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Getting Over Yourself
Introduction
Excerpted from Getting Over Yourself, by Barbara Rocha


People would rather die than speak in public. Polls back this up. Yet most of us will face an audience at some point in our lives at work, church or school.

By reading this book, you can learn the principles of comfortable, effective public speaking. You can learn how to get over being nervous.

You might even discover you enjoy public speaking!

So what does this book offer that others on the subject don't? Real-life advice on coping with the sleepless nights and haggard days prior to your big speech or presentation-advice that has helped the thousands of prospective speakers who have attended our three-day seminars overcome their fears and become better communicators.

"Before I took your course, I was an awful public speaker," said Bob, chairman and CEO of a large company. "I spent hours preparing, worrying and otherwise wasting my time while increasing my stress and anxiety levels before the presentation, followed by endless hours of post-presentation self-flagellation. By focusing on the basic elements you teach, and by practice, I have become a polished presenter."

If you want to learn how to change panic into poise and become a truly fearless public speaker, read on.

The principles in this book are based on my own experiences. Many times before a speech, I would feel my heart racing and my mind reeling. I became determined to overcome those feelings. Once I learned the secrets of pain-free and relaxed public speaking, I felt compelled to share them with everyone. Here's the premise to my method: Speaking is primarily a mental activity. No amount of technique will disguise an unsound mental and emotional structure. Fix the structure first, then work on the exterior details-an easy thing to do on a solid foundation.

Good public speaking is seven parts attitude and three parts mechanics (organization, body language and rhetorical devices). Most beginning speakers find the mechanics easy to learn. But starting with these elements, rather than with an attitude adjustment, is like slapping fresh paint on a flaky surface-it looks better for a while, but the underlying problem remains.

You can wow an audience with a forceful message and a good attitude. You will bore and possibly annoy them if you have a bad attitude, even if your technique is pretty good. Technique alone will not enable you to connect with your audience-and you must connect to communicate. Make no mistake. There is no audience where this is not true.

If you want to communicate, if you want to bring about change, if you want to be effective, focus on connecting, not on data and words. My advice: If you're not going to figure out how to connect with any given audience, don't waste your time trying to decide what to tell them.

How can you assess your attitude? You have a good attitude if you can answer yes to the following questions:

  • Do you expect to do a good job?
  • Do you expect to have a good time?
  • Do you expect the audience to respect you and respond to your message?
But your attitude needs to change if you answer yes to these questions:

  • Do you expect to have problems remembering your material?
  • Do you expect to have problems controlling your mind, your tongue or your body?
  • Do you expect to be ridiculed by your audience?
Attitude must be fixed where it begins-inside your head. So let's begin by clearing up some misconceptions, banishing unproductive attitudes and reinforcing some concepts you know instinctively are effective.

For more information, contact:

Barbara Rocha and Associates

PO Box 60521, Pasadena, California 91116

(626) 792-8075



Introduction
Table of Contents
Sample Chapter

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"Last week, I gave my first presentation since taking your class just 3 short weeks before. I felt really good up there. In fact, it came across so well that many people came up to tell me what a good job I did!"

Debbie Belser
Package Development Engineer
S.C. Johnson Wax


 
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