Getting Over Yourself

February 12, 2013

Don’t blow your speech by promoting yourself!

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 11:11 am
Tags: , , , , ,

So, you’ve been asked to speak to a group to share your expertise and you’d like to get some business out of it. It’s tempting to tell them how good you are at what you do and how passionate you are about it. But, they’ve come to learn something not to worship at your altar. So, if you allow yourself to succumb to that temptation, you’ll not only not get business, you’ll get bad reviews that will reach farther than that audience.

Your best bet to connect with these people (and maybe even get business) is to focus on tips you can give them that will make their lives or their jobs easier. You don’t have to give away the store, you just need to give them some specific things they can use. They’ll feel good about you, they’ll see you as the expert, and they’ll keep you in mind when they (or someone else) needs what you have.

In some cases, there will be people who love what you say but aren’t willing (or able) to do it themselves, so you can add–in a friendly way–that they can do this themselves. But, if it isn’t a match for them, that’s what you’re in business for and you’d be happy to serve them. And that would be a pretty small part of your speech.

Stay focused on helping them rather than promoting yourself and you’re more likely to get results.


August 7, 2012

What Dr. Michael Gervais told Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings

Here’s a gem passed along by the announcers as Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings competed in their Olympic beach volleyball playoff against the Italians: “Confidence is a little voice that says, “you belong.” (Sports psychologist, Dr. Michael Gervais)

You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to benefit from that piece of wisdom.

You’re the one who gets to program that little voice. Your choice. An objective assessment of any given situation – speech, networking, job interview, etc. – can help you reach that conclusion: You belong. It’s the counterproductive “noise” voice that gets in the way.

When you know you belong, you can trust your instincts and do or say the right thing–or keep your mouth shut.

Cultivate the “little voice” and just say, “no” to the noise.

August 3, 2012

Gabby Douglas says focus is the key

In an interview she gave after winning the Women’s Gymnastics 2012 All Around Gold Medal in the Olympics, Gabby said she’d had to learn to focus on what she was doing rather than on the clock, the other participants, who was in the stands and a myriad of other distractions. She obviously learned it and it paid off.

Focus is the key to doing almost anything well. Including speaking to a group–in person, in a conference call, or a remote presentation. There’s so much that may allow ourselves to be distracted by–who’s in the audience, worrying about remembering the material, trying to look good, comparing yourself to another, your notes, your slides, the technology and more.

If you want your own Gold Medal in speaking, take a page from Gabby’s book and learn how to focus on accomplishing your purpose. Being the in the moment pays off big time.

May 29, 2012

Keep your message simple and make it helpful

It’s easy to get on the wrong foot when presenting: so many things can go wrong. Maybe that’s why so many people don’t enjoy presenting. Here are 3 things to make your presentation easier and more effective: keep it simple, genuine, and helpful.

(You’ve analyzed your audience and know the outcome you’re looking for. From there on your organizing needs to pass the Simple, Genuine, and Helpful test.)

First, keeping it simple is not talking down to people: there’s less room for misinterpretation, less chance of forgetting your material, and more chance the audience will like you because they don’t have to work so hard.

Second, being genuine is easier: you’re conversing with some people who need what you’re telling them. You know from your experience we’re more likely to trust a speaker who is genuine.

And third, knowing you’re being helpful makes it easier to deliver. You know how they can apply it so you can be relaxed and confident by staying involved with just how it will help them.

So make your audience happier and your presentation easier: Ask yourself, “Have I kept my message simple, genuine and helpful?” If so, you’ll love the results. And so will they.

April 30, 2012

How much attention are you paying to the words that that may be hurting your credibility?

There are 2 kinds of awareness regarding your speaking that relate here: One is being aware of words, attitudes and inflections that give mixed messages to the listener (the subject of the link I’ve included below).

The second kind of awareness is hearing yourself so you can stop undermining your credibility. Being aware of what you’re saying and doing requires serious focus and is worth working on. One of the ways to work on it is mentioned in this article–find a friend who will let you know when you slip. Conquering both kinds of awareness helps you to be invisible–that place where people hear your ideas and rather than look for your flaws.

Getting these wrong can indeed sabotage your career.

April 6, 2012

Is it bad to be an introvert?

If you’re worried that being an introvert may interfere with your success in business, you may find this helpful. It’s an excerpt from an article in Inc. by Geil Browning. You’ll find the full article at

“It’s often harder to realize how to be a quiet leader, so here’s a few tips for you (and your employees), especially if any of the descriptors above sound like you:

  • Be aware that other people are not mind-readers
  • Remember to speak up
  • Maximize your influence in writing
  • If you need time to reflect, ask for it
  • Schedule your socializing for the mornings when you are fresh, and leave solitary tasks for the afternoon
  • Try business breakfasts instead of business lunches
  • Even though it will tire you out, dial up your expressiveness for phone calls, meetings, or teleconferencing”

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