Getting Over Yourself

June 21, 2011

Making it through the Q and A in one piece

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 11:05 am
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Some people love answering questions because they feel on solid ground–they know they’re saying something the questioner is interested in. Others don’t like it because they’re afraid they’ll be asked something they don’t know.

So, the best mind set to have is that you’re there to help (whether you’re speaking or answering questions). If you don’t know the answer, maybe someone else in your audience does. It makes you look good if you’re not threatened by someone else’s knowledge plus the person got what they really wanted–the answer. It doesn’t have to come from you. You’re there to help.

The worst mistake I see people make in answering questions is not really listening to the question. They anticipate what they think the question is going to be, or what they hope it will be, or what they’re afraid it will be. And then they don’t hear what’s actually being asked. And that annoys the audience. They’d rather have you not know the answer than to have you not care about their question.

Pay attention to the questioner and you’ll be more likely to answer the real question plus you’ll be connecting with them because you’re paying attention–to them.

It’s a winner.

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June 14, 2011

Why are you using so many slides?

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 3:35 pm
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Again today, someone told me a sad story about poor presenting and too many slides. It’s an annual meeting where 15 speakers each speak for an hour (a 2-day meeting) and bore everyone with their content, their delivery and their slides. It’s not that hard to be interesting–if you’d just think about it with your logical mind and from the point of view of your audience. Get out of your own way and stop worrying about looking good. Focus on helping your audience and on making it easy for them to pay attention. And as your audiences get younger, they’re less bothered about needing to appear polite. They’ve been conditioned–perhaps by their parents, certainly by ever-present technology and media to just tune you out if you’re not capturing their attention.

When you use slides, have a better reason for using them than that everyone else is using them. And, if you’re using them for your notes you’re not fooling anyone. You’ll put too much on them and then be attached to them because you’re afraid you’ll leave something out. And now you’ve lost your connection with your audience.

Design them to help your audience and they’ll be more interesting, plus, they’ll help you, too. Too much information on slides distracts you and the audience. And too many slides overwhelms. These are supposed to be visual aids. Aids. Not your presentation.

Keep them to a minimum. Not more than one slide for every two minutes is good. Not more than ten an hour is even better.

Work on interacting with your audience, engaging them, and only use the slides that will help make that happen.

June 7, 2011

Get over yourself, Anthony Weiner

Filed under: Observations,Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 11:12 am
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If you’re in the limelight, you’d get in less trouble if you’d get over yourself. (As would we all.) Politicians, actors, sports figures, personalities, teenagers begin to think they’re special because they get a lot of attention. And then lose their focus. (It happens to all of us when we think we’re special.)

Anthony Weiner got careless (as do we all) when we think we’re special.  Thinking you’re special, makes you think you can get away with inappropriate behavior. And we don’t focus. Thereby compounding the inappropriate behavior by pushing “send” without really being present. (We kid ourselves that we can multitask and that it’s the secret of our success–and then look what happens, while driving, texting, giving a speech, talking to your children or significant other.)

Teenagers are sure they can text and drive (or any number of other things–because they’re special. And next thing you know, you post that private text to the public and get 1500 teens attending your 16th birthday party (as just happened in Germany).

No use pointing fingers at them. We’d all be better off if we could do these two things: got over ourselves and be in the moment. It may be challenging but it’s a lot less dangerous.

Improve your speaking by watching the candidates

Filed under: Observations — Barbara Rocha @ 10:59 am
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We’re in that season again to learn the candidates political views as well things in their delivery that work and don’t work

I caught snippets of a few of the possible GOP Presidential candidates speaking at a meeting last week. Two things that didn’t work jumped out at me. Ralph Reed was doing a fine job of making his point until his last words. He lost the extra bump you can get by staying focused on your last words after you’ve delivered them. It’s like not sticking the landing after your gymnastics performance. He stopped focusing as soon as the words were delivered.

Michele Bachmann needs to stop waving her index fingers around. Less wrist movement, all fingers rather than just the one–looking out of control.

These aren’t hard to fix. Be sure you avoid them in your speaking.

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