Home  |  Order Now  
Tips and ResourcesPublications & Training AidsWorkshops & SeminarsBusiness & Corporate TrainingKeynote Speaking

About Barbara     |     Newsletters     |     Articles     |     Speaking Tips     |     Resources     |     Quotations 


Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the June 2007 Newsletter

Speaking at a Memorial Service

Over the years, several people have written to describe how the principles they learned in class had made it possible for them to speak of a loved one at a funeral service. One woman wrote, "I realized that if I worried about me, I wouldn’t be able to share with them just how wonderful Gram was. And that’s what got me through."

It’s a fine balance to visualize and describe experiences you remember sharing with that person without crossing the line into your emotional involvement. What that woman wrote about not getting in the way of the audience’s appreciation of her grandmother might help keep you on the right side of that line.

In addition to focusing on the individual’s life rather than on yourself, you might use humor, tell stories, or share a life lesson you learned from your love one.

Humor is usually a natural outcome of telling shared experiences and it helps keep everyone focused on the purpose of the gathering: to celebrate this person’s life. Sharing something he or she once said to you that was funny, or some silly thing you did or observed together and laughed about contribute to that celebration.

Telling stories also underscores that sense of celebration, stories that paint a picture by describing the situation and the characters. You bring warmth and assurance to your listeners as you recreate an experience you shared.

And if you have some life lesson you learned from them be sure to share that.

As you think about what to say, remember that whatever it is should make people think, "Yes, that’s Matilda, all right."

Whatever speaking you’re called on to do, when you apply the principles you learned in class you will give your audience what they need — and they’ll support you, too.

First Person

Dawn Stone, Manager Financial Services, Alcon Labs:

"I used some of what you went over in class today when I taught an in-house version of ‘Finance for non-financial people’ for Technical Service group. I actually didn’t get nervous at all and may have made them understand what I was saying. And you know what a big deal that is for me considering how I felt about speaking when I arrived at your class last week.

"I am sure that I will be able to use other things from the class as well."

How Do You Keep the Audience Awake?

"How do you keep people awake and interested during highly technical presentations?"

It’s easier if they’re all eagerly awaiting the information, but unless it’s a very small audience that doesn’t apply to everyone.

Technical information shouldn’t inherently be boring even though there are endless possibilities for making it so. It helps to start with the mind set that it doesn’t have to be boring. Then, you must refuse to be bored. Avoid this sad state of affairs for everyone.

If someone wants to know something, you’ve got them hooked. So, take the time to discover why they might want to know anything about your presentation and design your message around that. Now you’ve made it about them so of course they’ll listen.

Technical presentations tell a story; think about what the story is, what the outcome will be, how it accomplishes a goal, where it intersects with your audience’s interests and needs.

If the audience is mixed as to their interest, that raises other issues. And if any of you want help with that, send me an e-mail.

Returning to the original question — awake and interested. If they’re interested, they’ll stay awake. So, refuse to be bored, search out why the audience should care about the information, and develop a story line that makes it easy for them to engage.

Quotes to Make You a Better Speaker

“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

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

“Keep a fair-sized cemetery in your back yard, in which to bury the faults of your friends.” —Henry Ward Beecher

“Do not pray for dreams equal to your powers, pray for powers equal to your dreams.” —Anonymous

“Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The most thoroughly wasted of all days is that on which one has not laughed.” —Chamfort

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

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

View Current Newsletter
    October 2011

View Past Newsletters
    August 2011
    June 2011
    April 2011
    February 2011
    December 2010
    October 2010
    August 2010
    June 2010
    April 2010
    February 2010
    December 2009
    October 2009
    August 2009
    June 2009
    April 2009
    February 2009
    December 2008
    October 2008
    August 2008
    June 2008
    April 2008
    February 2008
    December 2007
    October 2007
    August 2007
    June 2007
    April 2007
    February 2007
    December 2006
    October 2006
    August 2006
    June 2006
    April 2006
    December 2005
    October 2005
    August 2005
    June 2005
    April 2005
    February 2005
    December 2004
    October 2004
    August 2004
    June 2004
    April 2004
    February 2004
    December 2003
    October 2003
    August 2003
    June 2003
    April 2003
    February 2003
    December 2002
    October 2002
    August 2002
    June 2002
    Summer 2002
    Spring 2002
    Winter 2002
    Summer 2001
    Spring 2001
    Winter 2001
    Summer 2000
    Winter 2000


Sign up online to receive our free quarterly newseletter by email. Sign up now.

About Barbara Rocha     |     Newsletter Signup     |     LinkedIn     |     Contact Info

Copyright© 2001-2010 Barbara Rocha and Associates