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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the December 2002 Newsletter

Stick the landing

Right up there in importance to not starting to speak until you're focused, is sticking the landing. Stick the landing just as they do in gymnastics.

If you don't stick the landing in gymnastics, you don't get a gold medal. And the same is true in your presentation.

Inner stillness is highly to be prized in a presenter: it gives you the ability to pause before you start, to regroup when that's needed, and the presence of mind to stay focused as the end of your presentation draws near.

Often a little gremlin slips in just before the finish, crooning that siren song of defeat: "I'm almost through." Or, "I made it." And then we're lost because we're back to thinking about ourselves.

That's all it takes, a moment of split focus, and we may forget the closing or rush through it and race to sit down. Uh-oh. That makes you highly visible. Stay focused and stick the landing.

Construct the close so you can easily focus on a single, focused, useful message. Think of it as your message on a bumper sticker. Be sure it's designed with the audience in mind. Make it something likely to commit them to action.

Pause before you close. It gets the audience ready for the conclusion and gives you a chance to be fully focused before speaking.

Deliver this summarizing, energizing close with full focus. After you've finished the last word, stay focused on the message and look at 2 or 3 other people before you let go of it.

For greatest impact, longest retention and best possibility of action from your audience: Stick the landing.

"Fear makes you hurry. Poise lets you pause."
Jessica Somers Driver

Dear teach

Imelda Bickham, Director of Information Services, City of Glendale:

"Thank you for giving me one of the most precious presents I've received: permission to stop focusing on myself and to stop worrying about what others think of me. I have no words to explain what happened inside me. It's almost as if I had attended an intensive group therapy session with you and the other students.

"As I think back on the 'aha' moments I had during the class, I have came to realize with a bit of sadness how much I've missed for being focused on the wrong things not just while speaking to groups but in many other areas of my life.

"I've begun to put in place changes that will keep this wonderful feeling alive. I already agreed to participate in a technology conference plenary session. I also went to my first Toastmasters meeting and signed up to become a member. I guess you could say I'm becoming more at ease in my own skin."

First person

Gregg G. Sauter, Pharmaceutical Division Manager, Turner Construction Company:

"I want to express my appreciation for the 2 days that I was able to attend [your class]. The 'constructs' of going beyond one's self and identifying with the needs of our audience will forever transform the effectiveness of our presentations. It was a pleasure meeting you and many thanks for your contributions!!"

Comfortable when I'm sitting

"It puzzles me why we can interact with each other while sitting down and be at ease but when we stand in front of the class we become so nervous."

When sitting, we don't feel responsible for getting it right; we're just one of the group.

There's something about standing up that indicates to us this is important. Everyone is expecting great things. It better be good.

Since one of the things that causes so much discomfort in people is the feeling that everyone's looking at us, that feeling alone causes our good judgment and best intentions to fly away.

It helps a lot to remember that even though it feels as though they're looking at us, people are focused on themselves and simply turned in your direction to see what you're going to do for them, rather like baby birds waiting to be fed.

It also helps to pause and breathe, focusing on the message of the moment and looking at them with the recognition they're the same people they were moments before as you conversed with them from your seat.

Try including these in your presentations

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

"The world is governed more by appearance than realities so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it." Daniel Webster

"Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save." Will Rogers

"Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams." Mary Ellen Kelly

"Parents often talk about the younger generation as if they didn't have anything to do with it." Haim Ginott

"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." Unknown

"Society honors its living conformists and its dead troublemakers." Mignon McLaughlin

"The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The chief obstacle to the progress of the human race is the human race." Don Marquis, 1878-1937

"I love mankind; it's people I can't stand." Charles Schultz by way of Lucy Van Pelt

"One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." Elbert Hubbard

"Technology...the knack of so arranging the world that we don't have to experience it." Max Frisch

Interesting Websites

You can find odd bits and pieces at these two websites: AbsoluteTrivia.com and uselessfacts.net.


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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