Getting Over Yourself

January 29, 2010

Don’t take yourself too seriously

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 12:13 pm
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I love the old saying, “Don’t take life too seriously. No one gets out alive.”

Taking yourself too seriously destroys your focus. That’s always true and certainly it’s true when you’re speaking.

Keep your focus where it belongs (on helping your audience) and forget about trying to impress the audience. In the end, they’re more likely to be impressed if you’ve answered their questions, addressed their concerns, solved their problems.

So, you’ve solved your problem and theirs just by staying appropriately focused.

January 17, 2010

“What would you do for Klondike bar?”

Filed under: Observations,Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 12:14 pm
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The message that you’d do whatever it takes for an amazing outcome like a Klondike bars, is pretty much the same in life. When the outcome is important enough to you, you don’t think about the steps you’ll have to take to get there, you just do it. You keep your eye on the prize.

It’s the same for speaking. Stay focused on the outcome–what you want to accomplish, what you want the audience to do–and the speaking ceases to be an issue.

You can do this. The outcome you want is more likely to happen and you’ll feel much better while you’re speaking.

January 7, 2010

Avoid the “open mouth, insert foot” syndrome

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 11:25 am
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It happens all the time: the speaker gets rattled at seeing all those faces “staring” and just starts talking. The result isn’t pretty. They throw in a lot of irrelevant comments about the meal, the weather, or anything else that passes through their unfocused consciousness. They don’t know what they’re saying and it comes across as unnecessary chatter (sometimes pretty close to babbling)–not confident and not effective.

The solution is simple (not necessarily easy to do, at first, but simple): Don’t open your mouth until your brain is in gear. Breathe, see the audience, think of what you want to say. It really doesn’t take that long to do. But what a difference. You’ll feel it immediately. You’ll feel much more confident. And you’ll stay on track.

It takes a little discipline to not allow your mouth to open until you’re actually conscious and focused. Big difference.

January 6, 2010

Don’t bore yourself

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 7:47 pm
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Countless presentations would be improved if the presenter refused to be bored.

It’s not unusual for someone to tell me they have these really boring numbers reports to give. If the presenter thinks it’s boring, there’s not much hope for the audience to be intrigued, interested or attentive.

Numbers reports really shouldn’t be boring because they tell a story. The story may be that we still have jobs, that we’re in trouble, that we need to change direction, that everything is on track, or any number of other things.

So, as the speaker, figure out what story your numbers tell. It will be easier for you to remember the thread of your presentation, easier for you to engage with your subject, and easier for your audience to stay focused.

Every subject has the possibility of being interesting. It’s your job to see what it is and use it to make your point. You and your audience will be much happier.

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