Getting Over Yourself

August 30, 2009

You can prepare and still be nervous

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 9:58 am
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Preparing for a presentation is a good thing, but it doesn’t always get rid of nervousness. I’ve worked with hundreds of people who were nervous even though they had spent a lot of time preparing. The reason: You can prepare for weeks and never focus. Because you’re staying on the surface of your material, you’re not really absorbing your message. Therefore, you’re worried about knowing it and are nervous.

The key: Focus during your prep time. You’ll save valuable time and alleviate your nervousness–because you’re actually clear on your message.

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August 20, 2009

Myth #9 “Start with a joke”

Filed under: Myths,Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 11:49 am
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There are some good reasons for starting with a joke–and probably more good reasons for not.

Reasons for: Get the audience in a good mod; have them laughing with you; get their attention; make yourself feel comfortable because of all the above.

Reasons against: Can’t tell jokes well; can’t remember them, coan’t find one that relates to the subject; can’t connect it effectively to the topic; nobody laughs.

Fortunately, all the reasons in favor of starting with a joke can be accomplished some other way.

You can warm up the audience by knowing who they are, crafting your message to meeting their needs, and by opening with something relevant to them that is catchy.

Amusing things that have happened to you or at your workplace are easy to remember and easy to say. A startling fact will get their attention. A relevant bumper sticker, ad or quotation can be easy to remember and connect you to your audience.  These can be amusing and attention getting and you don’t run the risk of everyone all ready knowing the joke, or worse, not laughing.

Jokes are okay as long as you don’t forget the punch line, they relate to your topic, and it doesn’t bother you if no one laughs. Otherwise, consider one of the many other ways to open your talk; they’ll connect you with your audience and you eliminate the risks of starting with a joke.

August 14, 2009

Nervousness is a choice

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 8:57 am
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Nervousness doesn’t seem like a choice because it’s such an automatic and long-standing response to giving a speech. So, it’s a kind of default choice. We’re unconsciously choosing to focus on ourselves instead of on how we can help the audience with our message. If you want to avoid being nervous, make the right choice. Keep your focus on helping the audience.

August 10, 2009

Myth #8: Picture the Audience Naked

Filed under: Myths — Barbara Rocha @ 10:36 pm
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A participant told me he’d tried it one time. It was darned distracting.

The basic flaw here is it implies you have to make the audience inferior in some way in order to be good enough to speak to them. Wrong premise. It’s tough to connect if you’re struggling to control your demons by trashing the audience.

Your time is much better spent learning enough about who they are that you can see why they need your information and how they can use it.  You’ll feel a sense of equality and make that connection to them that’s so vital to the success of your presentation.

Rather than picture them naked, picture them receptive. It’s more effective and less distracting.

It’s Not About You!

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 10:23 pm
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What we look and sound like isn’t particularly important to others. They are more interested in themselves.

Adrenaline vs. Nervousness

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 3:44 pm
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You can give a good energetic presentation without being nervous. Adrenaline and nervousness aren’t synonymous.

Your adrenaline kicks in when you’re looking forward to something, so you’ll naturally be energetic about doing whatever it is. Nervousness tends to be more negative and may mean you’re not looking forward to the occasion.

Be interested in your topic and look forward to sharing it with your audience and that positive adrenaline will be right there to support you.

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