampoo directions: "Wash, rinse, repeat."

Continue to choose one thing at a time, practicing in daily life, rather than in an organized presentation. You’ll see amazing results.

First Person

Leslie Sumner, Farmers Insurance, Director of Business Integration:

"After taking your class a couple of months ago, today I had the opportunity to use what I learned.

"It was a presentation which involved a lot of last minute changes submitted by my boss over the previous 24 hours (not all of which I agreed with). So, going into this was even more potentially stressful.

"I was totally unfamiliar with the location (as I’m normally not allowed into the Executive Dining Room), so I could only get about 5 minutes of comfort with the space where I was going to present.

"What I learned from you really helped. I remembered that all those scary Execs were looking to me for help and they sincerely wanted the information I was to present. In fact, they needed my message. It had nothing to do with me.

"I used almost no notes and focused on my "story." In the end, things went well. My message was heard, they know what their responsibilities are, and I got good feedback from them on the topic at hand.

"My criteria for judging the success of a presentation has really changed. It may not have been a highly polished slick presentation, but it was relaxed conversational and effective. My objective was met. Thanks again for all your help. You made a difference!"

Yea, Leslie. Thanks for sharing.

Crutch vs. Safety Net

Dear Barb: "You talk about ‘crutch-free speaking.’ What’s wrong with a crutch if you need it?"

Well, if you need one, use it. I’d like your goal to be that you’ll stop needing a crutch, because you’ll never experience the joy of total freedom during a presentation using crutches. There’s always a bit of a "cliff-hanging" experience about those presentations.

There’s a big difference between a crutch and a safety net. The first restricts your freedom, the second releases it.

Perhaps you remember my saying that my rule for using notes (or any potential crutch) is the same as the rule for getting a bank loan: If you don’t need notes [the crutch], you can have them. Once you wean yourself from any given crutch and know you can live without it, then the presence of the object becomes a safety net that you can happily ignore, thus giving you your freedom.

I’m looking for you all to be happy, free speakers letting go of all the old "stuff" about speaking.

Quotes to Make You a Better Speaker

“Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can’t build on it; it’s only good for wallowing in.” —Katherine Mansfield

“What isn’t tried won’t work.” —Claude McDonald

“Duct tape is like the force: it has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.” —Unknown

“Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.” —Theodore Isaac Rubin, M.D.

“It is a funny thing about life. If you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it.” —W. Somerset Maughan

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

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

Booklets by Barbara Rocha:
$9.95 each (+$1.50 Shipping and Handling)
"Pocket Guide for Presenters"
103 pages

"60 Ways to Spark Your Speaking: Just in time answers to frequently asked questions"
154 pages

"Love to Talk/Hate to Speak: Selected articles by Barbara Rocha"
121 pages

Speeches on Tape:
"From Bored Room to Board Room" $10.95
"Stand Up and Stand Out" $10.95

"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

Learn more
Order Online
Call (888) 800-2001
E-mail: BouldinHil@aol.com
Write: Bouldin Hill Press at 17-555 Bubbling Wells Rd., Desert Hot Springs, CA 92241


**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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