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

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

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.

 

March 24, 2016

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry”–Donald? are you there?

Although I’ve never subscribed to that concept (saying you’re sorry to a loved one can make a huge difference), apparently Donald Trump does. Clearly his supporters love him regardless of what he says or does–they may even love him, in part, because he doesn’t apologize. And, it’s obvious that he is committed to standing by what he says and never apologizing. We’ll know after the election if that was a good overall strategy.

However it works out for him, I don’t recommend that you emulate this model.

There are, of course, people who apologize for everything all the time and it’s annoying. Apologizing inappropriately just draws attention and not admiration. Definitely not a leadership quality.

Yet, there is a time when apologizing gets you more credibility–with your family, your co-workers, your boss, your employees. If when you are wrong, you acknowledge it, own it, and move on–with no sense of shame or loss of credibility, you’ll get more credit and more cooperation.

 

June 12, 2015

3 things to do for better gestures

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 8:53 am
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Gestures are often more helpful to your audience than PowerPoint slides because they are visual and help the audience see your point. Slides should do that, but usually aren’t designed for that purpose–more’s the pity.

You’re missing the boat when you don’t use any, or when they’re self-conscious, or when they don’t match what you’re saying. Sometimes what feels odd to you, or overdone, is the very thing that keeps the audience focused and helps them get your point.

So here are 3 things you can do to help make your gestures relevant and to make them happen more naturally:

1. Become more aware of what your hands are doing when you’re involved in a conversation. Some people who tell me they never use their hands are surprised to find that when engrossed in a conversation, they do tend to illustrate points with gestures. So, what you’re doing unconsciously you need to become conscious of. Not all of them may be useful, but you can be aware of that, too.

2. Actively include stories, examples, and analogies that resonate with you, as you put together your talk. Those things will automatically bring focused, appropriate expressions to your face, and make it more likely that you’ll use your hands to describe them.
3. Practice your speech silently at least one time. Usually, the ideas run pretty smoothly in our heads. It’s when we try to say them aloud that we may get tangled up. So, practice silently while focusing on how you might use your hands to illustrate the points in a conversational way. It’s okay to exaggerate them for the purpose of helping your body remember. So, that when you’re actually in front of the audience, you won’t try to copy them, they’ll just happen naturally. You’re kind of giving your body permission, plus a little support.

April 27, 2015

How to make speaking part of your DNA

It’s a waste of time to wish you’d just shown up in the world ready to speak to anyone any time. It’s much easier to learn how to get yourself out of the way so you can be the speaker you want to be than it is fret over what you weren’t born with.

Rather than needing a different persona or worrying about lacking a particular skill, what you really need is just a difference in perspective. As humans, we naturally tend to think the audience is judging us. So you’re not alone. But it’s not only not true, it’s counterproductive. (And for those of you who aren’t convinced, even if you’re judging the speaker you don’t care about the speaker–you’re more concerned about yourself.)

The audience doesn’t’ want to think about the speaker, they want to be informed, entertained, enlightened, but not uncomfortable. And when you worry about what the audience is thinking about you, you make them uncomfortable. They’re far less uncomfortable when you make a mistake and it doesn’t worry you, than they are when you stay focused on not making a mistake.

There’s a logic to this. Accept it and you can make great strides in your life as a successful speaker. You’re in charge of your speaking DNA.

March 5, 2015

“Thank you” isn’t all that polite when you’re speaking

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 10:56 am
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Skip “thank you” when you close.

Most of the time when people finish their talk by saying “thank you” it’s comes from nervousness. They don’t know how else to get out of there.

Or it might be because they realized the closing was so weak that they want to be sure the audience knows they’re finished. Or maybe they’re trying to distance themselves from the closing.

If you really feel there’s a reason to thank the audience at the end, then it needs to be genuine and not “knee jerk.” And it needs to come after you’ve given the audience enough time to absorb you’re final point. Because if you don’t, they’ll have a hard time remembering what your point was because you’ve siphoned off their focus into the “thank you.”

If you want to focus the audience on your message, postpone “thank you” or skip it all together.

 

For more tips on speaking visit http://www.GettingOverYourself.com

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