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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the June 2003 Newsletter

One on one vs. one to group

Are you one of those who says, "I'm really good one on one, but I hate talking to a group?"

Then you'll be happy to find out that the things you do well that make you comfortable and effective one on one are the same things that will work for you in front of a group. All it takes is a change in attitude, and understanding what it is you do that works well in conversation.

Here are 3 things that work well in conversation that are equally effective when speaking to a group. And all 3 are things you do naturally under certain circumstances.


One that matters to your audience. Admittedly, there are times in conversation when we're just searching for connections and a point is irrelevant.

But in really fine conversations we stay focused on making our point and if we're smart and want to be effective, we couch our our arguments in the other person's terms. It's the same with speaking.


In a conversation, we don't usually feel pressured to say certain material in a given time. And when we don't feel pressured, the thoughts flow. We allow ourselves to focus on the point and aren't disturbed by searching for words or lengthy pauses.

(To compensate for this leisurely approach, be sure to organize your material to take less than the allotted time.)

So in a presentation take your time. Allow yourself to breathe and think just as you do in conversation and you'll find you can stay on top of your message.


When you're engaged in a meaningful conversation, a large part of the impact of your words is the passion, focus and conviction with which you speak.

If you don't care about the conversation, or if you're distracted by something, you're just filling the air with sound. To bring that energy to your presentations, gather the same kind of focus you exhibit in those meaningful conversations.

You have the power to control your focus; do it. Refuse to be distracted by worrying about consequences or the possibility of failure. Your conviction goes a long way toward engaging theirs.

Stay focused on your communication and not on you. Care about conveying your message and it will show in your voice.

Use these principles of conversation in every presentation and you'll be effective in front of groups as well as one-on-one. And you'll enjoy it, too.

First person

Fred Thatcher, Marketing Consultant, Corporate Brand Services, Inc.:

"It was wonderful to see the improvement people made during the three days in your seminar. It must give you great satisfaction. Can you imagine how many additional salary dollars have been generated by all the people you have helped?

"I've been thinking all morning about your seminar. It suddenly hit me that I'm planning my phone calls more carefully before I make them. I find myself developing an opening, creating a bridge, making my point , supporting it, and then closing. Even though there is back and forth conversation, I try to cover those areas and I think it really works."

How do you properly accept an award?

Graciously. Trying to figure out how to look appropriately humble will not make you invisible.

Remember how uncomfortable it is when you compliment someone on their nice jacket and they say, "Oh this old thing?" They've just said you have no taste and you're sorry you said anything.

Just so with an award: Be grateful someone appreciates excellence, or feels as strongly about this cause as you do, or recognizes the need to keep people focused on a worthwhile goal.

And just as in every other speaking situation: it's not about you. Stay focused on why people would want to recognize accomplishments in this field. On how much you believe in the project or organization. And your gratitude for the recognition.

You don't have to worry about looking humble if you remember that there's no way you could have accomplished this by yourself. There were some helping hands along the way (baby sitting for your kids, picking up the slack in your regular work load, a grant) that made it possible for you to do such a good job.

Think of that, and thank those people and the audience with a gracious generous spirit and they'll all feel good about your getting it.

It's Contest Time

Send your ideas on how one or more of the following statements could be used in a presentation. Submit the best entry and we'll send you a free pocket guide of proven ways to spark your speaking.

  1. Indecision is the key to flexibility.
  2. You can't tell which way the train went by looking at the track.
  3. There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation.
  4. The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant.
  5. The careful application of terror is also a form of communication.
  6. Someone who thinks logically is a nice contrast to the real world.
  7. I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.
  8. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
  9. Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.
  10. The trouble with life is, you're halfway through it before you realize it's a do-it-yourself thing.

Send your entries to Barbara@BarbaraRocha.com


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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