Getting Over Yourself

September 14, 2018

What to do when your mouth gets ahead of your brain

The excitement of speaking tends to give you a spurt of adrenaline that can get in your way if you don’t know how to deal with it.

Undirected, the adrenaline creates noise in your head about the size of the audience, who’s in the audience, questioning how prepared you are and more.

The upshot? You have no focus and feel out of control, which opens the door for your mouth to take over. And who knows what it will say?

When this happens, even if you were to deliver your entire message accurately you would feel inadequate and question everything about your presentation.

The answer is that when you feel unsettled because your mouth seems to have a mind of its own, pause. Just stop talking and let your brain catch up. It’s really only half a beat behind and won’t take any time at all to catch up. (It will take some time if you start having an argument with yourself about how inappropriate it is for you to stop talking.)

Mostly, people won’t notice that you paused and if they do, they won’t care. And even if they cared, once you started again it would be clear that you were on message and they’d forget it or admire it.

Once you let your brain lead the way, you’ll feel back in control. You’re good to go.

For more: http://www.GettingOverYourself.com

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September 11, 2018

Continuing to push the “Walk” button probably won’t make the signal change

Filed under: Observations,Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 10:47 am
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Well, it will eventually change but probably not because it’s being pushed repetitively. The computer governing the signal doesn’t care.

And what does that have to do with speaking? It’s about your audience.

Regarding the signal, I’m pretty sure that method won’t work, so I think it’s silly. But maybe the person hitting it needs to feel in control of something at that moment. Maybe they’re just in a hurry and only thinking about getting across the street and not about logic. Or maybe they know something I don’t.

The point is that when you’re speaking to a group something may seem so perfectly obvious to you that it doesn’t occur to you to consider another point of view. Now you run the risk of annoying, offending, or alienating members of your audience.

It’s valuable to take the time to know who’s in your audience and what’s important to them as well as how this subject affects them. And to do this before you even start to think about putting your talk together.

http://www.GettingOverYourself.com

August 15, 2018

CAN YOUR SPEECH HAVE TOO MUCH PASSION?

You’ve heard people tell how important it is to be passionate about what you’re saying. So, the question is: Can you be too passionate? And how would you know?

There’s a line between the passion that focuses the audience on your subject (and makes you invisible) and the passion that focuses people on you (makes you highly visible).

You can get away with some pretty wild behavior (well, I guess that depends on your definition of “wild”) when you’re totally focused on helping the audience. Your passion for your subject has to include the people you’re talking to, not directed at them. When everyone feels like part of the “performance” they’re listening to you, enjoying the process, and considering what you’re saying.

When you’re busy sparkling (and it can be such fun), you will have fans, but because of the personal nature of the delivery there will be those who feel left out and those who have the time to be critical–because they’re not engaged.

And how would you know if your passion is over the top? If you feel at all self-conscious. It you’re feeling personally pumped.

So,
No passion: dull, lifeless delivery.
A personal sense of passion: a little too show biz.
A passionate desire to share with and include the audience: just right.

http://www.gettingoveryourself.com

February 19, 2018

What keeps you from speaking up?

You can take that question in a couple of ways: 1. Why don’t you say something when there’s something to be said? 2. When you do speak, why don’t you speak UP? That is, speak loudly enough to be heard.
The answer to both of those are pretty much the same–we let ourselves get in the way of speaking up.
There is such a thing as perhaps having too much to say and just being annoying. But I’m addressing the reluctance to speak up when it would be to your benefit (or someone else’s) to do so.
Getting in the way of speaking up comes from focusing on what people might think of you. Not wanting to be the center of attention. Not fully committing to the idea you are expressing.
In the case of speaking up about something that needs to be changed, fixed, or considered, it helps to focus on the outcome you’re looking for and the benefits of that outcome. If there are none, then don’t speak up. But if there are, then craft your thoughts to reflect those benefits and keep your eye on the prize. When you value an idea and appreciate what it can do for the current situation, you’ll find it much easier to speak up.
In the case of not speaking loudly enough to be heard, the same process just described will help get you off yourself and start thinking about the value of the message you’re delivering. If it’s important enough to say, then it’s important enough to be heard.
I’ve noticed that when people are introducing themselves, talking about their business or their project, the not speaking up often gets worse. When you don’t speak loudly enough to be heard, it seems apologetic and diminishes your credibility.
Take a moment to value the ideas and you will find it much easier to see the idea as the center of attention rather than mistakenly focusing on yourself as the center of attention.

http://www.GettingOverYourself.com for more tips

August 30, 2017

What to do when people get snarky when you make your point

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 9:47 am
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My mother used to tell me, “It’s your tone of voice” when I complained about how my brother was treating me. So first it’s important to be aware of your tone of voice, making sure you’re not sounding superior or condescending. You’ll get a lot less push back if you present the idea as something to be considered rather than something fixed in concrete. Even when there is no other possible way to look at the situation, someone will, and they just won’t hear someone who is telling them they are wrong.

It’s true, though, that sometimes the listener is so sensitive to the subject at hand, that they’ll get snarky anyway, regardless of how reasonable you sound. And then you have to continue to not get in the way–to not take anything they say personally. They may feel the need to rant. You need to feel the need to stay focused on ideas, not on personalities, and never let yourself feel like a target. They’re ranting because the issue threatens them in some way and they just lash out.

