Excerpted from the June 2002 Newsletter
Using your space
Do you ever feel unnoticed? Unappreciated? Unheard?
Might you just as well be invisible?
Maybe you've decided it's because of what you look like or who
you are and it just makes you feel mad or frustrated.
There are two kinds of invisible one results in your being
ignored and overlooked based on your audience's biases and
assumptions or on the vibes you give off. The other focuses
people on your ideas, having the potential to sidestep personal
While we can't reprogram other people's thinking, we can
substantially increase our chances of focusing people on our
ideas by filling our allotted space not too much, not too little,
but just right.
A small gift delivered in a large box looks awkward and
insignificant. A huge present overflowing that same box looks
equally out of place. Both invite distraction quite apart from the
value of the gift. But when the present comfortably fills the box,
there's no such distraction and all attention focuses on the gift.
It's the same with us. If we take up our full space not more nor
less the audience can focus on our gift: the message.
And that's why these things are vital: a good handshake, firm
grip, but no bone crusher; interested focused eye contact, but no
staring; strong voice, not whispering, not shouting; solid sure
posture and gestures and a mind focused on the ideas.
Are you taking up your full space? Not too much, not too little,
but just right.
"What I am is good enough if I would only be it openly." --
Fred Martinez, Production, San Francisco Chronicle: "I recently
had to deliver a eulogy for my mother. I've never had to do
anything like this before and wasn't sure how to handle it. Then
I remembered your tip about taking the standpoint that 'I have
some information I'd like to share with you' and it really made
the eulogy easier to present to the attendees.
"I know The Lord helped calm my spirit but your class gave me
the confidence I needed to pay tribute to my mother.
"Thank you Barbara, your class really worked!"
Kim Schafer, Pediatrics Coordinator, Advanced Bionics Corporation: "Well, as with all presentations, changes have to
be made as you go along. With the group I had it turned into
constant Q & A, but they left with answers to their very
important questions and I felt good about it. That is what counts.
I am sure I used my hands much better and have cleaned up the
"Thanks for your help."
Jaime Romero, Manager Data Storage, Teradata A division of
NCR: "Thanks for the great presentation skills seminar. The
things that I am currently using are the idea that 'it is not about
me' and also pausing in order to get focused. Getting ahead of
myself only leads to using 'UHs.' I am definitely watching out not
to get ahead of myself. The whole process of thinking that I
want to share information with the audience has a soothing
effect that helps me feel at ease when speaking.
"You have provided many tips that will surely make me an
"As they say, practice makes perfect. Well, at least better."
Dealing with dominators
"What is the best way to deal with individuals who continually
use class time to try to get their own problems solved?"
While we could admire someone for trying to make the training
session as personally useful as possible, it's not fair to everyone
else to depart from the agenda.
Give the other participants a chance to weigh in on whether the
topic is relevant to them. To the participant: "That sounds
challenging." To the class: "Is that something that you'd all like
to spend some time discussing?"
Or: "That's a pretty specific case of our general topic. If we're
going to get you out of here on time, we're going to need to stay
on the agenda. But I can stay afterwards to talk about it with
you. And any of the other participants who have ideas can offer
them at that time."
Or: "That sounds like a mess. Would you write your question on
a sticky note and post it on the question board? Class, would
you read it over at the break and if you have any suggestions you
can share them then."
Try including these in your presentations
"Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others
have let go."
"Happiness is a by-product of an effort to make someone else
-- Gretta Brooker Palmer
"Advice would be more acceptable if it didn't always conflict
with our plans."
"If you want happiness for an hour take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day -- go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year -- inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime -- help someone else."
-- Chinese Proverb
"To every disadvantage there is a corresponding advantage."
-- W. Clement Stone
"Our real blessings often appear to us in the shapes of pains,
losses and disappointments; but let us have patience, and we
soon shall see them in their proper figures."
-- Joseph Addison
"Fear less, hope more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Hate less, love more;
And all good things are yours."
"If your house is on fire, warm yourself by it."
-- Spanish Proverb
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."
-- Anais Nin
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
"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"
"60 Ways to Spark Your Speaking: Just in time answers to
frequently asked questions"
"Love to Talk/Hate to Speak: Selected articles by Barbara
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
Call (888) 800-2001
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
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
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