Getting Over Yourself

December 21, 2012

What do you do when you screw up in your presentation?

It’s not a given, but sometimes you do. And, if you’re dreading the possibility of making a mistake, you’re not likely to handle it well.

My first point in my 3-day seminars is “It’s not about you.” Really nobody cares about you (in the way we think they do when we’re presenting) and it’s equally true when you make a mistake. It’s not about whether you make a mistake, it’s about what you do when it happens.

Everything is about helping the audience. And when you make a mistake, it’s still not about you, it’s about how you can help the audience be comfortable. You’re the host or hostess. It’s you’re job to avoid discomfort in your audience. To do that, you need to not feel like a loser if you make a mistake and shift your thinking to how you can let them know everything’s okay. That you’re okay. Because all they want is for you to fix it and move on.

And, if you do that and then let go of it, people will forget it happened–because you did and brought them back to what you were there for.

So, pause, breathe, refocus on how you can let them know you’re okay and get back to helping them with your subject.

It’s your choice. You have the power to make the right one.


December 20, 2012

Look out for “Power Words”

When you consciously choose words because you think they have power, you may start to rely on the words rather than on the message. And the way some people recommend POWER WORDS ends up putting you into a manipulative state of mind.

The most powerful words you can use are specific, vibrant nouns, vivid adjectives and active verbs — and the word “you.” They paint word pictures that energize you and your audience. And therein lies their power. You’re real, you’re connecting, you’re engaged.

General terms, buzz words, and current jargon may feel safer, but they don’t focus  the speaker or the audience.

Choosing so-called Power Words can focus you more on the words and less on the substance. So the audience may be impressed with your word power and miss your message.

The better you’ve gotten to know your audience before you start organizing your talk, the easier it is to choose those words, examples, etc., that will make them listen, take notice—and act.

“Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.” Aesop

December 19, 2012

Where to find clip art

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 3:30 pm
Tags: , , ,

There are other resources on my website, but this is one I hadn’t used until recently: They’re free and there are LOTS of them.

Today I was told about another site that was discovered by a group of students in Elm Grove who were looking to do a special fun project at school. And they kindly sent me the link: And I thank them.

Three ways to give more exciting presentations

Three key things to look out for in your presentations are 1. Be interested, 2. Creatively organize your message, and 3. Be in the moment as you deliver it.

So, first, are you excited about this information and about sharing it with the audience? Every opportunity to speak isn’t equally weighted, but if you can find a reason why the audience needs it, how it will shorten their day, lighten their work load, help their lives, it’s a lot easier to be interested as you organize it and as you deliver it. You’re in charge of whether or not you’re interested.

Second, have you made it audience-centered? Do you care whether or not they get it?

Have you identified what they need to know? What they want to know? How your subject affects them?
Sprinkle those connections throughout your talk. Ask questions, use examples, illustrations, and analogies that relate to them.

Experiment with approaches that have appealed to you as an audience member — but make them your own. Be willing to break the pattern of a typical business presentation, the kind you’ve been bored by. You can dare to be different without being inappropriate.

And third, many people are exciting on the inside, but hesitant or unable to let that show in front of a group. Look for ways to allow you to be yourself — to show your natural energy and humor. See yourself as one of the group having a conversation with them. Just talk to them. Stay focused on your purpose–to help them in some way.

Allow yourself to be captivated. Be interested yourself and you’ll be interesting in content and delivery.

Don’t try to be interesting. Be interested.

December 13, 2012

How much time do you spend worrying about an upcoming presentation?

Really. How much? I used to waste a lot of time just fussing, ducking, avoiding, chastising. All wasted. You cut your preparation time in half if you’ll just stop worrying. There are no awards, no Brownie points, no kudos, no money given for worrying.

Either work on the presentation (speech) or don’t. Worrying gives you ulcers and gives you no progress in your preparation.

Worrying about your ability, about the speech, about the audience, just pretty means you’ll put way too much info in that will just be boring. It’s counterproductive having no benefits that I can think of. All time invested should be focused on what the audience needs and how you can best give it to them. None on your failings or inadequacies. If you want to be invisible (have them focused on what you’re saying instead of on you), all your efforts are on helping them not on making yourself look good.

Then, if you can do that, happily you will look good and the audience will be happy.

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