Listen and nod. But don’t take the bait. And perhaps say something calm about their obviously having thought about this a lot. “And yet, for the moment, I stand by my remarks.”

http://www.GettingOverYourself.com

January 23, 2017

Don’t try to be a perfect speaker

Filed under: Observations — Barbara Rocha @ 1:07 pm
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We tend to focus on getting everything right when we speak because we don’t want to look stupid. So we focus on trying not to make any mistakes rather than focusing on helping the audience get the message.

It’s the wrong focus. You’ll end up being stiff and mechanical making it almost impossible to connect with your audience.

Speaking is about connecting, not about perfection.

Rather than be perfect, be human.

You get more trust and credibility by being genuine than you do by being perfect. Better to make a mistake and be real, than to be perfect and unreachable.

So, comb your hair, organize a great message, and then get the heck out of the way and let ‘‘er rip.

Fie on perfection! It’s highly overrated.

 

http://www.GettingOverYourself.com

December 16, 2016

How to be comfortable with strangers

It doesn’t matter if it’s a speech, networking, or meeting new people at a party, the solution starts in the same place.

I’ve talked about changing your thinking when you’re speaking from “what if I mess up?” to “how can I help these people?” And it’s the same in any group situation where you feel uncomfortable.

There’s someone else in a networking or party situation that feels just the way you do. And probably several “someones.” But when we’re focused on trying not to look stupid we don’t notice the others who are in the same boat.

When you attend an event where you don’t know anybody (and maybe you don’t even want to know anybody) you’ll make the whole thing a lot more fun for you and for others if you look for someone who looks uncomfortable and start a conversation. Ask a question that has some relevance to the occasion. “Are you a new friend or an old friend of the host?” “I thought I might miss the whole party because of the traffic. Was there much traffic for you?” “Have you tried the cookies? Which of them would you recommend?”

You’ll have something relevant to ask as soon as you start looking outside yourself and think about how to make them comfortable.

It’s very much like giving a speech where you’re considering the interests of your audience and ways to incorporate those interests into the message.

October 11, 2016

What does Trump’s hair matter? There’s something to be learned.

In a class last week I was making the point that no one really cares what you look like (if they think your hair is weird they may notice but they won’t care), a woman said she thought Trump’s hair was so odd that she couldn’t hear anything he said.

And that just makes another important point. The most important part about speaking is connecting with your audience. Trump has connected with millions of people and they don’t care about his hair or about what he says. A woman interviewed on the news this morning about the Trump video that was released this week, said, “We don’t care about any of that.”
He apparently knows who his audience is and has solidly connected with them. So, the woman in my class who can’t listen to him because of his hair doesn’t feel connected.

It’s really not about your hair, or so many of the things we worry about when we’re presenting. It’s all about the connection.

Connecting happens with your attitude: I want to be here, I’m glad you’re here, and I want to share this with you. And connecting happens with your content: Choose facts, data, examples, stories that will make your point and resonate with this audience.

Be clear on who your audience is and what your approach will be to connecting and they won’t be distracted by those side issues. That makes it more likely that they’ll respond well to your point.

http://www.GettingOverYourself.com

September 26, 2016

If I were you, I’d record the debates

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 10:28 am
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I’m thinking we’ll be watching for substance and every useful thing we can get out of the debates tonight. And I don’t think we should be distracted by observing speaking strengths and quirks as we do that. BUT. If we record them, it will give us the chance to do some serious observing to see what works as a speaker and what gets in the way.

The more objectively this an be done (as in not being swayed by your personal view of the candidate) the more you learn. So, when you watch the recording, select a few minutes that seem interesting (or confusing) and do 3 things. First, watch it one time without any sound. Second, listen to it once without watching. And third, watch it once in fast forward. By separating the “channels” of your intake, you’ll pick up quite different messages that can help you see what kinds of things affect how your audience listens to you.

And if you have a video of a presentation of yours, try the same thing. It helps you be clear which things are working and which you could tweak a bit.

http://www.GettingOverYourself.com

August 11, 2016

“Good listeners make better leaders

Filed under: Observations — Barbara Rocha @ 10:00 am
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Tim Grierson

has written a thoughtful article exploring two approaches to speaking: “take no prisoners” vs. the ability to listen and incorporate what you hear. He and I spent some time talking about my views on the subject which are also part of the article.

I’ve printed the first couple of paragraphs and included the link where you can read the whole thing. You might find it helpful as you examine your own style and how it’s being perceived.

By Tim Grierson

In a culture that considers speaking a sign of status and leadership, don’t underestimate the power of being a good listener

Last week, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to accept a presidential nomination from a major American political party. She’s done a lot to make it to this point, but commentators spent their time talking about the way she speaks.

“She’s not really at ease speaking in public, and it shows,” Andrew Sullivan wrote for New York magazine about her speech at Thursday’s Democratic National Convention. “I get that this is actually her appeal to some: that she’s a detail-oriented pol who works best off the public stage. But a president does need to connect, to inspire and to rally.” Vox’s Emily Crockett compiled a series of tweets from male pundits who dissected Clinton’s voice, pointing out an inherent double standard: “[Female leaders] have to walk a difficult line of being assertive but not too aggressive, likable but not too much of a pushover.”

http://tinyurl.com/BeAGoodListener

And for more info on speaking you can go to my website at GettingOverYourself.com.

 

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