Getting Over Yourself

September 3, 2014

Don’t wreck your speech by trying to be smooth

Being a smooth speaker can do you in. Here are 3 reasons not to be smooth when you’re speaking:
1. Most people see smooth as untrustworthy, manipulative, insincere, or some other undesirable quality. And they see it as something they need to protect themselves from.

2. When you’re smooth, you’re probably focusing more on maintaining your image than on helping the audience. They can tell and it doesn’t work in your favor.

3. People striving for smooth tend to blow right through the pauses and miss great opportunities for highlighting big points.

It’s far better to be genuine, conversational, believable. If you have to stop and think, the audience sees that as a plus: “Look! The speaker is thinking!”

Advertisements

May 6, 2014

Never worry about your speech

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 12:28 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

If you’re worrying, you’re not doing anything productive–you’re not working on your speech and you’re not working on your job. You’re giving yourself ulcers and you’re not getting any Brownie points. Either work on it or don’t. But thinking, “I need to do something about that speech,” is useless.

It takes some discipline to do this, but you’ll feel better and your speech will be better. When you agree with yourself to focus and work on it, you’ll get it done. Really you will. And without the suffering.

Worrying about your speech (to repeat myself) is counterproductive. And it fries some of your brain cells. Either work on it or don’t. Don’t worry about it.

April 11, 2014

3 Tips for feeling good when you start speaking

Nobody wants to have to recover from a bad start. So, here are 3
things that will help you get off to a good start in your
presentation. Which makes it likely you’ll do a better job all the
way through.

Whistle a happy tune

Have something happy going on in your head. An upbeat song
can affect your posture and your face. There’s a woman I see
when I’m walking in the morning and I can tell from her body
language what kind of song is playing on her iPod. Make sure
yours is a happy one.

Don’t start until your brain is in gear

If you start because you think the audience expects it, they’re in
control . Not you. That’s scary for both you and the audience.
Who knows what will come out of your mouth? And it probably
won’t make you look good.

Take a breath. Focus. Make sure you know who you are and
where you are. And then start.

Start with something easy

It’ll be easy to remember and you’re on a roll. There’s an
example or story or fact that connects to your point that resonates
with you. Use it and all you have to do is visualize it and tell it.

Forcing it to be what you think you”should” say, means you’ll
probably use words and phrases that have no “pictures” attached
to them. “Businesslike” rather than conversational. Hard to
remember. Hard to say. So, you’re stiff and uncomfortable.

Start with something easy. It’ll make it easy to engage with your
subject and your audience.

October 18, 2013

Start by not boring yourself

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 9:53 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I hate to be bored. And what could be sadder than boring myself when I’m speaking? At least I have control over that one and most presentations would be considerably better if the presenter refused to be bored.

One place to start is to see how you can avoid doing it “the way it’s always been done” – and still be appropriate.

Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Identify an aspect of the subject that you find interesting.
  • Look for a link to a current hot topic.
  • Don’t think of it as a report you have to give. Instead see it in context of the big picture and the connections it has to the interests of your audience–how they can use it to save them time, money, or aggravation.

Whether you’re in the audience, or in front of the audience, you’re the one who decides whether or not you’re bored. You have the power to make the right choice by thinking about the subject in a different way.

December 19, 2012

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.

November 28, 2012

Ice cream trucks playing Christmas carols?

Filed under: Observations — Barbara Rocha @ 10:24 am
Tags: , , , , ,

While visiting my daughter in the desert, I heard an ice cream truck playing, “Silent Night.” When I mentioned it to my daughter, at first she didn’t get my point–because there’s nothing odd about having an ice cream truck making its rounds in November if the temperature is in the 80s. I noticed it because to me it was an anomaly.

Even so when you’re speaking: If you say what they expect to hear they’re less likely to listen. So, your opening needs to surprise them–and that depends on who your audience is as to what will seem unusual enough for them to stop texting or stop thinking about the next meeting. It doesn’t have to be wild, it just needs to be different (as well as appropriate.)

October 25, 2012

Speaking lessons from Trader Joe’s

Okay. Not literally from Trader Joe’s (or Trader Joe). But from former Trader Joe’s President Doug Rauch.

I recently heard him speak and what makes me love Trader Joe’s is pretty much why I liked his speaking. It’s not that he did everything “right,” it’s that he was genuine and connected.

The “not right” part was the pacing, which he announced right off that he did. It was stronger when he’d stay still a few moments, but he was effective in spite of it. I’m not telling you to pace, I’m telling you if you’ll get the rest of it right, people will overlook things that could be distracting and feel connected. And they’ll listen.

He used a phrase in regard to what is expected of employees that applies to your speaking (as well as other things in your life): “Mess up. Fess up.” Except, apparently, for political campaigns, it’s a great piece of advice. When you “fess up,” you’re not trying to pretend you’re perfect and willing to move forward and get it right. There’s a humanity about that that is attractive.

Mr. Rauch also spoke about the importance of trust and said the 3 components of trust are: reliability, credibility, and empathy. While many are quick to claim or to work on those first two, it’s important to recognize that third one. So, in speaking, understanding your audience, their point-of-view, and their needs, and responding to those is equally important for gaining their trust. And without trust it’s pretty hard to get anyone to buy into anything.

He was friendly, approachable, funny, and delivered valuable information about building a brand as Trader Joe’s did. And his slides were simple pictures that underscored his point.

Humor is good. One of his slides which was used to support the point about the culture of the business was a bowl of yogurt–attractively photographed. It made his point and won’t be forgotten by his audience.

Once again, being genuine, interested, focused and open will make you a hit with your audience.

August 31, 2012

Governor Tim Pawlenty is an example of looks not matching sound

The former governor of Minnesota’s speech at the Republican Convention is a good one for you to watch without listening and listen without watching. He sounds much stronger than he looks. So radio would have been kinder to his speech.

And, interestingly, this man who was apparently on the short list for Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick, gave a very vice-presidential speech. That is, he did a good job of being the attack dog–a role that traditionally is expected of the VP candidate.
On the other hand, Senator Marco Rubio, in terms of his speaking style, was completely congruent. His body and voice matched what he was saying, so if you watched and listened separately there was no disconnect. He handled the pauses well; his gestures were appropriate; and his voice indicated that he was in the moment. Present.

August 29, 2012

Try this to improve your speaking while watching the political conventions

You can get a whole different perspective on the speaking if you’ll mute the sound for a bit and just watch. You may get a different message that way. And you may find you didn’t need the words to get the message.
Then look away from the TV and just listen for a bit.
I’d like to hear from you on how that worked for you.

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.