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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the October 2004 Newsletter

Getting Started

You've been assigned a presentation and, as usual, you're too busy to do it.

The easiest thing is to sit down at the computer and open PowerPoint. The easiest. But not the most productive.

If you want to save yourself some time and anxiety, resist the urge and commit to a few minutes of focusing. Hard as that may sound in the midst of your busy schedule, you'll be glad you did and so will your audience.

Instead of thinking about what you're going to say, how many slides you're going to use, where you're going to get the data you need, and how you're going to keep your job, take a few minutes to do this:

First, identify your audience. Who will you be talking to and what are their interests, needs, attitudes, and knowledge level?

Now, figure out your subject. What are you going to be talking about? Not what are you going to say, but what is your subject?

And third, decide what you want them to do as a result of your talking to them? (Or what does your boss want as a result?) Why are you talking to them?

That's it. Before you ever do anything about organizing your ideas, know who you're talking to; what you're talking about; and why you're talking to them.

Just those three things will help you organize more efficiently, effectively, and in less time. Your talk will be easier to deliver because you've got a grasp on the big picture, you'll be clearer on what actually needs (and doesn't need) to be included, and you have a much sounder basis for choosing slides.

Remember Alice in Wonderland? "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

Dear Teach

Katherine Wong, Executive Assistant, Edison International:

"Thank you for being our guest speaker today. As usual, your advice is invaluable. It always opens up new doors or sheds new lights on the inquiring mind.

"As I mentioned, I expanded my public speaking and ventured into the media world. I became the occasional in-language (Chinese) spokesperson for our company reaching out to Chinese customers through radio or TV interviews. Without attending your 3-day workshop, I would have never thought that I can be a speaker, let alone a spokesperson. Although still a novice, I welcome and enjoy the opportunities to speak and, I think I do better every time."

Ask for Feedback?

Question: At the end of the presentation, do you suggest asking for feedback on content, delivery, style?

Answer: That depends. If you don't "make the sale," whether it's the sale of an idea, a product or a service, definitely tell them you'd appreciate knowing if there's something you could have done differently that would have helped your cause.

In other situations, asking for feedback could be counterproductive: you could cause them to stop thinking about your message and start focusing on you.

This is a case by case basis. Be open to the idea of asking, be willing to consider making changes, and then make your decision with the audience's best interests in mind.

Quotes to Make You a Better Speaker

Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself. —Michel de Montaigne

The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled. —Andrew Carnegie

A gold medal is a nice thing - but if you're not enough without it, you'll never be enough with it. —From Cool Runnings

If I am not for myself, who will be? —Pirke Avoth

Once you become self-conscious, there is no end to it; once you start to doubt, there is no room for anything else. —Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates his fate. —Henry David Thoreau

There are offences given and offences not given but taken. —Izaak Walton

Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. —Veronica A. Shoffstall, "After a While," 1971

It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself. —Epicurus

If you must love your neighbor as yourself, it is at least as fair to love yourself as your neighbor. —Nicholas de Chamfort

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you. —African Proverb

Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people. —Andréé Dubus

For Your Bookmarks

Here are few online resources for quotes you may want to check out:


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

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