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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the June 2009 Newsletter

Balance This

Balanced life/work; balanced nutrition, balanced investments, but wait; why not balanced speeches and presentations?

The overall structure of any presentation needs to be balanced: Your opening and your closing need to take up about the same amount of time, and your main points should also be fairly equally balanced. Balance also includes connecting your closing remarks to your opening so it feels like you’ve come full circle. This is true in both entertaining and business talks.

In business talks:

If there are other speakers on the schedule, your talk should present a balance with theirs in content and time (although shorter is usually a good goal).

Within your own time on the platform, there needs to be balance between facts and actual application of the facts. A balance between slow and fast, that is things that need to be thought about and remembered and those that are quickly absorbed. It’s also helpful to have a balance between serious and light.

As with everything else in effective presentations, it’s easier to know if you’re achieving that balance if you get out of the way and look objectively at the ideas you’re presenting and the results you hope to achieve.

First Person

Dominique McCafferty:

“I learned so much in your workshop! I'm still processing it all! I never imagined I'd say this, but I can't wait to start speaking in front of people! I'll be back for more.”

Use the Lectern?

“When speaking as a guest at an association event where many people use the lectern, do you use it or not use it?”

Here’s the real question: Which gives you the best opportunity to connect with your audience and make your point?

It’s not about your preference or fear of being different or fear of coming out of hiding.

In some cases, because of the occasion, the subject, or the audience, it might be appropriate to use the lectern. But it should never be a crutch.

In your question, you referenced “many people” using the lectern. If some aren’t speaking from behind the lectern, how does the audience respond? Are the speakers doing it to impress the audience or just to be different? Or, on the other hand, do they seem to be making a natural connection with the audience?

It’s easier to be objective and observe this if you’re not presenting. And, if you’re looking for it, you can tell when it works and when it doesn’t.

If you’re doing it for the right reasons, it will work and it won’t seem odd.

Quotes to Make You a Better Speaker

“Now and then itís good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” —Guillaume Apollinaire, French poet

“Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” —St. Francis of Assisi

“A lie has speed, but truth has endurance.” —Edgar J. Mohn

“Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.” —W.B. Yeats

“Keep courtesy and consideration for others foremost in your mind.” —John Wooden

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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