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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the October 2003 Newsletter

George W and You

If George W. Bush could get the concept of being invisible, his ratings would be even higher. He's proved that he can do it, now he only has to conquer the principles that made it happen so he can duplicate those.

Who can forget his passionate declarations at the scene of the World Trade Center disaster? And the freedom with which he sometimes expresses himself in intimate interviews? Those are the occasions when he is most compelling.

Remembering Nike's slogan, "Either you're in the zone, or you're in the way," President Bush at the World Trade Center was a fine example of being in the zone.

When he's not in the zone, it's easier to notice the shifting from leg to leg behind the lectern and leaning on it, and unnecessary facial movements.

And it's the same with us. The times we're in the zone, we give a peak performance and the audience is more likely to be moved to our point of view. When we're not, they're more likely to notice body language, poor choice of words, and grooming flaws.

Whether you're the president of the United States, or making a business presentation, being in the zone and making yourself invisible will make you more comfortable, more effective, and your message more memorable.

Regaining Lost Audience

What are some strategies for dealing with an audience when you've already lost the connection?

The best strategy is to deal with it before you're ever in front of the audience: know your audience and how they feel about your subject, and be well willing to let go of the preparation phase before entering the room that is, keep your focus on them rather than you.

Walk in with a sense of respect and willingness to listen to them even if it's not expected to be interactive.

Most audience connections are lost through carelessness: the speaker takes the audience for granted instead of focusing on connecting before trying to impart information.

It doesn't have to take long, it just needs to happen: see them as individuals, pay attention as you meet them and as you speak, and make your first words interesting and appropriate to the audience.

Now, about after-the-fact lost connections, you've got to acknowledge it in some way (not pretend everything's okay) and certainly not try to defend yourself or your position.

It's hard to say, "I think I've blown it." Or, "Oh no, my mother told me there'd be days like this." But if you know the connection has been lost, they do, too. And you'll get more respect (and the possibility of repairing the connection), if you throw yourself on their mercy in some appropriate (and nonblubbering) way.

Establish the connection before attempting to move ahead.

Quotes to Make You Better

Charles Jehlinger, acting coach:

Only definite thought makes definite speech.

The great lesson: to eliminate self; to serve gloriously, freely and gladly.

The fellow who underrates himself is as the one who overrates himself, for he is using the same amount of self-thought.

Don't let yourself be a fool and just pronounce words. Mean something.

Being interested in your own work, in your personal progress is the greatest obstacle to progress.

You'll never improve as long as you try.

You must have freedom from thoughts of self.

Trying to avoid making mistakes is the biggest mistake you can make. Don't be afraid.

You must be relaxed in the "upper story" all the time. Don't tighten your brain for a second.

You must keep your audience constantly interested. They will not be interested unless you are.

Finish each sentence completely before you start the next.

There is nothing more effective than a pause that is filled with thought and emotion. Nothing more fatal than a pause that is not, that is just a dead place in the play.

Get everything you can out of what you are saying at the moment. Don't bother about what is coming next.


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"Getting Over Yourself: A Guide to Painless Public Speaking...and More" by Barbara Rocha 208 pages, illustrated, cartoons $19.95

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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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