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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the June 2008 Newsletter

Attitude and breathing

Maybe it all boils down to two basics: Attitude and breathing.

Your attitude about your subject, yourself, and your audience all count. Regardless of what your boss, your second grade teacher, or your auto mechanic might think about any of those, itís your personal outlook and attitude that governs any given speech or presentation. Their words or actions may tempt you to go off track; itís still your choice as to which way to go. It may be challenging but make the right choice about your attitude and you'll be much happier with the results.

Because breathing seems automatic we donít pay enough attention to it -- especially in front of an audience. There are just so many other things to think about. But remember, breathing is your friend.

Focus on your breathing for a few moments before you start speaking (yes, while youíre standing in front of your audience) and I promise youíll be off and running with confidence.

Youíll slow your heart rate
Youíll have a moment to focus on your first words
Your mind will engage
Youíre more likely to see your audience
Youíll feel more comfortable and in control of yourself
Youíre less likely to forget what you want to say
Itís easier to stay in the moment
And more

Attitude counts and keep breathing.

First Person

Tracey Burns, Loan Officer, Century Housing Corporation:

“I really couldn't stop talking about the seminar and how it changed my whole perception on speaking because its not about me and I don't need to try to impress anyone!!! I have the card you gave me right on my computer to remind me of all we did in class.”

Sentences on slides?

Dear Barb: “Is it okay to use sentences on a slide summarizing the presentation?”

Here are five reasons I think sentences are counterproductive:

  • Whether youíre using full sentences on the screen during the presentation or on a summary slide, the audience still has to process the information.
  • Itís distracting to have it on the screen as youíre talking.
  • Itís unlikely you, as the speaker, will be quiet long enough to let the audience read it.
  • It can annoy the audience because youíre making them work too hard.
  • The summary is your last chance to connect with your audience as you make your point. That human connection has a more lasting effect on the outcome than the words on the slide ever can.

The purpose of a slide is to give the audience an “aha” and sentences donít have that effect. If your listeners need the full sentence treatment, put it in a handout.

Quotes to Make You a Better Speaker

“Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position fails, your ego goes with it.” —Colin Powell

“Kindness is the universal language that all people understand.” —Jake Gaither

“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” —Robert Louis Stevenson

“You'll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.” —Irish Proverb

“A silent voice is music to the ears.” —Irish Proverb

“No matter how good you get you can always get better and that's the exciting part.” —Tiger Woods

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
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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:

Barbara Rocha and Associates

PO Box 60521, Pasadena, California 91116

(626) 792-8075

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