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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the December 2004 Newsletter

Those First Words

Over the years I’ve observed that the one thing that could lead to a stronger, more confident presentation (besides, “It’s not about you”), is not starting to speak until you’re ready, that is, until you’re focused.

It’s also clear that most people think if they pause and take the time to be focused and breathing before starting, that the audience will judge them as unprepared or even unprofessional. But it’s really quite the opposite. If you have the confidence and poise to take a moment to acknowledge to themselves where they are, who they are, and why they’re there, and to see and include the audience, you’ll appear more credible. And you’ll be more likely to deliver the message you had in mind.

A good example of this is the high divers in the Olympics who stand and wait until they’re ready to dive. We’re not distressed watching them just stand there. In fact, whether we’re conscious of it or not, we expect them to take that time. We’d most likely think them foolish and uncaring if they didn’t.

What makes it difficult is the tendency to let our thought scatter to the consequences of not getting the presentation right. And it’s the scattering that does us in.

Once you commit to the importance of being mentally ready before you start to speak, it won’t take long at all. Take a moment to be sure you’re in your right mind and you know your purpose. Look at the audience and see them as participants with you in this activity. Now you’re ready to deliver those first words.

Dear Teach

Don Jaresh, Red Bull General Manager, Andrews Distributing of North Texas:

“I attended a 3 day class you taught a couple of years ago in San Francisco that has made a significant difference in my career. Although I am certainly committing many of the same presenting fouls that I was before, I do know that my speaking and presenting is much more engaging and crisp.

“Among many things, you taught me to focus on the delivery of the message, because ultimately it wasn't about me at all. And once I internalized that, I have become a much more effective speaker.

“Thanks for your wisdom and tough coaching.”

Lively Technical Presentations

Question: “How do you keep people awake and interested during highly technical presentations?”

Answer: Spend more time thinking about how the audience is going to use the information. A popular song last year, “I Want to Talk About Me” could easily be applied to any audience, and it’s what will help you decide what to put in and leave out.

Looking at the presentation from the audience’s point of view makes it easier to organize and easier to deliver.

A presentation isn’t about how much information you can squeeze into it, or about telling the audience everything you know about the subject. It’s about helping the audience apply the information to their own needs and experience.

Determining who they are and how your information applies to them will go a long way towards keeping them awake.

Tell them what they need and want to know -- and make sure they know why they need it; deliver as much as possible in a conversational manner; limit the slides to only those needed to accomplish your purpose; keep them uncluttered and as visual as possible; be interested in your subject as you deliver it; and stay connected with the audience.

You’ll be singing their song, “I Want to Talk About Me.”

Quotes to Make You a Better Speaker

Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire. —Reggie Leach

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure. —Mark Twain

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all. —Anna Quindlen

Management is nothing more than motivating other people. —Lee Iacocca

We cannot achieve our wildest dreams by remaining who we are —John C. Maxwell

Knowing how to read people starts with self-awareness. —Alan J. Wallingford

Admitting fault is one the best tools for building relationships. —Michael Bailey

If today was to be your last day, would you regret your attitude yesterday? —Trevor Jensen

The man who is too old to learn was probably always too old to learn. —Caryl Haskins

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We turn not older with years, but newer every day. —Emily Dickinson

The only thing standing between you and what you want is the support of other people.—David J. Swartz

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. — Dr. Seuss


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
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Call (888) 800-2001
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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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