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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the June 2005 Newsletter

Searching for the Right Opening

Yes, a good opening does matter. You’ve got to get them to listen before you can make a difference.

Make it a habit to collect your own interesting tidbits so you have a reservoir of material. If you keep your eyes open, the possibilities are everywhere.

Many of you are familiar with the specialty market Trader Joe’s. In their most recent “Fearless Flyer” 24-page description of various new products, I noticed some eye-catching openings, several of which I'm going to share in this space. These are lessons, examples—perhaps not directly applicable to your subject in content, but probably in style.

“A good steak is like a work of art. Only better. After all, if you tried to eat the Mona Lisa you'd surely be arrested.”
“We can't help but be excited about this product. It’s simple, yet complex, frozen, yet fresh-tasting, delicious, yet…well, it’s just delicious.”
“Because we think about food, well, all the time, we started wondering…could we find a way to make our Tri-Tip even better than it already was? If you’ve eaten our Tri-Tip, you're probably thinking this is a nearly impossible task.”
“Some people call it bulgogi while others prefer Bool Kogi. If you’re unsure of which name to use, why not just call it Korean Style BBQ Sauce? We did.”
“You might not initially see anything different about our bananas, but we’re going to let you in on a little trade secret…”
“People often ask us how we can sell imported Italian Pasta for a mere 69 cents a pound. The answer is simple—volume.”
“Would you believe us if we told you that, ounce for ounce, Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Raisins are less expensive in 2005 than they were in 1993? It's true.”

These examples could serve as models for opening your own presentation. If you are one of the first 3 people to e-mail me a suggestion for using one of these in a potential business presentation I will send you a free copy of one of my new tips booklets.

Dear Teach

I’m currently attending Highline Community College where one of my classes is “Speech 100.” Your web site has helped me out a lot. I did my first speech presentation last Thursday; your web site information saved me.

You're Ready...and They Aren't

Question: “What do you do when your audience is talking and not paying attention when you're ready to start?”

Answer:First, use the time to collect your thoughts and remember the purpose of the meeting and what you intend to do. Breathe and focus. Next, arrange your posture in speaker mode: you’re in charge, so be sure you feel it and look it. And expect to bring them to attention.

Look around the room, focusing on a few people, one at a time, and if you catch people’s eye, those may help quiet the others.

You can say, “Hi,” using people’s names, which can forward the process.

And you can say, “Good morning,” sounding like you mean it, and continue looking around at people with an attitude of expectancy and joy. No school teacher disciplinarian attitude allowed here.

If they’re truly unruly, keep the same upbeat attitude and use your creativity to startle them into attention. I'm not above bribing people. Throw little candy treats at all those who are ready to start, for instance.

Don’t be in a rush, just be eager to get started.

Quotes can make it lively

Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times. —Aeschylus

You don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note. —Doug Floyd

Business is a lot like a game of tennis -- those who serve well usually end up winning. —Anonymous

The great leaders are like the best conductors -- they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players. —Blaine Lee

I rate enthusiasm even above professional skill. —Sir Edward Appleton

The best measure of a man’s honesty isn't his income tax return. It’s the zero adjust on his bathroom scale. —Arthur C. Clarke

It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits. —Charles A. Jaffe

People will buy anything that is “one to a customer.” —Sinclair Lewis

For more great quotes, check out these websites:


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

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The "Getting Over Yourself" book on audiotape read by the author ($17.95) or CD ROM ($19.95).

Booklets by Barbara Rocha:
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"Pocket Guide for Presenters"
103 pages

"60 Ways to Spark Your Speaking: Just in time answers to frequently asked questions"
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"Love to Talk/Hate to Speak: Selected articles by Barbara Rocha"
121 pages

Speeches on Tape:
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"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

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**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:

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(626) 792-8075

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