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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the August 2008 Newsletter

Is This Slide Necessary?

It’s so easy to use slides that don’t quite measure up: It’s easy to justify that they need to be on the screen; it takes less time than designing slides that really communicate better; it makes you feel like you’re doing a “real presentation.”

You’ve been on the receiving end of those Power Pointless slides so maybe you’d like to rethink how you’re using the screen.

Three critical questions to ask yourself about each slide: (1) Would I personally want to look at it? (Pleasing layout.) (2) What is the point of the slide? And finally, (3) Do I really need to use this slide?

A little focused thinking from your “been-there-and-suffered-through-it” audience’s point of view may save your presentation -- keep it from being mediocre or inaccessible.

If you’re showing a lot of detailed information on the screen and using a 9 point font, what is your reason? How will it help your audience understand and act on your message? It’s usually counterproductive. But if you really believe it’s the key to making this presentation successful, you should be able to make a compelling case for using it.

One test would be to ask yourself if you could convince me that it’s important to show it on the screen. (Call me and I’ll be happy to listen to your rationale.)

There’s only one way I can think of justifying a font that can’t be seen and read from the audience and it’s pretty rare.

If you’re using the slide for your notes, have the notes on paper, not on the screen. If your visuals really need all that detail, break it into 2 or 3 slides so you can bump up the font size.

If they need it for later reference or for legal reasons, put it in a handout.

Do yourself and your audience a favor: Use slides sparingly and effectively -- only when the audience needs them to get your point. And for everyone’s sake, make them easy to look at.

First Person

Forrest Banks, Past President, Johnson Engineering, Ft. Myers, FL:

“There is no way to measure the positive impact of your class on my net worth and the success of Johnson Engineering. Everything is so finite that just one little comment or gesture may be the one thing that launches your career or sends it the other way.

“I thought I knew most of it when I met you in San Francisco. I was just looking for a free trip. I got my money's worth many times over.

“Thanks.”

Thank you, Forrest, for sharing this. Since you took the class about 20 years ago, you are proof that the principles stick with you and continue to be supportive.

Dealing With Hostility

Dear Barb: “What are the best ways of dealing with a hostile/skeptical audience?”

This is a perennial favorite. When people in the audience try to protect their interests, it can look like hostility to the speaker.

The very best way to deal with hostility or skepticism is to handle it before trying to do anything else.

If you try to deliver your information as though the audience is receptive (whilst knowing they’re not), they won’t listen. They’ll see that you don’t care about them; you only care about your own agenda.

Spend time up front focusing on what you have in common, what aims you share, how you’re alike. Acknowledge their right to be skeptical -- why you, too, might be skeptical if you were in their place.

And don’t allow yourself to feel under attack. You’re there to help them with a problem. Stay focused on doing what it takes to help them and not on what could happen to you.

Your focus on caring about helping them will reduce the hostility and give you a chance to present your position.

Quotes to Make You a Better Speaker

“The two best physicians of them all--Dr. Laughter and Dr. Sleep.” —Gregory Dean, Jr., Physician

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

“Three words of praise will soften anybody’s heart.” —T.C. Lai

“When you dance with your customers, let them lead.” —Sam Walton

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

For more great quotes, check out these websites:

Orders

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.

Book
"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

Video
"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

Seminars

**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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