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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the June 2004 Newsletter

Wynton Marsallis, speaking, and you

Life is — or should be — like a good jazz session: everyone listening for how what we have to offer fits into the big picture.

As Wynton Marsallis (in Ken Burns' PBS special on jazz) described what it takes to make a jazz session work, he was describing what it takes to make a presentation work -- and just about anything else.

In jazz, each musician gives up a preconceived plan and becomes immersed in the moment. It's a pure sense of listening, of getting out of the way.

When we, as speakers, give ourselves over to confluence of our message, the audience, and what we bring to the table, the result is light years beyond what we get when we filter it through ourselves.

So when you think "presentation," think "jazz."

Dear Teach

Amy Pyle, Editor, The Sacramento Bee:

"I can't tell you how glad I was I had taken your course when I received an email from one of the publisher's assistants asking whether I needed any visuals for my speech at the 'key managers' (population 150) meeting on Monday. "What speech?" was my reply, because of course no one had bothered to tell me I was speaking!

"But instead of squeaking that response in terror, I felt confident that I could manage, whatever was expected of me. ('I'll be glad to!' went through my mind quite a few times that day.)

"The day arrived and the speaker before me took half my time. Since I was last up, I opted to do an abbreviated version of my own talk! I had come with a list of talking points, rather than a speech, and started with a small bit of humor, which made everyone laugh. So far, so good.

"I made real eye contact throughout the speech, even when it meant looking at the colleague who already had his stuff packed up and in his lap, ready to leave! At least he was listening and smiling. I was nervous, but less so than in the past and, for the most part, I don't think it affected my speech.

"Because I was worried about time, I skimmed over some key points, which led to a few obvious questions from the audience. And, I could answer them since they were part of my original speech!

"There were a couple of things I'd like to do better next time, but overall, I felt OK about it and, best yet, have received multiple e-mails and personal comments about the CONTENT of the speech (in addition to the very supportive 'atta boy' comments about delivery that came mostly from those in the audience who were fellow members of the three-day seminar.)

"That's the first time I've ever gotten feedback after the fact like that so, while I have a long way to go, I know your training made a huge difference.

"So this is a long way of saying THANKS, Barbara."

How loud should I be?

I'd have to be there to know the answer, but here's what I'd look for: Do they know they're speaking softly and is that their normal volume? Does your voice shatter the atmosphere and break the rhythm of the meeting? Do they have a mannerly or formal approach to life? Are they physically imposing?

They may not be aware they're speaking softly and not be measuring you by their actions. If they're disengaged, or uncomfortable with speaking it can affect their volume.

People who are physically imposing sometimes soften everything about themselves so as not to intimidate.

After looking at the situation as objectively as possible, modulate your voice to fit the situation, but don't focus on it to the point of losing your connection with your message and your audience. Better to be animated and a little louder than the others than to become wooden or ineffectual in trying to fit in.

Quotes to Make You a Better Speaker

True nobility isn't about being better than someone else. It's about being better than you used to be. —Wayne Dyer

Only those who risk going too far will ever know how far they can go. —Unknown

There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day. — Alexander Woolcott

A smile is contagious: be a carrier. —Unknown

There are two types of people — those who come into a room and say, "Well, here I am," and those who come in and say, "Ah, there you are." —Frederick Collins

The manner in which it is given is worth more than the gift. — Pierre Corneille

Life is short and it's up to you to make it sweet. —Sarah Louise Delany

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it falls due. —William Ralph Inge

A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs, jolted by every pebble in the road. —Henry Ward Beecher

A closed mouth gathers no feet. —Frank Callahan

Laughter shows us that we are more important than our problems. —Jose Ferrer

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. —Helen Keller

You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some people miss the message because they are too busy checking the spelling. —Maynard C. Carney

Family, friends, and freedom a rich man makes, while fools think money is all it takes. —Mike Redden

Teleseminars Anyone?

As we approach the launch of our Presentation Skills Teleseminar series, I'm inviting ideas and a show of interest. I'd love to hear from you. Please let me know soon at Barbara@GettingOverYourself.com if you'd like to dial your phone to get in on them. I promise to keep you in the loop.


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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